International Dispute Resolution

Fordham’s Master of Laws program in International Dispute Resolution will focus on the various ways that international disputes are resolved, including through traditional litigation as well as alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation. While traditional methods of dispute resolution remain important, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are growing rapidly as a preferred method of resolving disputes between parties in public and private international law matters. It is increasingly important for lawyers to have a strong understanding of both the principles underlying each of these methods and the processes involved. This program offers students the opportunity to explore in depth the various options for the adjudication of disputes, and especially to examine how they are played out in the international arena. Foreign students will develop an appreciation for the U.S. common law system generally, and will learn some of the particular characteristics of the U.S. litigation model.

Credit Hours

Each student is required to complete a minimum of 24 credits of approved courses; the maximum number of credits permitted is 27.

Program-Specific Required Courses

The 24-credit minimum must include 12 credits of Specialization Distribution Courses approved for the International Dispute Resolution program.

The 12-credit Specialization Distribution Course requirement must include the following Core Courses:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Litigation Management for the International Lawyer‡

‡ Litigation Management for the International Lawyer is not required for students who hold a J.D. from a U.S. law school.

Remaining credits needed to fulfill the 12-credit Specialization Distribution requirement must be chosen from among the wide selection of Specialization Distribution Courses approved for the International Dispute Resolution program (courses designated 'IDR' on the class schedule available on the registrar's website). One of these remaining courses must have an international component (e.g., International Arbitration, Investor-State Arbitration, etc.).

Additional Required Courses

For students who do not hold a degree from a U.S. law school, the following courses are also required:

  • Introduction to the U.S. Legal System*
  • Legal Writing and Research for LL.M. Students*
  • Introduction to the U.S. Legal Profession**†
  • At least 6 credits of Content Outline courses**

Students are required to take Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Legal Writing and Research for LL.M. Students during their first semester of study in the LL.M. program.

NOTE: If a course can fulfill both (i) a Core Course or Core Distribution Course requirement and (ii) a Content Outline requirement, the course may count toward both requirements. For example, Litigation Management for the International Lawyer counts toward the Core Course requirement and will count simultaneously toward the Content Outline requirement.

* Students who are admitted to the New York bar may seek waivers from Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and/or Legal Writing and Research for LL.M. students by submitting the online waiver request form, however they are not encouraged to do so as these courses provide a fundamental base of knowledge and skills that are extremely useful for attorneys in the U.S. and that will be useful for all other U.S. law school classes. Students who are waived from Introduction to the U.S. Legal System may request to audit that course by submitting the online audit request form.

** Students who are admitted to the New York bar or who do not intend to sit for the New York bar may seek a waiver from Introduction to the U.S. Legal Profession and/or the Content Outline course requirement by submitting the online waiver request form.

† In lieu of Introduction to the U.S. Legal Profession, students may elect to substitute a three-credit Professional Responsibility course, including those courses that are focused on a particular area of practice.

Elective Courses

Any remaining credits may be chosen from among the wide variety of courses that are open to LL.M. students, as indicated on the class schedule(s) posted on the Registrar's webpage. For most classes that are closed to LL.M.s, students may be admitted on a space available basis by submitting the Request to Enroll in a Closed Course form.

A Note Regarding Course Selection for Part Time Students

The LL.M. program strives to ensure that there is a wide range of courses available in the evening in each of our LL.M. areas of specialization, and to ensure that students will be able to meet their program requirements within their desired time frame for completion. However, it would be impossible to ensure that any specific course will be offered at a time that is convenient to all students. We encourage you to look at the schedules from past semesters, available on the registrar's website, to get a sense of what courses may be offered in the future (noting, of course, that the schedule varies from one semester to the next). Should you find at any time that you are having trouble meeting your program requirements within your desired time frame, you should contact Kandice Thorn at kthorn1@law.fordham.edu to discuss options.