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USC Gould 2-year LLM graduates celebrating at commencement

Earn Your LLM Degree in Two Years with Our Extended Program
USC Gould School of Law

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The Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM) at USC Gould allows you to spend one year learning about the U.S. legal system and mastering legal English prior to enrolling in the yearlong, comprehensive LLM curriculum.

During the first year, you will receive academic training in legal reading and comprehension, case briefing, legal analysis and synthesis of the U.S. common law system, while improving your English speaking and writing skills. Small, personalized classes during the first year give you an opportunity to adjust to living in the U.S. and attending USC.

Upon successful completion of the first year, you will receive a certificate in U.S. Legal Studies and will be enrolled in USC Gould's LLM program. This LLM is open to anyone with a first law degree (LLB or equivalent) outside of the United States.

Why Choose the Two-Year Extended LLM at USC Gould?

Recognized by LLM Guide as one of the "Top 10 LLM Programs in California," our Two-Year LLM curriculum in the first year strengthens your fluency in English while preparing you to succeed in the LLM degree at USC Gould. Then in the second year, our Two-Year LLM provides you with a thorough grounding in American law, while stimulating critical thinking and practical problem solving. Our comprehensive array of courses allows you to customize your degree to fit your career goals.

When you join USC Gould, you will become part of a dynamic and diverse law school community, be nurtured by a world-class faculty, enroll in small and collegial classes, and join the global Trojan Family network of more than 2,500 LLM alumni and 12,000 law alumni. Our graduates include partners in the world's largest law firms, leaders of civil rights movements, and CEOs and presidents of multibillion-dollar companies.

As an LLM student, you will have access to an academic support system led by a full-service staff dedicated exclusively to aiding international students. You will have the opportunity to benefit from:

  • one-on-one help with course registration
  • tools for exam preparation
  • seminars on study techniques
  • individualized career development advisement
  • workshops on résumé and cover letter writing, interviewing and job-search strategies
  • participation in the International Student Interview Program job fair in New York and the UCLA Interview Program in Los Angeles during the second year in the program
  • a head start on learning bar subjects by enrolling in Introduction to U.S. Legal System in the first year, and more time and flexibility to enroll in bar subjects or other elective courses during the second year
  • Early Bar Preparation and other bar exam workshops
  • USC Gould Continuing Legal Education events, where you can network with leading professionals in tax, entertainment, corporate, real estate and intellectual property law, among other fields
  • the Summer Law and English (SLE) four-week intensive
  • social and athletic outings with fellow LLM students, such as a night at the Hollywood Bowl, a USC Trojan football game and a basketball game at Staples Center

Our Office of International Services provides additional resources to assist you with your visa and other requirements for studying in the U.S. The university also maintains nine international offices worldwide.

Degree Outcomes

During the Two-Year Extended LLM, you will develop:

  • improved English speaking and writing skills
  • academic support skills to help you succeed
  • practical knowledge in the theories, history and use of American law
  • 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
  • understanding of legal professionalism and ethics, and the responsibilities required of representatives of clients and officers of the court

Not sure whether the Two-Year Extended LLM degree is right for you? Take our quiz to learn more.