Focus on legal issues in international practice.

The Executive LLM curriculum focuses on the essential topics that form the basis of an international transaction-based practice.

Required Courses

The course of study consists of a core curriculum of three-credit courses, including the three following required courses (corporations and contracts may be waived under certain circumstances):

U.S. Contract Law for the International Lawyer – LAW XB 813

3 credits. Maria Hylton. Format: Blended-online. This course covers legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, elements of assent, interpretation of contract terms, determining what promises are enforceable, tests for performance and breach, and defenses to contract enforcement.

U.S. Corporate Law for the International Lawyer – LAW XB 816

3 credits. Mark Guay. Format: Blended-online. This course examines the legal structure and characteristics of US business corporations and LLCs, especially in Delaware, with a focus on issues that will interest international lawyers. Topics include the distribution of power between management and shareholders; the limitations on management powers imposed by state law fiduciary duties; rights of minority shareholders; shareholder derivative suits; and capital and voting structures. US federal Securities Law and Mergers & Acquisitions are covered in other Executive LL.M. courses.

International Business Transactions & Agreements- LAW XB 815

3 credits. Virginia Greiman. Format: Blended-online & all-online. IBT&A covers the transactional approach to legal problems encountered in commercial and financial business ventures that cross national borders. Topics include: form of doing business, including formation of contracts and the range of issues presented-such as choice of law, choice of forum, commercial terms, force majeure, sales, distribution and agency law, franchise, licensing arrangements, and foreign direct investments; the operations of the institutions of the World Trade Organization; investment in free trade areas such as the European Union and NAFTA; and issues of transfer of intellectual property and international dispute resolution. Students will gain exposure to analyzing various international business agreements and documents including global joint venture agreements and privatization provisions, sales and letters of credit, distribution and franchise agreements, international development and investment agreements, letters of intent for mergers and acquisitions, and technology licensing agreements. IBT&A is offered both in the blended online and all-online formats.

Elective Courses

Elective courses are offered for those who have already taken corporations or contracts, or who wish to take additional offerings within the Executive LLM Program. All courses focus on the practical application of both legal theory and practice from an international business perspective.

Cross-border Legal Practice – LAW XB 824

3 credits. Dennis Campbell and Christian Campbell. Format: All-online.  This course surveys some of the core issues and concepts triggered by the cross-border interaction common in legal practice. The course is concerned with “transnational” law, defined as a body of law — whether national, international, or mixed — that applies to persons, business, and governments acting or having influence across national borders. The focus will be on the practical elements of the lawyer ‘doing business abroad’, and our anchors will be the cross-border nature of the practice and the regulatory elements that affect it.. Topics covered include: the regulation of transnational practice (including governance of foreign lawyers, treaties, soft law, and foreign practice rules); special responsibilities for international lawyers (including anti-corruption, banking secrecy and money laundering, and economic sanctions); litigating on behalf of foreign parties; and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments (including jurisdiction, reciprocity, location of assets, repatriation of award and defenses).

Deals: The Legal Engineering Behind Corporate Transactions – LAW XB 823

3 credits. Sidd Pattanayak. Format: Blended-online and all-online. This course looks at how lawyers can, and do, add value to complex transactions and contracts, or deals. The course focuses on the “best practice” strategies an international lawyer can employ in order to efficiently navigate his or her clients through the complexities of the typical transaction life cycle. Each step in the life cycle (including initial term sheet negotiations, due diligence, regulatory and third party approvals, definitive agreement negotiations, closing mechanics, and other key steps) will be analyzed, with an emphasis on underlying business principles that are common across different jurisdictions (e.g., U.S., U.K./Australia, EU/civil law countries, Africa, India, China, Japan, and other jurisdictions). Students will be introduced to a conceptual framework with which to analyze legal risks in business transactions including informational asymmetry, adverse selection, moral hazard, asset specificity, and opportunism and contractual incentives. Students will be given the opportunity to apply those concepts during moderated negotiations of scenarios taken from real world transactions, and then will examine and evaluate the final contractual

