Master of Laws

Location: LAU Beirut.
Duration: Two academic years. 
Total Credits: 30
Department: Information Technology & Operations Management

This program is designed for candidates who want to get insightful learning in the theories and practices that govern business rules and regulations, while strengthening their knowledge foundation in the field. The LLM draws on the academic and practical expertise of its faculty, as well as the School’s general business and specialization strengths. 

The program’s mission is to prepare high-caliber legal advisers and advocates who are conversant in the best international practices of this field and of related business topics, and who are committed to serving both public and private sectors. Through small classes, accomplished faculty, close interaction and experiential learning, law students will receive an intensive graduate law education in theoretical and practical settings.

Program Outcomes

With an LLM from LAU, you will acquire an advanced legal knowledge in the field of business and transnational contract law. The LLM intends to support students and enable them to:

  • Develop a deepened understanding of law in a variety of contexts.
  • Formulate research questions and develop appropriate research methodologies.
  • Write clearly and in an appropriate legal style, in accordance with legal writing standards.
  • Display the ability to deal with different types of legal systems and laws
  • Develop the ability to analyze, articulate and write on the subject, by linking previous or current experience with an academic inquiry.
  • Have a critical understanding of the main legal, economic, and financial matters pertaining to the entire life cycle of a corporation in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.
  • Have a sound understanding of fundamental concepts of finance and economics which are necessary for a holistic understanding of the context in which corporate law and regulation operate.
  • Work with international legal materials and to grasp the legal implications of transactions involving international institutions and corporations.
  • Be aware of the theoretical and practical challenges created by the globalization of law and business and the increasing cross-border mobility of corporation.
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving legal problems.

Career Prospects

Getting the LLM degree at AKSOB prepares students for working in local, regional, and multinational organizations in:

  • Consultancy
  • Finance Analysis
  • Intellectual Property
  • Employee Policies
  • Contracts
  • Acquisitions
  • Legal Research

Program Requirements 

LLM candidates must have a law degree and are expected to complete 30 credit hours.

The degree is completed in two academic years. A written thesis or project is not required.

However, students with well-defined topics may pursue individual research projects or thesis under the supervision of a Law faculty member.

  1. Candidates must complete a total of 30 credits composed of:

- Course Requirements (9 credits)

  • LLM813 Legal Ethics
  • LLM831 Legal Research and Writing
  • LLM823 Accounting and Finance for lawyers

-Elective Requirements (21 credits)

  1. LLM classes are initially offered in the afternoon once a week. Alternative delivery strategy may be used at a later point.

Admission

Admission is granted on a selective and competitive basis to students who have demonstrated distinct academic ability and motivation by meeting at least the minimum requirements described below.

In addition to a satisfactory proof of English language proficiency as per LAU rules and regulations, applicants to the LLM program are expected to meet the following admission requirements:

  1. 2.75 GPA on a scale of 4.0 as per LAU rules, or its equivalent.
  2. Letters of recommendation.
  3. Interview, if required.

Meeting these requirements, however, does not guarantee admission to the program.

Although work experience is not a prerequisite for admission, the Graduate Admissions Committee considers applicants’ professional experience as an asset. As such, relevant work experience is viewed favorably when studying an applicant’s file.

At the discretion of the LLM Admission Council, applicants who are short of meeting the 2.75 GPA might be considered for “probationary” admission.

Students admitted on probation will earn regular status upon the completion of 12 graduate credits with at least 3.0 average.

Students with a legal degree from universities that do not adopt American GPA will be subject to a specific conversion applied by LAU.

Courses

1- Legal Ethics (3 cr.)

The course is divided into two parts, Ethics and Philosophy of Law. The Ethics component includes discussions on ethical rules applicable to lawyers and the practice of law with special emphasis on American and English rules. The Philosophy of Law component includes discussions on the principal theories of law and key issues in law - such as law, rights, obligations, responsibilities, punishment and the ethical foundations of the legal system. Thus, the aim of the course as a whole is to evaluate the main philosophical theories of ethics and law, probe central moral and legal issues examine the practical application of such theories and issues and analyze the interrelationship between ethics and law. 

