Program at a Glance

Program

United States Legal Studies, LLM

Format

Online, On Campus

Total Units

24

$1,860

Per Unit

Program Overview

The LLM in U.S. Legal Studies program provides core training in United States law and comprehensive preparation for foreign attorneys and law graduates to take the state bar examination. The program also allows students to concentrate on a particular area of U.S. law. It teaches foreign-educated lawyers about the basic foundations of American law and prepares them to understand, analyze, and write about issues in American law.

Graduates of the program will understand the foundations of U.S. law, know the basics of several specific areas of U.S. law, gain strong legal analysis skills, perform effective legal research, apply legal authority to facts, and write documents in acceptable U.S. format with correct citations. They will be prepared to succeed in their electives using the approach and skills that they have learned, and at the end of their studies will be prepared to work in an American law office or similar setting as an intern/extern.

Admission Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admission cycle. To receive consideration by the Admissions Committee, applicants must submit their applications by the posted deadline. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and are reviewed on a space-available basis.

A complete LLM program application consists of the following:

  • Completed LLM Application, available at www.lsac.org 
  • Personal Statement;
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.);
  • Character and Fitness Addendum (if applicable);
  • Letters of Recommendation;
  • Law School Transcripts (translated if not in English);
  • Interview (if applicable); and
  • Non-US applicants must submit additional documents, including English proficiency demonstrated with either the TOEFL, IELTS, interview with Program Director, or waived for the exceptions

Curriculum

To earn an LLM, Students must complete 24 units with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5. Classes are offered during the day as well as during the evening to accommodate working professionals. Students may attend full-time and complete the program in as few as two semesters. Alternatively, students may attend part-time. All students must finish the degree requirements within three years of matriculation.

Students must complete the remaining units from the Law School’s course offerings. Alternatively, students may choose to concentrate in one of the following areas of law: Corporate & Commercial Law, Immigration Law, Employment Law, Litigation and Lawyering Skills, US Legal Practice, Property Development/Real Estate Law. Note that not all courses are offered every year.

Bar Exam Preparation (Recommended Courses)

Concentrations

Students may elect to concentrate in a particular field of law and obtain an “LLM with a concentration.” Students should submit the application form to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline specified on the form. Students electing to earn a concentration must complete 16 units in a concentration, which will also count toward the 24 units needed for the LLM degree. Each concentration requires completion of 16 units of required and recommended courses, with the approval of the program director.

Academic Research Paper

Students may complete a substantial academic research paper in the concentration area, either in connection with certain courses or through a faculty-supervised directed study project.

Curricular Practical Training or Clinic

Students may complete 1-4 units of Curricular Practical Training or clinic as part of the units required to complete a given concentration.

Post Graduate Certificate Programs

Post Graduate Certificate programs are offered under the auspices of the LLM US Legal Studies Program. These programs require the completion of 16 units, and they are offered in the following areas: Corporate & Commercial Law; Labor & Employment Law; Immigration; US Law Practice; Litigation & Lawyering Skills; and Property Development/Real Estate Law. Students are expected to complete the certificate program in two years. Post Graduate Certificates may be available in other LLM program areas at the consent of the Program Director.

F-1 students who maintain active immigration status during post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), remain eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) upon enrolling in the Post Graduate Certificate Program.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the LLM in United States Legal Studies program will demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of the legal rules, principles and theories in the relevant fields of substantive and procedural law.
  • The ability to apply the legal rules, principles, and theories in the relevant fields of substantive and procedural law in order to identify legal doctrine and resolve legal problems.
  • The ability to clearly and effectively communicate in a professional legal setting within the relevant fields of law.
  • The ability to succeed in the relevant fields of law.
  • Expertise in specific fields of substantive and procedural law within relevant LLM program of study that include: Students will learn the foundations of U.S. law, know the basics of several specific areas of U.S. law, gain strong legal analysis skills, perform effective legal research, apply legal authority to facts, and write documents in acceptable U.S. format with correct citations. They will be prepared to take the state bar examination and work in an American law office or similar setting as an intern/extern.

J-1 Visiting Scholar Program

GGU Law’s J-1 Visiting Scholar Program is intended to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences. It is also intended to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries.

Application Requirements

In addition to the application requirements listed above we recommend that LLM and SJD applicants from other nations bring with them an extra copy of their official transcripts of undergraduate and law studies as well as any official documents they have received from the courts or bar associations of their home country indicating that they have been admitted to practice law in that country. Students planning to prepare for a bar examination may need a transcript evaluation by an independent agency. This evaluation can be completed after students arrive to begin the LLM or SJD programs.

English Proficiency

Applicants who received their degrees outside the United States must satisfy the Admissions Committee of the proficiency of their English language abilities. An official TOEFL score report sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the appropriate program at GGU Law satisfies this requirement. Visit the TOEFL Website.

  • The TOEFL Institution Code for Golden Gate University is 4329
  • The TOEFL Department Code for the School of Law is 03

Applicants must receive a minimum TOEFL score of 580 Paper-based test (PBT), or 92 Internet-based test (iBT) for the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs in U.S. Legal Studies, International Legal Studies, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Taxation, and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.

TOEFL Practice Online is a community for test takers preparing for the next generation TOEFL test, or anyone wishing to improve their academic English skills. This is the ONLY website that has official test material from the new TOEFL test that will assess these language skills: Listening, Writing, Reading, Speaking. By becoming a member you can access helpful information, discussion boards, sample responses from a speaking test, and purchase a practice test and practice questions. TOEFL Practice Online Website.

GGU Law accepts International English Language Testing (IELTS) scores. Students need about Level 6.5 to be admitted to the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.

Proficiency may be demonstrated with either the TOEFL, IELTS, interview with Program Director, or waived for the exceptions.