The Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany, offers a unique one-year postgraduate program leading to a Master of Laws in Finance (LL.M. Finance) in recognition of the fact that young professionals require advanced training in both law and finance so as to excel in today's financial world. German is not a requirement for admission since all courses are conducted in English.
Major banks, international law firms and public institutions, including the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, the German Central Bank and leading financial regulatory institutions, play a significant role in the development and implementation of the program.
The program is aimed at students with a Bachelor's degree in law or business/economics and who have an interest in combining theoretical knowledge with practical training in law and international finance. Previous professional experience is not a requirement, but would be an advantage. The emphasis is on international diversity, with over 25 different countries represented among the students.
The program builds on the role of Frankfurt as a leading banking, central banking and financial center of the European Union.
The curriculum is interdisciplinary, covering all aspects of international financial law with emphasis on the EU and the US, along with parallel developments in the field of international finance. Among the many courses from which ILF students can choose are: Law of Corporate Finance, Law of Investment Banking, Project and Acquisition Finance, Capital Markets and Securities Law, Financial Intermediation and Risk Management, Financial Markets and Institutions, Business Taxation, Effective Negotiations as well as Insurance and Risk Management.
The faculty consists of both leading academics as well as experienced practitioners from Europe's financial world, leading law firms, the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank and BaFin (German Financial Supervisory Authority). The LL.M. Finance program incorporates a special two-month internship with public and private institutions which support the ILF. These institutions typically include leading international law firms, banks, international accounting firms, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, BaFin and others. The ILF internship program offers the valuable opportunity to acquire relevant working experience and to create a useful network of professional contacts.
Since English is the sole language of instruction, your proficiency in English must be proven to surpass a level of TOEFL 600, CBT TOEFL 250, IBT TOEFL 100, Cambridge CAE (grade C or above) or IELTS 7.0 unless your native tongue is English. The ILF admits about 50 to 60 students each year in order to ensure academic excellence and direct personal contact between students and the faculty members.
In order to gain an LL.M. Finance, students must have passed a minimum of 10 courses for the academic year, which begins every October. In addition, students must submit a Master's Thesis of approximately 50 text pages on a subject agreed in consultation with the student's thesis adviser. The candidates should show in the dissertation that they can carry out independent academic work and present the results appropriately. The final Master's Thesis will be reviewed by the student's thesis advisor and by one additional examiner according to the regulations of the program. Theses could potentially be on any subject related to course and/or internship work.
The LL.M. Finance degree program also includes a two-month internship. The internship experience gives students an opportunity to test and deepen their understanding of the coursework. Thanks to our location in Frankfurt and the high caliber of our sponsors, students benefit from such unique internship opportunities. Internships are offered by leading international law firms in Frankfurt, major banks, accounting firms, the German financial regulatory body BaFin, the German Bundesbank, and the ECB. Internships expose students to the working environment and professional expectations of leading firms and institutions. The valuable opportunity to form contacts for potential career development is also highly appreciated by students. Since 2005, the ILF has in place a student exchange program with the Law School of Columbia University, one of the most prominent law faculties in the United States. Up to two students who have a Bachelor's degree in law and who have completed and particularly excelled in their studies at the ILF shall, upon the prior acceptance of Columbia Law School, be sent to New York, the world's major financial center, to attend one semester of Columbia Law School's Juris Doctor (J.D.) program.
By studying part-time, candidates can combine employment with study, benefiting from the immediate application of new skills to working practice. Part-time students are allowed to complete the regular one-year LL.M. Finance program over a period of two years. They have to comply with the regular course requirements and schedule and accumulate the minimum number of credits and pass a minimum of 10 courses over a period of two years.
The Institute for Law and Finance has been offering the LL.M. Finance program since its establishment in 2002. The ILF is a non-profit foundation established by Goethe University Frankfurt am Main with the support of many prominent institutions. Leading commercial banks and international law firms, the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the City of Frankfurt and the State of Hesse, as well as the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank have been actively involved in the ILF right from the planning stages until today.
The ILF, which is located in Frankfurt, the major financial center in Europe, provides the ideal location to train young professionals to deal with global legal and financial challenges.
In addition to its educational role, the ILF is also a center of competence for research and policy-making in the areas of law and international finance.
ILF students are fully-enrolled members of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, which confers the LL.M. Finance degree. Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is one of Germany's most prominent higher education institutions. The university ranks among the German universities as having one of the highest proportions of foreign students among its 41,000 enrolled students.
The Institute for Law and Finance and the LL.M. Finance degree are accredited by Zentrale Evaluations- und Akkreditierungsagentur Hannover (ZEvA), Germany's Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency. The ZEvA is a member of the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, ENQA, and participates in their Joint Quality Initiative (JQI) which has developed evaluation criteria for Bachelor and Master degrees at the European level. The ZEvA accreditation is based on internationally accepted standards of accreditation.
"The LL.M. Finance program delivered what I was looking for. It offers a unique learning experience for those who are keen on deepening their knowledge of corporate and financial law, banking and corporate finance. Its top-notch faculty and challenging courses, together with the hands-on experience gained from internships at leading financial institutions and law firms make the ILF truly a center of excellence in these fields."
Pieter Kortbeek, Belgium, Class of 2008
"Two aspects of the program in particular make it unique in my opinion. First of all, the ILF internship allows students to get a foot firmly in the door at one of the leading international law firms, banks or institutions which sponsor the program, a feature which is highly valuable to graduates and lawyers facing an increasingly difficult jobs market. Secondly, the program is taught by many partners and practitioners from these world-class law firms and institutions, which allows students to firmly establish lasting relationships and invaluable contacts with leading professionals."
Aoife McCabe, Ireland, Class of 2010
"The LL.M. Finance program at the Institute for Law and Finance was a very rewarding experience for me. I had just graduated from law school in Greece when I applied for the LL.M. program in 2007. The ILF offered me the opportunity to study in-depth international business law and obtain a very good understanding of accounting and finance - both helped me immensely in starting my career as an international corporate lawyer in London. The interaction with leading academics (including visiting professors from all around the world), knowledgeable practitioners and students with varying backgrounds and working experience, in addition to the unique opportunity to do internships at leading law firms,banks and other organizations, are a few features that, I think, permit ILF graduates to stand out and pursue great careers either in their home countries or abroad."
Melina Kapeliou, Greece, Class of 2008