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Tulane Law School offers individuals who already have law degrees the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in law through its graduate studies programs. Five different Master of Laws (LLM) degree programs are offered, and lawyers from throughout the world enroll in Tulane's LLM programs. Tulane also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) to individuals who have completed an LLM degree.
The graduate studies programs have diverse goals. Students who have strong interests in particular areas of the law (for example, admiralty, corporate law, international and comparative law, environmental law) may pursue intensive studies in those areas and receive a specialized advanced degree: the LLM in Admiralty, the LLM in International & Comparative Law, the LLM in Law and Development, or the LLM in Energy & Environment. Tulane's Maritime Law Center, its Eason-Weinmann Center for Comparative Law, and its Institute for Water Policy & Law provide additional depth to the admiralty, international and comparative, and environmental LLM programs, respectively.
Students who wish to sample a wide range of courses in the traditional American law school curriculum to supplement their knowledge of the law of another country may do so through the General LLM program. The General LLM program also permits students to enroll in courses from throughout the curriculum to concentrate in such areas as intellectual property law. Students enrolled in the graduate studies programs may elect to take any non-clinical course in the curriculum with the permission of the instructor and the faculty chair of the Graduate Committee.
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Full-time Programs: Each of the LLM programs requires two full-time semesters in residence and satisfactory completion of 24 credits, 3 of which may be completed in a Tulane summer abroad program. Although there is no thesis requirement, degree candidates are required to write at least one paper in connection with a seminar in their field of interest or in fulfillment of a directed research project. Students who received the first law degree at a school outside the 50 United States are also required to attend a short course entitled "Introduction to American Law" prior to the start of the fall semester and a special legal research and writing course designed for international students.
Part-Time Programs: The LLM in Admiralty program permits part-time study for attorneys practicing full time in the New Orleans area. All other LLM programs may be pursued on either a part-time or full-time basis, so long as the candidate does not require an F-1 student visa. Part-time enrollment may be appealing to some candidates, as it has the potential to maximize the opportunity for exposure to the entire curriculum.
All courses at Tulane Law School are taught on an in-person basis. We do not offer a distance-learning alternative.
Tulane Law School also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) to a small number of candidates who already hold the LLM. This is a research-oriented degree requiring completion of a dissertation which makes an original and significant contribution to legal scholarship.
International Students' Eligibility to Take State Bar Exams in the US
Many international students who attend our LLM program are interested in taking a US bar exam. Each state in the US has its own eligibility requirements, however, many students do take the New York bar exam.
Recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that foreign lawyers may take the Louisiana bar exam so long as they (1) are authorized to work lawfully in the United States, (2) have completed legal training recognized as equivalent to the JD, and (3) have successfully completed a minimum of 14 credits from a US law school in core legal subjects. No more than 4 credits will be granted in any one subject toward the required 14 credits. Our LLM students are able to meet the latter requirement through their selection of courses at Tulane. The Louisiana Supreme Court rule on this subject is located here.
All LLM programs are offered on a part-time basis. However, students who will need an F-1 visa in order to be able to study in the US are unfortunately not eligible for pursue study on a part-time basis.
Attorneys working full-time in the New Orleans area may apply for admission to the LLM in Admiralty program for part-time study.
The LLM in Energy & Environment faculty encourage all US candidates to consider part-time enrollment in this program in order to be exposed to the greatest number of courses, since some are not offered every year.
Students pursuing the General LLM or the LLM in International and Comparative Law, are also invited to consider part-time study.
Part-time students must complete the degree requirement in four (non-summer) semesters (i.e., two academic years). Students are not permitted to switch from part-time to full-time status or vice-versa, except with permission of the Vice Dean. If any of the courses approved for these degrees is offered during a Tulane Law School summer session in New Orleans, candidates may enroll in up to three credits of coursework during one summer session. All other general degree requirements of the full-time master's programs are applicable to the part-time programs.
General Degree Requirements for All LLM Programs
Candidates for all Master's degrees must satisfy the following requirements in addition to any special course requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of 24 credits, 21 of which must be at the Law School, and 3 of which may be in a Tulane Law School summer law program. "Satisfactory completion" is defined under Academic Standards in the Student Handbook. No transfer credit for work completed at other law schools can be granted toward the LLM or SJD degrees at Tulane Law School.
- Full-time students must complete between 10 and 12 credits of coursework in each of two consecutive fall and spring semesters, except with special permission. Part-time students must complete between 4 and 7 credits of coursework each semester, completing all degree requirements in four semesters, with the option of attending one Tulane Law School summer session in New Orleans for up to 3 credits of coursework.
- Students must satisfy the specific requirements of the degree program in which they are enrolled (e.g., General LLM, Admiralty, American Law, Energy & Environment, Law and Development, or International & Comparative Law).
- Students are required to write papers for at least three but not more than nine credits of coursework, in courses requiring or permitting completion of a paper in lieu of an exam. Directed research credit falls in this category and may be substituted for up to three credits of the writing requirement. Students may not receive credit for directed research beyond the nine-credit writing credit maximum. The course Legal Research & Writing for International Graduate Students may not be counted toward the writing requirement.
- All master's degree candidates who have received the first law degree from a school outside the 50 United States must enroll in Introduction to American Law (2 credits) and Legal Research & Writing for International Graduate Students (1 or 2 credits), in addition to any specific degree requirements. Because the Introduction to American Law course is offered only in the summer immediately preceding the start of the fall semester, all LLM candidates whose first law degrees are from schools outside the 50 United States must arrive at Tulane by late July.
- Clinical programs, Trial Advocacy course and externships are not open to graduate students subject to the following exception. Students who received a JD from a U.S. law school and who are candidates for a Tulane Law School Master’s degree may apply to participate in the Environmental Law Clinic for a maximum of one semester. This is the only clinic open to graduate students, and the limitation of one semester participation is not subject to modification..
- Students in the full-time graduate studies programs must be enrolled as full-time students at the Law School for one academic year (i.e., two full-time semesters). A full-time semester is defined as enrollment in 10 or more credits of coursework. Students may not pursue degrees in absentia.
- Students must meet all financial obligations to the University.
- Each student must, after fulfilling all other degree requirements, be recommended for the degree by the law faculty.