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 Doctoris (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 Doctoris (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. Students have up to five years to complete the program but may not finish in less than three years.
Following admission to the JSD program, the JSD Admissions Committee will appoint a faculty advisor. During the first year of the program, students are expected to form their dissertation committee comprised of at least three members. The faculty advisor will serve as the chair of the committee. It is recommended that first-year JSD students enroll in Research Design taught by Professor Sunita Parikh. First-year JSD students should meet with their advisor to discuss a plan of study and auditing courses. However, coursework is not a requirement of the program. By the end of the first year, students are required to have completed a literature review and made any necessary revisions to their proposal.
During the second year and following years, JSD students focus on submitting drafts of chapters and revised chapters to their faculty advisor on a regular basis. The JSD program emphasizes original research and writing culminating in the preparation of a significant and extensive dissertation of publishable quality.
Students must complete the dissertation and have it accepted by the candidate’s Dissertation Committee within five years of matriculation. 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 an LL.M. degree from a U.S. law school 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
- TOEFL or IELTS score report (exceptions may be made if a student has studied in the U.S. for at least three years within two years of beginning the JSD program)
- Letter of Recommendation from a faculty advisor/mentor/professor of the school where the applicant studied law
- Official transcripts and English translations of transcripts from the applicant’s first degree in law and LLM program.
APPLICANTS SHOULD NOT CONTACT LAW FACULTY ABOUT THEIR ADVISOR. If admitted to the JSD program, the program administrators will match students with an appropriate faculty member.
Admissions are on a rolling basis, meaning we consider applications as they are completed. Applicants are encouraged to submit their 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