Professor Edwards Presents on LL.M. Programs at AALS Annual Meeting


Professor George Edwards delivered a plenary presentation on Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs at U.S. law schools at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

Professor Edwards’ presentation was titled “Balancing the Interests & Needs of Stakeholders in U.S. Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs for International Students: Avoiding Cash Cows, Diploma Mills, Bait & Switch, LL.M. Creep & Other Disappointments, While Furthering Academic, Professional, Diplomacy, Human Rights & Other Goals.” The workshop had over 200 attendees from law schools across the U.S. and overseas.

Professor George Edwards at the AALS annual meeting

In his remarks, Professor Edwards identified the many stakeholders involved in international legal education, and highlighted specific U.S. law school policies and practices that threaten the ability of LL.M. programs to meet stakeholder needs. He proposed the possibility that the ABA or another entity might accredit LL.M. programs. He also spoke of developing an LL.M. program Code of Conduct, creating a national council or association of international LL.M. students in the U.S. (with local chapters at different schools and in different cities, states and regions), and other mechanisms to help ensure that reasonable expectations of all LL.M. program stakeholders are met.

His presentation was part of AALS President Lauren Robel’s Presidential Workshop on Globalizing the Curriculum, designed around the meeting’s theme of “Global Engagement and the Legal Academy.” Robel is provost and executive vice president at Indiana University and former dean of IU Maurer School of Law.

Professor Edwards noted that “Ideally all law schools around the U.S. would recognize the need to meet stakeholder needs. It’s good for the students. It’s good for the school. It’s good for public diplomacy, and the positive impressions we want our international students to form while here and take back with them to their home countries. It’s good for U.S. foreign policy, peace, and human rights around the globe when international LL.M. students come to the U.S. and join our programs, have excellent experiences, and return as ambassadors of what we have to offer.”

Professor Edwards is the Carl M. Gray Professor of Law, and the founding director of the Program in International Human Rights Law. Also, he was the founding director of the LL.M Track in International Human Rights Law until 2011. He also is the author of LL.M. Roadmad: An International Student’s Guide to U.S. Law School Programs.

Plenary Conveners & Speakers shown in the above photo, from left, are: Professors Vicki C. Jackson (Harvard Law School); Raquel E. Aldana, McGeorge School of Law; Lauren Robel (AALS President & Indiana University); David S. Law (Washington University in St. Louis School of Law); George E. Edwards, Indiana University McKinney School of Law; Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr. (University of Alabama School of Law); Heinz J. Klug (University of Wisconsin Law School).

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