The Graduate Course is the School's "flagship" course. Successful graduates earn a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree in Military Law. The course challenges experienced attorneys to refine their strategic critical thinking, reasoning, and judgment skills to prepare for positions of increased responsibility at the highest levels of military service. It also prepares them for critical supervisory and leadership roles.
Each class consists of students selected from the active component of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as international military students and Department of the Army civilian attorneys. In addition, U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard judge advocates compete for selection to attend the course in residence. All students are attorneys who generally have five to eight years of practice experience.
The Graduate Course covers a full resident academic year, beginning in mid-August and running until late May. The fall semester includes core classes required of all students. The late fall and spring semesters are composed primarily of electives; however, core classes extend throughout both semesters. Students may select from approximately fifty electives offered by the School’s four academic departments. Select students may also choose from electives offered
by the University of Virginia School of Law.
The School offers an optional specialization program in conjunction with the LL.M. Students may specialize in Administrative and Civil Law, Contract and Fiscal Law, Criminal Law, or International and Operational Law. To qualify for a specialty, a student must either write a thesis in the area of specialization or earn at least nine elective credit hours and write an extensive paper in the area of specialization.