The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law is an online degree program designed for international lawyers seeking a fundamental understanding of the United States common law 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 are eligible to sit for the Bar Examination in California and Washington state.
A World-Class LL.M. Delivered Online
The Washington University School of Law is ranked among the top-20 law schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Our online LL.M. program delivers the same high-quality curriculum, professional network, faculty and support as our on-campus program.
Students learn through a unique combination of online interactions and real-world experiences, including:
Live online classes led by Washington University faculty
Web-based readings, videos, case studies and simulations
Optional in-person learning experiences hosted on campus
The LL.M. program is ideal for international lawyers who want to expand their mastery of U.S. law without having to pursue a full Juris Doctor degree in the United States. The curriculum consists of 24 credits and can be completed in as little as one year.
Students will learn essential skills, such as:
Reading, briefing and communicating U.S. case law
Understanding unique U.S. common-law tradition
Leading contract negotiations with U.S.-based clients
Using research databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw
By joining a global community of ambitious law students online, @WashULaw students are exposed to a wide variety of ideas, strategies and real-world scenarios that they can immediately apply to their day-to-day job functions. Our faculty teach using the Socratic method, a question-and-answer teaching method that is the standard in top U.S. law schools.
In addition to preparing students for the Bar Examination in California and Washington state, @WashULaw gives them access to exclusive university resources, personalized career guidance and networking opportunities with our community of accomplished alumni living and working all over the world.
These valuable resources are paying off for students and alumni. In a recent survey, graduates reported significant career benefits:
94% — Overall employment rate 78% — Graduates working in legal fields
An LL.M. vs. a J.D.
The two most common law degrees in the United States are the J.D. and the LL.M. International lawyers seeking a working knowledge of U.S. law typically pursue an LL.M. in U.S. Law. How do the two compare?
J.D. Degree Typically completed over the course of three years, J.D. programs focus on teaching fundamental legal skills. Students learn research and writing methodologies and build the analytical and practical skills to assess a client's legal problems and to advise or represent a client in the resolution of those legal issues.
LL.M. Degree Typically completed in one year of full-time study, LL.M. programs are ideal for law school graduates (J.D. or equivalent) and attorneys seeking a means of specializing in a specific area of law. International attorneys with a Bachelor of Laws, 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.
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