Curriculum

Number of units: minimum 24 units

Required Course for Foreign Lawyers

Introduction to American Law – 2 units total (fall term)

This course is designed to introduce foreign lawyers to the legal system in the United States and the fundamentals of American law. Students will learn about the basic structure and operation of American government, with an emphasis on how cases progress through the court system. The class will examine differences between the American common law legal system and civilian systems.

*For students who received their J.D. degree from an ABA-approved Law School in the United States, this requirement is waived. If the requirement is not waived, students must complete 10 (rather than 12) credits of elective coursework in advanced tax courses and externships (see “Elective Course Work and Practical Tax Skills Requirement” below).

Required Courses for an LL.M. from the Graduate Tax Program

The tax faculty believes strongly that every LL.M. student in the Graduate Tax Program should possess the same foundational knowledge of core tax topics. The program requires all students to take the following core courses as a single cohort:

12 Credits of mandatory course work (most offered in the fall semester)

12 Credits of elective course work, at least 4 of which must satisfy the Practical Tax Skills (PTS) requirement. 

The mandatory courses are:

  1. Corporate Taxation – 4 credits (fall semester)
  2. International Taxation – 4 credits (fall semester)
  3. Partnership Taxation – 3 credits (spring semester)
  4. Tax Practice and Procedure – 1 credit (fall semester)

Students who have completed their law degree outside the United States must also complete an intensive short course Introduction to United States Taxation (offered during the orientation week, before regular classes start) and Introduction to American Law.

Elective Course Work and Practical Tax Skills Requirement

Students who have earned their first law degree at an ABA accredited law school must successfully complete at least 12 credits of elective classes. Students who have earned their first law degree outside the United States must successfully complete at least 10 credits of elective classes (and complete Introduction to American Law). For both groups of students, at least 4 of the elective credits must be completed in Practical Tax Skills (PTS) classes. The PTS requirement can be completed through a tax externship, a tax clinic, or classes that the program director designates or approves to meet the PTS requirement. These classes contain a significant component of practical tax skills, such as drafting transactional documents or simulation of transactions. Qualifying classes are designated PTS in the program course catalog.

For a detailed discussion of the practical tax skills requirement, including externships and clinical opportunities, see Practical Tax Skills.

Tax Policy Colloquium

All students must attend the Tax Policy Colloquium speaker presentations (usually five or six presentations), offered in the Spring semester. Students may also choose to take the seminar for credit (this will require students, among others, to submit written comments), towards completion of the elective course requirement.

Other Requirements

Residency Requirement, Duration of Studies
Students must complete the requirements of the Graduate Tax Program in an in-class format, while in residence on campus. Time spent in externships is considered “in-class” for such purposes. From time to time, certain courses may be offered in an online format. If online courses are offered by the Graduate Tax Program, students may earn up to 4 credits towards their degree requirements in online courses.

Students must be in full-time residence at the law school for a minimum period of two consecutive semesters. Absent a waiver from the Academic Director, students must complete all degree requirements within three academic years.