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LLM/MJ in Intellectual Property Law Curriculum

Drake's LLM/MJ in Intellectual Property Law programs offer curriculum that combines legal theory, policy analysis, practical experience, and professional skills development.

Download the LLM/MJ in Intellectual Property Law Graduation Checklist.

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The LLM degree is designed for students who have already earned their JD, LLB, or comparable law degree. The MJ degree targets those who do not have a law degree, such as doctoral students in other disciplines, policymakers, government officials, business executives, intellectual property agents, scientists, technology developers, and journalists.

Candidates for the LLM or MJ degree must successfully complete a minimum of 24 semester hours for law credit. Subject to waiver by the program director, they must also satisfy the following requirements:

Basic Course Requirement:

Minimum of 6 credits:
Copyright Law (3 credits)
Intellectual Property – Intro (3 credits)
Patent Law (3 credits)
Trademark and Unfair Competition Law (2-3 credits)

Advanced Course Requirement:

6 credits from the following courses or from basic courses above that do not count toward the basic course requirement.

Intellectual Property Licensing (2 credits)
Intellectual Property Litigation (2-3 credits)
Patent Office Practice (3 credits) 

Written Project:

Subject to waiver by the program director, candidates for the LLM/MJ degree must successfully complete a 2-4 credit hour written project under the supervision of a full-time Drake Law faculty member. In lieu of this project, candidates can satisfy the requirement by completing the optional LLM/MJ thesis.

Minimum standards of the written project:

  • The project must be 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 inch 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.

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

LLM/MJ Thesis:

Students interested in pursuing in-depth research or doctoral studies may complete an LLM/MJ thesis under the guidance of a full-time Drake Law faculty member. This thesis is intended to enable students to develop an original research paper of publishable or near publishable quality. The LLM/MJ thesis is optional and is not intended as a substitute for offered courses.

The subject of the research, the nature and amount of the work required and the number of credits awarded are determined by the supervising professor. Students may be required to present the thesis as determined by the program director.

The number of credits awarded is generally based on the amount of work required:

  • 4 credits = 60 pages and 200 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting
  • 5 credits = 70 pages and 250 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting
  • 6 credits = 80 pages and 300 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting

Experiential Training Requirement:

One of the following courses or one of the Law School’s clinics, internship programs, or the First-Year Trial Practicum.

Contract Drafting
Intellectual Property Litigation
Legislative Practice
Patent Office Practice
Trial Practicum
Other courses that have been certified to satisfy the professional skills course requirement

Professional Enrichment Opportunity:

Students are required to satisfy this requirement by attending at least one guest lecture or professional enrichment opportunity offered through the Intellectual Property Law Center.

Additional Requirements:

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:

  • Foundations of Law
  • 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.

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