Emory University School of Law

Emory University School of Law


To create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.
Emory University, a top liberal arts research university located in Atlanta, Georgia, is an inquiry-driven, ethically engaged and diverse community whose members work collaboratively for positive transformation in the world through courageous leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, health care and social action.

The university is recognized internationally for its outstanding liberal arts college, superb professional schools and one of the Southeast's leading health care systems.

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Professor Herschel W. Arant and Bishop Warren A. Candler, the chancellor of Emory University, aspired to create a law school that would be in league with the law schools of nationally recognized universities, emphasize the "ethics and ideals of an ancient and honorable profession," and encourage the service of the law. 

In 1916, the Emory Board of Trustees named the new school L. Q. C. Lamar School of Law. Lamar graduated from Emory College in 1845 and had a distinguished career as a statesman, scholar, and lawyer. The original location (now Carlos Hall) was one of the original buildings on the Emory Quadrangle. The building, featuring a graceful central staircase and Georgia marble facade, was designed by the highly regarded Beaux-Arts architect Henry Hornbostel. Twenty-eight students enrolled in the fall of 1916. 

Under the leadership of Samuel C. Williams, the first dean, the law school was the first in Georgia to be granted membership in the Association of American Law Schools. The American Bar Association classified Emory as a "Class A" school in 1923. The only other schools in the Southeast to be honored with this designation were the University of Virginia and Washington and Lee University. 

E. Smythe Gambrell, a graduate of Harvard Law School, joined the adjunct faculty in 1924. He served on the faculty until the eve of World War II and later provided the gift that enabled the construction of the present-day law school building—Gambrell Hall, named in memory of his parents.





Through scholarship, teaching, and immersion in the world and its communities, Emory Law’s mission is to:


  • Produce scholarship and educate students regarding the role of law in defining and addressing social ills; structuring conflict; designing effective legal, political, and market institutions; informing and constraining governments; and memorializing societal commitments.
  • Advance the rule of law and the resulting benefits of accountability, individual rights, social justice, thriving markets, and economic development.
  • Cultivate leaders who serve the community through roles in the judiciary, government, legal education, public interest law, corporations, and law firms.
  • Prepare students for a variety of careers and ever-changing legal, political, social, and market conditions by providing a rigorous education that integrates theory, doctrine, and experiential learning.
  • Promote excellence by striving for diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff and by facilitating scholarly productivity and interdisciplinary exchange with members of the university, the broader academic community in the United States and abroad, and the legal profession.


A community of diversity and inclusion


Today, Emory Law is an institution where diversity is the norm. Student organizations span a wide range of cultural, gender, philosophical, faith, and political interests, from the active and engaged Black Law Students Association, Legal Association of Women Students, OutLaw, and Latin American Law Students Association to Jewish Law Students Association and Law School Democrats. Our faculty represents the world of legal education, reflecting their diverse interests and backgrounds in the classroom and in their scholarship. Emory University's international acclaim and proactive encouragement of diversity and inclusion adds a multicultural texture to its curricular offerings, student life, and social opportunities across campus.


Dynamic Intellectual Community


Emory Law faculty members pursue path-breaking interdisciplinary scholarship across many fields, including law and religion, feminism and legal theory, international and comparative law, and public law and regulation. They develop new ideas and approaches that will have a transformative impact on a changing world. Whether the topic is climate change, mortgage foreclosure, the place of Islam in the secular state, or the challenges of human vulnerability, Emory Law presses the boundaries of learning.

Today more than ever, a lawyer’s knowledge must be as broad as it is deep. A further asset of our community is our position as an integral part of one of the world’s leading research universities. Drawing on the strength of the University, Emory Law provides students with unparalleled opportunities for advanced study and joint degrees. 


Integrating Theory and Practice


Emory Law emphasizes the acquisition of critical thinking skills while offering an array of experiential learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Our signature programs integrate theory and practice, bringing students into close contact with both leading scholars and skilled practitioners. The TI:GER program, a unique collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, allows law students to participate in developing and commercializing innovative technologies. The student-edited Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal connects faculty and students with the bankruptcy bench and bar from across the country. Through the Center for Transactional Law and Practice and the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory Law offers students inventive training in both deal skills and advocacy. 

