LL.M. Law in a European and Global Context

Program Description


September - July



Full-Time (1 Year)

This is a programme like no other offered in Europe. It is not simply one more programme focusing on European and International Law. Its purpose is to teach Law in a European and Global Context, employing innovative teaching methodologies and giving students access to a stellar international faculty.

Law is changing. As a consequence, a growing number of legal actors – lawyers, judges, policymakers and other legal professionals – increasingly need to operate in the context of multiple jurisdictions and be comfortable working with different legal sources.

At the same time, economic and social integration promotes the cross-jurisdictional character of cases for which lawyers are called on to give legal assistance. This has also given rise to an emerging global market for legal services. All this requires a different type of lawyer from the traditional lawyer trained exclusively in a particular domestic legal system. It requires a truly international legal education, where courses are specifically tailored to meet the challenges of this pluralism of legal sources and jurisdictions. That is exactly the ambition of this LL.M. programme.

The programme adopts the approach to teaching that Joseph H. H. Weiler has coined as Total Law™. This represents a bold pedagogical and intellectual break with the traditional ways of teaching law.

Students enrolled in this LL.M. will face a significant effort with which most will be unfamiliar: it will demand a sustained level of very high commitment, preparation and engagement. But the rewards will be rich: both in intellectual excitement and professional development.

The Total Law™ Approach

Law students tend to classify their seminars and courses as falling between two poles: Law Seminars or Seminars about the Law (Sociology of Law, Law and Economics, Law and Politics, etc.). The Total Law™ approach sets out to debunk this distinction.

We believe that law can only be fully understood and properly and effectively practiced in its context. Our aim is to make students better – much better – lawyers by explaining how the economic, social and political context shapes the legal problem and impacts the thinking about the legal solution. We also want to equip students to understand the broader consequences of different legal outcomes. The discipline is law. The focus is law. But the premise is that law cannot be understood, nor practiced competently without understanding its wider context.

Most teaching will be interactive and dialogical. Total Law™ implies a commitment to pro-active learning – an approach that requires a lot from both faculty and students. This is a programme that requires full and regular attendance and scrupulous preparation ahead of class. We cannot accept spectators and free riders. Students cannot go to Theatre School and then, when asked to recite, claim they suffer from Stage Fright. Students cannot come to the study of law, an eminently communicative discipline, and then sit quietly in the back, passively taking notes. Not, at least, in this programme. As a consequence, this programme will be highly demanding but the rewards will be commensurate.

This LL.M. is a one-year full-time programme, running from September to July. The academic calendar is structured into three terms. Students must complete a total of 60 ECTS to meet the LL.M. degree requirements.

Students may choose to enrol in the programme on a part-time basis, extending the coursework over two academic years. This option allows busy professionals to set their own pace of study.


Ranked by Eduniversal among the
best masters in Western Europe

Semester Abroad

Following their LL.M. year in Lisbon, students are encouraged to spend an additional semester abroad, taking advantage of the exchange agreements that Católica Global School of Law has with a select group of top law schools from Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Each of these schools reserves a specific number of places for students from Católica Global School of Law to spend a semester. The semester abroad allows our students to have contact with different pedagogical and research methods, as well as to experience life in another country, while carrying on studying at a top law school.

Under these agreements, admission to our partner schools begins with the semester abroad application process at Católica Global School of Law, which takes place between November and December. Each student nominated by Católica for a semester abroad will then be subject to the approval of the host institution.

Besides these exchange agreements, Católica Global School of Law has double degree programmes with foreign schools, which involve spending a year at those institutions in order to obtain a second LL.M.

Master’s Thesis

Students that enroll in the Master of Transnational Law programme (3rd semester) and that successfully submit and defend a master's thesis will receive a Masters Diploma, according to the Bologna Declaration.




General Contacts

Católica Global School of Law

E-mail: catolica.law.sede@ucp.pt

Phone: (+351) 214 269 860


Clara Piazza

Blue Book Trainee at the European Commission (DG MOVE)
"This LL.M. has been an eye-opening experience. Providing useful tools to think critically."

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