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Future LLM Students

University of North Carolina School of Law

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380, USA
Phone: 919.843.6247 | Website: www.law.unc.edu/academics/degreeprograms/llm


Black branches blooming with pink flowers frame  a stone gazebo with a green, domed roof. Green trees stand behind behind the gazebo.Internationally recognized as one of the best law schools in terms of both academics and law school experience, the LLM program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law builds on the strong base of existing international programs at the university. The law faculty has academic strength in fields of study that are in high demand throughout the world and expertise in addressing pressing global legal issues.

LLM students receive world-class legal training in US law through participation and involvement in a rigorous curriculum. Carolina Law has several nationally recognized centers, such as the Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3), the Center for Banking and Finance, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, and the Intellectual Property Initiative.

Students are required to take at least 24 credit hours of coursework to receive the LLM degree. Those who have not received their legal training in common law countries receive grounding in the American law tradition through the Foundations in United States Common Law course. All LLM students receive essential training for working in the American law arena through the United States Legal Research and Writing course. Students pursue an academic plan that fits their individual professional needs, choosing from among upper-level JD courses and select first-year courses. For more guidance, the LLM cohort is also assigned Dean’s Fellows—second- and third-year JD students—who offer in-depth peer advising and support as LLM students navigate their US legal studies.

Additionally, LLM students may enroll in courses outside of the law school, taking advantage of opportunities in other departments on the UNC campus. The LLM program encourages collaboration among LLM students and other university faculty and students.

The LLM degree program does not mandate a thesis. However, interested select students may, with the approval of the LLM faculty director and the guidance of a faculty advisor, choose to complete a thesis for six hours of credit toward the LLM degree.

Public Service/Pro Bono

The Pro Bono program at Carolina Law is one of the most successful in the country. Each year, more than 70 percent of students (including LLM students) volunteer for projects offering high-quality free legal services to individuals and communities with unmet needs. The program works with LLM students to find appropriate projects that will enhance their knowledge and develop essential skills. With opportunities ranging from short assignments to semester-long undertakings, Carolina Law stands above its peers when it comes to matching intellectual achievement with the opportunity to assist the legal needs of those in the community.

Career Services

The Career Development Office (CDO) at UNC School of Law offers assistance to students while they study at the law school and upon their completion of the program. From help with interviewing and résumé preparation to developing a job-search strategy, the CDO staff members are a valuable resource for law students and alumni. Career Development staff members have diverse professional and educational backgrounds and bring with them more than 80 combined years of experience to utilize in helping law students explore the legal profession and launch their careers. LLM students are eligible to apply for the US federal government Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to begin after graduation, allowing for a stay of up to 12 months while engaged in paid or unpaid work within the United States in a law-related field.

Graduate Certificates

Graduates with caps and gowns sit during the cermony, holding their diplomas.At no additional cost, Carolina Law LLM students are eligible to add a graduate certificate in a non-law subject to their LLM degree. These certifications are offered by other departments and centers on campus. Students may focus on various geographic areas as well as global topics such as international development, peace and conflict resolution, or global health. Graduate certificates are noted on students’ official transcripts in addition to their degree. Earning a graduate certificate generally requires completion of three or more additional non-law courses or seminars at UNC. This gives students the chance to become more specialized within their field and take advantage of faculty across our prestigious university. A listing of all graduate certificates and more information on these valuable opportunities can be found at the UNC Graduate School website.


Carolina Law is proud to have one of the country’s most extensive externship programs. Students receive course credit while gaining valuable real-life lawyering experience. The Externship Program places students at more than 55 sites outside of the law school to work alongside practicing attorneys and judges. Externship placements are available to LLM students and are now accepted by the New York and other states’ bar examining boards as qualifying credit hours. Many of our LLM students have benefited greatly from their participation in externship opportunities, earning three credit hours Pass/Fail in place of one classroom course.

Moot Court

At Carolina Law, we believe LLM students should have the opportunity to grow through moot court experience. Moot court is an ideal way for students to sharpen their advocacy skills, hone their ability to think rigorously under pressure, and develop self-confidence as lawyers in a simulated courtroom experience. Carolina Law sponsors an annual team to represent UNC at the LLM International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court in Washington, DC. Our law school prepares LLM students for this competition and covers travel and registration expenses associated with the competition.

International Student Life

People walk down a Chapel Hill street lined with stores and restaurants that include a bubble tea cafe and a pizza place.The International Programs office at Carolina Law is the first stop for information and assistance for all LLM students. We look forward to assisting you during your time at Carolina Law and to helping LLM students make their experience here the very best possible.

Student life for LLM students is a truly memorable experience. The UNC campus is a quintessential American college campus. The town of Chapel Hill, along with the cities of Raleigh and Durham, form the “Triangle” area of North Carolina. The area is home to the Research Triangle Park, a region of technological growth and development on the East Coast of the United States. The area combines a safe, small-town feel with proximity to a larger metropolitan area.

Students are within walking distance of everything from jazz halls to techno dance clubs. LLM students may find themselves at a rock concert at Cat’s Cradle one night and watching a Broadway musical at the Durham Performing Arts Center the next. For more information about the nightlife in Chapel Hill, check out the city’s full listing of venues.