Emory Law’s clinical programs, focusing on environmental law, child law, international humanitarian law, and veterans affairs law, provide additional opportunities to gain practice experience while also advancing the public interest. Because of our location in a major urban center, students can choose from an array of challenging externships offering credit for work in government, public interest, or corporate settings.

Each of these programs, among others, helps our students seamlessly transition from law school into their legal careers. At the heart of our student-centered focus, is Emory Law’s Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy—which offers a robust approach to help students identify legal fields of interest from the outset of their studies, develop professional success skills, and chart their individual career paths. This fall, first-year students will enroll in an innovative new class entitled Career Strategy and Design. The class is designed to help law students identify their professional strengths, interests, and values; understand the current legal hiring market; and select and implement persuasive themes in their resumes, cover letters, and business communications in ways that enhance their marketability. This creative new course will complement the one-on-one counseling already offered by the Career Center.   



ABA required disclosures


Emory University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association. Contact the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar at 321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60654 or call 312.988.6738 for questions about the accreditation of Emory Law.


Download the ABA 2016 Standard 509 Information Report 

Program Details


On Campus Format

LLM students choose from three broad tracks, including a traditional LLM in general studies; one of six formal concentrations developed by the Emory Law faculty; or a joint LLM with Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. All graduates of the LLM program at Emory receive a diploma for a Master of Laws degree, regardless of concentration. 



Option 1: General Law

Students in general law design a course of study, drawing widely from Emory's many areas of expertise—including intellectual property law, international law, global health/health law, tax law, transactional law, and labor and employment law—to align their coursework with their goals. All courses are taken at Emory Law.



Option 2: Predesigned Concentrations

Students can select from six predesigned curricular paths.

  • Transactional Law
  • Law & Religion
  • Human Rights Law
  • Vulnerability & the Human Condition
  • Public Law & Regulation
  • Child Law & Policy

In addition, students may pursue a specialization in law and development.



Option 3: Joint LLM 

Students can pursue a joint LLM with a focus on international commercial law and international politics with our partner Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. Students spend one full-time semester at CEU and one at Emory Law.



Online format

Emory Law LLM students selecting the online format may deepen their expertise by choosing from two concentrations: Business Law and Regulation; or Health Care Law, Policy, and Regulation. Because the program is designed to increase expertise, the online LLM program will likely not create eligibility to sit for a bar exam for which the student is not otherwise qualified. All graduates of the LLM program at Emory receive a diploma for a Master of Laws degree, regardless of concentration.

Emory: an internationally respected university


Emory University is recognized as one of the world’s leading institutions of learning, combining nine undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools with the largest health care system and sponsored research base of any university in Georgia. Emory maintains active partnerships with many of the city’s preeminent institutions, such as The Carter Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Georgia Institute of Technology. The campus is also home to multiple cultural venues, including a state-of-the-art concert hall that features international artists and provides discounted tickets to students. Emory’s location in a safe, primarily residential community east of downtown Atlanta is one of many aspects that distinguish us among the nation’s best law schools. We offer personalized attention in a thriving, friendly environment, with the result that students feel both at home and connected to the world at large. 


Application process


Applicants are considered for January and August start dates. Candidates must have received a first degree in law that allows them to practice law in their home country.

 For US-educated lawyers, applicants must have earned a JD degree. • For foreign-educated lawyers, 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 found on the Law School Admission Council (lsac) website at lsac.org. Admission is based on the applicant’s academic training, professional background, personal statement, and professional and academic references. Strong candidates will possess an excellent academic record and serious interest in experiencing legal education in a superior American educational environment.


All applicants must apply through the Law School Admission Council (lsac.org) and submit the following:


• LLM application

• Personal statement

• Resume

• Undergraduate or graduate transcripts

• Two letters of recommendation

• Application fee

• toefl or ielts (for applicants whose native language is not English).

Living in Atlanta


Students have access to a wide range of affordable housing options bordering the campus, within walking distance, along Emory’s extensive free shuttle system, or an easy bike ride away. 

Residence Life and Housing Operations maintains more than 20 residence halls. About three in four undergraduates, including all first- and second-year students, live in campus housing, fostering a sense of community and involvement in college life.