2- Legal Research and Writing (3 cr.)

Legal Research and Writing is a required course that teaches students the basic techniques of legal research, analysis and legal writing. The course is based on introducing case briefing, case synthesis and analysis through a series of research and writing assignments. Students will learn (i) how to research legal issues, frame legal arguments and analyze legal problems; (ii) how to use computer-assisted legal research including Lexis and Westlaw; and (iii) the American writing conventions for legal letters, memoranda, and briefs. The course will be taught in small groups under the supervision of the legal writing faculty and will consist, as mentioned above, of a series of research and writing assignments. This course should be especially helpful for students who are inexperienced in the use of precedent in a common law system.

3- Accounting and Finance for Lawyers (3 credits) (Mandatory except for business graduates. Business graduates should replace this course by any other elective course)

The course teaches the basics every business lawyer should know about accounting and finance in order to communicate, negotiate and counsel effectively regarding business matters including: the accounting process; the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow; financial statement analysis; auditing; time value of money; interest; credit; securities; risk; valuation; derivatives; financial decision rules; and financial markets and regulation.

4- Corporate Finance Laws and Regulations (3 cr.)

The course provides an overview of international capital markets law and practice. Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with the main concepts and the structures and terminology used in capital markets and will develop an understanding of the interests of the parties involved as well as the policy reasons behind the national and international law relevant to capital markets transactions. The course also provides an in-depth examination of the legal framework for equity finance over the entire corporate lifecycle, including venture capital, management buyouts, initial and subsequent public offers of shares, rights issues, private equity buyouts and share buybacks. The course examines the use of different types of equity finance instruments and the legal rights associated with them. The role of capital markets in raising new capital and trading shares will be examined along with the role of financial regulators in controlling that process.

5- Corporate Governance (3 cr.)

The course provides an in-depth examination of the legal and market framework in which corporate governance operates. It examines how the law approaches the governance structure of various types of companies, focusing on the role of different stakeholders and the structure and powers of the two decision-making organs of the company, the general meeting of shareholders and the board of directors. Close attention will be paid to the role of institutional shareholders and financial markets and to the development of ‘soft-law’ governance codes and voluntary self-regulation as alternatives to formal legal control.

6- Family Business and Offices (3 cr.)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and families involved in family business relationships.  The course uses a systems model of the family and business to demonstrate the interrelationships and connections among the key stakeholders. Some of the specific topics include the family system, culture, entrepreneurial influences, conflict and negotiation, career planning, ethics, governance, succession and strategic planning, professional support relationships and survival skills as a son or daughter in a family business.

7- Secured Transactions (2 cr.)

The course explores all aspects of security in personal or corporate property, including creation of security interests, perfection, priorities (between competing security interests and between security interests and other property interests), default, realization procedures and redemption.

8- International Financial and Banking Regulations (3 cr.)

The course introduces the structure and regulation of international banking and finance. Topics include (i) the regulatory environment (including local, and international regulatory systems); (ii) methods of entry into foreign banking markets; (iii) regulation of international banking activities; and (iv) economic sanctions and their effect on international banking.

9- Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructurings (3 cr.)

This course introduces students to the law of bankruptcy and corporate insolvency. While understanding legal terminology, concepts, doctrine and processes are all vital to grasping and applying bankruptcy and insolvency laws, the course also seeks to frame those aspects in a wider historical, social, economic and policy context. The course begins with an overview of debtor-creditor relations and the pre-insolvency context, and then addresses insolvencies and various forms of corporate reorganizations and restructurings

10- International Intellectual Property (3 cr.)

This course focuses on international treaties as they relate to protection of trademarks, and copyrights. These treaties include the Paris Convention, the Berne Conventions, WTO TRIPs, NAFTA and the EC Harmonization Directives and Trademarks. This course introduces students to the international aspects of intellectual property as well as patent laws. Attention will be given to general principles of comparative and international law (e.g. territoriality) and to specific laws related to obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in foreign countries.

11- International Courts and Processes (3 cr.)

