Jun 15, 2024  
Graduate Record 2005-2006 
Graduate Record 2005-2006 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)

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Admission Requirements This program of graduate study is designed primarily for graduates of foreign law schools wishing to study one or more aspects of U.S. law and legal methods, and for foreign and U.S. law graduates seeking careers in legal education or government service. Admission is limited to specially qualified students and depends upon proven ability in the study of law.

A law graduate desiring to enter the School of Law and become a candidate for a graduate degree must prepare an application including, among other things, his or her objectives in pursuing graduate study and a proposed program of study or research. Application forms may be obtained on request from the Director of Graduate Studies, School of Law, P.O. Box 400405, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4405.

Foreign students whose native language is other than English are required to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in the English language. Such students are required to submit results on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of their complete application.

All graduate students are normally admitted at the outset as candidates for the LL.M. LL.M. graduates and others are admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree only after the candidate is in residence and the graduate committee is satisfied as to his or her qualifications. To be considered for S.J.D. candidacy, one normally must hold the LL.M. or have taught or practiced for some time. Admission to candidacy for the S.J.D. degree does not follow automatically from admission to the graduate program, but depends upon the judgment of the candidate’s qualifications by the graduate committee.

Application Deadline Applications must be received by February 1. However, candidates are strongly advised to submit their applications earlier in the fall semester.

Financial Aid Financial Aid is based on merit and need. Foreign students may compete for financial aid funds on the same basis as Americans. Financial aid awards are normally granted for one year and are limited in number.

Degree Requirements for Master of Laws (LL.M.)

The degree of Master of Laws is conferred upon students who, having been admitted to candidacy, have satisfactorily completed at least two semesters of residence and a minimum of 24 credits. With the exception of required first-year courses and graduation requirements, all policies and regulations listed in the Course Offering Directory as applicable to J.D. students also apply to graduate students. At least two credits must be earned in producing a substantial written work of publishable quality, either within a seminar or as supervised research. Foreign students may be required to attend one or more orientation lectures specially designed for them.

Degree Requirements for Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)

The degree of Doctor of Juridical Science is conferred upon students who, having been admitted to candidacy, have:

  1. Completed two semesters of residence demonstrating honors ability in a program of study covering 12-16 credits to be divided between classroom and research credits as prescribed and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The research component will require completion of the dissertation proposal and/or written work demonstrating progress toward the dissertation. Final acceptance in the S.J.D. program is conditional upon the work completed during the one year period of study. Candidates for the S.J.D. degree must usually take additional periods of time, either in residence or in absentia, to prepare for the oral examination and submit a satisfactory dissertation;
  2. completed a dissertation that is an original contribution to the literature of law, demonstrating mastery of the principles of scholarly research, critical analysis, and reasoned presentation of results. The doctoral dissertation is normally of book or monograph length or suitable for a series of law review articles. The subject must be approved by the student’s advisor;
  3. satisfactorily passed an oral examination by a special committee appointed for that purpose. When the dissertation has been approved by the faculty member supervising the student’s research, three examiners are appointed to question the applicant orally and report to the law faculty in writing their opinion of his or her work and fitness for the degree.

The dissertation required for the degree may be submitted, and the oral examination held, any time within five years after the completion of the required period of residency. This period may be extended at the discretion of the graduate committee on showing of cause in writing to the committee.

Master of Laws in the Judicial Process

This degree program was inaugurated by the Law School in 1980 as a special graduate program designed for American appellate judges. The program requires attendance at two resident summer sessions of six weeks each and the submission of a thesis.

A class is admitted to the program only once every three years. The last class enrolled in the summer of 2002. Priority in admission is given to judges of the federal and state appellate courts, although trial judges will be considered for admission.

Additional information may be obtained from the Director, Graduate Program for Judges, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

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