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U.S. Legal Studies LL.M.

School of Law

Overview

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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.

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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.

General Inquiries

[email protected]

Sarah Jean Kelly
Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies
718-990-8358
[email protected]

Admission

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.

Eligibility
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.

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 online.

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.

Our Program

For more information on the program requirements for the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies at St. John's School of Law, please contact us.

Core U.S. Legal Studies LL.M. Courses (10 credits)
Students in the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program will take the following courses as part of the program's core curriculum:

Introduction to U.S. Law (2 credits)
LL.M. candidates will gain an overview of U.S. law, focusing on the ways in which it differs from that of other nations, and in particular how the common law system is distinct from the civil law system. Topics covered include the U.S. federal-state relationship and individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and an introduction to the subject matter tested on the New York Bar Examination. Grades are based on a final examination.

Legal Research, Analysis and Writing for International LLMs I (3 credits)
The first course in a two-semester sequence, this course teaches foreign-trained LLM students the fundamental tools of U.S. legal research, analysis, and writing.  As part of the course objectives, students will strengthen their ability to analyze and brief cases, analyze and answer hypothetical questions in essay format, locate and understand standard legal research materials (including cases, statutes and administrative materials), and communicate with clients and other audiences in both written and spoken legal English. Assignments will focus on predictive writing. Students will be expected to complete all assigned reading, research, and writing work in a timely and professional manner and demonstrate this through effective class participation (25% of the final grade). Written and oral exercises and assignments will also be assigned and graded (75% of the final grade).

Legal Research, Analysis and Writing for International LLMs II (2 credits)
The second course in a two-semester sequence, this course for foreign-trained LLM students provides more advanced training in U.S. legal research, analysis and writing. Assignments include open-ended legal research and persuasive writing. Students will be expected to complete all assigned reading, research, and writing work in a timely and professional manner and demonstrate this through effective class participation (25% of the final grade). Written and oral exercises and assignments will also be assigned and graded (75% of the final grade).

Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
This course studies the legal, moral and other responsibilities of lawyers. The New York Code of Professional Responsibility and the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, along with cases, statutory material, secondary sources and problems, comprise the reading. The course addresses issues such as the lawyer's responsibility in civil and criminal trials; special problems of lawyers for entities, including governments and corporations; conflicts of interest, confidentiality and privilege; issues in negotiation; professional advertising and solicitation; and the lawyer's duties to improve the administration and availability of justice. Grades are based upon writing assignments, classroom exercises and a final examination.

New York Bar Electives (6 credits)
To qualify to take the New York bar examination, you must take a minimum of six credits on subjects testable on the bar exam. The following courses cover subjects tested on the New York bar exam:

  • Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • Advanced Torts (2 credits)
  • Business Organizations (4 credits)
  • Civil Procedure (4 credits)
  • Conflict of Laws (3 credits)
  • Constitutional Law I (2 credits)
  • Constitutional Law II (3 credits)
  • Contracts I (3 credits)
  • Contracts II (2 credits)
  • Criminal Law (3 credits)
  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (2 credits)
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation (3 credits)
  • Evidence (4 credits)
  • Family Law (3 credits)
  • Federal Courts (3 credits)
  • First Amendment: Freedom of Expression (2 credits)
  • First Amendment: Religion Clauses (2 credits)
  • New York Criminal Practice (3 credits)
  • New York Practice (4 credits)
  • Property (4 credits)
  • Real Estate Transactions (2 credits)
  • Sales (2 credits)
  • Secured Transactions (3 credits)
  • Torts (4 credits)
  • Trusts & Estates (4 credits)

Other Electives (8 credits)
You may select eight elective credits from other courses taught at the Law School that may interest you or that will assist you in your future practice of law. We strongly recommend that all or most of these credits be taken in subjects tested on the New York bar exam.

Faculty

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.