LL.M. in United States Law for International Students


Loyola Law has a unique emphasis on comparative and international law owing to its location in the State of Louisiana, the only one of the United States to have a private law system based on the civil law tradition. Strongly influenced by the common law system of its sister states, Louisiana is now considered to be a “mixed jurisdiction.” The College of Law’s strong curriculum, its Jesuit heritage and its geographic location in the international port city of New Orleans with its diverse cultural heritage also contribute to its global focus. 

It is anticipated that the degree will be completed in one academic year (two semesters), but students may take longer with the permission of the Director.  

Our LL.M. curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a student can customize the course selections to enhance his/her professional goals.  There are only two required courses in the 24 semester hours needed for completion of the LL.M. degree. One is a three-credit course in “Introduction to United States Law;” the other is a three-credit course in Lawyering I focusing on legal research and writing taught by our regular and/or visiting faculty.  Other than those two required courses, LL.M. student must complete a two-hour writing project on a subject of the student's choice. The writing project may be fulfilled by taking a two-hour law school seminar for credit or a two-hour independent legal research project (LAW L898) under the supervision of a faculty member.  

Students have a choice of elective credits for the remainder of the required 24 semester hours. Students may select from among any other courses in the College of Law’s catalog, except for courses that are associated with service on the school’s four officially recognized law journals.  The candidate should have a coherent plan of electives and have the approval of his/her faculty mentor for all elective courses. 

If a student intends to qualify to sit for any bar exam, he/she needs to notify the program Director, Coordinator, and Associate Dean before starting the program. 

Internship Credit

Up to four credit hours may be earned through a pass / fail internship with a law firm, court, or government agency. The College of Law does not promise that an internship will be available to the potential LL.M. candidate, but will make best efforts to arrange one for interested candidates.

Completing a Thesis

An LL.M. student may be able to complete a more extensive thesis under faculty supervision for up to a total of six hours credit (this would be instead of the two hour writing project, not in addition to it). If a candidate chooses to write a thesis this may be completed after the candidate’s one year period of residency on the Loyola campus, but the LL.M. degree will not be awarded until the thesis is satisfactorily completed.

Certificates in Civil Law and Common Law

The College of Law offers a program granting a Certificate in Civil Law and a Certificate in Common Law. This unique certification program is based upon Loyola’s dual common law and civil law curricula and encourages substantial study of the two dominant Western legal systems. A student choosing to complete the requirements for the certificate acquire an understanding of the conceptual framework of each legal system. In an era of increasing recognition of the international marketplace, an individual with this understanding is well-equipped to deal with legal issues from the perspective of the two legal systems that prevail throughout much of the world.

An LL.M. student with a Common Law background can earn a Civil Law Certificate, and an LL.M. student with a Civil Law background can earn a Common Law Certificate. Please see the Loyola College of Law Bulletin for more information on the requirements needed to complete a Civil Law or Common Law Certificate.

Please visit the LL.M. Program website for more information.