Master of Laws Program
Graduate students have the opportunity to pursue a broad course of study or, if they so desire, to concentrate in one of the areas in which Tulane offers particular strength.
The General LLM program allows students to design their own courses of study. General LLM students may enroll in virtually any course, with the general exception of clinical programs and Trial Advocacy. Some students pursue a broad range of courses, and others focus their choices more narrowly.
Many international students use the General LLM program as a way to gain exposure to a variety of areas of US law. They may choose to enroll in a combination of introductory and more advanced courses in a variety of areas. Because the typical first-year courses are open to our graduate students, some choose to take such courses as Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Property.
Students find that the General LLM program lends itself to the development of ad hoc concentrations. For example, students interested in Intellectual Property might take Copyright, Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Unfair Competition, Patent Prosecution and Litigation, one or more specialized courses in the area, a Directed Research project supervised by a faculty member who is an expert in the area, and even one or two unrelated courses.
Students interested in international trade might take such courses as: International Trade, Finance & Banking; Financial Institutions; International Tax; International Business Transactions; and a variety of related courses. Students may even find it possible to concentrate in two areas through the General LLM program. Because the General LLM program has no distribution requirements, students are free to make independent choices about the courses in which they enroll.
This degree is intended primarily for international students who hold a first degree in law (JD or LLB or equivalent) from a non-U.S. law school and who wish to establish eligibility to take a state bar examination in the United States, where permitted by state bar authorities. The degree will give students from foreign jurisdictions a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of U.S. law and the American legal system, as well as an appreciation for law practice in the United States.
The academic program is designed to enable students who earn the degree to satisfy the American law school course requirements of the Bar Admissions Committees of Louisiana and New York. These two U.S. states are among those whose rules permit foreign lawyers to sit for their bar exam subject to, inter alia, completion of certain coursework in American Law. Students seeking to take the bar examinations in these two states, or any other state, must still meet all other eligibility requirements of the state in which they seek to take the bar examination, and are therefore urged to review those requirements at the earliest possible time.
The American LLM requires, in addition to the general degree requirements, completion of at least 14 hours of coursework in the following subjects: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Corporations or Business Enterprises, Evidence, Intellectual Property, Federal Civil Procedure, Taxation, Uniform Commercial Code, Torts, or (if planning to take the Louisiana bar exam) Louisiana Civil Procedure or Louisiana Obligations Law. Students seeking this degree are also required to take either Common Law Property or Civil Law Property. Remaining hours of coursework for the degree may be selected from any other courses open to graduate students at Tulane Law School.
Tulane Law School is known internationally for its admiralty and maritime law program. The city of New Orleans, located near the mouth of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, is a significant maritime center, and the lower Mississippi River is one of the largest ports in the world. New Orleans itself has the second largest admiralty bar in the United States. As a result of the natural focus on maritime issues in New Orleans, Tulane Law School has become an important center for the study of admiralty and maritime law.
To qualify for the degree of LLM in Admiralty, the student must complete at least 13 of the 24 hours required for the degree in admiralty courses. A list of admiralty courses from the current and past two academic years may be found here. Additional admiralty courses, including mini courses, are offered each year by visiting professors from throughout the world.
Students may enroll in this program on a full-time basis, completing it over one year. Attorneys practicing full-time in the New Orleans area may enroll on a part-time basis, completing the program over four consecutive semesters.
Since 1979, Tulane Law School has taken a lead role in the advancement of environmental legal education and the training of well-prepared environmental lawyers. The LLM in Energy & Environment program was initiated in 1984 and has evolved over time from a program concentrating primarily on oil, gas, and energy issues, to one in which the environment holds center stage. Tulane seeks to graduate students who understand not only the theory, but also the practice and advocacy of environmental issues.
Tulane is an ideal location for the study of both environmental and energy law. Located in an area of the United States in which these two areas come into frequent conflict, students have the opportunity for exposure to areas of great natural beauty as well as to industrial complexes. Among the resources Tulane offers its students are an outstanding and dedicated faculty, a student-run journal devoted to environmental issues, an active and engaged student body, and an Institute for Water Resources Law & Policy.
Students in the LLM in Energy & Environment program include recent law graduates, experienced lawyers practicing in local law firms, government agencies and corporations, and attorneys from foreign countries with emerging environmental law systems. Recent years have seen LLM candidates from more than a dozen US states and from at least two dozen countries including Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Germany, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey
The LLM in Energy & Environment requires, in addition to the general degree requirements described earlier, completion of 16 credit hours. Students must enroll in the Graduate Seminar in Energy & Environment as well as two of the following three courses: Pollution Control, Natural Resources, and Energy Law, Regulation and Policy. A list of additional energy and environmental law electives from the current and past two academic years may be found here. Not all of these courses are offered every year. In appropriate circumstances and with the concurrence of the faculty, other courses may be substituted for the courses listed in the third group.
The breadth and depth of the international and comparative law curriculum at Tulane Law School provide unparalleled opportunities for both US and foreign lawyers to receive a basic foundation in international legal practice. Tulane’s program offers courses in public international law, private international law including international business transactions, and comparative law. In addition to courses in European Union institutions and law, courses in substantive areas of foreign law are available. Tulane’s unique perspective in a historically mixed common law-civil law jurisdiction results in an unusually rich experience for students.
Tulane offers its students a strong faculty with significant international experience and training, an outstanding library, and the resources of the Eason-Weinmann Center for Comparative Law, which brings together outstanding legal scholars from various countries and legal systems for seminars and lectures.
All candidates for the LLM in International & Comparative Law must fulfill the General Degree Requirements. In conjunction with those requirements, candidates for this specialty degree are required to enroll in a total of 13 semester hours of international and comparative law courses. All students who have not already taken a public international law course are required to take Public International Law. A list of international and comparative law electives from the current and past two academic years may be found here.
Each student's course of study is at least somewhat dependent upon the background and previous legal education of the individual student and on the student's objectives. For example, US students interested in European legal studies would need exposure to European legal sources and European Community Law. A student from Germany, however, might focus her studies somewhat differently, seeking exposure to common law subjects and to other areas which she would be unlikely to have studied previously. Each student designs his or her course of study with the assistance of a faculty advisor.