The Admission Interviews, are meant to provide insights into LL.M. admissions right from the law school itself. The primary idea behind this series is to provide that little bit of extra information that may not be available on the law school’s website.
In this edition, we speak with Professor Joel P Trachtman, the Executive Director of the LL.M. programme at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. In this interview, Prof. Joel shares his thoughts on what makes the Masters of Law in International Law at Fletchers a unique programme, the benefits of the LL.M. and a whole lot more.
A Fletcher alum, Deborshi Barat, had spoken about the collegiality of the Fletcher ‘mafia’ – nomenclature aside, how has the international network of Fletcher alum helped LL.M. graduates?
Every year alumni help current students by mentoring them, helping with networking when students are job searching, and coming to campus to given academic lectures as well as share advice about job searching and career progression.
Alumni also sit on panels and network with students during our annual career trips to Washington, D.C. and New York.
“Fletcher is a very social school, and students overwhelmingly enjoy their time here and keep in touch with classmates and fellow alumni after they graduate.”
Fletcher is a very social school, and students overwhelmingly enjoy their time here and keep in touch with classmates and fellow alumni after they graduate. They’re always happy to hear from current students and help folks out as their careers are getting started.
What are some of the characteristics that make for the ideal LLM candidate at the Fletcher School of Law?
An ideal candidate has the following characteristics:
- Is planning on a career in international law, sees the benefit of Fletcher’s interdisciplinary approach, and connects their career goals to the education offered at Fletcher.
- Has some work experience or extensive internship experience, preferably but not necessarily in the area of international law.
- Has done well in an LLB or JD program, and has taken some international law coursework.
Students are evaluated on a holistic basis, so strength in one of these areas could outweigh relative weakness in another. For example, a younger student with less work experience who graduated at the top of his or her class and has a keen interest in international law would still be a strong candidate. Similarly, a more experienced candidate with great work experience could make up for less competitive grades.
“A more experienced candidate with great work experience could make up for less competitive grades.”
When it comes to the application process, could you share some successful examples of Essay 2? More specifically, the question relating to “home town”?
We aren’t able to share student application materials, but successful essays often combine a person’s insights and take-aways about conditions in their home town with global issues and/or their motivation to study international law.
What is the average amount of financial aid that is offered to LL.M. candidates?
The middle 50% ranges from $10,000-18,000. We take into account financial need as well as a prospective student’s competitiveness as an applicant.
Lastly, in your experience, what have been some of the most valuable aspects of the course based on your interactions with alum?
Students in the Fletcher LL.M. program report that the program stands out for a few reasons.
- The interdisciplinary nature of the program. Students can take classes in our international affairs and international business/economics departments, and report that those classes allow them to complement their legal students in a powerful way. For example, a student focusing on human rights could take a non-law course on migration or gender issues which would help inform their studies in law.
- The level of mentorship by faculty members is always valued by the students. The program is intentionally small and ranges from 15-20 students per year. Students have both an academic advisor and a thesis (we call it a “Capstone” at Fletcher) advisor from the law faculty, and have the opportunity to get to know their professors on a personal level. Students often work as research or teaching assistant to faculty members as well.
- The great academic environment available in Boston. Fletcher offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, conference, and guest speakers on campus. Given our location outside Boston, students often have the opportunity to participate in activities at other area schools, such as Harvard and MIT, and can even cross-register for a class or two at Harvard if they like.