As part of the LLM in American Law degree program, you may pursue concentrations in three of the most important fields of global work: Intellectual Property, International Business Practice, and Tax.
What is a Concentration?
A concentration is a directed program of study in a particular field of law. (In some countries, these are called “specializations.”) Many American law schools, including BU Law, offer “concentrations” to their JD students. BU Law is among the first to offer this opportunity to foreign LLM’s—in three of the most important fields of global legal work: Intellectual Property, International Business Practice, and Tax. BU Law’s concentrations require successfully completing at least four courses in the area of concentration. Pursuing a concentration does not change the LLM in American Law Program’s degree requirements, and does not change the application to the American Law Program. The specific courses which fulfill a concentration’s requirements will be made available when the upcoming academic year’s course offerings are published, usually in late April.
Why Pursue a Concentration?
Concentrations are entirely optional. You can decide to concentrate before or after you arrive and choose your courses. Reasons to consider a concentration include:
Focused, Specialized Learning
A concentration gives you the option to pursue the same kind of focused coursework as in a specialized LLM program, such as an LLM in Intellectual Property or LLM in Corporate Law. The courses which satisfy a concentration’s requirements have been carefully selected to provide exposure to a full range of International Business Practice, Intellectual Property, or Tax issues. This gives assurance that your studies consist of the most relevant and useful courses. A concentration can also demonstrate to employers—either in the US or overseas—your commitment to a particular area of law.
Flexibility to Use Certificate as Best Suits You
If you pursue a concentration, you will receive a separate concentration certificate from BU Law in addition to your LLM diploma. While your degree remains an LLM in American Law degree, you may choose to present your concentration certificate to employers, depending on the particular position you are pursuing.
The Intellectual Property Concentration
BU Law ranks 10th in the nation in Intellectual Property, according to U.S. News and World Report. Concentrators will not only study the essentials of copyright, patents, and trademark law, but they will also have the opportunity to select specialized offerings relating to such cutting-edge topics as Internet law, e-commerce, legal Issues in high-tech start-ups, technology licensing, and biotechnology and the law. The concentration requires a minimum of four classes.
International Business Practice
BU Law’s leadership in corporate, business, commercial, banking, tax, and financial law is renowned. Students who concentrate in International Business Practice will immerse themselves in a range of business or commercial law courses offered through the School’s JD Program, LLM in Banking & Financial Law Program, or Graduate Tax Program. Students will select from over 50 specialized courses, receiving exposure to such important topics as international business transactions, corporations, international trade, securities regulation, international project finance, transnational litigation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and antitrust. The concentration requires a minimum of four classes, including a required fall-semester corporations class.
BU Law ranks 6th in the nation in tax studies among schools that offer an LLM in Taxation, according to U.S. News and World Report, offering American Law Program students a tax curriculum of unparalleled breadth and depth. Students with strong backgrounds in tax studies and/or professional tax experience can pursue the concentration in taxation, which requires a minimum of four specified courses taken through the JD curriculum and the School’s Graduate Tax Program. Beyond the concentration’s minimum requirements, students may also pursue further coursework in specialty practice areas such as general business taxation, estate planning, international taxation, or financial services, depending on their professional goals and interests.
Process to Declare Concentrations for Spring Commencement
For those of you who are pursuing a concentration in International Business Practice, Taxation or Intellectual Property, you need to complete a Concentration Declaration Form and submit it to the OGIP by Monday, March 26 at noon. Click on the following links to complete the relevant concentration declaration form: International Business Practice, Intellectual Property, and Tax. To complete the form, simply indicate whether you want the concentration to appear on your transcript and circle the courses you have taken or are currently taking to fulfill the concentration. Please note that audited courses do not count toward concentration requirements and no action need be taken now for January 2018 graduates. As always, please reach out if you have any questions!