LLM in Legal Theory Requirements 2023-24

Course Requirements

Students must successfully complete 24 credits in fall and spring to earn the LLM degree. Students will participate in the compulsory Legal Theory Thesis seminar. They will also choose, in their first semester in the program a seminar that offers an additional writing credit in which to write and submit a substantial paper.  Students will enroll in the one-credit Legal Theory Thesis Workshop in which students will further develop and workshop their paper.

Students must also register for at least one colloquium during the academic year and choose (subject to the approval of the faculty director) 4-6 additional credits from the list of Legal Theory classes below. All students will design their course of study in close consultation with the faculty director. This is intended to ensure that students craft a program of study that is both relevant and valuable to the student’s background, interests, and professional goals.

Substantial Paper

In conjunction with a seminar (with a writing credit) in their first semester in the program, and under the supervision of the faculty teaching the seminar, students will write an original scholarly work on a particular topic in legal theory of at least 40 pages in length exclusive of footnotes. The paper should demonstrate mastery of a particular area of legal theory by mounting an original argument.

Legal Theory Classes

  • American Legal History (LW.10820)
  • America’s Penal State Seminar (LW.12251)
  • Animal Law Seminar (LW.11551)
  • Artificial Intelligence: Tort and Administrative Law Seminar (LW.12831)
  • Asian American Jurisprudence Seminar (LW.10603)
  • Beyond Criminal Justice Reform: Abolition Theory and Praxis Seminar (LW.12778)
  • Chinese Attitudes Toward International Law Seminar (LW.10070)
  • Cities Seminar (LW.12771)
  • Class Actions Seminar (LW.12721)
  • Classical Liberalism: History, Theory and Contemporary Jurisprudence Seminar (LW.11195)
  • Comparative Tax Policy Seminar (LW.12365)
  • Constitutional Litigation Seminar (LW.10202)
  • Contract Theory Seminar (LW.10345)
  • Critical Narratives of Civil Rights (LW.12188)
  • Decision-Making in the Federal Courts (LW.11836)
  • Democratic Theory Seminar (LW.11867)
  • Economic Analysis of Law (LW.10853)
  • Economic Analysis of Public Law (LW.12695)
  • Education Policy Seminar (LW.11448)
  • Enlightenment Constitutionalism Seminar (LW.12700)
  • Environmental Justice Seminar (LW.10424)
  • Ethical and Legal Challenges in the Modern Corporation (LW.10387)
  • Family, Gender and the Law Seminar (LW.10079)
  • Federal Health Reform: Law, Policy and Politics Seminar (LW.11371)
  • Federalist Papers Seminar (LW.11957)
  • Food Law and Policy Seminar (LW.12154)
  • Foreign Relations Law of the United States Seminar (LW.10235)
  • Free Speech, Ethical Transformation, and Social Change: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Seminar (LW.12402)
  • Gender Violence Seminar (LW.12879)
  • Global Data Law: I (LW.12755)
  • Global Tech Law: Selected Topics Seminar (LW.12666)
  • Human Rights at Home: Advancing U.S. Social Justice Seminar (LW.12786)
  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights Seminar (LW.12551)
  • International Environmental Law Seminar (LW.10065)
  • International Human Rights and Digital Governance Seminar (LW.12788)
  • Issues in SEC Enforcement Seminar (LW.10386)
  • International Law and Technology Governance Seminar (LW.12878)
  • Internet Contracts Seminar (LW.11521)
  • Issues in SEC Enforcement Seminar (LW.10386)
  • Jewish Questions: Antisemitism, Jewish Identity and the Law Seminar (LW.12817)
  • Judicial Decisionmaking (LW.12250)
  • Law and Development (LW.10295)
  • Law and Global Governance Seminar (LW.10151)
  • Law and Literature Seminar (LW.10357)
  • Law and Society in China Seminar (LW.10871)
  • Law and Society in Japan Seminar (LW.10562)
  • Law and Tradition in China: Change and Continuity (LW.11156)
  • Law, Economics and Journalism Seminar (LW.11989)
  • Law, Film, and Culture Seminar (LW.11457)
  • Law of the Welfare State Seminar (LW.11846)
  • Legal Practice in Highly Political Environments Seminar (LW.11450)
  • Maimonides Mishneh Torah: Jewish Law and Legal Theory Seminar (LW.11987)
  • Mental Disability Law Seminar (LW.11545)
  • Modern Legal Philosophy: The Books (LW.11033)
  • Quantitative Methods Seminar (LW.10794)
  • Questions of Transparency in Government and Politics (LW.12470)
  • Reconsidering the Trial of Jesus: A Reading for Our Times (LW.11839)
  • Resisting Contemporary Authoritarianism (LW.10041)
  • Resisting Injustice Seminar (LW.10310)
  • Retribution in Criminal Justice: Violence and its Relation to Manhood (Shakespeare) Seminar (LW.10447)
  • Science and the Courts Seminar (LW.12668)
  • Sentencing Seminar (LW.10016)
  • Sex Discrimination Law (LW.12271)
  • Sexuality, Gender and the Law Seminar (LW.10529)
  • Sovereign Finance, Capital Markets and Global Regulatory Challenges Seminar (LW.12643)
  • The Constitutional Law of Foreign Affairs Seminar (LW.10257)
  • The Executive and Criminal Justice Reform Seminar (LW.12581)
  • The Law and Ethics of Truthfulness, Deception and Disclosure Seminar (LW.12830)
  • The Law of Democracy (LW.10170)
  • The People’s Welfare State (LW.12689)
  • Any of the Law School Colloquia in addition to the one required for the Legal Theory program.


The following is a listing of colloquia offered by the Law School:

  • Colloquium on Constitutional Theory (LW.10031)
  • Colloquium on Culture and Law (LW.10650)
  • Colloquium in Legal, Political and Social Philosophy and Seminar (LW.10596)
  • Colloquium on Law and Security (LW.11698)
  • Colloquium on Law, Economics and Politics (LW.10582)
  • Environmental and Energy Colloquium (LW.12882)
  • Guarini Colloquium: Regulating Global Digital Corporations (LW.12657)
  • Hauser Colloquium: Social Justice and the Climate Emergency: Taking Duties Seriously (LW.12880)
  • IILJ Colloquium: Space and Planetary Law & Governance (LW.10520)
  • Law and Development Colloquium (LW.10295)
  • Legal History Colloquium (LW.11160)
  • Innovation Policy Colloquium (LW.10930)
  • Race and Inequality Colloquium (LW.10540)
  • Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium (LW.10787)

Additional Courses

Through consultation with the program Director, students will be guided toward a course structure emphasizing theoretical understanding. The consultation will also ensure that the course of study is appropriately specialized or broad, depending on the student’s background and interests. Students will be able to choose courses both from NYU’s regular faculty and from Global Visiting Professors of Law who may be in residence.

Courses Outside the Law School

Students are permitted to take up to six credits in law-related classes that count toward the LLM degree of courses in other graduate divisions of the University. Such courses require the approval of the program director and the Vice Dean.

Contact Information

Prospective students should direct their inquiries to the Office of Graduate Admissions
Admitted and current students should direct their inquiries to the Office of Graduate Affairs.

Faculty advisement can be arranged by contacting Professor Kornhauser’s assistant, Monica Millay:
Telephone: (212) 992-8811