Southern Methodist University - SMU Dedman School of Law

Southern Methodist University - SMU Dedman School of Law


Founded in 1925, SMU Dedman School of Law LL.M. programs offer international students an opportunity to become part of a vibrant, diverse, scholarly community with the advantage of studying in an international business and dynamic cultural center. The LL.M. programs increase the student’s understanding of legal theory and policies, broaden the student’s legal horizons, and encourage the development of legal research and writing skills. Studying law at SMU also gives students individual access to an exceptional faculty engaged in timely and cutting-edge research often informed by years of experience.

Student Life

The law school is located on the northwest corner of SMU’s main campus – with the classroom buildings, administration building and law library forming what is called the “Law Quad.” This ideal location provides easy access to many of SMU’s wonderful student resources, including dining services, a premier fitness center, and health services center.


Studying in Vibrant Dallas, Texas

SMU Dedman Law offers international students an opportunity to become part of a vibrant, diverse, scholarly community with the advantage of studying in Dallas - not only an international business center, but a dynamic cultural center situated midway between the east and west coast of the United States in a region known for its mild, sunny climate. Dallas is the ninth-largest city and the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex make up the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is a sophisticated city with a thriving job market, high quality of life and relatively low cost of living. It is a great place to live and study!

LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates

Start Date: August and January

Full-time, one-year


A primary goal of the LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates program is to provide law students with an understanding of the United States legal system, give a frame of reference for dealing with transnational business and legal interests, offer an appreciation of the role of law in national and internal development and equip them with the analysis and problem-solving skills needed to meet the complex demands of the world. 


This LL.M. program is a one year, full-time program for students who hold a basic law degree from a recognized international law school. Students enrolled in this degree program must complete 24 credit hours including the required two-credit course in Perspectives of the American Legal System. The remaining courses are elective and offer a wide range of choices. Students have the freedom to choose from a wide array of classes and can design their LL.M. degree to meet their needs and goals in studying in the United States.  Students desiring to take a bar examination in Texas, New York or California can take classes required to qualify to sit for those exams.  Other students may want to specialize in international studies or in other areas of the law.


View Graduate Studies for Foreign Law School Graduates Admissions Brochure

SMU Dedman School of Law


Founded in 1925, SMU Dedman School of Law is a top-ranked tier-one private law school located in Dallas, Texas, and is situated in a tree-lined neighborhood, just minutes from the city center.  Established in 1949, the law school's graduate degree law programs have played an important role in training some of the foremost leaders around the world. We are proud our global alumni network - more than 2,000 graduates from 80 countries who hold prominent positions in government, legal practice, business, the judiciary, and legal education worldwide.

Exceptional Graduate Degree Programs

SMU Dedman School of Law offers graduate degree programs for both U.S. and foreign trained lawyers. The LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs enhance careers in the private practice of law, teaching, and public service by teaching analysis and problem-solving skills for meeting the complex demands of our world. The programs increase the student’s understanding of legal theory and policies, broaden the student’s legal horizons, and encourage the development of legal research and writing skills.


Globally Recognized Faculty

The faculty includes scholars and innovators in a variety of fields, including constitutional law, corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, health law, intellectual property, national security law, oil and gas law, public interest law, and tax law. These scholars regularly engage the world by appearing before congressional committees, working with state and federal regulatory agencies, arguing before state and federal courts, working with corporate executives and nonprofits, and regularly appearing in the media to translate their research or offer commentary on important stories of the day. Studying law at SMU gives students access to an exceptional faculty engaged in timely and cutting-edge research often informed by years of experience.


Learning Experience

In addition to our diverse curriculum, students are invited to take advantage of the many activities outside the classroom. At SMU Dedman Law, your learning experience will be enriched through year-round international conferences and lectures, bringing prominent international figures to campus to discuss current global legal issues. International LL.M. students take classes with American J.D. students and participate in our Inns of Court Program - a program that is introduced during orientation where students connect in small groups with fellow classmates, faculty, student leaders, career advisors, and alumni for a community experience throughout their time at SMU Dedman School of Law. A faculty member will serve as your personal academic advisor.  Practicing lawyers from the Dallas Bar Association International Law section also serve as mentors for our students.


Please contact or +1 214-768-2658 to submit your Admissions Inquiries or request an application.

Internationally Prominent Alumni

International graduates of SMU Dedman School of Law have made an impact all over the world. Our international alumni network includes more than 2000 graduates in more than 80 countries. These professionals can be found at the highest levels of government, legal practice, and business.

SMU’s international alumni represent a broad spectrum of legal systems, including those from Central and South America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim. We strive for global geographic diversity in our student enrollments, and provide a high degree of individual attention and support for each international student.


