The LLM Program for International Lawyers offers two tracks: Immersion in U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers, and International Law with Focus Option. To graduate, students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students may complete the graduation requirements in one or two years (part-time option). All classes are offered at the downtown Water Tower campus of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Even though some courses are mandatory, we designed the program to allow for maximum flexibility. Two mandatory classes are specifically designed for international students to provide core concepts of the U.S. legal system and legal research and writing methods. In all other classes, the foreign LLM students are enrolled with the JD students to enhance their immersion in the U.S. academic and legal culture. The Office of International and Foreign LLM Programs and individual faculty members are available to provide academic guidance to assist students with developing individualized curricula that meet their academic goals and professional interests. All course choices must be approved by the Office of International and Foreign LLM Programs.
Immersion in U.S. Law
Track I is designed for foreign lawyers who plan to sit for the New York bar exam and/or stay in the U.S. to practice.
Many LLM students wish to take a bar exam to obtain an U.S. license to practice law. Each state issues and administers its own rules about eligibility to take the exam, the subjects tested, and general bar admissions requirements. Lawyers, including JD graduates, must obtain a license in each state in which they plan to practice.
One of the few states that permits foreign lawyers with an LLM degree to sit for the bar exam is New York. The vast majority of foreign LLM graduates who decide to sit for the bar do so in New York. Illinois generally does not permit LLM graduates to sit for the bar exam. However, lawyers licensed in a foreign country or another U.S. state who are in good standing as an attorney and have practiced law in that country or state for at least five out of seven years before applying to the Illinois bar, may request to sit for the bar exam in Illinois.
Bar rules are different in each state. For an overview and links to most state bar authorities, visit the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. We advise to regularly review the information provided by the bars of each state because bar admissions rules are subject to frequent change.
The curriculum for Track I has been designed to include the core courses currently required by the New York State Board of Law Examiners for foreign lawyers obtaining an LLM degree. The rules have recently changed and are subject to additional changes. For more information, please visit http://www.nybarexam.org/Foreign/ForeignLegalEducation.htm.
In addition to the core courses in U.S. law, students in this track may choose from the more than 250 classes offered each semester to complete their curriculum. This rigorous curriculum provides a thorough training in U.S. law and legal skills critical to advising clients in the U.S. and globally.
Mandatory Classes (16 credits)
- Introduction to US Law and the Legal System (3 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers (4 credits)
- Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
- Select subjects tested on the New York bar examination (6 credits)
Elective Classes (8 credits)
- Students may select from the more than 250 courses and seminars offered each year at Loyola, most of which are open to LLM students, to meet the graduation requirements. We will work with all students individually to determine which course selection would suit their academic interests and professional goals best.
International Law with Focus Option
Track II allows students to study international law and choose their own focus area.
Students in Track II have more flexibility to design their own curriculum to match their academic interests and professional goals. In addition to the classes specifically designed for foreign lawyers, students are required to take at least six credit hours in private and public international law. Additionally, students may choose to focus on any of the law school’s specialty areas represented by Loyola’s faculty, including:
- arbitration, mediation and negotiation
- business and tax law
- child and family law
- competition (antitrust) law
- health law
- intellectual property law
- international trade law.
All of Loyola’s specialty areas have strong international and comparative components. We also encourage students to create their own specialty focus.
The faculty members in Loyola’s institutes and centers are looking forward to working with the foreign LLM students. Many offer LLM programs for JD students.
Mandatory Classes (13 credits)
*may be substituted for other international core courses from Loyola’s extensive offering in international law classes subject to approval of the Office of International and Foreign LLM Programs
Elective Classes (11 credits)
- Students may select from the more than 250 courses and seminars offered each year at Loyola, most of which are open to LL.M. students, to meet the graduation requirements. We will work with all students individually to determine which course selection would suit their academic interests and professional goals best.