LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates

  • Master of laws (LL.M.)
  • Starting date: January; August
  • Tuition Fee: $45,432.00 USD
  • Language: English
  • Program type: Part-time; Full-time
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Specialization: International Law ; Comparative Law

About the LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates

General Overview

The LL.M. degree for Foreign Law School Graduates 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.


A primary goal of the program is to enhance the international student's legal skills so that he or she may become a more effective lawyer and member of society. In this respect the program seeks to develop:

  • an appreciation of the role of law in national and international development
  • the ability to identify, through comparative and international studies, policy considerations of various legal rules
  • an appreciation of the role of the lawyer in social and economic change
  • legal analysis and problem solving abilities to enable the student to meet the complex needs of our modem world
  • a basic understanding of the U.S. legal system, as studied from a comparative perspective
  • a frame of reference for dealing with business and legal interests in a transnational setting


To view an online LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates Admissions Brochure CLICK HERE.



Admission Criteria

An applicant for admission to the LL.M. Degree for Foreign Law School Graduates 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.


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 (curriculum vitae)
  • two letters of recommendation in English (or translated into English) from the dean of the applicant's law school and from a law professor
  • evidence of proficiency in English (normally a TOEFL computer based score of 233 or written score of 575)*
  • certified transcript in English of grades received in law school - transcripts must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office from your schools.
  • evidence of financial ability to pay tuition, fees, and all other expenses during the applicant's stay in the United States**
  • a recent head and shoulders photograph of the applicant
  • $75 (U.S. dollars) nonrefundable application fee payable to SMU Dedman School of Law.


*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 (www.TOEFL.org). 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.


**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.


Application Deadline

Applications for LL.M. programs are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early December. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible with all supporting documentation. Applications will be accepted on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter.


Specialized Courses

SMU Dedman School of Law offers a rich curriculum to enhance the international students' legal skills to become a more effective lawyer. The diversity and depth of courses offered can be found in the SMU Dedman School of Law course catalog or in the course schedule listing.


Degree Requirements

A) Students may begin their studies in the fall term or the spring term. They must participate in an orientation program held at SMU Dedman School of Law in mid-August (for fall term) or early January (spring term) of each year before the start of classes.

(B) Students pursuing the LL.M. degree for foreign law school graduates must complete 24 hours of credit from courses or seminars selected in consultation with the student's faculty advisor who is assigned during orientation. Faculty members advising candidates for this degree will make every effort to tailor a student's study plan to his or her specific graduate objectives. However, all students are required to take the course on Perspectives of the American Legal System. They will normally also take one basic J.D. course such as Contracts.

SMU Dedman Law awards the degree to those students who complete their course work with an average grade in all courses equivalent to a C­ or 1.70. A student will not receive credit for a course or seminar in which his or her grade is below D or 1.00. Students for whom English is a second language are allowed additional time to complete written final examinations.



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 bheine@smu.edu or by telephone at 214-768-2758 or toll free at 1-888-768-5291.


Tuition Fees

2016-2017 Tuition, Fees, Estimated Expenses for LL.M. for Foreign Law School Students


Tuition         $45,433

Fees             $5,664


Estimated Expenses


Books   $1,000

Living Expenses $15,000

Miscellaneous $2,500


Total $69,597