The U.S. Juris Doctor/French Master en Droit is a four-year dual degree program in partnership with the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne.
A pioneer in establishing dual degrees with foreign law schools Cornell has offered the J.D./Master en droit* program since 1996. The program is designed to provide its graduates the education necessary to be licensed practitioners in the United States and in France. Students spend the first two years studying at Cornell Law School followed by two years at one of France’s leading law faculties, the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. Upon successfully completing the program, students receive the Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School, the Master 1 en Droit, and perhaps also a Master 2 en droit, from Paris I.
*The complete official name for the program is "Master en droit, mention droits français et étranger, spécialité droits français et américain."
CurriculumThe first two years at Cornell
At Cornell, the 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. In addition, 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 the Université Paris 1 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).
At Paris 1, the students will study in U.F. R. 07, the Département des Etudes Internationales, Européennes et Comparatives. The program curriculum can be found here:
The program participants also have the optional opportunity to pursue a "Master 2 en Droit du Commerce International" concurrently with their fourth-year program. Students successfully completing this option will receive both a Master 1 and a Master 2 degree at the end of their fourth year. Students admitted into this concurrent program will be able to count the following courses toward both the Master 1 and 2:
Following the award to the students of the French Master en Droit ("M1"), Cornell Law School will evaluate their performance and grant an additional 24 credits in advanced standing toward the Juris Doctor degree.
Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken at Paris I is subject to determination by Cornell Law School.
Applicants admitted by Cornell pay full Cornell tuition and fees during the first two years of study at Cornell. In the third and fourth years in Paris, they are required to pay 50% of the normal Cornell third-year tuition. Students may continue to receive financial aid during the two years in Paris. Their package will reflect 50% tuition and the expenses of living in Paris as opposed to Ithaca.
Most cities in Europe, including Paris, are not as handicapped-accessible as U.S. cities. In the Sorbonne and Faculté de Droit buildings at the Université Paris I, access for persons with disabilities to classrooms, offices, and other facilities is limited. Persons with questions about their circumstances should contact the Program Coordinator at Cornell Law School.
Graduates of the J.D./Master en Droit program have received the necessary legal education for, and are eligible to take, bar examinations in the United States and in France. Typically, U.S. graduates take the New York bar examination first and, if they choose, the bar examination in France, under the special procedures available to lawyers licensed to practice outside France. To learn more about these procedures, frequently referred to as "Article 100," see this page:
The J.D./Master en droit dual degree program has operated continuously following its creation in 1994. In the event that Cornell University Law School and/or its partner, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, were to decide to cancel the program, all students who had been approved for, and committed to, participation nonetheless would be permitted to continue in the program.