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(February 2021 Update)

FAQ

1.About Course Registration

1-a. Are the courses all taught in English?
 Yes, all LL.M. courses are taught in English.

1-b. Can I study law in Japanese as well as English during the LL.M. program?
 From the 2018 academic year, we have revised the terms of the LL.M. program regulations to offer some limited opportunities for LL.M. students to take elective J.D. courses that are taught in Japanese and obtain credits toward the LL.M. program. This opportunity requires an initial finding that the proposed course(s) are consistent with the student's plan of study. Approval of both LL.M. and J.D academic affairs committees and of the specific course's instructor is required in advance. We expect approval is most likely for a non-Japanese LL.M. student who has excellent spoken and written Japanese language skills and so can keep up with the class without any accommodations and who wishes to focus on study of Japanese law.
 With permission of the instructor, you also may be able to register for elective J.D. courses which are taught in Japanese as "Optional Subjects" (i.e., courses that are not counted toward your credits for degree completion). There will be no additional fee for taking such J.D. courses. Similar to the LL.M. courses, most J.D. courses are taught using the Socratic method, often involving discussion, so students must read, write, speak and understand technical terms in Japanese. If you wish to register for elective J.D. courses, please inform us no later than two days after the orientation for the applicable semester.
 Also, please note that you will not be able to register for undergraduate level courses, including the Faculty of Law.

1-c. Can I study the Japanese language during the LL.M. program?
 You may study the Japanese language via courses offered at the Keio University Center for Japanese Studies. Keio offers a wide variety of Japanese language courses at different levels. The details of registration and placement will be provided after LL.M. admission. Please note that these Japanese language courses do not provide credits toward your LL.M. degree and require the payment of a relatively small additional fee. (Tuition for the Center for Japanese Studies is currently about 20,000 yen per credit, with some additional amount for textbooks/materials.)

【website】Keio University Center for Japanese Studies
http://www.cjs.keio.ac.jp/?page=&lang=en

1-d. What are the degree requirements?
 At least 30 course credits are required for completion.

 At least 4 credits must be earned in either of the following categories:

  (1) Global Business and Law, or

  (2) Global Security and Law.

 At least 4 credits must be earned in the Practical Training category (e.g., moot court, negotiation and arbitration seminars, internships, drafting and other practical training courses).

 Note on Additional Degree Requirements for Recent Law Faculty Graduates

 For students who have not completed a law school (i.e., J.D.) program nor gained equivalent legal knowledge as evidenced by membership in a bar, graduate-level legal education, or significant work experience in a legal function, an additional 6 course credits (i.e., at least 36 course credits in total) will be required for degree completion. At least 4 additional credits will be required in the category Japanese Law and Asian Law in Global Practical Perspective, and at least 2 additional credits in the Practical Training category will be required.

1-e. Do I need to write a master's thesis in order to acquire the degree?
 A master's thesis is not required for degree completion. If you wish to complete a thesis-length research and writing project for academic credit, you can register for the courses "Research Paper I/II". After admission to the program, kindly consult with the professor of your choice for research paper supervision.

1-f. Is there any opportunity to apply for a certificate in an area of specialization?
 Yes. The Keio LL.M. program offers the opportunity for students to earn a certificate demonstrating specialization in the following fields:
・Business Law
・International Dispute Resolution
・Japanese Law
・Law and Development in Asia
・Intellectual Property Law.
 Each certificate will require satisfactory completion of at least 10 credits in the relevant field, as well as 2-credit research paper. For the certificates in Business Law and International Dispute Resolution, at least one related 2-credit practical training class must be completed. As the course requirements set forth a minimum only, and a certificate is intended to evidence a significant degree of focus and specialization, a student may apply for a certificate in only a single area of specialization.

1-g. Can I complete the program in more than one year?
 The standard term for the program is 1 year, but for students seeking a reduced academic workload it is generally possible to complete the program on a "part-time" basis in 1.5 or 2 years. Depending upon your employment hours and desired classes, it may be possible for you to take classes on 1st during 6th periods, Saturdays, and intensive courses, or to concentrate your classes during a single day of the week each semester.

