WashULaw offers international lawyers the opportunity to select a graduate program that best fits their particular academic and professional goals. Students can pursue a Juridicae Scientiae Doctor (JSD) degree, described below. They can also pursue a general LLM degree designed for international lawyers, an LLM in intellectual property and technology law, or a two-year LLM with a focus on legal English.
Juridicae Scientiae Doctor (JSD) Program
The WashULaw JSD degree is designed for attorneys pursuing a career in academia, policy, or scholarly legal research. The JSD program is very small and geared towards exceptional candidates who have a sophisticated scholarly focus. The JSD degree program requires a minimum of four years to complete: one year to complete an LLM degree and at least three years to write the dissertation.
Following admission to the JSD program, the JSD Admissions Committee will appoint a Dissertation Committee. Each Dissertation Committee is comprised of at least three members, and the chair of the committee serves as the primary Faculty Advisor to the JSD candidate.
During the first year of residency on campus in St. Louis, Missouri, students are typically required to take course work sufficient to earn an LLM degree at the end of that year. During the second year and following years of residency, JSD students focus on refining and advancing their dissertation proposals with the assistance of an assigned Faculty Advisor. The JSD program emphasizes original research and writing culminating in the preparation of a significant and extensive dissertation of publishable quality. In consultation with the Faculty Advisor, each JSD student will identify any advantageous additional coursework; however, additional coursework is not a requirement of the program.
Students must complete the dissertation and have it accepted by the candidate’s Dissertation Committee within (a) five years of receipt of the LLM degree, for students who obtain their LLM from Washington University Law; or (b) five years after admission to the JSD program. All JSD candidates must defend their dissertation vive voce. In extenuating circumstances, a student may defend the dissertation via a video conference or similar computer facilitated meeting.
Application Information for Juris Scientiae Doctoris (JSD) Program
To file an application for admission to the JSD program, an applicant must have earned a first degree in law from another country or a JD and demonstrate academic and scholarly distinction. Applicants must possess significant knowledge in the area of scholarly interest prior to beginning the JSD degree program.
A successful application will include:
- Dissertation Proposal
- Letter of Recommendation from faculty advisor/mentor/professor of the school where studied law
- Official transcripts and English translations of transcripts from the applicant’s first degree in law
DO NOT CONTACT LAW FACULTY ON YOUR OWN ABOUT BEING AN ADVISOR. If admitted to the JSD program, the program administrators will match you with an appropriate faculty member.
Admissions are on a rolling basis, meaning we consider applications as they are completed. You are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible. JSD students begin their studies in August of each academic year.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (314) 935-3346
Fax: (314) 935-7961