LL.M. Program in Trial Advocacy for International Students Degree Requirements

The 24 credit hours required for this master's program include the courses Trial Advocacy 1, Trial Advocacy 2, Litigation Ethics & Professionalism, Evidence and the Art of Advocacy, Litigation Technology, and Introduction to American Legal Systems, with the remaining seven credit hours consisting of an externship in litigation vis-à-vis 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.

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. Because it is vital that students have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of trial advocacy before being placed in externship positions, the externships are taken during the second semester of the program. 

The LL.M. director will directly oversee the externship with solicited input from the office in which the student is participating. This seven-credit-hour practicum will require the LL.M. student to maintain a weekly journal and meet with the director regularly to review specific cases, hearings and legal research the candidate has participated in or observed. The Specialized Externship also involves a written report on comparative practices in trial advocacy.