LL.M. Program | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

LL.M. Program | School of Law | SIU



LL.M. Program | School of Law | SIU

LL.M. Program

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) is a 24 credit hour degree recognized in legal education as the first advanced degree beyond the Juris Doctor (J.D.)  

Why an LL.M.?

The LL.M. degree benefits lawyers with an established practice who desire to add a graduate level law degree to:

  • increase their expertise in a particular field;
  • qualify for a different position; or
  • establish a credential to enter the field of legal education.

The LL.M. degree may also benefit those who have recently completed the basic J.D. degree and who desire to add a graduate-level law degree to enhance their marketability as they enter into the practice of law or into a highly specialized area like health law and policy.

Finally, the LL.M. degree benefits graduates of law schools in other countries who desire to learn about the American legal system either as a prerequisite to sitting for a bar examination in select states or to enhance their marketability as a practicing lawyer in their native country.

Build your own LL.M. degree

The LL.M. degree is flexible -- allowing you to concentrate in the area of law you are most interested in or that will enhance your career opportunities. LL.M. students choose from a wide curriculum including education, criminal, labor, business, intellectual property, international, and state and local government law.

Most students can complete the LL.M. degree in two years if they attend full-time. Part-time students have up to five years to complete the program, allowing them to select courses that fit their schedule.

LL.M. in Health Law and Policy

The LL.M. in Health Law and Policy is an advanced professional study of the law, policies, and regulations affecting the health care industry, health professions, health services, insurance industries, and patients. To quality for this LL.M degree, 12 hours of credit must be taken in health care related courses.

Requirements for the LL.M. degree

Both the general LL.M. and the specialization in Health Law and Policy require the completion of 24 semester hours of credit in law courses approved by the Director of Graduate Legal Studies. Of these 24 hours, at least 3 semester hours must be earned in producing a substantial research paper of publishable quality.

Up to six semester hours of credit for course work taken in the University’s Graduate School or the School of Medicine may be granted with the permission of the Director of Graduate Legal Studies and the appropriate official from the Graduate School or the School of Medicine. A grade of “B” or better must be earned for the credits to count toward the 24 credit hour requirement.

Students enrolled in the Health Law and Policy specialization are required to complete at least 12 of the required 24 hours in specialized health law and policy classes and to participate in two externship placements. Placements may be waived by the Director of Graduate Legal Studies based on previous or contemporaneous employment in the health care field. An SIU J.D. graduate may apply for up to six hours of credit earned in health law related courses in which a grade of “B” or better was earned in the SIU J.D. program.

With approval of the Graduate Admissions Committee, a student may transfer at the time of initial enrollment up to 6 credit hours for post J.D. course work taken at another ABA accredited law school or in a non-law graduate program. The student must have earned a grade of “B” or better in the post J.D. courses, and the courses must have been germane to the course of study the student wishes to pursue in the LL.M. program.