LL.M. in United States Law

The LL.M. in United States Law is primarily (but not exclusively) designed for lawyers who have obtained their first degree in law from a law school in a Civil Law country.  A concept of the program is that Louisiana’s Civil Law or perhaps more accurately “Mixed Jurisdiction” background will be attractive to lawyers from Civil Law countries.  The Loyola College of Law Civil Law faculty will be available for these students as interpreters and “mediators” to assist them in better understanding unfamiliar Common Law concepts and techniques and other aspects of American public and private law. By achieving this familiarity foreign lawyers can become more comfortable in those areas of their future practice when they interact with U.S. lawyers, businessman, government officials or other legal institutions.

A total of twenty-four credit hours is required for this degree.  It is anticipated that the degree will be completed in one academic year (two semesters), but students may take longer if they wish with the permission of the Director.  For example, it maybe possible to finish the few remaining hours in the summer following the academic year by taking summer courses either in New Orleans or one of several study-abroad programs.

The only specific required courses for this degree will be the three credit course in “Introduction to United States Law” and the three credit course in “Lawyering I.”  There is also a separate research and writing requirement which may be fulfilled by taking a two hour law school seminar for credit or a two hour independent legal research project (LAW L898) under the supervision of a faculty member.  An LL.M. student may be able to complete a more extensive thesis under faculty supervision for up to a total of six hours credit.  (This would be instead of the two hour project, not in addition to it.)

The remaining credits of the twenty-four credit hours may be taken from among any other courses in the College of Law’s course catalog except for courses that are associated with service on the school’s four officially recognized law journals.  The candidate should have a coherent plan of electives and have the approval of the director for all elective courses. 

Up to four credit hours may be earned through a pass-fail internship with a law firm, court or government agency.  The College of Law does not promise that an internship will be available to the potential LL.M. candidate, but will make best efforts to arrange one for interested candidates. 

If a candidate chooses to write a thesis this may be completed after the candidate’s one year period of residency on the Loyola campus, but the LL.M. degree will not be awarded until the thesis is satisfactorily completed. 

The College of Law offers a program granting a Certificate in Civil Law and a Certificate in Common Law. This unique certification program is based upon Loyola’s dual common law and civil law curricula and encourages substantial study of the two dominant Western legal systems. A student choosing to complete the requirements for the certificate acquire an understanding of the conceptual framework of each legal system. In an era of increasing recognition of the international marketplace, an individual with this understanding is well-equipped to deal with legal issues from the perspective of the two legal systems that prevail throughout much of the world.

Students who have their first degree in law from a common law country other than the United States may elect, as part of their required twenty four credit hours, to take a limited concentration in Civil Law courses offered at Loyola and receive a certificate in Civil Law Studies reflecting this concentration. The additional requirements for the certificate in Civil Law Studies are that the candidate take one of the following Civil Law courses in our curriculum: Civil Law Property or Civil Law Conventional Obligations plus one other Civil Law course, i.e., one of those designed "LCIV" in the Law Bulletin. (see Academic Regulations and Requirements.)

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