LL.M. - Curriculum
The LL.M. in United States Law requires successful completion of two semesters of study in residence, during which the student must earn 24 credit hours of course work. All LL.M. students also receive training in U.S. legal research tools and techniques.
LL.M. candidates select which track they wish to pursue: a domestic track or an international track. The domestic track is for those whose object is to remain in the United States after the completion of their degree. The international track is for those interested in gaining knowledge in international comparative law to further their careers abroad.
Course work for the LL.M. program is elective, allowing students to study those areas of law of greatest relevance and interest to them. However, based on the track selected, the LL.M. student will receive advising as to the most appropriate courses for them to select.
Domestic track students are encouraged to take classes typically associated with the first year of law school, including Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Contracts, and Torts in the fall semester, and Constitutional Law, Evidence, Property, and Professional Responsibility in the spring semester.
International track students may select courses that best meet their particular areas of interest. The Washington and Lee curriculum offers a wealth of beginning and advanced courses in all major areas of study, including, for example, business and commercial law, taxation, public and private international law, environmental law and criminal and civil litigation. In the past, LL.M. students electing the international track have often focused their studies on international human rights or international business law.
LL.M. students take the same classes as those offered to those enrolled in the J.D. program, and they are subject to same grading procedures and standards. Grades for most courses are determined by reference to the student's performance on a final examination or on a substantial research paper. A grade point average of C+ or better is required to complete the LL.M. program.