LL.M. admissions

Lawyers who already have earned a J.D. degree from an accredited U.S. law school or an equivalent degree in another country and satisfy Wayne Law's LL.M. admissions criteria are eligible to undertake advanced legal studies for a master of laws (LL.M.) degree at Wayne Law. The Law School offers courses in three areas. They include corporate and finance law, labor and employment law, and taxation.

If at any point in the application process you encounter difficulties, contact Rhonda Agnew, (313) 577-3437 or llmprogram@wayne.edu.

LL.M. - apply

Majors

  • Corporate and Finance Law

    Corporations conduct much of the world's economic activity, using capital markets to raise debt and equity financing and sophisticated securitization, corporate restructuring and joint venture arrangements to expand their access to human and investment capital. The LL.M. in Corporate and Finance Law prepares graduates to play key roles at law firms, governmental agencies and in-house corporate legal departments.

    When to start

    You will likely choose to begin in the fall with orientation and foundational prerequisite courses. In exceptional cases, winter matriculation is permitted.

    Length of program

    • Full time: One year (often including summer work on master's thesis)
    • Part-time: Two or more years
    • Maximum permitted length: Six years, unless the director grants an extension

    Courses (24 credits)

    • Required: You must take Corporations, Taxation, at least one course in corporate finance and at least one course in corporate taxation.
    • Approved: You select most of your courses from approved courses for the major.
    • Electives: You may take a limited number of additional courses offered at Wayne Law or in other Wayne State departments, with approval of the director of graduate studies.

    Thesis (2 or 3 credits)

    Your thesis demonstrates your expertise, with a well-researched legal article on a significant topic.

    Practical skills

    Externships and clinics offer opportunities to hone skills permitting you to step into practice. Students work alongside lawyers in multinational corporations and law firms, government agencies and international organizations 

    Career paths

    • In-house counsel
    • Law firm (regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, other transactional planning)
    • Sole practitioner (controversies, borrowings, contracts, transactional planning)
    • Government (securities regulation, consumer financial protection, antitrust)
    • Banking, hedge funds, financial institutions

    Key faculty

    • Professor Peter J. Henning is a former federal prosecutor and Fulbright Scholar. His areas of expertise include white collar crime, constitutional criminal procedure and attorney ethics. He writes the White Collar Watch column for The New York Times DealB%k.
    • Associate Professor Eric Zacks is a former law partner focusing on complex acquisitions and divestitures, debt and equity financings, and other aspects of corporate transactions. He twice has been voted Professor of the Year by Wayne Law students.
  • Labor and Employment Law

    Employment relations in the 21st century are the focus of Wayne Law's Labor and Employment Law LL.M. This area includes labor unions, employee benefits, anti-discrimination law and other employer compliance issues. Our graduates work for all types of employers, including corporations, government entities, law firms, and labor unions and tax-exempt organizations advocating for workers.

    When to start

    We encourage you to enroll in fall semester to participate in fall orientation and register for foundational courses that are often prerequisites for advanced study.

    Length of program

    • Full-time: One year (often including summer work on master's thesis)
    • Part-time: Two or more years
    • Maximum permitted length: Six years, unless extended by the director of graduate studies

    Courses (24 credits)

    • Required: You must take Labor Law and at least one course in employment law.
    • Electives: You may choose from a wide array of approved courses, including courses in the Department of Employment and Labor Relations, with the consent of the director.

    Thesis (2 or 3 credits)

    Your thesis demonstrates your expertise, with a well-researched legal article on a significant topic.

    Practical skills

    Externships and clinics offer opportunities to hone skills permitting you to step into practice.

    Career paths

    • Human resources offices
    • Union advisers, union organizers, union lawyers
    • Arbitrators, mediators/negotiators in union collective bargaining environments
    • Law firms or sole practitioner (employer compliance or union representation)
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other federal agencies dealing with discrimination in employment
    • Law firm hiring offices

    Key faculty

    • Professor Kingsley Browne has taught at Wayne Law for more than 25 years. He is the author of two books and specialized in labor and employment law as a law firm partner. Browne clerked for Justice Byron White of the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Assistant Professor Sanjukta Paul's current research and writing involves the intersection of antitrust law and labor policy. She is at work on a book tentatively entitled Solidarity in the Shadow of Antitrust: Labor & the Legal Idea of Competition, which will be published by Cambridge University Press.
    • Part-time Professor Joseph Canfield is a senior field attorney with Region 7 of the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Taxation

    Taxation is key to legislative policy development, economic planning and business activity across the globe. Governments at local, state and federal levels have complex and interrelated systems of taxation, and international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development encourage multinational cooperation in addressing core tax issues. The LL.M. in Taxation requires you to achieve competency in fundamental areas of federal income taxation (personal, corporate and partnership) and allows you to explore subfields of special interest to you, whether it be litigating tax controversies, developing policy proposals to advance the economy, assisting in transactional tax planning or working with individuals to hone estate plans.

