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Cornell Law School: JD/Master en droit

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 1994.  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."

Admission to the Program

Applicants admitted by Cornell with Paris I concurrence:

  • Applicants must be completely fluent in French.  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 the Cornell Law School in response to an invitation circulated to the first year class.

Applicants admitted by Paris I with Cornell concurrence:

  • Up to three students from France are admitted into the program each year through an application process administered by the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. Students applying in France must have the Baccalaureate degree and at least two years of advanced study at a French institution of higher learning. Students are required to complete 62 credit hours in residence and return to the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne for their final year of study. Interested persons should consult this Paris I website:


The 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).

The third and fourth years at Paris I

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:

First year (Licence)
Second year (Master1 in French and American Law)

The program participants also have the optional opportunity to pursue a "Professional Master 2 in Arbitration and International Trade Law" 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:

  • Droit Fiscal des Affaires I
  • Droit Fiscal des Affaires II
  • Droit International Économique I
  • Droit International Économique II
  • Droit du Commerce International
  • Modes Alternatifs et Arbitrage
  • Droit Bancaire et Cambiaire

Following the award to the students of the French Master en Droit, 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.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

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.

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/Admission

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:

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.