LLM for International Lawyers

Law is increasingly practiced on a global scale, with attorneys that understand how the laws of their home country and that of the U.S. intersect.

Outstanding lawyers from over 40 countries have chosen Loyola to boost their career with a master's degree. One-on-one academic and career counseling, supportive faculty, and access to worldwide legal networks are just a few benefits of our LLM Program for International Lawyers. And your educational experience will be enhanced by your immersion with U.S. students.

As a Loyola student, you will study with leading practitioners in the same classes as your U.S. peers. You may choose to complete one of two tracks:

Track 1: Immersion in U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers

Designed for foreign lawyers who seek to develop an expertise in specific aspects of American law and possibly take a U.S. bar exam, the rigorous curriculum immerses you in the foundations of U.S. law and legal thought and provides a thorough training in legal skills critical to advising clients in the U.S. or globally.

Track 2: International Law with a Certificate Focus

Designed for students interested in private and public international law, you may earn a focus certificate in any of Loyola’s specialty areas, all of which include strong international and comparative components: arbitration, mediation, and negotiation; business; child and family; competition; health; human rights; intellectual property; tax; or trade law. Under the guidance of our engaged international faculty, you also may develop your own focus to match your academic interests and professional goals.

Our commitment to you

Upon graduation with an LLM from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values:


In the Immersion in U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers program, you will:

  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of the U.S. legal system and the U.S. substantive and procedural law relevant to your specialty focus.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the rules of professional ethics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of U.S. legal discourse, case analysis, and legal reasoning.

In the International Law with a focus program, you will:

  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of international law from a U.S. perspective and the U.S. substantive and procedural law relevant to your specialty focus.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity of cultural issues raised in international and U.S. law.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of U.S. legal discourse, case analysis, and legal reasoning.


  • Use U.S. legal authority and perform legal analysis and problem-solving methods employed by U.S. lawyers;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Legal English, in both written and oral communications;
  • Communicate effectively on sophisticated legal topics, both orally and in writing;
  • Market your professional skills; and
  • Demonstrate professionalism consistent with the U.S. legal profession's values and standards.

Professional Values

You will be prepared to exercise proper professional responsibilities to your clients and/or the legal system.

By the numbers








You can choose to start the program in the fall term (early September) or spring term (starting in January). The program is designed to be completed within one year, but you may choose to complete the program on a part-time basis over two years.

You will enroll in two mandatory classes that are specifically designed exclusively for all international LLM students to introduce core concepts of the U.S. legal system and legal research and writing methods.

Track 1: Immersion in U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers

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.

Required Courses

  • Introduction to U.S. Law and the Legal System
  • Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers I
  • Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers II
  • Professional Responsibility

Additional Courses

You must take at least 6 credits of courses tested on the New York bar examination:

  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Business Organizations, Including a Comparative Perspective
  • Advanced Civil Procedure
  • Agency and Partnerships
  • Business and the Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Child, Parent and State
  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation
  • Estates
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts
  • Property
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Remedies
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Unincorporated Business Organizations

The listed courses have been approved by the State of New York Court of Appeals under Rule 520.6 (b)(3)(vi)(d) as subjects tested on the bar exam.

Elective Coursework

You may take additional credits from the list above or from any other field.

Track 2: International Law with a Certficate Focus Option

In Track 2, you will enjoy flexibility in designing your own curriculum to match your academic interests and professional goals. You must complete the required courses and at least 7 credits in international law and 7 credits in any specialty area.

Required Courses

  • Introduction to U.S. Law and the Legal System
  • Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers I
  • Legal Research and Writing for Foreign Lawyers II
  • 7 Credits in international law

Additional Courses

7 credits in a focus area, including:

  • arbitration, mediation, and negotiation
  • business law
  • child and family law
  • competition (antitrust) law
  • health law
  • human rights
  • intellectual property law
  • international trade law
  • tax law

Elective Coursework

You may choose 4 credits of elective coursework to tailor your curriculum to match your interests and career goals.

