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Why This Matters

Our Research

We reviewed and assessed programs that offer both online learning as well as on-campus programs. The best programs highlight a combination of theoretical knowledge with practical application and allow students to focus on areas of interest, such as finance, international business law, risk management, or more.

Our chosen programs lead to an LL.M. degree, which is a specialized degree most commonly pursued by those who have already achieved their J.D. degree and have passed the bar exam. Some programs, however, accept those who are not lawyers but are interested in paraprofessional or other legal positions in the business sector. Most of these programs have been accredited by the American Bar Association, with some having further credentialing from regional accreditors.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 71 hours to write this article
  • 61 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 161 education programs we compared

The Top 25 Master’s in Business Law Degree Programs

Best Master's in Business Law Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
Northwestern University
Best in the Midwest
Loyola University Chicago
Best Master of Laws Degree
University of San Diego
Best International Business Focus
Boston University
Best Private Research University
Case Western Reserve University
Best Public Research University
Indiana University Bloomington
Best in the Northeast
Northeastern University
Most Affordable
Arizona State University
Best Jesuit University
Boston College
Best in the Southeast
Duke University
Best Finance Law Focus
George Washington University
Most Customizable
Georgetown University
Best Public Law School
University of Illinois Chicago - Public Law School
Best in the West
Best Private Law School
University of the Pacific
Best Research-Focused Program
Vanderbilt University
Best Urban Campus
Brooklyn Law School
Best Taxation Focus
Chapman University
Best Ivy League Program
Columbia University
Best for International Students
Stanford University
Best in the Southwest
University of Arizona
Best in the Northwest
University of Washington

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What You Should Know About This Degree

As the U.S. economy continues to slowly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for business lawyers and in-house counsel should increase. Those with an understanding of international business will also see a rise in demand over the next several years.

A business law degree should not be confused with the traditional J.D. degree that is the basic law degree required to practice law in America. An LL.M. in business law will not qualify you for taking the bar exam in your state, but it may allow you to accept a higher level of responsibility if you are already in the legal field.

Unlike the J.D., the LL.M. in Business Law does not include a specific credential. With a business law degree, however, you will be eligible to join the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, which is open to lawyers, judges, law students, and others interested in business law.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching business law programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most of those pursuing an LL.M. degree in Business Law are already working lawyers. If your circumstances are different, make sure when you are researching potential programs that the one you choose accepts non-lawyers and interested paraprofessionals.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? If you choose an online program, find out if courses are offered at one designated time (synchronously) or are available at your convenience (asynchronously). For those who expect to continue working while attending graduate school, asynchronous delivery can be an easier choice, since you can watch classes and submit assignments at your own pace, at a time that works with your schedule.

If you are employed while pursuing your LL.M. degree, check with your employer’s human resources office to see if there is financial support available for employees who return to school for an advanced degree. If your LL.M. degree positions you to accept a higher level of assignment on the job, your company may be willing to pay for part or all of your education.

Other avenues of financial support to pursue would be through the college or university itself, as well as any professional associations you belong to. The American Bar Association, for example, offers a range of scholarships, grants, and work-study programs to help you fund your education.