“We have a global advisory board that provides strategic advice so that our curriculum is on the cutting edge. To meet industry needs, we partner with industry. At Northeastern, we don’t just pull curriculum out of a textbook.”
James Hackney, Dean of Northeastern University School of Law
The online Master of Laws program is both industry informed and inspired. Designed with input from a legal advisory group, the curriculum cuts right to the heart of where business is booming. Through the industry-informed paths of study that focus on Intellectual Property and Technology Law, International Business Law, and Bar Examination Preparation, you’ll have the opportunity to tailor your studies by selecting courses that support your specific career objectives and put you ahead of the competition.
Online Master of Laws (LLM) Courses
Courses offered for the Fall and Spring semesters are listed below, with additional courses being rolled out throughout the year. You’ll work with your advisor on a coursework map that best meets your career goals.
Note: The Law 6400 Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal System course is required for students who do not have a U.S. JD.
Online LLM Course Descriptions
Introduces principles and structures of the legal system in the United States. Covers the U.S. system of government, the U.S. judicial systems at the federal and state levels, U.S. sources of law, common law methodology, and the roles of legal professionals. Designed to familiarize the student with the relevant and governing legal principles that are used in American jurisprudence, including substantive and procedural law. Emphasizes legal terminology in our contemporary legal system.
Surveys the application of contract law in various contexts with case law, relevant portions of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Restatements, and treatises. Introduces students to practical issues in contract law theories and doctrines. Explores the bases of contract law, creation and termination rights, problems in contract formation, contract interpretation theories, and damages.
Offers students an opportunity to obtain a thorough working knowledge of the key concepts of tort law in the United States. Covers issues related to intentional torts and negligence and the defenses that relate to tort claims.
Offers a broad overview of constitutional law. Emphasizes the subjects of federalism, judicial review, due process, and individual rights.
Examines the procedural aspects of civil disputes in the United States under both state and federal systems, as well as the court systems and processes of bringing and defending cases. Studies the unique U.S. process of the discovery of evidence, including depositions and document production.
Examines the rules that regulate the legal profession including the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct; the California Rules of Professional Conduct; relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code; and leading case law, both federal and state, on the subject. Offers students an opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the topics covered on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination and the California Bar Examination, including lawyer advertising; solicitation of clients; specialization; conflicts of interest; competence; legal malpractice; fees; confidentiality; and obligations to clients, the court, and society. Students apply applicable ethics rules to identify and resolve ethical problems within the practice of law.
Surveys the domestic and international laws and policies of copyright law, with a secondary emphasis on related areas of law such as rights of publicity, unfair competition, and contractual protection of ideas in varying degrees. Topics covered include the subject matter of copyright; ownership and transfer of copyrights; the rights afforded to copyright owners in the United States and via international treaties and conventions; duration of protection; infringement; and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and remedies. Includes guest speakers who are involved in cutting-edge issues in copyright, which will allow students to hear directly from and start networking with practitioners and others involved in copyright law.
Offers students an opportunity to gain an understanding of the funding sources and the structure of corporate financial transactions. Focuses on the tools necessary for a lawyer to render legal opinions in the financial sector. Seeks to help students understand the finances behind transactions such as negotiating a merger, taking a client private through a leveraged buyout (LBO) or public through an initial public offering (IPO), or securing capital for expansion or operations. Topics covered include valuation, debt securities, preferred stock, convertible securities, and distributions in respect of equity securities.
Offers an overview of trade secrets and the basics of patent law, copyright law, and trademark law in the United States as derived from the pertinent federal statutes and through case law and administrative actors. Intellectual property is all about human creativity and ingenuity. It includes inventions and know-how, art and music, designs, and branding. Intellectual property law is the legal framework used to determine, apportion, secure, and leverage these rights in the marketplace. Examines the relationship between intellectual property and global development, as well as how intellectual property is used in the marketplace through competition and antitrust law.
Examines the laws and commercial rules governing international sales of goods and the law and practice of international commercial arbitration. Course topics include the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the rules of private international law that address gaps in the CISG.
