First, Professor Edwards was elected President-Elect of the AALS Section on Graduate Law Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers. This section is involved with Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs for international students at over 140 law schools in the U.S., which are subjects of Professor Edwards’ new book, LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student’s Guide to U.S. Law School Programs (www.LLMRoadMap.com). In 2014 Professor Edwards will be elevated to Chair of the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers.
Professor Edwards said:
“I am excited to take on this leadership role in the very important Section dealing with international students who come to the U.S. to study in our nation’s law schools. This type of international legal education promotes human rights in the U.S. and in the students’ home countries, and plays a critical role in international relations, diplomacy and global peace and security initiatives.”
Professor Edwards continued:
“It is important to inform international students of pitfalls they may encounter in LL.M. programs at U.S. law schools. Caution is needed to avoid cash cows, diploma mills, LL.M. creep, bait and switch, and other mechanisms that harm students, and that result in students’ reasonable LL.M. expectations being unsatisfied”.
Third, Professor Edwards was elected as President-Elect of the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange, and will serve on the Executive Committee of that Section. The remit of this Section is broad, focusing on a wide range of international and transnational legal education initiatives, including LL.M. programs for in the U.S. for international students. He will be elevated to Chair of this Section in 2014 at the AALS annual meeting in New York.
Edwards as Law School Representative to AALS
Before the AALS Annual Meeting, Professor Edwards had been elected by the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Faculty to serve as the Law School’s Representative to & Member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) House of Representatives for 2011 - 2013. He participated in House of Representative Sessions at the 2011 Annual Meeting (San Francisco), in 2012 (Washington, DC), and again in 2013 (New Orleans). The next Annual Meeting is scheduled to be held in New York in January 2014.
LLM Roadmap Featured at AALS Annual Meeting
At the 2013 AALS Annual meeting in Washington, Professor Edwards’ LL.M. RoadMap book was featured at the Expo Exhibition of his publisher, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Publishing. Professor Edwards also had an opportunity to present LL.M. Roadmap at different panels, meetings, and other events during the 5-day AALS New Orleans meeting, including at the AALS Reception for Legal Educations from Law Schools Outside the United States held on Saturday, with special guest attendees from around the globe.
Edwards Presenting on LLM Roadmap in Many Countries
Professor Edwards has recently received many invitations to travel to many foreign countries to speak about legal education in the U.S., and specifically about U.S. LL.M. programs. In the previous two years, Professor Edwards has presented on U.S. legal education, U.S. LL.M. programs, and global legal education, in over 2 dozen countries. Many of his presentations have been at overseas law faculties, international conferences, U.S. Embassies abroad, or at U.S. State Department affiliates such as Fulbright Foundations in many countries.
Professor Edwards has been invited to the Annual Meeting of the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA) to be held in Muenster, Germany. ELFA law faculty members from over 200 member countries within the European Union and beyond will be present at this Annual Meeting, which acts as an international forum for the discussion of many legal topics related to legal education, including LL.M. programs in the U.S. and elsewhere. Attendees at this conference may include many prospective LL.M. students, as well as many law faculty members who advise such students at the over 200 member schools.
Professor Edwards will also attend the Annual Meeting of NAFSA: Association of International Educators to be held in St. Louis, Missouri in May 2013.
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS)
The AALS is a non-profit, professional educational association of approximately 200 law schools representing over 10,000 law faculties in the United States. The purpose of the Association is “the improvement of the legal profession through legal education.” The AALS serves as the “academic society for law teachers”, and its Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of law faculty in the world. The AALS is legal education’s principal representative to the federal government and to other national higher education organizations and learned societies. The AALS also encourages collaboration with law professors on a global level, and has provided seed funding and continuing staff support for the International Association of Law Schools, an independent organization created with the help and encouragement of the AALS.
Are Some U.S. LL.M. Programs Cash Cows & Diploma Mills?
Professor Edwards has been approached by Law Schools in the U.S. to advise or consult on the creation of LL.M. programs at those schools, and to assess those schools’ existing LL.M. programs. He noted that faculty and administrators from schools around the country have asked him whether he thinks their schools are "cash cows" or "diploma mills", or whether their schools live up to the standards outlined in LL.M. RoadMap.
Quotes By Professor Edwards:
Professor Edwards said:
"Virtually everywhere I go in and outside of the U.S. I am asked to identify which specific U.S. law schools and U.S. LL.M. programs do not meet reasonable expectations of LL.M. students. People want to know which LL.M. programs are cash cows, in that they divert LL.M. tuition money away from the LL.M. program, leaving the LL.M. program with inadequate resources to satisfy LL.M. student personal, academic, career or other needs and expectations.”
“I tell students, professors and LL.M. administrators that the principal question is whether the law school funnels sufficient resources to the LL.M. program, and provides high quality service, which is what students should reasonably expect. Unfortunately some schools fail to provide sufficient resources for their international LL.M. students, and do not meet the reasonable needs of their students”.
“LL.M. Roadmap paints a picture of an ideal LL.M. program that meets the needs of its international students. I believe that LL.M. Roadmap can offer everyone involved with LL.M. programs in the U.S. insights as to what they can do to improve the LL.M. experience, as a student, professor or administrator.
“Schools need not spend every LL.M. tuition dollar on the LL.M. program, but the school should spend enough money on the LL.M. program at least to meet the reasonable expectations of students”.
Professor Edwards Donates LL.M. Roadmap profits to International Law Students Association (ILSA) That Administers Jessup International Law Moot Court.
Professor Edwards is donating all of his personal profits from the publication of LL.M. Roadmap to the International Law Students Association (ILSA) (www.ILSA.org). ILSA, which is a non-profit organization, administers the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, whose participants hail from 500 law schools from over 80 countries around the globe. During the AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, Professor Edwards negotiated with the LL.M. Roadmap publisher Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Publishing for them to donate 100 copies of LL.M. Roadmap as Book Prizes to the top student oralists in different countries. Professor Edwards served as Faculty Advisor to the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law from 1997 until 2010. He also served two 3-year terms (the maximum permitted) as a Member of the ILSA Board of Advisors.
More information about the AALS can be found at www.AALS.org.
More information about LL.M. RoadMap can be found at www.LLMRoadMap.com. (This website has had visitors from over 1,350 cities in 144 countries on 6 continents.)
LL.M. RoadMap is available online at Amazon.com in the U.S. (Amazon.com -- U.S.); at Amazon in other countries (including Amazon.ca -- Canada; Amazon.de - Germany; Amazon.co.uk -- U.K.; Amazon.fr – France; Amazon.co.jp -- Japan; Amazon.es -- Spain); and at numerous other websites in other countries.
Twitter.com: @LLMRoadMap (over 2,050 Twitter Followers!)
Professor Edwards has previously served as Faculty Director (Founding) of the Law School’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) Track in International Human Rights Law (until Spring 2011), and previously served as Executive Chair of the Law School’s Graduate Law Programs. Professor Edwards retains the position of Faculty Director, Program in International Human Rights Law, which in 2011 under Professor Edwards’ direction earned Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council. Since 1997, Professor Edwards has facilitated and supervised 175 summer law student internships at the United Nation and other human rights organizations in over 55 countries on 6 continents.
Professor Edwards is a Juris Doctor graduate of Harvard Law School.
For information requests specific to LL.M. RoadMap, please send an e-mail to LLMRoadMap@Yahoo.com
Professor Edwards can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.