Bankruptcy, LL.M.

30 Credits
School of Law
Queens Campus

Overview

Located in New York, the center of bankruptcy practice, St. John’s is at the center of bankruptcy education.  Our LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree program is the nation's only LL.M. program devoted to bankruptcy law.  This highly successful program offers a wide array of specialized bankruptcy courses taught by leading practitioners, judges and academics. Our graduates practice with top firms and clerk for influential judges throughout the country.  The LL.M. program is only one part of the nation's most extensive bankruptcy program -- a program that also includes the leading bankruptcy journal, the national bankruptcy moot court competition, and the national bankruptcy mediation training program.

The LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree program is intensive and rigorous. It requires the completion of 30 credits, including a publishable thesis on a significant bankruptcy topic.  The program combines academic rigor with a practice-oriented approach that is designed to produce bankruptcy attorneys with the skills, the ambition and the knowledge to become leaders in the insolvency field. Students are permitted to take the program full-time (one year) or part-time (two to three years), entering in either the fall or spring semesters. 

You can also view our Placement Data and Comments from recent graduates. 

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Courses

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Admission

Application Procedure and Forms

Student Selection Standards
The student body will be limited to outstanding candidates who have the capacity to handle a rigorous academic curriculum. Acceptance will be based on the individual’s performance at undergraduate and law schools, experience in practice (where applicable), published and unpublished written work, and, where appropriate, personal interviews. Particular emphasis will be placed on the applicant having achieved an outstanding academic record in obtaining a Juris Doctor from an accredited A.B.A. law school and on the applicant’s employment history and documented promise in the practice of bankruptcy law. The evaluation of applicants will be conducted by an appropriate LL.M. program faculty committee in concert with the law school Faculty Admissions Committee and the Dean of Admissions.

Rolling Admissions and Application Deadline
Students may commence the program either in the Fall or Spring terms. We use a rolling admissions process and consider applications as they come in and make every effort to inform you of our decision as soon as possible after receipt of your completed application. An application is considered complete when the School of Law has received the following:

  • Completed & signed application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts from law school (including class rank) and  undergraduate schools attended**
  • LSAT Score (a copy of the front sheet of the applicant’s LSDAS report, indicating his/her LSAT score provided by Law School)
  • Application fee of $100 (non-refundable)

Students will be expected to submit at least two letters of recommendation with the application, directed to the student’s capacity to handle the intensive program contemplated, preferably from one faculty member and, where appropriate, one practicing insolvency professional with whom the applicant was employed. In addition, the student must submit a personal statement explaining why the applicant desires to enroll and how the applicant believes the program will advance his or her career goals and objectives. The statement should be written in a clear, concise manner, reflecting the applicant’s personal writing style, and be approximately 250 to 500 words. Students may supplement these materials with published or unpublished work written by the student or other information or material the applicant believes may be helpful in the selection process.

A prospective student may apply online or by sending the completed application to:

LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program
St. John’s School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway - Room 301
Queens, N.Y. 11439

Apply Now

**Online applicants must also have their  official transcripts from law school (including class rank) and undergraduate schools sent to the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program, as well as submitting them through LSAC

Students will be expected to submit at least two letters of recommendation with the application, directed to the student’s capacity to handle the intensive program contemplated, preferably from one faculty member and, where appropriate, one practicing insolvency professional with whom the applicant was employed. In addition, the student must submit a personal statement explaining why the applicant desires to enroll and how the applicant believes the program will advance his or her career goals and objectives. The statement should be written in a clear, concise manner, reflecting the applicant’s personal writing style, and be approximately 250 to 500 words. Students may supplement these materials with published or unpublished work written by the student or other information or material the applicant believes may be helpful in the selection process.

Foreign Applicants:  The New York bar examination has often been the choice for foreign-educated lawyers who complete an LL.M. program at an ABA-accredited law school. In April 2011, changes were made to the eligibility requirements that become effective August 2012. Eligibility requirements for the New York bar examination found at nybarexam.org.

Application Fees

Each application must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $100.

