I've written articles and blogged before about the need (or otherwise) for writing requirements in the J.D. program and what those requirements should look like. I haven't given as much thought to writing requirements for LL.M. students and I'm interested in others' thoughts on this issue. Many U.S. LL.M. programs comprise a lot of foreign students for whom a writing requirement may be problematic depending on language skill level and depending on why they are enrolled in the program in the first place. If they are practising lawyers from other countries planning to learn some U.S. law to either to take a U.S. bar or to demonstrate overseas experience for career advancement in their home country, is a writing requirement seminar necessary for this purpose? When I took my LL.M. at Cambridge some years ago, there was no writing requirement - there was a writing option that I took but it was not mandatory. The student body mainly comprised foreign students who were interested in learning some comparative law, adding a qualification to their C.V. and having the Cambridge experience (and no I didn't join a rowing team so I guess I didn't have the TRUE Cambridge experience). The school probably wouldn't have had sufficient faculty resources to supervise the entire LL.M. contingent writing a minor thesis/research paper anyway.
I would understand the need for a writing requirement in LL.M. programs that are precursors to Ph.D. programs which is the case in some universities. But most U.S. law schools do not offer Ph.D. programs. So outisde the potential function of an LL.M. writing requirement as a precursor for a Ph.D., are there other pedadogical imperatives to include such a requirement in the program?