Masters in Comparative Jurisprudence

The Masters in Comparative Jurisprudence (MCJ) degree in International Business and Trade Law at Mercer University School of Law is a distinctive program designed to give foreign lawyers both academic and practical training.


The program features:

  • One-year course of study on Mercer’s Atlanta and Macon Campuses (June - May)
  • Certificate in English Language Training
  • Academic and practical training with an emphasis on international business and trade law
  • Option to participate in an Externship in Atlanta with a commercial business, law firm, or government agency


Beginning of June to End of July (6 hours)
Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Culture
Introduction to Legal English

Mid-August to Mid-December (12 – 14 hours)
Legal Discourse & Communication in English I
Common Law Contracts
International Business Transactions
International Trade Law

Mid-January to Mid-May (12 – 14 hours)
Students enrolled in the MCJ Program will have flexibility in the Spring term:

Option A: “Practice Option”

  1. Legal Discourse & Communication in English II (2 hours)
  2. Externship Placement (10 hours)

Option B: “Academic Option”

  1. Legal Discourse & Communication in English II (2 hours)
  2. Business Associations (3 hours)
  3. Elective (3 or 4 hours)
  4. Elective or Independent Study (3 or 4 hours)


Application Requirements

The following items must be submitted to Mercer University School of Law to be considered for admission:

  • Completed Application for Admission
  • Curriculum vitae/résumé (which should include, where applicable: education, work experience, scholastic honors, and publications).
  • A typed statement of no more than three pages explaining why the study of law is important to your professional growth and development.
  • One confidential letter of reference from persons having knowledge of your academic ability and/or professional promise, mailed or emailed directly by the writers.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS report (if English is not your primary language). Submit test results to Mercer Law School, MCJ Program, Admission’s Office.
  • Official university transcript(s) translated into English.
  • A Declaration of Finances, in U.S. dollars equivalents, verifying adequate financial resources to cover the cost of attending Mercer University School of Law for the MCJ program.

Note: All materials must be submitted by February 15 to or by mail to:

Mercer University School of Law
Admission’s Office - MCJ Program
1021 Georgia Avenue
Macon, GA 31207

Passport and Visa Requirements

  • A valid government-issued passport and a U.S.-issued F-1 Student Visa are required for any student enrolling at Mercer University School of Law who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • An I-20 Form is required to obtain the F-1 Visa. The I-20 Form is issued to an accepted international applicant after the applicant has submitted the enrollment deposit. The University has been authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students and to issue I-20 Forms.
  • Because this process can be lengthy and requires specific paperwork, international applicants are encouraged to begin the process early.

Mercer University International Program Contacts

  • For assistance with Application Requirements Passport and Visa Requirements, contact Nicole Baker in the office of International Programs.
  • For general admissions and program questions, contact Dr. David Ritchie, MCJ program director at Mercer University School of Law.

Important Dates

  • Completion of application requirements, February 15.
  • Admission decision, March 1.
  • Completion of passport and visa requirements, April 1.
  • Program start date, June 6.


Class Descriptions

Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Culture
This course examines the principal features of the U.S. legal system, including federalism; the structure and operation of the national government; the federal and state judicial systems; the use of precedent, methods of reading, analyzing, and synthesizing case law; and dispute resolution. Additionally, this course will serve as an introduction to modern legal practice in the U.S., particularly in corporate and law firm settings.

Introduction to Legal English
This course is designed to introduce MCJ students to use English in the legal context and will have two parts. First, it is designed to introduce foreign lawyers to American legal terminology and common law reasoning; and second, the class will also concentrate on advanced English grammar to improve writing and speaking skills. Case law and other legal materials will be incorporated to provide students with a working knowledge of American law and to improve their ability to understand and communicate with their legal cohorts in an international setting. Grammar and writing assignments are designed to improve the students’ proficiency in advanced English grammar and writing styles. Class assignments and activities are constructed to improve critical thinking skills, reading skills, and writing skills. Students are expected to synthesize ideas from research materials, write summaries, arguments, and make class presentations.

Legal Discourse & Communication in English I
This course is designed to help students improve their ability to communicate in English in several different types of legal settings. Students will develop their legal English skills through a variety of means, including analysis of common law cases, language exercises, and related reading and reporting. Practice in speaking the language of the law is emphasized in class. Learning opportunities extend beyond the walls of the law school through court visits and exposure to pro bono service.

Legal Discourse & Communication in English II
This course is a continuation of Legal Discourse & Communication in English 1. Students will continue to perfect their mastery of legal English and will work on documents specific to their externship placements or other law school related projects. Legal translation and the various legal and ethical issues involved with translation will also be discussed.

International Business Transactions
This course will examine selected legal issues associated with private business transactions across national boundaries, focusing on international sales agreements and financing, import/export restrictions, other forms of transnational business activity, and related risks. The course will explore relevant US laws and regulations, regional trade regimes such as those of NAFTA and the EU, and broader international agreements and institutions, including the WTO. The course will also address relevant comparative legal, business and cultural issues.

International Trade Law
This course will focus on the public regulation of international business transactions, in particular, the regulation of international trade transactions.

Part I: The International Context will consider the big picture: introduction to globalization and related economic theory; history and institutions of international economic relations, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the successor World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; basic concepts of international trade in goods and monetary systems, including most favored nation (MFN) and national treatment obligations, exchange rates, and balance of payments; implementation structures in national systems, in particular the United States.

Part II: The Legal Context of International Trade and Business will examine more closely the public international legal structures developed to govern international business relations: settlement of trade disputes under the WTO system; regional trading arrangements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); development of international regulation of trade in services; foreign direct investment.

Part III: Trade Practice explores the regulatory practice in which lawyers assist clients with formalities, restrictions, and requirements involved in international trade in goods, with a particular focus on the United States: imports (customs matters); trade remedies for unfair trading practices, including antidumping and countervailing duties and section 301 procedures, and for fair trading practices, including safeguards/escape clause and related relief; export controls, economic sanctions and embargoes. If time permits, anti-corruption measures will also be addressed.

Business Associations
This course focuses on the law of agency, general partnerships, and corporations with some attention to limited partnerships and limited liability companies. Coverage includes the choice of business form and the formation, management, and dissolution of each of the principal business forms. Also introduced is federal securities law as it pertains to shareholder suffrage, proxy contests, hostile takeovers and secondary securities transactions.


Cost & Fees

Tuition and Fees (Scholarships Available!)
Tuition $36,960*
University Fee $300
Total $37,260

*Tuition may be subject to annual percentage increase

Estimated Living Costs and Incidentals*
Living Costs $12,330
Incidentals $1,726
Total $14,056

Program taught in:
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
1 year
37,260 USD
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2019

Application deadline
End Date