Acceptance Fees
In addition, acceptance fees are required of all applicants and are credited toward tuition if the applicant enrolls. Acceptance fees are due on the date specified in the letter of acceptance. Acceptance fees are as follows:

  • First acceptance fee - $300
    Due within three weeks of acceptance unless a different date is specified in the acceptance letter.
  • Second acceptance fee - $800
    Due within one month from the due date of the first acceptance fee unless a different date is specified in the acceptance letter.
    Acceptance fees will be applied towards the student’s tuition. They are non-refundable if the student does not enroll in the program.

Tuition (2014/2015 Academic Year)

  • Full-time student (one year): $51,580* ($1,716 per credit)
  • Part-time students: $1,716 per credit
  • Tuition will be the full-time tuition in effect divided by 30 for each credit taken.

There is an additional late payment fee of $300 and a $5 Official Transcript Fee.

* subject to adjustment by the Board of Trustees

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Career Outcomes

Here are just some of the successful attorneys who are graduates of St. John's School of Law's LL.M. in Bankruptcy program. You can also view our Placement Data and Comments from recent graduates. 

Shan Haider ‘13
Associate
Perkins & Coie LLP
Bill D. Bensinger ‘05
Shareholder
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell
& Berkowitz, PC
Emil Khatchatourian ‘13
Associate
Foley & Lardner LLP
Daniel Morse ‘05
Assistant US Trustee
Office of the US Trustee, Region 19
Leah Edelboim '12
Associate
Clifford Chance
Alexander Strom ‘04
Associate
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP
Janel M. Glynn '12
Associate
Gallagher & Kennedy P.A.
Sara Joos ‘03
Bloomberg LP
Ashleigh Blaylock‘11
Counsel
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Robert Yan ‘03
Associate
Farrell Fritz, PC
Catherine Thompson ‘11
Associate
Kelly Drye & Warren LLP
Kristin K. Going ‘02
Partner
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Grant Cartwright ‘10
Associate
Ballard Spahr LLP
Heath Rosenblat ’02
Counsel
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Patrick D. Fleming ‘09
Associate
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Justin G. Brass ‘01
Jefferies & Company
John W. McDonnell ‘09
Partner
McDonnell Crowley, LLC
Douglas E. Deutsch ‘01
Partner
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Michael Sousa ‘08
Assistant Director Business and Commerical
Law Program and Assistant Professor
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Jeffrey D. Vanacore ‘01
Counsel
Perkins Coie LLP
Paul R. Hage ‘07
Partner
Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.
Graham H. Stieglitz ‘00
Partner
Burr and Forman LLP
Timothy E. Graulich ‘06
Partner
Davis Polk & Wardell LLP
 
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Additional Information

JD/LL.M Option

A World-Class Bankruptcy Program
Our standard is excellence. We offer the nation’s only LL.M. in Bankruptcy program and we accept only about a dozen highly motivated students a year. Our intensive and comprehensive curriculum spans the gamut of bankruptcy practice. We offer more than two dozen specialized master’s level bankruptcy courses that are taught by a world-class faculty comprised of leading academics, judges and practitioners. Our program is highly individualized and our classes are small, with most classes smaller than a dozen students. Our 30-credit LL.M. program combines 24 credits of practical course work with six credits of work on a publishable scholarly thesis. Our graduates are successful and are employed by leading firms and courts.

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 15 of those credits can also count toward the 30 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.) 

What Do I Take?
The joint degree program is flexible so you can take as few or as many LL.M. courses as you like—and you can take them whenever you like. The only limitations are that you must have the appropriate pre-requisites (typically Creditors’ Rights) and that no more than 15 credits cancount toward the LL.M. degree (although you may take more than 15 LL.M. credits as a J.D. student). 

What is the Best Schedule?
Your schedule depends on whether you want to complete both degrees in seven semesters of full-time study, or you want to take a lighter load and finish in eight or more semesters. Ours is a small program, so you should meet personally with the Director to design a schedule tailored to your interests, needs and career goals. 

