Because international law encompasses a wide range of practice areas from handling international commercial transactions for multi-national companies to documenting international human rights abuses, we believe it is important that each student have an opportunity to pursue a course of study most appropriate for his or her career goals. Therefore, we have created a flexible curriculum with a broad spectrum of courses to permit students to design the curriculum most appropriate for them.
Candidates for the LL.M. degree must complete a three-credit course in International Law plus 24 credits of advanced course work in international and comparative law, including one course in which a scholarly paper is produced. Some of these credits must be earned at one or more of our international campuses. All courses counted toward the degree must be completed within a four-year period. A grade point average of 2.5 is required to earn the degree.
LL.M. in Transnational Law
International Law is a required three-credit course that may be taken during the J.D. program or as an LL.M. course. LL.M. students who have not taken International Law during their J.D. studies are strongly encouraged to take this course as early as possible in their LL.M. studies. A student who has taken an introductory public international law course at another law school during his or her J.D. studies may apply for a waiver of this requirement.
In designing their individualized course of study, students are encouraged to explore a variety of international practice areas and discuss their career goals with the faculty and administration. Degree candidates must complete 24 credits of elective courses. Temple’s faculty offers a breadth and depth of courses in comparative and international law that extends over three continents. The international law courses in Philadelphia and courses in Tokyo and Rome are indicative of the range of offerings available in a given year, although courses will vary somewhat by year at a particular campus, depending on faculty.
International Study Requirement
Lawyers in international practice know that cultural issues are often just as important as legal rules in the final resolution of what may appear to be a purely legal matter. To help our graduates develop the cultural sensitivity and comfort with other cultures required to be effective international lawyers, all degree candidates must attend at least one of our international programs.
We recommend that degree candidates attend the spring semester in Tokyo. It is an ideal place to gain an understanding of ways in which cultural issues can surface in this thoroughly modern country, where ancient customs and traditions are apparent in every interaction. Spending a substantial period of time in Tokyo, such as a semester, allows one to develop an understanding of the culture that will be of great benefit to legal practice in any country in the world. Those who hold a first degree in law from a common law jurisdiction, in which English was the language of instruction, can earn the entire degree in Japan by attending classes on a part-time basis during the summer and fall and full-time in the spring.
Those who are not able to spend an entire semester in Japan can satisfy the international study requirement by attending Temple’s well regarded summer session in Rome.
From time to time, Transnational LL.M. students design their own course of study abroad, either in a foreign-language program if their language skills are sufficient, or in an English-language program such as the Semester Study Abroad in Beijing, China at law school’s partner university, Tsinghua University School of Law. Such independent study abroad programs require pre-approval from the Transnational LL.M. administrative committee.
In extraordinary cases where a candidate can demonstrate extensive international experience through, for example, employment abroad, the international study requirement may be waived upon written request.
All degree candidates must complete at least one course (two or three credits) in which a scholarly paper is written on a comparative or international law topic. This requirement can be satisfied by taking a writing seminar or completing a guided research paper.
J.D./LL.M. in Transnational Law
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 Transnational 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 Transnational 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.
J.D./LL.M. 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 Transnational law topic.