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The Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program
(with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Overview

    The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence) (hereinafter the Program) is a directed independent study program specifically designed for individuals who have earned a Juris Doctor or other law degrees from a college or university outside of the United States. Attorneys educated in the United States may be admitted only through a special petition.

    This type of program is often referred to as an LL.M. (LL.M. is an abbreviation of the Latin Legum Magister which translates in English to Master of Laws.) The LL.M. is an internationally-recognized postgraduate law degree. However, in most countries lawyers are not required to hold an LL.M. degree to practice law and many choose not to devote the resources necessary to obtain this additional level of expertise. Completion of this Program is not intended to, and will not, qualify graduates to sit for any bar examination in the United States. 


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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Presentation

    The Program is presented on a trimester basis and can be completed in one year. Students are generally enrolled in a minimum of 8 units per trimester. Each trimester consists of a time period of 16 weeks. The Program maintains open enrollment throughout the year. Students may commence study at any time. Students may take a leave-of-absence between trimesters. Most students will complete the Program within one year. However students in some circumstances can take up to 2 years.

    Traditional law school programs in the United States rely heavily on casebooks and often require students to brief hundreds of cases. Although students in this Program also study cases in each course, the Program places greater emphasis on direct sources of the “black letter” law such as outlines, treatises, audio lectures and other study aids. In most courses, the casebooks are optional. When students are required to brief specific cases, those cases can be found on the University supplied Lexis Advance® legal database. (Lexis Advance® is a powerful research tool which students utilize in all courses.) 

    The Program places a greater emphasis on learning practical skills than the typical law school program which is designed in part to prepare students for the bar examination. In this Program students are tested in large part through objective questions and written projects rather than timed bar examination style questions.

The Program includes courses that utilize Internet technologies in the delivery of course syllabi and student work property. The Program requires no classroom attendance. Prior Taft Law students have resided in as Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Program Objectives


    The legal system in the United States has an ever increasing impact on businesses from around the world. The Program is designed for attorneys and legal scholars educated outside of the United States who desire knowledge of United States’ law and its legal system to enhance their current career, to obtain a clearer understanding of the regulatory process, to increase their ability to interact with the legal system, to improve their ability to anticipate potential legal problems, or simply for personal enrichment. Graduates also benefit from increased analytical reasoning and communication skills.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Admission Policies and Requirements

    Applicants seeking admission to the Program must generally have earned a Juris Doctor degree or other law degree from an appropriately accredited institution outside of the United States which is listed in the International Handbook of Universities (or the equivalent). It may be necessary for applicants to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the School. Upon request, the School’s Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators.

    All instruction is in English. Therefore applicants whose native language is not English and who have not earned a degree from an accredited institution where English is the principal language of instruction must generally have received a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

    The Program is not designed for individuals holding a Juris Doctor degree earned in the United States or individuals admitted to any Bar in the United States or Canada. However, the School will consider special petitions from such individuals. Interested individuals should contact the
Admissions Office for detailed information on petition procedures and approval guidelines.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Graduation Requirements

    To earn the Master of Laws (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence) degree, a student must complete a minimum of 24 units including the Introduction to Law course with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. The requirements may be completed in as little as one year (three trimesters) and must be completed within two calendar years from the date of initial enrollment.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Curriculum

    The only required course is Introduction to Law (LAW 601). This course serves as the introduction to the Program and is intended to provide the student with a broad overview of the American judicial system. Candidates for this degree satisfy the balance of the course requirements by completing courses of their choice from among those offered to our law students pursuing our Juris Doctor – Executive Track Independent Study degree.
(Click on the course title for a full course description.)

Required Course
Units
  Introduction to Law (LAW 601) 1
Elective Courses
Students may select electives from the following list of courses:
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Law (Law 651)
3
Alternative Dispute Resolution (Law 674) 3
Business Organizations (Law 631) 8
Civil Procedure (Law 624) 6
Community Property Law (Law 633) 3
Constitutional Law (Law 622) 7
Contracts (Law 616) 8
Criminal Law (Law 613) 5
Criminal Procedure (Law 630) 3
Directed Legal Studies (Law 650)
1-6
Evidence (Law 634)
10
Health Care Law (Law 675) 3
Intellectual Property (Law 658) 3
Labor/Employment Law (Law 672) 3
Property (Law 623) 7
Remedies (Law 646) 4
Sports Law (Law 671) 3
Torts (Law 612) 7
Uniform Commercial Code (Law 644) 4
Wills & Trusts (Law 620) 4

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

How to Enroll

    To apply for admission to the Program, an applicant must first complete the online Application for Admission Form and submit it to the Admissions Office, along with the required $75.00 application fee. It is not necessary to submit official transcripts at the time of application. However, official transcripts will be required within 45 days of enrollment. United States educated law school graduates interested in submitting a special petition for admission should contact the Admissions Office.

