The LL.M. Honor Roll: Ranking The Nation’s Best Specialty Degree Programs In Law (2023)

Winners podiumThere are countless law school rankings out there, and we cover just about every single one of them here at Above the Law. But what about rankings for LL.M. programs — advanced degrees law school graduates can pursue to learn more about legal specialties? Of course, there’s one from U.S. News and World Report, but today, we’re going to examine a new LL.M. ranking from the National Jurist, which refers to its list as an “honor roll,” perhaps to sate lawyers’ desire to make the grade and come out on top.

Before we discuss the National Jurist’s honor roll, let’s discuss the methodology used to suss out which law schools are providing LL.M. programs that are the best of the best:

Here’s how we computed our honor roll: For academics, we look at the number of courses offered (15%) and the number of professors (15%). Career opportunities consist of networking opportunities (8%), recruitment programs (8%), and whether there is a dedicated career counselor (14%). Practical training includes whether there is a live client opportunity (7%) and externships (4%). Student offerings include number of LL.M. students (7%), journal participation (4%), moot court participation (4%) and student group options (4%). We reserve 10% for other. Honorees needed to score a 78 out of 100 to be recognized.

Although the National Jurist’s honor covers dozens of LL.M. programs, we’ll be concentrating on schools that offer advanced degrees in taxation law, which is arguably the most useful post-graduate degree a lawyer could pursue. So, which law schools made the honor roll in this category?

Boston University: Taxation

LMU Loyola Law School: Taxation

Northwestern Law: Taxation

UCLA School of Law: Taxation

University of Florida: Taxation; International Taxation

University of Houston: Taxation

Wayne State University: Taxation

This honor roll mostly tracks the U.S. News tax law ranking in that schools from around the Top 10 are included, but some major players are missing. Where’s NYU? Where’s Georgetown? These schools are regarded as some of the best law schools in the country when it comes to tax law (ranked No. 1 and No. 3 by U.S. News, respectively), but they’re curiously absent here. In their place, we find Houston (#44 per U.S. News) and Wayne State (#81 per U.S. News). Asking for some friends in Texas and Michigan: What are the tax consequences of receiving a participation trophy?

Click here to see the rest of the LL.M. programs that made the National Jurist’s honor roll, and congrats to all of the schools that made the cut.

LL.M. Honor Roll: Law schools are building the perfect LL.M. [National Jurist]


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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