Online Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law

Earn an LL.M. in U.S. Law from a Top-20 Ranked Law School

Founded in 1867, Washington University School of Law is the oldest operating law school west of the Mississippi River. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked it as a top-20 law school. 1

Washington University School of Law’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law is an online degree program designed for international lawyers seeking a fundamental understanding of the U.S. legal system. Students develop the skills to research, write and communicate like a U.S. lawyer and earn a degree from a top U.S. law school without having to relocate or leave their current job.  Upon graduation from the program, students may be eligible to sit for the bar examination in California. Contact our admissions team at 314-281-5200 or for more information.

The LL.M. is ideal for international lawyers who want to expand their mastery of U.S. law and become practicing attorneys without having to pursue a full three-year Juris Doctor degree in the United States. Explore the course catalog to learn more about each elective.

In the program, students will complete the 24 credits required to take the California bar exam as well as the Professional Responsibility course.

Accreditation and Acquiescence

The Washington University LL.M. program has obtained acquiescence by the American Bar Association (ABA). Find out more about acquiescence on the ABA website. In addition, Washington University in St. Louis has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913. Learn about the University’s HLC accreditation.

A Curriculum That Instills Real-World Legal Skills

The LL.M. is ideal for international lawyers who want to expand their mastery of U.S. law and become practicing attorneys without having to pursue a full three-year Juris Doctor degree in the United States. In the program, students will complete the 24 credits required to take the California bar exam as well as the Professional Responsibility courseExplore the course catalog to learn more about each elective.

Students will learn essential skills, such as:

  • Reading, briefing and communicating U.S. case law
  • Understanding U.S. common law tradition
  • Leading contract negotiations with U.S.-based clients
  • Using legal research databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw

Program Requirements

Washington University School of Law’s online LL.M. program is 24 credits and can be completed in as little as one year. All LL.M. students will complete two required courses and then select 18 credits of elective courses to align their education with their career goals.2




required course



On-Campus Weekend Learning Experience

Each spring and fall, students in the program can attend an optional weekend learning experience in St. Louis, Missouri. During the immersion, students take a 1-credit elective course on campus, observe live court hearings, and meet with federal and state judges. This is also a great opportunity to network and meet peers and faculty in person.

These weekends enhance the online experience by allowing students to learn the cultural and legal complexities of U.S. law as well as giving them the opportunity to spend more time visiting the U.S.

Faculty-Guided Research

This 3-credit research course, supervised by expert faculty, allows students to meet with professors regularly to develop a thesis paper on a topic that interests them or aligns with their career goals.

The final deadline for the January 2024 cohort is December 4, 2023.



Candidates must have an LL.B. or equivalent degree to be considered for acceptance into the program. LSAT and GRE scores are not required. To apply, students must submit the following:

  • Online application
  • Application fee or waiver
  • Statement of purpose
  • Résumé or CV
  • Online interview
  • Official transcripts
  • Official diploma
  • Translated transcripts
  • Translated diploma

Class Profile

Our LL.M. students come from a variety of backgrounds and fields of employment, bringing a wide range of perspectives to the classroom. Our collaborative learning environment encourages students to connect with attorneys and legal practitioners from different countries in order to expand their network internationally.




Average Age

Top Fields of Employment

  • Corporate Law
  • Litigation
  • Commercial Law
  • Banking & Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual Property
  • Tax

Country of Origin

This information was collected from online LL.M. students in the October 2016 to October 2018 cohorts with a 100% response rate. Map shows that students are located in Canada (1), United States (3), Mexico (6), El Salvador (1), Jamaica (1), Haiti (1), Dominican Republic (1), Venezuela (5), Columbia (2), Ecuador (1), Peru (3), Brazil (7), Argentina (2), Uruguay (1), United Kingdom (1), France (2), Belgium (1), Romania (1), Russia (1), Sierra Leone (1), Cote d’Ivoire (1), Nigeria (4), Cameroon (1), Congo (1), Uganda (1), Kenya (1), Ethiopia (1), Eritrea (1), Sudan (2), Eygpt (2), Jordan (1), Syria (1), Iran (1), Pakistan (1), Turkmenistan (1), India (1), China (12), Hong Kong (2), Taiwan (1), Phillipnes (2), Korea (1), Japan (1), Indonsia (1)

Join a diverse network of international lawyers
and earn your LL.M. in U.S. Law online.


Online Learning Experience

By joining a global community of ambitious law students online, our LL.M. students experience new perspectives from lawyers in different countries and gain insight on their legal systems. Students attend weekly live classes taught by our faculty using the Socratic method, a question-and-answer teaching method that is the standard in top U.S. law schools.

Additionally, throughout the program, students have access to LexisNexis and Westlaw, two extensive legal research databases used by lawyers and law firms. These databases will not only help students with their legal writing and research but also give them access to real-world legal materials including cases, statutes, public records and law journals. Learn more about the student experience.

Distinguished Faculty

LL.M. faculty are the same respected scholars, researchers, lawyers and legal counselors who teach in the on-campus program. Because professors design and lead the curriculum, they are closely engaged with the course material and are available for one-on-one mentoring and guidance. Learn more about our faculty.

What’s the Difference Between an LL.M. and a J.D.?

The two most common law degrees in the United States are the LL.M. and the J.D. International lawyers seeking a working knowledge of U.S. law typically pursue an LL.M. in U.S. Law, whereas domestic students looking to become lawyers typically pursue a J.D. Explore the difference between the two degrees:


Typically completed in one year of full-time study, LL.M. programs are ideal for law school graduates (J.D. or equivalent) and attorneys looking to specialize in a specific area of law. International attorneys with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), for example, often pursue an LL.M. in U.S. Law as a shorter path to taking the bar exam and becoming a practicing attorney in the United States.


Typically completed over the course of three years, J.D. programs focus on preparing students to become practicing attorneys. Students learn research and writing methodologies, build the analytical and practical skills to assess a client’s legal problems, and prepare to advise or represent a client in the resolution of their legal issues.

How You Can Advance Your Career with an LL.M. Degree

Our program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds with different career goals and legal interests. The LL.M. program prepares them to leverage knowledge of U.S. law on the job and equips them to advance their career in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Practicing law in the United States
  • Working in international law firms
  • Practicing at home with greater international insight

In addition to preparing students for the bar examination in California state, the LL.M. program helps students advance their careers through personalized career guidance and networking opportunities with our community of accomplished alumni living and working all over the world.

A Graduate Success Story

Fei Wang, who graduated from the LL.M. program in 2015, is an attorney at Jincheng Tongda & Neal law firm in China, where she works with offshore investment banks, funds and multinational companies. With the LL.M. program, she was able to enhance her understanding of the differences between Chinese and U.S. law and better service her clients.

Learn to practice law in the United States and work with international clients. Request information about the online LL.M. in U.S. Law program today.

12023 Best Law Schools.US News & World Report. Ranked in 2022.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

2Please note that Torts is only 1 credit. If you select Torts as your common law course, you will still be required to fulfill 24 credits to graduate.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference