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.

Part-Time Enrollment
Starting in the Fall Semester 2024, students may choose to pursue the program on a part-time basis. Students in the part-time program will be required to complete no less than 6, but no more than 8, academic credits each semester. Thus, in the absence of any circumstance requiring unique accommodation, students in the part-time program will be expected to complete the program in no less than three semesters, but no more than four  semesters. Students will have to declare their decision to pursue the program on a part time or a full-time basis before their matriculation. Students cannot change their election.

Dual-mode instruction option
Students will be allowed to earn up to 10 credits in dual-mode instructions courses. Dual mode instruction courses are those that are offered in-class as part of the regular curriculum of the program, but where students can attend either (1) in class (in person) or (2) online (through Zoom or a similar platform provided by the Law School) on a synchronous basis at the regular time of instruction. The program will notify students which courses are offered on a dual-mode basis at the time of publication of the school catalog for each semester. For dual-mode instruction courses, students will have to declare before the first day of instruction whether they choose to attend the course in class, or online. Students cannot change their election. Students who do not declare their intention will be enrolled as in-class students. The dual-mode instruction option is available only to LLM students in the Graduate Tax Program and is not available to any JD students or other LLM students (absent an accommodation from the UCI Disability Services Center).

Accelerated LL.M. for UCI Law J.D. Graduates

Students who received their J.D. degree at the UC Irvine School of Law, and who have successfully completed at least 10 credits in tax courses during the course of their J.D. studies, may apply up to 12 credits of their J.D. tax credits against the graduation requirements for an LL.M. from the Graduate Tax Program. Such students will receive the equivalent type of credit completed during their J.D. coursework, for graduate tax requirements purposes. Thus, for example, a student who completed a tax clinic, a field placement in tax, or a practical tax skills course during the course of the J.D. studies, will be able to apply such coursework towards the completion of the Practical Tax Skills requirement. A student who has completed core tax classes during J.D. coursework (such as corporate taxation, international taxation, partnership taxation or any other mandatory coursework required for the Tax LL.M.) will be able to apply such coursework against the Program’s mandatory course requirements. A student who elects to apply UCI Law J.D. coursework against Program’s requirements is only required to remain in residence at the School of Law for one academic semester as a graduate tax student, following graduation from the J.D. program.

LL.M. U.S. Bar Requirements

Please be aware that earning an LL.M. does not guarantee eligibility to sit for a bar exam in the United States. State Bars, and not UCI School of Law, determine eligibility to sit for a bar exam. Students should consult the individual websites of the State Bar in which they intend to take the bar exam, and carefully follow the instructions posted there. Students in the Graduate Tax Program are eligible to enroll in bar-required classes as long as they remain matriculated. However, bar-required classes must be taken in addition to all other curricular requirements. This will require the students to stay in residence for an additional semester before the LLM degree is conferred. See LL.M. U.S. Bar Requirements for additional information.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Legal Knowledge and Understanding: UCI Law graduates have knowledge and understanding of the U.S. legal system and the principal fields of substantive and procedural law.
  2. Essential Practice Competencies: UCI Law graduates have the competencies essential for the practice of law. They can effectively spot, analyze and research legal issues; apply legal reasoning; develop solutions to legal problems; find and develop facts; communicate orally and in writing in the legal context, using a style and format appropriate for the audience and the purpose; and negotiate and draft agreements. They understand and are capable of lawyering in a client-centered manner.
  3. The Legal Profession: UCI Law graduates have a basic understanding of the history, structure and economics of the legal profession, and are aware of the range of professional opportunities available to them as lawyers. They value inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in the legal profession.