Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law
An Advanced Legal Degree for Foreign-Trained Legal Professionals
Learn more about the LL.M. program directly from our students
We encourage prospective students to enroll at one of New York State’s most prestigious private law schools, located on the Syracuse University campus in Syracuse, New York. Our LL.M. program is designed to offer foreign legal professionals the opportunity to broaden their effectiveness through the study of U.S. laws and the American legal process. The core requirements of our LL.M. program comply with the rules of the New York State Board of Law Examiners.
Four Ways to Pursue the LL.M. Degree
Option I: LL.M. in American Law
The LL.M. in American Law is a 24-credit program designed for foreign-trained legal professionals. The program can be completed in one academic year in Syracuse, New York. LL.M. students take three required courses tailored specifically for the program: Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits), Introduction of U.S. Legal Writing (2 credits), and Practice Skills for the International LL.M. (1 credit). Students are also required to take Professional Responsibility (3 credits) in either the Fall or Spring semester. Finally, students must fulfill a Writing Requirement.
Students are provided with personalized academic advising to assist in selecting courses based upon their own professional goals and interests from a variety of courses such as Corporate Law, International Business Transactions, Comparative Disability Law, International Human Rights Law, and more.
Application Instructions for the LL.M. in American Law:
- Candidates for admission must hold a first-degree in law from a foreign institution;
- You may submit application materials in one of the following ways: (i) online application through the LSAC website (you will need to create a LSAC account); or (ii) paper application;
- Proof of English-language proficiency as demonstrated by acceptable TOEFL/IELTS scores, or successful completion of an English-language training program, and/or the discretion of the Admissions Committee. The College of Law recommends a TOEFL score of 100/250/600 or an IELTS score of 7.0, but will consider additional factors when assessing English-language proficiency. Candidates who do not demonstrate sufficient English-language proficiency may apply through the Conditional Admittance Program.
- Proof of Financial Support documentation (required for student visa);
Option II: LL.M. in American Law + English-Language Training
Students who wish to refine and develop their English-language skills before pursuing their LL.M. in American Law may enroll in up to one (1) year of intense English-language training at Syracuse University’s English Language Institute.
The English Language Institute (ELI) offers premier language instruction to students from around the world, in all proficiency levels, before they begin their academic program on campus. Courses are offered in the Fall semester, Spring semester, Summer Session 1, and Summer Session 2 (when ELI offers the “Legal English” summer course).
The “Legal English” Summer Session provides a foundation in legal terminology and language usage in listening, speaking, reading, legal research, and writing. All components include group and pair work as well as individual assignments. The course provides twenty-five (25) instructional hours per week.
To apply for Option II, follow the application instructions for the LL.M. program (above), and complete the ELI application form(s) found on the ELI website.
Option III: LL.M. in American Law + Masters in Public Administration
Candidates who wish to pursue both the LL.M. in American Law and the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in Citizenship and Public Affairs (the “Maxwell School”) may do so in this two-year program option.
The Maxwell School’s MPA is a 40-credit professional graduate degree designed to prepare students to lead and manage in the public sector. Most students complete the MPA in twelve (12) months of full-time study from July to June. Students in the MPA enroll in nine core courses, including Public Budgeting, Public Administration and Democracy, Economics for Public Decisions, Introduction to Statistics, and more. Students can also specialize their MPA coursework in the following Programs of Study:
- International and National Security Policy
- Environmental Policy and Administration
- International and Development Administration
- Public and Nonprofit Management
- State and Local Government Financial Analysis and Management
- Social Policy
- Technology and Information Management
To apply for Option III, follow the application instructions for the LL.M. Program (above), and review the MPA admissions requirements on the Maxwell School’s website. You may also e-mail MPA admissions staff for more details. Important Note: Candidates must meet the admissions and application criteria of both the College of Law and the Maxwell School. Students must complete the coursework of one program before starting the other. Tuition and fees are paid separately to each institution and the student receives a separate diploma for the LL.M. and MPA degrees conferred by each institution.
Option IV: LL.M. in American Law + iSchool Certificate in Advanced Study
Candidates who wish to pursue both the LL.M. in American Law from the College of Law and a Certificate in Advanced Study (CAS) from the iSchool at Syracuse University may do so in this extended program option.
The iSchool is a consistently top-ranked information school, offering innovative undergraduate, graduate, and CAS programs in a variety of information sciences and information management disciplines. The iSchool offers the following CAS programs that can complement the LLM program by offering additional domain knowledge or focus in:
Information Security Management
Global Enterprise Technologies
Information Systems and Telecommunications Management
Information Innovation: Social Media
eGovernment Management and Leadership
Most of the CAS programs are 15 credit hours so they will typically take two semesters to complete. Courses are available on campus and most are available online. View more information about the iSchool’s CAS programs here.
To apply for Option IV, follow the application instructions for the LL.M. Program (above), and review the CAS admissions requirements on the iSchool's website. You may also e-mail CAS admissions staff for more details. Important Note: Candidates must meet the admissions and application criteria of both the College of Law and the iSchool. Students must complete the coursework of one program before starting the other. Tuition and fees are paid separately to each institution and the student receives a separate diploma/certificate for the LL.M. and iSchool degrees conferred by each institution.
Message from the Director
Associate Dean for International Initiatives
Professor of Law
Director, LL.M. Program
For More Information:
Andrew S. Horsfall, Esq '05 L'10
Associate Director of Admissions
Assistant Director of the LL.M. Program
Orange Law International Newsletter
Over the years, the College of Law has graduated many influential and successful lawyers, business professionals, and financial leaders. We are proud to count among our alumni members of the U.S. Senate and Congress, state senators and assembly members, state attorneys general, and federal and state judges. In addition, many of our alumni have moved into leadership positions in some of the world's largest law firms and into the fields of finance, real estate development, and international business affairs.