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.
Sarah Jean Kelly
Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies
Coordinator, Transnational Programs
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 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.
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.
Students in the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies can choose from a wide variety of courses taught by some of our most experienced and highly regarded tenured faculty members. Our faculty know what it takes to pass the bar exam and assist you in every way to succeed. We recommend that our students take elective courses in subjects heavily tested on the New York bar exam. Distinctive features of American law, like the jury system in civil trials, make Civil Procedure and Evidence often unfamiliar subjects for foreign-trained lawyers and important subjects for bar study. The Introduction to U.S. Law course is designed to help students acquire the study skills necessary for success in doctrinal and legal writing courses, with an emphasis on areas in which United States law is distinct from that of many other nations.
To learn more about the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program faculty, please contact us.