LLM Programs

law student speaking in class, with other students in background

When you decide to earn your LLM with us, you join one of the top-ranked LLM programs in the nation for academics and student experience. In addition, our International Law, IP Law and Business Law programs are all top ranked:

Practicing law in a global society demands a firm grasp of cross-border interests and implications of a nation's laws. Attorneys who advise international clients need to understand how to operate in various legal environments and communicate and work effectively with lawyers and clients around the world. Our LLM degrees prepare lawyers for this challenge.

We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of our LLM program this year.  As one of the oldest LLM programs in the United States, we have refined our approach over many years and have a network of over 1,000 successful LLM alumni throughout the world.

We offer four LLM degrees, a joint program with South West University of Political Science and Law, a Summer Language and Law Institute, and an LLM+ option:

Our LLM degrees:

LLM in U.S. & Global Legal Studies

This program is for students interested in U.S. and International law who hope to improve their legal research, writing and analytical skills. This is the best degree to prepare for a U.S. bar exam. Students may also earn a certificate of concentration in the subject area of their choice. Required Coursework: Foreign Graduate Seminar, U.S. Legal Writing and Contracts for LLMs.

LLM in Intellectual Property Law

This program is best for students interested in the doctrine and policy of U.S. intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Required Coursework: Foreign Graduate Seminar, U.S. Legal Writing and Contracts for LLMs and extensive intellectual property courses.

LLM in International Business Law

This program is designed for students interested in the academic analysis and practical applications of U.S. business law and international business transactions. Required Coursework: Foreign Graduate Seminar, U.S. Legal Writing and Contracts for LLMs  and extensive international business law courses.

LLM in International Criminal Law

Taught by leading experts in the field, this program provides students who hold a degree in law with an in-depth knowledge of international criminal law and procedure, international humanitarian law and national security law. It will equip them to practice international criminal law before international tribunals or national courts. The one-year program is based at our law school, but students have the option of taking their second semester at an international tribunal. The degree is also available on a part-time basis over two years.

LLM Program with South West University of Political Science and Law

Joint LLM in International Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution

An exclusive partnership between CWRU and South West University of Political Science and Law (“SWUPL”). In this Joint Masters Program students spend their first two years at SWUPL in Chongqing taking courses taught by Chinese and American professors and their third year in Cleveland, graduating with both a master's degree from SWUPL and a master's degree from CWRU.


While LLM students can shadow attorneys at their work locations during school vacation periods and prepare for a U.S. bar exam in two semesters, the LLM+ option provides  students an additional third or fourth semester to undertake an externship with a law firm or corporate office of general counsel, and/or take additional courses in bar-tested subjects to enhance the likelihood of passing a U.S. bar exam.   

In order to qualify for shadowing or externships, LLMs must complete certain requirements, including preparing a U.S.-style legal resume and conducting a mock interview with the counselors in our Career Development Office.

Summer Language and Law Institute

The Summer Language and Law Institute is an intensive training experience exclusively for foreign legal professionals and students. It is open to students going on to an LLM program at any law school. The institute introduces students to the practice and study of law in the U.S., provides students with a practical introduction to U.S. legal research and analysis and improves students' English language skills through an integrated English for Legal Purposes program.

Bar Prep Stipend

To prepare successfully for a U.S. bar exam, we recommend that LLMs complete at least 5 courses in bar-tested subjects, including a three-credit Professional Responsibility course, over two or three semesters.

LLMs who successfully complete courses in at least 5 bar-tested subjects can earn a “Bar Prep Stipend” of $1,000 USD for completing a specified portion of a commercial bar preparation course.