Cornell Law School offers an opportunity to Cornell J.D. students to earn both a J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree with Honors in International and Comparative Law in three years, including one session at the Cornell-Paris 1 Summer Institute. The program leads to the joint degree of “J.D./LL.M.” This document is designed to give you a statement of the requirements and mechanics of the program.

Admission to the Program

Cornell J.D. students may apply to be admitted to the joint degree program upon initial application to the Law School or after matriculation, provided application is made before completion of their first year.  You may apply for the program any time after the completion of your first year of law school by completing a request for admission to the J.D./LL.M. program.  

Degree Requirements

The J.D./LL.M. program requires 20 upper-class credits in international and comparative law (the “20 required credits”), in addition to the credits required for the J.D. degree.   This means that students must complete 104 total credits, rather than the 84 required for the J.D.

The 20 required credits MUST include

  • Two specifically designated “Group 1” courses*
  • One specifically designated comparative law course that is general in scope and includes instruction in civil law systems. The course may have a regional focus. Students may satisfy this requirement by taking Comparative Law: Civil Legal Traditions or one of the other “Group 2” courses listed below. 1
  • Completion of additional elective credits from the electives list provided in this document.

*With the approval of the Assistant Dean for External Education, a course in the Law School’s Semester Abroad Program may be taken as a substitute for one of the required Group 1 or Group 2 courses.  The course must be at least two credits. In the case of a proposed substitute for Public International Law or Conflict of Laws, the course must be substantially similar to the course that would have been taken at Cornell. In the case of a Comparative Law course, it must meet the criteria for such courses set out above.

The 20 required credits MAY include

  • Participation in the Cornell-Paris 1 Summer Institute which is strongly encouraged. (students must receive at least four credits)
  • A thesis option, which requires satisfactory completion of a five-credit thesis;
  • Graduate courses that are taken–in accordance with the law school’s rules and regulations and if related to international, comparative, or foreign law–in other divisions of Cornell University, including its area studies programs (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Institute for African Development, Latin American Studies and the Institute for European Studies) (with approval of the Assistant Dean for External Education);
  • Supervised writing courses in International or Comparative Law (with approval of the Assistant Dean for External Education);
  • Up to 2 credits for serving as a teaching assistant for an international or comparative law class taught at Cornell Law School (with approval of the Assistant Dean for External Education);
  • Approved courses that are taken by participants in the law school’s Semester Abroad Program, in which J.D.-LL.M. students may earn up to sixteen credits for study at an approved foreign law school or faculty;
  • All courses listed in Groups 1, 2 or 3 on this document. Group 3 represents elective courses that will count towards receiving honors in International and Comparative Law for the LLM degree.

Additional Program Requirements

  • Students must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 to be awarded the LL.M. degree at graduation. 
  • In no event may a J.D./LL.M. student receive a total of more than 12 credits toward the required 20 credits from summer/winter intersession courses, including credits earned from the Cornell-Paris 1 Summer Institute.
  • Students in the program must comply with the credit hour and degree requirements for the Cornell J.D. degree in addition to completing an additional 20 credit hours for the LL.M. degree as set out above.
  •  J.D./LL.M students will be allowed to take a maximum of 21 credits per semester during the second and third years. No exceptions can be made to the 21-credit maximum.


Students interested in the J.D.-LL.M. Program will have the following courses to choose from during the 2023-24 academic year. The Director for International Programs, in consultation with the Chair of the International Committee and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, will update the courses in Groups 2 and 3 annually, in advance of the fall pre-registration period. Students are encouraged to speak with the Director for International Programs to discuss course selection before doing their pre-registration.

Review these courses in the Course Catalog.

Group 1:

  • 6191 Conflict of Laws
  • 6561 International Human Rights
  • 6791 Public International Law

Group 2 (one of the following courses is required)

One of the following courses is required:

  • 6161 Comparative Law: Civil Law Traditions
  • 7440 Law and Social Change: Comparative Law in Africa

*The Comparative Law requirement also may be satisfied by taking 6177 at the Cornell-Paris 1 Summer Institute, together with a supervised writing on a comparative law topic during the following Fall semester.

Group 3: (Electives)

SemesterCourse NumberTitleCreditsProfessor
Fall6193The Practice of International Arbitration3Hay/Ziyaeva
Fall6632Transnational Corruption and the Law3Alonso
Fall6344International Labor Law3LeClercq
Fall6451Federal Indian Law3Porter
Spring6465Global M&A Practice1Kihira
Fall6514Foreign, Comparative, and International Legal Research2Shea
Fall6584International Trade Law – Short Course1Lee
Spring6625Law and Society in North Korea1Hong
Spring6661Constitutional Law of the European Union3Lasser
Spring6681International Law and Foreign Direct Investment3Ndulo
Fall6745Middle East Business Law and Practice3Elsaman
Fall7018Advanced Topics in Transnational Labor Law3Blackett
Fall7267Comparative Contract Law1Cerchia
Spring7282Gender and International Human Rights3Babcock/ Greenfield
Spring7295Global Labor and Employment Law3Sander
Fall7311Immigration and Refugee Law2Yale-Loehr
Spring7321International Criminal Law3Ndulo
Spring7358International Environmental Law3Chatrchyan
Fall7360International Financial Regulation2Emmenegger/ Zulauf
Fall7589Seminar in National Security Issues & Policy3Pepper
Fall7785Law of Genocide and War Crimes Trials3Rosensaft
Spring7801Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic4McKee/Yale-Loehr
Fall/Spring7805Advanced Labor Law Clinic3Cornell
Fall/Spring7814Advanced Transnational Disputes Clinic6Kysel
Fall7832Externship – Full Time*12Azemi
Fall7834Externship – Part Time*4Azemi
Fall/Spring7842Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic II2Kelley-Widmer
Fall/Spring7843Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic III4Kelley-Widmer
Fall7855International Human Rights: Litigation and Advocacy Clinic I4Babcock
Fall/Spring7857Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic I4Lyon
Fall/Spring7858Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic II2Lyon
Fall/Spring7859Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic III2Lyon
Spring7860International Human Rights: Litigation and Advocacy Clinic II4Babcock
Fall/Spring7864Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic IV2Lyon
Fall7871Labor Law Clinic4Cornell
Fall/ Spring7878International Human Rights: Litigation and Advocacy Clinic III4Babcock
Fall7914Gender Justice Clinic I4Brundige/Lee
Fall/Spring7915Gender Justice Clinic II4Brundige/Lee
Fall/Spring7916Gender Justice Clinic III4Brundige/Lee
Fall/Spring7917Gender Justice Clinic IV4Brundige/Lee
Fall/Spring7959Transnational Disputes Clinic6Kysel

*If externship is outside the U.S. or with an international organization in the U.S. or a domestic organization in the U.S. practicing international law.

Degree Credit Review, Program Change, or Withdraw Form

Please complete this form to start the process to receive a degree credit review, change your program, or withdraw from a program.

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