Courses

The hybrid option students study exclusively with other LL.M. students. They complete five mandatory courses, and then may customize their studies by choosing from a curated subset of Berkeley Law’s most popular courses. Students may focus their studies to earn a Certificate of Specialization or to meet the educational requirements to become eligible to register for the California Bar Examination.

Course Format

All courses in the hybrid option are rigorous, fast-paced and intensive. Online courses vary from 4-8 weeks in duration. Learn more about the online course format here. In-residence summer courses are each 1-3 weeks in duration and students complete on average 1-2 courses every 3 weeks. The summer term is divided into 4 quarters, each 3-weeks in duration.

Core (Mandatory) Curriculum

1. Fundamentals of U.S. Law (ONLINE, SPRING SEMESTER, 3-UNITS, 8 WEEKS)

Fundamentals of U.S. Law introduces foreign law students to the fundamental principles of the American legal system and the common-law method of case analysis. In this course, students will focus on crucial doctrines that underpin American governance, including federalism and separation of powers. Students will also study the structure of the U.S. court system, the sources of U.S. law, the lawyer’s role in the system, and the culture of the law in this country. The course will introduce students to techniques associated with the common law, particularly the close reading of legal opinions in the context of prior precedent as well as organization of legal analysis. Throughout the course, students will practice skills that will help them succeed in law school, on the bar examination, and in practice.

2. Legal Research and Writing (IN-RESIDENCE, SUMMER SEMESTER, 2-UNITS, 8 WEEKS)

In this 2-credit class, each student researches and writes a 15- to 20-page research memorandum addressing a compelling issue in contemporary law. Through this writing exercise students learn predictive legal reasoning.  Students also complete other, shorter assignments throughout the term, including an introduction to Bluebook citation. Research instruction is integrated into the writing assignments, and includes mainly on-line but also a few traditional book-based resources. Students receive extensive written comments and attend one-on-one conferences on their papers. 

3. Introduction to Intellectual Property (ONLINE, SPRING SEMESTER, 3-UNITS, 8 WEEKS)

This course introduces students to the main features of modern intellectual property law–including copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret. It covers the fundamental concepts and rules that provide protection for artistic works, inventions, brands, and secrets, then applies them to emerging controversies involving digital technology. The focus is U.S. law, but international comparisons and complications are included as well. The course combines lecture, exercises, and small-group discussions — delivered online using a system called bCourses.

4. Startup Fundamentals: FORM+FUND (ONLINE, FALL SEMESTER, 1-UNIT, 4 WEEKS)

Startup Fundamentals: Form+Fund covers the basic legal, financial, and organizational issues that founders face as they start and scale a business, with a specific focus on businesses seeking venture capital. The course provides an overview of these issues from the perspective of the entrepreneur. Students who successfully complete the course will be prepared to identify issues pertinent to startup clients, including issues related to entity formation, maintaining a financially healthy startup, creating an intellectual property strategy, policies on data privacy, and the critical skills related to raising capital and fundraising.

5. Capstone Writing Project (ONLINE, FALL SEMESTER, 1-UNIT)

The 1-credit capstone project will consist of a 20-page capstone paper that will represent a synthesis of a number of legal issues that students have learned during their studies. The capstone project will require students to tie together and analyze at least two distinct areas of law, and it will be reviewed by two faculty members.

Elective Curriculum (IN-RESIDENCE, SUMMER TERM)

During their summer semester in Berkeley, students enrolled in the LL.M. hybrid option may customize their studies with elective courses.

View available elective courses* at the 2018 Schedule of Classes

*This list is subject to change. Students enrolled in the LL.M. hybrid option may only take summer term law classes.