Notes Toward an Understanding of the U.S. Market in Foreign LL.M. Students: From the British Empire and the Inns of Court to the U.S. LL.M


This article, a comment on Mindie Lazarus-Black and Julie Globokar’s empirically-based article on “Foreign Attorneys in U.S. LL.M. Programs: Who’s In, Who’s Out, and Who They Are,” seeks to situate U.S. foreign-oriented LLM (and more generally graduate law) programs within a global and even imperial logic. Rather than seeing them as simply programs of access to the “best” or most modern legal education, it suggests that the global market in legal education relates to competition among nations for global hegemony, the reproduction of local hierarchies, and the reinforcement of the power of the “universals” of the dominant powers – in particular, those of the United States. It also shows the continuity of today’s market allocation of law degrees with the colonial era when, for example, the British sought to co-opt colonial elites by educating them in England and then including them within the colonial governance structure (which was used by those elites to reinforce their local status as well). The article is not meant to denounce the process, only to suggest that we need to recognize the implications of this hierarchical market and competition. The market is of course about revenues, but is also strongly implicated in issues of foreign relations.

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