    When to start

    You will likely choose to begin in the fall with orientation and foundational prerequisite courses. In exceptional cases, winter matriculation is permitted.

    Length of program

    • Full-time: One year (often including summer work on master's thesis)
    • Part-time: Two or more years
    • Maximum permitted length: Six years

    Courses (24 credits)

    • Required: You must take Taxation, Taxation of Partnerships and at least one corporate tax course.
    • Approved: You select most of your courses from approved courses for the major.
    • Electives: You may take a limited number of additional courses offered at Wayne Law or in other Wayne State departments, with approval of the director of graduate studies.

    Thesis (2 or 3 credits)

    Your thesis demonstrates your expertise, with a well-researched legal article on a significant topic.

    Practical skills

    Externships and clinics offer opportunities to hone skills permitting you to step into practice. Students work alongside lawyers in multinational corporations and law firms, government agencies and international organizations.

    Career paths

    • Governmental tax policy and revenue collection agencies (IRS, state treasury departments)
    • Local, state and federal legislative staffs dealing with budget and tax issues
    • In-house tax counsel (transactional and tax planning)
    • Law firm (transactional planning, financial planning, financial instruments)
    • Sole practitioner (tax planning, estate planning, employee benefits)
    • Academic teaching
    • Consulting (tax-exempt organizations reporting/planning)

    Key faculty

    • Professor Linda McKissack Beale is a former tax associate, congressional staffer and university administrator. She is the current director of the LL.M. program and holds a Ph.D. and an LL.M. in taxation. She is editor of the ABA Tax Section's digital periodical ABA Tax Times, a member of the American College of Tax Counsel and a member of the American Bar Foundation. She has experience in securitizations, partnerships, and cross-border corporate mergers and acquisitions. Her research focuses on corporate and intellectual property taxation.
    • A member of the Wayne Law faculty for more than 50 years, Distinguished Professor Alan S. Schenk holds an LL.M. in taxation and is a certified public accountant. He is an expert on value-added taxation, having written five books and testified before Congress.
  • U.S. Law

    Applications are not currently being accepted for admission to the U.S. Law LL.M. program.

    International students who seek a general understanding of the U.S. legal system to enhance their home country practice may undertake an LL.M. degree with a major in U.S. Law.

    The accelerating globalization of businesses, environmental and justice concerns requires lawyers in every country to be competent to advise clients about (or make judgments using) a range of international legal issues, including other countries' legal procedures, international treaties and international business customs. The LL.M. major in U.S. Law prepares international students with law degrees for this global focus.

    The U.S. Law major provides a comprehensive introduction to the American legal system and an opportunity to learn and practice legal skills such as drafting, researching and interviewing in small class settings. Elective courses permit students to explore more specialized topics.

    Bar eligibility

    The United States doesn't have a national bar examination. Students in Wayne Law's LL.M. in U.S. Law program receive personal course counseling so those who seek admission to one or more state bars in the United States use their elective courses to satisfy the educational eligibility requirements set by the bar examiners in California, New York and other states.

    State bar exams

    Below is a list of state bar exams for which LL.M. in U.S. Law graduates may be eligible. Check each state's requirements to determine if you qualify to sit for the examination. Note: Most states impose additional requirements beyond earning an LL.M. degree, such as a character and fitness requirement.

    • Alabama
    • California
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • New York
    • Tennesse
    • Texas
    • Washington
    • Wisconsin

    Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

    As part of their bar examination and admission processes, all states in the United States (except for Wisconsin) require candidates to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. The two-hour-and-five-minute test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The exam tests knowledge of the ethical standards of the legal profession as codified in the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The exam is offered each March, August and November.

    Students are strongly encouraged to prepare for the exam by taking Wayne Law's Professional Responsibility course.

    Application, fees and deadline information