Dannnye K. Holley, Dean and Professor of Law

LL.M. Curriculum

Thurgood Marshall School of Law offers an LL.M. Program concentrated on Immigration and Naturalization Law.  This LL.M. Program is the first of its kind in the United States.

The mission of the LL.M. Program is to further the law school’s commitment to excellence by providing specialized academic and practical training for law graduates, to equip them with an array of skills required to effectively practice, identify and solve complex problems and participate in policy making in the field of Immigration and Naturalization Law.

The LL.M. Degree is a natural complement to Thurgood Marshall School of Law's Juris Doctor (J.D. Program which is heralded for its institutional reputation for expertise in the field, including the continual success of its Institute for International and Immigration Law.  TMSL maximizes its reputation such that the law school impacts and influences the practice of law.

Course of Study
Minimum Semester Course Load – Six (6) Hours
Maximum Semester Course Load – Twelve (12) Hours

Recommended Course Schedule Fall Semester
1. Immigration Law --- 3 credits
2. International Human Rights --- 3 credits
3. Immigration and Criminal Law --- 3 credits
4. Consular Practice-Visa denials, Bars and Hardship Waivers --- 3 credits

Recommended Spring Semester
1. Advanced Immigration Law --- 3 credits 
2. Asylum and Refugee Law --- 3 credits
3. Naturalization --- 2 credits
4. Administrative Immigration Litigation --- 3 credits
5. Family Immigration Law --- 2 credits

Summer (Optional)
Immigration Externship --- 6 credits
Advanced Practice 1-140’s --- 2 Credits
Consular Processing --- 1 Credit
Advanced Practice --- US Consular Practice Visa denials, Bars and Hardship Waivers --- 3 credits 

Foreign Students Intending to take the Texas Bar Exam:

Note: Exemption of law student for foreign applicants to the Texas Bar:

The Texas Board of Bar Examiners Rule 13, LLM Curricular Criteria, §8 (Applicants from other Jurisdictions) is strictly followed. Under the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas, an applicant must satisfy the law study requirement by graduation with a J.D. degree or its equivalent from an approved law school. (Rule III a). However, one of the exemption to this rule for the foreign applicant is that if they: (1) completed a coursework in an accredited foreign law school; (2) authorized to practice law in the foreign jurisdiction; and (3) completed an LL.M. degree that meets the curricular requirements of §9 at an approved U.S. law school. (Rule 8, §3-4).

The following is a simplified version of the LL.M. Criteria §9,(Rule 7-8) Minimum of 24 semester credit hours:

  1. Minimum of 700 minutes of instruction time per 1 credit hour given
  2. Two semesters of 13 calendar weeks each
  3. Not exclusively summer semesters, but maximum of 4 credits may be earned during summer.
  4. Must finish program within 24 months of matriculation
  5. All coursework to be completed on campus, unless Law school petition to the Board for an exception
  6. Must include at least:
    1. 2 credit hours of professional responsibility
    2. 2 credit hours in legal research, writing, and analysis
    3. 2 credit hours in course designed for introduction to fundamental U.S. Law
    4. 6 credit hours in subjects tested on Texas Bar Exam.
  7.   May include, toward satisfaction of 24 credits requirement:
    1. Up to 4 credits of clinical coursework
    2. Up to 6 credits of other coursework related to the law or legal training taught in  conjunction with a joint degree program by a member of the law school faculty
  8. Online courses must not count towards the 24 semester credit hours requirement.

Presently foreign students seeking this exemption under our program must  complete  the Texas exemption courses in addition to the required courses for the completion of the Immigration and Nationalization LL.M.


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Organizational Structure

Vy Nguyen, Esq.
Interim LL.M Director

Crystal Ridgley, MBA
Associate Dean of Admissions

Kayleigh Guerin
Coordinator of Admissions

Caprice Wright
Assistant Director of Admissions

Pearly Pendenque
LL.M. Office Administrator

Karen Percival
Financial Aid Counselor


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