LL.M. Program

The LL.M. Program at Penn State’s Dickinson Law gives students and lawyers trained outside of the U.S. a high-level understanding of the American legal system. The program’s foundational courses introduce you to our unique analytic methodologies. Students then may choose courses from our “Lawyer As …” curriculum divided by specialized fields of study, and create personalized tracks based on areas of interest. 

Our LL.M. cohort is kept intentionally small to foster greater interaction with J.D. students and law school faculty, as well as judges and lawyers in the Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. areas.

The LL.M. program is a 24-credit, one academic year course of study. Students must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester and may enroll in no more than 17 credits per semester.

Penn State University is consistently ranked among the top research and teaching institutions in the world.  Come study with us at Penn State’s Dickinson Law.

To learn more about the LL.M. Program at Penn State’s Dickinson Law, contact the Director of Graduate and International Education, Professor Amy C. Gaudion.

LL.M. Degree Requirements>

To earn the LL.M. degree, students must earn a minimum of 24 credits, and complete with a passing grade the following courses:

  • Legal Argument & Factual Persuasion (3 credits)
  • Problem Solving II: The Lawyer as Writer (2 credits)
  • Introduction to the United States Legal System (2 credits)

In addition, students must enroll in one course from the following list:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Property
  • Torts

The academic deans may waive any of the course requirements where students have satisfactorily completed equivalent courses at another U.S. law program or in a common law country.

LL.M. Elective Courses and Concentrations>

To complete the degree requirements, LL.M. students may enroll in a rich array of courses offered in the law school curriculum, including a focused course of study in one of the specialized fields below: 

  • Advocacy and Litigation 
  • Arbitration, Mediation and Negotiation
  • Business Law 
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law 
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Security Law
  • Public Interest Law 
  • Tax law 
  • Elder Law

LL.M. Graduate Level Courses>

With the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, LL.M. students may enroll in courses offered in other Penn State graduate programs, including but not limited to the University’s Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Business Administration degree programs (offered at the Penn state Harrisburg Campus), and the University’s World Campus.

LL.M. Independent Study>

LL.M. students may take independent study courses for up to 3 credits in any one semester, and no more than a total of 4 credits during the two semesters of the LL.M. program.

LL.M. Experiential Learning>

With the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, LL.M. students may enroll in experiential learning courses offered at the law school, including pro bono, clinical and externship programs.

LL.M. Third Semester Option>

LL.M. students may apply to stay for a third semester of legal study with the intent of completing an experiential learning program or preparing for a U.S. bar exam.

Transfer to the J.D. Program>

Candidates for the LL.M. degree may seek to transfer to the J.D. program.  Criteria for transferring to the J.D. program are set by the Dean of Admissions and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Important factors are excellent English language skills and strong performance in classes taken at the Law School.  For more information, review the LL.M. Academic Policies.