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Cornell Law School: JD/LLM at Heidelberg

Cornell Law School: JD/LLM with Heidelberg University, Faculty of Law

Program Description

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

About the LL.M.

Heidelberg’s LL.M. program is designed to acquaint students with the essentials of the German legal system and furnish them with more profound knowledge of one area of the law.   Students may select courses according to their interests but must take at least one course in German public and private law and complete an LL.M. thesis.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must be completely fluent in German. Students may apply 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.

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 Heidelberg Universität 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 Heidelberg Universität

In the third year, the students study the basics of German private and public law, constitutional law, business law, and European Union law.  They also complete an LL.M. thesis.

Please see the LL.M. program description here.

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 Heidelberg.  Their financial aid package will reflect the expenses of living in Heidelberg 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 to take the German First State Examination. 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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