Foreign attorneys and other persons with a first degree in law from foreign universities have numerous reasons for seeking to gain an understanding of American law. As the practice of law becomes more global, they may simply want to gain a deeper understanding to better serve their own clients in their existing legal practices or business interests. Other foreign law graduates may seek to use an LL.M. degree to gain admission to practice law within the United States. With this in mind, the curriculum for the LL.M. in American Legal Studies for foreign law graduates, which we are seeking to offer at Charlotte School of Law, is designed to satisfy these objectives. The LL.M. in American Legal Studies will offer students a choice of one of two tracks. One track, the “New York Track,” is designed to satisfy prerequisites set in place by the New York State Bar, which is one of the four states, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, that allows for direct admission to its bar with an LL.M. degree. (The other states are Alabama, California and New Hampshire.) The second track, deemed the “Flexible Track”, gives those students who are not seeking direct admission into the New York State Bar greater control of the substantive content of their LL.M. program through the selection of a greater number of electives. Whatever the individual student’s objective in seeking to obtain this LL.M. degree, the curriculum seeks to impart a solid understanding of the distinctions in the American legal system while providing each student with some flexibility to direct his/her studies toward their own personal goals and objectives. Moreover, the addition of foreign attorney-students to our campus for the LL.M. program will greatly enhance the overall student body’s cultural and global awareness and diversity, thereby serving a key objective of our law school’s mission.
The LL.M. degree will consist of a total of 24 credit hours of instruction, which can be taken in one of two tracks, as set forth below. Of these courses, only the first week of the orientation program will be specially created for the LL.M. (See Appendix 8). The remaining required and elective courses will be those available in the J.D. program. LL.M. students may pursue one of two course tracks. The first track below will provide course offerings designed to qualify recipients of the LL.M. degree to sit for the New York State Bar (should they meet all other requirements). The second track below is a flexible track designed to give students maximum control over the substantive content of their LL.M. The only required courses in the flexible track will be the Introduction to the Study of Law and courses related to legal writing and analysis.
Charlotte School of Law has been awarded full accreditation by the American Bar Association.