All residential students must participate in an Emory Dining meal plan. We offer several choices to accommodate a range of dietary needs and preferences. Students simply swipe or tap their university ID, the EmoryCard, to use plan benefits at dining facilities.



Campus life


Emory Campus Life, a community recognized internationally for advancing education into action and delivering world-class programs and services, promotes a healthy and sustainable environment where students live what they learn and learn what they live for self and society.  Emory Campus Life catalyzes a distinctive, caring, inquiry-driven, ethically engaged, polycultural, and socially just community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and visitors that imagine and lead positive transformation in the world.



Student Organizations


Students are highly engaged in the life of the school. The Student Bar Association (our equivalent of student government) coordinates with more than forty student organizations to provide budgetary support, help plan and coordinate activities, and more.

Tuition and costs


Tuition for the LLM program is equal to the current tuition charged by Emory University School of Law for the full academic year.

LLM students must demonstrate that they possess the financial means to pay for their education as a condition of their matriculation in the program. Foreign applicants are encouraged to contact the education attaché at the US Embassy or Consulate in their home country for assistance that may be available under the Fulbright or similar programs.

For LLM students enrolled in the part-time on-campus format or the online format of the LLM program, tuition will be charged on a per-credit-hour basis. The per-credit-hour tuition rate for the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters is $2,271. For international students requiring a visa, federal law requires full-time enrollment, and part-time options are not available.





Emory Law has a limited number of scholarships available to highly qualified students. All applicants are considered for scholarship funding; there is no separate application process for scholarships. Students will be notified about any scholarship offer as part of their letter of acceptance. Note: All scholarships are unconditional. Scholarship students are required to maintain good academic standing.


Financial Information for Joint LLM with Central European University

Tuition for the joint LLM program with CEU is equal to the current tuition charged by Emory Law for the full academic year. Half of that tuition will be paid to each school. During the CEU part of the program, tuition covers the following:

  • One coach class round-trip air ticket from Atlanta to Budapest
  • Living expenses and housing in the CEU dormitory
  • Tuition for the semester



Other Costs


Students are responsible for books, supplies, personal expenses, housing, health insurance, and food expenses. While at Emory, students are responsible for all costs, including housing and health insurance.

All enrolled students at Emory University, including those enrolled in the School of Law’s online degree programs, are subject to the University’s tuition refund policy.  That includes the policy’s schedule of reduced refund levels, with the passage of additional days following the start of the relevant semester (i.e., spring, summer, or fall).  Even as to classes that start in the middle of the term, thus, any withdrawal must occur at the start of relevant term, if any refund is to be received.

Diversity and inclusion


Emory University strives to provide a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus as an essential part of a community of academic excellence.

Emory's traditions of ethically based personal and institutional engagement in all our learning and working environments seek to build a community of shared excellence for all students, faculty and staff. Read profiles of Emory students discussing what diversity means to them.

Minorities comprise 32 percent of the student body, 28 percent of faculty and 49 percent of staff. Women comprise 58 percent of the student body, 42 percent of faculty and 62 percent of staff. Seventeen percent of the student body is international. More than 65 percent of students receive financial aid. (2016-2017 Academic Profile PDF and Human Resources).


In keeping with the recommendations of the Campus Life Compact for Building an Inclusive Community, a student-driven report that advances the ongoing campus dialogue around issues of social justice, Emory's commitment to principles of tolerance and responsibility is first introduced to first-year students through Creating Emory, an educational initiative that begins at orientation and continues throughout the first month of school.

Diversity and inclusion are supported by several offices in Campus Life, including the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life, the Office of Multicultural Programs & Servicesand the Office of International Student LifeCenter for Women and the Office of Equity and Inclusion serve faculty, staff and the community as well as students. Faculty, staff and students collaborate through a range of programs and practices designed to facilitate access, enhance equity and broaden inclusion.


Emory University is committed to building and maintaining community and diversity in every department, program and office.

The Advisory Council on Community and Diversity (ACCD) is a planning and assessment process for all of Emory University and Emory Healthcare. The ACCD Steering Committee evaluates divisions' community and diversity plans and progress annually, providing expert feedback to assist divisions in making progress toward their goals.