Trial Advocacy for International Students (LL.M.)

Chicago-Kent College of Law offers an LL.M. degree in trial advocacy for full-time international students who want to focus on persuasive and effective courtroom litigation skills and advocacy.

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The LL.M. in Trial Advocacy for International Students program at Chicago-Kent College of Law invites foreign attorneys and law students with divergent trial practice backgrounds to gain exposure to the U.S. adversarial trial system—a system somewhat similar to newly revised “oral trials” being adopted by many other countries.

Chicago-Kent’s reputation in trial advocacy—as well as its physical location in Chicago—provides a distinctive master’s degree in trial advocacy in a world-class setting. Students gain hands-on litigation experience through an externship with a government agency, such as the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, or Cook County Public Defender’s Office; or a dispute resolution/mediation practice; or a criminal or civil litigation practice.

Program Overview

This unique program invites foreign attorneys and law students with divergent trial practice backgrounds to gain exposure to the U.S. adversarial trial system—a system somewhat similar to newly revised “oral trials” being adopted by many other countries.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the LL.M. Program in Trial Advocacy for International Students can be found in a wide variety of jobs, including:

  • Attorney
  • Litigator
  • Foreign local counsel to multinational clients
  • Legal officer for an international or nongovernmental organization
  • In-house counsel
  • General counsel
  • Judge
  • Prosecutor
  • Public defender
  • Law firm associate or partner
  • Solo practitioner
  • Legal consultant/adviser to foreign clients on U.S. litigation
  • Legislator
  • Mediator
  • Arbitrator
  • Expert witness
  • Litigation technology consultant/entrepreneur

The 24-credit-hour course of study required to complete the degree includes 17 credit hours of core curriculum courses with an additional seven credit hours dedicated to a specialized externship.

Students are required to take Trial Advocacy 1, Trial Advocacy 2, Litigation Ethics and Professionalism, Evidence and the Art of Advocacy, Litigation Technology, and Introduction to American Legal Systems. Students complete the remaining seven credit hours through an externship with a governmental agency, a dispute resolution/mediation practice, and/or a civil litigation practice.

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This program is open only to foreign-trained lawyers and law students.

English language competency is essential in order to participate meaningfully in the advocacy programs and most especially in the externship; otherwise, students may be limited in what they can do within their externships.

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