This course introduces students to several important international courts including the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal and the Central American Court of Justice.  The course seeks to explain the formation, design, and expansion of international courts from both political and legal perspectives.  On the political side, the course focuses on factors such as states’ capabilities, regime type, functional need and diffusion.  On the legal side, the course examines the intersection of domestic and international law, emphasizing the major legal systems in the world (civil law, common law, Islamic law).  The course also focuses on the difference made by international courts for interstate interactions and foreign policy behavior more broadly.

12- Law of Mergers and Acquisitions (3 cr.)

The course involves discussion of corporate restructuring strategies including mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, leveraged buyouts and management buyouts. It aims to provide students with knowledge of what M&A is, the deal players, the deal structure, and regulatory considerations. It also covers topics such as form of consideration, target valuation and due diligence. The course ends with an overview of deal documents and agreements and related practical drafting exercises.

13- International Trade (3 cr.)

This course introduces the laws governing international sale of goods as well as the institutions governing international trade. In particular, the course focuses on: (i) the impact of international conventions, transnational model laws and uniform principles on international sales law; (ii) the relationship between international law and domestic law relating to sales transactions; (iii) choice of jurisdiction, choice of law and cross-border litigation issues that may arise in the context of international sales transactions; and (iv) laws regulating customs and tariffs, most-favored nation treatment, subsidies, dumping, unfair trade practices and disruptive imports under the escape clause. Specialized problems in regulating exports under regimes of sanctions, boycotts, corrupt practices, and restrictive business practices may be covered.

14- Islamic Banking and Finance (3 cr.)

This course aims to enable students to deeply understand the Islamic Banking operating systems and the concepts of Islamic finance through participation in class discussions and activities. Students are to be well-equipped with knowledge of Islamic Finance and its innovative products and their application in the modern banking system.

15- Project Finance and Public-Private Partnerships (3 cr.)

This course aims to equip the students with a comprehensive overview of project financing by taking them through all stages of a project finance transaction. The course will make use of case studies and exercises from various sectors including infrastructure, transportation, oil & gas and water and power.

In respect of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), the course will examine both the costs and benefits of PPPs as alternative public procurement methods, will contrast them with other procurement modes and will consider how best to design PPP projects to serve public ends.  Topics covered will also include: (i) the financing of PPPs; (ii) identifying, pricing and allocating risks in PPP projects; (iii) preparing a sustainable long-term concession agreement; and (iv) assessing “value for money” in PPP arrangements.

16- Alternative Dispute Resolution (3 cr.)

This course aims to educate the students on the primary types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.  Students will learn to evaluate the pros and cons of ADR processes and will work through simulations of ADR processes that are currently employed by international lawyers.

17- Topics in Business Law (3 cr.)

This course presents diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives on selected topics relevant to the field of business law. The course may offer an in-depth analysis of the relevant topics (e.g. estate and gift taxation, business torts, international business transactions, advanced real estate transactions, etc.). torts, international business transactions, advanced real estate transactions, etc.).

18- American Legal Studies Con Law (2cr.)

This course examines the distribution of and limitations upon governmental authorities under the constitution of the USA. The students will be taught various topics relating to constitutional law such as: the judicial review of legislative and executive actions, separation of power, congressional powers, reserved powers of the states, the limitations on state governmental powers, the judicial protection against the exercise of governmental power in violation of rights, liberties, privileges or immunities conferred by the constitution.

19- Negotiation (3 cr.)

For most lawyers, negotiation is a major part of their professional duties. Of those matters that come into a lawyer’s office, the vast majority are resolved by negotiation. Negotiation: communication for the purpose of persuasion is also is a major element of everyday life. This course is designed to give students experience in negotiation, as well as a grounding in negotiation theory. The emphasis of the course is on experiential learning. Students spend most of their time participating in negotiation simulations, as well as discussing negotiation problems. Students are observed in their negotiations and receive feedback.

20- Family Business and Offices (3 cr.)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and families involved in family business relationships.  The course uses a systems model of the family and business to demonstrate the interrelationships and connections among the key stakeholders. Some of the specific topics include the family system, culture, entrepreneurial influences, conflict and negotiation, career planning, ethics, governance, succession and strategic planning, professional support relationships and survival skills as a son or daughter in a family business.