LL.M. (Master of Laws)
In Notre Dame Law School’s LL.M. (Master of Laws) programs, lawyers have an opportunity to be students again and expand upon their expertise in the legal specialty of their choice. Our LL.M. students are fully integrated into the larger Law School community — taking courses alongside J.D. students, sitting in the student section at Fighting Irish football games, and participating in student organizations and service projects, such as Galilee, our winter break public law immersion program. At the same time, LL.M. students receive individualized attention and support as part of a small, robust cohort of master’s students.
Many of our LL.M. students come to Notre Dame Law School from outside the United States and find this to be a place that embraces people from all over the world and all walks of life. The University of Notre Dame was founded by a French priest in 1842, and it has always fostered a culture that reaches out to the rest of the world.
"People here are very warm-hearted. ... People know each other, and it is very easy to invite people over to your house or to be invited to the others’ houses — to get to know the people around you." – Yue Yu '19 LL.M.
The University of Notre Dame has a large community of international students that goes beyond the Law School. The University offers a wide variety of services and support for international students on campus. The Law School even offers a four-week Legal English course in the summer for incoming LL.M. students to help them prepare for the classroom.
In addition, our LL.M. students are able to take advantage of other international units on campus to round out their education and pursue their particular academic interests. For example, our students frequently take courses through the Keough School of Global Affairs, which is home to the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights as well as several other institutes and centers.
Beyond Notre Dame’s main campus, Notre Dame International operates a network of five Global Gateways in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, London, and Rome, as well as six Global Centers in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
"Other programs have already-determined courses. You are going to take a class or two that doesn’t fit. But the LL.M. here allows you to pick your own cocktail of things that you would like to focus on." – Raphael Ng'etich '19 LL.M.
LL.M. students have the option of pursuing their degree at Notre Dame’s main campus in South Bend, Indiana, or at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, located next to Trafalgar Square in central London. Students who wish to obtain an LL.M. degree from a U.S. law school while studying in England and focusing on international and comparative law are encouraged to learn more about the London program. Students who want to earn an LL.M. at Notre Dame’s main campus, where students develop a study plan tailored to their own interests, should visit the LL.M. at Notre Dame page. Students also have the option of spending one semester at Notre Dame’s main campus and one semester in London while earning the LL.M. degree.
LL.M. in International Human Rights Law
Notre Dame Law School also offers an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law for lawyers primarily from outside the United States. It is an opportunity to engage in specialized study and research in international human rights law. Students in this LL.M. program undertake an intensive analysis of human rights issues with members of the faculty who are specialists in the field of international human rights law.
"I see the widespread dissemination of human rights education as vital. People often are not even aware of what rights they are entitled to, and have no idea what enforcement mechanisms are available to help address violations." – Ligia Maria del Valle Vega '19 LL.M.
The LL.M. program in International Human Rights Law is based in the Law School and also draws upon the resources of the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Department of Government and International Studies, and other academic units of the University. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students to study not only the legal processes and institutions pertaining to human rights, but also the social, economic, and political contexts in which human rights are promoted, protected, or violated.