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U.S. Law

The LLM program in U.S. Law 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 LLM degree. It is most suitable for civil-trained lawyers and law students who work in government service, general law practice, or academia.

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

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 and Process**
  • Legal Writing and Research for LLM Students**
  • Introduction to the U.S. Legal Profession***+
  • At least 6 credits of Content Outline courses***
  • Fundamental Lawyering Skills for LLM Students****
  • 2 credits of experiential coursework****

Students are required to take Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Process 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 Process 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.

**** These requirements can be waived for the following students: (1) Students who are admitted to the New York bar (or who do not plan to sit for the New York bar examination); (2) Those who are authorized to practice law in another U.S. jurisdiction or any other country outside of the U.S. and can establish that that they have been in good standing and practiced law in that jurisdiction full-time for at least one year (or half-time for two years).

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

 

Remaining Credits

The remaining credits required for graduation in the U.S. Law program may be earned from among the wide range of courses open to LLM 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 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.