If you are in no hurry to graduate then your scheduling options are very flexible. We suggest that you take as many of the required LL.M. courses as possible while you are a J.D. student. This will ensure that you are well prepared for your elective courses and thesis work, and it will give you maximum scheduling flexibility for your post-J.D. coursework. If you complete 15 LL.M. credits as a J.D. student under this option, you will need to take only nine more elective class credits and complete your thesis (for six non-class credits). This is an excellent option if you are interested in a judicial clerkship (many begin in the fall) or if you plan to start a job while you complete the LL.M. degree on a part-time basis.If you wish to graduate in only seven semesters, then you must take all of the required LL.M. courses (and any electives you want) that are offered during your final semester of law school. We generally offer each course only once a year and in the same semester each year. For example, if you wish to graduate in seven semesters, with your seventh semester being the fall term, then you must complete all the spring semester required courses by the end of your sixth semester. Although it is not essential, you may also wish to complete the first part of your required Advanced Research Seminar (thesis preparation) by the end of your final J.D. semester. 

What About the Bar Exam?
Take the bar examination as soon as possible after completing your J.D. degree. Focus on passing the exam and do not try to write your thesis or take additional summer school classes when you should be studying for the bar. You will be much more attractive to employers if you are admitted to the bar before you complete your LL.M.in Bankruptcy. 

Special Course Considerations
Our curriculum is rich and interdisciplinary. In addition to more than two dozen specialized LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses, the full range of J.D. courses plus many M.B.A. courses are available as electives, subject to the Director’s approval. Special rules apply to J.D. and M.B.A. elective courses taken by joint degree students. Contact the Director if you want to apply these credits to your LL.M. degree requirements.The Advanced Research Seminar (thesis preparation) presents a special challenge if taken during the J.D. phase of the joint degree program. Students rarely complete a thesis early, but you must at least produce adraft that can be graded during the semester if you intend to apply anythesis credit to your J.D. degree. 

Financial Aid
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. 

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 any LL.M. courses if you want to be certain that they will count toward the LL.M. in Bankruptcy degree.  

Students From Other Schools
Under ABA rules, our LL.M. in Bankruptcy courses may be applied a stransfer 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. 

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. 

Application Process
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.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) 

Attorneys and other insolvency professionals can earn CLE credit by taking courses through the Law School's LL.M. in Bankruptcy program.

You may take up to two LL.M. in Bankruptcy Courses for CLE credit per academic semester. You will receive 14 CLE non-transitional credits (including 1 ethics credit) for each academic credit taken. The cost is $1,658 per academic credit.

CLE attendees are required to participate in the class and attend regularly in order to get your CLE certificate upon completion of the course. CLE attendees do not take the final examination at the end of the course and do not receive academic credit for attending.  

To learn more about upcoming Continuing Legal Education opportunities offered through the LL.M. in Bankruptcy program at St. John's School of Law, please contact us.

Download the CLE brochure.

Contact Us

Yvette Gutierrez
Director of Bankruptcy Programs 
718-990-1923
yvette.gutierrez@stjohns.edu

Full-Time Faculty

G. Ray WarnerRobert M. ZinmanRichard Lieb
John P. HenniganJacob L. TodresKeith Sharfman

Adjunct Faculty

Diana G. AdamsHon. Stuart M. BernsteinRichard F. Broude
Hon. Kevin J. CareyJohn CollenHon. Francis G. Conrad
Hon. Melanie CyganowskiDouglas DeutschHon. Robert D. Drain
Ford ElsaesserRobert J. FeinsteinHon. James Garrity, Jr.
Christopher F. GrahamWilliam C. HeuerHenry E. Hildebrand, III
Dillon E. JacksonRichardo KilpatrickErik Klingenberg
Lawrence F. LandgraffJay LarryHon. Cecelia G. Morris
Alec P. OstrowNancy B. RapoportAdam L. Rosen
Heath RosenblatHon. Brendan Linehan ShannonHon. Elizabeth S. Stong
Hon. Alan S. TrustMahesh UttamchandaniDaniel J. Ventricelli
Hon. Mary F. WalrathThomas J. Weber 
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