Sustainable International Development LL.M. Curriculum

Sustainable Development LL.M. students take several core courses followed by their choice of optional electives for their course of study. Additionally, students are encouraged to take courses offered by other schools at the UW, including the Evans School of Public Affairs, Jackson School of International Studies, School of Public Health and Foster Business School.

The Sustainable Development LL.M. program typically requires three quarters (nine months) of residence at the University of Washington, during which the student must complete a minimum of 40 quarter credits. Full-time students can typically complete the course of study within one nine-month academic year. Part-time enrollment options are also available; and students who cannot attend full time may take additional time to complete the degree.

Students with a qualifying first degree in law earned outside the US may also satisfy the course requirements to sit for the Washington State, New York, and California bar exams (and potentially other US State bar exams) while earning an LLM in Sustainable International Development. In some cases, an additional academic quarter will be recommended for students wishing to take bar-qualifying courses.

J.D. students may be eligible for the concurrent LL.M. with little more than one extra quarter in residence.

Core Courses

  • Law and Development: History and Theories
  • Legal Problems in Economic Development Seminar
  • Leadership in Sustainability Colloquium
  • Public International Law, International Environmental Law*, International Human Rights or Rule of Law in a Global Context
  • American Legal System & Method (for lawyers trained outside of the U.S.)

Sample Electives

  • Business, Social Responsibility and Human Rights*
  • Chinese Law
  • Climate Change Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law*
  • Feminist Jurisprudence
  • Health and Human Rights*
  • Human Rights Advocacy Seminar
  • Immigration Law
  • Indigenous Economic Development and the Law
  • Indigenous Governance Law
  • International and Foreign Law Research
  • International Arbitration*
  • International Contracting
  • International Criminal Law*
  • International Development Practicum (field placement)
  • International Humanitarian Law*
  • International Trade Law
  • Islamic Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Special Topics: Introduction to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Concepts*
  • Theories and Tools for Combating Corruption*
  • Transnational Commercial Law
  • Water Law
  • Women, Poverty and Natural Resource Management

Experiential and Hands-On Learning**

  • Development Innovations Lab*
  • Global Development Law and Policy Workshop*
  • Human Rights Advocacy Seminar
  • International Development Practicum — Externship/Field Placement

* When offered.
** Requires program approval; may require application and admission.

The Indigenous Rights Concentration Track Curriculum differs slightly. Learn more about the Indigenous Rights Concentration Track.

Research and Practical Skills Pathways

LL.M. candidates in the Sustainable International Development Law program select the Research Pathway or the Practical Skills Pathway.

Research Pathway

LL.M. candidates in the research pathway must successfully complete a substantial research paper that demonstrates a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing. The paper can be written in connection with a class or through independent research and writing.

Practical Skills Pathway

LL.M. candidates in this pathway register for and successfully complete an approved experiential course, a legal clinic or an externship for credit. Students who are electing the Practical Skills Pathway must designate this pathway no later than the beginning of the third quarter of their first academic year of study, upon approval of their program advisor.

As UW’s LL.M. programs can typically be completed within one nine-month academic year of full-time enrollment, students who are F1 student visa holders and who do an off-campus externship for course credit (typically registered as a B582 International Development Practicum), will be eligible for Curricular Practical Training during their first academic year of study, but must first apply for and receive a Form I-20 indicating that curricular practical training has been approved.