The Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree is designed for students who have earned their J.D., LL.B. or comparable law degree. The Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) degree targets those who do not have a law degree, such as doctoral students in other disciplines, policymakers, government officials, business executives, intellectual property agents, scientists, technology developers and journalists.
Students interested in pursuing in-depth research or doctoral studies may complete an LL.M./M.J. thesis under the guidance of a full-time Drake Law faculty member. This optional thesis is intended to enable students to develop an original research paper of publishable or near publishable quality.
Students who have taken relevant coursework at Drake University Law School as part of the J.D. Program may participate in the Joint J.D./LL.M. Program.
Candidates for the LL.M./M.J. degree must successfully complete a minimum of 24 semester hours for law credit. Subject to waiver by the Program Director, they must also satisfy the following requirements:Basic Course Requirement
(6 credit hours from the following courses)
Copyright Law (3 credits) Advanced Course Requirement
International Intellectual Property Law (3 credits)
Patent Law (3 credits)
Trademark and Unfair Competition Law (2-3 credits)
(6 credit hours from the following courses or from basic courses above that do not count toward the basic course requirement)
Intellectual Property in the Internet Age (2 credits)Global Course Requirement
Intellectual Property Licensing (2 credits)
Intellectual Property Litigation (2 credits)
Patent Office Practice (3 credits)
(one of the following courses)
International Intellectual Property Law Written Project Requirement
Public International Law
Subject to waiver by the Program Director, candidates for the LL.M./M.J. degree must successfully complete a two to four (2-4) credit hour written project under the supervision of a full-time Drake Law faculty member. In lieu of this project, candidates can satisfy the requirement by completing the optional LL.M./M.J. thesis.
The minimum standards of the written project are as follows:
1. The project must be of sufficient quality and suitably documented for a project of its type to be deemed of professional quality by the supervising professor.
2. The project must be at least 35 pages long, double-spaced on 8 ½" x 11" paper, including any footnotes.
3. The project must involve submission of a draft to the supervising professor, with the requirement of a rewrite at the option of that professor.
With the permission of the supervising professor, the LL.M./M.J. written project requirement can be satisfied by a paper or written project completed for any course within the LL.M./M.J. curriculum.LL.M./M.J. Thesis
The LL.M./M.J. Thesis is optional and is not intended as a substitute for offered courses. The subject of the research, the nature and amount of the work required and the number of credits awarded are determined by the supervising professor. Students may be required to present the thesis as determined by the Program Director.
The number of credits awarded is generally based on the amount of work required:
Experiential Training Requirement
4 credits = 60 pages and 200 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting
5 credits = 70 pages and 250 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting
6 credits = 80 pages and 300 hours of research, writing, conferences, and rewriting
(one of the following courses or one of the Law School's clinics, internship programs, or the first-year trial practicum).
Intellectual Property Litigation
Legal Interviewing and Counseling
Patent Office Practice
Other courses that have been certified to satisfy the professional skills course requirement
Unless the Program Director grants a waiver, LL.M. candidates who do not have a basic or an advanced law degree in a common law jurisdiction and all M.J. candidates must complete:
- Introduction to the American Legal System, which will familiarize the student with the structure of the American legal system and the requisite research techniques to support continued study; and
- Legal Writing and/or Legal Research, which will provide a special focus on the research and writing needs of international scholars and non-lawyers.
Joint J.D./LL.M. Program
With the approval of the Program Director, candidates who have taken relevant courses at Drake University Law School as part of the J.D. Program (including students earning a J.D. from another ABA-accredited law school who visited Drake University Law School for two semesters or participated in the summer programs sponsored by Drake University Law School) may apply up to nine semester hours for credit toward the LL.M. degree. This accelerated option makes it possible for students to earn both the J.D. and LL.M. degrees with substantial savings in time and money.