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Degrees & Courses

Recorder’s Office

All students in the School of Law must register for classes through the Law School recorder’s office and not through the IU Registrar’s office or using OneStart.

Office: Law Building, Room 022

Contact Us:

Sheila Gerber, Office Coordinator
Phone: 812-855-4809
E-mail: sdgerber@indiana.edu

Alexis Lanham, Recorder
Phone: 812-855-1888
E-mail: adlanham@indiana.edu

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LLM, MCL, SJD, PhD

Degree Requirements

Individual course counseling enables each of our graduate students to develop a unique course of study that suits his or her specific academic and career goals.

We offer a one-semester Certificate in Legal Studies and the following graduate degree programs:

  • LLM
  • LLM with Thesis
  • MCL
  • SJD
  • PhD in Law and Democracy

Following are the courses specific to our graduate degrees. For more information about all of Indiana Law’s offerings, see a list of Indiana Law courses.

Master of Laws (LLM)

This degree offers two options: the LLM, our most popular graduate degree option, and LLM Thesis. The majority of students pursue the LLM, while a small number of exceptional students gain admission to the LLM Thesis program, generally after one semester in residence as an LLM student.

LLM

The LLM provides aspiring legal practitioners and jurists with direct experience in the American legal system. In addition to coursework, students observe judicial proceedings and meet with practicing attorneys and judges.

The LLM requires at least two semesters in residence.

Required Courses
  • 24 credit hours of course work that must include the following:
    • B504: Introduction to American Law (2 credits, two-week intensive course in July/August; fall)
    • B530: Legal Writing and Research Methods for LLM and MCL Students (2 credits, fall)
LLM Thesis

The LLM Thesis provides an excellent foundation in scholarly research and writing. Admission to this program is typically granted at the end of the first semester of work in the LLM practicum program. Under special circumstances, students may be admitted directly to this program. Students may apply to enter the SJD (Doctor of Judicial Science) program as they complete thesis work, though completion of a thesis does not guarantee admission to the SJD program. Students in this program work closely with a thesis advisor.

The LLM Thesis requires two to three semesters in residence.

Required Courses
  • 24 credit hours of coursework that must include the following:
    • B504: Introduction to American Law (2 credits, two-week intensive course in July/August; fall)
    • B530: Legal Writing and Research Methods for LLM and MCL Students (2 credits, fall)
    • B791: Academic Legal Writing (1 credit, spring)
  • 6 credit hours for the thesis
Master of Comparative Law (MCL)

Indiana Law’s MCL is somewhat shorter than the LLM program and offers foreign law students an opportunity to gain familiarity with American law and legal institutions.

The MCL requires two semesters in residence.

Required Courses
  • 20 credit hours of course work that must include the following:
    • B504: Introduction to American Law (2 credits, two-week intensive course in July/August; fall)
    • B530: Legal Writing and Research Methods for LLM and MCL Students (2 credits, fall)
Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

The SJD is for international law graduates who have demonstrated analytical and research abilities and have an opportunity for extended study, research, and scholarly writing. The centerpiece of this program is a doctoral dissertation that is completed under the supervision of Law School faculty advisers. Graduates of this program typically achieve distinction in their home countries as law professors or in public service. All successful SJD candidates have outstanding academic records, provide evidence of excellent reading and writing skills in English, and submit a research proposal of importance and originality. Admission to Indiana Law’s SJD program is highly selective.

The SJD requires a minimum of one year in residence and the following:

  • 30 credit hours (includes B791, Academic Legal Writing, and up to 8 credit hours for relevant course work approved by advisor; all other credits are research credits)
  • A proposal defense (normally takes place in the first semester of matriculation)
  • A dissertation defense
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law and Democracy

The Doctor of Philosophy in Law and Democracy (PhD) involves interdisciplinary research and coursework in law, anthropology, political science, and area studies for the part of the world in which the candidate wishes to work.  PhD candidates must complete the course of study specified in the program description. Candidates take comprehensive exams and must complete a dissertation defense. Each PhD candidate will be assigned an advisory committee, including a primary advisor who is a faculty member associated with the Center for Constitutional Democracy.

Before applying to the Law and Democracy PhD program, applicants should contact Prof. Susan H. Williams to determine whether they are appropriate candidates for the program.  The application procedure for this program is slightly different from the application procedure for the PhD in Law and Social Sciences.  The supplementary application materials can be found here.

The PhD in Law and Democracy requires a minimum of two years in residence and the following:

  • 69 credit hours divided between courses in law, anthropology, political science and area studies
  • 21 credit hours for dissertation research
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the language of the country or countries studied
  • Fieldwork related to the country or countries studied
  • An internship with the Center for Constitutional Democracy
  • Completion of qualifying examinations
  • The production of a dissertation
  • A dissertation defense
Certificate in Legal Studies

The Certificate in Legal Studies is a non-degree program designed for international lawyers whose professional demands limit the amount of time they can pursue legal education abroad. Applicants should specify their interest in this program and submit application materials at least five months before the start of the semester in which they plan to study (fall or spring).

The Certificate in Legal Studies requires at least one semester in residence and at least 8 hours of course work.