Alumni Short

JD-LLM at Universite de Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne

Program Description

This 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 the 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.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. 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

Students who have been admitted to the J.D. Master en Droit with Paris I may apply during their first year at Cornell to transfer into the J.D.-LL.M. program.  A limited number of spaces are available.  If space is available in both the J.D.-LL.M. program and the overall dual degree program with Paris I, other matriculated students may be invited to apply for this program in the spring semester of their first year.

Students must have an 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.

First- and Second-Year Curriculum at Cornell Law School

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.  In the second year of study at Cornell, the students must complete their credit and J.D. course requirements, which include six credits of experiential learning, a professional responsibility 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 Paris I or (2) are outside of the regular Law School curriculum (regular J.D. candidates are allowed to take one course in each upper-class semester in other divisions of the university in areas related to their legal studies).

Third-Year Curriculum at Paris I

The J.D.-LL.M. program is taught in French. Students may 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.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.

The Fall semester runs from mid-September to mid-January. The Spring semester runs from mid-February to mid-May.

Requirements for Student Performance and Grading Methods

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:

  • Assez bien for a final grade of between 13-14.9 (good)
  • Bien for a grade between 15-16.9 (very good)
  • Trés bien for a grade of 17 or higher (excellent)

Cornell transcripts do not list French grades and reflect only credits for courses passed conducted at the University of Paris I.

Individuals with Disabilities

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.

Bar Examinations/Admissions

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 French bar examination.

Program Cancellation

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.