LL.M. Program for International Students
Each fall, a select group of foreign attorneys and international students from nations around the world comes to Vanderbilt Law School for a special academic year of advanced legal study of American legal issues and legal research methods in classes with American law students. Beyond the law school, LL.M. students have access to advice and support from Vanderbilt University's International Students and Scholars Services which serves the university's thriving international student community. More than that, LL.M. students experience life at a major American research university located in a sophisticated and and vibrant city.
Vanderbilt offers three LL.M. degree program options.
General LL.M.: Course Track: Focus on Coursework
Course Track students focus exclusively on course work, choosing their courses from the law school's extensive curriculum. A faculty adviser or a law school administrator will help you tailor your academic program to your career goals and intellectual interests.
Law & Business Track: Focus on Corporate Law
The Law & Business Track offers full-time, intensive academic and professional training in corporate law, securities regulation, finance, accounting, and the principles of corporate governance. Vanderbilt has a well-established Certificate in Law & Business curriculum within the J.D. Program and is widely known for producing lawyers who understand not only the legal and regulatory environment in which businesses operate, but also understand corporate governance, the principles of finance and accounting, and the economic and financial frameworks of transactions.
Law & Business Track graduates will generally use their training in their home countries to pursue business law careers, as government regulators, or in other international posts that benefit from an excellent understanding of business law and corporate management. Because Law & Business graduates understand how businesses operate, they return to their home countries prepared to work effectively with business executives, managers, and directors to navigate laws and regulations governing business activities.
Thesis Track: Focus on Research
Thesis Track students complete a substantial research project that culminates in a scholarly paper. You will work closely with a faculty adviser with expertise in your area of study while choosing courses that support your research interests, conducting legal research, and writing a scholarly paper.
Only students with strong English language and writing skills who are capable of extended independent research should choose the Thesis Track option. Thesis Track applicants should have a well-developed research focus and indicate their interest in working closely with one or more Vanderbilt law professors in their applications. You may review the faculty profiles to consider whom you would like to pursue an individualized research program at Vanderbilt.
Legal English Program
Vanderbilt LL.M. students benefit from an intensive program designed to provide the language and academic skills needed to succeed in a demanding educational program at a top U. S. law school. The program begins with an introductory course at the law school during the summer before your LL.M. courses begin. Provided in association with the Vanderbilt University English Language Center, the program includes intensive instruction in oral and written communication, small group discussions and practice responding quickly and concisely in large group discussions.
To enhance your academic training, your classes in Legal English continue throughout your year at Vanderbilt. These extra classes increase your exposure to the language of U.S. law while you learn its principles and precepts in your law classes
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"What truly sets Vanderbilt apart from other top law schools is the premium we place on the classroom experience. Our students benefit from close faculty supervision and accessibility, and because of its small size and selectivity, our LL.M. program offers many other advantages."
- Chris Guthrie, Dean and John-Wade Kent Syverud Professor of Law
Shohei Nishimura, who earned his law degree at Waseda University in Japan, is briefed by Legal English instructor Debby Lee at the conclusion of Vanderbilt's month-long Legal English course. Vanderbilt LL.M. students take Legal English to gain the vocabulary of legal terms they will need to gain the most from their coursework at Vanderbilt. Mr. Nishimura, who works in the legal department for Mitsui M&S in their Tokyo office headquarters, is a member of the LL.M. Class of 2012.