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Northwestern Law Offers Accelerated LLM Degree

Overseas lawyers will be able to earn Masters of Law degree in only 15 weeks

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March 15, 2010 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso
CHICAGO --- For lawyers overseas who are involved in international business, the question often is not whether they should get an LLM degree but from which American law school they should earn it.

In May 2011, Northwestern University School of Law will launch an Accelerated LLM program (ALLM) that, for the first time, will make it possible for any foreign lawyer or recipient of a law degree from an accredited foreign institution to earn an LLM from an American law school in 15 weeks.

The LLM (Masters of Laws) degree is an internationally recognized post-graduate law degree that provides a sound grounding in American law. Specifically designed for graduates of non-U.S. law schools working in their home countries, the accelerated LLM program at Northwestern will emphasize the importance of the role of the lawyer as a strategic advisor in business. 

Full-time faculty at Northwestern School of Law will teach ALLM classes. Classes will include lively discussions of legal problems and case studies.

The Accelerated LLM degree program is designed for individuals whose personal or professional obligations limit their ability to spend an entire academic year studying in the United States in a traditional LLM program. The ALLM program will run from May through mid-August.

Unlike students in Northwestern's academic yearlong residential LLM program offered on Northwestern's Chicago law school campus, accelerated LLM students will take a prescribed set of 20 law credit hours. The program will include classes on contracts, commercial sales, business associations, intellectual property, taxation and litigation.

In addition to its academic yearlong residential LLM program, Northwestern School of Law offers executive LLM degree programs in Tel Aviv, Madrid and Seoul. Students in the executive programs must spend either a month or two weeks on the law school's Chicago campus, depending on the program.

"Accelerated LLM classes will meet five days a week, and students will spend up to five hours a day in classes," said Mayer Freed, associate dean for academic affairs: executive degree programs. "This will give them sufficient time to prepare for class and also engage in professional development and social activities with classmates and others. They'll have time to enjoy the city of Chicago."

ALLM students will study legal issues related to business law, with particular emphasis on transnational matters. Potential candidates include recent law degree recipients and law graduates working in law firms, the judiciary, business organizations, government, non-profit organizations and NGOs. Lawyers interested in the governance of business organizations also will find the program useful.

The 20-credit accelerated LLM program can be taken in one of two ways. It can be completed in a single summer in two six-week intensive sessions (plus exam periods) or be completed over the course of two summers, by completing one six-week session (plus exam period) each summer.

Applications for the program will be available on June 1, 2010, and will be accepted until January 4, 2011. Further information about the program and application is available by contacting Janet Garesche at j-garesche@law.northwestern.edu or go to the web site at http://www.law.northwestern.edu/llm/accelerated/.