Study Options

Traditional track students choose one of the options below for completing the LL.M.:

Coursework Option

This option offers students the opportunity to take a variety of courses.  Students may choose to survey the American legal system broadly, or focus on a single area of interest. Students satisfy unit requirements by enrolling in law school courses and seminars.  Required courses for international students include Fundamentals of U.S. Law (3 units), and Legal Research & Writing (2 units). Domestic students are exempt from these courses, but must complete a capstone writing project of 15 pages or more in length.

Thesis Option

The LL.M. thesis option offers the opportunity to undertake a substantial research and writing project called a thesis. This option is appropriate for students considering academic or government careers, or those interested in researching a particular subject in depth. Thesis students are associated with a member of the law faculty who will serve as an advisor.

Thesis students complete 12 units of law school courses to be approved by the student’s thesis advisor, as well as 8 units of independent study units with the advisor. In addition, students must complete Fundamentals of U.S. Law (3 units; domestic students exempt), the LL.M. Legal Scholarship seminar (2 units) and Legal Research and Writing (2 units).