The Master of Laws (LLM) Degree

Stanford Law School offers four LLM (Master of Laws) degrees:

  1. LLM in Corporate Governance and Practice
  2. LLM in Environmental Law and Policy
  3. LLM in International Economic Law, Business and Policy
  4. LLM in Law, Science and Technology

The LLM degree is awarded only to individuals who already hold a JD degree (or its equivalent).

Overview of Degree Requirements

The general requirements for the degree of Master of Laws are:

  • Successful completion of at least 35 approved quarter units, including specific course requirements;
  • Three quarters of residency;
  • Timely filing of an application for graduation.
  • Each LLM program has further specific course requirements as outlined below.

Unit Requirement

To obtain an LLM degree, students must complete at least 35 but no more than 45 approved quarter units of course work. At least 26 of these units must be in Law School courses; however, see below for the policies and limitations on enrolling in courses from elsewhere in the University, and see the section on the California or New York Bar Exam for special unit requirements for students expecting to sit for the Bar Exam in California or New York.

Limitations on Course Selection

LLM candidates are subject to the following limitations on course selection:

  • LLM candidates may not take more than forty-five (45) units while enrolled at Stanford Law School. All units taken at Stanford Law School or Stanford University count toward this total, whether or not these units are taken for credit toward the degree.
  • LLM candidates may not take any courses that are required as part of the first quarter of the first year of the JD curriculum and must petition for permission to take any courses that are required as part of the second quarter of the first year of the JD curriculum.
  • LLM candidates may not take any courses at other law schools.
  • LLM candidates may take for Law School credit no more than nine (9) quarter units worth of courses elsewhere in the University and may not take any foreign or English language courses for Law School credit.
  • LLM candidates generally cannot avail themselves of the “clinical quarter.” However, in exceptional circumstances and with permission of the clinical instructor and the LLM teaching fellow for the relevant program, this restriction may be waived. Students receiving such an exception will be required to satisfy all other course requirements for their degree.

Residency Requirement

To graduate, an LLM candidate must be “in residence” as a law student for at least three quarters. For purposes of the LLM degree, the term “in residence” means that a student:

  • Takes at least 9 quarter units of credit that can be counted toward the degree each quarter.
  • By the date all grades for the quarter are due, passes at least 8 units each quarter.
  • Pays full tuition to the law school.
  • Does not work more than 20 hours per week during the term. (See section entitled ‘Limitations on Working’ for more information.) A student must be in residence during the quarter in which the final degree is conferred or in the quarter immediately preceding degree conferral.

The Limit on Degree Conferral

Candidates for the LLM degree are expected to complete all degree requirements within one academic year and must complete the degree requirements within two consecutive academic years.

Timely Filing of a "Graduation Application"

Students should consult the University’s online Academic Calendar for the Graduation Application deadline dates for each term. The Academic Calendar is available through the Office of the University Registrar.

Academic Calendar

Course Requirements for the LLM in Corporate Governance and Practice

Candidates for the LLM in Corporate Governance and Practice must successfully complete each of the following courses:

  • Introduction to American Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Corporate Governance and Practice Seminar I
  • Corporate Governance and Practice Seminar II
  •  Corporations
  • Advanced Legal Writing — Strongly encouraged, but optional (required for the New York Bar)

In addition, LLM Corporate Governance and Practice students must successfully complete at least four (4) of the following courses, depending on offerings and availability (not all courses are offered every year). At the discretion of the Teaching Fellow, classes not on this list that relate to business law and are offered by the Law School may be counted towards fulfillment of these requirements. The following classes represent the core of the Corporate Law curriculum at Stanford:

