With the world growing smaller minute-by-minute, today’s lawyers increasingly need exposure to and familiarity with 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.
Villanova Law is known for its excellent international and comparative law faculty, courses and experiential education. Our JD/LLM International Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn both a Villanova Law JD and an LLM or MRes (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 JD degree, and up to one year less than it would take a student to earn both degrees separately.
Students selected for the JD/LLM International Studies program will spend their first two years at Villanova, during which they will complete all law school graduation requirements. Students apply to the JD/LLM 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 LLM or M. Res. or Master’s 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 LLM program and credit them toward the JD, similar to the process used in Villanova’s long-established JD/MBA and JD/LLM (Tax) programs. After successful completion of the program, the students will be awarded both the JD and the master’s degree offered by the host school abroad.
As of fall 2017, thirty-five 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, Japan and Spain. 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 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. In addition, 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.
To be eligible to apply for any of the JD/LLM programs, a student must:
To obtain the Villanova Law JD and host school LLM degrees, a student must complete all Graduation Requirements, including:
Note: Course requirements for each of the LLM 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 JD/LLM International Studies degree program must:
For more information about these programs, please contact:
Diane Penneys Edelman, Director for International Programs
“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."