“An LL.M. in Financial Services Law is an important step in understanding the nuances and intricacies of the financial world, with a specificity that should prove to be helpful to clients and employers who need professionals who can drill down into the complexities of the financial world, in which any lack of understanding can be terribly costly.”
Thomas Russo, Senior Counsel, Patton
Boggs LLP and Adjunct Professor, Columbia
University Graduate School of Business
Credit and GPA Requirements
Each LL.M. degree candidate must complete a minimum of 24 academic credits for approved course work with a minimum cumulative grade point average of B- (2.67). Except with the prior permission of the Program Director, all courses must be graded (not pass/fail).
Each LL.M. degree candidate must select an area of concentration (Asset Management, Banking, Capital Markets, or International Regulation) and take a minimum of five courses (10 academic credits) in the selected area. In addition to these courses, each degree candidate must take the Regulatory Policy course and the Advanced Research Seminar course. The balance of the required academic credits can be earned by taking any other LL.M. courses being offered.
The LL.M. Degree
An LL.M. degree may be earned on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time status is given to students who take at least eight credits per semester. A full-time student should be able to complete the degree during one academic calendar year (late August through mid-May). A part-time student can earn an LL.M. degree over several semesters depending on one’s course load. It is recommended that a part-time degree student take a minimum of two courses (four academic credits) every semester.
Prerequisites for an LL.M. Degree
Each LL.M. degree candidate must have taken a Securities Regulation course and a Derivatives Market Regulation course before applying for the LL.M. degree, or either agree to take these courses in the first semester or show proof of evidence that they possess, through their prior legal career, a fundamental background in these areas of the law. These two courses do not count toward the 24 minimum credit requirement for an LL.M. degree candidate. It is also highly recommended that non-degree students who do not possess a background in financial services also take these two courses, along with the Banking Law course, during their first semester.
Areas of Concentration
The LL.M. in Financial Services Law program at New York Law School offers four areas of concentration:
- Asset Management – includes the regulation and structure of mutual funds, money managers, hedge funds, private equity funds, and their trading strategies.
- Banking – includes the regulation and structure of banks, bank holding companies, thrifts, and other financial institutions on a global basis.
- Capital Markets – includes the regulation and structure of brokerage firms and exchanges, analysis of the products traded on and off exchanges, and investment banking practices.
- International Regulation – includes the laws, regulations, and policies of all financial institutions located outside the U.S. and how U.S.financial institutions are regulated when doing business globally.
Nondegree LL.M. Students
Nondegree students may apply to take one or more of the courses offered pursuant to the LL.M. in Financial Services Law program. We encourage nondegree students to take the Securities Regulation, Derivatives Markets Regulation, and Banking Law courses initially if they do not have a fundamental background involving these areas of the law.
Nonlawyers as Students
With the approval of the Program Director, nonlawyers can take one or more of the LL.M. courses offered, provided that the candidate can demonstrate that he or she has a fundamental background in the related course field—for example, by working in the compliance or documentation department at a financial institution or with a governmental agency that regulates financial institutions.
NYLS J.D. Students Taking LL.M. Courses
J.D. students at New York Law School will be allowed to take certain LL.M. courses provided that the J.D. student has satisfied the prerequisites for those courses. J.D. students should discuss their interest in taking LL.M. courses with the Program Director.
With permission of the Program Director, LL.M. degree candidates may be granted up to six credits for relevant course work done in post-J.D. programs at other law schools.
Other Requirements and Policies
The requirements for the LL.M. in Financial Services Law and all New York Law School and program policies are subject to change without prior notice. Candidates for the LL.M. in Financial Services Law must satisfy any other requirements for the degree that are in force when the degree is conferred.