The 14 best law schools in the Northeast
Ranked : #13
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Ranked : #22
Law School Diversity Index Rankings
Ranked : #22
Celebrating 90 years of excellence in legal education, St. John’s School of Law has produced lawyers who have distinguished themselves in practice, government, and the judiciary. Among our graduates are former New York governors Mario M. Cuomo and Hugh L. Carey, former Court of Appeals Judges Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Vito J. Titone and Theodore T. Jones, and the School’s former Dean and former Court of Appeals Judge Joseph W. Bellacosa. The law school plays a prominent role in the New York City legal community, imbuing all that it does with the University’s Vincentian tradition.
As a university, we commit ourselves to academic excellence and the pursuit of wisdom which flows from free inquiry, religious values and human experience. We strive to preserve and enhance an atmosphere in which scholarly research, imaginative methodology, global awareness and an enthusiastic quest for truth serve as the basis of a vital teaching-learning process and the development of lifelong learning.
St. John’s is a Catholic university, founded in 1870 in response to an invitation of the first Bishop of Brooklyn, John Loughlin, to provide the youth of the city with an intellectual and moral education. We embrace the Judeo-Christian ideals of respect for the rights and dignity of every person and each individual’s responsibility for the world in which we live. We commit ourselves to create a climate patterned on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ as embodied in the traditions and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Our community, which comprises members of many faiths, strives for an openness that is “wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8). Thus, the University is a place where the Church reflects upon itself and the world as it engages in dialogue with other religious traditions.
St. John’s is a Vincentian university, inspired by St. Vincent de Paul’s compassion and zeal for service. We strive to provide excellent education for all people, especially those lacking economic, physical, or social advantages. Community service programs combine with reflective learning to enlarge the classroom experience. Wherever possible, we devote our intellectual and physical resources to search out the causes of poverty and social injustice and to encourage solutions that are adaptable, effective, and concrete. In the Vincentian tradition, we seek to foster a world view and to further efforts toward global harmony and development by creating an atmosphere in which all may imbibe and embody the spirit of compassionate concern for others so characteristic of Vincent.
St. John’s is a metropolitan and global university. As a metropolitan university, we benefit from New York City’s cultural diversity, its intellectual and artistic resources, and its unique professional educational opportunities. With this richness comes responsibility. We encourage the metropolitan community to use our resources to serve its needs. As a global university, we are one of our nation’s most diverse institutions of higher education, enriched by a mixture of cultures, which complements an internationalized curriculum. Through collaboration with other institutions around the world, study abroad opportunities, and online courses and degrees, our outreach spans the globe. In educating students we pledge to foster those qualities needed for our alumni to become effective leaders and responsible citizens in a vibrant city and dynamic world.
LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice/LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies:
$57,072 (USD) ($2,378 (USD) per credit)
LL.M. in Bankruptcy Tuition:
$45,672 (USD) ($1,903 (USD) per credit)
We offer a limited number of scholarships based on merit. Scholarship criteria include academic performance, experience in practice (where applicable), published and unpublished written work, and personal interview. Emphasis will be placed on the applicant having achieved an outstanding academic record in law school and on the applicant’s employment history (where applicable). Candidates wishing to apply for a scholarship should submit a scholarship application form together with their application.
The right LL.M. program provides students with multiple opportunities to enhance their credentials, both during and after their studies.
At St. John’s Law, students receive individualized guidance and support to help them determine which activities will be most beneficial. Many of these opportunities are for competitive positions, and involve working directly with professors and legal practitioners. High-achieving students pursue multiple positions involving research, editing, networking, programming and legal experience.
Here are just of some ways that St. John’s LL.M. students can distinguish themselves outside the classroom:
Join the International Law Students Association (ILSA)
Student groups at St. John’s provide LL.M. students with an easy way to network with their J.D. colleagues. ILSA provides a space for all students to engage in issues involving international law. ILSA hosts speakers, networking events, and other activities. Open to all students.
Serve as a Research Assistant
Professors at St. John’s hire research assistants to help support their latest research and publications. For students with a demonstrated commitment and relevant experience in a particular field, applying to serve as a research assistant can have mutually beneficial outcomes for students and professors. Requires application and excellent academic achievement.
