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1ceman

LLM Programs

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HI all,

As I'm sure many of you can agree, this pandemic is giving us all some time to self-reflect. I'm considering transitioning from my general commercial litigation practice into a role more focused on labour and employment. I'm thinking of either looking into associate positions at a L&E boutique/accounting firm, or a non-lawyer job with L&E aspects. Big law is also a possibility, but I just don't know if that lifestyle suits my personal life.

My understanding is that that most L&E-focused employers understandably prefer applicants who have a "demonstrated interest" in that field. While most of my work currently focuses on management-side employment law, I'm not sure my "demonstrated interest" can translate to paper without some additional credentials.

I'm considering enrolling in a LLM program to bolster my resume, and, hopefully, my chances of landing a position more catered to my L&E interests. 

However, these programs are NOT cheap ($20,000+ for a two-year program), so I want to make sure the investment is worth it. The smarter and cost-effective approach may be just to increase my networking efforts in the L&E industry. 

I'd be grateful for anyone who can share their thoughts on the benefits/drawbacks of LLM programs, particularly those working in L&E.

Thanks in advance,

1M

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I’m not involved in hiring but am in L&E. I think the demonstrated interest could be translated to paper in a cover letter or CV - if you do a lot of management side employer work, surely you can reference generally the types of work you’ve been involved in in an application - ie appear before labour arbitrators, tribunals, etc, defended wrongful dismissal claims. And your cover letter is where you make your pitch - I would say IF anywhere is hiring right now, that’s sufficient. An LM isn’t something I see particularly for associates, but usually the associates have done some form of L&E since being called or can spin prior work experience somehow. I transitioned from articling in lit to L&E based on my interest/some files I had done while articling. 

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Many L&E lawyers have Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resources. That will give you more practical knowledge and likely be less expensive. 

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51 minutes ago, eit said:

I’m not involved in hiring but am in L&E. I think the demonstrated interest could be translated to paper in a cover letter or CV - if you do a lot of management side employer work, surely you can reference generally the types of work you’ve been involved in in an application - ie appear before labour arbitrators, tribunals, etc, defended wrongful dismissal claims. And your cover letter is where you make your pitch - I would say IF anywhere is hiring right now, that’s sufficient. An LM isn’t something I see particularly for associates, but usually the associates have done some form of L&E since being called or can spin prior work experience somehow. I transitioned from articling in lit to L&E based on my interest/some files I had done while articling. 

I think this is right. If you are doing enough L&E currently that you can talk it up in a cover letter and interview, that would be enough to demonstrate interest and experience in the field. I think an LLM would be overkill.

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2 hours ago, eit said:

I’m not involved in hiring but am in L&E. I think the demonstrated interest could be translated to paper in a cover letter or CV - if you do a lot of management side employer work, surely you can reference generally the types of work you’ve been involved in in an application - ie appear before labour arbitrators, tribunals, etc, defended wrongful dismissal claims. And your cover letter is where you make your pitch - I would say IF anywhere is hiring right now, that’s sufficient. An LM isn’t something I see particularly for associates, but usually the associates have done some form of L&E since being called or can spin prior work experience somehow. I transitioned from articling in lit to L&E based on my interest/some files I had done while articling. 

Perfect thank you! Definitely a less expensive route.

1 hour ago, QuixoticLawyer said:

I think this is right. If you are doing enough L&E currently that you can talk it up in a cover letter and interview, that would be enough to demonstrate interest and experience in the field. I think an LLM would be overkill.

Terrific thank you!

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I'm doing an Admin LLM right now at Osgoode. I'm currently on reduced hours, so it's nice to have something to work toward/keep me busy throughout all of this. The program itself is flexible enough that I was able to complete two semesters during my Articles with relative ease. I personally enjoy learning and have considered teaching down the line, so having an LLM will help in that respect. I've also contemplated public law (HRTO, LTB etc), but I wouldn't bank on the LLM being a major factor in securing employment.

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