About the LL.M. Degree Program

What is an LL.M.?

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) is a degree in law for individuals who have already received a first degree in law (either the J.D. in the United States, or the equivalent from another country).

LL.M. is Latin for Legum Magister, signifying Master of Laws. In Latin abbreviations, the plural form of a word is indicated by doubling the letter - hence the "LL." is short for Laws. The word "legum" is the possessive plural form of the Latin word lex that means specific laws. When used in the plural, it signifies a specific body of laws, as opposed to the general collective concept embodied in the word "Jus," from which the word "Juris" and our modern English word "Justice" derive. In the feminine, i.e., for a female student, the expression is Legum Magistra.

How Many Students are in the LL.M . Program?

Georgetown Law enrolls approximately 550 LL.M. students from between 60 and 70 countries and over 40 U.S. states and territories amongst our thirteen different specializations. Roughly two-thirds of these students are educated outside the U.S. and the other third have a J.D. degree from the United States.  

The programs with the largest number of foreign-trained students are General Studies, International Business & Economic Law and International Legal Studies. The program with the largest number of U.S.-trained students is the LL.M. in Taxation.

How many credits does it take to complete an LL.M.?

Students who received their J.D. degree in the United States must complete 24 credits to graduate from the LL.M. program.  Foreign-educated lawyers must complete 20 credits to graduate from the LL.M. program.  Please note that foreign-educated students may choose to take over 20 credits and, if they wish to qualify for the New York Bar, they must (along with meeting other bar eligibility criteria) take 24 credits.   

How long does it take to complete the LL.M.?

Students pursuing the LL.M. on a full-time basis complete the program within two semesters.  Students pursuing the program on a part-time basis must complete the program within three years of matriculation.  (In certain circumstances, part-time students may receive permission to extend their period of study).  Please note that foreign-educated students typically enroll on a full-time basis unless they are in the United States on a visa status that permits part-time study.

How much does the LL.M. program cost?  

Tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is as follows:

Full Time: $64,272

Part Time: $20,904 (Tuition is based on 4 credits/semester at $2,613/credit hour)

Full-time single students living in the Washington, DC area can expect living expenses for nine months to be approximately $29,256. Please note that these figures are not a financial aid budget. These amounts are an estimate of costs to help you in planning for your educational and living expenses.

Can I work while enrolled in a full-time graduate degree program?

The program of instruction in the full-time program is demanding and designed to command substantially all of the student's time during the academic year. All full-time students must carefully restrict their hours of employment, and in no event may a full-time student exceed 20 hours of employment per week during the academic year. Also, international students in the U.S. on student visas are very restricted with respect to on-and off-campus employment and must get prior written permission from the Visa Coordinator.

If I enter the program as a part-time LL.M. student may I transfer to full-time status?

A student in an LL.M. degree program may apply to transfer from full-time to part-time status, or from part-time to full-time status, subject to visa requirements, by submitting a written request detailing the reasons for requesting the transfer to the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or the Director of LL.M. Academic Services.

Can I transfer to the J.D. program from the LL.M. program?

No. LL.M. students cannot be admitted as transfer students to the J.D. program.  LL.M. students interested in earning a J.D. must apply directly to the J.D. program as a new applicant, and must take the LSAT. However, students who graduated from Georgetown's LL.M. program who are admitted to the J.D. program may be able to apply up to 12 credits of their LL.M. coursework toward the J.D.

Does admission to the LL.M. program guarantee or assure admission into the S.J.D. program?

No. Candidacy for the S.J.D. program is competitive, and does not follow automatically from admission to the LL.M. program. Click here for more information about our S.J.D. admissions requirements.

May I take graduate classes at Georgetown Law without enrolling in an LL.M. program?

Yes. Georgetown Law offers a comprehensive selection of graduate level law courses on a non-degree basis for lawyers who wish to deepen or broaden their legal knowledge without enrolling in an LL.M. degree program. Lawyers may do so by taking courses on a space-available basis. Click here for more information about the Non-Degree Program.

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