Become an Editor for an International Law Review
St. John’s publishes two law reviews focused on international law, the New York International Law Review and the St. John’s Journal of International and Comparative Law. LL.M. students are eligible to apply for editor positions on these student publications. Only available to second-semester students with excellent academic achievement in the LL.M. legal writing class.
Serve as a Student Fellow for the Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL)
CICL, co-directed by Professors Peggy McGuinness and Christopher Borgen, is an academic center for the study of international and comparative law. It hosts events, speakers, and a wide variety of other activities. CICL’s Student Fellow program provides high-achieving students with a demonstrated interest in international and comparative law opportunities to take leadership roles in program management, to conduct their own research, and to work with CICL-affiliated faculty. Only available to second-semester students with a demonstrated commitment to international and comparative law topics.
Work as a Teaching Fellow for Pre-LL.M. Programs
St. John’s offers specialized pre-LL.M. programs, which allow students to spend one semester or one year preparing for their LL.M. studies. High-achieving LL.M. students may apply to work with this group of students during the semester as Teaching Fellows. Only available to second-semester students with excellent academic achievement.
Complete Post-Graduate Internships
After completing the LL.M. program, students have the ability to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and use OPT to spend up to a year working in a legal setting, gaining valuable experience in the American legal system. Students interested in applying for J.D. programs or in having an American legal experience on their CVs should inform the Office of Graduate Studies at the beginning of their second semester that they are interested in exploring this option.
In our global, interconnected world we need globally-minded lawyers. Businesses, organizations, and clients separated by political boundaries are nevertheless increasingly interdependent. As people, money and goods cross borders, so do legal issues. St. Johns’ diverse student body and alumni network represents the next generation of lawyers who will identify and tackle these issues.
Our Courses: The Transnational Legal Practice (TLP) program emphasizes learning through practice and critical thinking. From the first week of our program, each student assumes the role of a modern transnational lawyer. Through weekly role-play exercises, students learn the interplay of state actors, private clients, regional and international organizations, domestic and international law, and other factors the modern lawyer must consider. Through our role-play pedagogy, our students also exercise professional skills on a weekly basis, including negotiation, presentation, legislation, and litigation. The complementary practical legal skills courses foster graduates who can research, write, and draft for a global firm and clientele.
The TLP program also recognizes the breadth of modern international and cross-border law practice, and provides a variety of business, trade, and international course offerings taught by trained practitioners. The four TLP pathways, Cross-Border Transactions, International Trade & Investment Law, Public International Legal Practice, and Transnational Dispute Resolution, are designed to suit lawyers and judges from any legal practice background. In their capstone TLP courses, students study a balance of public and private transnational law, from cross-border deals to private dispute resolution, to conflicts of laws, to international human rights.
Academic Programs: Our TLP students earn 24 credits in required and elective courses. Required courses include two semesters of writing, two TLP capstone courses dedicated to private transactions and public international laws and institutions, and an introductory course specifically designed to acclimate our students to the work and methods of American law schools. Students also take at least one foundational course, focusing on one core subject in transnational law. Foundational courses are taught by experts who have practiced in the field.
Here is a partial list of the most popular elective courses:
• International Business Transactions
• International Criminal Law
• International Law
• International Litigation and Dispute Resolution
• International Trade Law
• International Finance
• International Environmental Law
• International Human Rights Law
• Drafting: Litigation Documents & Contracts
• Commercial Arbitration
• Comparative Law
Our Students and Alumni: Like Queens itself, St. John’s TLP alumni are diverse in every way. TLP students represent Belgium, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Italy, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries.
TLP elective courses are integrated, so LL.M. students take classes alongside their J.D. counterparts, allowing them to learn from J.D. students, and J.D. students to learn from our global LL.M. population. Students take half of their course credits in the general course catalog, and are welcomed by the general law school community. At the same time, St. John’s offers academic and language support to all TLP students. Select and highly successful J.D. teaching assistants assist in the TLP and writing classes and lead weekly tutorials. Our graduates not only discuss and befriend their TLP classmates, they also create strong networks with the J.D. class.
Rolling Admissions: We use a rolling admissions process and consider applications as they come in and make every effort to inform you of our decision as soon as possible after receipt of your completed application. An application is considered complete when the School of Law has received the following:
Application: Complete and sign the application. Applicants are responsible for assembling all application materials.
