LL.M. in Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Co-Directors A. Robinson, S. Saltzburg

Designed to help lawyers represent clients effectively in every forum before every type of decisionmaker, this unique LL.M. program teaches trial advocacy, including pretrial practice and advanced evidence, but it is built upon the recognition that trial advocacy is the beginning rather than the end of modern skills training. It therefore places equal emphasis on teaching negotiation, settlement, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution skills, including international dispute resolution.

The teaching in the LL.M. program in Litigation and Dispute Resolution, like the skills taught, is responsive to the challenges of contemporary lawyering. Simulated exercises are modeled on real-world challenges; student performances are evaluated by an experienced faculty that practices what it teaches; and the evaluations are based on performance, not written examinations. 

Degree Requirements and Scheduling

The 24 credit hours of study required for the LL.M. degree include the College of Trial Advocacy (Law 6683) and 21 credits from the following courses are required: 

  • Advanced Trial Advocacy (6675)
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (6676)
  • Pre-Trial Practice in Civil Cases (6677)
  • Ethics in Adjudication and Settlement (6678)
  • Advanced Evidence (6679)
  • The American Jury (6680)
  • Negotiation and Conflict Management Systems Design (6681)
  • International Dispute Resolution (6682)
  • Pre-Trial Practice in Criminal Cases (6684)
  • Arbitration (6685)

Because the courses in this program are evaluated solely on the basis of the student's performance in class, regular attendance at classes is required and is necessary for successful work in Law 6675 through 6685. Students should consult the syllabus for each course for information on the instructor's expectations relating to participation and attendance. Upon the instructor's finding that a student's class participation or attendance has been deficient, and after the instructor first attempts to communicate with the student, a grade of No Credit (NC) will be entered unless the student can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the program directors that the absences were for good reason and beyond the student's control. In such a case, the student will be withdrawn administratively from the course. In all other cases, the grade of NC will remain on the record, though the student will continue to have the option of repeating the course at its next offering by registering and paying tuition.

There is no thesis requirement. Students may choose to attend either full- or part-time; full-time students will usually complete the program in one year and part-time students will take two years. Admission is permitted for either the fall or spring semester. 

Accommodating the Working Lawyer's Schedule
The program is designed to accommodate the working lawyer's schedule. Each course (except the College of Trial Advocacy) meets in one, three-hour session per week during the 13-week semester. Classes are held in the evening, and students can choose to complete the program in either one or two years.  

Individualized Instruction
Trial advocacy and dispute resolution skills can be mastered only through hours of training and practice. Individualized instruction is the most effective way to convey the full spectrum of trial advocacy and dispute resolution skills, and an absolute necessity in ensuring that each student is making reasonable progress. To guarantee a high level of contact between faculty and students, enrollment is limited to a small number of graduate students.  


Spotlight Item: GW Law students excel in numerous national and international competitions each year, including ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution events.

GW Law students excel in numerous national and international competitions each year, including ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution events.

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