LL.M. Handbook

Graduation Requirements

The University will confer the Master of Laws degree upon students who successfully complete all graduation requirements and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0) for all graduate courses taken at MU. Students must complete 24 credit hours to receive the LL.M. degree. The credit hours for the courses listed below are in parentheses. The curriculum is subject to change from year to year.

The faculty advisor for all LL.M. students is Prof. Paul Ladehoff, Director of the LL.M. Program. Students should consult him about any questions regarding their program or courses. Karen Neylon, the Coordinator of the Program, is especially helpful with questions about course and graduation requirements.

The current curricular requirements and a current schedule are in the Curriculum section of this web site. Please note: The curriculum and graduation requirements are subject to change.

LL.M. in American Law

Required Courses

  • Introduction to U.S. Law (2)
  • Legal Research & Writing (2)
  • Professional Responsibility (2)

Electives

Each student will be able to choose 18 credit hours in electives according to his/her interests and statement of purpose for enrolling in the LL.M. in American Law program.

LL.M. in Dispute Resolution

Required Courses

  • LL.M. Arbitration Seminar (3)
  • LL.M. Major Research Project (3)
  • Dispute System Design (3)
  • Non-Binding Methods of Dispute Resolution (3)

Electives

Each student will be able to choose 12 credit hours in electives according to his/her interests and statement of purpose for enrolling in the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program. No more than nine (9) credits may be counted toward the LL.M. degree for any combination of Practicum, Externship, and Independent Study courses. Students may apply to the LL.M. graduation requirements up to six (6) graduate credits of university or college courses from outside the MU Law School. Details on non-law courses and dual-degree programs are described below. Also, based on a student’s prior course work, training, and/or experience, the Director of the LL.M. Program may waive graduation requirements. The policy is outlined below.

Waiver of Graduation Requirements for the LL.M. in Dispute Resolution

The Director of the LL.M. Program may waive graduation requirements of taking LL.M. courses (except for the LL.M. Major Research Project) for individual students based on their prior course work, training, and/or dispute resolution experience. Students eligible to waive an LL.M. in Dispute Resolution graduation requirement normally are encouraged to take our LL.M. course because usually there is worthwhile new material in our course. To apply for a waiver, students must provide documentation of the course work, training, or experience as appropriate. If a graduation requirement is waived, the student would not take the course in our program and would not receive credit for the required course. In other words, the student would still need to complete 24 credits but, in lieu of a required course, the student would take another course.

There are several situations where students would not be eligible to receive transfer credit but where it would be appropriate to waive a requirement. The most common situations include:

  • The student has had substantial mediation training and/or experience and would find the Non-Binding Methods of Dispute Resolution course too redundant. Similarly, a student may have had substantial arbitration training and/or experience and would find the LL.M. Arbitration Seminar course too redundant.
  • In a student’s J.D. program, the student has taken a course that substantially overlaps with one of the required courses in the LL.M. Program. Under the policy governing transfer credit, students may not receive transfer credit for courses taken in a J.D. program.
  • A student has taken a course in a non-J.D. program more than four years before that substantially overlaps with one of the required courses in the LL.M. Program. Under the policy governing transfer credit, students may not receive transfer credit for courses taken more than four years prior to initial enrollment in the LL.M. Program.

Dual Degrees in Dispute Resolution and Journalism

Students may enroll in dual degree programs with the School of Journalism to obtain a M.A. or Ph.D. in journalism as well as an LL.M. in dispute resolution. These dual degree programs allow students to complete two degrees by counting some credits from one degree toward the graduation requirements of the other degree. Thus students who enroll in these degree programs concurrently may be able to complete both degrees in one or two semesters less than if they participated in the degree programs consecutively. Dual degree students must apply and be admitted independently into both programs. The applications must include a statement requesting permission to pursue the dual degree program. While applications from current students in either program will be considered, students normally should declare an intent to enter both programs before entering the University. Students interested in these dual degree programs should consult with Prof. Richard Reuben for advice.