LL.M. Program Requirements

Credit Requirements

The LLM degree requires the completion of twenty-four credit hours with a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better. At least twelve credits must be taken from the approved intellectual property and information law courses, including at least one Foundational IP course (Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Trade Secrets, IP in Cyberspace). LLM candidates must elect either a Research Track or a Practical Skills Track for their degree. 

Research candidates are required to take the IP Writing Seminar offered in the Fall of each year and have the option of completing either:

  • Two 30-page thesis papers (minimum 3,500 words each) on topics of their choosing
  • One thesis paper (minimum 7,000 words) on a topic of their choosing

Practical Skills candidates must complete an externship and must take at least one writing seminar, which may include the IP Writing Seminar or, for foreign-trained lawyers from non-common law backgrounds, Legal Research & Writing (two credits; offered Fall or Spring). Practical Skills candidates must also complete one 30-page thesis paper (minimum 3,500 words) on a topic of their choosing.

LLM students may complete their degree requirements entirely by traditional classroom study or by classroom study combined with no more than six semester hours of approved externship or independent study credits.

The twenty-four credits needed for the LLM degree can be completed in two semesters of full-time study. Part-time students generally complete the LLM degree in three or four semesters.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, students must complete the LLM degree within sixty months of matriculating in a given LLM program. 

Required Courses

At least twelve credits must be taken from the approved intellectual property and information law courses, including at least one Foundational IP course (Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Trade Secrets, IP in Cyberspace, etc.).

Research Skills candidates are required to take Advanced Legal Writing: IP

Practical Skills candidates must complete an externship through Washington College of Law's acclaimed Supervised Externship Program. They must also take at least one writing seminar, which may include the IP Writing Seminar or, for foreign trained lawyers from non-common law backgrounds -- Legal Research & Writing (2 credits; offered Fall or Spring).”

Visa Requirements

Candidates studying under an F1 or J1 visa must maintain full-time enrollment (8 credits) during the normal academic year (fall and spring semesters) and can pursue 6 or 7 credits in the summer.

English for Lawyers

Students with a TOEFL score below 580 (237 CBT and 93 IBT) are required to take English for Lawyers. English for Lawyers is recommended for all students who wish to improve their English skills. This non-credit course is taught in conjunction with LAW 580-002 (Legal Research and Writing). The two courses share the same content base and complement each other with coordinated writing assignments.

NY Bar Requirements

Completing the NY Bar requirements and the LL.M. in IP requirements requires a total of 24 credits. Students pursuing the NY Bar often complete the degree in a full calendar year, including up to 7 summer credits.

Required NY Bar Courses include:

  • American Legal Institutions (2 credits; offered Fall or Spring)
  • Legal Research & Writing (2 credits; offered Fall or Spring)
  • Legal Ethics (2 credits; offered Spring or Summer)

Students pursuing the NY Bar must take at least 6 credits from the following approved courses:

  • U.S. Business Law (3 credits; offered Fall or Spring)
  • U.S. Contracts Law (4 credits; offered Spring)
  • U.S. Constitutional Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
  • U.S. Criminal Law (3 credits; offered Fall)

Summer Sessions in Washington and Geneva

Each summer, LL.M students have the option to earn 7 classroom credits toward their specialization through courses offered in PIJIP’s three-week Intellectual Property Summer Sessions in Washington D.C. or Geneva, Switzerland.