About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
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Frequently Asked Questions - Master of Laws (LLM) - Online
USC Gould School of Law
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Have questions about our Online LLM program? Explore our most frequently asked questions below.
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What is an LLM degree for?
The Online Master of Laws (LLM) program is designed for international law professionals seeking leadership roles in the global market, preparing graduates for careers in a wide variety of global settings including business, compliance, education, entertainment, finance, health care, human resources and more. Upon completion of the program on the California Bar Track, international attorneys may be eligible* to sit for the California Bar Exam.Note: USC Gould School of Law cannot determine your eligibility to sit for the California Bar exam since each applicant is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the State Bar. Therefore, we recommend verifying your California Bar eligibility prior to enrolling in our Online LLM.
Is an LLM a master’s degree?
"LLM" is the standard abbreviation for the Master of Laws degree. It is derived from the name of the qualification in Latin, “Legum Magister”, with “legum” as the plural of "lex", meaning law.
Is an LLM higher than a JD?
While a JD is a first law degree in the U.S. an undergraduate LLB degree is a first law degree in many other countries. Typically, the LLM is for international students who have obtained an LLB or equivalent and are looking to develop a deeper, master’s degree-level understanding of the U.S. legal system.
Can an LLM be done online?
Yes, USC Gould School of Law offers the option to earn an LLM in a 100% digital format that combines self-paced (asynchronous) and real-time (synchronous) components.
Is an LLM a 2-year degree?
Depending on specifications and certificate tracks, the Online LLM can be completed in as few as 16 months. For those interested in pursuing a Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM), USC Gould offers an on-campus program.
I earned my JD from a law school in the United States. Can I apply for the Online LLM?
Applicants to USC Gould's Online LLM must have earned their first degree in law (e.g. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or License in Law) from outside of the United States. If you earned your JD from a law school in the U.S., then please consider our on-campus, specialized LLM programs: Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Business and Economic Law, or Privacy Law and Cybersecurity.
What's the difference between an LLM and an MSL degree?
The LLM is designated for those with a first professional degree in law outside of the United States, such as Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or License in Law. The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is for non-lawyer professionals hoping to gain a greater understanding of law. .
Is an LLM worth it?
The LLM is a valuable degree for professionals seeking leadership roles in the global market. Through the LLM you will develop:
- Practical knowledge in the theories, history and use of American law
- A strong understanding of the U.S. legal system, government, historical context and foundational values
- Insights into how the American legal system differs from other legal systems around the world
- Fluency with advanced legal terminology through exposure to substantive texts, cases, statutes and memoranda
- The ability to perform legal research and analysis necessary for work in a variety of legal settings
- An understanding of legal professionalism and ethics, and the responsibilities required of representatives of clients and officers of the court
- Improved English language and legal writing skills
Can I sit for the bar exam with an LLM?
Upon completion of the program on the California Bar Track, international attorneys may be eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam. USC Gould School of Law cannot determine your eligibility to sit for the California Bar exam since each applicant is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the State Bar. We recommend verifying your eligibility prior to enrolling in our Online LLM. Learn more about the California Bar Track at USC Gould School of Law.