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Foreign Lawyer LL.M. - Curriculum

Duquesne University School of Law's LL.M. curriculum features a selection of required core American law courses and a variety of eligible elective courses. All LL.M. candidates must receive passing grades in classes totaling 26 credits.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits)
  • American Legal Information System and Legal Research, including case briefing (2 credits)
  • Minimum of 2 courses from the following list:
    • Contracts
    • Torts
    • Civil Procedure I. II.
    • Property
    • Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Constitutional Law

Elective Courses

In addition to the core courses, LL.M. candidates may take any elective or J.D.-required course offered by the School of Law, with some exceptions, such as required first-year Legal Research and Writing courses, Core Competencies, Advanced Legal Reasoning and elective courses for which they have not taken and passed a listed prerequisite course. LL.M. candidates may not take any of the following courses without the express written permission of the professor teaching the course: Advanced Legal Writing courses; courses linked to the Trial Advocacy and Appellate Advocacy Programs; and Clinical and Externship courses.

Each LL.M. candidate must take at least one course that requires submission of a significant paper; an Independent Research course may fulfill this requirement.


  • The examinations of LL.M. candidates will be specifically identified and graded outside of any curve established by the School of Law.
  • LL.M. candidates will be graded in all courses on a pass/fail/honors basis.
  • LL.M. candidates may be graded by use of the same exam as J.D. candidates, an alternative exam or a paper, at the professor's discretion. However, the following accommodations will be made for LL.M. candidates (who are non-native English speakers):
  • They will be allowed the use of a common-language (i.e., not legal) translating dictionary from their native language into English during any examination.
  • They will be offered at least 50% more time than J.D. candidates if the professor elects to have the LL.M. candidate sit for the same exam as the J.D. students.
  • At the professor's discretion, other accommodations may be offered (e.g., open book examinations).
  • All other requirements related to sitting for any bar will be the responsibility of the candidate, including (but not limited to) whether their original degree-granting institution meets the requirements of any particular state.


Candidates may receive the LL.M. degree with distinction.


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