J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree in International Law or Maritime Law


Danielle Gauer"The contacts I have made in the maritime law field can be attributed to the guidance and support I have received from UM’s faculty, and of course being situated in Miami."
Danielle Gauer, J.D./LL.M., Maritime Law
University of Ottawa

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Current University of Miami School of Law students have the option to apply to the joint J.D./LL.M. program in International Law or  Maritime Law.

Earn Two Degrees

Joint J.D./LL.M. students will be eligible to receive both the LL.M. and the J.D. degrees within 2.5 to 3 years (for foreign lawyers, this depends on the number of Advanced Standing Credits awarded for their foreign law degree.)  The joint J.D./LL.M. program requires students to complete a total of 100 credits. Also, Students may apply to the J.D./LL.M. joint degree directly instead of applying to the LL.M. or J.D. programs only.

 FOR LL.M. STUDENTS: Application Requirements for Admission to the J.D. Program

For current LL.M. students, a separate admissions committee will review the application and determine eligibility to enter the J.D. program. The admissions committee takes into consideration grade point average in the classes taken with J.D. students while in the LL.M. program.  

In addition, because performance in basic U.S. law courses has been shown to be the best predictor of success in the J.D. program and passage of a U.S. Bar exam, the committee will take a close look at the character of the courses taken during the LL.M. year. It is strongly recommended that LL.M. students thinking about applying to the J.D. program take at least one 1L class and/or one basic U.S. law course during each semester of their LL.M. program such as:

  • Business Associations
  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Trust & Estates
  • U.S. Income Tax Law
  • Evidence
  • Substantive Criminal Law

Steps to Applying:

1) After starting the LL.M. program and before completion of the program, LL.M. students may submit an application to the J.D. program. It is recommended that students apply early to make sure their course selection enables them to complete all the requirements effectively; please refer to the JD application overview page for deadline information.

3) Having completed two semesters towards the LL.M., students admitted to the J.D. will enroll in J.D. courses in their third semester.

4) After completion of a total of 100 credits, and after having met both the LL.M. graduation requirements and the J.D. graduation requirements, students will be awarded BOTH the J.D. & the LL.M. degrees.

 FOR J.D. STUDENTS: Application Requirements for Admission to the LL.M. Program in International Law or Maritime Law

For J.D. students interested in delving deeper into an area of law, obtaining an LL.M. in International Law or Maritime Law is a way to gain a decided advantage. This option not only provides specialization, but also saves time and tuition money over earning the degrees separately.

Within the International Law LL.M. there are specializations in Inter-American Law and International Law (general) which are primarily for those seeking to advance their legal knowledge in the areas of law pertaining to, respectively, Latin America or International Law more generally.


  • Students can apply to the International Law LL.M. or the Maritime LL.M. during the fall semester of their second year.
  • For the International Law LL.M., students may select a specialization in International Law (general) or Inter-American Law.
  • The Seven Semester Joint J.D./LL.M. is for admitted J.D. students who have earned a minimum G.P.A. of 3.00 in their first year of law school.
  • The Office of International Graduate Law Programs offers the Seven Semester Joint J.D./LL.M. for admitted J.D. students who have earned a minimum G.P.A. of 3.00 in their first year of law school.
  • J.D./LL.M. Candidates must complete 100 credits with a cumulative average of "B" (3.0/4.0) or better.
  • The 100 credits are to include 24 credits with a significant component of international and/or comparative law; all academic and distributional requirements for the J.D. degree; all of the required courses for the LL.M. program; elective courses approved by the Director of the program.
  • There is also a required paper meeting the criteria for the J.D. writing requirement on a topic of international law approved by the program chair.

Checklist to apply

1. Application: Please submit a completed application form. Students may only apply through our online application.

2. Statement of Purpose: Submit a statement of purpose of approximately 500 words. Please address your academic and professional background, your professional goals, specific areas of interest, and other matters which you think are of importance. The statement of purpose is to be prepared by you without any outside help and is to contain a statement to that effect. We recommend that you summarize your professional background in a résumé or curriculum vitae submitted separately.

3. Miami Law School Transcripts: An official transcript should be requested from the Registrar's Office and dropped off at the Office of International Graduate Law Programs, A316.

4. One Letter of Recommendation: One letter of recommendation preferably from a Miami Law professor stating in detail his/her opinion of your qualifications for graduate law study.

5. Please note the $50 application fee is waived for UM J.D. students.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the advantage of a joint J.D./LL.M. degree?

Normally, in order to get both degrees a law student would have to earn a minimum of 24 credits for the LL.M. + 88 credits for the J.D. = 112 credits.  However, the Joint J.D./LL.M. program provides that 6 credits from the LL.M. can be counted towards the J.D., and 6 credits from the J.D. can be counted towards the LL.M.  In effect, this means that 12 credits are double counted towards the credit requirement for the combined degrees. As a result in order to earn both degrees under the joint degree program, students must earn only 100 credits.

 Can a student receive Advanced Standing Credit for a foreign law degree?

Absolutely.  Under the new ABA Standard 505, Miami Law may award up to 29 Advanced Standing Credits towards the J.D. to students for their foreign law studies. The specific number of such credits will be determined by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs based on a review of the applicant’s J.D. application file.

 How will receiving Advanced Standing Credit be applied towards the joint J.D./LL.M. program?

When a student enrolls in the Joint J.D./LL.M., then he or she needs only 100 credits (instead of 112) to earn both degrees. If a student receives 29 Advanced Standing Credits towards the J.D., this means that only 47 more credits are needed to complete the Joint J.D./LL.M. In most cases, full time students can complete their remaining credits in three semesters or three semesters and one summer.  

For More Information

Current LL.M. students interested in enrolling in a Joint J.D./LL.M. program in International Law or Maritime Law may contact the Office of International Graduate Law Programs for more information at intl-llm@law.miami.edu.