Re-Applying: Any applicant who has applied within the previous two years may submit a letter requesting their application be re-activated. You need not submit a second application fee.
Personal Statement: Provide a typewritten personal statement of approximately 250-500 words explaining why you wish to attend the LL.M. program and how the LL.M. will advance your career goals and objectives.
Application Fee: Enclose with the application a non-refundable application fee of $100 made payable to St. John's University.
Recommendations: Please submit at least two letters of recommendation with this application, preferably at least one from a faculty member at a school you attended. Please use the recommendation form included in the application package.
Resume: Include a current resume, with your education background, work experience and any other relative activities.
Writing Sample (required for foreign-educated applicants): Please provide a writing sample of not less than 250 words. Your writing sample should be the best legal writing you have done. For example, you can translate part of a legal document that you have written.
Personal Interview (required for foreign-educated applicants): Please note that a personal or telephone interview during the admission procedure is required and will be scheduled by the Office of Graduate Studies. Be sure to submit accurate contact information.
Personal Interview (US-educated applicants): Please note that a personal or telephone interview during the admission procedure may be requested at the time of application and will be scheduled by the Office of Graduate Studies. Be sure to submit accurate contact information.
Transcripts: Official transcripts from law school(s) (including class rank) or foreign equivalent and undergraduate and graduate schools attended. Transcripts for summer school courses or study abroad programs recorded in the transcripts need not be supplied. If possible, submit the official transcripts with your application, or send them directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.
US Law School Transcripts must include class rank. If your school does not rank, a statement from your Law School Registrar indicating that they do not rank must accompany your transcript. If possible, the statement should include an indication of where you stand in relation to your peers.
Degree Certificate (foreign-educated applicants): If the official transcript does not clearly state the degree awarded and/or the date such degree was awarded, you must also furnish the degree certificate.
English Translation. If the law school transcripts, degree certificate, or any of the other documentation requested above are not in English, you must also furnish English translations of the documents. Translations may be made by the applicant and do not need to be prepared by an official translator.
English Proficiency Scores (foreign-educated applicants): (TOEFL or IELTS test). All TOEFL scores are to be sent to the LSAC as indicated on the website.
LSAT Scores (US-educated applicants): A copy of the applicant’s LSDAS report page indicating LSAT score. You may request this from your Law School when requesting your transcript.
Copies of Application Materials: Retain copies of all correspondence for your records. All application materials submitted become the property of St. John's University School of Law and cannot be returned. Include your social security number on any information submitted in connection with your application.
Student Aid: For information concerning student loans or scholarship assistance, or if you are applying for a scholarship, please complete and submit the included forms.
Decision Notification: St. John’s Law Office of Graduate Studies communicates with applicants primarily through email. This includes decision notification. Please make sure your email address remains current, active and is added to your safe domain list. If your contact information changes you must notify the Office of Graduate Studies immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York Bar Examination: The New York bar examination has often been the choice for foreign-educated lawyers who complete an LL.M. program at an ABA-accredited law school. To establish eligibility for the bar examination, all foreign-educated applicants must complete an online Foreign Evaluation Form and submit other required documentation such as transcripts to the New York State Board of Law Examiners. The deadlines to submit the Online Foreign Evaluation and all required foreign documentation to the Board are May 1 of the year preceding the February bar exam and October 1 of the year preceding the July bar exam. The forms and eligibility requirements for the New York bar examination can be found at http://www.nybarexam.org.
Prospective LL.M. students may apply to the program two ways:
(1) Online at Law School Admission Council (LSAC), or,
(2) By completing and returning the following forms.
Please read all instructions carefully before submitting your application:
Office of Graduate Studies
St. John's University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
Whether you explore dynamic New York City or immerse yourself in campus life, there’s always something to do at St. John’s.
The University offers a remarkable range of academic, cultural, and athletic events and activities—from BIG EAST athletics at Madison Square Garden to our renowned academic lecture series on campus.
Ranked fourth by U.S. News & World Report among America’s top-10 universities for ethnic diversity, St. John’s also is home to a cosmopolitan student body, a place where different cultures are embraced and celebrated.
The Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs at St. John’s University School of Law offer students an unrivaled opportunity to learn U.S. law in a welcoming and rigorous academic community in the heart of New York City. The four pillars of our LL.M. offerings are our:
NYC Location: The Law School sits on the main campus of St. John’s University in Queens, New York City’s most diverse borough and one of the world’s most diverse urban areas. The 100-acre campus has a park-like feel with green lawns, flowers, and fountains, and with majestic views of the Manhattan skyline. Public transportation is convenient to campus and quickly takes you to Manhattan, the hub of international legal practice and commerce.
Pathways to the New York Bar: St. John’s Law provides multiple ways for students to prepare to take the New York Bar Exam, depending upon their level of English proficiency and knowledge of common law and the U.S. legal system. Students in our Transnational Legal Practice (TLP) and U.S. Legal Studies programs can also enter a three-year LL.M. to J.D. program. All students get support from our Bar Exam Language and Strategy (BELS) program. For students with developing English skills and basic knowledge of U.S. law, St. John’s offers the one- or two- semester American Law: Discourse and Analysis (ALDA) program, as well as English for American Law School (EALS), an intensive four-week summer course. The best predictor of bar passage for foreign-trained attorneys is legal English proficiency. St. John’s Law will customize a program to maximize each student’s chances for bar passage.
Practical Learning: St. John’s LL.M. programs prepare students to be practice ready at graduation, and our curriculum helps them build the lawyering skills they need to be successful. Students in the TLP program explore the roles of lawyers who grapple with cross-border issues. The two core courses, TLP-Cross Border Transactions and Dispute Resolution and TLP-Public International Law and Institutions, survey challenging issues of law affecting today’s global lawyers. Students test their legal knowledge, vocabulary, and communication skills in weekly role-play exercises that touch upon a broad range of subjects—from forming regional organizations, to interpreting and enforcing investment treaties, to tackling the legal issues of foreign direct investment. They also exercise negotiation, presentation, and delegation skills. Our other LL.M. programs offer similar opportunities for students to learn the language and skills of lawyering as they bring legal doctrine to life. They prepare an amicus brief for a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, practice legal writing for U.S. audiences, and prepare for success on the New York Bar Exam.
Legal English: St. John’s Law provides unrivaled academic support for our international students. Our ALDA program provides a pathway to LL.M. students who require extra time and language practice before entering their LL.M. track. Our EALS course and our BELS program are designed and taught by law professors with specific experience teaching English abroad.
Our U.S. Legal Studies (USLS) program is tailored to give students the knowledge and skills they need to pass the New York Bar Exam and succeed in practice in this important jurisdiction. Students participating in this two-semester program earn 24 credits, including:
• Two credits of Introduction to U.S. Law
• Five credits of U.S. Legal Analysis, Writing and Research
• Three credits of Professional Responsibility
USLS students also earn 14 credits taking courses in subjects covered on the New York Bar Exam, as well as other courses offered in the Law School’s J.D. program. They have the opportunity to enroll in our American Law: Discourse and Analysis (ALDA) program, a course specifically designed to teach them the knowledge and the skills needed to be successful on the New York Bar Exam. Additionally, we provide supplemental academic support specifically designed to prepare students for the Bar Exam, including writing tutorials with a legal writing specialist, our Bar Exam Language and Strategy program (BELS), and a series of workshops taught by the Law School’s faculty on bar-tested subjects.
Students are permitted to take the program full-time (one year) or part-time (two to three years), entering in either the fall or the spring semester.
We strongly recommend that all or most of the elective credits be taken in subjects tested on the New York Bar Exam. All USLS classes are held at the Law School, situated on St. John’s University’s scenic and dynamic Queens campus. We offer classes during the day and in the evening, full-time and part-time, accommodating a variety of student schedules. We also allow students to begin the program in the fall or the spring.
You will also earn fourteen credits taking courses in subjects covered on the New York Bar Exam, as well as other courses offered in the Law School’s J.D. program. We strongly recommend that all or most of these credits be taken in subjects tested on the New York Bar Exam. All LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies classes are held at the Law School, situated on St. John’s University’s scenic and dynamic Queens campus. We offer classes during the day and in the evening, full-time and part-time, accommodating a variety of student schedules.
