LLM & JSD Admissions

LLM in Legal Theory

Develop a firm foundation for your academic career among many of the world's foremost legal theorists and philosophers, and produce an original scholarly work.

Watch: Tomer Levinger LLM ‘22 on the Legal Theory specialization’s broad range of study.


Among the Law School's deep bench of full-time faculty, you will find influential leaders in interdisciplinary legal theory, especially in legal, political and moral philosophy; law and economics; law and sociology; and legal history. In addition, our professors teach classes that include reflections on domestic and international law and legal institutions that draw from psychology, anthropology, political theory, critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, and feminist theory.

You also will benefit from their dedication to you as a student and budding scholar. They will make time to discuss your ideas or research, provide feedback on your drafts, and refer you to academic resources that support the development of your scholarship. 

Personalized Curriculum

You will craft a program of study in close consultation with the faculty director to ensure your curriculum is relevant and valuable to your background, intellectual interests, and professional goals. You will select a seminar for the fall semester in which you will write your research project and other classes throughout the year that will form a strong foundation in the area of your future scholarship.

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Our Colloquia

The Law School pioneered the colloquium model when it founded ones in Legal History and Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy. Designed to engage scholars and students in the highest level of academic discussion and debate, they now cover a variety of areas, such as constitutional theory, law and culture, the economic analysis of law, and innovation policy.

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Thesis Seminar and Workshop

In the Legal Theory Thesis Seminar, you'll receive comprehensive training in research design and methodology. You also will receive assistance with choosing and refining the research project you will complete as a part of another seminar you'll be taking concurrently in the fall semester.

In the Legal Theory Thesis Workshop, which takes place in the spring, you'll receive critical feedback from the instructor and your classmates on your research project from the fall. You'll workshop your additional drafts in this supportive environment to improve the caliber of your writing while finalizing your master's thesis.

Watch: Professor David Garland, who works in law and sociology, talks about the historical relationship between economic production and society and how that informs the contemporary debate about the welfare state.

Intellectual Life

LLMs collaborate with professors who direct NYU Law's 30+ interdisciplinary research centers and institutes, and join student groups and law journals to meet like-minded JDs and LLMs.

Student Groups

American Constitution Society
Environmental Law Society
Health Law and Policy Society
Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society
Law and Political Economy Association
National Security Law Society
Supreme Court Forum
Tax Law Society

Career Resources

Get ready for your next career move as you prepare to join NYU Law's network of 40,000+ alumni:

Meet the 2023-24 Faculty Director

Lewis A. Kornhauser
Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law

An expert in microeconomics, Lewis Kornhauser approaches legal analysis by imagining what he calls a “very simple world.” The technique he uses is basic to microeconomic analysis, and he applies it to a number of legal and political institutions, and to a diverse set of subjects that has ranged from fundamental aspects of jurisprudence to corporate law. Read more about Professor Kornhauser