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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I graduated from law school last summer. I went to a fourth-tier school and graduated near the bottom of my class. I think the reason I didn’t do so well was because I felt isolated and alone at school. I did start picking up my grades my last three semesters, though. When I came back to my hometown, I took a few LL.M. classes as a non-degree student at a top-tier school and got good grades. I think that if I try to get an LL.M. at this school I will do very well and graduate with high grades. My question is, will it be worth it for me to get an LLM? I was thinking about getting one in either Tax or International Trade. But I am hesitant about taking on more law school debt. I am also worried that once I graduate with the LL.M., law firms will not care much about it and focus solely on my J.D. performance.

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