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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) in Texas

When you think about Texas, it is difficult not to think of it as a country on its own! This state of the USA is enormous! It is known as the Lone Star State, is bordered by Oklahoma to the north, Louisiana to the East, and Mexico to the south. After California, it is the second most populous state in the United States; beating New York and is also the second largest in size after Alaska.

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Texas has its own unique defining characteristics which give it an identity that is very distinct from the other states in the USA. Cowboys with Stetsons and cowboy boots, ranches, vast stretches of deserts, oversized half pounder burgers and sodas are all associated with the state of Texas. While, these are obviously stereotypes and Texas does in fact have a lot more to offer no matter what your interests, these do signify the rich historic identity and unique culture of the state that adds to its charm.

Where & what to study in Texas

Some of the USA’s most renowned institutions can be found in Texas. University of Houston, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and St Mary's University are some of the institutions which students can consider attending to study their LLM program.

There are a range of options when choosing what LLM to study, from a general LLM to more specialised Master of Laws depending in the area of law you are interested in. There is also the general program in ‘US Law for foreign lawyers’ at the School of Law, University of Texas which provides an overview of the US legal system and is aimed at students who received their law degrees from a foreign jurisdiction. Specialisations offered in Texan universities include American legal studies, international and comparative law, global energy, natural resources law, international arbitration, environmental law, Latin American and international law, health law, tax law, intellectual property and international law.

A law student’s perspective

Yuan Lin, an alum of the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin from China, comments regarding her experience of studying in Texas:

"Austin is great. It is what you make of it. It is often regarded as a speck of blue in a sea of red. There are so many opportunities available. I liked that it was so large. It allows for more diversity."

Applications & admissions

Texas is a popular study destination for international students, which means that the universities receive a large number of applications. Admissions are competitive and a high standard will be expected from your admission application and previous academic performance to gain admission into your chosen LLM program.

All foreign candidates must hold a first degree in law from a university recognised by the American Bar Association or its foreign equivalent and must demonstrate proof of their English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Your admission application should include an application form (usually completed electronically), application fee, curriculum vitae, personal statement, letters of recommendation, official transcripts and TOEFL score report.

Tuition fees & living costs

The tuition fees for an LLM program in Texas will probably range from $35,000 to $50,000. The tuition fees are also subject to annual increment. Living expenses will vary according to lifestyle but a student should probably set aside an annual budget of $25,000 to $30,000 for accommodation, food, books and other personal expenses. While some institutions offer financial aid, students are expected to have sufficient funds to finance their course and to satisfy the visa clearance officer regarding proof of funding. Seeking part time work may also be a potential option but you must comply with all terms and conditions of your entry visa which only permits students to work for 20 hours a week. You may also bear in mind that the demands of studying a Master of Laws program, may not leave sufficient time for working.    

What to do when you aren’t studying

Texas has a lot more to offer than just the Wild West experience of deserts and ranches! As a student in Texas you are likely to find yourself in the urban setups; the capital city of Austin, or bustling and cosmopolitan cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. These cities offer a fast-paced life and high standards of living. Once there, many people do not want to leave Austin because of its scenic beauty and lush countryside landscapes combined with hospitality of the Austin population. The people in Austin are considered to be welcoming and warm helping newcomers feel at home. Therefore, mixing and mingling with the locals in considered to be easy and adds to the experience of attending university in Texas!

There is plenty to do in Texas in your free time. Most of the cities in Texas have an interesting history, for example San Antonio is home to the famous Alamo as well as famous architecture, food, festivals which are all a reflection of Texas’ early Spanish and Mexican colonization. Worth visiting is also Fort Worth, a city that was established to protect settlers from the Indians. There is also the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair, Vanishing Texas River Cruises and the Institute of Texan Cultures.In northern Texas, Dinosaur Valley State Park, Dallas Zoo, Fossil Rim Wildlife Refuge, Six Flags World Famous Amusement Park, Creation Evidence Museum, Cavanaugh Flight Museum, and the annual State Fair of Texas are all worth visiting. While the major attractions in Houston include the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Texas State Railroad.

What other US states can you study in?

There are plenty of LLM opportunities for those interested in the living and studying in the United States and we have essential LLM study guides to over 20 US states, including:



Featured institutions

The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

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