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Northwestern University

Northwestern University (“NU”) is a private American university located primarily in Evanston, Illinois. Through the years, the school is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the United States. There are currently approximately 8,500 undergraduate students and 8,000 graduate students at Northwestern.

Northwestern’s Evanston campus, home to the undergraduate program, graduate school, and business school, is more rural whereas the school’s Chicago campus (the location of the law school) is in the heart of the city of Chicago.

The Law School

The Northwestern University School of Law is a private American law school in Chicago, Illinois. The law school was independently founded in 1859 as the Union College of Law and is one of eleven academic entities at Northwestern University.

Northwestern Law is located on Northwestern University's downtown campus in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. The campus is on Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan, and a few blocks from the John Hancock Center.

The Law School is well-regarded, partly due to its practical philosophy, which manifests itself in a strong preference for applicants with at least two years of work experience. Approximately 95% of the school's students enter with at least one year of full-time work experience; 80% possess more than two years of experience. In this respect, Northwestern Law is similar to many business schools.

The NU Law faculty is well regarded for academic strength in a number of disciplines including tax, international law, trial advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, and others.

Tuition Fees

Tuition is approximately $50,000 per year. The Law School awards several LLM fellowship grants based on merit and financial need; these generally cover only part of the tuition. Most applicants request financial assistance, and not all applicants who are in need will receive fellowships. All applicants therefore are encouraged to investigate other sources of support, including employers and government agencies, scholarship funds, and family and personal funds.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the LLM degree program must hold a first degree in law from a university or college whose law degree requirements are comparable to Northwestern's. Students must also have a high level of English proficiency. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official copy of their TOEFL score report.

The Program

The nine-month general LLM program offers outstanding graduates of foreign law schools an opportunity to expand their knowledge of American law and legal processes, continue their studies in international law, and engage in comparative legal research. Students must take at least 20 law credit hours to earn the LLM degree.

LLM students are free to design their own program of study from the Law School's many upper-level courses and seminars, including commercial and corporate, international, constitutional, and human rights law.

A written thesis is not required, but students with well-defined topics may pursue individual research projects.

During their first semester in residence, students enroll in two mandatory courses. The Common Law Reasoning course, which focuses on the fundamental research, analysis, and drafting skills expected of U.S. trained lawyers, and American Legal History course, introducing students to the history and principal characteristics of the American public and private law systems. With the exception of these two courses, LLM students are completely integrated with American JD students.LLM students have a dedicated full-time career advisor in the Center for Career Strategy and Advancement ("Career Center"). The LLM program does not prepare students for permanent employment in the United States, but the Career Center will assist students who wish to seek internships, visiting or foreign attorney positions in the US as well as enhanced employment opportunities at home.

(1) Graduate Program in Law and Business (LLM/Kellogg)

Designed for business lawyers educated outside the United States, the Graduate Program in Law and Business (LLM/Kellogg program) offers students a unique opportunity to study both business law and management techniques at two of America's leading schools in the fields of law and business--the Northwestern University School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management. Graduates of this program are awarded an LLM degree and a certificate in business administration.

(2) LLM Program in International Human Rights

The Program in International Human Rights Law is designed for students with American JDs or law degrees from other countries who wish to undertake an in-depth study of the norms and methods of international human rights law and international criminal law and their implementation by international courts and organizations and in domestic legal systems. The degree program provides an excellent grounding in international human rights law and international criminal law for individuals with career interests in the field.

(3) LLM in Taxation

Individuals who already hold a JD degree can enroll on either a full-time or part-time basis to receive the LLM degree. Practicing attorneys may also take courses on a non-degree basis to refine their knowledge in specialized areas of the tax law. Current law students can participate in the joint JD-LLM program and receive a JD and LLM in only six or seven semesters.

(4) Accelerated LLM

The Accelerated LLM (ALLM) program is a 15-week degree program that combines law graduates from diverse non-U.S. jurisdictions to study at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. ALLM students spend the summer (May through mid-August) studying the legal issues relating to business law, with particular focus on transnational matters. The Accelerated LLM program is intended for candidates whose personal or professional obligations limit their ability to spend an entire year studying in the United States in a traditional LLM program. ALLM students earn an LLM degree in an intensive 15-week session comprising in class course work (two 6-week sessions), online, distance learning coursework, as well as two exam periods (1 1/2 weeks each).

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