The LL.M. degree for Foreign Law School Graduates is a one- year, full-time program for students who hold a basic law degree from a recognized international law school. Students enrolled in this degree program must complete 24 credit hours including the required two-credit course in Perspectives of the American Legal System. The remaining courses are elective and offer a wide range of choices. Students have the freedom to choose from a wide array of classes and can design their LL.M. degree to meet their needs and goals in studying in the United States. Students desiring to take a bar examination in Texas, New York or California can take classes required to qualify to sit for those exams. Other students may want to specialize in international studies or in other areas of the law.
A primary goal of the program is to enhance the international student's legal skills so that he or she may become a more effective lawyer and member of society. In this respect the program seeks to develop:
- an appreciation of the role of law in national and international development
- the ability to identify, through comparative and international studies, policy considerations of various legal rules
- an appreciation of the role of the lawyer in social and economic change
- legal analysis and problem-solving abilities to enable the student to meet the complex needs of our modem world
- a basic understanding of the U.S. legal system, as studied from a comparative perspective
- a frame of reference for dealing with business and legal interests in a transnational setting
Learn More about SMU Dedman School of Law.
To view an online LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates Admissions Brochure CLICK HERE
How to Apply
An applicant for admission to the LL.M. Degree for Foreign Law School Graduates must be a graduate of a recognized foreign law school. The applicant's undergraduate record must demonstrate scholarly legal aptitude. An applicant for whom English is a second language must present evidence of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer-based score of 233 or written score of 575. U.S. trained law students may not apply to this degree program.
Applicants to the LL.M. programs (For Foreign Law Graduates, Taxation, and General) must submit the following:
- personal statement (including why you are interested in entering the graduate degree program)
- résumé (curriculum vitae)
- two letters of recommendation in English (or translated into English) from the dean of the applicant's law school and from a law professor
- evidence of proficiency in English (normally a TOEFL computer-based score of 233 or written score of 575)*
- certified transcript in English of grades received in law school - transcripts must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office from your schools.
- evidence of financial ability to pay tuition, fees, and all other expenses during the applicant's stay in the United States**
- a recent head and shoulders photograph of the applicant
*International applicants for whom English is not the first language also must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 (www.TOEFL.org). The score must be reported to the Admissions Office directly from the Educational Testing Service. It is important when applying that you indicate on the TOEFL form the code number 6660, department code 03, to ensure that your score is sent to SMU Dedman School of Law. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 575 or its equivalent. Students whose TOEFL score does not meet these requirements can apply for conditional admission subject to the student successfully completing sufficient English as a second language course at SMU or another institution.
**International applicants must submit personal and bank certifications of sufficient financial resources to cover anticipated tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. These certifications must be in U.S. dollars.
Applications for LL.M. programs are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early December. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible with all supporting documentation. Applications will be accepted on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter.
SMU Dedman School of Law offers a rich curriculum to enhance the international students' legal skills to become a more effective lawyer. The diversity and depth of courses offered can be found in the SMU Dedman School of Law course catalog or in the course schedule listing.
A) Students may begin their studies in the fall term or the spring term. They must participate in an orientation program held at SMU Dedman School of Law in mid-August (for fall term) or early January (spring term) of each year before the start of classes.
(B) Students pursuing the LL.M. degree for foreign law school graduates must complete 24 hours of credit from courses or seminars selected in consultation with the student's faculty advisor who is assigned during orientation. Faculty members advising candidates for this degree will make every effort to tailor a student's study plan to his or her specific graduate objectives. However, all students are required to take the course on Perspectives of the American Legal System. They will normally also take one basic J.D. course such as Contracts. SMU Dedman Law awards the degree to those students who complete their coursework with an average grade in all courses equivalent to a C or 1.70. A student will not receive credit for a course or seminar in which his or her grade is below D or 1.00. Students for whom English is a second language are allowed additional time to complete written final examinations.
SMU Dedman School of Law typically will offer some scholarship aid to most of our LL.M. students. All applicants are automatically considered for partial scholarships. In addition to the partial scholarships, we do offer a few full scholarships. A separate application for these scholarships is not necessary. For further information, please contact the Office of Graduate Legal Programs by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 214-768-2758 or toll-free at 1-888-768-5291.
