TOP > LL.M. Program Overview and Policy


LL.M. Program Overview and Policy

(updated on 2019/8/26)



In April 2017, Keio University Law School (KLS) established a master's degree program (LL.M.) in Global Legal Practice. This is a professional graduate master's degree course with instruction in English language - the first of its kind within a Japanese law school.


KLS was established in 2004 under the founding principles of "internationalism, multidisciplinarism and pioneerism". KLS has come to occupy a position as one of Japan's top law schools, educating many promising legal professionals each year. Further, KLS has established a strong track record of internationalism, with numerous non-Japanese adjunct and full-time research faculty members and a curriculum that includes more than 15 courses conducted in English, generally with a focus on business law. In addition, KLS accepts between 10 and 20 exchange students each year from partner law schools in America, Asia and Europe.


With this background, as we approach KLS' 12th anniversary, we are preparing to undertake further training of legal professionals who can be active in many fields that have developed as a result of our globalized society. We have added, within KLS, a new Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Global Legal Practice program, while retaining our current Juris Doctor (J.D.) program for prospective Japanese legal professionals. The new program permits many students to obtain an LL.M. degree in one year, taking instruction in English, and has been the first program of its kind at a Japanese law school.


In order to train students who will be globally active legal professionals and legal staff of global companies and international institutions, the LL.M. program targets Japanese lawyers and graduates of law schools who wish to improve their practice skills via an English language program, and students from abroad who are interested in Japanese and Asian law. In addition, the program opens its doors to university graduates who wish to work in the future in an international organization. In the Keio LL.M. program, it will be possible, through a "double degree" arrangement, also to receive an LL.M. from a partner law school, initially in the United States, faster and at a much lower cost than would typically be required to obtain both degrees separately.


Diploma Policy
1. In the Global Legal Practice program, in addition to building an understanding of legal issues and conflict resolution from a global perspective, students learn to develop business models and policy proposals for a future global legal practice. Additionally, students learn skills for global governance policy proposals, primarily with respect to Asia, and for supporting legislative systems in various Asian countries. LL.M. degree is conferred on those who acquire these legal skills.
2. Consistent with the preceding paragraph, the core requirements for degree conferral are enrollment for at least one year in the Global Legal Practice program and a minimum of 30 course credits in a curriculum based on educational concepts and objectives. However, the completion requirements for recent university graduates without significant practical legal experience include a minimum of 36 course credits.

Curriculum Policy
The following curriculum structure and implementation policies are proposed for the Global Legal Practice program to train personnel with the skills to act as experts in global legal practice and manage legal issues from a global perspective.
1. In order to achieve a more complete realization of the Diploma Policy in this program, the Global Legal Practice program is comprised of nine subjects. These subjects are divided into mandatory courses that form a core program for global legal practice, with other courses as elective programs. The set classes include legal research and writing courses for writing research papers and practical training courses for practical skills, such as the internship course.
2. This program ensures that students acquire the basic legal knowledge and legal thinking skills essential for global legal practice.
3. The aim is to develop legal education through mutual discussion by providing education with opportunities for interaction among teachers and students.

Admissions Policy
The aim of the master's degree program (LL.M.) in Global Legal Practice is to cultivate legal professionals who will play active roles on the world stage, as well as legal staff for multinational corporations and international organizations. The program welcomes applicants with the resolve and ability to tackle the challenging task of acquiring an understanding of legal systems not only in Japan but across the world and communicating this understanding in English.
The selection process requires applicants to submit a statement of their purpose in applying for the program and career plans, together with documentation concerning their English language proficiency, character evaluation, academic performance in law and related disciplines, prior acquisition of legal professional qualifications, experience in legal practice, and other matters. Each applicant is subjected to a comprehensive evaluation based on standardized quantitative and qualitative criteria. In order to enable the acceptance of a wide variety of students, the program has matriculation periods in both spring (April) and fall (September), catering to the needs of applicants residing in Japan and those from outside Japan (international students). Two application periods are held each year in accordance with these two matriculation periods, with results announced separately for each period. Application Period I is usually held in May for entrance in September of the current year and April of the following year, and Application Period II is usually held in December for entrance in both April and September of the following year.
To date, the master's degree program in Global Legal Practice has accepted international students under the Japan International Cooperation Center's Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship and the Japan International Agency's Long-term Trainee Program. However, the selection schedule described above poses procedural barriers for prospective applicants under these projects, and such applicants are therefore offered a dedicated "Admissions Office"-style screening (based upon special recommendation) held from March to April each year.

●Press Release

Keio University Law School LL.M. in Global Legal Practice Receives Official Approval

慶應義塾大学大学院法務研究科グローバル法務専攻 専門職学位課程(法務修 士)の設置認可について

Back to the Top