LLM in Comparative Legal Studies | Pace Law School

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LLM in Comparative Legal Studies

Regardless of where you may work as a lawyer, you will find that legal matters increasingly involve persons, events, entities and rules from more than one jurisdiction. In this complex environment, it is no longer enough for a lawyer to just be an expert in his or her own law. A successful transnational lawyer must also have good language and intercultural skills, plus a solid knowledge of at least one other major legal system.  

The LLM in Comparative Legal Studies at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is designed to provide non-US lawyers with the principles of US law and the US legal system, in addition to the opportunity for in-depth knowledge in one or more fields of specialization. Some of the subject areas available to students in this program include public international law, private international law, dispute resolution, international business or international human rights. Students may also choose the Specialization in International Business Law or the Specialization in US Legal Practice.

The LLM in Comparative Legal Studies is intended for students whose first law degree was earned outside the United States. To earn the LLM degree, candidates must complete a minimum of 24 academic credits while achieving a grade-point average of at least 2.33 on a 4-point scale. The program may be completed in two full-time semesters, although some students choose to take 3 semesters or more. Except with special permission of the Academic Dean, students must complete the LLM within three (3) years of matriculation.

Students interested in the New York bar examination must take into account the 24-month time limit from matriculation to award of the LLM degree, as established in Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.6). Exceeding this time limit will not affect award of the LLM degree. However, it may make the student ineligible to take the New York bar examination.

Students in the LLM in Comparative Legal Studies have earned their first law degrees from universities and colleges all over the world, including Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Some of them come to the US expressly for the LLM program, while others are already living and working in the tristate area. Some graduates return to their home countries and resume their legal careers after obtaining the LLM degree. Others remain in the United States for a period of practical training before returning home, while still others begin preparing for a US bar examination.

Specialization in International Business Law

In this specialization, students begin with required courses in Introduction to the American Legal System and Introduction to US Legal Research. They must also complete courses in Contract Law and International Business Transactions, and at least one extensive research paper under faculty supervision. Their remaining courses are chosen from a list of international business subjects, including

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Antitrust Law
  • Banking Law
  • Business Planning Law
  • Commercial Law: Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Law: Sales of Goods
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporations & Partnerships
  • Federal Income Taxation II (Corporate)
  • International Commercial Arbitration Seminar
  • International Law Seminar: Convention on the International Sale of Goods
  • International Intellectual Property
  • Legal Ethics and Corporate Practice
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Secured Transactions
  • Securities Regulation
  • White Collar & Corporate Crime

Specialization in US Legal Practice

The Specialization in US Legal Practice allows students who earned their first degree in law outside the United States to complete the coursework required to sit for the New York bar examination. The courses taken as part of this optional specialization have been approved by the New York Court of Appeals as fulfilling the requirements of Section 520.6 of the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law.

Required Courses

  • Introduction to the American Legal System
  • Introduction to US Legal Writing, Research and Analysis
  • Professional Responsibility

Strongly Recommended Course

  • Advanced Analytical Skills

Elective Courses (at least 6 academic credits from this list)

  • Civil Procedure I: From Pleadings to Appeal
  • Civil Procedure II: The Doctrinal Underpinnings
  • Commercial Law: Payment Systems
  • Commercial Law: Sales of Goods, Domestic & International
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Corporations & Partnerships
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure - Adjudication
  • Criminal Procedure - Investigation
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • New York Practice
  • Property
  • Torts
  • Wills, Intestate Succession & Trusts