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LLM Program

Penn Carey Law LLM Program 2021-2022

Theodore Ruger headshot
Penn Carey Law is a global leader in legal education, uniquely equipping our LLM students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers and become changemakers in the world. Our faculty are celebrated scholars and devoted teachers. The Law School has earned a well-deserved reputation for a collaborative and collegial culture that supports students in their legal training, while also fostering their diverse intellectual interests. I hope you enjoy learning more about our innovative LLM program and the outstanding people that comprise the Penn Carey Law community.
Theodore Ruger signature
Theodore Ruger
Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law

The Law School

Penn Carey Law’s campus is state-of-the-art, with four fully interconnected buildings surrounding a green courtyard. Students are steps away from the amenities of the University of Pennsylvania, with its activities for graduate and professional students, its modern, well-equipped gym and health club, and its many libraries, museums, theaters, lectures, and events.
Eleanor Barrett headshot
“During the Pre-Term Program, LLM students have the opportunity to develop their U.S. legal writing and oral presentation skills in small classes and receive individualized feedback from faculty. Even experienced foreign attorneys report that they gain valuable skills that support both their studies at Penn Carey Law and their practice after graduation.”
Eleanor Barrett L’05
Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs

OUR Curriculum

LLM Program
Penn Carey Law’s LLM program is over a century old, attracting top students from around the world to the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution located in Philadelphia. The program is a one-year, full-time course of study in advanced legal topics designed for lawyers trained outside the United States.

Students select courses from an extensive curriculum of specialized courses and seminars at Penn Carey Law. The Law School grants a generalized LLM that allows each student to design their own curriculum, and, in doing so, choose to focus on a particular topic.

After completing the Pre-Term Program, LLM students take all their courses alongside our upper-level JD students.

LLM Pre-Term Program
Our innovative Pre-Term Program provides an academic grounding in the U.S. legal system as well as social, cultural, and professional opportunities. The program includes two introductory courses (five credits total): Foundations of the U.S. Legal System, an intensive survey addressing U.S. legal thought and practice; and U.S. Legal Writing and Research, a course covering the basic skills of U.S. lawyering. Social activities have included a welcome BBQ, speed networking, a bus tour, team building workshops, and a banquet.
Other Graduate Programs
Penn Carey Law offers two graduate degree programs in addition to the LLM. The Master of Comparative Law (LLCM) program is a one-year course of advanced study for students who have already earned their LLM degree. The Doctor of the Science of Law (SJD) program provides an opportunity to conduct extensive research, culminating in a dissertation, under the guidance of faculty from Penn Carey Law, and, where appropriate, other professional schools and graduate departments of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wharton Business and Law Certificate (WBLC)

The practice of law requires superior preparation in conventional areas of legal education and the diverse disciplines intersecting with the law. Wharton Executive Education and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School have joined forces to offer the Wharton Business and Law Certificate for students enrolled in the LLM program. The program is ideally suited for internationally trained attorneys who seek to develop the business skills needed to compete in today’s complex legal environment.

It is designed for lawyers who need to acquire:

  • An understanding of U.S. business culture
  • Enhanced skills for the sophisticated presentation of investment propositions and financial projects
  • Management concepts for developing or professionalizing a law practice or business enterprise
This custom–designed program is taught by Wharton faculty and industry experts selected for their teaching skills, subject expertise, and ability to offer applied concepts and examples to participants. All LLM students may participate in this program, which runs concurrently with the LLM program. Those who successfully complete its requirements will earn a certificate awarded by The Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education as well their LLM degree from Penn Carey Law. Classes are held in the evenings at Wharton which is a short walk from the law school on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
“Because of my background in international law and international arbitration, I did not imagine that the WBLC would be such an enriching experience. After a year of Corporate Finance, Private Equity, and Global Strategic Management, I have come to realize that the business skills this unique program has given me are not only extremely useful in my field of specialization but also highly appreciated by employers.”
Eugénie Caroit – France
Eugénie Caroit headshot


