What is Fordham known for?

LL.M. degree in New York - International Taxation and Comparative Jurisprudence



Anyone who decides after their first or second state examination to acquire the title of Master of Laws (LL.M. - legum magister) in the USA has numerous universities to choose from. In New York City, Columbia University, Fordham University, and New York University should be among the better-known, at least in Europe.
New York University (NYU) in southern Manhattan is one of the largest private universities in the United States. The university, which was founded around 1830, is therefore comparable to a German university in terms of size and administration. The School of Law, however, is spatially, organizationally and financially clearly separated from this gigantic structure, which is reflected not least in a more personal and clear administration, as well as in the ample financial resources. The New York University School of Law currently ranks fourth in the highly acclaimed ranking of American law schools (http://www.usnews.com) compiled by the USNews and World Report, just behind the university's law schools ten Yale, Stanford and Harvard. In the areas of taxation and international law, however, NYU has been in first place for years. One of the reasons for this is undoubtedly the so-called Global Law School Program, as part of which numerous well-known academics and professors from all over the world come to New York every semester to take part in talks and symposia or to teach for a semester.
The international orientation of the Law School is also evident in the students: of around 400 LL.M. students each year, around half are foreigners from all over the world. The LL.M. programs in International Taxation and Comparative Jurisprudence are attended almost exclusively by non-Americans.
The title of Master of Laws (LL.M.) is a so-called Graduate Law Degree and is acquired in a one-year course. As a graduate degree, the acquisition of such a title requires a previous degree in law from an American or foreign university. In the USA, this is the title of Juris Doctor (J.D.) obtained in a three-year study at a law school, which roughly corresponds to the first state examination.
New York University offers nine different LL.M. programs in its Graduate Program in Law, making it one of the largest and most diverse programs in the United States. The applicant can choose between an LL.M. in General Studies, Comparative Jurisprudence, Corporation Law, International Legal Studies, International Taxation, Labor & Employment Law, Public Service, Taxation and Trade Regulation.
The program in Comparative Jurisprudence has existed as a Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (M.C.J.) for over 50 years. In 1998 the M.C.J. in LL.M. C.J. renamed to emphasize equivalence with other LL.M. degrees. The LL.M. C.J. is specially designed for lawyers from non-common law countries and as such is a distinctive feature of the LL.M. programs in the United States. The aim of the program is to provide students with a broad, yet deep understanding To impart knowledge of the American legal system, although the focus is on commercial and corporate law. The LL.M. C.J. entitles - like the other LL.M. programs too - to admission to the bar exam, to the examination for admission as Attorney at Law. In contrast to the other LL.M. programs, there is a focus, but no real specialization. This has the advantage of a well-rounded overview of the system itself and promotes a general understanding of the systematic interrelationships instead of isolated specialist knowledge. The compulsory subject program is accordingly broad and includes Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Constitutional and Corporation Law as well as American Legal Methodology. The latter is the core of the fall semester. American Legal Methodology teaches the methodology and working techniques of American lawyers. The aim is to enable foreign lawyers - also linguistically - to do the work of an associate in an American law firm, or at least to familiarize them with his working methods and techniques. The tasks therefore consist of written solving of practical cases in the style of small homework. The structure and style, if not the scope of this work, should roughly correspond to the requirements of a law firm. In the spring semester, American Legal Methodology is replaced by a thesis, a more extensive academic paper on a freely chosen topic in American law.
This compulsory program is supplemented by elective courses. You can choose between electives tailored specifically to the CJ program, such as Taxation or Securities Regulation, which, like all CJ courses, aim to provide an overview and general understanding and problem awareness of the respective subject, or you can choose your options From the rest of the comprehensive range of the Law School. The latter has the advantage that American and foreign LL.M. students are taught together with the almost exclusively American J.D. students in these courses.
There is also the option of taking individual courses at the Business School that are suitable for lawyers. With content such as corporate finance, corporate governance or mergers & acquisitions, these courses move at the interface between business administration and law and as such represent an ideal addition to corporate law in particular. For German lawyers, these courses convey what is important, but in the German education severely neglected understanding of economic relationships and effects.
In the field of taxation, New York University offers two LL.M. programs with different objectives. The Graduate Taxation Program is a preparation for at least long-term employment in this area in the USA. Therefore, Americans who want to specialize in the field of tax law choose this program. However, it is also open to foreign students who need or want to acquire more detailed knowledge of US tax law in view of their future professional activities. The International Taxation Program, on the other hand, has a more international focus. It can only be chosen by foreign students who wish to work in their home countries after completing the program or doing a temporary job in the United States.
The LL.M. in International Taxation has only been offered for four years. This is a comparatively "young" program that is characterized by an ambitious and future-oriented concept. The primary aim of the program is to create a broad understanding of the complex tax law consequences of the increasing internationalization of the flow of goods and capital. In addition, a global network of familiar and well-known lawyers who are active in the field of international tax law is to be built up in the medium term.
The International Taxation Program is very specialized and includes Fundamentals of US Business and Individual Income Taxation, Foreign Tax I, International Business Transactions, Tax Treaties and International Tax Policy as compulsory courses. In addition, courses from the Graduate Tax Program or other LL.M. programs as well as the Business School can be selected to a limited extent. In the fall semester, an overview of US income and foreign tax law will be given. This creates the basis for the spring semester, in which the international tax planning of practically relevant processes in modern economic life is the focus. In addition, you get to know the structure and methodology of bilateral taxation agreements and get an overview of the main features of international tax policy. It is possible to write a thesis in one of these areas, which, with a little skill, can be combined with a doctorate.
The program enables you to gain a deeper insight into the interesting and increasingly important legal matter of international tax law, which is not accorded practical importance in German training. In addition, the optional subjects can be used to gain an insight into US tax and corporate law, the influence of which on German law should not be underestimated due to the dominant position of the USA in the international business world. Participation in the International Taxation Program at New York University offers an excellent and extremely interesting additional qualification for internationally oriented lawyers. More information at http://www.law.nyu.edu/internationaltaxalumni/index.html.
All in all, the (academic) year in New York was a personal and professional enrichment. Dealing with the foreign legal system, in particular with the common law system, broadens the horizon and sharpens one's view of one's own law, which one now learns to look at from an outside perspective. In addition to professional training, New York University is also home to living and studying in the heart of one of the most exciting metropolises in the world, making your stay an unforgettable experience. Located on Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village, just a few minutes' walk from the East Village, SoHo and TriBeCa districts, you can study here - at least for the moment - at the cutting edge. â € “Information in particular on the application process at http://www.law.nyu.edu.
Lars-Gerrit Lüßmann, Würzburg and research associate Martin Schraufl, Munich