Each LLM program has its own admissions standards, but most schools consider the following qualifications when weighing applications:
- English proficiency
- Academic history
- Areas of interest
- Previous legal experience
- Writing samples
- Scholarly publications
- Financial ability to pay for education
Admissions Start Early
Many LLM programs employ rolling application deadlines, meaning that as soon as they start accepting applications, they start accepting students for the upcoming academic period. If you wait until the end of the application period to submit your application, all the available spots may already be filled.
Submit a Complete Application
Make sure your application is complete before you submit it for consideration. It may help to make a checklist for each application to ensure you have ordered your transcripts, collected your letters of recommendation, written your personal statements and completed any testing required.
While the LSAT is not required for most LLM programs, international students will be required to prove English proficiency by taking either the TOEFL or IELTS English exams. These scores must be submitted with your application, and many schools will not consider applications that are submitted without them.
Research Financial Aid
Financial aid for an LLM can be a little complicated, and many schools require that their international students prove they are able to cover the cost of the degree and living expenses before accepting the applicant for admission.
If you are an international student you will be encouraged to look into the funding sources that are available to you in your home country. You may qualify for government funding for international study as well as employer grants and loans. You may also be able to obtain an educational loan in the United States but will often be required to have a U.S. citizen cosign for it. Many LLM programs offer grants or scholarships to their high-performing or highly desirable applicants, and while we hope you qualify for a grant or scholarship, we encourage you to start looking into and planning for the cost of your LLM early.
Ultimately, if you meet the application requirements, submit a completed application early in the admissions process and ensure you can afford your LLM, you increase your chances of being accepted to the school of your choice. Good luck!