NEW ORLEANS -- The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law was recently recognized for its international master of laws program, which was named one of the “best values” in the country in the recent edition of The International Jurist.
Known commonly as an LL.M, the degree designation is given to juris doctor students who choose to specialize in a specific area of law.
Loyola offers two programs, one for U.S. students, the other for international students. The latter program was recognized by The International Jurist.
“This is really a great honor for us,” Tori Luwisch, the university’s coordinator of external affairs and graduate studies, recently told the Louisiana Record. “It brings attention to a small school like Loyola and lets people know there’s something special going on here.”
Tuition cost, cost of living and scholarship availability were all considered in the rankings. Those criteria were “balanced” against the schools’ academic quality and the general “law-school experience.”
The school was selected from a list of 80 law schools and 300 graduate law programs from around the country.
Loyola was fifth on the “best value” listing of 12 schools. Brigham Young University in Utah was listed first.
Luwisch said the per-credit cost of Loyola’s 24-credit LL.M. program is around $1,386, which compares very favorably to similar programs at other schools.
She said scholarships up to 80 percent of tuition are offered based on student financial needs and academic merit. About 77 percent of students receive some type of aid.
Luwisch said the law school also offers several programs that cater directly to LL.M. students, including career services, bar preparation, tutoring and a host of opportunities for volunteering.
She said students can volunteer at the school’s immigration clinic or serve as indigent client representatives.
“Experiential learning is a very important component,” she said.
Chunlin Leonhard, a Loyola law professor who works with LL.M. students, told the Louisiana Record that the program was created in 2006 in response to the growing demand for an internationally focused law specialty.
“With the globalization of the economy, the legal profession has also become globalized,” she said.
International students already have a master’s degree from another country when they enroll in Loyola’s program. The LL.M. gives the students a credential that is accepted worldwide.
“The exchange of legal knowledge as a result of a foreign LL.M. program will contribute to the development of rule of law globally and make the world a better place for everyone,” Leonhard said. “The presence of foreign lawyers from other cultures and countries also enriches the experience of our own U.S. law students and prepares (them) better as lawyers in a globalized world.”
More than monetary value, she said Loyola’s Jesuit missions of social justice and public service makes the law school experience a more real-word exercise for students.
“Our law faculty and staff are strongly committed to making sure that each of our LL.M. students have a valuable learning experience,” Leonhard said.