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Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM) Degree

First-Year Curriculum

Upon arrival at USC, your English proficiency will be assessed and you will enroll in oral and written English classes through USC's American Language Institute (ALI). This English coursework will prepare you to participate meaningfully in your law classes. Please note that these courses are mandatory unless you receive a waiver, which will be determined by ALI at the time of your assessment. You also will prepare for your LLM studies with coursework that teaches you about the foundational basis of the U.S. legal system.

The first year follows a set schedule of classes:

Fall Semester

  • Academic and Professional Skills for U.S. Law Studies

    This course is designed to help foreign law students succeed in our LL.M. program by focusing on and improving students' communication and listening skills. It will help students improve their English in a legal setting by teaching students how to effectively read and brief cases, participate in class discussions, and answer a law school exam. Students will be encouraged to participate and interact in class in order to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation skills through group exercises and class discussions. In addition, students will learn listening strategies and techniques for taking clear and effective notes from lectures.

  • Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture and Practice

    The purpose of this course is to introduce and familiarize students with the practice of law in the U.S., specifically the common law system and government. The course will also feature a number of guest speakers from a variety of legal backgrounds to help students understand the practice of law in different settings.

  • Presentation Skills for International Lawyers

    This course instructs students on the art of public speaking and effective communication in U.S. legal settings. Participants will practice and master public speaking and communicating in a variety of contexts, ranging from informal conversations to legal academic presentations and beyond. In addition to content, the course provides guidance on tone, language, style and delivery. The goal of this class is for members to increase their overall ability effectively to communicate before a broad range of audiences in the U.S. legal environment.

  • Fundamentals of Legal Writing Skills

    This course is designed to introduce students to the structure of written legal analysis through various commonly used legal communications and documents. Students will develop familiarity with a variety of legal documents including scholarly articles, emails, case law, memoranda, and other written work product.

  • American Language Institute course

Spring Semester

  • Academic and Professional Skills for U.S. Law Studies

    Students will focus on the professionalism aspect of the legal culture in the U.S., including academic review and career development. Students will learn how to interact with others in both formal and informal academic and professional environments.

  • Persuasive Advocacy

    Students will learn the fundamentals of persuasive legal advocacy through a variety of group exercises, including written works and presentations. This course will teach students the difference between objective and persuasive styles and help students develop their own effective persuasive technique in a variety of simulated interactions.

  • U.S. Common Law Analysis and Skills

    Students will learn how to analyze judicial decisions and understand how cases develop the law in the U.S, as well as learn how judicial opinions interact with other sources of law. Students will engage in individual and group supervised analytical exercises designed to develop legal analysis and critical thinking skills relevant to U.S. legal practice.

  • Independent Study

    Students will analyze legal topics from a comparative perspective between U.S. law and that student's home country and prepare a paper analyzing the relevant differences and similarities.

  • American Language Institute course

The second-year curriculum is the same as that offered to students in the one-year LLM degree.

Degree Requirements and Courses

The Two-Year Extended LLM is offered on a full-time basis only and begins in the fall semester. During the first year, you will take a minimum of four units of English language courses and 16 units of law courses. During the second year, you must successfully complete 21 academic units over two semesters.