The Master of Laws (LL.M.)
Our LL.M. degree consists primarily of courses and seminars, and requires students to complete a research paper under faculty supervision on a topic of their choice. They may also elect to do more than one research paper. The LL.M. degree is awarded upon completion of 24 credits with at least a 2.7 (“B-”) average in two terms (eight months) of study.
Students in this program freely select courses and seminars, according to their interests, from the wide variety of subjects offered by the Law School. It is customary in U.S. law school classes for students to participate through discussion, by faculty calling upon students for comments, and by students questioning each other and their professors. This kind of active student participation brings intellectual rigor and vibrancy to the American classroom, and the ensuing discussions are greatly enriched by the comparative perspective of a multinational student body.
Master’s degree students enroll in the same classes as J.D. students, with the exception of two courses limited to graduate students: an optional introduction to legal research and writing methods using U.S. legal materials, and a survey of U.S. constitutional law with an introduction to legal process, required unless the student received a J.D. degree in the United States. Both of these courses are offered in the fall term.
Other than the required constitutional law class, master’s degree students may choose from the entire spectrum of classes and seminars to accomplish their academic goals. In addition, students may take up to six credit hours of non-law courses and seminars in other University of Michigan graduate schools if they seek exposure to additional disciplines. Furthermore, under law faculty supervision, LL.M. students may also engage in independent research worth up to six credit hours. An LL.M. student who wishes to devote an even larger portion of his or her LL.M. program to independent research may petition for special permission to do so; the student will need the support of three law faculty members who are committed to supervising the research exceeding the value of 6 credit hours.