Cornell Law School offers an opportunity to Cornell J.D. students to earn both a J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree 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

  • One of which should be Conflict of Laws. Additional Group 1 courses are: Public International Law and International Human Rights.
  • 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.
  • Participation in the Cornell-Paris 1 Summer Institute (students must receive at least four credits)

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

  • A thesis option, which requires satisfactory completion of a five-credit thesis
  • 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)
  • 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
  • With the approval of the International Programs Office, up to 2 credits for serving as a teaching assistant for an international or comparative law class taught at Cornell Law School.”

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. degree will have the following courses to choose from during the 2021-22 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.

The Conflict of Laws course is required for all students in the program and must be taken before graduation. Students in the program must take at least one course from both Group 1 and Group 2 before graduation. Additional courses in Group 2 may be taken for elective credit towards the 20-credit requirement of the J.D./LL.M. degree. The courses in Group 3 are elective courses that meet the requirements for J.D./LL.M. degree.

Review these courses in the Course Catalog.

Group 1:

  • 6192 Conflict of Laws (3) (Course Required)

One of the following is required:

  • 6561 International Human Rights (3)
  • 6791 Public International Law (3)

Group 2 (one of the following courses is required)

One of the following courses is required:

  • 6161 Comparative Law: Civil Law Traditions (3)*
  • 7440 Law and Social Change: Comparative Law in Africa (4)
  • 6661 Constitutional Law of the European Union (3)

*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:


  • 6307 Disaster Law (2)
  • 6451 Federal Indian Law (3)
  • 6465 Global M&A Practice (1)
  • 6561 International Human Rights (3)
  • 6514 Foreign, Comparative and International Research (2)
  • 6564 International Taxation (3)     
  • 6661 Constitutional Law of the European Union (3)
  • 6681 International Law and Foreign Direct Investment (3)
  • 6744 Contemporary Chinese Law and Society (2)
  • 6890 Tax Treaties (3)
  • 6981 International Trade and WTO Law (3)         
  • 7311 Immigration and Refugee Law (3)


  • 7123 Chinese Law: Tradition and Modernization (3)
  • 7146 Comparative Legal Philosophy (3)
  • 7187 Disasters and Human Rights (3)
  • 7295 Global Labor and Employment Law (3)
  • 7321 International Criminal Law (3)
  • 7360 International Financial Regulation (2)
  • 7405 Law and Ethics of Armed Conflict (3)
  • 6613 Law and Development (3)
  • 7589 Seminar in National Security Issues & Policy (3)
  • 7599 New Rights, Cyberspace and Law (3)
  • 7675 Issues in Financial Regulation (3)
  • 7785 Law of Genocide and War Crimes Trials (3)


  • 7801 Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic-(4)
  • 7832 Externship – Full Time(12)*
  • 7834 Externship – Part Time (4)*
  • 7847 International Human Rights Clinic: Policy Advocacy I (4)
  • 7855 International Human Rights Clinic: Litigation and Advocacy I (4)
  • 7860 International Human Rights Clinic: Litigation and Advocacy II (4)
  • 7914 Gender Justice Clinic (4)
  • 7915 Advanced Gender Justice Clinic (4)

*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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