Since 2011, the Executive LL.M. Program has established itself as an innovative program, designed to provide the academic rigor expected of a Boston University LL.M. degree, while also offering the flexibility necessary for domestic and international practitioners to undertake part-time studies.
Over the past five years, we have added two online certificate programs (the Certificate in International Business Law and Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance), as well as three online concentrations (in International Taxation, International Environmental and Energy Law, and Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance). The breadth of the ELLM curriculum has greatly increased over that time, including popular new blended and all-online offerings such as Deals: The Legal Engineering Behind Corporate Transactions; Transnational Legal Practice; Global Compliance: Introduction and Best Practices; and Global Cyber Law and Governance.
Recently, the Law faculty approved a proposal that would expand the flexibility of the program even further, by removing the ‘residential’ requirement. Currently, the Executive LL.M. Program requires completion of 20 credits in ELLM or ELLM-approved courses, including completion of International Business Transactions and Agreements; U.S. Corporate Law for the International Lawyer (unless waived); U.S. Contract Law for the International Lawyer (unless waived); and 14 credits of residential (blended) courses, consisting of four 3-credit courses and two 1-credit Colloquia in Issues in International Business Law. Typically, students completed two residential sessions, in Boston or Budapest, in order to complete these requirements. Under the current proposal, which is pending official University approval, the ELLM degree requirements would be as follows:
- completion of 20 ELLM or ELLM-approved courses
- completion of International Business Transactions and Agreements (3 credits)
- completion of U.S. Contract Law for the International Lawyer (3 credits), unless waived
- completion of U.S. Corporate Law for the International Lawyer (3 credits), unless waived
As ELLM courses will continue to be offered in blended and all-online formats, students can therefore complete the program entirely through blended courses, entirely online, or through a mixture of the two. We will continue to offer two or more residential sessions per year (Summer Boston and Summer Budapest, in addition to occasionally offering Spring Boston and/or Fall Boston sessions). The Colloquia will be optional and will still count for credit, and will be offered in every residential session in which minimum registration numbers are met. To assist students in fulfilling the degree requirements via online courses, International Business Transactions and Agreements will continue to be offered in both blended and all-online format. In addition, U.S. Contract Law and U.S. Corporate Law will be offered in alternate years in both blended and all-online format. Additional all-online offerings will be added, including an online version of the Colloquia series, and a 1-credit course in Introduction to the American Legal System (designed for foreign-trained and non-lawyers).
These changes will allow students to have the best of both worlds: the blended format so popular with our students will remain, while removal of the residential requirement will enhance flexibility and better allow students to take the courses most useful to them, in the format and at the time most advantageous to them. It is anticipated that final University approval will be granted in mid-spring 2017.