LLM in Intellectual Property

Degree Requirements

To earn an LLM in Intellectual Property, students must complete 24 - 26 credit hours of coursework. These hours will be made up of required courses, electives, and a thesis, seminar or writing course to fulfill the LLM writing requirement. Students may elect to complete our standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology or a Patent Focus.

Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the required Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course. Therefore, students who have received a JD from a United States Law school must complete 24 credit hours to receive the LLM degree. Students who have not completed a JD at a United States Law school must complete the 2 credit required Introduction to United States Law course, and therefore must complete 26 credit hours to receive the LLM degree.

Students may attend the LLM program full time or part time. Courses are offered in the day and evening to accommodate working professionals.

Students may be able to complete the standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology Focus in one academic year, though most will take a year and a half to two years to do so. The LLM in Intellectual Property with a Patent Focus takes a minimum of one and a half years. Full time students typically take 12-15 credit hours per semester; part time students typically take 8-12 credit hours. For the purposes of the F-1 and J-1 visas, 9 or more credit hours are required to meet the full time requirement of the visa.

All students must finish the degree requirements within three years of matriculation and be enrolled in at least two courses each semester, unless granted a waiver or leave of absence. In order to remain in the LLM program, students must present a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.33 on a 4.33 scale at the end of each spring semester.

The course requirements and electives for both the standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology or a Patent Focus are below. The required and elective LLM courses are not offered every semester and new offerings for approved LLM electives may become available. Students should check with the Records Office for a current schedule of courses. A limited number of courses also will be available in the summer.

The 24 - 26 credits making up the LLM in Intellectual Property are not designed to prepare or qualify students who are not graduates of a United States law school to engage in the practice of law in the United States or to qualify them to take a bar examination in the United States. Additional coursework is possible for those trying to qualify to sit for a bar examination. For more details, see Bar Examination for Foreign-Trained Attorneys.

To develop a personalized plan of courses based on your time-frame for finishing the LLM Degree, please contact the Director of LLM Services, Adriana Vito, at avito@gmu.edu.

For more information about any of the courses listed below, view Course Descriptions.

Standard LLM in Intellectual Property

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (15 to 17 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits) OR Economic Foundations of Legal Studies for LLMs (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to US Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree a United States law school)

Intellectual Property Electives (9 credit hours)

  • Advanced IP Seminar: Tech & Entertainment (2 credits)
  • Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice (2 credits)
  • Communications Law (3 credits)
  • Consumer Protection Law (formerly Unfair Trade Practices) (3 credits)
  • Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar (2 credits)
  • Federal Circuit Practice Seminar (2 credits)
  • International Intellectual Property & Policy Seminar (2 credits)
  • Legal Clinic: Patent Applications (2 credits)
  • National Security Law (3 credits)
  • Patent Know How & Licensing (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar (3 credits)
  • Patent Litigation at the ITC (2 credits)
  • Patent Office Litigation (2 credits)
  • Patent Prosecution (2 credits)
  • Patent Writing Theory and Practice (2 credits)
  • Perspectives on Regulation (2-3 credits)
  • Privacy and Information Security (2 credits)
  • Regulated Industries (2 credits)
  • Regulation of Food and Drug (2 credits)
  • Surveillance Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Trademark Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3)

LLM in Intellectual Property with Technology Focus

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (15 to 17 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to United States Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree at a United States law school)

Technology Electives (9 credit hours)

  • Advanced IP Seminar: Tech & Entertainment (2 credits)
  • Communications Law (3 credits)
  • Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar (2 credits)
  • National Security Law (3 credits)
  • Perspectives on Regulation (2 credits)
  • Privacy and Information Security (2 credits)
  • Regulated Industries (2 credits)
  • Regulation of Food and Drug (2 credits)
  • Surveillance Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3 credits)

LLM in Intellectual Property with Patent Focus

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (15 to 17 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to United States Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree at a United States law school)

Patent Electives (9 credit hours)

  • Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice (2 credits)
  • Federal Circuit Practice Seminar (2 credits)
  • Legal Clinic: GMU Patent Applications (2 credits)
  • Patent Know How & Licensing (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar (3 credits)
  • Patent Litigation at the ITC (2 credits)
  • Patent Office Litigation (2 credits)
  • Patent Prosecution (2 credits)
  • Patent Writing Theory and Practice (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3 credits)

For more information about the LLM in Intellectual Property program, including instructions on how to apply, please visit the LLM in Intellectual Property Admissions page.

