Dear Mentor:

Which law schools abroad offer financial aid?

I'm a 2nd year LLB [Bachelor's degree in Law] student of from Jamia Milia Islamia university in Delhi. I want to do my LLM [Master's degree in Law] from abroad but I want to go on a scholarship. Could you please guide me: Which would be the best university that would provide financial aid or some sort of scholarship? I've ranked 3rd in my class and scored 1st division with 64% marks. Kindly help.

Studying Law Elsewhere, Delhi, India

Dear Studying Law Elsewhere:

Abroad is a big Place! We are afraid that you would have to narrow down your options somewhat.

Obtaining an LLM from abroad would and should focus on international issues - such as international taxation and international finance - for it to be meaningful to you upon your return to India. Legally, international students are expected to return to their home countries upon completion of their studies. It is true that international students can obtain employment after completing their studies, provided the employment is authorized by local immigration authorities. However, to obtain employment in the host countries, you would need a rigorous knowledge of the basic laws of the host country, which you would not have by skipping the basic law degree in the host country. So, if you intend to study abroad and return to India, LLM may be a good choice. But if you are planning to stay abroad, LLM is likely not to offer you adequate skills.

Because the focus of iMahal is on the US, UK, India, and Canada, we shall use the US as an example. The first law degree in the US is a 3-year program called JD (Juris Doctor). Among other things, candidates to the JD program are required to have completed a 4-year Bachelor's degree in any discipline. If the Bachelor's degree is not of a 4-year college education, the candidates are expected to have completed a Master's degree in any discipline. The requirements for LLM include a JD from an accredited US law school or a first law degree (JD, LLB or the equivalent) from a foreign law school.

Financial aid for international students for law education in the US is severely limited. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay for your expenses yourself, with little or no assistance from the school. You can use the iMahal College Finder to identify schools that match your performance and needs. By the way, you would be required to take the LSAT (Law Schools Admission Test - a standardized entrance exam) for law education in the US.

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