Examines the precepts of trademark and unfair competition law. Investigates issues of ownership, registration, misappropriation, infringement, and dilution in the context of words, phrases, symbols, slogans, product design, and trade dress. Explores related issues such as false and comparative advertising, rights of publicity, and parody and free speech.
Explores legal issues related to corporate mergers and acquisitions. Topics covered include acquisition structures and mechanics, shareholder voting and appraisal rights, board fiduciary duties, federal securities law requirements, anti-takeover defenses, accounting and tax issues, and antitrust considerations.
Examines the rules governing transactions in which personal property and fixtures are used as collateral to secure an obligation. The primary source of authority is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code but also introduces other applicable laws, including primarily the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This body of law addresses not only the rights of the debtor and creditor inter se but also the rights of third parties with an interest in the collateral.
Examines how the stock market and other securities markets are regulated in the United States. The primary focus is the Securities Act of 1933 and, to a lesser extent, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Covers how companies raise capital through IPOs and other offerings, including private placements, and the complicated regulatory framework that applies. In addition to discussing disclosure requirements for companies that decide to offer to sell their stock or debt to investors, the course takes an in-depth look at insider trading rules. Also touches on how corporate director elections are regulated as well as the rules that apply to tender offers.
Examines issues in international taxation.
Explores the interplay between intellectual property law and evolving technology. In particular, focuses on the challenges faced by courts when applying intellectual property laws to technology not in existence at the time the laws were passed and on the policy issues raised by such challenges.
Introduces students to the principles governing the creation, sale, and enforcement of the most common forms of insurance in the United States. Explores personal liability, professional liability, commercial general liability, homeowner’s, automobile, life and casualty, and health insurance. Discusses the peculiarities of each line as well as the problems common to all lines: moral hazard, adverse selection, and outright fraud. Covers the social function of insurance, as well as historical anomalies, in order to give students the broadest possible exposure to the issues lawyers confront regularly in this area of practice.
Introduces students to the basic concepts contained in the Internal Revenue Code. Emphasizes taxation of individuals but includes significant content applying concepts to business entities as well. Offers students an opportunity to learn to analyze statutes and regulations.
Examines the structure and operation of business organizations in the United States. Begins with an examination of agency law (which applies to all business entities) and then focuses on general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and corporations.
A survey of commercial lending transactions, with particular emphasis on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, consumer legislation, relationship to real estate mortgage transactions, relationship to bankruptcy problems, fraudulent conveyances, federal tax liens, etc.
This course relates to the formation, financial structure, and governance of business enterprises, especially incorporated businesses. Partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships are also explored, principally as they compare to the corporate form. The topics studied include: rights of creditors to hold principals of the enterprise liable; distribution of control within the corporation; fiduciary duties of directors and officers; key aspects of the federal securities laws (including the regulation of insider trading and proxies); organic changes (such as mergers); shifts in control (such as takeovers and freeze-outs); and legal implications of the roles of corporations in society. The course introduces some of the specialized concepts explored in detail in courses on Securities Regulation and Corporate Finance.
Federal regulation of securities transactions originated in the New Deal investor protection legislation of the early 1930s and must now adapt to the changes and challenges of the 21st century. This course surveys major issues in the registration of initial public offerings (IPOs) under the Securities Act of 1933 and relevant provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, civil liability provisions, and the major exemptions from registration. Students will engage in detailed statutory analysis, as well as analysis of judicial and administrative decisions. The material covered in the course also raises important public policy issues such as “market democracy” and the role of regulation, disclosure policy with regard to corporate accountability and social responsibility, and the implications of internet disclosure.
In our modern day ‘information economy,’ the law of intellectual property has taken on enormous importance to both creators and users of intellectual creations. This course introduces students to the classic principles of copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law and explores the ways in which those principles are shifting and adapting in response to new technology.
This course has as its principal focus the way that most credit in America is extended. The transactions covered range from the purchase by consumers of automobiles or large household goods on credit to mega-loans by banks to large corporations. The primary law studied is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code as well as certain sections of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The course also seeks to introduce students to commercial law generally and to further their facility with issues of statutory construction.
