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The LL.M. and J.D./LL.M. in Asian Law

Temple Law has always taken great pride in providing an excellent legal education which prepares its graduates for the challenges they will meet in practice. Globalization has significantly changed the nature of these challenges. In the decade that U.S. trade across the Pacific surpassed that across the Atlantic, a clear recognition arose in the legal profession that Asia is an area of practice in which lawyers should receive special training. The growing number of commercial Asia-US transactions continues to flame both domestic and foreign demand for US lawyers who specialize in Asian law.  While this demand continues and will likely continue to grow, there are still only a limited number of academic programs in the United States specifically designed to create such specialists.

This program is designed primarily for J.D. holders (and potential J.D. students) or lawyers from foreign common law jurisdictions, who would use Temple's curricular strengths and existing programs as a bridge to take or expand their careers to Asia, the most dynamic region in the 21st century world.  

The Beasley School has long regarded its international law programs as a core center of excellence. Indeed, our expertise in international law generally is reflected in our strong national ranking in that area.  Our substantive depth and our existing physical presence in the capitals of the nations with the three largest economies in Asia, makes us the program of choice for those wishing to become Asian law specialists. Our program is unique in requiring candidates to spend a semester at a law school/program in Asia, ensuring that graduates of the program are exposed not just to substantive aspects of the law, but to the almost equally important nuances of the legal, economic, and social culture from which those laws spring.

We have tenured faculty who specialize in Chinese Law, Japanese Law, and legal issues in Asia. In addition to our faculty, we have deep roots in legal education in Asia.  In 1994, we became the only US law school to offer a full semester of study for J.D.s, and a full academic year for LL.M. students in Asia at Temple University, Japan Campus, in Tokyo. In 1999, the Beasley School expanded into China in a groundbreaking program to train Chinese lawyers, judges, and professors. In addition, we regularly send students every fall semester to study Chinese Law in Tsinghua University's LL.M. in Chinese law program for non-Chinese students. In 2011, Temple entered into an exchange partnership with Jindal Global Law School in National Capital Region (NCR), India.

The J.D./LL.M. Option is very popular with students who want to gain additional expertise in a specialized area of the law for a relatively small investment of time and money.

A Temple J.D. student may qualify for entry into the LL.M. program before graduation, and earn up to half of the required 24 credits for the LL.M. while still a J.D. student. The remaining credits required for the LL.M. degree can then be completed in one additional full-time semester or several part-time semesters in Philadelphia, Tokyo, Beijing or India, after satisfying the J.D. requirements.

Current Temple J.D. students who enter the J.D/LL.M. program directly after earning a J.D. will automatically have up to six credits of eligible courses in a Temple program applied toward the LL.M. in Asian Law.  For each additional credit he or she has earned beyond the minimum number of credits required to earn the J.D. degree, a Temple J.D./LL.M. student can apply one more credit of international and comparative law course work toward the LL.M. in Asian Law, up to a maximum of 12 credits.

The following examples illustrate the above rules. A Temple J.D. student who graduates with 88 credits and has taken six credits of eligible law courses, can enter the LL.M. program with six credits. A student who graduates with 94 credits toward the J.D., six more than the minimum, will have earned twelve credits toward the LL.M. assuming the student has taken 12 credits of eligible law courses during the J.D. program. However, a student who takes 12 credits of eligible law courses, but graduates from the J.D. program with the minimum number of credits to earn the J.D. degree, may apply only six of those credits toward the LL.M.

Students from other law schools who attend one or more of Temple's international programs are eligible for the J.D./LL.M. program and may have up to six credits of  law courses earned in Temple's international programs applied toward the LL.M.

JD/LLM candidates who earn their J.D. at Temple can satisfy the writing requirement by doing either the serial or research paper required to earn their J.D. degree in an appropriate Asian law topic.