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LLM in United States Law

The LLM in United States Law is designed for international legal professionals looking to study U.S. law under internationally recognized scholars. In particular, Pepperdine University School of Law offers an unparalleled student experience. Situated overlooking the Pacific Ocean in beautiful Malibu on the edge of vibrant Los Angeles, California, the spectacular location is surpassed only by the law school's student-centered teaching philosophy. The School of Law is well-known for the warmth and accessibility of its faculty and staff, and for its family atmosphere at the diverse, student body level. The LLM in U.S. Law offers a Fundamentals Track for students interested in sitting for a U.S. bar exam and a Flexible Track for those interested in maximizing the flexibility to design their own program.

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Peter Wendel

Faculty Director:

Mireille Butler is Faculty Director of the LLM in U.S. Law and teaches Legal Research and Writing to first-year law school students and LLM International students. She is regularly invited to speak at conferences on a variety of Legal Research and Writing topics (including the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools and the Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference). Finally, as a former assistant dean for career development, she also regularly counsels students and alumni regarding their career and job search strategies.
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The Pepperdine Advantage

Study in Spectacular Southern California

Enjoy the excitement of a fast-paced city along with the peaceful environment of Malibu. Located just 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles - a thriving hub for legal practice and international culture - our 830-acre campus offers breathtaking views and a 40,000 square-foot library facility.

Qualify for a U.S. Bar Exam

Students who choose the LLM in U.S. Law's "Fundamentals Track" choose courses that prepare them to sit for the bar exam in California, New York, or another state. Historically Pepperdine has an exemplary record of preparing its JD students for the state bar exam. In 2016, the Maine Board of Bar Examiners recognized one of our graduates, Emily T. White, for earning (a) the highest essay score on the Maine Bar Exam, and (b) the highest overall score on the Maine Bar Exam. Over the past three years, Pepperdine JD students averaged a 76% pass-rate on the California Bar Exam, one of the toughest bar exams in the country.

Learn from Faculty Experts

Our professors are legal experts, international authors, and award-winning mentors. Prof. Ed Larson has received a Pulitzer Prize for his writings in legal history and has lectured on all seven continents; Prof. Jack Coe is an associate reporter for the Restatement on the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration, and he has chaired (1) the Disputes Division of the ABA International Law Section and (2) the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration; and Dean Paul Caron was named the third most influential person in legal education by The National Jurist in 2015, and one of the 100 most influential people in tax and accounting every year since 2006 by Accounting Today. Thanks to our low student-faculty ratio, our students get to know their professors and get hands-on guidance from nationally recognized scholars and educators.

Design Your Own Program

Students who choose the LLM in U.S. Law's "Flexible Track" get a greater say in the courses in their LLM program to individualize the experience to their professional interests and goals. After taking a set of core courses to introduce students to the key areas of U.S. law, students can choose from over 155 courses to complete their LLM program. The Program's Director will help advise and mentor students through the process of designing their individual LLM program.

Experience a Supportive Learning Environment

The Princeton Review recently ranked our faculty the sixth best in the country with the highest possible score for accessibility. Competition is inherent in legal education, but Pepperdine works hard to ensure that we have a learning environment that promotes productive competition, not destructive competition. Students actually enjoy their time in law school. We encourage you to visit the law school, if possible, during the application process. If you cannot do so, feel free to contact the Program Director for help with any questions you may have. Email Professor Butler

Two Tracks

Fundamentals Track

Fundamentals Track: 26 units*

Required Courses - 4 units

12 units of the Following Coursework

10 units of Elective Credit

* Bar Requirements (Curricular):

  • For California, students must take a minimum of one course in four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Examination of not less than a total of twelve (12) units. One of the courses must be Professional Responsibility (Introduction to Ethical Lawyering) that covers the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and leading federal and state case law on the subject.
  • For New York, students need to take a minimum of 2 credits in each of the following courses:
    Professional Responsibility (Introduction to Ethical Lawyering); U.S. Legal Research, Writing & Analysis; American legal studies, American legal system, or similar course (Introduction to U.S. Law); and a minimum of 6 credits in other courses tested on the New York Bar Exam.

Flexible Track

Flexible Track: 26 units

Required Courses - 4 units

12 units of the Following Coursework

10 units of Elective Credit

Please see course catalog for complete list of doctrinal law courses.