2.About Admission

2-a. How are applicants selected for admission?
 Assessment of each applicant is based on an overall evaluation of the applicant's submitted documents. There is no examination test that the applicant needs to take in Japan. Some applicants may be required to submit additional documents or participate in a videoconference interview during the screening process (this determination is made on a case-by-case basis). We aim to apply the same admissions standards in both of the application periods. If your application is rejected in one application period, you may apply again during another application period (even during the same year).

2-b. Do I need to submit an English Test Score?
 Applicants who are not English native speakers must submit one of the following: a TOEFL iBT score, an IELTS Academic score, or a TOEIC score. Although we accept TOEIC scores, we strongly encourage applicants to submit a TOEFL iBT or IELTS score. Also, applicants who are not native English speakers may apply for an exemption from the English proficiency test requirement. To apply, the applicant must submit an explanation of sufficient English proficiency together with supporting documents (if any) by email to ls_llm@info.keio.ac.jp during the application period indicated above. Such applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee they will be approved. In the event that your application is denied, you will be required to submit one of the English scores listed above. For more information, please see the link below.
http://grad.admissions.keio.ac.jp/llm-en.html

2-c. Regarding English test scores
 Although there is no required minimum score for the TOEFL iBT, IELTS or TOEIC, applicants must have language skills sufficient to complete a master's-level program in English. This means that, as a general rule, applicants must be able to read and understand assigned reading, understand in-class lectures, participate in class discussions, complete final examinations, and write papers in English.
 You can view a mock class from one of our previous LL.M. program promotional sessions below to get a more concrete sense of the English level of an in-class lecture.
 Mock class from April 2019 LL.M. promotional session:
  Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l41flAMuDi8
  Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWGlBBSk8iQ

2-d. What is the admission rate?
 As of March 2020, about 70% of the applicants who applied to the LL.M. program were admitted.

2-e. What are the nationalities of the LL.M. students and alumni?
 Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thai, USA, Vietnam

2-f. Will the experience working as a patent attorney be regarded as "legal experience" for the purposes of evaluating whether an applicant has sufficient legal experience for admission to the LL.M. program?
 Yes.

3. About Studying Abroad

 During the program, it may be possible for you to participate in an exchange program at one of our partner universities. If you are thinking of studying abroad (including our double degree program), please so indicate in the admission material (personal statement) as your anticipated study plan.

3-a. How can I participate in the exchange program?
 For those of you who wish to pursue a portion of your studies overseas, you may be able to study abroad at one of the partner schools of Keio Law School. After the admission results are released, please consult with us as soon as possible regarding your preferred timing (term), country, and university. Applicants must meet all requirements of the host universities, including any TOEFL/IELTS score requirements. The LL.M. program will recognize up to 15 credits obtained at an overseas partner university which can be approved as having equivalent course content to one of the LL.M. courses. However, because there is a limit to the number of exchange students under our agreements with partner schools, and there may be conflicts with the academic calendar at some partner schools, there may be cases where we are not able to accommodate your request. Also, with the academic calendar difference and the credit transfer system, there may be cases where a student who goes on an exchange term is not able to finish the LL.M. program in 1 year.

3-b. How can I participate in the double degree program?
 Keio University Law School has a double degree arrangement with the University of Washington School of Law. Under this arrangement, students will be able to apply credits from each school toward LL.M. degrees at both schools. U. Washington offers seven different LL.M. degrees, including a general LL.M. and specialized degrees in intellectual property, tax, global business, health law, Asian & comparative law, and sustainable development. A student will pay Keio tuition during the time resident at Keio, and U. Washington tuition during the time resident at U. Washington. As a general matter, the double degree program is easier to arrange for students who matriculate to Keio in Spring Term (beginning in April each year) and then spend Fall Term (beginning in September each year) at U. Washington. However, this is not a requirement.
 If you are interested in the double degree program, please inform us promptly after the release of admissions results. Applicants must meet all requirements of U. Washington, including the required TOEFL score. In case of a large number of interested students, we may need to engage in a selection process, and U. Washington will conduct its own selection process with respect to applicants recommended by Keio.

