Cornell University LLM

Cornell University Law School LLM Program

Cornell University Law School offers one LLM program through its graduate studies department. The LLM program is designed to meet the needs of foreign attorneys who are looking to continue their legal education in the United States.

Cornell University’s LLM program is a 20 unit program that allows students to select from the law school extensive curriculum of over 120 course offerings to create a customized course of study. Students are required to take the Introduction to the American Legal System course offered by the school but are otherwise free to select their own courses with the guidance of an experienced faculty advisor. As part of their 20 unit course of study, students must complete the program’s writing requirement but have the option of selecting a 3 unit paper or a 5 unit Masters level thesis. LLM students can even choose to transfer into the JD program in April, in which case they can transfer up to 24 credits from their LLM degree to their JD degree.

Cornell University puts a strong emphasis on the integration of the LLM students with the JD students. The integrated student body allows international students to learn about US legal culture, enhance their spoken English and collaborate with people from across the world. Upon completion of the LLM program, students are eligible to sit for the New York bar exam and Cornell graduates regularly pursue legal careers in the United States or return to their countries of origin to practice law or continue in government service.

Cornell University Law School LLM Admission

Obtaining admission to the Cornell University Law School LLM program is extremely difficult. The school admits 65 – 75 students annually out of an applicant pool of nearly 1,200. The annual application deadline for the LLM program is Feb. 1 and students who wish to be considered for a fellowship must submit their applications no later than Jan. 10. Admissions decisions are made at one time and students will be notified of the school’s admissions decision in April.

Because the program is exclusively for foreign students, students’ ability to prove English language proficiency is extremely important. Cornell only accepts the TOEFL as proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers and highly encourages applicants to complete the Test of Written English (TWE) as well. The minimum accepted overall score for the TOEFL is 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 online-based. Students who score between 550 and 600 paper-based, 213 and 250 computer-based, or 79 and 100 Internet-based are required to take an English placement test during registration, which, depending on the score, may determine that further English instruction will be necessary during the first semester of the LLM program.

A complete application for Cornell University Law Schools LLM program includes:

  • Application form
  • $80.00 application fee
  • LSAC school report or official transcripts
  • Official certification of degrees earned
  • Two recommendation forms and recommendation letters
  • Official statement of class rank
  • Personal Statement
  • TOEFL score is required and Test of Written English (TWE) is also recommended to prove English language proficiency

Like most LLM programs, Cornell University encourages applicants to submit their completed application via the Law School Admissions Counsel (LSAC) but does also offer a paper application.

Cornell University Law School LLM Tuition

To learn more about Cornell LLM tuition and fees, visit the Cornell Law School website.

Cornell University Law School LLM Scholarship

International applicants to the LLM program have to express their interest in being considered for receiving financial aid on their applications. There are no supplemental materials, and students are chosen to receive fellowships on the basis of merit. LLM students can also apply for loans, though these will likely require co-signers based in the U.S. with established credit history. Students at Cornell University Law School have received more than $4 million from the university to help pay for academic expenses, and nearly half are given scholarships. A number of outside scholarships are also available to Cornell Law School LLM  students, a full listing of which is available here. For more information on scholarships for LLM students, visit our Scholarships for LLM Students page.

Cornell University Law School LLM Employment

LLM students have access to the Cornell University Career Services Office. A staffed official at the Career Services office is devoted to procuring interview opportunitiesspecifically for LLM students, typically with large private law firms. Several LLM students go on to intern for one or two years with these law firms, while others go into government, teaching and academia, law practice, and an array of other paths within their countries of origin.

Cornell University Law School LLM Contact

General Inquiries
Cornell Law School
105 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
Phone:  (607) 255-2362
Fax: (607) 255-7193
Email: gradstudies@lawschool.cornell.edu or gradlaw@lawschool.cornell.edu

Charles D. Cramton
Assistant Dean for Graduate Legal Studies
Phone:  (607) 255-5850
Fax: (607) 255-7193
Email: cdc7@cornell.edu

Dawne F. Peacock
Assistant Director, Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies
Phone:  (607) 255-5978
Fax: (607) 255-7193
Email: dfp7@cornell.edu

Patricia J. Hall
Program Assistant, International Programs
Phone: (607) 255-7044
Fax: (607) 255-7193
Email: pjh44@cornell.edu