LL.M. in International Business and Trade American University
The LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law is designed for lawyers and law graduates interested in the international law of trade, investment, finance, and other business transactions. The LL.M. focuses on helping students acquire the knowledge and practical skills needed for future careers in legal practice, consulting, and policy-making. Taught in Washington D.C. by top-notch academics and practitioners, the LL.M. presents unique experiential learning and networking opportunities.
The LL.M.’s core courses cover the fundamentals of trade negotiations and regulation under domestic and international law, and of international sales, transfer of technology, and other cross-border transactions. Students may then choose from a wide array of specialized electives, including U.S. trade remedies and export controls, trade and investment, bilateral and regional trade agreements, e-commerce, trade in services and intellectual property, currency and financial transactions. Students may also explore the linkages between trade, business and other areas of law, such as environment, human rights, labor, and gender.
Award of the LL.M. degree in International Business and Trade Law requires 24 credits. Non-common law trained students are required to take American Legal Institutions (LAW-580-001; 2 credits) and LL.M. Legal Research and Writing (LAW-580L-002; 2 credits) in the first semester.
Required core courses and key electives
LL.M. students must complete at least 12 credits of the required 24 credits in the following core courses and key electives:
Core Courses (min. 6 credits)
- LAW-661-001: International Business Transactions (3 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-973-001: International Contracts and Sales (3 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-657-001: International Trade Law I (3 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-809-001: The United States Trade Regime (3 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-581-001: U.S. Business Law (3 credits; spring semester)
- LAW-504L-001: U.S. Contracts (3 credits; fall semester)
Key Electives (min. 6 credits)
Students are additionally required to complete at least 6 credits from among the following key electives approved for the International Business and Trade Law LL.M. program:
Business law-related courses:
- LAW-748-001: Anti-Corruption Law (2 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-727-001: Banking and Financial Institutions: International Regulations (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-724A-001: Banking and Financial Institutions: U.S. Regulation (3 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-808-001: International Business & Human Rights (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-990-001: International Business Negotiations (3 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-841-001: International Project Finance (2 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-849D-001: Legal Drafting: International Contracts (2 credits, fall semester)
Trade law-related courses:
- LAW-969-001: International Trade Law II (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-795EX-001: U.S. Export Controls & Economic Sanctions (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-795TR-001: Trade Remedies (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-679-001: International Investment Law (3 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-817WT-001: WTO: Rule Making and Dispute Settlement (summer course abroad in Geneva; 2 credits)
Courses related to international dispute resolution:
- LAW-789-001: International Commercial Arbitration: US & Comparative Perspective (3 credits, fall semester)
- LAW-972-001: Bilateral Investment Treaty Arbitration (2 credits, spring semester)
- LAW-835-001: International ADR: Global Sovereign Disputes Practicum (3 credits, fall semester)
The offering of core courses and key electives may be subject to change and the availability of these courses will be confirmed in the course schedule provided to students each semester before registration for classes start. In case of changes, students are allowed to choose alternative classes related to business or trade. Our academic advisors are available to advise students on alternative classes.
LL.M. students may earn the remaining credits from any general electives in the LL.M. Course List.
The general electives include experiential learning courses, among which are externships. Our LL.M. career advisor and faculty are available to help LL.M. students locate externship opportunities at law firms, government agencies, and international organizations in the fields of international arbitration and business law.
For students with strong interest in research, the general electives offer the option of writing research papers under faculty supervision, through independent study credits.
LL.M. students can complete up to 6 credit of the required 24 credits through independent study and externship(s) combined.
To graduate from the LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law, students have to meet the following requirements:
- Research Track: LL.M. students are automatically in the research track. They must successfully complete at least two (2) research papers that demonstrate a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing.
- Practical Skills Track: LL.M. students must successfully complete an externship for credit, and write a research paper.
New York Bar Track
Foreign-trained LL.M. students may select courses required by the New York bar to qualify to sit for the bar exam from among the general electives. Of the 24 credits to earn the LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law, foreign-trained LL.M. students must complete 12 credits in the following courses:
Required (6 credits)
- LAW-580-001: American Legal Institutions (2 credits; offered Fall & Spring)
- LAW-580L-002: LL.M. Legal Research & Writing (2 credits; offered Fall o& Spring), and
- LAW-550: Legal Ethics (2 credits; offered Spring & Summer)
Plus 6 credits selected among the following courses:
- LAW-581-001: U.S. Business Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
- LAW-504-002: U.S. Contracts Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
- LAW-503-001: U.S. Constitutional Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
- LAW-507-001: U.S. Criminal Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
- LAW-636: Family Law (3 credits; offered Fall & Spring)
- Subject to prior approval, LL.M. students may register for Evidence (LAW-633), Secured Transactions (LAW-840), and Wills, Trusts and Estates (LAW-697)
LL.M. candidates interested in taking the New York bar exam must complete the degree within 2 years of beginning the LL.M. program, and may only enroll in a maximum of 4 credits in the summer.