The J.D./LL.M. Option
As a student in the J.D./LL.M. joint degree program, you complete both your J.D. degree and your LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree in as little as seven semesters. The joint degree program can reduce by half both the time and expense of obtaining your LL.M.in Bankruptcy Degree. How does it work? The LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses you take as a J.D. student will count toward the credits needed for your J.D.degree. In addition, up to 12 of those credits can also count toward the 24 credits needed for your LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree. You will receive your J.D. degree upon completion of the J.D. degree requirements and your LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree upon the completion of the additional LL.M. degree requirements. (You must complete your J.D. degree and be formally admitted into the LL.M. program in order to receive the LL.M. degree.)
A Flexible Option
The joint J.D./LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree program is designed to be as flexible as possible. The program is open to both St. John’s students and J.D. candidates at any ABA-accredited law school. While we strongly recommend that you apply to and be admitted into the J.D./LL.M. program before taking any LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses, LL.M. courses completed before you apply may count toward your LL.M. degree if you are later admitted into the LL.M. program. Indeed, as long as you are admitted into the LL.M. program within two years after graduating from the J.D. program, any LL.M. courses you completed as a J.D. student will count toward the requirements for your LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree. Thus, you may apply before you take any LL.M. courses, while you are taking LL.M. courses, or within two years after your J.D. graduation. However, the program is selective and admission is not guaranteed regardless of how many LL.M. courses you completed as a J.D. student. Thus, you must be accepted into the LL.M. program before taking.
J.D./LL.M. Admission Standards
The J.D./LL.M. option is available to St. John’s law students and to students attending other ABA-accredited law schools (subject to the consent of the home school’s Dean). Our program is small and we are looking for strong students who have the character and intelligence needed to flourish in a rigorous academic program. Acceptance will be based on your academic record, recommendations, published and unpublished written work, interest in bankruptcy and other relevant factors.
Students From Other Schools
Under ABA rules, our LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses may be applied as transfer credits to satisfy the J.D. requirements of other ABA-accredited law schools. You may obtain the full benefit of the joint degree program by spending your final semester of law school as a visiting student at St. John’s, taking bankruptcy courses for J.D. credit while completing half of your LL.M. degree requirements. (Alternatively, if you attend a nearby law school, you may enroll on a visiting student basis in one or more specific LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses while taking other J.D. courses at your home school.) Your home school is not required to accept transfer credits. Thus, before enrolling at St. John’s you must obtain a letter from your Dean stating that our credits will be accepted for transfer for your J.D. degree. You will receive your J.D. degree from your home school, but will already have completed much of the work on your St. John’s LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree.
You may apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time after you have completed 54 J.D. credit hours (the equivalent of two years of J.D. coursework), including at least one introductory bankruptcy course (the St. John’s Creditors’ Rights course or an equivalent course at another law school). Applications may be obtained from the LL.M.office or the program website (listed below). There is no deadline and your application will be processed as soon as it is complete. However, if you attend a school other than St. John’s, please apply well in advance of the semester you wish to matriculate so that there will be time to obtain necessary approvals from your Dean and make any necessary student loan and housing arrangements. If you are not a St. John’sstudent, you must also submit a letter from your Dean stating that our credits will be accepted for transfer for your J.D. degree.
The joint degree option has the effect of a half-tuition LL.M. scholarship since you may double-count up to half of the credits needed forthe LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree. In addition, several LL.M. scholarships are available for exceptional students. However, LL.M. scholarship aid will be applied only to the credit hours you take in the LL.M. program after completion of your J.D. degree (and thus is not available for theJ.D. portion of the joint-degree program). If you attend a school other than St. John’s University, we can arrange a consortium agreement (if your home school agrees) so that your student loans will be available for credits taken at St. John’s before you receive your J.D. degree. Various student loan and work-study programs are available for your post-J.D. work in the LL.M. program.