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You will demonstrate an advanced knowledge in an area of international and comparative law. You will develop an effective research methodology and a research plan and will learn to discuss and present your research and writing at scholarly gatherings such as conferences, seminars, and colloquia.


You will write a dissertation of publishable quality that makes an original and substantial contribution to legal.

You will be prepared to exercise proper professional judgment and contribute to a deeper understanding of law and legal institutions through commitment to research, scholarship, and public service.



The curriculum of the SJD is tailored to the background of each candidate and entirely depends on the research topic(s) and field(s) of law chosen. All students must complete five components of study, research, writing, and final examinations:


With guidance and approval from the Advisory Committee, you will enroll in a total of 10 credit hours of course work related to your field of research (5 credits in each the first and in the second semester). In addition, you will complete an approved list of readings in your main and corollary study fields.
You will enroll in the SJD Colloquium and will give one presentation during the first year that and another prior to graduation. The oral presentations require a passing grades.
You must complete an oral examination at the end of the first year. If you pass the exam, the Advisory Committee will approve your continuation in the program.

YEAR 2-3

You must register for the dissertation course for each term and regularly coordinate your progress with your advisor. You will continue to meet, either in person or remotely, with your Advisory Committee twice a year. Within three years of enrollment, you must submit a final doctoral dissertation for review and approval to the Chair of your Advisory Committee.
You must provide an oral defense of your dissertation before the Advisory Committee. Upon approval, the Advisory Committee will forward your dissertation to the SJD Committee and to the full faculty of the School of Law for final approvals.


EligibilityTo apply to the program, you must have a first law degree (Juris Doctor or equivalent) and an LLM. from a U.S. accredited law school. Strong preference will be given to graduates from Northampton’s LLM programs



The School of Law and Northampton Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their legal education at Northampton affordable