The professional track students study exclusively with other LL.M. students and complete mandatory courses in Fundamentals of U.S. Law and Legal Research and Writing, 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 and/or to meet the educational requirements to become eligible to register for the California Bar Examination.
Courses in the professional track are intensive, each 1-3 weeks in duration, followed immediately by a final exam. Because of the intensive format, students complete on average 1-2 courses every 3 weeks. The professional track term is divided into 4 quarters, each three weeks long. Students may choose to begin each summer in either Quarter 1 or Quarter 2, and end after Quarter 3 or Quarter 4, respectively. Students must be enrolled in three consecutive quarters for each of the two consecutive summer terms.
1. Fundamentals of U.S. Law
Students study the sources of U.S. law and the structure of the U.S. court system. Students also learn the fundamentals of the case method of legal education and statutory construction, and study how cases progress through the American court system. The course will also explore topics of judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and the practical and political limitations of these concepts. Students will then use case analysis skills to examine landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases.
2. Legal Research and Writing
In this 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.
*Required for international students in the professional track. Domestic students are exempt from these courses, but must complete a capstone writing project of 15 pages or more in length.
Visit Berkeley Law’s LL.M. Professional Track Schedule of Classes to search the 2016 course list. This list is representative of future course offering, subject to change slightly. Students enrolled in the LL.M. professional track may only take summer term law classes.