October 10, 2012
St. John's University’s School of Law has launched two new
Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs offering attorneys real-world
training and academic study in two areas of international legal
Introduced in August 2012, the programs in
Transnational Legal Practice and
International and Comparative Sports Law were spearheaded by
the Law School’s
Office of Transnational Programs, led by
Christopher J. Borgen, J.D., Associate Dean for International
Studies and Professor of Law, and
Jeffrey K. Walker, J.D., LL.M., Assistant Dean for
Transnational Programs and Adjunct Professor of Law.
“The School of Law has always focused on graduating
practice-ready attorneys,” Dean Borgen said. “These new LL.M.
programs emphasize training highly-skilled global lawyers.”
The LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice trains U.S. and
foreign attorneys for the global practice of law. Students can
choose a track of study focusing on international dispute
resolution, cross-border transactions or the intersection of law
and diplomacy. Or, with faculty approval, they can design an
individualized program of study from courses such as Transactions
in Emerging Markets, International Criminal Law, Human Rights and
"The Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. covers a broad range of
international practice, from the work of foreign ministries to
international business transactions," Dean Walker said, adding that
students are able to tailor the program to fit their needs.
Early interest in this new program came from the government of
Saudi Arabia, which has sent numerous applicants to St. John’s.
Drawing students from multiple other countries, the LL.M. in
Transnational Legal Practice is international in its student body
as well as its coursework.
Margaret E. McGuinness, J.D., Co-Director of the Law School’s
Center for International and Comparative Law and one of the main
faculty members in the program, also stressed that the
Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. is a practitioner's degree. “We
have a faculty with a wide range of international experience and we
also draw from an enormous pool of practitioner adjuncts. Being in
New York City, we are able to tap the knowledge and resources of
global law firms, the UN, the Court of International Trade and a
wide variety of non-governmental organizations. New York is a
dynamic global city and legal education at St. John’s prepares
lawyers for a dynamic global practice."
The LL.M. in International and Comparative Sports Law is the
first program of its kind to be offered in the United States and is
jointly sponsored by the School of Law and the Instituto Superior de Derecho y
Economía (ISDE), a distinguished European law faculty in
Madrid, Spain. It is a highly specialized program that prepares
attorneys to practice in sports law firms, agencies, regulatory
bodies and other organizations dealing with global athletics.
Ettie Ward, J.D., Director of the program, explained that St.
John’s and ISDE have a certain kind of student in mind: “an
attorney with a passion for sports is the ideal candidate for this
program,” she noted.
Taught by top lawyers from the worldwide sports community, this
program combines intensive academic courses with experiential
learning. "The first semester is very focused on the academic study
of the major substantive areas of sports law," Professor Ward said.
"In the second semester, students build their legal skills in a
full-time practice placement with a sports law firm, agency, team,
league or regulatory body, either in the U.S. or overseas. During
this time, they also complete their master’s thesis and assemble a
portfolio of practice-oriented writing samples."
Both new LL.M. degree programs are for American as well as
international students. "I think that adds something to both
programs," Dean Walker observed. "Foreign lawyers want to have
American colleagues in their peer group and U.S. lawyers want to
build overseas contacts. That's one more advantage of these
programs — networking. The practice of law is globalizing and at
St. John’s you become part of a global network of alumni and