LLM in Legal Theory Requirements 2020-21

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

  • Animal Law Seminar (LW.11551)
  • Anthropology of Law (LW.11228)
  • Asian American Jurisprudence Seminar (LW.10603)
  • Beyond Behavioral Economics (LW.12717)
  • Cities Seminar (LW.12771)
  • Class Actions Seminar (LW.12721)
  • Classical Liberalism: History, Theory and Contemporary Jurisprudence Seminar (LW.11195)
  • Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar (LW.11751)
  • Constitutional Adjudication and Democracy Seminar (LW.10518)
  • Constitutional Interpretation Seminar (LW.12253)
  • Contractualism in Moral and Political Philosophy Seminar (LW.11585)
  • Critical Narratives of Civil Rights (LW.12188)
  • Critical Race Theory Seminar (LW.11047)
  • Decisionmaking in the Federal Courts (LW.11836)
  • Economic Analysis of Law (LW.10853)
  • Economic Analysis of Public Law (LW.12695)
  • Ethical and Legal Challenges in the Modern Corporation (LW.10387)
  • Federalist Papers Seminar (LW.11957)
  • History and Theory of Secured Transactions Workshop (LW.12656
  • History of International Legal Thought: A Critical View (LW.11952)
  • Human Dignity Seminar (LW.11797)
  • Individualization Under Law Seminar (LW.12712)
  • International Environmental Law Seminar (LW.10065)
  • Introduction to Political Philosophy Seminar (LW.11381)
  • Islamic Jurisprudence (LW.11359)
  • Judicial Decisionmaking (LW.12250)
  • Law, Economics and Journalism Seminar (LW.11989)
  • Law and Policy of Big Data, AI and Machine Learning (LW.12662)
  • Law and Politics in the Thought of Carl Schmidt and Hanna Arendt Seminar (LW.10069)
  • Legal and Constitutional History Workshop (LW.12050)
  • Legal Practice in Highly Political Environments Seminar (LW.11450)
  • Legislation and Political Theory (LW.11688)
  • Life of Honor Seminar (LW.12372)
  • Lincoln, The Civil War and the Constitution: Foundations of the National Security Powers of the President and Congress Seminar  (LW. 12347)
  • Quantitative Methods Seminar (LW.10794)
  • Reconsidering the Trial of Jesus: A Reading for Our Times (LW.11839)
  • Research Seminar for Future Academics (LW.10216)
  • Resisting Injustice Seminar (LW.10310)
  • Rule of Law (LW.10342)
  • Science and the Courts Seminar (LW.12668)
  • 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 American Penal State Seminar (LW.12251)
  • The Law of Democracy (LW.10170)
  • The People’s Welfare Seminar (LW.12689)
  • Theories of Intellectual Property Law Seminar (LW.12522)
  • Trump and the Law: A Study in Legal Policy Change Seminar (LW.12762)         
  • What We Owe to Others: The Ethics Obligation in Jewish Law (LW.11119)

Students may also take 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 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)
  • 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)
  • Innovation Policy Colloquium (LW.10930)
  • 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