The program consists of two years law study at Cornell Law School, followed by one year of study in Paris at the Sorbonne Law School of the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.
Participation in this program prepares students for advanced legal studies in a variety of legal fields, including French, European or International Law.
Upon the successful completion of the three years of study, participants receive the J.D. from Cornell and the LL.M. from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
The aim of the L.M. Program, taught in French, is to offer law students and future lawyers a large variety of elective courses in their fields of interest, in-depth acquaintance with the intricacies of French and European Law, and a new perspective on current global legal issues while learning in the best of the French academic tradition and Civil Law methodological techniques. Students are required to take four courses per semester.
Classes emphasize traditional courses and workshops in which Cornell students (who are provided with linguistic support if necessary) study in French with their French counterparts.
Participants will have to complete either a research paper in the chosen field of study (which paper must be supervised by their home faculty or by a faculty member in Paris) or an internship (which can take place either in the United States or France).
Only a few select students from American law schools working in partnership with Sorbonne Law are admitted to this JD/LLM program.
Admission to the Program
Cornell J.D. students may apply during the Spring semester of the first or the second year, in response to an invitation circulated to the first year class. In April, applicants will be informed if they are accepted.
Students must have an intermediate or advanced level of French language as the program is taught in French and some students may be interviewed in French. Students are selected on the basis of their academic record at Cornell, strength of their written statement, and educational or professional experience.
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 courses are taught in French. Students may therefore take a complementary French language course in the fall and/or spring semesters. Before the semester starts, students may also take French methodology courses in order to facilitate their participation in small workshops.
The Fall semester runs from mid-September to mid-January.
The Spring semester runs from mid-February to mid-May.
Students will be able to choose from courses such as: French Market Law, French Civil Law, French Public Law, European Competition Law, Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, European Tax Law, European Competition Law, Criminal Law, Human rights, International Economic law, Investments, International Financial and Monetary Law, International Criminal Litigation, Legal and Administrative Practice of International Organizations, Arbitration, Conflicts of Laws and of Jurisdictions.
In Paris, students will be required to take both oral and written exams. Depending upon the course, students may also be required to write papers or provide oral presentations.
Students will be graded according to the French numeric system. Students receive grades between 1 and 20 for individual courses that are averaged together at the end of each year for the final grade. 10 out of 20 is a passing grade or passable. French honors or mention are given as follows:
Cornell transcripts do not list French grades and reflect only credits for courses passed conducted at the University of Paris I.
Students are also required to prepare a Learning Agreement describing their coursework at Sorbonne Law. This Learning Agreement is tailored with Sorbonne supervision and Cornell review.
Tuition and Fees at Cornell and Paris
Cornell Law School students pay full Cornell tuition and fees during the first two years of study at Cornell, as well as during the third year in Paris, but do not pay tuition to the French institutions.
The tuition at Sorbonne will be paid by Cornell on behalf of the students and covers :
1. enrollment, health care provided by the French social security system (students over age 28 are not eligible to receive French health insurance but may purchase a yearly private French insurance in Paris),
2. cultural activities, and
3. access to all University facilities and specialized research centers as well as the University Law librairies.
Other financial Issues
There are additional costs for students associated with relocating to Paris. Living expenses in Paris are on a par with those in New York, although rent is generally less expensive in Paris than in New York City.
Housing in Paris
Sorbonne Law does not have on-site housing facilities. However, we have information to help students get started with their housing search.
Cultural Activities in Paris
Students have the opportunity to visit the most important French legal institutions and Courts (Cour de Cassation, Conseil d'Etat, Conseil Constitutionnel).
New York State Bar
As students will finish the program before May, they will have time to prepare for the State Bar Exam. If a student intends to sit for a different bar exam, our Registrars office can help with dates and information.
At Paris I
Sophie Robin Oliver
Laura Spitz, Associate Dean for International Affairs,
Dawne Peacock, Director, Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies