UC Hastings LL.M. Program

Program Description

If you are a foreign attorney or hold a degree that would qualify you for the practice of law from a recognized law faculty outside the U.S., UC Hastings invites you to apply for a one-year LL.M. degree in United States Legal Studies.

LL.M. candidates may receive a general degree in U.S. law or elect to specialize in any of the following areas:

  • International Law and Human Rights
  • Science, Technology and Intellectual Property
  • International Business and Trade
  • Dispute Resolution and Legal Process
  • Taxation
  • Family Law

UC Hastings offers you a dynamic and humane intellectual community committed to the pursuit of justice and the highest professional standards. Our LL.M. graduates hold a wide variety of positions in law, business and education both abroad and in the United States. They include judges, law professors, and practitioners. UC Hastings is the first law faculty established in the western United States and is regularly ranked among the top 15 U.S. public law schools.

Our newly renovated classroom building and library feature state-of-the-art technology. We possess one of the largest collections of U.S., international, and comparative legal material in the United States. Our extraordinary collection is backed by the wealth of scholarly resources of the entire University of California and library staff specially trained in international research.

Our J.D. student body is among the most selective and diverse in the United States. Each year we choose an entering J.D. class of about 400 from over 6,000 applications. About one-third represent cultural and ethnic minorities, and many have studied or lived abroad. International students are welcome to join some 45 student organizations and eight student-edited law journals.

UC Hastings offers a J.D. transfer program which allows qualifying LL.M. students to apply to the J.D. program using grades and faculty recommendations in substitution for an LSAT score. If the LL.M. candidate is admitted into the J.D. program, he or she does not receive an LL.M. degree; instead the 24 credits earned as an LL.M. are applied towards satisfaction of the J.D. degree, and the student is required to complete two additional years of study and any additional requirements necessary to receive the J.D. degree.

Connect to the World

At UC Hastings, we believe it is important for students to connect to the surrounding community and to the world. The school prides itself on its international legal programs and its innovative programs in clinical legal education and alternative dispute resolution.

We have established a number of innovative research and legal services centers to address a range of national and international issues, including the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, which is the leading organization for women asylum-seekers fleeing gender-related harm; the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Revolution, which organizes research and professional programs for the study of lawyering skills in negotiation and mediation; and the Center for WorkLife Law, which is a research and advocacy center that seeks to eliminate employment discrimination against caregivers, such as parents and adult children of aging parents.

Connect to our Faculty

At UC Hastings you will have ready access to some of the leading law professors in the United States. Our faculty prides itself on its teaching and scholarship. More than 25 of the leading law textbooks used by most law schools in the United States are authored by UC Hastings faculty. Our professors include leading figures in a wide range of fields. Most have clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justices or other prominent federal or state judges. Many have worked as prosecutors or practiced with top national and international law firms. Several have served in the federal government, and many have studied or taught in other countries and draw upon their international experience in their classes and writing. Numerous faculty members are regular commentators on legal developments on television or the Internet or in the print media.

UC Hastings LL.M. candidates have access to approximately 130 courses, including 50 seminar courses with limited class sizes. The UC Hastings faculty nurtures students to develop their own arguments and express their views freely in a mutually supportive environment. Typically, most classes have 50 or fewer students and no class has more than 100 students. Few other U.S. law schools have as wide a selection of courses open to LL.M. and J.D. candidates alike. Please review the list of available courses on our website.

Connect to the Community

The UC Hastings campus is in the beautiful and vibrant city of San Francisco. San Francisco, more than any other U.S. city, celebrates multi-cultural diversity and welcomes the dynamic economic forces transforming the global economy. As a bridge linking Asia, Latin America, and North America, the San Francisco Bay Area has long been a trendsetter. UC Hastings, located in the heart of the city’s renaissant Civic Center, is surrounded by the city’s concert halls, theaters, opera, and ballet; the federal, state, and city courts and government offices. Adding to the eclectic mix, the headquarters of social media giants such as Twitter and Zynga are a few doors down from UC Hastings’ front steps.

[Link to Facebook]

Degree Requirements

LL.M. candidates are required to complete successfully at least 24 credit hours of classes, including Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems, Legal Writing and Research, and one first-year required course (contracts, torts, criminal law, property, constitutional law, or civil procedure). LL.M. candidates must attend a 2 week orientation program before classes begin. LL.M. candidates who choose to concentrate in one of the areas of specialization must pass at least 12 credits in their chosen area.

The Associate Dean and the Director of Global Programs help each LL.M student select courses that are tailored to his or her interests. An LL.M. candidate may select any course (except a clinic) with the consent of the Associate Dean or the Director and subject to any prerequisites determined by the instructor for the class. LL.M. candidates are required to receive a passing grade in classes in order to obtain course credit and receive the degree. LL.M. students are otherwise subject to all of the academic and related regulations promulgated by the College.

Download or Review our LL.M. Brochure here