Application Fee Waiver!
Graduate and International Programs will waive the application fee for all LLM applicants who submit their applications electronically through the Law School Admissions Council online application service.
LLM Law School Recruitment Forum, sponsored by LSAC
USD will be attending the LLM Forum in New York City on October 13 to give prospective LLM students an opportunity to talk personally with us. If you are thinking about an LLM program, this is an excellent resource for you.
Admission to the LLM Forum is free. Register Now!
Key Program Features
For 30 years, the LLM in Comparative Law has provided international law school graduates with the opportunity to design a program that specifically suits their academic interests and professional goals. The program offers candidates maximum flexibility in selecting courses from a contemporary and dynamic curriculum, and is ideal for attorneys, judges, professors, and other graduates of international law schools.
- Courses for this program may be selected from many subject areas, including Business and Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Public Law and Tax Law
- Combining fundamental courses in U.S. Law with the opportunity to select from a broad variety of electives allows candidates to develop a highly personalized LLM program
- Studying alongside JD and LLM students from the U.S. and around the world prepares LLM candidates to deal effectively with U.S. attorneys on questions of common interest, and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the law and policy in a wide array of subjects
The School of Law is pleased to offer specialized Concentration areas within the LLM in Comparative Law. After enrolling in the LLM program, candidates have the option of pursuing a Concentration in one of the following areas:
- Business and Corporate Law
- Criminal Law
- Environmental and Energy Law
- Intellectual Property
- International Law
These concentrations highlight curricular strengths, offering a selection of courses taught by leading scholars and expert practitioners. Students can work with the Associate Director to help shape their education or enhance their career prospects by meeting the specific requirements for earning a Certificate of Concentration and corresponding transcript notation. Please be aware that the election or pursuit of a Concentration area does not afford registration priority. While pursuing one of the Concentrations listed above is an available option, LLM in Comparative Law candidates are not required to pursue a Concentration.
Specialized Support for International Attorneys
We recognize that studying law in the United States can present unique challenges for internationally educated attorneys. To assist our students with this transition, the School of Law offers:
- A special LLM student orientation program featuring an Introduction to U.S. Legal Education Workshop, which includes courses designed to provide international attorneys with the foundational skills needed to begin their study of law in the United States
- Special coverage of topics including “Sources of Law, Federal and State Court Structure and Stare Decicis,” “Anatomy of a Case: How to Read, Analyze and Brief a Case,” and “Demystifying the Socratic Method”
- Personalized, individual academic advising and course selection appointments with the Associate Director
- Academic success services and language-based exam accommodations
- Students may begin the program in the Fall or Spring term
- Candidates may complete the degree requirements in as little as 1 year, or may take up to 3 years (pending visa restrictions)
- Full-time and part-time options are available (pending visa restrictions)
- Many courses are offered in the day as well as evening
- A candidate for this LLM degree must successfully complete 25 credit hours of appropriate coursework
- Required courses comprise 3 of the 25 credits:
- Introduction to U.S. Law (2 credits): This course provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. legal system and comparatively introduces approaches to law, lawyering, and legal processes.
- Legal Writing and Research for LLM in Comparative Law Candidates (2 credits): Students learn the research and writing techniques used by practicing U.S. attorneys, including training on both the Lexis and Westlaw electronic legal research systems.
- 2 of the 25 credits must fulfill a written work requirement, which may be satisfied by a thesis or through successful completion of a designated written work course
- Remaining credits may be chosen from our extensive upper-division elective offerings
- Full details of the degree requirements may be found in the School of Law Academic Rules in the Student Handbook
- Candidates work closely with the Associate Director to design a program that fulfills not only the degree requirements, but also the attorney’s professional goals
- Our Career Services Office offers individualized career counseling appointments, as well as many other resources ranging from networking events to résumé writing workshops to information about specific job opportunities
- Students are invited to participate in East Coast and West Coast job fairs designed specifically for international attorneys who are LLM candidates
- Alumni of this program are employed in numerous legal fields in the United States and around the world, including as judges, government officials, and attorneys working in business and corporate law, taxation law, commercial and banking law, and international law
- Student visa regulations permit LLM candidates to gain additional practical experience by completing “Optional Practical Training,” which allows students to find a placement with a U.S. law firm or agency for up to 12 months after finishing the degree
LLM Tuition, Fees and Scholarships
- Please visit our Financial Aid page for tuition, fee and scholarship information
- If you require a student visa, please also visit our Visa and Financial Information page for further information
Bar Exam Information for International Attorneys
- In keeping with the regulations of the American Bar Association, the LLM in Comparative Law is not intended to prepare foreign attorneys to sit for a bar exam in the United States
- However, many graduates of our LLM in Comparative Law program have taken bar exams in the U.S. with successful results
- Please note that the State Bar of California requires that international LLM students be graded on the same grading scale as JD students, and the University of San Diego School of Law has always followed this practice
- For information about the State Bar of California please visit www.calbar.ca.gov, and review information about the eligibility of foreign-educated applicants to qualify for the California Bar Examination
- For information about the New York State Bar Association please visit www.nysba.org