U.S. and Comparative Law

This program offers students the flexibility to develop a curriculum in U.S. law topics that suits their particular needs and interests. This degree is designed for students who have received their primary legal education in civil law countries and who plan to return to their home countries within a few years of receiving the LL.M. degree. It is most suitable for civil-trained lawyers and law students who work in government service, general law practice, or academia.

Program Requirements

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


The 24-credit minimum must include the following Core Course:

  • 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 also urged to take at least one course on a topic of Comparative Law.

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.

* 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 the Content Outline course requirement by submitting the online waiver request form

All Remaining Credits

The remaining credits required for graduation in the U.S. and Comparative Law program may be earned from among the wide range of courses open to LL.M. students, as indicated on the class schedule(s) posted on the Registrar's page; however, students enrolled in this program may not earn credits in more than one course related to international law (e.g., International Business Transactions, International Human Rights, International Trade Law, etc.) without prior written approval.  Students may seek such approval by submitting a request using the online waiver request form.  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.

Approved Content Outline Courses

Note that course selection varies from one semester to the next.

Administrative Law
Advanced Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Seminar
Civil Procedure (summer term only)
Commercial Finance
Commercial Finance/Secured Transactions
Commercial Law
Commercial Paper (only if taken Spring 2014 or earlier)
Commercial Transactions
Conflict of Laws
Constitutional Law (if available)
Constitutional Torts
Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
Criminal Procedure: Investigative
Criminal Procedure: Prosecution, Defense, and Adjudication
Family Law
The First Amendment
Fundamental Principles of New York Law
Litigation Management for the International Lawyer
Partnership and LLC Law
Perspectives in U.S. Law
Secured Transactions
Trusts and Wills
U.S. Contracts for Foreign LL.M.s or Contract Law (U.S.) for LL.M.s
Unincorporated Business Entities 

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.