Our LL.M. Program for Foreign Trained Lawyers

Curriculum & Requirements

The LL.M. curriculum provides foreign-trained lawyers with the knowledge needed to master U.S. legal discourse, to practice law in the U.S., and to enhance their skills for practice in their home countries.

LL.M. students at Brooklyn Law School have the option of two paths of study. The New York State Bar Focus is intended to help prepare students to sit for the New York State bar examination. The Specialization path is designed for students who wish to focus their course selections in one area of the law in order to gain in-depth knowledge and expertise. Students wishing to specialize and take the New York State bar exam will be required to earn more than the 24 credit minimum for the degree.

General Requirements
The LL.M. degree requires all students to complete 24 credits and two courses – Fundamentals of American Law and Legal Writing & Research for the Foreign-Trained Lawyer. No thesis credit is required.

All LL.M. students begin their studies in August with Fundamentals of American Law, a mandatory, 2-credit course. During the fall semester, students must also take a 3-credit course on Legal Writing & Research for the Foreign-Trained Lawyer. For this course, faculty members trained in linguistics and experienced in teaching ESL will join the Brooklyn Law School faculty to offer additional assistance for students who need it.

The LL.M. degree can be earned in one year of full-time study, or up to two years of part-time enrollment. Note: Student visa regulations specify that only students with non-student visas, such as those working full-time in the U.S. while enrolled, will be permitted to study part-time. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents are also eligible for the part-time program.

  • In addition to the general requirements set forth above, LL.M. students wishing to sit for the New York State bar examination must meet the following additional requirements:

    The remaining courses may be chosen by the student as electives. 

  • This course introduces foreign-trained lawyers to the U.S. legal system. U.S. law differs from that of many other countries in two major respects. First, it has its own version of federalism in which states and the federal government have their own legal systems that interact in important and sometimes complex ways. Second, it is a system based on a common-law perspective even though most U.S. law is either statutory or regulatory. The course will not only teach students the basic structure of U.S. law, based largely on the U.S. Constitution, but will introduce them to its discourse. There is particular focus on written assignments, so that students may begin to develop the skills necessary to communicate using U.S. legal English. At the conclusion of this course, students will understand the structure and language of U.S. law. This course is required for all LL.M. students.
  • This course provides foreign lawyers with practical experience in writing and researching legal issues. Whether or not English is your native language, you will need to become fluent in the discourse of U.S. legal practice.  For those who are not native speakers of English, legal writing instructors will be assisted by linguists trained in English as a Second Language, allowing for comprehensive individualized feedback. Students will have numerous opportunities to practice their legal English in an environment conducive to honing their drafting skills. The course focuses on a number of issues: reading case law critically, identifying rules and synthesizing cases, interpreting statutes, drawing analogies between case law and legal problems, identifying key facts, organizing information effectively, and meeting a supervising attorney’s expectations regarding tone, clarity, and presentation. Faculty members offer instruction in objective legal analysis as well as computer-assisted and traditional legal research. This course is required for all LL.M. students.

Did You Know?

BLS was Ranked the No. 1 Law School for “Best General LL.M.” by the New York Law Journal (Sept. 2014).

Have questions? We have answers.

Julie Sculli
Director of International Programs
250 Joralemon Street, Room 932
Brooklyn, NY

P: (718) 780-0626
F: (718) 780-0393

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