With the world growing smaller minute-by-minute, today’s lawyers increasingly need exposure to the global legal environment. Whether you are interested in business law, tax, human rights, family law, or practically any other area of law, learning about other countries’ laws and the international practice of law is crucial for your future career.
As you’ll see, Villanova is well-known for its excellent international and comparative law faculty, courses, and clinics. We also have a set of new and exciting programs to offer you if you enroll at Villanova.
Our J.D./LL.M. International Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn both a Villanova Law J.D. and an LL.M. (Master’s Degree in Law) from a host school abroad and do so in three to three and a half years –in some cases the same amount of time it would normally take to earn a J.D. degree, and one year less than it would take a student to earn both degrees separately.
Students selected for the J.D./LL.M. International Studies program will spend their first two years at Villanova, during which they will complete core law school requirements. Students apply to the J.D./LL.M. program during the second semester of their second year. Once accepted into the program by Villanova and by the host school, students will spend their third year at the host school earning the LL.M. degree. Credits earned during the year abroad will fulfill the remainder of the students' Villanova requirements as well as the host school requirements. Villanova will accept the credits earned in the LL.M. program and credit them toward the J.D., similar to the process used in Villanova’s long-established J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./LL.M. (Tax) programs. After successful completion of the program, the students will be awarded both the J.D. and an LL.M. degree offered by the host school abroad.
As of fall 2013, twenty Villanova Law alumni will have completed the JD/LLM International Studies programs at our partner schools, as well as at other prestigious institutions in England, France, and Japan. Some of our alumni have remained abroad to practice law, while others are working stateside.
Our partner schools offer a wide breadth of programs and experience for our students. The University of Edinburgh School of Law is located in the heart of the Scotland’s capital city, a modern city bursting with culture and deeply rooted history. The Leiden Law School is located in Leiden, The Netherlands, home to The Netherlands seat of government, the International Court of Justice, and several other important international tribunals. Leiden is the oldest and largest law faculty in the Netherlands and has played a significant role in the development of the study of international law. Birkbeck School of Law, in the heart of London, is part of the well-known University of London system. Most courses at Birkbeck are offered in the evening, leaving students time to study, explore London, and get a closer look at British legal practice. Our newest additions, the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and the City University of Hong Kong School of Law, offer students a broad variety of programs, set in the commercial centers of southeast Asia.
Birkbeck College, University of London
City University of Hong Kong
University of Edinburgh
University of Leiden
National University of Singapore
To be eligible to apply for any of the J.D./LL.M. programs, a student must:
To obtain the Villanova J.D. and host school LL.M. degrees, a student must:
Note: Course requirements for each of the LL.M. degrees may vary significantly. Please consult the web link for each program to determine the requirements for a specific program.
A student who enrolls in a J.D./LL.M. International Studies degree program must:
Example: A student in the Villanova class of 2014 who spends the 2013-14 academic year abroad might state:
Villanova University School of Law
J.D. expected September 2014
Class rank as of May 2009: 1/240; GPA 3.99 (not ranked with class of 2014)
LL.M. in International Business Law, September 2014, University of XXXX, Honours, GPA 9.1
Please note that although students may not list a final rank or GPA for the Villanova Law degree because the degree includes a year of foreign study, they may be eligible to graduate with honors from their host school abroad because they will have completed their entire LL.M. degree at that school.
Although students must acknowledge and abide by these limitations, we believe that the experience and opportunities gained from the J.D./LL.M. International Studies program will be invaluable.
“The faculty and staff [at the University of Edinburgh] have all...been incredibly helpful, open, and devoted to student progress...The academics hardly need comment: the courses of study are top of the line, challenging, and innovative, while the student and faculty researchers are producing state of the art legal theory and legal/socio-legal analyses...I expect that my program...will provide me with a very solid foundation to pursue either an academic career or to build a successful practice."
"[T]he thing I like most about Edinburgh is how culturally diverse the city is. It seems every corner offers a different cuisine or cultural experience. For example, my residence hall houses [students of] 37 different nationalities."
"The city [of Leiden] is post-card perfect. There are canals and windmills everywhere - but beyond that it's a definite college town, with plenty to keep you entertained away from your studies...The international feel of my program is fantastic. I'm the only American student and the people I've been able to meet from (literally) all over the world have been nothing short of terrific...I'm hoping the program gives me the opportunity to live and work abroad after finishing my studies. The connections I'll make through my professors...should contribute to that greatly."