Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • 1. Lawyering Skills. All LL.M. in Lawyering students will acquire or improve the following legal skills: the ability to read and analyze legal texts, including cases; the ability to conduct legal research on U.S. law sources; the ability to spot legal issues raised by typical legal problems; the ability to apply the law to factual scenarios; the ability to analyze legal issues and predict likely judicial outcomes; the ability to communicate legal analysis clearly in writing and orally; the ability to interview witnesses and clients; the ability to counsel clients with legal analysis and legal options; the ability negotiate a legal issue or problem with an adversary; the ability to make persuasive arguments based on the combination of law and facts.
  • 2. Legal English. For those students who were trained in law outside of the U.S. or another English-speaking, common law country, they will develop a working knowledge of key legal English terms used in law practice in the United States.
  • 3. Knowledge of U.S. Law. Students in the LL.M. in Lawyering program will learn or deepen their understanding of U.S. law generally and in particular sub-areas of U.S. law in one of the emphasis areas or such other area or combination of areas selected by the student with the approval of the academic advisor.

Required Coursework

Law 8730I   Introduction to American Law & Culture

Law 8531I   Common Law, Legal Writing and Analysis

Law 8532I    Introduction to American Legal Skills

Law 8532R  American Legal Research

Emphasis Areas

For an emphasis, a student must earn at least 12 credit hours towards the LL.M. in Lawyering in courses that will support the emphasis area. Students also must complete a significant writing project, academic or professional, which may be undertaken in connection with a course, as an independent study, or in connection with a thesis.

The following emphasis areas are available: Business and Entrepreneurial Law, Child and Family Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Litigation, Tax Law, and U.S. Law. Some courses have been pre-approved as supporting these emphasis areas, and others may be approved by the student’s academic advisor. Students are not required to select an emphasis area, but may choose a different course of study with approval of the academic advisor. Course schedules change on an annual basis, so all courses listed below may not be available in a particular year. The LL.M. student’s academic advisor may approve additional courses not listed as counting towards an emphasis area. One course, Global Legal Systems, is listed for each emphasis area because students write papers to compare US law to the law of other countries, and that course can count towards an emphasis area if the paper topic supports the emphasis and is approved by the academic advisor.   

Grading

The grading scale for students in the LL.M. in Lawyering is as follows:

  • A (including + and -)
  • B (including + and -)
  • C (including + and -)
  •  Credit
  • No Credit

The A, B, C grades are given consistent with standards for J.D. students, and credits for courses taken from the J.D. curriculum may count towards a J.D. degree in the event of transfer to that program if the LL.M. student earns a grade of C or better. A “Credit” grade signifies that the student has not performed to the level required of a juris doctor student, but that the student has demonstrated basic competency on course objectives as those objectives relate to the LL.M. in Lawyering . Courses in which a student earns a grade of “Credit” count towards the LL.M. in Lawyering, but will not count towards a  J.D. degree. A “No Credit” indicates that the student did not demonstrate basic competency on course objectives, and that course does not count towards fulfilling the graduation requirements for the LL.M. in Lawyering degree.

Accommodation of English as a Second Language students.

Students who speak English as a second language may be given additional time on timed final exams in courses offered in the J.D. program. Students may be given up to 50% additional time depending on the English ability and the length and nature of English immersion experienced by the student, but may not be given any additional time depending on the circumstances to be evaluated by the Manager of Student Services in consultation with the Associate Dean of International Programs.

As an additional accommodation of ESL students, a professor in his or her discretion may allow additional work beyond that assigned generally in the course to allow a student in the LL.M. in Lawyering to achieve a “Credit” grade. The professor is to indicate at the beginning of the course whether he or she will allow additional work, and what conditions or standards may apply. The nature, quality and length of any additional work is to be decided upon by the faculty member who is the instructor in the course. Examples of additional work include a paper, re-taking of an exam, an oral examination, field observations and reports.

Thesis

The LL.M. in Lawyering does not require the completion of a thesis, but students may choose to undertake a thesis on a subject matter to be approved by the student’s academic advisor. The thesis must show substantial evidence of original research and should be at least 20 pages in length for each credit hour of thesis credit in which the student enrolls. Students may take thesis credit for up to a maximum of eight credit hours with approval of the academic advisor.