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JD/LLM at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Program Description

U.S. students are selected for the J.D./Master of Laws (LL.M.) at the University of Pretoria on the basis of their academic record, experience and interest. Students spend the first two years studying at Cornell Law School, followed by one year at the Pretoria Faculty of Law. Upon successfully completing the program, students receive the Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School and the Master of Laws from Pretoria.

About the LL.M. at Pretoria

Pretoria offers over twenty-one specialized LL.M. programs.  Examples of LL.M. programs include Human Rights, Corporate Law ( ranked number one in Africa), International Law, International Trade and Investment Law, Environmental Law and more.

Admission to the Program

It is possible to apply in conjunction with the initial application to the Cornell J.D. program as well as during the Spring semester of the first year following admission to Cornell Law School in response to an invitation circulated to the first year class.

See the First Year Application Form .

First and Second Year Curriculum at Cornell Law School

  • Students will be required to complete 62 credits of study.
  • The first year of study will be identical to that of regular J.D. students at Cornell Law School, totaling 32 credits.
  • In the second year of study at Cornell, the students must complete at least 30 credit hours of study, including a professional responsibility course, a skills course and a course satisfying the Law School's writing requirement.
  • The program includes restrictions to avoid course offerings counting toward the J.D. credit requirements that: (1) would be better taken as part of the curriculum of Pretoria or (2) are outside of the regular Law School curriculum (regular J.D. candidates are allowed to take one course in each upperclass semester in other divisions of the university in areas related to their legal studies).

Third Year Curriculum at Pretoria:

In the third year at Pretoria, students must complete three taught modules, as well as a module in Research Methodology, submit a research proposal and submit a mini-dissertation. The subject matters covered will depend on the specialization chosen.

Please see the LL.M. program descriptions here.

Cornell students may chose from the following available LL.M. specializations:

  • LLM:International Law (04250097)
  • LLM Air Space and Telecommunication Law (04250070)
  • LLM:International and Human Rights in Military Operations (04250070)
  • LLM:Mercantile Law (04250096): limited to three of the following modules:

    • CyberLaw (KUB 802);
    • International Insolvency Law (IIL);
    • Statutory competition law (SCL 801);
    • Banking Law (BNK 802);
    • and with prior approval Sports Law (SRP 801).
  • LLM:Law and Political Justice (04250094)
  • LLM:Private Law option Intellectual Property Law (04250088)
  • LLM: Human rights - Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (04251017)
  • LLM: Human rights - Multidisciplinary Human Rights (04251003)
  • LLM:Human rights - Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (04251010)
  • LLM: International Trade and Investment Law in Africa (04251018)

Following the award to the students of the LL.M., Cornell Law School will evaluate their performance and grant an additional 24 credits in advanced standing toward the Juris Doctor degree.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

Applicants admitted by Cornell pay full Cornell tuition and fees during all three years of study. Students may continue to receive financial aid during the year in South Africa. Their package will reflect the expenses of living in Pretoria as opposed to Ithaca.

Bar Examinations/Admission

Program graduates have the necessary legal training to qualify for the bar examination in the United States, but further study and practice would be necessary to qualify as a lawyer in South Africa. It should be noted that graduates may be unable to take the July bar examination directly after graduation and should therefore expect to take the February bar examination in the U.S.

Program Administration

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