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The Master of Laws Program

LL.M. Degree Requirements

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Program Length

The program is full-time and must be completed in residence within one calendar year. The two primary academic semesters are in the fall (from late August to mid-December) and in the spring (from mid-January to mid-May). There are limited course offerings during the summer semester (early June to mid-August). All students begin their studies in the fall semester with a mandatory orientation in mid-August. Most students complete the degree in the spring semester, although occasionally students complete the degree in the summer semester. A student may request an extension of time in which to complete the degree only under exceptional circumstances.

Credits and Grades

Students must complete at least twenty-four (24) semester hours of credit with a grade point average of at least 1.90. Candidates must maintain a grade point average of at least 1.80 to continue in the program. Students who fail one class will be placed on scholastic probation. A student who fails two classes in a single semester will be dropped from the program, regardless of the student's grade point average.

Required Courses for All Students

  • Each student with a foreign law degree must successfully complete "Introduction to U.S. Law", a two-credit course designed and offered only to LL.M. students. Students with a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school are automatically exempt from this requirement. Students with a foreign law degree and a background of common law study may request a waiver of this requirement.
  • Every student must complete a substantial research paper under faculty guidance. Most students satisfy this requirement by completing a writing seminar. Alternatively, students may complete a directed research project for at least two credits that includes a thirty page paper involving legal research and analysis. Students enrolled in a specialized track of study must write on a topic related to their area of specialization. The rules for writing seminars and directed research may be found on the Student Affairs Office website.

Eligibility for Different Concentrations

Enrollment for each concentration is limited. Applicants with a foreign law degree are eligible for all five concentrations. Applicants with a J.D. are eligible for all concentrations except U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers.

Courses Developed for Foreign LL.M. Students

The Law School has developed a number of courses for foreign LL.M. students. Current offerings include:

  • Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers
  • Introduction to U.S. Law
  • Professional Responsibility for Foreign Lawyers
  • Contracts for Foreign Lawyers

Access to Courses and Courses Outside the Law School

Students may satisfy part of the 24-credit degree requirement by completing graduate-level courses in other departments at the University. Non-law courses must be approved in advance by the director of the LL.M. program and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Enrollment in most courses within and outside the Law School is limited, and not all courses are available.

Approval for Plans of Study

Each student's course schedule must be approved in advance by the director of the LL.M. program or his/her delegate.