Practical Skills Track Option

Students enrolled in the Intellectual Property LLM program at Scalia Law School may choose the Practical Skills Track to enhance their professional development and acquire hands-on practical legal experience. This skills-based program develops students’ workplace skills through the practical application of the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom.

Degree Requirements:

In order to graduate with a Intellectual Property LLM degree in the Practical Skills Track, students must be ready to complete a total of 26-28 credit hours (24-26 credits composed of the required and elective courses as listed in the Intellectual Property LLM degree curriculum, plus 2 credits for the supervised externship seminar required of this track).

All LLM students in the Practical Skills Track shall complete a legal externship supervised by a licensed attorney in the United States in the second semester of LLM studies. Students are required to enroll in Law 320, Supervised Externship.

Students Rights & Responsibilities:

  1. Students wishing to pursue the Practical Skills Track in their second semester of study must obtain a minimum 3.1 GPA in their first semester of study.
  2. No compensation may be received for work performed during the course of the supervised externship required by the Practice Skills Track.
  3. Externship work must be done under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or judge (the “site supervisor”) and assignments must be substantive and legal or law-related in nature. Placements that do not meet these requirements shall not be approved.
  4. The student must work a minimum of 120 hours, which hours shall be structured in consultation with the site supervisor.
  5. Externship opportunities must be approved by both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Supervised Externship Professor in advance of the externship start date.
  6. The student must attend two of the four tutorials offered by the Supervised Externship Professor over the course of the semester.
  7. Prior to the start of the externship, a “Supervised Externship Volunteer Agreement” must be signed by the student and site supervisor and submitted to the Supervised Externship Professor. The agreement is available on the web or from the Office of the Director of Graduate Studies. If the person who initially signs the agreement does not act as the student’s primary supervisor, the student must get a new volunteer agreement signed by the primary supervisor and submitted to the professor as soon as feasible. Students who do not comply with these requirements may be dropped from the course.
  8. Each student must have a mid-semester consultation with the Supervised Externship Professor to discuss the externship and work being accomplished.
  9. At the end of the externship, the student must submit the following:
    1. time sheet showing the hours worked;
    2. sample of their written work product of any length (with the supervising attorney’s permission; redactions are acceptable to preserve confidentiality);
    3. written summary of the legal skills enhancement resulting from their field experience. The summary should be 2-3 pages in length and must include a description of: i. how the student found the externship opportunity; ii. the work accomplished in the program; iii. the skills developed through the program; iv. the extent and nature of the student’s interaction with and feedback from supervisors and other attorneys; v. any recommendations to future students interested in the same or a similar opportunity;
  10. The student must ensure that their site supervisor submits a timely evaluation by the end of the semester. An “incomplete” will remain on a student’s transcript until all of the above requirements have been met and the documents reviewed by the professor.

Procedure:

Students are responsible for finding their own internship placement. The Director of Graduate Studies offers career counseling and support for students seeking these types of opportunities.

Students should schedule an appointment to meet with the Director for counseling during their first semester of LLM studies so that the externship search can be timely and potentially yield an offer by the end of the first semester.

Students interested in pursuing this track need to submit (1) their internship offer letter and (2) transcripts reflecting their first semester grades to the Director of Graduate Studies by email to avito@gmu.edu by the first day of classes of their second LLM semester at Scalia Law.

Students who meet the necessary requirements will be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies to register for the LLM Externship Seminar. Once approval has been granted by the Director of Graduate Studies, students shall obtain the approval of the Supervised Externship Professor. Students may not register for the LLM Externship Seminar without both permissions.

International students (F1 visa holders) who don’t have permission to permission to work in the United States will need to seek the necessary permission from OIPS (Office of International Programs and Services) in order to pursue this track.