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LLM In American Legal Studies

Foreign attorneys with an LLB or equivalent first degree in law, may enroll in our American Legal Studies program with a personalized curriculum. Students in the program work one-on-one with the program director to select a program of study that best meets their goals. Students may specialize in:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Sports & Entertainment Law
  • General American Law

LLM students typically pursue one of two goals. (1) preparing to take the Bar Exam and become licensed to practice law in California; or (2) exploring a particular area of American law to enhance a law practice in the student’s home country.

Curriculum & Degree Requirements

All students will attend a week-long program to orient them to the law school environment, law classes, and campus resources. Students may choose from a wide variety of law classes tailored to their specialty. The 24-unit program includes the following types of courses:

  • Introduction to American Law for Foreign Students
  • Core American Law courses taken with JD students
  • Practice Skills Classes
  • Bar Preparation Classes

The program is designed to take one academic year, but students often choose to extend the time of their studies.

Learn More About Our LLM Curriculum

View The LLM Program of Study

Visas & Optional Practical Training

Thomas Jefferson School of Law can assist foreign students to obtain an F-1 visa. 

Students completing one year in the LLM program may be eligible to work outside the law school under the Optional Practical Training program. For more information, see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Supplemental Bar Exam Preparation Opportunity

After graduating from the program, students may take courses at reduced tuition levels designed to help students master how to answer each type of question asked on the California Bar Exam. These include:

  • Bar Exam Fundamentals
  • MBE Mastery
  • Mastering the Performance Test

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate:

  • Foundational Understanding: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the structures of the U.S. legal system and how the common law system operates in the U.S.;
  • Professional Responsibility: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the substantive doctrine and theory of professional responsibility;
  • Substantive & Procedural Law: Demonstrate an understanding of substantive and/or procedural laws (as applicable to their area of interest and requirements of relevant bar exam); and
  • Legal Communication: Demonstrate effective legal communication.

Admissions & Application Information

The application process to TJSL’s LLM program is simple and free. From eligibility, to application status, to important dates and deadlines, get all the information you need to be successful on our LLM application information page. Our Admissions staff is standing by to help you. Contact us at if you need help at any point in the application process. 

Learn More About The Application Process

Apply Now To Our LLM In American Legal Studies


Applicants to the LLM program in American Legal Studies will be considered for scholarships up to 50% of tuition

Hear What Our Students & Alumni Have To Say

“Thank you for the wonderful and interesting classes and the support shown to me from my first day at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have learned at this school. The entire staff is very friendly, positive, and amazing, and I hope to see everyone again soon. Thanks again very much.”

Tamta Tsintsadze,

“For me it is an honor to be part of the TJSL community, now as an alumna. I have learned much more than I could have imagined when I started 2 years ago. What a wonderful opportunity!”

Daniela Benes Hirschfield,

“As a European student this dive into the American law universe is extremely rewarding. Unlike other LLM programs that can separate LLM students from other US students, Thomas Jefferson School of Law allows you to participate in all classes alongside other students at the law school. If you like the challenge and the work does not scare you, this experience can only be beneficial for you.”

Stephane Huhuet,

“I am extremely impressed with the quality of the LL.M. program at TJSL. The faculty and staff are truly interested in the success of their students and are very approachable. The Professors are not only highly knowledgeable in their respective legal field, but also have excellent pedagogic skills, which makes a huge difference on the learning curve. Being able to study in an astonishing facility, with state-of-the-art classrooms, amongst American students, at the amazing city of San Diego makes this experience unique and very enjoyable. Highly recommendable to any lawyer looking to understand and deepen their knowledge of the interesting American Legal System.”

Luiz Mattos,

“My professors really gave me a lot of their time and made an incredible effort to make my classes understandable. They made me feel comfortable with my language in class, even though English is not my first language.”

Linnet Mariscal,

“What I like most at Thomas Jefferson School of Law is the highly professional and challenging atmosphere. From the very beginning I received the guidance on everything I needed: from the application process to course selection, and work load. Then, as an LLM student, I had the chance to learn from the best. Remarkable scholars and highly respected practitioners, the professors were very demanding, still willing to help me gain a deep understanding of the various aspects of the American Legal System. Every week the school hosts conferences and networking events, providing students with every resource needed to become competitive practitioners in the U.S or abroad. Last but not least, Thomas Jefferson School of Law really embraces diversity, thus studying together with students of different nationalities and coming from various backgrounds was a truly enriching experience.”

Luciana Simion,

“This experience was the best one I ever had! Being able to learn about the American legal system while being surrounded by Americans from different states and learning the differences and similarities between them was very interesting. The faculty, the professors, and the many resources available made this experience even more enjoyable by showing that they are always here to help you anytime you need. I would definitely encourage anyone who is hesitating to take the plunge and use this amazing opportunity to travel, meet new people, and learn about another legal system.”

Mariam Kada,

“Immersing myself in the LLM program has been the most challenging experience of my life, and my first time to the USA. It truly was a great opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge through the teaching of such great professors. The professors of Thomas Jefferson School of Law are committed to their students and their success. Also, I had the chance to study alongside an incredibly diverse student body that comes from very different backgrounds. The most valuable of this experience was acquiring a practical understanding of the American legal system and learning a great amount of English legal vocabulary.”

Marion Piazza,

“I had a great experience being an LLM student at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Highly qualified professors. contemporary, well equipped classrooms, great library – all the resources were there for me. The most valuable part, however, was that I had an opportunity to study with American students, rather than taking special classes for foreigners. That experience accelerated my studies, and my professors helped me prepare for real life and real work, build confidence, and subsequently to get my job.”

Sofia Malysheva,