U.S. Legal Studies, LL.M.
The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Law School Graduates at St. John’s School of Law is a focused program of study tailored to give you the knowledge and skills you need to pass the New York Bar Exam and succeed in practice in this important jurisdiction. As a participant in the two-semester LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program, you will earn 24 credits, including:
- Two credits of Introduction to U.S. Law
- Five credits of U.S. Legal Analysis, Writing and Research
- Three credits of Professional Responsibility
You will also earn fourteen credits taking courses in subjects covered on the New York Bar Exam, as well as other courses offered in the Law School’s J.D. program. We strongly recommend that all or most of these credits be taken in subjects tested on the New York Bar Exam. All LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies classes are held at the Law School, situated on St. John’s University’s scenic and dynamic Queens campus. We offer classes during the day and in the evening, full-time and part-time, accommodating a variety of student schedules.
Your Keys to the New York Bar
New York is home to the world’s preeminent law firms and to leading attorneys in every practice area. It is the legal profession’s hub and heart. The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Law School Graduates at St. John’s School of Law is designed for one purpose: to get you ready to pass the New York Bar Exam and to gain admission to practice law in this unrivaled jurisdiction.
As a student in this program, you will:
- Learn from some of New York’s best academic lawyers and most experienced practicing attorneys
- Live in New York City, the financial, cultural and commercial capital of the U.S. and a true World City
- Prepare yourself for the Bar Exam in a program focused closely on getting you ready to meet this challenge
The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies at St. John’s offers you these and many more keys to a rewarding legal career in New York and to the world of practice opportunities you can access as a New York lawyer.
Study What You Need and Where You Need It
LL.M. programs across the U.S. claim to qualify students to take the New York Bar Exam. But if passing the New York Bar Exam is your goal, why go anywhere but St. John’s, a thriving law school in New York City? As a St. John’s LL.M. student, you can take courses in New York Practice and New York Criminal Procedure taught by experts in the field, giving you a clear edge over students who study outside New York.
From the first day of our program, we integrate bar exam preparation into your coursework. For example, in our U.S. Legal Analysis, Writing and Research class, you practice writing essays through exercises drawn directly from past New York Bar Exam. This course also includes practice in completing the Bar Exam’s Multistate Performance Test (MPT). Our Introduction to U.S. Law course offers instruction in the six Multistate Bar Exam subjects as well as other areas of law covered by the New York Essays portion of the Bar Exam.
After completing the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies curriculum, you will possess all the tools you need to pass the New York Bar Exam – how you use those tools is up to you.
We welcome your inquiries about the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program at St. John’s School of Law.
Jeffrey K. Walker
Associate Dean for Transnational Programs
Coordinator, Transnational Programs
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Admission to the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program at St. John’s School of Law is selective and based upon excellence in prior legal studies. Evidence of academic scholarship as well as professional achievements will be considered. The LL.M. Program is designed to have a limited enrollment in order to enrich the quality of the experience for each LL.M. candidate.
Any foreign law school graduate holding a law degree (J.D., LL.B. or equivalent) from a non-U.S. law school recognized in the country where founded and located.
English Proficiency Tests
Because of the nature of the LL.M. Program in U.S. Legal Studies, it is essential that all students have a high level of comprehension and oral and written expression in the English language. Foreign graduates (other than students from Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) are required to have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test prior to applying.
Learn more about these requirements on the Office of Transnational Programs site.
Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) Application
The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies is designed for Foreign Graduates who demonstrate academic achievement comparable to that of U.S. law school graduates. In order to complete the application process, all foreign students must register through LL.M. Credentials Assembly Service of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
English for American Law School
English for American Law School is an intensive four-week summer course designed for students entering St. John’s LL.M. programs who are not native English speakers. The course’s aim is to familiarize these students with the U.S. legal system and its vocabulary, thereby enabling them to participate more effectively in their studies in the LL.M. Program.
Apply to the LL.M. Program in U.S. Legal Studies
Prospective students can now download the 2015-16 application forms for the LL.M. Program in U.S. Legal studies.
Prospective LL.M. students may apply to the program two ways:
(1) Online at Law School Admission Council (LSAC), or,
(2) By completing and returning the following forms.
Please read all instructions carefully before submitting your application:
Read the full list of application requirements on the Office of Transnational Programs site.
For more information about applying to the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program at St. John's School of Law, please contact us.Back to top
American Law: Discourse & Analysis
St. John’s University School of Law offers a non-degree program, American Law: Discourse and Analysis (“ALDA”), which can be combined with the U.S. Legal Studies LL.M. program at St. John’s. The program offers foreign-trained lawyers the opportunity to master the core principles and concepts of American law.
The ALDA pathway enables students to begin their core LL.M. coursework with a professional level of proficiency in the language, cultural, and analytical skills used in American law. The program teaches the key aspects of U.S. law (in particular constitutional structure, rights, and civil procedure) and the legal analysis skills (spoken and written) required for success in the LL.M. program. Students who follow the formal ALDA pathway spend two years (4 semesters) completing the ALDA work and their LL.M. courses before completion of the LL.M. degree.
ALDA students take three classes each semester for a total of twelve (12) non-degree credits. Students leave the ALDA program with twenty-four (24) non-degree credits. The three courses, each one broken into two parts, are:
- ALDA: Introduction to U.S. Law & Analysis I and II. This course introduces ALDA students to methods and ideas that are fundamental components of the American legal system, with an emphasis on reading, briefing, and analyzing cases.
- ALDA: Introduction to Legal Writing & Analysis I and II. This course introduces ALDA students to legal analysis and writing. Students will learn the fundamental components of communicating with U.S. law firm colleagues and clients through email, client letters and legal memoranda.
- ALDA: American Law & Legal Culture Project I and II. This course introduces ALDA students to basic concepts in U.S. legal ethics, asks students to consider those concepts in the context of well-known stories and cases of American legal culture, and provides opportunities for students to discuss issues of legal ethics and professional responsibility with members of the legal profession.
The St. John’s School of Law faculty strongly supports the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program, with some of our most experienced and highly regarded tenured faculty members teaching both core and elective courses. The program faculty includes:
Robert A. Ruescher
Director, LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies
Professor of Law
J.D., Columbia University School of Law (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)
Jeffrey K. Walker
Assistant Dean for Transnational Programs
Adjunct Professor of Law
LL.M., Harvard Law School
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
To learn more about the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program faculty, please contact us.Back to top