The essence of a great law school is a great faculty. Our professors are renowned and prolific scholars, publishing broadly-acclaimed books and articles that advance knowledge in the law and related disciplines. Nearly 70 percent of faculty members hold advanced degrees in fields other than law. And with diverse experience in international and comparative law, our faculty members bring a broad, global view of the role of law in society to the classroom.
Eric Feldman headshot
“We are living at a time when it is impossible to be a successful attorney without understanding how law and legal institutions operate both within and beyond our own nations, and Penn’s LLM Program ensures that everyone with a Penn degree develops a deep comparative understanding of the law.”
Eric Feldman
Heimbold Chair in International Law; Professor of Law; Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; Deputy Dean for International Programs
Jill Fisch headshot
“The economic significance of multinational corporations has led to increasing and often conflicting regulatory demands, and the globalization of the capital markets requires sophisticated lawyering to meet these demands.”
Jill Fisch
Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law;
Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics
Praveen Kosuri headshot
“The Entrepreneurship Clinic has real clients in the real world with real consequences and real impact — allowing students to apply the theoretical law that they’ve learned in other classes.”
Praveen Kosuri
Associate Dean for Clinical Education; Practice Professor
of Law; Director, Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
Beth Simmons headshot
“Students at the law school engage with world affairs in profound and meaningful ways. From international human rights to global business, Penn Carey Law offers unparalleled opportunities for research and practice.”
Beth Simmons
Andrea Mitchell University Professor in Law, Political Science and Business Ethics
Christopher S. Yoo headshot
“Internet policy must take into account how much the underlying technology and the demands being placed on the network are changing.”
Christopher S. Yoo
John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science; Director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition

Honing U.S. Lawyering Skills

Live-client clinics provide you with expansive opportunities to apply your legal skills at the intersection of law and a broad range of subject areas. LLMs have participated in the following clinics:
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intellectual Property and Technology
  • Mediation
  • Transnational Law
Clinic students have worked with an inventor to protect his intellectual property, mediated an international child custody agreement between parents in two countries, and obtained a grant of asylum for a client facing certain harm if returned to his home country.
Students discussing a topic at a roundtable
Integrating Service into Your Professional Life
The Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC) is excited to welcome LLMs as full participants in Penn Carey Law’s historic commitment to public service.

TPIC supports LLMs seeking to fulfill the New York Bar’s 50-hour pro bono requirement and offers all LLMs pro bono opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experience and further develop professional skills while learning about the communities that exist beyond the walls of Penn Carey Law.

Our Collaborative Community

Whoever you are and wherever you come from, the power of diversity at Penn Carey Law creates a supportive and inclusive community where collaboration and teamwork are prized. We appreciate differences and are willing to engage colleagues and faculty in ways that respect, and even celebrate, the many differences in philosophy and experience that appear in a community as rich in ideas and backgrounds as Penn Carey Law.
“I spent a year at Penn surrounded by fantastic individuals from 35 different countries, many of which I have never been to. Such an experience necessarily challenges your view of the world and forces you to discover and to adapt to different cultures. At the end of the year, your only wish is to travel to all these countries to visit your new friends, and to see for yourself these fascinating cultures.”
Marc Diab Maalouf – France
Marc Diab Maalouf LLM’18 headshot
“One of the best things about Penn is that the Law School is designed to feel like a community and to make your time as comfortable and as fruitful as possible. The LLM Program is designed to create as many opportunities as possible for interaction with other students — both JDs and LLMs — and the faculty.”
Hilari Asasira – Uganda
Students sitting in chair smiling

Student Services

Student Support
Penn Carey Law prides itself on providing its LLM students with unusually strong administrative support. Our Graduate Programs staff works closely with individual class members, encouraging all to take advantage of the wide variety of resources available. These go beyond the Law School’s academic offerings to include programming aimed at fostering social and professional interaction between graduate students and their JD counterparts, Penn Carey Law faculty, and Law School alumni who have returned to their homes around the world.
Career Planning
Penn Carey Law’s Office of Career Strategy (OCS) assists students with job searches and with enhancing professional skills. Penn Carey Law has an LLM and International Career Counselor, who organizes programs designed specifically for LLM students, including resume and cover letter drafting, networking, interview skills, and an attorney mentor program. OCS also brings in various speakers throughout the year, including LLM alumni, throughout the year. Penn Carey Law LLMs also participate in the International Student Interview Program (“ISIP”) which brings together LLMs and hiring employers from around the world to New York City in January.
Penn Law China Alum Club standing with flag
Life After Penn
When you graduate from Penn, you will join an active and engaged global alumni community. The personal and professional relationships you build here will last a lifetime, creating a vast network that extends far beyond Philadelphia. To help graduates keep in touch, Penn Carey Law supports alumni clubs around the world in countries like Italy, Brazil, Japan, and China. Our career office also offers resources and continuing support to alumni as you chart the future of your professional life in the law. No matter where you go after graduation, you will always have a home base at Penn Carey Law.

