International Dispute Resolution

Fordham’s LLM program in International Dispute Resolution focuses 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 30.

Full-time students take 10-15 credits per semester (11-13 recommended); part-time students take 2-9 credits per semester and must complete the program within 24 months of starting. Up to 4 credits may be taken during summer terms.

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 JD 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

All LL.M. students are required to complete the following course in their first semester of graduate study:

  • Quantitative Methods for Graduate Students*

All LL.M. students who do not hold a J.D. from a U.S. law school are additionally required to take the following courses:

  • Introduction to the U.S. Legal System**
  • Legal Writing and Research for LLM 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 LLM Students during their first semester of study in the LLM program.

Note: If a course fulfills both a Specialization Distribution Course requirement and a Content Outline requirement, the course may count toward both requirements. For example, Corporations (4 credits) counts towards the Specialization Distribution Course requirement and also counts toward the Content Outline requirement.

* Students who completed a similar course in their prior studies, or who have significant business, tax, or other experience that provides them with sufficient knowledge of this topic may seek a waiver by submitting the Request for Waiver from LL.M./M.S.L. Program Requirement​s​ form. Late registrants who are unable to register due to enrollment limits must take this course in their second semester of study.

**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 LLM Students by submitting the online Request for Waiver from LL.M./M.S.L. Program Requirement​s​ 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 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 Request for Waiver from LL.M./M.S.L. Program Requirement​s​ form.

+In lieu of Introduction to the U.S. Legal Profession, students may 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 LLM students, as indicated on the class schedule(s) posted on the Registrar's webpage. For most classes that are closed to LLMs, 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 LLM program strives to ensure that there is a wide range of courses available in the evening in each of our LLM 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 Toni Jaeger-Fine at tfine@law.fordham.edu to discuss options.