New York is home to the world’s preeminent law firms and to leading attorneys in every practice area. It is the legal profession’s hub and heart. The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Law School Graduates at St. John’s School of Law is designed for one purpose: to get you ready to pass the New York Bar Exam and to gain admission to practice law in this unrivaled jurisdiction.
As a student in this program, you will:
The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies at St. John’s offers you these and many more keys to a rewarding legal career in New York and to the world of practice opportunities you can access as a New York lawyer.
St. John’s University School of Law is a New York City institution, and our Law School community reflects the richness and diversity of our dynamic metropolitan home.
St. John’s Law first opened its doors in the heart of downtown Brooklyn in 1925, and for over 90 years our graduates have gone on to use their law degree to achieve in every corner of the legal profession and the business world. Our alumni include state governors and other influential politicians; distinguished judges—including New York’s current Chief Judge, Janet DiFiore; leaders of preeminent international law firms and corporations; and pioneering global entrepreneurs.
The Law School sits on the main campus of St. John’s University in a residential neighborhood of Queens, New York City’s most diverse borough and one of the world’s most diverse urban spaces. The 100-acre campus has a park-like feel with green lawns, flowers and fountains, and majestic views of the Manhattan skyline. Public transportation is convenient to campus and quickly takes you to Manhattan, the hub of international legal practice and commerce.
Our modern facilities are regularly upgraded to promote learning and to provide inviting gathering spaces. Our Belson Moot Court Room has won acclaim for its design and hosts marquee Law School events—including recent visits by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and the late Antonin Scalia, as well as official sessions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Walk through our doors and you’ll find a student body that hails from 25 different countries. Many of our students are multi-lingual, and all feel at home in an environment that celebrates the diversity that’s been a hallmark of St. John’s Law from the start.
St. John’s takes a balanced approach to legal education, starting with a rigorous grounding in the fundamentals of legal analysis, legal doctrine, and legal writing, and moving on to experiential learning opportunities where our students learn by doing.
We organize our upper-level curriculum around different career pathways, enabling our students to build on their required foundational courses with advanced courses, drafting courses, clinic work, field placements, and extra-curricular activities—all focused on developing practical skills and targeted expertise so our students graduate practice-ready.
In the classroom, our faculty of dedicated teachers and accomplished scholars fosters our students’ analytical abilities and lawyering skills. Outside the classroom, many of our professors are thought leaders who have written the book in their areas of interest and expertise. Whether exploring educational challenges faced by immigrant children, the history of Wall Street, or consumer rights, our faculty members bring legal theory alive in ways that make a real impact in the world.
The engaging programs and initiatives sponsored by our nine academic centers are helping to make St. John’s Law a national leader in civil rights, dispute resolution, intellectual property law, labor and employment law, law and religion, and international and comparative law.
In addition to these academic offerings, the Law School’s student organizations provide students with valuable opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the law and to build networks of advisors, mentors, and colleagues. There are student organizations devoted to a wide range of interests, from legal practice areas, to background heritage affinities, to issues advocacy and awareness. They host events and gatherings throughout the school year where students network with alumni and practitioners.
Our students gain an expansive view of the law as participants in school-sponsored global programs that include study abroad, international practica, and skills-based courses. Through these offerings, students experience legal systems different from their own, deepening their understanding of the rule and role of law around the world.
The Law School’s global reach is also evident in our three LL.M. programs administered by our Office of Graduate Studies: The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Law School Graduates; the LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice; and the LL.M. in Bankruptcy. Our graduate curriculum includes courses in English for American Law School, American Law: Discourse and Analysis, and Bar Exam Language Support. All are designed to help non-native English speakers build their legal English proficiency.
Students interested in international and transnational legal practice find the St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL) an excellent resource. CICL hosts a number of formal and informal programs during the academic year where students hear from and meet leaders in the field.
Experiential learning permeates the curriculum in our vibrant externship program, in our rigorous writing program, in our first-rate trial and appellate advocacy programs, and in our growing dispute resolution program. With ample opportunity to experience the real world of law—to successfully join thinking and acting—our students are able to carry forward St. John’s tradition of exceptional leadership and service.