  • Accounting
  • Advanced Legal Writing: Business Transactions
  • Antitrust (and Advanced Antitrust)
  • Banking Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • China Law and Business
  • Comparative Corporate Capitalism
  • Comparative Corporate Law and Governance
  • Comparative Venture Capital: China
  • Contract Design
  • Contracts: American Law
  • Corporate Acquisitions
  • Corporate Finance (and Advanced Corporate Finance)
  • Corporate Income Taxation
  • Corporate Reorganization
  • Going Global
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Deals
  • International Investment Law
  • International Securities Offerings
  • International Tax
  • Introduction to Law and Economics
  • Introduction to Financial Institutions
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Law and Economics Seminar I/II
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Negotiations (and Advanced Negotiations)
  • Partnership Tax
  • Private Equity Investing
  • Quantitative Methods: Finance
  • Securities Litigation
  • Securities Regulation
  • Taxation
  • Tax Policy
  • Corporate and Securities Litigation
  • Current Issues in Corporate Governance
  • Current Issues in Tax
  • Deals I/II
  • Deals in Latin America
  • Derivatives
  • Economic Analysis of Law
  • Venture Capital I/II
  • White Collar Crime

A number of other courses at the Law School are recommended for LLM CGP students, and students can also enroll in some courses outside the Law School such as at the Graduate School of Business or the d.school, subject to availability. A list is available from the Office of International Graduate Programs.

Course Requirements for the LLM in International Economic Law, Business & Policy

Candidates for the LLM in International Economic Law, Business & Policy must successfully complete each of the following courses:

  • Introduction to American Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • IELBP Colloquium I (Fall)
  • IELBP Colloquium II (Spring)

In addition, IELBP students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to take an advanced legal writing course (indicated with an “ALW” prefix), including:

  • Advanced Legal Writing: BusinessTransactions
  • Advanced Legal Writing for American Practice
  • Advanced Legal Writing: Litigation

Note that some but not all of the law school’s ALW courses meet the “legal research, writing and analysis” requirement for the New York Bar’s legal research, writing, and analysis requirement. LLM students should refer to the section on “LLM and JSM Requirements” of this SLS Student Handbook, which lists the courses that meet the New York bar requirement. LLM students who are not taking the New York Bar and wish to opt out of taking an ALW course may do so with the permission of the Teaching Fellow.

In addition, candidates for the LLM in International Economic Law, Business and Policy students must successfully complete at least four (4) of the following courses:

  • Antitrust
  • Antitrust and the Challenges of Competition in Digital Markets
  • Arbitration: Law, Practice & Politics
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: Law, Economics, Business, and Policy
  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • European Union Law
  • Global Litigation Law
  • Global Poverty and the Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Business Negotiation
  • International Business Transactions & Litigation
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Investment Law
  • International Tax
  • International Trade
  • IP: International & Comparative Copyright
  • Redesigning Dispute Systems Law
  • Negotiation

Course Requirements for the LLM in Environmental Law and Policy

Candidates for the LLM in Environmental Law and Policy must successfully complete each of the following requirements:

  • Introduction to American Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Environmental Law and Policy Colloquium I (fall)
  • Environmental Law and Policy Colloquium II (spring)
  • At least one environmental course outside of the law school to be approved by the ELP Teaching Fellow.

In addition, LLM ELP students must successfully complete at least four of the following environmental law focal courses. At least one of the four courses must be a core environmental law course. Core courses are noted in the list below with an *:

  • Energy Law*
  • Environmental Law and Policy*
  • Water Law*
  • Environmental Justice*
  • Business of Water
  • Land Use
  • Climate: Politics, Finance and Infrastructure
  • Advanced Negotiation: Environmental Policy
  • Public Lands

Other courses both inside and outside the Law School are recommended for LLM ELP students. A list of these courses was provided to all LLM ELP students and is available from the Office of International Graduate Programs.

Course Requirements for the LLM in Law, Science and Technology

Candidates for the LLM in Law, Science, and Technology must successfully complete each of the following courses:

  • Introduction to American Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • LST Colloquium I
  • LST Colloquium II

LLM LST students who intend to take the New York Bar also must take a compliant advanced legal writing course, such as Advanced Legal Writing: Business Transactions or Advanced Legal Writing: American Practice. For a complete list of approved advanced legal writing courses and other eligibility requirements, please refer to the New York Bar Exam section of this handbook. In addition to these required courses, a number of others are recommended for all LLM LST students. A list of these courses was provided to all LLM LST students prior to enrollment and is available from the Office of International Graduate Programs.