Our LL.M. in Insurance Law program is the top destination for lawyers and students from the U.S. and around the world who seek serious graduate training in insurance and financial services law. Thanks to our location in historic Hartford, Connecticut - the famed "insurance capital" and headquarters to some of the largest global insurance companies - our students study with the most sophisticated insurance law experts in the country. New York City and Boston are just two hours away and Fairfield County, Connecticut, the hedge fund capital of the U.S., is even closer.
LLM degree candidates must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours including a writing requirement. Candidates must also maintain a minimum C+ average and obtain a grade of C+ or better on the writing requirement. Principles of Insurance is required for all students unless waived and students may take up to six credits in “related courses” which will count towards the 24-credit minimum requirement. International LLM students are limited to 3 additional credits outside the core curriculum. All remaining credits within the 24 credit requirement should be in core courses. The courses page lists current and recent course offerings within the core and related courses categories.
Students who have taken a similar class in law school within the last four years and achieved a grade of B or better may ask to waive the Principles of Insurance requirement. The director or executive director must approve all courses of study, including whether to grant a waiver request for Principles of Insurance. To encourage students to take advantage of a diverse faculty with different backgrounds and teaching styles, LLM students may not take more than one course a semester from the same professor without written approval of the LLM director or his or her designee.
LLM students must satisfy a 2-3 credit writing requirement as part of their degree program. The paper must be on an insurance-related topic approved by the director or executive director and written on a graded basis. There are several ways the writing requirement can be fulfilled:
- In conjunction with a class that requires a substantial research paper (minimum 20 page length);
- As a special research project of not less than two credits supervised by a full-time or adjunct faculty member;
- With the permission of the instructor at the beginning of the course, substituting a substantial paper for an examination;
- Writing a piece certified to be published or nearly publishable by the faculty advisor of the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal; or
- Writing a thesis, as described below.
LLM students may, at their option, write a thesis for 3 credits that satisfies the writing requirement. A thesis is a substantial paper that is of publishable or near publishable quality, and involves supervised drafts. LLM students must write a thesis if they wish to be considered for honors. A thesis can be written in two ways:
- As part of a 3 credit course with permission of the instructor, who acts as the thesis advisor; or
- As a special 3 credit special research project supervised by a full-time or adjunct faculty member.
Externships allow students to obtain practical experience in insurance and financial services law through work at a law firm, an insurer or other business, a government agency or a nonprofit organization. Students receive academic credit for approved externships, which must be unpaid. Many of our students find externships to be a particularly valuable part of their LLM program and we encourage students to consider participating. LL.M. students who are employed may not receive externship credit for any work done in conjunction with their employer.
LLM students may enroll in individual externships under the same procedures as JD students; the requirements are set out in the Law School's Academic Regulations (LINK). LLM students may receive a maximum of 3 credits toward the 24 credit minimum for successfully completing an externship. In order to maximize their classroom experience, international LLM students may credit for either an externship or an independent special research paper (one that is not written as part of a course).
LLM students interested in an externship should send an e-mail to the director or executive director approximately a month before the start of the academic semester describing generally the type of insurance law and work experience desired (e.g., working on property insurance issues for a law firm) and include a resume and list of all insurance courses taken at the Law School. Though the Insurance Law Center cannot guarantee externships for all interested LLM students, we are usually able to place our students each semester.
LLM students are eligible to graduate with honors under the following conditions:
- Obtain a minimum 3.3 grade point average;
- Write a thesis and obtain a grade of A or A- as determined by the faculty advisor; and
- Obtain a determination that the thesis is of “honors quality.” This determination is made by the thesis advisor and an additional faculty member who reviews the thesis for this purpose. Generally, the director or the executive director should serve as the reviewing faculty member unless one of them is the student’s thesis advisor. This review process helps ensure a level of uniformity in determining what constitutes an honors thesis. The reviewing faculty member will not alter the faculty advisor’s grade regardless of whether the thesis is considered to be of honors quality.
The degree requirements for U.S. and international LLM students are identical, with the exception that international students are generally required to take the 2 credit U.S. Law and Legal Institutions class, and the 2 credit legal writing and research class. These 4 credits count towards the 24 credit requirement. International LLM students can also take a maximum of 3 other credits of related courses if they wish. The LL.M. program can be completed in two to three semesters of full-time work, which is typically required for international students on a U.S. visa.
All students are encouraged to begin their program in the fall term, which starts in late August. However, applications are accepted for students who wish to start in our spring semester, which begins in mid-January. New students are required to attend a short orientation in Hartford before their first semester. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, which means that an admission decision may be made within 2 to 3 weeks of receiving a complete application.
Eligibility requirements and application materials are available on the Insurance Law Center website.