LLM in Legal Theory Requirements 2022-23

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)
  • Animal Law Seminar (LW.11551)
  • Animals and Climate Change Seminar (LW.12827)
  • Artificial Intelligence 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)
  • Class Actions Seminar (LW.12721)
  • Classical Liberalism: History, Theory and Contemporary Jurisprudence Seminar (LW.11195)
  • Communicating Academic Work to Policymakers Seminar (LW.12467)
  • Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar (LW.10221)
  • Contract Theory Seminar: History, Race and Pedagogy (LW.10345)
  • Creation of the Constitution Seminar (LW.12140)
  • Critical Narratives of Civil Rights (LW.12188)
  • Critical Race Theory Seminar (LW.11047)
  • Decision-Making in the Federal Courts (LW.11836)
  • Economic Analysis of Law (LW.10853)
  • Economic Analysis of Public Law (LW.12695)
  • Economic Policy: Case Studies and Decision-Making Seminar (LW.11931)
  • Education Policy (LW.11448)
  • Environmental Justice Seminar (LW.10424)
  • Ethical and Legal Challenges in the Modern Corporation (LW.10387)
  • Examining Disability Rights and Centering Disability Justice (LW.10983)
  • Federal Health Reform: Law, Policy and Politics Seminar (LW.11371)
  • Free Speech, Ethical Transformation, and Social Change: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Seminar (LW.12402)
  • From Adam and Eve to the Trial of Jesus: Justice and Injustice in Biblical Narrative (LW.11180)
  • Global Data Law: I (LW.12755)
  • Global Tech Law: Selected Topics Seminar (LW.12666)
  • History and Theory of Presidential Administration Seminar (LW.12820)
  • Human Dignity Seminar (LW.11797)
  • Human Rights at Home: Advancing U.S. Social Justice Seminar (LW.12786)
  • International Environmental Law Seminar (LW.10065)
  • Introduction to Ethical Theory (LW.11539)
  • Introduction to Legal and Political Philosophy (LW.12065)
  • Islamic Jurisprudence (LW.11359)
  • Issues in SEC Enforcement Seminar (LW.10386)
  • Intellectual Origins of the Constitution Seminar (LW.12828)
  • 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 Tradition in China: Change and Continuity (LW.11156)
  • Law, Economics and Journalism Seminar (LW.11989)
  • Law of the Welfare State Seminar (LW.11846)
  • Legal Imagination and International History: Sovereignty and Property (LW.11952)
  • Legal Practice in Highly Political Environments Seminar (LW.11450)
  • Legislation and Political Theory (LW.11688)
  • Life of Honor Seminar (LW.12372)
  • Mental Disability Law Seminar (LW.11545)
  • Originalism and Textualism in the Federal Courts (LW.12832)
  • Private Law Theory Seminar (LW.11585)
  • Property Theory Seminar (LW.10863)
  • Quantitative Methods Seminar (LW.10794)
  • Reconsidering the Trial of Jesus: A Reading for Our Times (LW.11839)
  • Resisting Injustice Seminar (LW.10310)
  • Retribution in Criminal Justice: Violence and its Relation to Manhood (Shakespeare) Seminar (LW.10447)
  • Rule of Law (LW.10342)
  • Science and the Courts Seminar (LW.12668)
  • Sex Discrimination Law (LW.12271)
  • Sovereign Finance, Capital Markets and Global Regulatory Challenges Seminar (LW.12643)
  • The First Amendment’s Religion Clauses (LW.12135)
  • The Law of Democracy (LW.10170)
  • Theories of Discrimination Law Seminar (LW.12699)
  • Virtues in Ethics and Law Seminar (LW.11585)
  • What We Owe to Others: The Ethics Obligation in Jewish Law (LW.11119)
  • 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)
  • Colloquium on Law, Economics and Politics of Urban Affairs (LW.10634)
  • Contract Theory and Law Colloquium (LW.12659)
  • Global and Comparative Public Law Colloquium (LW.12039)
  • Guarini Colloquium: Regulating Global Digital Corporations (LW.12657)
  • Hauser Colloquium (LW.10127)
  • IILJ Colloquium: Infrastructure, Rights and Regulation (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)
  • US Asia Law Institute Colloquium: Globalization, International Law and East Asia Law  (LW.12761)

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