Each fall, a select group of foreign attorneys and international students from nations around the world comes to Vanderbilt Law School for a special year of advanced legal study. If you are selected, you will spend a challenging and productive year exploring American legal issues and legal research methods in classes with American law students.
Beyond the law school, you will have access to advice and support from Vanderbilt University's International Students and Scholars Office which serves the university's thriving international student community. More than that, you will experience life at a major American research university located in a sophisticated and and vibrant city.
LL.M. students have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of law and practice by selecting courses offered by the university's academic programs. LL.M. students choose from a broad range of electives, including courses in International Legal Studies, Law & Business, and Intellectual Property.
LL.M. students may choose to complete their degree requirements through either of two options:
Course Track: focus on courses
Students in the Course Track focus exclusively on course work, choosing their courses from the law school's extensive curriculum. You will earn 23 to 27 credits over two semesters, including the required "Introduction to Legal Research and Scholarly Writing" during your first semester. Your faculty adviser or a law school administrator will help you tailor your academic program to your career goals and intellectual interests.
Thesis Track: focus on research
The Thesis Track is for students who wish to complete a substantial research project that culminates in a scholarly paper. You will work closely with a faculty adviser with expertise in your area of study to choose course work that supports your research interests, conduct your research, and write your scholarly paper. Thesis Track students are required to earn 17 to 27 credits over two semesters which must include a substantial research and writing project (4 to 7 credits) and "Introduction to Legal Research and Scholarly Writing."
Only students with strong English language and writing skills who are capable of extended independent research should choose the Thesis Track option. Thesis Track applicants should have a well-developed research focus and indicate their interest in working closely with one or more Vanderbilt law professors in their applications. You may review the faculty profiles to consider whom you would like to pursue an individualized research program at Vanderbilt.