Master of Laws in International Law (LL.M.)


Meet John Burgess, New Executive Director of the LL.M. Program
We're excited to announce that Adjunct Professor of International Law, John Burgess, has accepted the position of Executive Director of the LL.M. Program.
John has had an extraordinary career as a practicing attorney in international trade, finance, mergers and acquisitions, and security law. Listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts’ “Super Lawyers”, John recently retired as a partner in the WilmerHale law firm. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former President of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.


About the LL.M.

A traditional legal education is no longer sufficient to equip international lawyers with the tools they need to succeed in the complex field of international law. International lawyers need a broader contextual understanding, not only of the law but also of the societies and institutions in which international law is made, interpreted, and applied. 

The Fletcher LL.M. in International Law trains lawyers to understand this perspective. Taught by a distinguished international law faculty with extensive real-world experience, the LL.M. Program addresses the historical, political, cultural, and economic framework within which contemporary international lawyers operate. This perspective is crucial in preparing students not only to be international lawyers but to become leaders in their fields who understand law contextually, not just as a technical tool.  Fletcher’s LL.M. Program helps students consolidate, expand, and advance their existing careers, and it provides superb preparation for those interested in a new career in international or non-governmental organizations, government agencies, international businesses and law firms, diplomatic missions, foreign and defense ministries, and other international institutions. Please view a representative list of employers of recent LL.M. graduates.

Fletcher is in a unique position to prepare the next generation of global leaders.  Our alumni have a global vision, as well as a pragmatic approach to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

During your year at Fletcher, you will have exclusive access to some of the most innovative thinking in international law, addressing the most pressing issues of the day.

Among the distinctive features of the Program is a "High Table" luncheon series, throughout the academic year for LL.M. students and faculty that features presentations by outside experts from the public and private sectors, faculty, visiting scholars, and other guest speakers. The High Table allows unique access and opportunities to engage in an invitation-only setting, providing students with insights drawn from the personal experiences of the speakers. 

The five-day, year-end Capstone Colloquium is another unique feature of the Program. Students have the opportunity to complete their year of study by listening to and exchanging ideas with guest speakers, the Fletcher law faculty, and their fellow classmates, in a residential setting that is both stimulating and relatively informal.  Contacts made during the Capstone have led directly to employment opportunities, publishing outlets for thesis work, and cementing relationships with friends and colleagues. For the first four years of the Program, the Capstone has been held at the Tufts University Center in Talloires, France.

Buttressing our distinctive LL.M. programming, the LL.M. curriculum offers students a multidisciplinary experience, both during and after their year at Fletcher. The cutting-edge Fletcher curriculum includes courses in international law, business, economics, political science, diplomacy, and area studies. 

Admission to the LL.M. program is highly selective and is limited to no more than 25 students, which enables us to support each student’s unique academic and professional interests.  Admissions decisions are based on an evaluation of each candidate’s application by the LL.M. faculty and the Program directors

The Fletcher experience does not end with receipt of your diploma.  The Fletcher alumni community, as well as the Office of Career Services and the Program director, are available during the academic year and thereafter to support each student’s professional goals. Our resources provide career mentoring, strategy, and networks designed to give Fletcher alums an insider’s understanding of the international job market. 



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Elizabeth B. Ludwin King

"I chose Fletcher for its interdisciplinary curriculum. From spending several years working as a lawyer and at an international justice research center, I knew that international law necessarily cuts across disciplines. At Fletcher I take law classes with non-lawyers, thereby gaining valuable insight into alternative perspectives on a whole host of issues. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of my classmates enrich my classes and force me, in a positive way, to think outside the law. The situation of an LL.M. program at Fletcher makes perfect sense, given the interdisciplinary nature of international law."