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Emory Law: Offering a highly-customizable curriculum and top-notch faculty

Among its many advantages, the highly-customizable curriculum of Emory University School of Law’s Master of Laws (LLM) and the strength of its faculty sets it apart from other LLM programs. Emory’s LLM is a 24-credit-hour program for those with a first degree in law, seeking to build upon their legal background for professional and scholarly advancement.

A top-ranked law school with highly-regarded faculty who are deeply engaged with students, Emory Law is a friendly and supportive community. Atlanta, Georgia, home to Emory University, is a major metropolitan area, hosting the headquarters of CNN, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Mercedes-Benz, among many more.


Students enrolled in Emory’s LLM have the ability to pursue one of various pre-designed concentrations. Working with an advisor, students develop a curricular path, choosing from a full range of courses that suit their goals and desired outcomes. Emory Law’s pre-designed concentrations include:

  • Law & Religion: Explore the religious dimensions of law, the legal dimensions of religion, and the interaction of legal and religious ideas, institutions, norms, and practices.
  • Human Rights Law: Study the theory and practice of human rights law in the national and international context.
  • Vulnerability & the Human Condition: Undertake an in-depth exploration of the various manifestations of vulnerability in both human beings and the societal institutions they create. Students pursue either a theory or a policy track.
  • Public Law & Regulation: Examine legal practice and theory in the modern regulatory state and the political, legislative, and administrative processes that create and control regulatory bodies of law.
  • Child Law & Policy: Develop advanced skills in the formulation and application of policies and laws affecting children. Students pursue either a theory or a policy track.

In addition to these pathways, the General LLM is particularly flexible, allowing students to design a course of study from over 200 courses offered each semester. In this way, students can align their coursework with their professional goals, and study across various legal specialities.

Whether an LLM student pursues one of Emory Law’s pre-designed pathways or customizes the General LLM, they benefit from the knowledge and mentoring of faculty like Robert Ahdieh, K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law, an expert in contracts, comparative law, federalism, emerging markets law, Russian law, and international trade law. A specialist in regulatory design, he co-directs Emory Law’s Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance.

Another international law expert, Abdullahi An-Naím, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, is a globally-recognized scholar of Islam and human rights, as well as human rights in cross-cultural perspectives. In addition to teaching courses in international law, comparative law, human rights, and Islamic law, An-Naím is the Director for the Center for International and Comparative Law and a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

Margo Bagley, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, focuses her scholarship on comparative issues relating to patents and biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and technology transfer. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, as well as two books on issues of international patent law. Her intellectual property colleague Tim Holbrook, Professor of Law, is a prominent US patent law scholar with expertise in intellectual property, international patent law, patent litigation, property law, and trademark law and policy. He has delivered over one hundred presentations around the world on patent law. Professor Holbrook has also been an advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

A leading authority on family law, feminist jurisprudence, and law and society, Martha Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, is the author of several books and the recipient of many teaching awards. Fineman teaches courses on family law, feminist jurisprudence, law and sexuality, and reproductive issues.

Another of Emory Law’s prestigious Woodruff Professors, Michael Perry, both the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, specializes in constitutional law, human rights, morality, and law and religion. He is a prolific writer in these areas, having authored twelve books and over eighty articles and essays.

Emory’s third Woodruff Professor, John Witte, Jr., also the McDonald Distinguished Professor and Director of Emory Law’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, is an internationally-recognized expert on legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty. His writings, which include 27 books and over 220 articles, have appeared in fifteen languages, and he has delivered more than 350 major public lectures, both in the US and abroad. Emory Law students have selected him as the school’s most outstanding professor twelve times.

As Executive Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice as well as Professor in the Practice of Law, Sue Payne is at the forefront of educating students and professionals on topics related to business transactions through her leadership of the center. The center’s rigorous, innovative curriculum and certificate program are designed to equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to practice in many areas of transactional law.

One of Emory Law’s newest faculty, Fred Smith Jr., Associate Professor Law, is a scholar of the federal judiciary and constitutional law. His research focuses on state sovereignty and representative government. His work has appeared in numerous law reviews.

The combination of Emory Law’s flexible curriculum, paired with the depth and breadth of its faculty, gives Emory Law LLM candidates a distinct advantage.

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