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Master’s Degree Programs in Immigration Law Overview

Majors Overview November 5, 2015

Master’s degree programs in immigration law are not usually available through universities and colleges. Law schools do offer programs that include relevant courses.

Information on Immigration Law Programs

A Juris Doctor (J.D.) can be earned by those keen on practicing immigration law. A Master of Laws (LL.M.) program is a form of continuing education for those who want to study comparative immigration law. Three-year JD programs involve the exploration of criminal and civil aspects of immigration law and students may select a clerkship or internship to avail an additional opportunity to learn. Lawyers – often international students – enroll to learn to compare and contrast U.S. law with other countries. Students are allowed to tailor coursework with a focus on immigration law. Students usually complete these programs in about a year.

Juris Doctor (J.D.) Programs

Students take three years to complete JD programs that incorporate the practical applications and theoretical framework of law. Students learn about laws that govern criminal activity, in addition to those that regulate various civil matters including private disputes, commerce, and human rights, among others.

Several classes on criminal and civil aspects of immigration law are available in most JD programs. Internships or clerkships are often completed with law firms or judges respectively before they graduate.

Education Requirements

There are no set undergraduate courses or specific majors that must be completed by law school applicants. However, communication skills and analytical thinking must be demonstrated in their undergraduate courses. Submission of students’ scores on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is also a requirement for admission.

Coursework

Program coursework is devised to aid the development of the skills necessary for examining complex laws and deciding their application to specific situations. Coursework in immigration law classes incorporates the statutes and precedents relevant to the regulation of moving to and working in the United States. Core coursework may cover subject areas such as:

•Civil rights law
•Criminal law
•Labor Law
•Immigration policy
•Tax law

Career Choices

Many program graduates become practicing lawyers while some enter public service or become educators. Graduates can seek employment with the government or law firms. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Immigration consultant
•Immigration lawyer
•Civil rights attorney

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth of ten percent has been predicted for lawyers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $113,530 (BLS).

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs

The international, comparative, and theoretical aspects of U.S. law are main subjects in Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs. These programs attract many international students with work experience and legal education in their home countries. The emphasis of LL.M. programs is often on writing skills and legal research, whereby graduates can train for careers in academia. Students keen on studying immigration law can complete coursework that involves the comparison of statutes on immigration in the U.S. and other countries.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have practiced law previously, either in the United States or another country. Enrollees must have a JD or its foreign equivalent before they are allowed to begin core coursework.

Coursework

LL.M. program students usually tailor their coursework in collaboration with a faculty member or academic advisor. In most programs, an area of legal interest is allowed to be emphasized; however, a broad array of courses may be taken by students enrolled in a few programs. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Comparative employment law
•Latin American immigration law
•International human rights law
•Comparative Immigration law
•European Union labor law

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from many career options. Most seek careers in research or academia while some aspire to become practicing lawyers. Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Immigration law policymaker
•Immigration law professor
•Immigration law consultant

Continuing Education and Licensure Choices

Membership of their state’s bar is mandatory for aspiring lawyers, although education beyond an LL.M. or certification is not necessary for academic and advising positions. Lawyers must demonstrate their knowledge of federal and state law through the passage of a comprehensive written bar exam. Background checks are also conducted to ensure that lawyers meet moral and ethical standards.

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor’s programs options include Law & National Security, Paralegal Studies, and Government.
  • Regent University School of Law’s faculty was recognized among the Top 10 Faculty in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Law & legal studies programs are fully approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Develop and apply basic statistical skills and quantitative reasoning for critical evaluation of quantitative information.
  • Understand the roles, functions, and impacts of an effective criminal justice system.
  • Examine ethical standards and issues in criminal justice processes and in professional decision making including the ever-present tension between crime control and appropriate civil liberties.
  • Survey a range of theoretical approached that explain crime and apply theoretical reasoning and concepts to observations of crime and control.
  • Analyze, from a restorative justice perspective, the needs of victims and offenders and the involved community as an alternative to satisfying abstract legal principals or punishing the offender.
  • Appreciate the investigative profession as a scientific field; sample and apply physical science methods to solve forensic problems.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid

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