Effective post-J.D. legal study provides the opportunity to explore areas of the law in more depth through a customized curriculum taught by leading experts in a stimulating academic environment. At Southwestern Law School, we offer an outstanding Master of Laws (LL.M.) program that fulfills that promise.
Southwestern’s flexible General LL.M. Program in Individualized Studies is designed for students who have already earned a law degree in the United States or abroad and would like to extend their legal studies in line with their own personal and professional goals.
As a student in Southwestern’s LL.M. program, you can create your own curriculum from a selection of over 150 courses focused in the area of law that will be of the most benefit to you. Over a quarter of our faculty have international experience. The LL.M. degree requires 24 credit hours of post-J.D. coursework and may be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis and may begin in fall or spring.
You will be able to take advantage of Southwestern’s dynamic metropolitan location in the center of Los Angeles and be part of a community that has produced trailblazers and leaders for more than 100 years. The law school’s 10,000 alumni throughout the United States and 25 other countries include prominent public officials—from members of Congress to mayors, and over 200 judges—as well as founders of major law firms from coast to coast and general counsels of multinational corporations.
General LL.M. (Individualized Studies)
Southwestern's General Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree is designed for American and foreign-trained law graduates wishing to engage in advanced legal studies tailored to advancing their individual professional goals and interests.
Learning Outcome 1: Individualized Studies
Students will develop a detailed course of study tailored to their own goals and interests,
Performance Criterion 1.1: Students will identify, plan, and initiate an individual plan of study related to their professional goals.
Performance Criterion 1.2: Students will articulate their values, priorities, and interests, and demonstrate an awareness of alternatives, when formulating their individual study plans.
Learning Outcome 2: Legal Knowledge
Students will be able to identify and explain fundamental legal rules, procedures, concepts, theories, and policies relevant to their chosen areas of study.
Performance Criterion 2.1: Students will identify and accurately articulate the terms, rules, and principles of core substantive and procedural areas of law within their areas of study.
Performance Criterion 2.2: Students will accurately identify and articulate the underlying theories, policies, historical development, and social, economic, and political context of legal rules applicable to their course of study.
Learning Outcome 3: Legal Analysis
Students will be able to apply knowledge and critical reading and thinking skills to be proficient in legal analysis, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Performance Criterion 3.1: Students will accurately identify relevant legal issues raised by a set of facts.
Performance Criterion 3.2: Students will accurately identify legal rules applicable to an issue raised by a set of facts, including conflicting rules and rules synthesized from multiple authorities pertinent to the particular issue.
Learning Outcome 4: Legal Skills
Students will be able to effectively communicate with a variety of audiences.
Performance Criterion 4.1: In written legal analysis and other forms of legal writing, students will produce work that is clear, concise, well organized, and professional in tone, and that complies with directions or instructions, including any formatting or citation requirements.
Performance Criterion 4.2: Students will locate and analyze primary and secondary sources relevant to a legal issue, including binding and persuasive authority.
A Diverse and Welcoming Student-Centered Environment
The global perspective and varied backgrounds that are represented within the Southwestern community enhance the academic and cultural experience of all students. Recent LL.M. entering classes have included students from around the U.S. and countries such as:
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
Southwestern provides students with the opportunities, connections, resources and environment to ensure their success in and out of the classroom. The International Jurist included Southwestern in its roundup of "The Best LL.M. Programs: The Law School Experience." LL.M. students participate in many of the co-curricular activities that enable students to hone their skills and keep connected to the community. A diverse selection of student organizations offer support and mentoring programs as well as social and professional networks and public service opportunities.
Students enrolled in Southwestern’s LL.M. program also have access to a variety of services related to career planning and development including individualized sessions with career counselors; access to the online job bank listings; resume and cover letter critiques; an extensive resource library; mock interviews; invitations to career days, practice panels, and networking events; and a series of workshops detailing all aspects of the job search process.
The LL.M. office is dedicated to working on an individual basis with students to help them become acclimated to Los Angeles and the law school. Services are designed to help students with all aspects of their Southwestern experience, from personalized academic counseling and support programs to small group excursions and other cultural and recreational activities.