Syracuse University College of Law Introduces the First Joint J.D./LL.M. Degree in Advocacy and Litigation

(Syracuse, NY | November 28, 2023) Syracuse University College of Law now offers the nation’s first joint J.D./LL.M. degree in Advocacy and Litigation. The joint degree allows College of Law students to earn their J.D. and LL.M. at the same time, graduating with both degrees in three years, and at no cost beyond that of the J.D.

Prospective students applying for entry into the J.D. program for the Fall of 2024 will have the opportunity to apply for conditional entry to the LL.M. during the admitted student process. Alternatively, any student who has completed their first year of law school can apply for the joint degree up to the first semester of their third year. Upon completion of their first year, students with a GPA of 2.9 or higher are eligible to pursue the joint degree.

The LL.M. consists of 25 advocacy-focused credits. 13 credits are mandatory and 12 are elective credits, six of which may also count towards the J.D., meaning students must take 19 unique LL.M. credits across four semesters. Students can focus their studies on one of the three areas of advocacy: Trial, Appellate, or Alternative Dispute Resolution. Students would take, on average, 17/18 credits per semester which is similar to most joint J.D./master’s degree programs.

“The J.D./LL.M. joint degree reflects our innovative approach to legal education, which focuses on empowering students to obtain the skills, knowledge, and experiences that contemporary law practice demands,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “Many law students enter law school because they want to be in the courtroom, and the practical orientation of this degree offers a distinct advantage when entering the field.”

Required courses are Evidence, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Advocacy Skills, and Trial Practice. Elective courses include Advanced Litigation Skills, Selecting Your Jury, and Writing for Trial and Appellate Judges as well as participation on an intercollegiate competition team.

“Being able to simultaneously earn your J.D. and a specialized law master’s degree is a game changer for students,” says Kathy Fox, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management. “Many students currently take advantage of our leading advocacy programming and with this joint degree they can maximize their investment with credentials that previously have been available only after completing the J.D.”

Click this link for more information on the joint degree and click this link for admissions information.

The College of Law’s Advocacy Program features a comprehensive advocacy curriculum concentration and the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society. The Advocacy Program hosts the Syracuse National Trial Competition and the National Disability Law Appellate Competition and co-hosts the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition and the Hall of Fame Sports and Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition. In addition, the College created the National Trial League, a unique online competition recognized by Bloomberg Law’s Law School Innovation Program for Student Development.