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Cornell Law School: LL.M. Degree

LL.M. students at law school convocation
LL.M. students following the law school final convocation

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degree Program

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program at Cornell Law School is designed for students holding a first degree in law who wish to increase their understanding of American legal principles or to develop their knowledge of specialized areas of the law.

Cornell's LL.M. program was established in 1929 and is a general LL.M., which allows students to tailor their curriculum to their individual academic and career objectives. The 80-85 LL.M. students are typically chosen from more than 1200 applicants and come from 25-30 countries each year. They range from recent law graduates to experienced lawyers, in-house counsel, judges and government officials.

There are no specific courses required for the LL.M. degree, and aside from a small number of courses designed specifically for LL.M. students, the LL.M. students choose their courses from the regular Law School curriculum (pdf), including first year courses and clinical offerings. There is a thesis option for those LL.M. students who wish to pursue advanced scholarly work.

LL.M. students are fully integrated into the life of the law school. In addition to participating in any of the school's numerous student groups, the LL.M. students have their own student organization, which works closely with the Graduate Legal Studies Program Office in planning and scheduling programs and events designed for the LL.M. students, including a monthly LL.M. speakers' series and the annual Inter-University Graduate Student Conference at the Law School.

Career advisement for LL.M. and J.S.D. students is provided through the Career Services Office. The Career Services Office sponsors events and workshops for LL.M. and J.S.D. students, including sessions on résumé preparation and interviewing skills. Personal career counseling is available from the Director of LL.M. and International Career Services. While the majority of LL.M. graduates return home after receiving their degrees, a few sometimes seek either short or long term employment in the U.S. Cornell Law School co-sponsors the International Student Interview Program (ISIP), hosted annually at the end of January in New York City. This program provides foreign trained lawyers the opportunity to interview with U.S. and foreign employers. Our students also have the opportunity to attend the New York City Bar's LL.M. Program and Reception for LL.M. Candidates and the Equal Justice Works Conference (both in October) as well as the Public Interest Legal Career Fair in February.