The Fletcher School: LLM Program

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

Message from Executive Director John Burgess 

Welcome to the Fletcher LL.M. in International Law. I am very proud to represent our program, which each year offers a unique academic experience to a select group of students.

Since 1933, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has had the goal of increasing international understanding, and preparing students from around the globe for leadership positions. Reflecting that goal, the Fletcher LL.M. program is different from programs offered by traditional law schools.   It is focused exclusively on issues of public and private international law, across a range of nearly 30 courses taught by experts in international law with extensive real world experience. The program is purposefully small (between 12 and 18 students), and our students are a diverse and vibrant group hailing from the U.S. and abroad.   

As you consider your options for graduate school, there are two aspects of the Fletcher School’s LL.M. that I believe make it unique among LL.M. programs, and a compelling choice for those seeking to concentrate on the study of international law. First, the interdisciplinary nature of our program allows you as a student to see issues of international law in their social, economic, and political contexts. As an LL.M. student at Fletcher, you build a strong foundation in international law, and will have the opportunity to complement that foundation with courses from the diverse group of political science, history, business and economics courses that make up the Fletcher curriculum. I frequently hear from alumni that this opportunity to see global issues through a different lens has helped them to collaborate with colleagues from different academic backgrounds as they work on international legal issues.

Second, the small size of our program and the strength of the Fletcher community mean that the Fletcher LL.M. is highly personalized, and each LL.M. student receives active mentorship from our faculty. If you choose to study at Fletcher, you will be matched with an academic advisor in your field of interest who will guide you in your studies throughout the year. You will also have a Capstone advisor, who will guide you as you research and develop a “Capstone” thesis, which offers students the opportunity to concentrate on an international law issue of particular interest. As a larger group, the program hosts LL.M. students for monthly “High Table” and “Brown Bag” lunches, where experts in various aspects of international law visit the program to discuss their work. We also host a year-end Capstone Retreat, where students present their thesis work and join professors and visiting practitioners for topical conversations on issues in international law. Our personalized approach and cohesive community make our LL.M. unique in comparison with our peers’ larger programs, and will empower you to make the most of your time here at Fletcher.

I invite you to read more about the Fletcher LL.M. on our website, visit the campus, and reach out to myself or our Assistant Director, Lucia Foulkes, with any questions. If you choose to join us, I think you will find that our approach to the study of international law will arm you with a unique and powerful skill set- wherever your career in international law may lead.


John Burgess