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Watch out, juris doctor. The master of laws is coming up.

No longer just for aspiring academics and wannabe tax lawyers, master of laws (LL.M.) degrees are gaining in popularity among foreign and domestic law students. The number of LL.M. degrees conferred by American Bar Association-approved law schools grew by 65 percent between 1999 and 2009 — far outpacing the 13 percent growth in J.D.s during the same period. In 2009, 5,058 students completed LL.M.s, compared to 3,069 a decade earlier. Despite that growth, the number of J.D.s still dwarfs LL.M.s, with 49,861 awarded in 2009.

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