Students enrolled in the 2 Year Extended LL.M. program must complete a minimum of 16 units in mandatory law courses during the first year. In addition, in their first year, Certificate in U.S. Legal Studies students will also enroll in 4 units (2 units per semester) of oral and written English classes taken at USC's American Language Institute, for a total of 20 units. Students who are native English speakers will be waived from our English requirements. In the second year, students must earn 21 units in mandatory and elective courses to earn the LL.M. degree. All courses must be taken on a full-time basis, beginning in fall semester.
During the first year, students will enroll in the following courses: Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies, Topics in U.S. Legal Culture, Presentation Skills for International Lawyers, Legal Research & Writing Skills, Scholarly Writing Skills, Transactional Practice Skills, Introduction to U.S. Common Law, and U.S. Common Law Analysis & Skills. These courses are offered exclusively to our Certificate in U.S. Legal Studies students to ensure these students benefit from small class sizes and individualized instructor feedback.
Upon completion of the first year curriculum, students will be enrolled in the LL.M. program, and must attend all classes in person at USC and successfully complete 21 units of credit over two semesters of study to earn the LL.M. degree. Students must enroll in Legal Research and Introduction to U.S. Legal System, but may select from a variety of courses to satisfy the remaining 18 credits necessary to complete the degree.
Once students have completed the first-year requirements, they are eligible to enroll in our bar "track" programs and Certificates, described below.
Once students have completed the Certificate in U.S. Legal Studies, our office can provide guidance on choosing courses that help prepare them to sit for New York, California, or District of Columbia (D.C.) Bars. Although we do not offer formalized bar "tracks", we are available to meet with students prior to registration to assist them with determining which classes are needed to comply with bar requirements. Students are also encouraged to meet with our Registrar and Career Advisor to ensure the courses they select fulfill the graduation requirements and satisfy each student's individualized interests and needs.
Students who are not interested in sitting for a U.S. Bar exam enjoy greater flexibility in their scheduling, as we only require two courses for the LL.M. degree. In some circumstances, students may enroll in courses outside of the law school, for example in our USC School of Cinematic Arts and Marshall School of Business. However, please note that courses taken outside the law school will not count towards the LL.M. degree.
Once students enter our LL.M. program, they are eligible to select courses to fulfill one of our certificate programs. Please note that these certificates are separate from the Certificate of U.S. Legal Studies that you will receive for completion of the first year curriculum. Selecting a Business, Entertainment, or ADR certificate is optional and not necessary to earn the LL.M. degree.
Many of our students tailor their course schedules around specialty areas such as Corporate/Business Law, Intellectual Property, Entertainment Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and International Law. For those who are interested in completing a certificate alongside their LL.M. degree, we offer a Business Law certificate, and an Entertainment Law certificate, and ADR certificate for our LL.M. students.
Our certificate programs allow students to delve deeply into a specialized subject matter. Additionally, because of the flexibility of our program, interested students may satisfy the requirements for the New York, California, or District of Columbia (D.C.) Bars as well as the requirements for our Business Law, Entertainment Law, or ADR certificate. Every LL.M. student is eligible to obtain a certificate; no prior coursework is required.
No transfer credit for work completed at other law schools will be granted toward the LL.M. degree at USC Gould School of Law.
Proposed curriculum is under university review.