LL.M. Specializations

To facilitate the transition into the American legal academic culture, LL.M. students must attend a two-week, non-credit orientation before the beginning of fall semester. The orientation is conducted in conjunction with a similar program for other selected entering students. The orientation includes tours of the law school facilities, classes, administrative information sessions and social events. Classes will introduce LL.M. students to fundamentals of the American legal system and to the Socratic teaching method used in American law schools. 

The program aims to give students a solid grounding in the fundamentals of American law. To this end, all students take foundational classes in Legal Research and Writing and Introduction to American Law during the fall semester. The remainder of the program is elective. Students have the freedom to choose their own plans of study and work with the program director to design their own curriculum tailored to their particular career goals. Some students choose to take courses that give a broad foundation in legal theory and the American legal system. Others choose instead to specialize in areas like commercial law, international law, intellectual property, environmental law, or criminal law, gaining a more sophisticated expertise in their discipline. Below are some sample course selections for students interested in following these different paths. These are merely specialization possibilities and suggestions for tracks of study. The director of the program will work with individual students to create schedules best suited to their interests. Not all of the classes listed below are offered every year.

I. Commercial/Business Law

Students who specialize in commercial and business law here at FSU will have the opportunity to go well beyond basic courses on contracts and corporate law by taking classes that will give them a sophisticated understanding of both legal and economic issues in the regulation of businesses within the United States and around the world. The program offers a chance to study with nationally and internationally-known faculty in fields like law and economics, corporate governance, and international taxation.

Fall semester:

Legal Research and Writing (3 credits -- required)

Introduction to American Law (2 credits – required)

Corporations (4 credits)

Law and Economics (3 credits)

Spring semester:

Contracts (4 credits)

Closely-Held Business Organizations (3 credits)

Corporate Finance (3 credits)

Bankruptcy (3 credits)

Other courses offered include: Securities Regulation (3 credits), Taxation (4 credits), Taxation of Business Entities (3 credits), Business Planning (3 credits), Advanced Topics in Corporate Governance (3 credits), Antitrust Law (3 credits), Commercial Paper (3 credits), Secured Transactions (3 credits), Contract Drafting (2 credits).

II. International Law

The vibrant international law program at FSU offers students a chance to take both introductory classes in areas like Public International Law and International Business, and more advanced classes in emerging fields like International Criminal Law and International Arbitration. Students also have the opportunity to participate in moot court competitions like the Jessup Competition in Public International Law, and to join the College’s active chapter of the International Law Students Association. The College’s faculty is renowned for its expertise in fields as diverse as Chinese Law, Latin American constitutionalism, and the philosophy of the laws of war.

Fall semester:

Legal Research and Writing (3 credits -- required)

Introduction to American Law (2 credits – required)

Public International Law (3 credits)

International Trade Law (3 credits)

Spring semester:

Human Rights Law (2 credits)

International Litigation and Arbitration (3 credits)

International Business Transactions (3 credits)

International and Foreign Legal Research (2 credits)

Asylum & Refugee Law (3 credits)

Other courses offered include: International Criminal Law (3 credits), Chinese Trade Simulation (3 credits); International Aspects of Intellectual Property (3 credits), International Taxation (3 credits), Comparative Constitutional Law (3 credits), International Environmental Law (3 credits), Law of the Sea (3 credits), Chinese Law Seminar (3 credits), Conflict of Laws (3 credits), Spanish for Lawyers (2 credits).

III. Intellectual Property Law

Florida State University College of Law is an excellent place from which to study the fast-changing law of intellectual property. Students have the opportunity to take in-depth classes in all of the major fields of intellectual property – copyright, patent law, and trademark. They can also go beyond the basics to take classes on the global regulation of pharmaceuticals from faculty members like Fred Abbott, an internationally-respected expert on the topic.

Fall semester:

Legal Research and Writing (3 credits -- required)

Introduction to American Law (2 credits – required)

Property (4 credits)

Copyright Law (3 credits)

Spring semester:

Contracts (4 credits)

Patent Law (3 credits)

Trademarks and Unfair Competition (3 credits)

International Aspects of Intellectual Property Law (3 credits)

Other courses offered include: Sports Law (3 credits), Intellectual Property: Foundations and Frontiers (3 credits), Entertainment Law (3 credits), International Trade Law (3 credits), Global Regulation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (3 credits)

IV. Criminal Law

Florida State offers an unusually deep and broad range of classes in criminal law. Beyond the introductory classes in the substance and procedure of criminal law, students can explore cutting-edge topics like international criminal law, white collar crime, and capital punishment. The College’s criminal law faculty is known for its expertise in topics like bail reform, criminal procedure, and the theory of criminal punishment. 

Fall semester:

Legal Research and Writing (3 credits -- required)

Introduction to American Law (2 credits – required)

International Criminal Law (3 credits)

Criminal Procedure – Police (3 credits)

Spring semester:

Criminal Law (3 credits)

Criminal Procedure – Adjudication (3 credits)

Federal Criminal Law (3 credits)

White Collar Crime (2 credits)

Capital Punishment Seminar (3 credits)

Other courses offered include: Florida Criminal Practice I (2 credits), Florida Criminal Practice II (2 credits), Criminal Practice Clinic (3 credits), Advanced Criminal Law (3 credits), Jury Selection (2 credits), Postconviction Remedies (3 credits).

V. An Overview of American Law

Many students prefer to take courses in several different fields, giving them a solid overview of the structure of American law. There are of course many possible paths to take, depending on your specific areas of interest. The sample schedule below is one example of a plan that would give a student exposure to some of the most fundamental topics in U.S. law.

Fall semester:

Legal Research and Writing (3 credits -- required)

Introduction to American Law (2 credits – required)

Civil Procedure (4 credits)

Torts (4 credits)

Spring semester:

Contracts (4 credits)

Corporations (4 credits)

Administrative Law (3 credits)