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  • Penn State Law offers dozens of joint degree programs and elective opportunities. The most popular is the J.D./M.B.A. offered with Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.

Degree Requirements

The master of laws program is a 24-credit, one academic year course of study in University Park, Pennsylvania, open to individuals who hold a degree in law from an accredited institution outside of the United States. The Penn State Law LL.M. program is flexible and allows students to design a course of study that meets individual career goals. 

The LL.M. is designed to provide lawyers trained outside of the United States with a high-level understanding of the U.S. legal system that will enhance their legal career.

Select LL.M. students may elect in their second semester to apply to extend their LL.M. for an additional semester. Some LL.M. students interested in studying for a U.S. bar exam select this option. 

Required Courses 

  • Introduction to the U.S. Legal System — This course provides students with an overview of the U.S. legal system, and occurs in an intensive format during the first two weeks of the LL.M. students’ semester in August. 
  • LL.M. Legal Analysis, Writing and Research — This course explores U.S. common law analytical methods and discourse. Students will analyze cases and statutes to solve client problems. Students will draft objective memoranda and other documents to communicate their legal analysis in writing. Students will also learn the basics of U.S. legal research.

One case analysis course from the following list:

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

Transfers to JD Program 

Select LL.M. candidates may be allowed transfer to the J.D. program. Criteria for transferring to the J.D. program is set by the Dean of Admissions and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Important factors are excellent English language skills and strong performance in classes taken at Penn State Law. LL.M. candidates interested in this path should work closely with the Penn State Law faculty advisors to choose courses and build their academic program accordingly.