2022-2023 WCL Catalog 
    Apr 13, 2024  
2022-2023 WCL Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LL.M in International Business & Trade

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The LL.M in International Business and Trade Law is focuses on the international law of trade, investment, finance, and other business transactions. 

The LL.M’s core courses cover the fundamentals of trade negotiations and regulation under domestic and international law, and of international sales, transfer of technology, and other cross-border transactions. Students may then choose from a wide array of specialized electives, including U.S. trade remedies and export controls, trade and investment, bilateral and regional trade agreements, e-commerce, trade in services and intellectual property, currency and financial transactions. Students may also explore the linkages between trade, business, and other areas of law, such as environment, human rights, labor, and gender.

LL.M Admissions

  • Hold a JD from a U.S. law school accredited by the ABA or a first degree in law from a foreign law school with equivalent standards. 
  • Submit a completed application form along with supporting documents before the application deadline.
  • International applicants must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement.

More information about applying is available on the Office of Graduate Admissions website.

LL.M Degree Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete 24 credit hours from the designated list of classes with a GPA of 2.0 (C) or better.
  • In the first semester, non-common law trained students must successfully complete American Legal Institutions (LAW-580-001; 2 credits) and LL.M Legal Research and Writing (LAW-580-002; 2 credits).
  • Graduation tracks:
    • Research Track: students are in this track by default. Students must successfully complete two research papers of at least 3,500 words each that demonstrate a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing. The legal memo written in the LL.M Legal Research and Writing class counts as one paper. 
    • Practical Skills Track: students are in this track when they register for the International Legal Studies Externship course (LAW-754). They must successfully complete an externship for credit, and complete one research paper of at least 3,500 words that demonstrates a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing. This legal memo written in the LL.M Legal Research and Writing class counts as one paper toward the paper requirement. 
  • The 24 credits needed for the LL.M degree can be completed part-time, or full-time (two or three regular semesters). Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must be enrolled in at least eight credits during the fall and the spring, except for the last semester when students can take a reduced course load for one to seven credits. To take a reduced course load, the Reduced Course Load Authorization Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at isss@american.edu. NOTE: International students interested in taking the New York bar exam must complete the LL.M program within 24 months of matriculation. 
  • Students may enroll in a maximum of 16 credits per semester (fall and spring), however, it is recommended that students take no more than 14 credits per semester. WCL allows up to seven credits in the summer. NOTE: International students interested in taking the New York bar exam can only be enrolled in a maximum of four credits in the summer.
  • LL.M students may complete their degree requirements entirely by traditional classroom study or by classroom study combined with no more than six semester hours of approved externship and/or independent study credits.
  • Absent extraordinary circumstances, students must complete the LL.M degree within 60 months of matriculating in a given LL.M program.

Required Courses

Core Courses (min. 6 hrs.)

Key Electives (min. 6 hrs.)

Business law-related courses:
• LAW-795O: Anti-Corruption Law (2 hrs.)
• LAW-727: Banking and Financial Institutions: International Regulations (2 hrs.)
• LAW-724A: Banking and Financial Institutions: U.S. Regulation (3 hrs.)
• LAW-808: International Business & Human Rights (2 hrs.)
• LAW-990: International Business Negotiations (3 hrs.)
• LAW-841: International Project Finance (2 hrs.)
• LAW-849D: Legal Drafting: International Contracts (2 hrs.)

Trade law related courses:
• LAW-969: International Trade Law II (2 hrs.)
• LAW-795EX U.S. Export Controls & Economic Sanctions (2 hrs.)
• LAW-679: International Investment Law (3 hrs.)
• LAW-817WT: WTO: Rule Making and Dispute Settlement (summer
course abroad in Geneva; 2 hrs.)

Courses related to international dispute resolution:
• LAW-789-001: International Commercial Arbitration: US & Comparative
Perspective (3 hrs.)
• LAW-972-001: Bilateral Investment Treaty Arbitration (2 hrs.)
• LAW-835 International ADR: Global Sovereign Disputes Practicum (3 hrs.)


Complete remaining 12 credit hours from the international and comparative law curriculum or courses required to qualify to sit for the New York bar exam

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