University of New Hampshire

School of Law

School of Law

Graduate Programs Curriculum - LLM Bar Exam Tracks

LL.M. Bar Exam Eligibility

Bar Examinations

Many foreign trained law students enter an LL.M. program with the goal of sitting for a state bar examination in the United States. The majority of states do not permit individuals to sit for the bar examination unless the individual holds a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school. There are a few notable exceptions. Two states that permit such individuals to sit for the bar examination with an LL.M. degree, if they meet certain other requirements, are New York and California. If you are interested in sitting for the bar examination of any state, you should contact the bar examiners of that state to determine your eligibility.

Please read over, and pay close attention to, the New York State Board of Law Examiners Foreign Legal Education site.

Our Programs and Bar Exam Eligibility

Please be aware that admission into any of our LL.M. programs does not guarantee or in any way suggest eligibility to sit for any state's bar examination, including New York or California. Individuals are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their program of study fulfills all requirements for the state bar examination they select. The bar track is simply an accounting of NY-bar required courses and is not a course of study designed to prepare anyone to sit for the NY or any other bar. We strongly suggest that you focus on your substantive discipline Intellectual Property or Commerce & Technology.

Bar Examination Track

In addition to meeting the graduation requirements at UNH Law for an LL.M. degree, a student must also meet all the course requirements under provision in Rule 520.6 established by the New York Court of Appeals and approved by New York State Board of Law Examiners.

The New York Bar Examination

The majority of our international LL.M. graduates choose to sit for the New York Bar Examination. If you are considering taking this exam, you should carefully read the information on the official website of the New York Board of Law Examiners of the State of New York (BOLE), paying particular attention to the link titled, Foreign Legal Education. The New York Court of Appeals sets forth the rules for admission of foreign-trained attorneys. Generally speaking, a foreign-trained attorney may qualify to sit for the New York Bar Examination if the following conditions are met:

  1. The applicant must hold a "Qualifying Degree." This means that the applicant must have "fulfilled the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law" in the foreign country. The "Qualifying Degree" must be in law and must be from a school that is accredited by the competent authority in the foreign country.
  2. The applicant's period of law study must be substantively and durationally equivalent to the legal education provided by an ABA-approved school in the U.S. Most foreign-trained attorneys meet the first criteria, but not the second. However, the Court of Appeals provides a way to "cure" the deficiency in the second criteria, by way of a U.S. LL.M. degree (this provision is known as the "Cure" provision). The LL.M. degree can cure either a substantive or a durational deficiency (but not both), provided that the program of study meets certain requirements.

    It is important to note that the vast majority of applicants who are denied eligibility to sit for the New York Bar Examination are denied on the basis of their education in their home country, and not on the basis of their U.S. LL.M. degree (e.g., the applicant has not fulfilled some educational requirement for admission to the bar, or the applicant's program of study is both substantively and durationally insufficient, and thus cannot be remedied by the "Cure" provision). For this reason, if admission to the New York bar is important to you, you are advised to submit your Advance Evaluation of Eligibility in advance of applying to the LL.M. program.

Course Requirements

The "Cure" provision in Rule 520.6 requires that students take certain courses in their LL.M. degree program, as follows:
"Cure" Provision Course
Corresponding LL.M. Course
At least two semester hours of credit in professional responsibility.
Professional Responsibility
(3 credits)
At least two credits in a legal research, writing and analysis course.
American Legal Process and Analysis I and II
At least two credits in a course on American legal studies, the American legal system or a similar course designed to introduce students to U.S. law.
American Legal Process and Analysis I and II
At least six credits in subjects tested on the New York bar examination (where a principal focus of the course includes material contained in the Content Outline published by the Board)
Business Associations I
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure I, II,
Wills Trusts & Estates
(All courses are 3 credits except Crim. Pro II is 2 credits)
Note: The above table refers to the "Cure" provision in the new rules.

The California Bar Examination

Our LL.M. program is not intended to meet the requirements to sit for the California Bar Examination and our course offerings may not satisfy the academic requirements of the California Bar. If you are considering applying to the California Bar, you should visit the website of the California bar examiners.

Read more>> State Bar Exam Links