This course will provide an in-depth review of patent law and practice. The course will cover the administrative process for obtaining patents, including the requirements for patentability. The course will also cover enforcement of patent rights and the defense of patent infringement suits. The course will be presented in a simple, non-technical manner so that students of all disciplines can learn and understand the concepts.
Corporate Finance considers sources of funding and capital structure of corporations, as well as decisions managers make to increase the value of a firm. This class is aimed at equipping lawyers with an ability to understand decision-making of business clients. The course introduces tools and methods used to evaluate projects and to allocate limited financial resources, as well as considerations regarding capital structure. We will cover valuation concepts, including present and future value computations, discount rates, net present value, the Efficient Capital Markets Hypothesis, relationship between risk and return, capital asset pricing model, as well as issues of leverage and capital structure. We will also examine the characteristics of financial instruments used by firms to raise capital, including common stock, preferred stock, and debt instruments.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the legal framework for U.S. and international regulation of international trade. The course will include a brief introduction to the economics of trade and trade restriction measures. It will then focus on the World Trade Organization agreements and other agreements regulating international trade in goods, services and intellectual property. It will also examine domestic trade laws particularly relief from “unfairly” traded imports.
This course examines the law of copyright in the United States, with some reference to international aspects. We will discuss the scope of copyright protection, the formalities of securing copyright, the nature of the rights afforded by copyright law, the fair use doctrine, and copyright enforcement. The course will place copyright in historical perspective, and consider tensions created by emerging industries. The course is open to upper level students, without prerequisite.
This course examines consumer transactions in formation, substance, and remedies. While the course will focus most on consumer credit, we will also examine consumer leasing, advertising; fraud; warranties; and product standards and safety.
This course is about the intellectual property right known as a “trademark,” a word or symbol that distinguishes source of goods or services from each other. Trademark law is part of unfair competition law, which protects against a variety of “deceptive” or “inequitable” business practices. The regulation of trademarks is considered a way to maintain a fair and efficient marketplace for businesses and consumers. This course will cover common and statutory law of trademark as well as deepening your legal analysis of intellectual property rights. The course will offer insight into how trademarks live and develop in culture so you can draw both on the black letter law and its nuances as well as on your experience as a consumer in order to advise clients.
Institutions increasingly face a host of regulatory compliance issues. This course will cover the challenges facing organizations in building programs that ensure adherence with legal obligations, especially regarding data. We will explore statutes covering a broad range of areas, especially when it involves data protection and privacy.
LLM Learning Outcomes
I. Know and Understand the Law: What Lawyers Comprehend II. Analyze, Reason and Solve Problems: How Lawyers Think III. Apply the Means and Modes of Effective Communication: How Lawyers Communicate IV. Demonstrate Awareness of and Recognize the Roles and Ethical, Professional and Business Norms of Law: What Lawyers Do V. Demonstrate Team Lawyering Skills, Manage Conflict, and Forge Relationships: How Lawyers Work Together VI. Understand Law in its Social Context: How Lawyers Situate Their Work VII. Demonstrate Aptitude for Factual and Legal Investigation and Research: How Lawyers Gather and Organize Information VIII. Incorporate Interdisciplinary and International Thinking into Legal Analysis: How Lawyers Utilize Other Disciplines and Global Perspectives
Students can choose between three tracks: Bar Examination Prep Work, Intellectual Property and Technology, and International Business. The tracks are optional for online Master of Laws students.
The Bar Examination Prep track prepares international and domestic attorneys who intend to sit for the California bar exam.
US Law & Legal System
California Civil Responsibility
The Intellectual Property and Technology track prepares attorneys for more specialized roles such as in-house counsel, IP licensing counsel and privacy counsel.
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Legal Operations & Legal Technology
Data Privacy in the 21st Century
The International Business track prepares domestic attorneys and international law graduates for jobs as international business lawyers, trade lawyers and compliance counsel.