LL.M. Degree Requirements

Mandatory Program Orientation

All students participate in a mandatory orientation, which begins before the official start of the semester, and includes a series of classes about the American legal system and legal writing and research.  

  • Mandatory Law Week for Fall Semester 2024: August 12-16, 2024 
  • Mandatory Law Orientation for Spring Semester 2025: January 10, 2025 (tentative)
Credit Hours Required                                                                   
  • A minimum total of 24 credit hours for the two-semester LL.M. program leading to the LL.M. Degree.
  • A minimum total of 34 credit hours for the three-semester LL.M. program leading to the LL.M. Degree with an Advanced Specialization.
  • To maintain their full-time status, students must register for a minimum of 10 credit hours and a maximum of 17 credit hours per semester. We strongly recommend that students to enroll in, at least, 12 credit hours per semester in order to have a balanced workload across semesters and to make steady progress towards completing the credit hours required for graduation.
Length of Program
  • Students seeking the LL.M. Degree must complete the program in two consecutive semesters.
  • Students seeking the LL.M. Degree with an Advanced Specialization reflected in their transcripts must complete the program in three consecutive semesters.
  • A limited number of extenuating circumstances may be taken into account to alter the length of the program. Any student experiencing difficulties must contact promptly the [[llmadm,Director of the LL.M. Program]].
International Students in F-1 Status
  • Students in F-1 status may enroll in the program for a maximum of 3 semesters.
Courses Required 
  • Although students have flexibility in choosing their own coursework, most LL.M. students who are planning to sit for a U.S. Bar Exam after graduation choose to enroll in several core courses such as Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Property, and Torts.  Students who are targeting a state bar examination are strongly encouraged to review the relevant state bar’s application requirements and select courses that will meet those requirements. Visit the Career and U.S. Bar Information page for more information.
  • Legal Research and Writing (2 credit hours) is a graded, required course and must be taken in the first semester of the LL.M. Program.
  • For the LL.M. Degree with Advanced Specialization, in addition to the course work described above, students will select courses from six concentrations: Business & Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, or Methods of Dispute Resolution. Students must earn 34 total credit hours, 10 of which must be taken in the area of specialization. Students who meet these requirements will receive their LL.M. Degree with a designation, reflected in their transcripts, that they have an Advanced Specialization in one of the six concentrations.
Study Plans and Campus Programming
  • LL.M. students create their own program of study by either choosing a broad survey of courses or focusing on one of our many specialized areas, such as business and corporate law or intellectual property law. LL.M. students are fully integrated in the life of the law school and take most classes with their J.D. peers. Many also take the coursework necessary to qualify them to sit for a U.S. Bar Examination after graduation.

  • Education is not limited to the classroom. Throughout the year, William & Mary offers several programs and activities to enhance students' legal study. LL.M. students have access to all conferences and lectures held at the law school (such as the Supreme Court Preview), a variety of programs and events hosted across the William & Mary campus, plus special events curated just for them.

Grade Point Average
  • LL.M. Degree candidates must earn a final cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to earn the LL.M. Degree. They must also pass any pass-fail classes if those credit hours are needed to meet the minimum required credit hours to graduate with the LL.M. Degree.

Questions? Contact our LL.M. Admissions Office at [[llmadm]].