Sobchok Sukharomna ’81

Supreme Court President, Thailand


Dr. Shen Shiaoming ’81

International Legal Consultant for Mackenzie & Albritton LLP


The Honorable S.M. Krishna ’59

Minister for External Affairs for India (2009-2012)


Siriporn Chaiyasuta ’85

General Counsel, Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited


Moath Alhussain ’11

Assoc. Counsel, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation


Antonio M. Garza ’83

Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico


Dr. Helmut Sohmen ’66

Chairman and President, BW Group


Dr. Hassan Okour ’07

Former Dean, Qatar Law School


Jinsung Lee ’88

Justice, Constitutional Court of Korea


Yukio Horigome ’71

Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan


The Honorable Dr. Hansjörg Heppe ’97

International Partner, Locke Lord LLP; Honorary Consul of Germany in Dallas


Gela Bezhuashvili ’97

Former head of the Georgian Intelligence Service (2008-2013)

LL.M. – General

Start Date: August and January

Full-time or Part-time


The general LL.M. program offers law graduates an opportunity to broaden their backgrounds in certain specialized areas of law by enrolling in advanced courses and seminars and by engaging in specialized research.  Most students seeking this degree concentrate in areas such as corporate and commercial law, international law, intellectual property law, legal practice and procedure, natural resources law, or property law.

Bar Exam Eligibility

International students who wish to practice law in the United States and qualify for admission to the bar in one of the states or the District of Columbia should familiarize themselves with the bar admission requirements in the particular jurisdiction where they plan to practice. Bar admission requirements vary from state to state. Some states require applicants to have a J.D. degree, and others will require only a certain number of course credits from a law school in this country. Texas now allows qualified foreign educated attorneys who have completed an LL.M. degree to sit for the Texas Bar examination. 

For complete rules governing Admission to the State Bar of Texas CLICK HERE.

For a fact sheet that summarizes the Eligibility of Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys to take the Texas Bar Examination  CLICK HERE.



Admission Criteria

An applicant for admission to the LL.M. programs must be a graduate of a recognized foreign law school. The applicant's undergraduate record must demonstrate scholarly legal aptitude. An applicant for whom English is a second language must present evidence of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer based score of 233 or written score of 575. U.S. trained law students may not apply to this degree program.


Admission to this program is by selection. An applicant for admission to the general LL.M. degree program and the LL.M. in Taxation degree program must hold a J.D. degree. If applying for this program and you are an international student, you will also have to comply with the admission criteria for the LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates.



LL.M. in Taxation

Start Date: August and January

Full-time or Part-time


The Masters in Taxation program, for full-time or part-time students, is a comprehensive, advanced-degree program designed for attorneys intending to specialize in tax practice.  It focuses not only on technical mastery of the tax laws but also on wider issues of tax and fiscal policy. Most of the courses in the curriculum provide survey level instruction in subjects typically not addressed in J.D. level tax courses.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the LL.M. programs (For Foreign Law Graduates, Taxation, and General) must submit the following:

  • completed application
  • personal statement (including why you are interested in entering the graduate degree program)
  • résumé
  • two letters of recommendation
  • $75 (U.S. dollars) nonrefundable application fee payable to SMU Dedman School of Law.
  • certified undergraduate and law school transcripts. Transcripts must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office from your schools.


In addition, international applicants must submit personal and bank certifications of sufficient financial resources to cover anticipated tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. These certifications must be in U.S. dollars.


International applicants for whom English is not the first language also must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 ( The score must be reported to the Admissions Office directly from the Educational Testing Service. It is important when applying that you indicate on the TOEFL form the code number 6660, department code 03, to ensure that your score is sent to SMU Dedman School of Law. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 575 or its equivalent. Students whose TOEFL score does not meet these requirements can apply for conditional admission subject to the student successfully completing sufficient English as a second language course at SMU or another institution.

Tuition Fees & Finnancial Aid

2016-2017 Tuition, Fees, Estimated Expenses

Tuition         $45,433

Fees             $5,664


Estimated Expenses

Books   $1,000

Living Expenses $15,000

Miscellaneous $2,500


Total $69,597



SMU Dedman School of Law typically will offer some scholarship aid to most of our LL.M. students.  All applicants are automatically considered for partial scholarships. In addition to the partial scholarships, we do offer a few full scholarships. A separate application for these scholarships is not necessary. For further information, please contact the Office of Graduate Legal Programs by email at or by telephone at 214-768-2758 or toll free at 1-888-768-5291.


Financial Aid

The SMU Financial Aid Office is available to assist students in obtaining student loans.

How to Contact Us

Mailing Address:

SMU Dedman School of Law

Office of Graduate and International Programs Admissions

PO Box 750111

Dallas, TX 75275-0111


Physical Address:

SMU Dedman School of Law

Office of Graduate International Programs Admissions

3300 University Blvd., Carr Collins Bldg. Suite 130

Dallas, TX 75205

Phone: 214-768-2658

Toll-Free: 1-888-768-5291

Fax: 214-768-8228



Web Site: