Welcome to the ILF

The Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) is a center for academic excellence in teaching and research. It was established as a non-profit foundation in 2002 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 conducts academic teaching and research and plays a supportive role as a policy center since its establishment as a private-public-partnership. It provides interdisciplinary training to lawyers, senior management and executives in Germany and worldwide and serves as a policy center in the legislative process by offering forums for discussions and exchanges between academia and practitioners.


Since 2002, the ILF has been offering a Master of Laws in Finance (LL.M. Finance) degree program on a comparative law and interdisciplinary basis to highly-qualified graduates of law or business/ economics from Germany and overseas. This Master’s program is aimed at students interested in combining theoretical knowledge and practical training in the specialized fields of law and international finance. Courses in this highly-specialised program are conducted entirely in the English language. Since October 2014, the ILF offers a second LL.M. program, namely Master of Laws in International Banking, Securities and Finance (LL.M. International Finance) which is a program aimed at graduates from Asia.

Our faculty consists of both prominent academics and practitioners. Highly-reputable law and economic professors from Goethe University Frankfurt, all of whom have impressive international experience, as well as guest professors from abroad and partners from major international law firms, experts from central and commercial banks as well as regulatory bodies and auditing companies are here to transfer their knowledge and expertise to our students.

The faculty-student ratio is excellent and our small classes ensure close direct contact between faculty and students.

In addition, all our students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired during the program and also make professional contacts by doing 7 to 8 weeks' internships with our sponsors in the LL.M. Finance program. Furthermore, the ILF has cooperation agreements for student exchanges with Columbia Law School, Boston University School of Law, Amsterdam Business School and FGV Direito Rio.

Every year, the ILF also offers 2-week summer and spring schools. Experts from law firms and banks from the long list of ILF’s sponsors provide an intensive insight into the practical issues involved in the law of banking and capital markets and company law to about 40 pre-selected legal trainees.   

Research and Policy Center

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

The ILF assists in the process during which important legislative changes are made in the fields of company, banking and capital markets laws by ensuring that such changes are well considered and discussed via academic researches and forums. To this end, the ILF has a series of working papers and regularly organises guest lectures, conferences and discussion podiums on current topics. Speakers include university professors from Germany and abroad as well as representatives from regulatory bodies, corporations, organisations, and legal firms.

The public is cordially invited to all ILF guest lectures which are held on a regular basis in the House of Finance. 

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

The Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is proud to bear the name of the brilliant thinker, scientist and poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who was one of Frankfurt’s greatest citizens.

Goethe University is one of Europe’s leading institutions of higher education. Although the current organization was founded as a university in 1914 by prominent citizens of Frankfurt, its actual origins go back to 1763. The Faculty of Law and Faculty of Business and Economics are among the largest and best known in Germany. Frankfurt has earned an excellent reputation in the field of international business law. The well-known Institute of Foreign and International Business Law, which was founded in 1953 by Helmut Coing, Walter Hallstein, Heinrich Kronstein and Hans-Jürgen Schlochauer, has now been integrated into the ILF. Its extensive library has been incorporated into the ILF library.

With currently more than 48,000 students, including over 7,600 international students, the University prides itself on a rich tradition of intellectual and cultural excellence. Numerous Nobel Prize winners in science and medicine, including Max Born, Paul Ehrlich and Max von Laue, were among the students and teachers of the University. It is home to the world-renowned Frankfurt School, the Institute for Social Research of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, and has enjoyed the teaching of philosophers and theologians such as Paul Tillich and Martin Buber, and currently, Prof. Jürgen Habermas.

Mr. Hans Eichel, former Federal Minister of Finance, Germany, Member of the ILF Board of Trustees:

"With the Institute for Law and Finance and the Center for Financial Studies, Frankfurt am Main has created a center of competence in finance that is of national importance."

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Steinberg, former President of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Member of the ILF Board of Trustees:

"The ILF marks an important step forward for Frankfurt as a center of learning and finance. We offer students a community of excellence that focuses on training tomorrow's leaders in the world of business and finance. Goethe University is proud to have founded the ILF as a vital part of our far-reaching commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research in finance."

Prof. Dr. Andreas Cahn, Executive Director of the Institute for Law and Finance:

"The ILF has a teaching faculty that comprises both distinguished academics and outstanding professionals. Therefore, students from all over the world who study at the ILF are offered an ideal environment to engage in both the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of legal and financial education. With its international and interdisciplinary focus on training coupled with its prime location in Frankfurt, the European financial center, the ILF furnishes its students with the much desired head start in careers of their choice."