J.D./LL.M. International Studies
Did you know that you can study abroad while at Villanova Law and earn two law degrees?
With the world growing smaller minute-by-minute, today’s lawyers are increasingly more in need of exposure to the global legal environment. Whether you are interested in business law, tax, human rights, family law, or practically any other area of law, learning about other countries’ laws and the international practice of law is crucial for your future career.
As you’ll see, Villanova is well-known for its excellent international and comparative law faculty, courses, and clinics. Now we have a set of new and exciting programs to offer you if you enroll at Villanova.
Our new International Studies J.D./LL.M. program offers you the opportunity to earn both a Villanova Law J.D. and an LL.M. (Master’s Degree in Law) from a host school abroad and do so in three years – the same amount of time it would normally take to earn a J.D. degree, and one year less than it would take a student to earn both degrees separately.
The students in Villanova's inaugural class are completing their studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. During the 2009-2010 academic year, we are adding J.D./LL.M. programs with Birkbeck College of the University of London and the National University of Singapore. Future programs in other parts of the world are actively under consideration.
Students selected for the J.D./LL.M. programs will spend their first two years at Villanova, during which they will complete core law school requirements. Students apply to the J.D./LL.M. program during the second semester of their second year. Once accepted into the program by Villanova and by the host school, students will spend their third year at the host school earning the LL.M. degree. Credits earned during the year abroad will fulfill the remainder of the students' Villanova requirements as well as the host school requirements. Villanova will accept the credits earned in the LL.M. program and credit them toward the J.D., similar to the process used in Villanova’s long-established J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./LL.M. (Tax) programs. After successful completion of the program, the students will be awarded both the J.D. and an LL.M. degree offered by the host school abroad.
About Our Partner Schools Abroad . . .
The University of Edinburgh School of Law is located in the heart of the Scotland’s capital city, a modern city bursting with culture and deeply rooted history. The Leiden University Faculty School of Law is located in Leiden, The Netherlands, approximately 20 minutes from The Hague, the third largest city in The Netherlands and home to The Netherlands seat of government, the International Court of Justice, and several other important international tribunals. Leiden is the oldest and largest law faculty in the Netherlands and has played a significant role in the development of the study of international law.
Birkbeck College, in the heart of London, is part of the well-known University of London system. Most courses are offered in the evening, leaving students time to study, explore London, and get a closer look at British legal practice. Our newest additions, the National University of Singapore and the City University of Hong Kong, offer students a broad variety of programs, set in the commercial centers of southeast Asia.
The combination of a J.D. from a top U.S. law school and a globalized legal education from an internationally acclaimed host law school abroad sets J.D./LL.M. graduates apart from their peers. Moreover, students participating in any of the J.D./LL.M. programs have the opportunity to participate in campus organizations and other aspects of campus life available to all LL.M. students at their host school. In this first year of the programs, our students in Edinburgh and Leiden have represented their schools in the Oxford and European Moot Court Competitions, participated in scholarly conferences, and are publishing their work in prestigious journals.
Students will receive information regarding the International Studies J.D./LL.M. programs in the fall of their first year, enabling them to plan their coursework accordingly. Acceptance into the program is highly competitive and enrollment is limited. Admission into the programs is based on a student’s application (including a motivational statement), grade point average and cumulative class rank, transcripts, and professors’ recommendations, which will be evaluated by both Villanova and each of the partner schools abroad. Students may also be required to complete application materials requested by the host school abroad.
For more information about these programs, please contact Diane Penneys Edelman, Director for International Programs, at 610-519-7047 or email@example.com.
