Lawyering in America

Our LL.M. Program gives those who have been trained in the law outside the U.S. a strong foundation in the American legal system. You’ll find the close-knit collaboration and personalized experience we’re known for, as well as a globally recognized law credential.

  • Create a custom course load from our “The Lawyer As...” curriculum, which is categorized by ways lawyers really use the law.
  • With a small cohort, you’ll interact closely with peers, professors, and J.D. students.
  • Our Carlisle, Pennsylvania location is perfectly situated to give you access to myriad experiential learning opportunities on the East Coast, including in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Harrisburg.
  • The LL.M. Program is a minimum 24-credit, two semester program. Students must enroll in at least 12 credits and no more than 17 credits per semester, although students have the option to enroll in a third semester for additional six or more credits.

The power of Penn State.
Penn State is one of the top research and teaching institutions in the world. We’re proud to be one of Penn State’s two separately accredited law schools—and one of the oldest law schools in the U.S.

Explore our LL.M. Program viewbook. Complete this form to request more information about our LL.M. Program.

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 and Factual Persuasion (1 credit)
    Course Instructors: Associate Law Librarian Laura Ax-Fultz and Assistant Law Librarian Pamela Smith
  • A Legal Writing Course for LL.M. Students (2 credits)
    Course Instructors: Visiting Associate Professor Emily Michiko Morris
  • Introduction to the United States Legal System (2 credits)
    Course Instructor: Visiting Associate Professor Emily Michiko Morris

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 for students who have satisfactorily completed equivalent courses at another U.S. law program or in a common law country.

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:

  • Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation
  • Business Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Cyber Law, Data Privacy, and Information Security
  • Elder Law
  • Health Law and Policy
  • Intellectual Property and Innovation
  • International Trial Advocacy
  • Public Interest Law
  • Security Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trial Advocacy and Litigation
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 the University’s Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration degree programs offered at Penn State Harrisburg and through the University’s World Campus.

Independent Study

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

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 internship programs.

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 assistant dean for admissions and associate dean of 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.