【website】University of Washington School of Law LL.M. Programs
https://www.law.uw.edu/apply/llm/
http://www.ls.keio.ac.jp/en/dd/uw.html

<Note> About requirements for admission to the bar in Japan and the United States
 The Keio LL.M. degree does not qualify a student to sit for the bar exam in Japan or overseas. The double degree program at University of Washington may allow some students to qualify to sit for a U.S. state bar examination, but the details will vary by individual and some students may not meet requirements depending upon education content, timing of degree, and practical experience. Eligibility must be confirmed with the applicable state bar examiner. Also, please be aware that eligibility requirements differ from state to state and may change in the future.

4.About Internship

4-a. How can I apply for the internship program?
 For interested students, we offer "Internship" as a (1~4 credit) LL.M. course. Internships will, in principle, take place during spring and summer vacation period for approximately 2-3 weeks, and will be at Japanese and international law firms, corporate legal departments, and international institutions. Internships offered within Japan focus primarily on providing opportunities for international students; and internships outside Japan are primarily available for Japanese students who wish to work at United Nations-affiliated and other international institutions and focus upon legal assistance. We also hope to send interns to some Asia (ex-Japan) offices of Japanese law firms. If there is a surplus of applicants, we and the host institutions will select among candidates for available opportunities. Further details will be provided after admission.
 Placements for internships will be arranged after enrollment. Some of our internship opportunities are with law firms and companies with which members of our advisory board are associated.

【website】Keio University Law School, Advisory Board
http://www.ls.keio.ac.jp/en/advisory_board.html

 For internships outside Japan, Keio Law School has sent both J.D. and LL.M. students for internships with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (Vienna) and the JICA Laos Legal Assistance project office.

 We recently launched a project titled "Human Resource Development Program through LL.M. for Asian Global Legal Professions (PAGLEP) in Collaboration with Universities in Mekong Countries." PAGLEP receives funding from Japan's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to assist, among other things, student and faculty exchange with the Mekong countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar). As a result, we are able to offer internships and exchange opportunities for our LL.M. students in the Mekong countries.

5.Student Relations

5-a. How can I find housing?
 It is sometimes possible to secure a room in one of the Keio University dorms, but the Law School does not have its own dedicated housing. Also, you may not be able to secure a room in a university dormitory since the number of rooms is limited. Securing a Keio dorm room is typically more difficult prior to Fall Term due to increased student demand.
 There is ample short-term and shared housing available in Tokyo at reasonable prices. Rooms are small but are typically clean and safe. All Keio Law School classes are offered on the Mita campus and most international students in the past have preferred to find lodging within easy commuting distance. Mita is located in central Tokyo, so prices may be lower if you choose to live farther away from campus.

【website】Housing for International Students
http://www.ic.keio.ac.jp/en/life/housing/ryu_boshu.html

5-b. How can I apply for scholarships?
 There are some scholarships available to support international students studying in Japan that you can apply for prior to admission to the LL.M. program, such as the "Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship." Also, the Law School generally provides a limited number of tuition waivers for several exceptional students each year. The recipients of the tuition waivers are selected as part of the LL.M. admission process. Furthermore, one LL.M. student from outside of Japan may be eligible to receive Keio University's "Design the Future" Award for International Students. A nominee may be selected through the LL.M. admission process, and then he or she must pass screening by the Keio's Scholarship Committee.

【website】Scholarship Information for the students seeking admission to Keio Univ.
http://www.ic.keio.ac.jp/en/life/scholarship/intl_student.html

 Information on scholarships available after entering the program is available at the website below. (Some of the information can be accessed only after enrollment.)
 In previous years, a number of our LL.M. students from outside Japan have received financial support through the JASSO scholarship program described on the website below.

【website】Scholarships Now Available (for current students)
http://www.ic.keio.ac.jp/en/life/scholarship/available.html

 In addition, the "Mita Hosokai" alumni association offers a limited number of partial scholarships each year to students at the Law School. Both J.D. and LL.M. students are eligible. There are other scholarships available from private organizations which you may apply for on your own.

5-c. What are the career paths of LL.M. program alumni?
Please refer to the website below.
https://www.ls.keio.ac.jp/en/life/#carrer

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