J.D./LL.M. Degrees Offered
Birkbeck College, University of London
- LL.M. in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
- LL.M. in Human Rights
- LL.M. in Law and Political Justice
- M. Res. (Masters in Research in Law)
City University of Hong Kong
- LLM in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
- LLM in Chinese and Comparative Law
- LLM in International Economic Law
- LLM in Maritime and Transportation Law
- LLM (General)
University of Edinburgh
- LL.M. in Commercial Law
- LL.M. in European Law
- LL.M. in Innovation, Technology and the Law
- LL.M. in International Law
- LL.M. in Law
- LL.M. (R) in History and Philosophy of Law
University of Leiden
- LL.M. in European Law (click on "Specialisations")
- LL.M. in Public International Law (click on "Specialisations")
- LL.M. (Adv.) in Air and Space Law
- LL.M. (Adv.) in European and International Business Law
- LL.M. (Adv.) in International Tax Law
- LL.M. (Adv.) in Public International Law
National University of Singapore
- LL.M. in Asian Legal Studies
- LL.M. in International Business Law (in Shanghai, China and Singapore)
To be eligible to apply for any of the J.D./LL.M. programs, a student must:
- have completed the first three semesters of law study at Villanova
- have a grade point average of 3.2 and rank in the top third of the second year class for the LL.M. or M. Res. at Birkbeck College
- have a grade point average of 3.25 and rank in the top third of the second year class for the LL.M. or LL.M. (R) at University of Edinburgh
- rank in the top third of the class for the LL.M. or LL.M. (Adv.) at the University of Leiden or City University of Hong Kong
- rank in the top 15% for the LL.M. at the National University of Singapore
- have successfully completed all first-year courses
- have completed all VLS-required courses by the end of the fourth semester of law school, specifically:
- Constitutional Law II - 3 credits
- Legal Profession - 3 credits
- Research Paper course (unless exempt*) - 2 credits
- Practical Writing course - 2 credits
- Reimel Moot Court Competition (unless exempt**) - 1-2 credits
* Can be satisfied by one year of Journal service or directed research (2 credits)
** Can be satisfied by one year of Journal service (2 credits)
To obtain the Villanova J.D. and host school LL.M. degrees, a student must:
- Complete 31 credits of the required first-year curriculum at Villanova
- Complete 15 credits of core academic requirements, described above (unless exempt, as noted)
- Complete 14 to 15 credits of electives at Villanova
- Complete all academic requirements for the European host school’s LL.M. degree, including any thesis or dissertation requirement
Note: Course requirements for each of the LL.M. degrees may vary significantly. Please consult the web link for each program to determine the requirements for a specific program.
A student who enrolls in a J.D./LL.M. International Studies degree program must:
- Complete all requirements for the J.D. and LL.M. degrees in three consecutive academic years of full-time study (the third year may extend to the end of the summer, depending on the host school's requirements)
- Complete all coursework at the host school abroad (including a thesis or dissertation, if required) in order to obtain the Villanova J.D. degree as well as the host school LL.M. degree
- Understand that during the year of study abroad, the student can serve only in a limited capacity on the Villanova Law Review, Villanova Environmental Journal, or Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, and cannot remain a member of the Moot Court Board
- Understand that the student will receive the J.D. degree in September after completion of the course and thesis requirements for the J.D. and the LL.M. (e.g., a student who would have received the J.D. in May 2010 will receive the degree in September 2010)
- Take the bar examination in the February following the student’s graduation rather than in July (except for students completing the LL.M. at the National University of Singapore)
- Understand that he or she will not be ranked cumulatively with his or her class after the second year of law school, and will therefore be ineligible to graduate with honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) and will be ineligible for membership in the Order of the Coif honor society. However, students may include on their resumes information about their class rank prior to their third year of study, and students may include on their resumes information about their ranking at their host school abroad.
Example: A student in the Villanova class of 2010 who spends the 2009-10 academic year abroad might state:
Villanova University School of Law
J.D. expected September 2010
Class rank as of May 2009: 1/240; GPA 3.99 (not ranked with class of 2010)
LL.M. in International Business Law, September 2010, University of XXXX, Honours, GPA 9.1
Please note that although students may not list a final rank or GPA for the Villanova Law degree because the degree includes a year of foreign study, they may be eligible to graduate with honors from their host school abroad because they will have completed their entire LL.M. degree at that school.
Although students must acknowledge and abide by these limitations, we believe that the experience and opportunities gained from the J.D./LL.M. degree program will be invaluable.
Special financial aid policies apply for students who spend their third year abroad as part of the JD/LLM International Studies Program. Please consult the Financial Aid Office to learn how these policies may apply to your particular aid situation.
Job Opportunities and Living Abroad
Students enrolled in the J.D./LL.M. programs will have access to career guidance and alumni networking at both Villanova and the host school. In addition, the host schools will assist students with visa matters and housing. We encourage students to take advantage of these services. Villanova is developing a database of Villanova alumni abroad and alumni of the host schools whom you may contact.
What Our Students Have to Say about Their Year Abroad...
“The faculty and staff [at the University of Edinburgh] have all . . . been incredibly helpful, open, and devoted to student progress. . . . The academics hardly need comment: the courses of study are top of the line, challenging, and innovative, while the student and faculty researchers are producing state of the art legal theory and legal/socio-legal analyses. . . . I expect that my program . . . will provide me with a very solid foundation to pursue either an academic career or to build a successful practice.”
“[T]he thing I like most about Edinburgh is how culturally diverse the city is. It seems every corner offers a different cuisine or cultural experience. For example, my residence hall houses [students of] 37 different nationalities.”
“The city [of Leiden] is post-card perfect. There are canals and windmills everywhere - but beyond that it's a definite college town, with plenty to keep you entertained away from your studies. . . . The international feel of my program is fantastic. I'm the only American student and the people I've been able to meet from (literally) all over the world have been nothing short of terrific. . . . I'm hoping the program gives me the opportunity to live and work abroad after finishing my studies. The connections I'll make through my professors . . . should contribute to that greatly.”