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Although there is a basic path that most students take, the requirements to earn a commercial law LLM, also called a master of laws specializing in commercial law, may vary from school to school. Some schools are strict, requiring students to take specific classes, and others are more flexible, letting students choose from hundreds of classes when setting their schedules. Likewise, some schools require a thesis, others do not. As such, it is important to read the specific requirements of the school program when attempting to earn a commercial law LLM.
The application process is often the first step in earning a commercial law LLM. Generally, an applicant will fill out an application, either online or on paper. She may need to submit an essay or a personal statement as well. In addition, the applicants Law School Admission Test scores or other admission scores may be necessary. Many times, good letters of recommendation from professors or employers are required, too.
In the United States, schools will generally want to see that the applicant has taken basic commercial law classes in law school and that the applicant has done well in those classes. In some European schools, LLM programs are available for non-law students who have direct experience relating to commercial law. Consequently, not everyone who earns an LLM in commercial law is a lawyer.
Generally, it takes about one year to earn a commercial law LLM. During this year, students will select classes that are focused specifically on commercial law. Although the classes will vary widely, some examples include business torts, contract drafting, international business transactions, and United States and International customs law. A few schools may have courses that are required to earn a commercial law LLM, such as secured transactions. Other schools have no such requirements, leaving it to the discretion of the student to pick classes related to commercial law that interest her.
During the course of the year, students will attend classes and seminars. At the end of each semester, they will take a final examination in each course. To earn a commercial law LLM, students must successfully pass their final examinations. Some schools require students to have a specific grade point average, based off of their success on those examinations, while other schools merely want their students to pass the examinations.
Depending on the school, some commercial law LLM programs require students to complete thesis or dissertation papers in order to earn degrees as well. The paper topic will typically be associated with a class the student has taken during the year. The requirements for the thesis or dissertation also vary according to the school, but many of them require the papers to be quite lengthy and follow strict legal writing guidelines.
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