In the Law School’s 10 in-house and partner clinics, students receive invaluable training in practical skills by representing elderly victims of mortgage fraud, by prosecuting defendants accused of domestic violence, by serving as guardians for abused and neglected children, by seeking asylum for refugees, and by providing a wide array of legal assistance to the poor and underserved in New York City. Animating the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul,
St. John’s Law students working in the clinics see how their hard work and selfless service uplift people and strengthen communities.
Students who staff and lead any one of the Law School’s 10 academic journals, including the prestigious St. John’s Law Review, gain vital legal research and writing skills that help them stand out in a crowded professional marketplace as outstanding scholars and communicators.
With guidance from our Career Development Office and with the support of our alumni network that’s 16,500 strong, St. John’s Law students thrive. Their success, and the ongoing success of the Law school, is reflected in the following statistics:
• The graduating class of 2016 had a 92% overall employment rate
• Top 40 among all law schools nationwide for placing graduates in the 100 biggest law firms
• Tops for graduates starting their careers in New York District Attorney’s offices (#1 in Bronx and Queens)
• U.S. News ranks St. John’s:
> #5 among New York State law schools
> #72 among all U.S. law schools (the 3rd consecutive year with an increase)
Whatever path our graduates pursue, they carry with them the Vincentian values of St. John’s, understanding that law is a vocation through which they can live justly and better the world.
Located in New York, the center of bankruptcy practice, St. John’s Law is at the forefront of bankruptcy education. Our LL.M. in Bankruptcy is the nation’s only LL.M. program devoted to bankruptcy law. This highly successful program offers a wide array of specialized bankruptcy courses taught by leading practitioners, judges, and academics.
Our graduates practice with top firms and clerk for influential judges throughout the country. The LL.M. program is only one part of the nation’s most extensive bankruptcy program—a program that also includes the leading bankruptcy journal, the national bankruptcy moot court competition, and the national bankruptcy mediation training program.
The LL.M. in Bankruptcy program is intensive and rigorous. It requires the completion of 24 credits. The program combines academic rigor with a practice-oriented approach that is designed to produce bankruptcy attorneys with the skills, the knowledge, and the experience to become leaders in the insolvency field. Students are permitted to take the program full-time (one year) or part-time (two to three years), entering in either the fall or the spring semester.
The ABI Bankruptcy Case Blog and the St. John’s Bankruptcy Research Library offer current research on bankruptcy’s most cutting edge cases and issues. These publications, our placement data, and comments from recent program graduates can be found on our program website here.
Campus Ministry on each of our campuses is people and programs and, most importantly, a presence within the community. Because St. John's is a large commuter and resident school, you may think it could be tough to find a home when you first get here. Campus Ministry can be that home. College is a time when you will be faced with many choices – personally, socially, spiritually and professionally. You don't have to face those choices alone. There are 15 Campus Ministers present and available throughout each of our campuses to serve as guides for students in all aspects of their lives.
Campus Ministry welcomes students of all religious traditions while at the same time encouraging our Catholic students to deepen their Catholic identity and to become active participants. As a community of faith, service and friends, Campus Ministry takes seriously its unique role in expressing St. John's distinctive Catholic and Vincentian identity as embodied in the University's mission.
St. John’s encourages all students to find strength and guidance through faith. Campus Ministry is at the core of this effort. Through its varied programs, Catholic students can deepen their connection to the Church and its works. Students of all faith traditions can nurture their own spirituality. Ultimately, Campus Ministry embodies our Vincentian tradition by instilling a deep concern for the rights and dignity of every person.
For more information on the LL.M. and Legal English programs at St. John’s Law, please contact Sarah Kelly, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at email@example.com.
As Dean and as a longtime faculty member, I take pride in the way St. John’s Law enables students to transform themselves into lawyers. We accomplish this by taking a balanced approach to legal education. You will have many opportunities for learning beyond the classroom, which will help you determine your career focus and build expertise in that area. Our location guarantees you a diversity of people and perspectives, together with access to our strong network of alumni.
With the ongoing changes in the legal profession, the Law School is focused on placing our students on the path to a rewarding career so they can follow our alumni, who have reached the highest levels in law firms, government, business and nonprofit organizations. Whatever path our graduates pursue, they carry with them the Vincentian values of St. John’s, understanding that law is a vocation through which they can live justly and do justice.
