Lawyers who already have received a J.D. degree from an accredited U.S. law school or an equivalent degree in another country and satisfy Wayne Law's LL.M. admissions criteria are eligible to undertake advanced legal studies for a master of laws (LL.M.) degree at Wayne Law.
Domestic and international students seeking specialized legal knowledge and skills may undertake an LL.M. degree with a major in one of the following substantive law areas:
- Corporate and finance law
- Labor and employment law
- U.S. law (open to international students who seek a general understanding of the U.S. legal system to enhance their home country practice)
The basic requirement for admission to the LL.M. program is a demonstration of sufficient ability to be a successful student. This ability may be demonstrated by a record that includes the following:
- A J.D. (or LL.B.) degree from a law school that is approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
- A J.D. (or LL.B.) degree from a law school that is approved by the American Bar Association but is not a member of the Association of American Law Schools, but only if the applicant has compiled a distinguished academic record at that law school.
- The equivalent of a J.D. or LL.B. degree from a law school outside the United States at which the applicant compiled a distinguished academic record. Applicants must receive a score of 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 250 or above on the computer-based TOEFL, or 100 or above on the internet-based TOEFL, or 7.0 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, although a waiver of this requirement may be granted based on other evidence of English language competency. Individuals are ineligible for admission to the United States Law LL.M. Program if they have received a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school.
- In extraordinary cases, the Graduate Committee, on the recommendation of the director of graduate studies, may admit to the LL.M. degree program an applicant who has graduated from a United States law school that is not approved by the American Bar Association if the applicant has been admitted to practice without limitation in one of the states of the United States and has clearly demonstrated by experience, academic performance and other qualifications the ability to perform well in the LL.M. program. The director of graduate studies shall sign and place in the student's file a statement of the considerations that led to the decision to admit the applicant.
Each state applies its own criteria for allowing applicants to take the bar examination and for admitting attorneys to practice law. Completion of the LL.M. degree does not qualify a student to apply for permission to take the bar exam in every state. Lawyers from other countries seeking to practice law in the United States should obtain information regarding the requirements for admission to the bar in the state(s) in which they wish to practice.
How to apply
Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School.
Among the required documents are "official transcripts." Official transcripts are those issued directly by your previous institution. They usually include a school imprint, seal, or original signature and stamp of the registrar or senior school official. Transcripts cannot be transmitted via the applicant and must be sent by the institution to Wayne State University and cannot read "issued to student." Electronic transcripts will be accepted if they are delivered securely from the registrar of the issuing institution directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Specific questions about the program may be directed to the director of graduate studies.
LL.M. application deadlines are:
- Nov. 1 - winter term
- March 15 - spring/summer term
- July 1 - fall term
Applicants from abroad are encouraged to apply substantially earlier to allow sufficient time to obtain the necessary visa and other documents.
The requirements and expectations for the LL.M. degree are set forth in the Master of Laws Academic Regulations (law.wayne.edu/llmregs), which should be read in conjunction with the Wayne Law Academic Regulations (law.wayne.edu/academicregs).
The LL.M. curriculum includes day and evening courses taught by nationally recognized faculty and expert practitioners. Each LL.M. major requires that a student take specified core courses and allows a student to select electives from a large list of law courses approved for credit toward that particular major. In addition, LL.M. students majoring in one of the substantive law areas may select electives from among approved courses for their majors in other university departments or schools, such as business, finance and industrial relations. (Certain restrictions apply if equivalent courses are offered in the Law School in the same academic year.) LL.M. students other than those majoring in U.S. law also must complete a master's thesis, written and researched in collaboration with a faculty adviser, as the capstone of their studies.
Courses are offered during three terms with the broadest offerings in the fall semester (beginning in late August) and winter semester (beginning in January). Additional courses are offered in the summer/ spring term (beginning in mid-May). Course scheduling changes from year to year depending on faculty teaching commitments, but tentative schedules for two-year cycles are available on the website so that students can plan their pathways to the degree. Students should consult with the LL.M. program director and faculty in their major areas to determine reasonable schedules of courses.
Although students may initiate their LL.M. degree studies in the winter semester, students are encouraged to enroll in the fall semester so they can participate in the fall orientation program for new students (generally offered in the week prior to the commencement of the fall semester) and register for core courses (such as Taxation for tax majors, Corporations for corporate and finance law majors or Survey of U.S. Law for U.S. law majors) that may not be offered in the winter semester and are often prerequisites for more advanced study.
LL.M. students are permitted to take up to six years to complete their degree. Full-time students usually can complete their LL.M. coursework in one year (often including work on the master's thesis over the summer), while part-time study generally requires two or more years.