Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

A Review of the Development of an Internet Delivered LL.M Program in the United States

Posted by William Byrnes on August 27, 2013


This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <

This article reviews the development of the first Internet delivered LL.M program (i.e. LL.M. of International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, the ‘Program’) in the United States.

The paper comprises four sections: In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the Program International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed.

Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. In particular, this part concludes that the grounding of a LL.M (Masters) level legal education program exclusively using the Socratic method (case study) roots of traditional Juris Doctorate (graduate) legal education may neither meet the goals, nor produce the skills sought by this Program. By example, some legal education writers have negatively critiqued the primary use of the Socratic method in even graduate legal education’s pedagogy. The scope of the negative critiques are presented from the perspective of economic efficiency over educational quality, as well as the perspective of professional development, and also from the perspective of a feministic approach.  These critiques are followed by a review of suggested alternatives. This part ends with an examination of the emerging United Kingdom literature supporting a pedagogy based upon ‘student-centered learning’.

Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the International Tax Program. Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and it reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

Keywords: LL.M Program, Legal Education in the US, Legal Education in the UK, Internet Delivered Law Courses, C&IT in Legal Education, CAL, CBL, Socratic Teaching Method, Alternatives to Socratic Teaching.

This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <

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