WashULaw’s Master of Laws (LLM) in U.S. Law is an online degree program designed for international lawyers seeking a fundamental understanding of the U.S. legal system. Students develop the skills to research, write, and communicate like a U.S. lawyer and earn a degree from a top U.S. law school without having to relocate or leave their current job. Upon graduation from the program, students may be eligible to sit for the bar examination in California.

The LLM is ideal for international lawyers who want to expand their mastery of U.S. law and become practicing attorneys without having to pursue a full three-year Juris Doctor degree in the United States.


The online Master of Laws (LLM) in U.S. Law curriculum is designed for international lawyers looking to build a foundation in U.S. law and learn to communicate and research like a U.S. lawyer. Classes are taught using the discussion-based Socratic method, which is the most common and preferred method of instruction in U.S. law schools.

Program Requirements

The LLM is a 24-credit program and can be completed in as little as 18 months. All LLM students will complete two required courses and then tailor their curriculum to their academic and career goals by selecting from a variety of elective courses.

Students are required to complete Introduction to U.S. Law & Methods, Legal Research and Writing, and one of three options for their second course: ContractsProperty, or Torts.

Advance Your Career

Our program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds with different career goals and legal interests. The LLM program prepares students to leverage knowledge of U.S. law on the job and equips them to advance their careers in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Practicing law in the United States
  • Working in international law firms
  • Practicing at home with greater international insight

In addition to preparing students for the bar examination in California state, the LLM program helps students advance their careers through personalized career guidance and networking opportunities with our community of accomplished alumni who live and work all over the world.

 What’s the Difference Between an LLM and JD?

The two most common law degrees in the United States are the LLM and the JD. International Lawyers seeking a working knowledge of U.S. law, typically pursue an LLM in U.S. Law, whereas domestic students who want to become lawyers typically pursue a JD.


Typically completed in one year of full-time study, LLM programs are ideal for law school graduates (JD or equivalent) and attorneys who want to specialize in a specific area of law. International attorneys with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), for example, often pursue an LLM in U.S. law as a shorter path to taking the exam and becoming a practicing attorney in the United States.


Typically completed over three years, JD programs focus on preparing students to become practicing attorneys. Students learn research and writing methodologies, build the analytical and practical skills to access a client’s legal problems, and prepare to advise or represent a client in the resolution of their legal issues.