The International Master of Laws Program is offered by the Ateneo Law School primarily to both local and international scholars,who already have a basic law degree, to pursue higher research and training that have strong international orientation.

The International Master of Laws Program offers its students a platform on which to design their own course of study within parameters set by the Ateneo Law School, which requires satisfactory completion of minimum of 36 credit units for the Program (with the LL.M. Thesis as separate 6 units equivalence).

Candidates who hold a LL.B. or J.D. degree from a Philippine law school are required to take all the unit courses from the pool of LL.M. Core Courses and LL.M. Elective Courses that are offered in the J.D. program. These students will need to design a study plan and will be supervised by a faculty adviser.

LL.M. students (those who do not hold a LL.B. or J.D. degree from a Philippine law school) are required to take the Introduction to the Philippines Hybrid Legal System.

Proposed areas of concentration are approved upon formal admission to the program. To secure approval, applicants must work closely with the Graduate Program Coordinator to design a program consistent with the available resources of the Law School.

The Program itself would be pursued within three terms spaced into one (1) academic year: Summer Term – April to June; First Semester – June to October; and Second Semester – November to March. Graduation ceremonies follow the last week of April, together with the graduates of the J.D. Program.

The Summer Term would cover the introductory courses and skills courses that would help the masteral candidates tackle the irregular semestral courses and the preparation and successful defense of their LL.M. theses during the regular semesters.

It is also possible for candidates to take the International LL.M.Program on a part-time basis, and would have up to five (5) years to complete the degree requirements.

The main feature of the International LL.M. Program is that it will provide the candidates with insights into international legal developments from the vantage of the Philippine hybrid legal system, combining the civil law and common law traditions. In addition, there is focus on the major areas of interest to the practice or teaching of law in the international arena.

The LL.M. Program should be pursued in the four (4) general areas under the auspices of existing units in the Ateneo Law School which have done much work on the field and have attracted experts on the field, thus:


For example, when a candidate chooses a field of concentration that goes into International Human Rights, the same may best be overseen by the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), which already runs and operates a local and international human rights internship program, and the various courses offered therein are internship based rather than mere academic or theoretical pursuits in the field.

On the other hand, when a candidate chooses the area of concentration to be that of International Economic Law or International Business or Corporate Law, then he/she should be overseen by the Ateneo Center for International Economic Law (ACIEL) which already overseas various elective courses on the matter and has developed international network and undertaken international projects that would best train a candidate in the field.

The ALS and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhil) coordinate and cooperate as partners in evolving the LL.M.Program in Intellectual Property (LL.M.-IP) in order to maintain an international standard of relevant knowledge and skills pertinent to Intellectual Property Law in the Philippines, and to generate a steady stream of research and thesis output in IP.

All International LL.M. students must write and successfully defend an LL.M. thesis containing at least 100 pages, on a subject of law which is considered novel, and requires extensive discussions and analysis of legal principles and cases relevant to the thesis proposal. The preparation of the thesis shall be supervised by a Thesis Adviser chosen from the Law Faculty. The Thesis Committee shall oversee the administrative aspects of the Thesis Program and shall assist students in the choice of a thesis proposal.

Once a thesis is completed and certified by the Thesis Adviser as ready for defense, the candidate is required to defend it before apanel of three (3) persons considered experts in the relevant field of law, who may or may not be members of the Faculty of the Law School. All such proceedings