Student Advising

LLM

Every candidate is assigned an Assistant Director who serves as their academic advisor. Candidates work closely with the Assistant Director to design a program that fulfills not only the degree requirements, but also the candidate’s professional goals.

Before the candidate’s program begins, they meet with the Assistant Director for an initial advising session. The Assistant Director continues to meet with each candidate throughout their program to assist with academic issues. The Assistant Director also monitors academic and degree progress to ensure each candidate remains on track to earn their degree.

LLM in Business and Corporate Law

In order to earn an LLM in Business and Corporate Law, candidates must successfully complete 24 credits of approved coursework of which 15 credits must be in the business and corporate law field. In order to graduate, the candidate’s cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.0.

All candidates are required to take Corporations unless the course was already taken within four years of enrollment in the program in which case the requirement may be waived. If the Corporations requirement is waived, the candidate still is responsible for completing the applicable number of credits required for the degree (24 total credits with 15 credits from the business and corporate law field).

LLM in Business and Corporate Law candidates also must satisfy a written work requirement by successfully completing two papers for a total of four or more credits. Both papers must be in the business and corporate law field. The papers may be completed during a designated writing course or as part of an independent study.

LLM in Business and Corporate Law candidates may complete the program in one year or as many as four years. 

LLM in Comparative Law

In order to earn an LLM in Comparative Law, candidates must successfully complete 25 credits of approved coursework with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. There are two required courses – Introduction to U.S. Law (2 credits) and Legal Writing and Research for LLM in Comparative Law Candidates (2 credits) – that must be taken as part of the 25 credits.

LLM in Comparative Law candidates also must fulfill a writing requirement of at least two credits (not including Legal Writing and Research for LLM in Comparative Law Candidates). The writing requirement may be fulfilled by the successful completion of a designated writing course. For the remaining electives, candidates may choose from a wide array of subjects taught by the School of Law’s distinguished faculty and adjunct faculty.

LLM in Comparative Law candidates may elect to concentrate their study in a particular area. This is an optional feature and is not required as part of the program. However, should a candidate decide to pursue a concentration, they may concentrate in any of the following specialties – Business and Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, and Taxation. Concentrations require the successful completion of 10 credits in the area of specialty. Concentrations are recognized by a transcript notation and a certificate.

LLM in Comparative Law candidates are graded on the same scale as JD students. To provide international attorneys with the foundational skills needed to begin their study of law in the United States, candidates are required to attend an Introduction to U.S. Legal Education Workshop, which begins approximately one week before the semester. Additional information about the Introduction to U.S. Legal Workshop is available on the orientation web page

Subject to visa restrictions, if applicable, LLM in Comparative Law candidates may complete the program in one year or as many as three years. 

General LLM with a Concentration

In order to earn a General LLM degree, candidates must successfully complete 24 credits of approved coursework with at least 10 credits being in one of the following areas of concentration – Criminal Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Labor and Employment Law, or Intellectual Property Law. In order to graduate, the candidate’s cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.0.

General LLM candidates also must satisfy a written work requirement by successfully completing two papers for a total of four or more credits with at least one of the papers being in the area of concentration. The papers may be completed during a designated writing course or as part of an independent study.

For the remaining electives, candidates may choose from a wide array of upper level courses and clinical offerings taught by the School of Law’s distinguished faculty and adjunct faculty. However, no more than six credits of clinical field experience may be applied toward the 24 credit course requirement.

General LLM candidates may complete the program in one year or as many as six years.

LLM in International Law

In order to earn an LLM in International Law, candidates must successfully complete 24 credits of approved coursework of which 15 credits must be in the international law field. In order to graduate, the candidate’s cumulative grade point average also must be at least 3.0.

All candidates are required to successfully complete Public International Law and International Business Transactions unless the course(s) was already taken within four years of enrollment in the program in which case the requirement may be waived. If the requirement is waived, the candidate still is responsible for completing the applicable number of credits required for the degree (24 total credits with 15 credits from the international law field).

LLM in International Law candidates also must satisfy a written work requirement by successfully completing two papers for a total of four or more credits. Both papers must be in the international law field. The papers may be completed during a designated writing course or as part of an independent study.

LLM in International Law candidates may complete the program in one year or as many as four years. 

LLM in Taxation

In order to earn an LLM in Taxation, candidates must successfully complete 24 credits of approved graduate tax coursework with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. All candidates are required to take Tax I, Tax II, Tax Research and Communications, and a perspectives course such as Tax Policy. In limited cases, the Tax I and/or Tax II requirement may be waived. Previous USD JD students and certain students from partner institutions also may petition to apply up to 12 credits of previously completed USD advanced tax courses toward the LLM in Taxation degree if the courses were completed within 30 months of enrollment in the LLM program 

With the option to apply previously completed USD advanced tax courses toward the degree, some candidates may earn an LLM in Taxation in as little as one semester. Other candidates may complete the program in one year or as many as four years. 

Diploma in Taxation

In order to earn a Diploma in Taxation, candidates must successfully complete 10 credits of approved graduate tax coursework with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. Candidates for the Diploma in Taxation select courses from the same advanced tax curriculum available to LLM in Taxation candidates. Diploma candidates who have earned a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school also may apply to transfer to the LLM in Taxation program upon successful completion of the 10 credits.

Diploma in Taxation candidates may complete the program in one semester or as many as four years. 

MSLS

Every candidate is assigned an Assistant Director who serves as their academic advisor. Candidates work closely with the Assistant Director to design a program that fulfills not only the degree requirements, but also the candidate’s professional goals. 

Before the candidate’s program begins, they meet with the Assistant Director for an initial advising session. The Assistant Director continues to meet with each candidate throughout their program to assist with academic issues. The Assistant Director also monitors academic and degree progress to ensure each candidate remains on track to earn their degree.

Master of Science in Legal Studies

In order to earn an MS in Legal Studies degree, candidates must successfully complete 26 credits of approved coursework. Of the 26 credits, two courses must be from the first year JD curriculum, which includes Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property and Torts. Civil Procedure is a year-long course that may also be elected as a way to satisfy this requirement, but the course may not be elected for only one semester. MS candidates also may not elect the second semester of a two semester course unless they have completed the first semester of the course. For the remaining electives, candidates may choose from a wide array of subjects taught by the School of Law’s distinguished faculty and adjunct faculty.

MS candidates also may elect to concentrate their study in a particular area. This is an optional feature and is not required as part of the program. However, should a candidate decide to pursue a concentration, they may concentrate in any of the following specialties – Business and Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, and Taxation. Concentrations require the successful completion of 10 credits in the area of specialty. Concentrations are recognized by a transcript notation and a certificate.

MS candidates attend the same classes as JD students. However, MS candidates are graded on an Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis unless granted permission at the time of admission to be graded on an A to F scale.

Subject to visa restrictions, if applicable, MS candidates may complete the program in one year and as many as four years.

Contact:

Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
Phone: (619) 260-4596

Hours

M, T, Th, F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
W: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.