I invite you to visit the Law School and to meet some of the remarkable people who study and teach here.
Michael A. Simons
Dean and John V. Brennan Professor of Law and Ethics
Only minutes from Manhattan by car, bus or train, our 105-acre Queens campus offers a traditional university environment in the world’s most dynamic city.
The Queens campus features broad lawns, handsome stone buildings and ultramodern student residence halls. Facilities include high-tech laboratory and classroom buildings; the main collections of our 1.7 million-volume Library; and state-of-the-art athletic facilities for students and our BIG EAST, Division I athletic teams.
Combining urban excitement with suburban tranquility, the campus is located in a leafy, residential area of one of the five boroughs, or counties, that make up New York City. Though students at St. John’s often travel into Manhattan on weekends, they also enjoy shopping and fine restaurants within blocks of the campus.
St. John’s Law provides unrivaled academic support for international students. The American Law: Discourse and Analysis (ALDA) program provides a pathway to LL.M. students who require extra time and language practice before entering their LL.M. track. Our summer language support course, English for American Law School (EALS), and our Bar Exam Language and Strategy (BELS) program are designed and taught by law professors with specific experience teaching English abroad.
ALDA is intended to help law students improve both their legal knowledge and language ability by fusing law study with language support and discourse analysis. By the end of their program, ALDA students are well-prepared for LL.M. study.
Each semester, ALDA students take four courses equivalent to three credit hours each for a total of 12 credit hours per semester. The courses require students to read and work with legal texts and interact with native English speaking professors, students, and alumni in the Law School community. In their courses, students learn to read and analyze cases, write legal memoranda and exam answers, negotiate agreements, and take notes for class lectures. The courses cover Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Property Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, and Legal Ethics. During their studies, ALDA students participate in field trips to the United Nations, state and federal courts, and large global law firms. All ALDA courses are taught by professors who have experience practicing law as well as experience teaching English as a Second Language.
EALS is an optional, one-month course taught in
July-August each year and during the spring semester. EALS teaches law school fundamentals together with language support to students before and during their time at St. John’s Law in order to give students increased confidence and greater familiarity with the American legal system, leading to greater success in their LL.M. classes.
BELS is an innovative, bar preparation course that helps LL.M. students develop exam strategies and address bar-related language issues in their writing and reading. BELS is offered to LL.M. students who have completed (or nearly completed) their coursework at St. John’s Law.
St. John’s is committed to ensuring our students success in the LL.M. programs. We begin working with students immediately upon deposit to improve their legal English skills in the months preceding their enrollment in the LL.M. program. Students have the opportunity to meet with one of our professors or TAs weekly for 30 minutes to practice their speaking and listening skills with a native English speaker. Students also have the option of completing reading assignments and other activities during the semester before they enroll in order to improve their reading speed, critical thinking, legal writing, and understanding of the American legal system, receiving regular feedback from our faculty, and individualized assignments, targeted to the individual student’s language level.
We select top-performing, globally-minded, and well-connected J.D. students to be teaching assistants in our Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. program and legal writing courses. They provide a bridge between our LL.M. students, our J.D. students, and the Law School’s student organizations. Every week, each TA leads a tutorial focusing on the subject matter for that week’s lesson. Students have a chance to meet in a small study group, to review concepts from each class, workshop on project assignments, and ask questions of an experienced student. The bond between our students and their TA is integral to our academic and social programming, and our TAs frequently keep in contact with our students on social media and outside of class.
Students have the opportunity to attend Writing Center hours each week to work on their writing and analysis in a one-on-one setting with legal English and legal writing instructors.
The St. John's University Community welcomes you to St. Thomas More Church, our free standing church on the Queens Campus.
This Church is the center of the Queens Campus and our mission. What happens here nourishes what happens in all the classrooms and campuses, all the labs and playing fields, preparing our students to go forth in love and service.
We come here with gratitude to so many alumni/ae and friends, in particular to John '63C, '66L, '93HON and Anita Brennan, whose extraordinary generosity made St. Thomas More Church possible.
St. Thomas More Church is open to students, staff, faculty, alumni, administrators and members of the Sunday Community of St. John's University to hold their Catholic Baptisms & Weddings