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Course Options

Course Options

24 Credits Over in One Academic Year

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits to graduate. The program is completed in one academic year from August to May. Part-time admission is considered on a case-by-case basis. The CILE Director and Associate Director take an active role in personally counselling each LLM student on their course choices, helping you to plan a course of study that is uniquely tailored to your personal needs.

Required Courses

Introduction to American Law (3 credits)

This is a three-credit course designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the legal system of the United States of America. The common law foundations of that system are discussed in detail, largely through coverage of materials on specific substantive areas of law, including civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, contracts, property, torts, family law, and business organizations law. Students will be required to prepare papers and presentations comparing both procedural and substantive law aspects of the U.S. system with their home legal systems. Grade is based on two papers, two class presentations, and a final exam.

U.S. Legal Analysis And Writing (2 credits each semester; 2 semesters required)

The goal of this course is to convey the essential attributes of the common law legal order based on the predominance of case law as a primary source of law, as well as to develop common-law legal writing skills. The course transmits the underlying system of reasoning and legal methodology of the United States common-law system from a comparative perspective that emphasizes the differences between the common law and the civil law.

LLM Colloquium (1 credit)

This is a one-credit course in which students are introduced to specific aspects of the practice of law, including issues such as contingent fees, punitive damages, environmental litigation, and advanced legal research. Students doing independent study papers during the semester will present their research to the class. Part of the course will be a three-day visit to Washington, D.C., including visits to the White House and Congress and a session a the Supreme Court. There will be a final exam.


For electives, choose from the wide range of courses offered to Pitt Law JD students.

Writing Requirement - Choose one of the following:

Independent Study (2 credits)

  • Students can work independently under the supervision of a faculty member. The student must research a topic, usually a topic of choice which must be approved by their faculty adviser, and submit a substantial paper on that topic to their faculty adviser.

Seminar Courses (Usually 3 credits-various courses are offered each semester)

  • In seminars, the class will meet once a week for two hours with the guidance of a faculty member. The students will conduct research on the seminar topic and prepare drafts of their papersughout the semester. Each student will present their paper in class and submit a final paper at the end of the semester.