Frequently Asked Questions: LL.M. Program

Is it possible to enroll part-time in the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program?

Yes. LL.M. students in dispute resolution generally must complete all graduation requirements within a period of three (3) years beginning with the first semester of enrollment in the program. Usually, students who enroll part-time take an average of six credits per semester. This enables them to complete the program in two academic years.

How difficult is it to enroll part-time in the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program and continuing working full time?

It depends. The law school courses generally meet more than one day per week. However, some classes meet on the same days, so that you can attend more than one class on the days you are on campus. (See LL.M. Course Schedule. Note that the class schedule is set in the Spring for the following academic year and may change from year to year.) In addition to time spent in class, LL.M. students also need to be prepared for the level of work outside of the class meeting time. Most courses require a significant amount of reading, research and writing.

Is it feasible to commute from St. Louis or Kansas City and participate in the program?

It depends. Commuting from St. Louis, Kansas City or any other distance is possible, but you need to account for travel time and possible overnight stays in addition to time spent in class and work required outside of class. Students can earn some credits without being in Columbia, including through independent study, externship, and transfer credits. If you want to contact students who have commuted, contact the program coordinator for more information.

Do you offer online courses?

Not at this time. Students must attend classes on campus in Columbia, Mo., each week. We do offer some elective courses that provide for some flexibility — externship, practicum, and independent study — but no more than nine (9) credits may be counted toward the 24-credit requirement of the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution degree. If you opt to take 6 credit hours outside of the law school, the courses offered by MU’s Truman School of Public Affairs are generally offered online.

How long is the academic year?

The University of Missouri academic year includes two semesters and a summer session. The Fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December. The Spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in mid-May. The summer session varies depending whether a student takes law courses or other graduate-level courses. The law school summer session starts and ends earlier than the university summer session (which usually runs from early June through early August). There are no regular LL.M. classes offered during the summer, but students may use the summer to take other courses. We encourage students to use the summer to do externships for credit.

Am I limited to taking ONLY dispute resolution courses in the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program?

No. The program requires a minimum of 12 credit hours of core courses in dispute resolution. The remaining credits can be taken in other areas of the law, BUT they should be relevant to the dispute resolution field. Students also can take up to six (6) credits outside the law school, but again they should be relevant to the program.

I am an international student. When I complete the LL.M. can I take the bar exam?

Although the LL.M. degree will help qualify you to take the bar exam in some states, bear in mind that you should investigate the specific requirements in the state where you intend to take the exam. In the State of Missouri , a graduate from a law school outside the United States may request permission to take the bar examination by furnishing satisfactory evidence that the person:

  1. Has been admitted to practice in the foreign country where the law degree was conferred, has been in good standing during this admission period, and has engaged in the full-time practice of law for at least three of the five years preceding the date upon which the person applies to take the bar exam; or
  2. Has been admitted to practice in the foreign country where the law degree was conferred, has been in good standing during this admission period, and has successfully completed at least 24 semester credit hours in residence at an ABA-approved law school.

Note that even with 24 semester credit hours of law school study, students taking the Missouri bar examination would also presumably take a bar preparation course offered in the summer that they take the exam.  This would be in addition to the 24 semester credit hours in the LL.M Program. For more details on the requirements for admission to the Missouri Bar, see http://www.courts.mo.gov/.

The requirements vary from state to state, so if you are interested in taking the bar examination in another state, you should check on each state’s bar requirements at http://www.abanet.org/legaled/baradmissions/bar.html.