    If the applicant is accepted for admission to the Program, enrollment materials will be prepared and e-mailed to the applicant for review and signature. All payments submitted for tuition and fees must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard®/Visa®/American Express®/Discover® or personal/business check as described in Section VI of the Application for Admission Form. 

    Generally, applications must be approved at least 30 days before a matriculating student can commence studies. Applications are reviewed weekly.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Financial Information

    The tuition for the Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence) is $330.00 per unit. (Students must enroll in a minimum of eight units per trimester.) Additional information on financial aid and tuition financing can be found under Tuition, Financial Aid and Financing.

Fee Schedule

Application Fee

$75.00

Special Petition for Admission Fee

$150.00

Registration Fee (Per Trimester)  $40.00
Library Fee (Per Trimester) $75.00
Enrollment Commitment Fee (Matriculating Students Only) $100.00
Non-Resident Surcharge (Per Trimester) (Applies Only to Students Residing Outside of the United States)

$250.00

Administrative Accounting Fee (Per Trimester)
(Applicable to Installment Payment Plans Only)

$50.00

Returned Check Fee $25.00
Transcript Fee (Two Provided at No Charge) $  7.50
Graduation/Diploma Fee $75.00

All of the fees on this schedule are non-refundable.


    The cost of required books and materials, other than each course’s syllabus, is not included in the tuition. The current costs for these materials is approximately $675.00 for 24 units plus shipping. Most books and materials may be purchased through any legal book store. However, students will always be provided with mail and/or online sources for obtaining any required materials. The School does not sell books or study aids.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Faculty

The Taft University System employs faculty qualified to undertake the level of instruction or course development that they are assigned. They possess degrees or credentials appropriate to the degree program and level they teach. A complete listing of faculty and their qualifications is set forth in a separate
Catalog Supplement.

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The Master of Laws Program (with a concentration in American Jurisprudence)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q. How long does it take to complete the Program?
A.
The Program can be completed in as little as one calendar year.

2. Q. How many units are necessary to earn the LL.M. degree?
A.
Twenty four semester units must be completed.

3. Q. Will you accept transfer credits from other LL.M. Programs?
A.
No, transfer credit cannot be granted.

4. Q. Will completion of this Program qualify me for any state bar examination in the United States?
A.
No. As a distance education institution, the School is not eligible for accreditation by the American Bar Association, has not applied for such accreditation, and does not expect to apply for such accreditation in the future. The Program is not designed to qualify students to sit for the bar examination in any state.

5. Q. Will I be able to find a job in the United States after earning your LL.M. degree?
A. Foreign applicants should be aware that the LL.M. degree, obtained through a one-year masters program, does not serve as a substitute for the three or four year Juris Doctor degree in the U.S. job market. If you are committed to finding long-term employment as an attorney in the United States, you might consider a Juris Doctor program. Studies have shown that only approximately 16% of international LL.M. graduates from A.B.A. approved law schools find permanent employment within the United States. Many more find internships, pursue positions in their home country, or find employment in a third country.

6. Q. I’m not sure I want to complete the entire Program, can I take just one course rather than enroll in the entire Program?
A.
No. The structure of the Program requires that students be enrolled in a minimum of 8 units per trimester.

7. Q. What financial aid and tuition financing alternatives are available?
A.
Many students are eligible for financial aid through employer tuition reimbursement programs and/or the Schools’s
Partners in Professional Education (PIPE) Program. In addition, the School offers a no interest financing alternative which permits students to pay approximately 30% of tuition at the time of enrollment and the balance over a 5 month period.

8. Q. Is there ever a need to come to California?
A.
No. Academic and administrative procedures are carefully designed so that students can complete all requirements for graduation entirely by directed independent study, without unreasonably disrupting their professional or family lives. Students may elect to take examinations at the School or at over 350 approved testing sites. If a testing site is not convenient to a student, procedures are in place for the student to nominate a proctor.

9. Q. Is the Program accredited?
A.
Yes, Taft Law School and all of its programs are accredited by the
Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). DETC is recognized by the United States Department of Education and is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

10. Q. How soon can I get started?
A.
The Program maintains open enrollment allowing students to commence study at any time. Generally, applications must be approved at least 30 days before a matriculating student can commence studies. Application
s are reviewed weekly. Trimesters start on the 15th of each month.

11. Q. Can I defer my existing student loans?
A.
As a result of legislation passed by Congress in 2006, Taft Law School students are now generally eligible to
defer repayment of existing Federal Financial Aid (FSA) student loans during their term of enrollment in the Program. To continue the deferral, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward earning the degree.
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