Between classes, students can be found enjoying Chapel Hill’s many restaurants. You may wish to dine at one of hundreds of exciting restaurants that blend flavors from every corner of the globe or taste traditional Southern fare. Many area restaurants have embraced a culture of “farm-to-table” food. The area also hosts a number of microbreweries, distilleries, and wineries. Check out the town of Chapel Hill’s visitor’s dining guide for more ideas, and be sure to look at Yelp’s Raleigh-Durham page for nearby options.

As an LLM student, you will have access to all of the university’s amenities, such as a network of gyms, pools, libraries, and media centers. UNC has a student health clinic on campus with its own pharmacy. LLM students receive discounted tickets to events at Memorial Hall, which features a wide array of performances throughout the year, and to Playmakers Repertory Company, which features professional theater productions. Additionally, the Carolina Union Activities Board sponsors many events on campus. Hundreds of different student groups exist on campus and are constantly sponsoring a variety of presentations, events, and speakers on campus throughout the year.

LLM students typically enjoy the mild North Carolina climate, experiencing all four seasons during their academic year at the university, with hot summers, cool autumns, occasional snowfall in the winters, and beautiful flowers in the warm spring weather.

UNC is known worldwide for its university athletic programs. LLM students can participate in student-run intramural teams and are eligible for free student tickets to basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and other sporting events. Chapel Hill is a short drive from Jordan Lake, which offers campgrounds, hiking trails, and swimming during the fall, spring, and summer months. Students may also wish to hike the American Tobacco Trail, which stretches for 20 miles from Durham to Apex.

Chapel Hill is equidistant from the beaches of eastern North Carolina and the mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway to the west. The university is a short drive from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Durham, Raleigh, and Cary have Amtrak stations with train lines running up and down the East Coast. In addition, the area is serviced by several discount bus services (such as Megabus and ABC), which travel within North Carolina and up the East Coast. LLM students find it easy to use UNC as a travel hub to the rest of the United States and the world.


  • Live On Campus—Baity Hill Apartments: Floor plans and pricing information for this option can be found at the Baity Hill at Mason Farm website. Baity Hill allows married couples or students with children to live on campus in one- or two-bedroom unfurnished apartments. There are also a few unfurnished one-bedroom apartments available for single students. Baity Hill is located a short walk or bus ride from the law school and offers students the chance to live on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.
  • Live Off Campus: If you’d rather live off campus, the Daily Tar Heel (UNC’s award-winning student-run newspaper) maintains the HeelsHousing Guide to off-campus housing. There are many off-campus housing options within easy reach of UNC’s campus through walking, biking, or the completely free city-wide bus system in Chapel Hill-Carrboro.

Student Services and Organizations

LLM students at Carolina Law are able to take advantage of numerous resources and centers at the law school, on the UNC campus, and in the local area to augment and enhance their LLM experience. Carolina Law has more than 50 active student organizations, and the University of North Carolina hosts hundreds more.

UNC Campus

UNC boasts an impressive array of international-oriented centers, including Title VI National Resource Centers for international studies, made possible by funding from the US Department of Education. These centers bring in speakers, long-term programs, events, and special funding opportunities associated with issues relevant to a wide variety of areas of the world:

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free service available to all students at UNC-Chapel Hill and includes special programs for ESL and international students. Workshops, writing groups, speaking groups, and mini-courses are held throughout the year to assist students in subjects and skills ranging from pronunciation and presentation to general research and writing.

Financial Documentation and Total Program Cost

Admitted applicants must submit a financial certificate demonstrating their ability to cover the estimated full cost of tuition and fees ($45,950 for 2017–2018) and estimated living expenses for the academic year (mid-August to May). These estimated living expenses include health insurance and estimates of housing, meals, books, and personal expenses ($15,850 for 2017–2018), for a total of $61,797. The certificate must be signed by the applicant and include supporting documentation such as bank statements, certificates of deposit, a guarantor’s letter, or fellowship/grant funding information on the organization’s letterhead. Submission of such documents is required before an admitted student can be formally matriculated and before a visa is issued to the student, if such is needed. The updated financial certificate is usually released in October or November every year. Please note that all tuition estimates are subject to change upon annual review and approval by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Applicants are expected to secure their own funding. The LLM program has limited merit scholarship funds for which the LLM Admissions Committee will consider all candidates on an individual basis during the admission process. There is no additional application necessary.

Those needing financial assistance may find helpful information through the Institute of International Education and its Funding for US Study website. In addition, the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid homepage offers information for applicants who are US citizens and permanent residents. A detailed list of area- or interest-specific funding opportunities can be found on the UNC School of Law LLM program Scholarships page.

Contact Information

For more information about the UNC School of Law LLM Program in United States Law, please visit the LLM Program website, fill out our Prospective Student Form, or contact

Beverly A. Sizemore
Director of LLM and International Programs
UNC School of Law
160 Ridge Road
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall/CB #3380
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3380

Phone: 919.843.6247
Fax: 919.962.1277
Email: unc_ll.m.director@unc.edu

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Apr 17, 2014, 14:54 PM

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