Global Cyber Law and Governance – LAW XB 826

3 credits. Virginia Greiman. Format: All-online. Cyber security is of concern in many fields of law including national intelligence, privacy rights, health care, financial systems, intellectual property, social media, brand reputation, critical infrastructure protection and many more disciplines. This course will cover the important topics of legal frameworks for surveillance, crime prevention, international law, privacy rights and the harmonization of cyber security laws among different cultures and countries.  The course will incorporate the current legal framework for regulating cyber security, national intelligence and privacy rights, and contrast it with national cyber law systems around the globe. The course will be of value to students interested in (1) advancing their knowledge of the necessity for national and international law on cyber security and information warfare, (2) legal authorities, jurisdiction, and boundaries in engaging adversarial cyber activities, (3) cyber security protection for corporations, the technology industry, intellectual property rights, and privacy; and (4) legal frameworks to provide cyber security for critical infrastructure.  The course will focus on identifying and finding solutions to emerging cyber security regulatory issues impacting innovation, corporate competitiveness, and global economic growth.

 Global Compliance: Introduction and Best Practices – LAW XB 822

3 credits. Sidd Pattanayak. Format: All-online. This course is an introductory survey of key U.S. and global compliance laws (including anti-corruption/bribery, competition, data privacy and anti-money laundering laws), coupled with an exploration of general ‘best practices’ that may assist practitioners in addressing a wide range of potential compliance issues.   Exploration of each key compliance law will include a review of the applicable statutes and regulations, a case study showing the practical impact of the law, and discussion of how to best respond to those issues. The course will also cover the general process of creating and maintaining compliance handbooks, training programs and other similar tools necessary to the creation and maintenance of an effective compliance program.

International Arbitration – LAW XB 819

3 credits. Philip D. O’Neill. Format: Blended-online. The old maxim “where business goes, disputes soon follow” has renewed vitality in an age of globalization.  As cross-border commerce follows American business abroad, and offshore foreign investment flows into the U.S., the potential for clashes in the business expectations of the parties increases, particularly as the economy softens.  Dispute resolution thus becomes an almost inescapable component of today’s private international commercial dispute process.  The focus of the course will be on international arbitration, from inception in the contractual drafting through the mechanics of the dispute resolution process to the enforcement stage, with some consideration of other alternative dispute resolution techniques.  The original case studies and related materials are largely drawn from actual practice.  This course is designed for corporate attorneys as well as litigators. The CIArb has approved this course for exemption from Module 2 of the Member level training pathway. For more information, please see our blog.

International Commercial Insurance Law: Risk Mitigation Through Risk Transfer – LAW XB 829

3 credits. Mary-Pat Cormier. Format: Blended-online. This overview course surveys principal categories of risk transfer, including various forms of insurance and contractual indemnity. First, through exploring primary and excess insurance, including general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions/professional liability, and owner-controlled insurance programs (OCIP), the course will delineate the nature and scope of these coverages as a practical guide to understanding them as part of a larger comprehensive risk management and control strategy. Second, students will learn the elements, advantages, and disadvantages of contractual risk transfer, including indemnity and save-harmless clauses and warranties. Finally, the course will address important differences and features of reinsurance, stop-loss insurance, stop-gap insurance, self-insurance, captive insurance, and bonds– all of which also shift pure risk from one party to another. 

