The Two-Year Master of Laws (LLM) for Foreign Lawyers at Washington University is designed for law students with outstanding academic and professional achievements who have not yet reached a sufficient level of English language proficiency to get the full benefits of studying at an American law school.
Two-Year LLM students will have an entire year of studies with intensive support in legal English combined with concentrated exposure to regular law classes and immersion in the local legal community. This enhanced preparation will help students enter their second year of studies with a solid foundation in and a good understanding of the academic and linguistic requirements of an LLM program.
Earning the LLM in U.S. Law permits Washington University law graduates to sit for several states' bar examinations, including the New York State Bar Exam, which is the most popular bar among foreign lawyers.
This LLM program is an ideal environment for experienced attorneys and recent law graduates alike to pursue any number of significant professional and academic goals, such as the following:
- Gaining practical and theoretical knowledge of U.S. and international law
- Developing expertise in a specialized field of law
- Strengthening one's ability to represent clients who have business dealings in the United States or with U.S. companies and firms
- Improving one's representation of American clients who conduct business abroad
- Building an international network of professional contacts
- Refining one's English skills and understanding of American culture
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Two-Year LLM for Foreign Lawyers
Two-Year LLM candidates must have earned a first law degree from their home jurisdiction.
Students admitted to the Two-Year LLM will start their program with a six-week summer pre-LLM intensive legal English program through the English Language Programs on campus. For five hours a day, students will learn from texts that were specifically designed for learners of legal English.
Following the intensive legal English summer classes, students of the Two-Year LLM will join the incoming one-year LLM students for an intensive orientation before regular classes begin.
During the first year of the Two-Year LLM, students will take Introduction to U.S. Law & Methods I, the first course in a two-course sequence specifically designed for foreign-trained lawyers. Two-Year LLM students will be integrated with one-year LLM students for this course.
Likewise, they will take two more content classes in law: one in the spring semester and one in the fall semester. Two-Year LLM students will be integrated with both one-year LLM students as well as U.S. JD students for these courses.
Alongside these courses, students will take two legal English classes specifically designed to complement the content courses: 1) Intensive Reading and Writing and 2) Intensive Listening and Speaking. These five-hour weekly classes will run over the entire course of the first year and prepare Two-Year LLM students for the assignments of their content classes as well as for the linguistic and academic demands of an LLM program.
By the end of the second semester, students will have the skills necessary to immerse themselves into the last year of the LLM, where they can take the regular course load of a one-year LLM. Because they will already have received credit for the law courses they took during the first year (7 credits), these students will be required to take fewer courses (17 credits) during their second year.
A key part of the two-year program is providing enrichment opportunities for the students during their first year. An example of this would be students' participation in the Judicial Experiential Learning Program, which places students in judges' chambers to observe the U.S. legal system firsthand. Moreover, the legal English courses incorporate visits to legal institutions and meetings with practitioners that will enhance the classroom experience.