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Program requirements and required courses

A full-time student is expected to earn the degree in one academic year (or over two consecutive semesters); a part-time student can earn the degree in 2 years. Generally, the time limit for completing the program is 3 years from the time of matriculation.

All international students on student entry visas should plan to complete the program as full time students in one academic year, beginning in the fall semester and graduating at the end of the spring semester (exceptions may be permitted with certain visa types; please contact the IBT Program Manager with further questions).

1. All students in the IBT LLM must complete a minimum of twenty-four (24)/ maximum of twenty-eight (28) semester credits in the IBT LLM curriculum. The twenty-four semester credits of coursework must include:

a. International Business Transactions; and
b. At least one of (i) Contracts Drafting, (ii) Corporate Drafting Seminar or (iii) Negotiation and Drafting in an International Business Transactions Context or (iv) another course focused on drafting and negotiation skills approved by the Director of the IBT LLM.
Please refer to the course descriptions below.

2. All students who obtained a JD or JD equivalent outside the United States must also take American Legal System: Research, Writing and Analysis OR Advanced Legal Writing. One of these classes counts towards the required twenty-four semester credits.

3. All students in the IBT LLM must comply with College of Law’s Academic Good Standing and Scholarship Retention Policies.

Please click here for a list of approved elective courses.

Course required for all IBT LLM students:

International Business Transactions: Survey Course | LAWS 4315
This course provides students with an overview of key legal issues faced by companies that are involved in international business and the role of lawyers in addressing those issues. The focus is on transactional problems and legal solutions. Students will apply their experience and existing knowledge while developing new skills and expanding their knowledge of international transactions including the commercial terms of international sales agreements, and the allocation of shipping responsibilities/risk of loss and bills of lading; financing arrangements and letters of credit; intellectual property issues including protecting and licensing IP; franchising and distribution agreements; foreign investment; applicable government regulation of trade including import barriers, antidumping duties, competition/antitrust compliance and fraud/bribery regulation; and international dispute resolution. Throughout the course the relationship between law, culture and ethics will be considered.

One of the following required skills-based courses:

Contracts Drafting | LAWS 4178
This course addresses the perspectives and skills that a lawyer must develop in order to assist clients with transactional work and aligning business objectives and contracts. In addition to delving deeper into selected areas of substantive contract law, students will read materials that focus on writing and interpreting contractual provisions. Because a core focus of the class is writing for contracts, students will regularly engage in drafting exercises to hone their drafting skills. The course will also focus on negotiation in a transactional setting, and how discussions with both clients and other parties can distill the key business terms that are to be reflected in a contract. Although substantive law and theory will be utilized throughout the course, the primary objective of the course is exposing students to some of the practical, “real-world” skills essential to a transactional law practice.

Corporate Drafting Seminar | LAWS 4181
Corporate drafting focuses on writing responsive, lucid, unambiguous corporate documents. Students assume the role of the in-house counsel and other members of the corporate negotiating team as the team structures, negotiates, drafts, and implements corporate transactions. This course requires extensive writing.

Negotiation and Drafting in an International Business Context
This course will focus on the basic principles of negotiation and contract drafting, as applied to international business transactions. Special emphasis will be placed on financial and corporate contracts, with a focus on a cross-border merger and acquisition transaction. The material will be divided into three parts. First, we will cover the basic principles of effective negotiation, paying particular attention to issues of cultural understanding and inter-cultural communication. Second, we will cover the basic principles of clear and unambiguous contract drafting and we will study the basic ‘geography’ or building blocks of the contract. Finally, we will review and understand specific types of agreements; particular attention will be given to the Merger and Acquisition process and to the US financial system by studying Credit Agreements and other types of credit support documentation. The seminar is taught through a combination of lectures and hands-on drafting and negotiation exercises.

One of the following courses is required for all International Students (not holding a J.D. from an accredited U.S. law school):

American Legal System: Research, Writing and Analysis | LAWS 4064
This course addresses the principles governing the American legal system and provides a brief comparison of the U.S. system to a sampling of other legal systems. In addition, the course addresses the organization of the court system, the anatomy of a lawsuit, and some of the ethical rules governing lawyers. Legal reasoning, standard legal analysis method, and reasoning by analogy will be covered. A broad overview of American civil procedure and constitutional law are included. Also, because this is a critical election year, legal issues impacted by the upcoming election will be explored. Finally, more practical skills such as legal research, legal writing and exam-taking skills will be addressed.

Legal Writing (Advanced) | L4651
Course involves a series of writing assignments, normally related. Typically, students research an initial legal issue, and then draft a first office memo. After receiving detailed feedback, students do at least one revision of that first office memo. Students then undertake research for a second legal issue, and then draft a second office memo. After receiving detailed feedback, students then do a revision of that second office memo. Finally, students use the final versions of those two office memos to create a court document, which they then revise as their final assignment.