International Development and Project Finance – LAW XB 830

3 credits. Virginia Greiman. Format: All-online. Capital-intensive public and private development projects throughout the world, including large-scale infrastructure, transportation, energy, agriculture, technology and environmental projects, depend upon project financing as the primary funding mechanism. Understanding and resolving the political, legal and financial risks associated with the planning and implementation of these projects, and often in emerging and unstable economies, is the critical first step in developing project finance opportunities. This course will combine theory and practice and focus on the negotiation and structure of actual project finance and concession agreements and transactions and the minimization of exposures and risks associated with these transactions. Each step of the project finance process will be analyzed, including the rationale and sources for the project finance, the legal framework for the project finance, the organizational and governance structure, risk allocation and mitigation and dispute resolution. An interdisciplinary analysis from the legal, finance and public perspective will be used to assess the views that investors, lenders, designers, contractors, governmental participants, citizens and other stakeholders bring to an infrastructure project. Several of the world’s largest and most complex civil engineering and infrastructure mega projects including China’s One Belt One Road Projects (OBOR), the International Olympics, The Chad Cameroon Pipeline Project, London’s Crossrail, India’s Smart Cities, California’s High Speed Rail and Boston’s Central Artery Tunnel Project will serve as models for analysis of legal frameworks, project documentation, policy and strategies, and project finance and risk. Strategies to advance and improve societal interests will be discussed such as improvement of quality of life, the digital divide, and poverty alleviation in lesser developed countries.

International Business Negotiation – LAW XB 828

3 credits. Robert Burdick. Format: All-online. International Business Negotiation is a simulated-based course in which theories of cooperative and competitive bargaining and problem-solving are tested. The course focuses on: (1) power assessment and preparation; (2) goal setting; (3) relationship building; (4) strategizing; (5) information bargaining; (6) and bargaining. Students will maintain a journal of plans and self-critiques. Simulated topics include negotiations involving cross-border supply contracts, international licensing, environmental justice, private equity offerings, and other transactional matters. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate the ability to competently: prepare to conduct a negotiation; represent and communicate a client’s position in a negotiation; identify and evaluate conflicting positions of the parties; and make and respond to proposals to facilitate a mutually acceptable agreement.

U.S. & International Intellectual Property – LAW XB 817

3 credits. Stacey Dogan. Format: Blended-online. The U.S. and Intellectual Property Law course examines legal protection of inventions, creative expression, and other kinds of information. This course will introduce students to patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Most of the course will cover American intellectual property law, but comparative and international issues will also be covered.

U.S. & International Mergers & Acquisitions – LAW XB 818

3 credits. John Sullivan. Format: Blended-online. This course will explore the various modes of business acquisition including statutory mergers, asset purchases, and stock purchases and, for each type of business combination, will examine (1) the strategic and practical advantages and disadvantages, (2) the statutory requirements and procedures, (3) the documentation required or suggested, and (4) the relevant case law. The course looks at the practical aspects of the business lawyer’s role in structuring the transaction, in identifying, explaining and negotiating the business/legal terms, in negotiating the acquisition agreements, and in getting the deal done. The course materials will consist of traditional statutory and case materials, explanatory materials, and legal documents, such as letters of intent, confidentiality agreements, merger agreements, etc. The course will use U.S. materials (particularly the law of Delaware) as base materials, but will also consider trans-border transactions.

U.S. & Trans-border Securities Regulation – LAW XB 814

3 credits. Mary-Pat Cormier. Format: Blended-online. This course analyzes key issues under the U.S. federal securities laws, principally the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, with respect to the offer, sale, and trading of securities. It includes a study of what constitutes a security, the public offering process, mandatory disclosure requirements for public companies, exemptions from registration, and potential liabilities and sanctions.

Directed Study – LAW XB 825

Variable creditsFormat: All-online. Students may engage in writing a research paper related to an international business law topic under the supervision of a BU Law faculty member for 1-3 credits. A student may engage in two Directed Studies (for up to 6 credits) as part of the ELLM. Each Directed Study requires the written permission of the Director as well as a qualified instructor, who will be chosen in tandem with the ELLM office. The Directed Study option is available in any semester. If you would like more information on pursuing a Directed Study, please email


During the residential sessions, students also participate in a 1-credit colloquium. The colloquium leaders will include prominent practitioners and faculty who will lead discussions on current business law issues shaping the international legal landscape.

Online Concentrations

For students who want to focus on a particular area of law, there are three online concentration options in:

  • Enterprise Risk Management & Compliance
  • International Environmental & Energy Law
  • International Taxation