LLM/MJ in Individualized Legal Studies Curriculum

The LLM and MJ in Individualized Legal Studies is designed for students to build their own program.

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Curriculum

All students must successfully complete 24 hours of law credit drawn from the regular Drake Law School curriculum.

A student may design his or her own concentration by devoting 12 of these 24 credit hours to a specialized area of study of the student’s choice, or the student may pursue one of several 12-credit areas of concentration.

Specialized Study

This specialized study, or "build your own program" concentration, allows each student to design his or her own concentration by devoting 12 of the required 24 credits to a specialized area of study of the student's choice.

Faculty members work closely with each candidate to design a customized curriculum by selecting courses that are tailored to the candidate's unique career goals or interests.

A candidate may choose his or her own individual specialization as an alternative to the prescribed concentrations, such as Business Law, International Law and Global Citizenship, or Sustainable Development, listed below.

Download the LLM/MJ Specialized Study Graduation Checklist.

Areas of Concentration (LLM/MJ)

Business Law Concentration

The Business Law Concentration allows students to focus their studies in the corporate, tax, and commercial law areas.

Today the United States remains the world’s dominant economy as globalization has opened new markets and created unprecedented business opportunities. For both American and international students, the market for lawyers schooled in U.S. business law and practices continues to expand.

Courses that may be used to satisfy this concentration’s requirements:
Business Associations*
Business & Corporate Law: Seminar on Current Issues
Business Planning
Business Taxation
Federal Income Tax
International Trade
Payment Systems*
Real Estate Transactions
Sales*
Secured Transactions*
Securities Regulation Law

*Courses that cover subjects tested on some or all state bar examinations.

Download the LLM/MJ in Business Law Graduation Checklist.

Criminal Law Concentration

Required courses for this concentration:
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure I
Criminal Procedure II

Elective courses:
Constitutional Litigation
Domestic Violence
Federal Criminal Law
Global Issues in Criminal Law
Laws of War
Psychiatry and the Law
Scientific and Expert Evidence

Download the LLM/MJ in Criminal Law Graduation Checklist.

International Law and Global Citizenship Concentration

The International Law and Global Citizenship concentration examines the roles that nations, individuals, international organizations, and the rule of law play in the realization of human rights.

The post-World War II era has witnessed a proliferation of international human rights norms. These rights norms have evolved in a way that promotes not just the political rights with which Americans are familiar, such as the rights to free speech and a free press. Instead, they also involve guarantees related to social and economic well-being that transcend the traditional rights discussion. These include the rights to health care, education, and human dignity.

Courses that may be used to satisfy this concentration’s requirements:
Comparative Constitutional Law
International Human Rights
International Intellectual Property
International Trade
International Law - Intro
Independent Research (as approved by the program director)

Download LLM/MJ in International Law and Global Citizenship Graduation Checklist‌.

Sustainable Development Concentration

The Sustainable Development Concentration encompasses the broad inquiry into how to provide for human resource needs without depleting diminished global resources. Agricultural, land use, renewable energy, and environmental and natural resources law are all integral pieces of the regulatory approach to this vital subject.

In addition, evolving human rights norms promote the notion that people everywhere are entitled to live in a healthy environment while enjoying the benefits of economic development policies that perpetuate prosperity. We anticipate that the need for lawyers well-equipped to meet sustainable development challenges will increase in the years to come.

Courses that may be used to satisfy this concentration’s requirements:
Agricultural Law – Intro
Environmental Regulation of Agriculture
Food and the Law
International Trade
Land Use Control
Sustainability and the Law
Independent Research (as approved by the program director)
Other sustainable development courses (as approved by the program director)

Download the LLM/MJ in Sustainable Development Graduation Checklist.

Additional Requirements

Written Project Requirement

Subject to waiver by the program director, a candidate for the MJ in Individualized Legal Studies shall write a paper of 2-4 credit hours under the supervision of a full-time member of the Drake law faculty.

With the permission of the supervising professor, the MJ written project requirement can be satisfied by a paper or written project completed for any course within the MJ curriculum.

Minimum standards for the paper:

  • The paper must be a written project of sufficient quality and suitably documented for a project of its type to be deemed of professional quality by the supervising professor.
  • The project must be at least 35 pages long, double-spaced on 8 ½” x 11” paper, including any footnotes.
  • The project must involve submission of a draft to the supervising professor, with the requirement of a rewrite at the option of that professor.

Experiential Training Requirement

Clinic Internship Requirements
Subject to waiver by the program director, a candidate for the MJ degree is required to satisfy an experiential training requirement by participating in one of the law school’s clinics or internship programs.

Credit vs. Compensation
The internship experiences which may qualify for the Experiential Training Requirement are sometimes done for academic credit and sometimes done for compensation.

Accreditation rules do not permit a candidate to earn academic credit for work for which the candidate is compensated (i.e. paid internships). However, with the program director’s approval, a candidate can satisfy the experiential training requirement in a paid internship, although the internship will not count toward the required 24 semester hours of Individualized Legal Studies course work.

Additional Courses

Unless the program director grants a waiver, LLM candidates who do not have a basic or an advanced law degree in a common law jurisdiction and all MJ candidates must complete:

  • Introduction to the American Legal System – This course will familiarize the student with the structure of the American legal system and the requisite research techniques to support continued study.
  • Legal Writing and/or Legal Research – Will provide a special focus on the research and writing needs of international scholars and non-lawyers.

For more information, see Drake Law School's course descriptions.

Law School News
August 22, 2017
Peter Coniglio, LW’78, recently completed a detail as an associate counsel to President Donald J. Trump, during which time he helped review candidates for federal government posts and prepared them for nomination hearings before they were considered for U.S. Senate approval.
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