Join our LL.M. program, designed to offer foreign legal professionals the opportunity to broaden their effectiveness through the study of U.S. laws and the American legal process. 

LL.M. Admissions Info

Academic Insights

Our core LL.M. curriculum requires only two courses – LLM 900: Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits) and LLM 901: U.S. Legal Writing (3 credits) – leaving plenty of space in your schedule to explore a range of over 80 elective courses.

Syracuse Law is excited to offer LL.M. students the option to extend their studies to third semester.  This is a great opportunity to participate in an externship/internship or take additional bar courses.  Being able to stay for a third semester requires advance planning so be sure to speak with our team if a third semester is part of your plan. Read our Frequently Asked Questions to determine which option is best for you.

Thesis Track students complete a substantial research project that culminates in a scholarly paper that demonstrates close work with a faculty adviser with expertise in your area of study. Applicants interested in the Thesis Track should have a well-developed research focus and indicate their interest in their applications. You may review the faculty profiles to consider whom you would like to pursue an individualized research program at Syracuse Law.

As an LL.M. student, you may become eligible to sit for the New York bar exam (and the bar exam of several other U.S. jurisdictions). Here’s some advice to get started:

    • Let Us Know: The sooner we are informed of your interests to take a bar exam, the sooner we can give you valuable advice and insights about the process and where to begin.
    • It All Begins Here: Start the process by completing ‘Foreign Evaluation Form’ and setting up your profile with the New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE). Full details can be found here.
    • Gather Your Documents: The BOLE requires submission of several important documents reflecting your prior legal education abroad. Begin making arrangements to submit those before you come to the U.S. for your LL.M. studies.
    • Plan Your Academic Strategy: New York requires that students enroll in a few specific courses in order to satisfy the academic requirements of bar exam eligibility. Our LL.M. team will provide you with helpful academic advising to ensure you are planning the best possible schedule of courses that will meet your goals.
    • Enjoy *FREE* Bar Prep: Syracuse Law partners with the Helix Bar Review program, offering students a bar preparation for free (a value of approximately $4,000 USD).
    • ABA Standard 504 Statement: In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. We encourage applicants to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Our LL.M. students will develop deep and broad knowledge of US legal doctrine, common law, statutory interpretation, and legal writing and research. Our graduates will:

Develop knowledge of U.S. constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and common law.

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding in the courses that are required of all LL.M. students.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the theories, historical development, and application of common law legal systems.

Analyze and apply principles of law and legal reasoning.

  • Identify the key facts, issues, reasoning, holdings, assumptions, and policies that underlie judicial decisions and independently critique them.
  • Determine the applicable legal rules from multiple sources of law and seek to reconcile any competing principles.
  • Reflect on the legal principles and processes of diverse legal systems and cultures.

Research, speak, and write proficiently about the law.

  • Find governing law and relevant secondary sources.
  • Be professional in their interactions.
  • Write accurate and well-organized law-related documents.

close-up of a leather portfolio, male hands writing on paper, and an open laptop on a desk

Choose Your Academic Focus

As an LL.M. student, you will enjoy personalized academic advising to help you build your academic plan and work through questions. Do you want to specialize your studies in a certain area or gain exposure to a wide range of different areas of law? Explore the information below to learn more about the opportunities here at Syracuse Law.

For a complete list of courses with descriptions, please review our Course Descriptions and Curriculum by Subject Area.

For over 30 years our students have learned how to bring ideas from the laboratory to the business market – this is the Law of Innovation!  Pursue courses such as Advising the Start Up, Patent Prosecution, and Technology Law while learning both theory and practice alongside developers of new technology and business entrepreneurs.

As an LL.M. student, you can also pursue our new Certificate of Advanced Study in Technology Law and Entrepreneurship (CASTLE), which enables students to obtain a certificate while pursing coursework in the College of Law and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Housed in the College of Law and partnered with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law offers certificates of advanced study in national security and counterterrorism law, security studies, and postconflict reconstruction (PCR) that prepare the next generation of practitioners and policymakers to enter the fields of national security, homeland security, intelligence, military law, and more.

Led by the Hon. James E. Baker, SPL’s collaborative research projects and initiatives have shaped law and policy dialogues since 2003. The Institute continues to evolve its mission and expand its programs to meet shifting geopolitical and legal patterns, as well as the needs of law and graduate students building careers in the various security sectors.

The Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP) houses the nation’s first Joint Degree Program in Law and Disability Studies, a Curricular Program in Disability Law and Policy, and the Disability Rights Clinic as well as disability-related summer and semester-long externships in New York and Washington, DC.

Founded by Professor Arlene Kanter and now under the leadership of Professor Katherine Macfarlane, DLPP is the most extensive disability-related law school program in the United States. Students who participate in this program often go on to jobs in the areas of disability, education, special education, children’s rights, civil rights, labor, employment, trusts and estates, and international human rights law. 

two students sit together and have a conversation over their laptops, smiling at each other in front of a white wall

Student Support and Professional Development

Beyond the classroom, our students enjoy multiple layers of academic and peer support along with professional development advising.

LL.M. students receive support from an amazing team of On-Campus J.D. students who work to ease their transition as they acclimate to our academic culture. Mentors lead workshops to bolster academic skills, work one-on-one with students to develop success strategies, and plan social events to strengthen the connections between students.

You will not only have access to the services and support offered at Syracuse Law, but across our greater Syracuse University campus.  Whether you want to access health care services, mental health counseling, exercise and recreation facilities, club sports, or religious and spiritual activities (to name a few), you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Our Office of Career Services is excited to support you in your legal career development and serving as your partner in achieving your professional goals.

12Twenty Career Services Manager (CSM) is a useful platform where you will find legal job postings, career related events, and career focused resources. Upon joining our LL.M. program, we will create a 12twenty account for you and send you login details during your first semester at the law school.

You will also be matched with a Career Coach, who will be shown in your profile on 12twenty. Easily schedule appointments with your Career Coach through the platform or via email to help you meet your post-graduate career goals.

You will need a solid legal resume and cover letter to apply to any pro bono position or internship (subject to student visa regulations and permissions). The Office of Career Services can provide you with resources and guides with samples and advice on preparing an updated resume and cover letter that are suitable for the U.S. legal market. After you have polished your resume and cover letter, you can upload them on 12Twenty. This will allow you to access them easily and enable your Career Coach to review them.

We encourage admitted students in Syracuse Law’s LL.M., S.J.D., and Exchange programs, along with invited Visiting Scholars, to review the information pertaining to pre-arrival details and instructions that will help to ensure a smooth transition to Syracuse University and the College of Law.

Andsrew Horsfall sits ar a round table in his office talking to a female student. There is a bookshelf in the background with books on it and they are engaged in discussion.

I love seeing the transformation that occurs among our LL.M. students from the time they first arrive to a global campus like Syracuse University, to when they graduate and go out into the world to accomplish great things. While here, they form lasting relationships with their classmates and professors, they adapt and work through a rigorous academic endeavor, and their perspectives are expanded along the way. It is truly amazing to watch.

Andrew S. Horsfall, Assistant Dean of International Programs