Your Philadelphia Experience

City of Neighborhoods
Philadelphia, one of the most historically significant cities in the United States, features wonderful residential neighborhoods, a booming restaurant scene, robust art and theater life, excellent shopping, and great sports teams — all centrally located and served by public transport. Philadelphia offers professional students an affordable, accessible, and exciting lifestyle with easy access to New York City and Washington, D.C.

Although on-campus housing is available, many LLMs live in apartments in University City and Center City. There are affordable, attractive, and diverse off-campus options, ranging from rooms in historic houses to modern high-rise apartments.

Photo by Scott Spitzer
Elise Luce Kraemer L'93 headshot
“Our LLM alumni consistently report that their academic and social experiences far exceeded their expectations and that the personal and professional relationships built at Penn last a lifetime.”
Elise Luce Kraemer L’93
Executive Director, Graduate Programs


Each year, Penn Carey Law enrolls a select class of approximately 115 LLM students: academically gifted, professionally accomplished, intellectually curious, and culturally and geographically diverse. In addition, Penn Carey Law enrolls a limited number of exceptional graduate students pursuing the LLCM and SJD degrees.

Our students come from all over the world, representing more than 30 countries in a typical year. They come from a broad spectrum of academic, professional, ideological, and economic backgrounds. The majority of our LLM students have had at least one year of work experience following their law studies, and a significant percentage hold an advanced degree. This exciting diversity is, in itself, an integral component of our LLM program. It inspires a cross-fertilization of ideas and incentives that enhances the intellectual rewards and professional transformation that characterize a Penn Carey Law education.

We welcome your interest in joining this extraordinary community.

Elise Luce Kraemer signature
Elise Luce Kraemer
Executive Director, Graduate Programs
Standards for Admissions
Admission to Penn Carey Law’s Graduate Programs is highly selective. We typically receive around 1,500 applications for 115 seats in the entering LLM class. Applicants to the LLM program generally must hold a law degree such as a JD, LLB, or equivalent, or be licensed to practice law. Applicants currently enrolled as LLB students (or the equivalent) who are expecting to graduate in the spring are also welcome to apply.

Successful participation in Penn Carey Law’s Graduate Program requires a high level of English proficiency. Most coursework at the law school centers on a dialogue between the instructor and members of the class. Students must be able to express thoughts clearly in both spoken and written English and must read and write the language with ease.

All Graduate applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam or be granted a waiver. Penn Carey Law does not have a minimum score requirement. In general, we look for a TOEFL score of at least 100 or IELTS score of 7. We also look at the breakdown for listening, speaking, writing, and reading to ensure that all indicate a high level of English proficiency. However, a lower score in one area or overall does not automatically preclude an application from consideration for Penn Carey Law’s LLM program.

See for detailed information on admissions.

How to Apply
LLM, LLCM, and SJD candidates are required to submit their applications via
Two students on computer smiling
We begin accepting application materials after September 1.

November 15: Early Notification
LLM applications must be complete by November 15 for Early Notification. Early notification applicants will be accepted, rejected, or deferred for further consideration by February 1.

December 15: Regular Notification
LLM applications are due by December 15. Applicants will be accepted, rejected, or waitlisted by mid-March. If you miss the deadline, you can request a deadline extension.

Financing Your Legal Education
In an effort to sustain the exceptional diversity and quality of our LLM program, Penn Carey Law has set aside merit scholarship funds for outstanding candidates, including a number of regionally based scholarships. The Law School has also partnered with Fulbright in a number of countries to provide joint scholarships.

In addition, Penn Carey Law offers human rights scholarships for outstanding students with a substantial, demonstrated commitment to human rights. Our application requires an additional essay for students interested in applying for a human rights scholarship. We offer one or two of these scholarships each year, depending upon the depth of the applicant pool.

Because our ability to award assistance is limited, we encourage applicants to seek other funding sources. Many of our students receive scholarships from their employers, governments, or another third party. Other students are able to pay their expenses with their own savings or rely on family members for loans. Still others are able to receive loans or other financial aid from their home country.

To view estimated LLM expenses for the academic year, visit

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204

Office of Graduate Programs
Telephone: 215.898.0407

Penn Law CrestAll information in this viewbook is subject to change as our programs are constantly evolving. For the most up to date information, please visit our website at
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