THE MASTER OF LAWS PROGRAM (LL.M.)
The LL.M. program is designed to take advantage of both the academic strength of the School of Law and the resources available in Washington, D.C. Students observe both academic and practical aspects of the law and legal thought through basic courses and seminars that are supplemented by symposia, roundtable discussions, and LL.M. forums. At the forums, LL.M. candidates discuss certain aspects of the law in their respective countries. LL.M. students are encouraged to write a thesis under the supervision of faculty members, with the goal of seeking its proper publications.
All degree candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:
- Credits – Earn a total of 24 academic credits.
- Required Course – Complete successfully the 2-credit course on "Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems," (required of applicants with law degrees or equivalent qualification from non-U.S. jurisdictions only).
- Residency – Be registered as a full-time resident for a minimum of 2 consecutive semesters.
- Research and Writing – Complete 4 hours of writing, either by writing a 4 credit thesis or by writing research papers in two seminars.
- General requirements – Otherwise satisfy the School of Law’s requirements for graduation.
Grading is on a numerical scale of 50-100. As an LL.M. candidate, you must maintain a minimum grade point average of 77 (C+). However, LL.M. candidates must earn a grade of no less than 70 (C) in each course in order to receive credit for that course. There is one special circumstance: the minimum acceptable grade for a thesis is 80 (B).
Although the School of Law maintains a basic law school curriculum in American Law and Legal Systems to satisfy its J.D. candidates, it also offers elective courses as well as a range of externships based in the Nations Capital. As an LL.M. candidate, you may select from the various courses and externships as you design a program that interests you the most. Below are some of the subject matter areas in which our faculty members teach and have special research interest.
- Civil Rights
- Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
- Human Rights
- Intellectual Property and Social Justice
- Private and Comparative International Law
- Private and Social Entrepreneurship
- Pursuing a Progressive Law Practice (“Big Law” pro bono, public interest/nonprofit, government service, teaching, solo practice, small firm)
- Securities Regulation, Investor Protection, Corporate Responsibility
As an LL.M. candidate, you must have a degree in law from an accredited law school, law faculty, or an equivalent qualification to be determined by the School of Law’s Graduate Committee, along with a demonstrated high degree of academic excellence and promise.
Before your application can be reviewed, the Director of the Graduate Program must receive the following documents:
- A completed application for admission to the School of Law’s LL.M. Program.
- A brief (2—3 pages), typed autobiographical statement describing your professional goals and the role of the LL.M. degree in fulfilling those goals.
- Official transcripts of your record from both the university you attended as an undergraduate and the institution you attended for legal study. Each institution must send original transcripts directly to the Director of the Graduate Program.
- An essay, written in English, describing your intended thesis topic.
- For applicants for whom English is a second language and/or for applicants from non-English-speaking countries, the results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Test showing you achieved a score of 550 or higher on the paper Based Test (PBT) or 79/80 or higher pn the Internet Based Test (IBT).
- TOEFL test inquiries should be directed to The Educational Testing Service, (www.ets.org) Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
- Two letters of recommendation that support your character and academic potential in a graduate law program. At least one letter of recommendation must be written by a member of your law school’s faculty. Recommendations must be from persons not related to you and must be sent by each person directly to the Howard University School of Law office of admissions.
- A nonrefundable application fee of $60 in the form of a cashier’s check or money order listing Howard University as payee. No personal checks will be accepted.
- One passport-size photograph.
- Proof of the ability to study in the USA.
- Statement of Financial Resources demonstrating the ability to pay for the program. The documentation must show the availability of funds no earlier than two months prior to enrolling.