LL.M. in American Legal Studies

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program in American Legal Studies (“ALS”) is a one-year degree program of 24 credits for candidates seeking a U.S. law degree. It is designed for individuals that have an initial law degree from outside the United States. This includes attorneys, judges, government officials, prosecutors, corporate legal counsel, bankers, and recent law graduates.


An LL.M. in American Legal Studies will appeal to foreign law graduates who wish to obtain comprehensive training in American legal practice and to use this training to find a job in the many competitive U.S. law firms operating in foreign countries. With an LL.M. in American Legal Studies, foreign law graduates will be more attractive to the high paying U.S. law firms operating and recruiting abroad.


Full time students generally complete the program in one academic year (two semesters).


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Course Details


LL.M. students will be introduced to the U.S. legal system and, with advice from our faculty advisors and staff, will be allowed to choose their own course of study from the extensive law course offerings at TJSL. For more detailed information about our curriculum, please visit our list of required courses and elective courses.


Foreign law graduates at Thomas Jefferson will study together with J.D. students in order to promote a truly international and cultural exchange. Immersion into the rich J.D. curriculum and a low faculty to student ratio at Thomas Jefferson will prepare the foreign law graduates taking an LL.M. in American Legal Studies to deal effectively with U.S. attorneys in their home countries as well as those serving foreign governments and international organizations. LL.M. students at Thomas Jefferson can expect to receive more personal attention than is typical in other U.S. law schools.


Although this is a residential program held at Thomas Jefferson's state of the art law school campus in San Diego, California, LL.M. students are eligible to participate in Thomas Jefferson's Summer Study Abroad  programs held in Nice, France, and Hangzhou, China, where they can earn up to 8 of the 24 credits required for this degree.


Bar Eligibility


Students enrolled in the ALS program may elect one of two tracks – (1) Bar Exam eligible and (2) Non-Bar Exam eligible. LL.M. students who complete a minimum of 20 credits may be eligible to take the bar exam in California and other jurisdictions such as New York and Washington, D.C. Students wishing to take the California bar examination must fulfill certain specific requirements including but not limited to taking four doctrinal courses and Professional Responsibility as well as being subject to the same grading standards as the J.D. students. Students are encouraged to research state bar examination requirements through the National Committee of Bar Examiners and to contact the bar association of each state to confirm eligibility.


Program Dates



Start date

End date

Fall 2015

August 10, 2015

December 15, 2015

Spring 2016

January 11, 2016

May 13, 2016




1. Application Documents - There is no separate fee to submit the application.
a. Application form
b. Personal Statement – one to two pages explaining your interest and qualifications for the program
c. Letter of Recommendation – one letter recommendation
d. Resume / CV – detailing your education, work history and awards
e. English Proficiency Exam:
• TOEFL – average admitted score 92
‚Äč• IELTS – average admitted score 6
2. Transcript Evaluation: Student must send foreign transcript to 3rd party credential evaluation company. Preferred vendors listed below.
3. Seat Deposit - $400: In order to reserve your seat, a non-refundable $400 deposit is required. The entire $400 deposit will be applied to your first semester’s tuition and the deposit cannot be waived.
4. Tuition
a. Fall 2015 - $20,930 (13 units @ $1610 per unit)
b. Spring 2016 - $17,710 (estimate for 11 units @ $1610 per unit)
5. Books - $1200
6. Living expenses
a. Room and Board - $14,850 ($1,650 x 9)
b. Medial Insurance - $2,700 (this is mandatory, unless a student can show that they have insurance that covers them while in San Diego)
c. Transportation - $3,420  ($380 x 9)
d. Miscellaneous - $3,600  ($400 x 9)