Bar Exam Eligibility
International students who wish to practice law in this country and qualify for admission to the bar in one of the states or the District of Columbia should familiarize themselves with the bar admission requirements in the particular jurisdiction where they plan to practice. Bar admission requirements vary from state to state. Some states require applicants to have a J.D. degree, and others will require only a certain number of course credits from a law school in this country. Texas now allows qualified foreign-educated attorneys who have completed an LL.M. degree to sit for the Texas Bar examination.
For complete rules governing Admission to the State Bar of Texas CLICK HERE
For a fact sheet that summarizes the Eligibility of Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys to take the Texas Bar Examination CLICK HERE
Founded in 1925, SMU Dedman School of Law is a top-ranked tier-one private law school located in Dallas, Texas, and is situated in a tree-lined neighborhood, just minutes from the city center. Established in 1949, the law school's graduate degree law programs have played an important role in training some of the foremost leaders around the world. We are proud our global alumni network - more than 2,000 graduates from 80 countries who hold prominent positions in government, legal practice, business, the judiciary, and legal education worldwide.
Exceptional Graduate Degree Programs
SMU Dedman School of Law offers graduate degree programs for both U.S. and foreign-trained lawyers.The LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs enhance careers in the private practice of law, teaching, and public service by teaching analysis and problem-solving skills for meeting the complex demands of our world. The programs increase the student’s understanding of legal theory and policies, broaden the student’s legal horizons, and encourage the development of legal research and writing skills.
Studying in Vibrant Dallas, Texas
SMU Dedman Law offers international students an opportunity to become part of a vibrant, diverse, scholarly community with the advantage of studying in Dallas - not only an international business center, but a dynamic cultural center situated midway between the east and west coast of the United States in a region known for its mild, sunny climate. Dallas is the ninth-largest city and the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex make up the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is a sophisticated city with a thriving job market, high quality of life and relatively low cost of living. It is a great place to live and study!
Globally Recognized Faculty
The faculty includes scholars and innovators in a variety of fields, including constitutional law, corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, health law, intellectual property, national security law, oil and gas law, public interest law, and tax law. These scholars regularly engage the world by appearing before congressional committees, working with state and federal regulatory agencies, arguing before state and federal courts, working with corporate executives and nonprofits, and regularly appearing in the media to translate their research or offer commentary on important stories of the day. Studying law at SMU gives students access to an exceptional faculty engaged in timely and cutting-edge research often informed by years of experience.
In addition to our diverse curriculum, students are invited to take advantage of the many activities outside the classroom. At SMU Dedman Law, your learning experience will be enriched through year-round international conferences and lectures, bringing prominent international figures to campus to discuss current global legal issues. International LL.M. students take classes with American J.D. students and participate in the Court Program - a program that is introduced during orientate where students connect in small groups with fellow classmates, faculty, student leaders, career advisors, and alumni for a community experience throughout their time at SMU Dedman School of Law. A faculty member will serve as your personal academic advisor. Practicing lawyers from the Dallas Bar Association International Law section also serve as mentors for our students.
Internationally Prominent Alumni
International graduates of SMU Dedman School of Law have made an impact all over the world. Our international alumni network includes more than 2000 graduates in more than 80 countries. These professionals can be found at the highest levels of government, legal practice, and business. SMU’s international alumni represent a broad spectrum of legal systems, including those from Central and South America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim. We strive for global geographic diversity in our student enrollments and provide a high degree of individual attention and support for each international student.
Sobchok Sukharomna ’81
Supreme Court President, Thailand
Dr. Shen Shiaoming ’81
International Legal Consultant for Mackenzie & Albritton LLP
The Honorable S.M. Krishna ’59
Minister for External Affairs for India (2009-2012)
Siriporn Chaiyasuta ’85
General Counsel, Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited
Moath Alhussain ’11
Assoc. Counsel, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
Antonio M. Garza ’83
Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
Dr. Helmut Sohmen ’66
Chairman and President, BW Group
Dr. Hassan Okour ’07
Former Dean, Qatar Law School
Jinsung Lee ’88
Justice, Constitutional Court of Korea
Yukio Horigome ’71
Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan
International Partner, Locke Lord LLP Honorary German Consul
The law school is located on the northwest corner of SMU’s main campus – with the classroom buildings, administration building, and law library forming what is called the “Law Quad.” This ideal location provides easy access to many of SMU’s wonderful student resources, including dining services, a premier fitness center, and health services center.