Master of Laws (LLM) Eligibility
and Degree Requirements

The LLM program is open to students who have already earned a first law degree that allows them to practice law in their home country.

For US graduates, applicants must have earned a JD.

For foreign-educated attorneys, first law degree designations vary by country. For a list of law degrees that meet this requirement, please refer to the Minimum Degree Requirements by Country chart that is located on the website »

English Language Ability

Students in the LLM program should be prepared to read and discuss in class difficult technical material. Non-native English speaking LLM students are examined separately from the JD students in their classes. All LLM students are graded separately from JD students in the same class. Daily class preparation is demanding. Students with English language limitations may have difficulty. Only students who feel confident in their English language ability should apply.

For this reason, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of foreign applicants seeking admission from nations in which English is not the primary language of instruction. A minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 on the Internet-based test, or 250 on the computer-based test is expected. Emory Law also accepts scores from the IELTS examination; a minimum score of 7.0 is expected. 

In general, LLM degree candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete a first law degree prior to matriculation in the LLM program at Emory. For US students, this is the JD degree. For foreign candidates, this is the first law degree that allows one to practice law in their home country.
  • Attend the orientation program, typically conducted one week prior to the beginning of law courses.
  • Complete two semesters of full-time residency, defined as being enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours. Part-time LLM enrollment may be permissible and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in law courses, or other courses as approved by the Emory faculty.

For foreign-trained attorneys, additional requirements and recommendations apply.

  • LLM students without a US JD degree must successfully complete the 2-credit hour Introduction to the US Legal System course. This course begins during the orientation period, and continues through a portion of the first semester. This course counts toward the 24 credit hour LLM degree requirement. This course also fulfills the American legal systems educational requirement for the New York Bar Exam.
  • Foreign-trained attorneys are also required to take the American Legal Writing, Analysis and Research course. This course counts toward the 24 credit hour LLM degree requirement. This course also fulfills the legal writing educational requirement for the New York Bar Exam.

Specific LLM concentrations each have their own specified educational requirements. Please refer to the LLM concentrations section to explore each LLM concentration’s educational requirements.

  • Child Law and Policy
  • Generalized Studies
  • Human Rights Law
  • Public Law & Regulation
  • Transactional Law
  • Vulnerability & the Human Condition

Joint LLM Degree with Central European University

Joint LLM with CEU students participate in a cooperative program with the legal department of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Students spend the fall semester in residence at Central European University and the spring semester in residence at Emory. A minimum of 24 credit hours of satisfactory academic work is required. The emphasis is on international commercial law and the student may elect to receive the degree from either institution. Learn more about the requirements and structure of this joint degree program with CEU »