Degree Requirements

To earn your degree, you must complete 24 credit hours of coursework, including the Capstone Project and one Education Immersion Weekend. Visit our Registrar for a complete list of degree requirements, academic calendars, and registration process.


To apply to the program, you must possess a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent as well as a primary law degree.

Fall Term Application Deadlines

  • March 1: Priority Deadline for Scholarship Consideration
  • July 1: Final Application Deadline

Spring Term Application Deadlines

  • August 1: Priority Deadline for Scholarship Consideration
  • December 1: Final Application Deadline

Tuition and Fees

The School of Law and Loyola's Office of Student Financial Assistance are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their legal education at Loyola affordable.

As part of our commitment, Loyola offers a scholarship program for qualified students. The Admissions Committee considers you automatically for an award when reviewing your file for admission. We encourage you to include a formal request for consideration for a scholarship in your personal statement, highlighting distinguishing academic and professional achievements, as well as explaining your financial need.


What can I expect from my classes?

The LLM Program includes two mandatory classes specifically designed for international LLM students. In all other classes, you join JD students, which will enhance your immersion in the U.S. academic and legal culture. You may choose from all core classes in U.S. Law--such as torts, business organizations, or constitutional law--and more advanced upper-level classes. You may also choose from a variety of skills classes, including arbitration, contract negotiations and drafting, mediation or negotiation seminars, strategic counseling for international clients, and more. Skills classes offer substantial instruction in the professional and practical skills that are essential for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession.

When do I need to decide which track to choose?

On the application you must specify your program of choice. However, we work closely with all students to make sure they choose the courses best suited to their professional development. As long as the mandatory requirements for each track are met, you could switch your track as late as the beginning of your second semester.

I have a law degree from a common law country. Could I request a waiver of the mandatory classes?

In very limited circumstances the mandatory classes could be replaced with other classes as approved by the Associate Dean, based on your prior education. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

Will I be able to practice law with this LLM degree?

Track 1 (Immersion in U.S. law for foreign lawyers) includes required courses intended to aid the students in satisfying the eligibility and admissions requirements to sit for New York's bar exam. However, we make no representation or guarantee that any applicant, student, or graduate of our LLM Program for International Lawyers will be qualified to sit for the New York or any other state bar examination. The rules have recently changed and are subject to additional changes. We strongly encourage you to check the admission requirements for any state bar for which are interested in seeking admission prior to enrolling in our LLM Program. For more information, please visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

I do not know anyone in Chicago and am concerned about feeling lonely. Does the school help with integration and adjusting to the U.S lifestyle?

One benefit of the small size of our program for international students is that you will make friends quickly. In six years, we've welcomed students from 45 different countries. We typically have only one student, sometimes two students, from the same country. Everyone is open to making connections with students of different cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds.

Our international students build a tight network beyond law school. During the orientation program, all incoming foreign students have the opportunity to get to know each other before law school classes begin. We host extracurricular events throughout the year to bring together the international and JD students. You will also meet international students from prior years who will share their experience and give advice about adjusting to law school.

Additionally, Loyola’s student services staff has a wealth of experience with transition issues of international students. During the pre-semester orientation, you will meet the law school’s staff members who are always there to assist you. Finally, the university’s International Office , which supports more than 800 international scholars, students, staff, and faculty campus-wide, regularly hosts informational and social events and provides integration support.

Does the law school offer housing options?

Directly across the law school building is Baumhart Hall, an apartment-style student housing facility. Most of our students live in private residences in one of Chicago’s many neighborhoods. Please review the law school’s housing guide to get a better idea of the variety of all housing options in Chicago.

How much should I expect to pay for living expenses?

If you need a visa, you must complete a financial statement showing that you or your sponsor have sufficient funding for the degree program. For visa purposes, you must demonstrate funding of $19,663 to cover living expenses in addition to the tuition. This amount is based on the on-campus housing option and includes health insurance and living expenses. The actual amount you will need depends on your personal circumstances and expectations. You could lower the sum by finding a less expensive place to stay, keeping your own health insurance, and, obviously, maintaining a frugal life style. Some of our students stay with extended family in Chicago or the suburbs to reduce living expenses.