Harvard LLM Program

Harvard Law School LLM Program

The Harvard Law School LLM Degree is open to both international students and graduates of American law schools. The LLM program lasts one year and offers degree candidates the opportunity to take 22-26 credits worth of courses from Harvard Law School. Harvard Law School offers more than 300 courses yearly, including corporations, public international law, and environmental law. Since students holding JDs from American law schools are expected to be more familiar with the American legal system than their foreign counterparts, the degree requirements for internationally- and domestically-trained lawyers differ slightly. International students are required to take one course out of American Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Property Taxes, and Torts. Students from international law schools must also complete either a 25-page paper, a 75-100 page “LL.M Paper,” or an “LL.M Thesis,” which is generally significantly longer in length than the “LL.M Paper” option.

Degree candidates from American law schools are expected to be on the road to a career in legal teaching. As is the case, these students are encouraged to use the LLM program as an opportunity to consider the larger themes of their potential studies as they prepare to become law professors. Students from domestic law schools must enroll in at least one course in legal theory or jurisprudence, and must complete either the “LL.M Paper” or “LL.M Thesis.” The option to write a 25-page paper is not open to degree candidates with JDs from American law schools.

Harvard LLM Admissions

Applications to Harvard’s LLM program are open to everyone, making them a great way for lawyers to not only expand their legal knowledge, but to also add some brand recognition to their education. Ambitious law school students who performed well at less-known universities sometimes use an LLM as a way to display their legal expertise at a world-renowned institution like Harvard. Each year applications must be submitted before the end of November, though Harvard’s law school admissions office encourages prospective students to submit their application materials by mid-November. The application process consists of

  • online application forms
  • a personal statement
  • submission of law school transcripts
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores (above 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based) for applicants whose prior legal education was not conducted in English. Scores must be from the past two years prior to application. Students can request a TOEFL waiver if they have completed two full years of academic study in English.
  • application fee
  • financial aid application (if applying for aid)

Though the application deadline is typically December 1, Harvard highly encourages applicants to submit their applications by November 15.

Harvard LLM Scholarship

Harvard’s office of financial aid offers grants for up to the full amount of its $55,848 tuition; however, the average Harvard LLM scholarship grant only covers half the amount of tuition. As a result, most students turn to loans to help them cover not only tuition, but additional expenses as well, which Harvard estimates add up to over $70,000 for the average LLM student. The average grant amount awarded is $23,000 and the average loan is $19,500. Typically, 60% of students receive financial aid from Harvard Law School, while 30% receive aid from outside sources or from other benefactors within Harvard. For more information about scholarships, visit our LLM Scholarships page.

Harvard LLM Employment

LLM students can take advantage of an array of job search and career help resources offered by the Harvard Law School Office of Career Services (OCS). These services include career advising, alumni networking, online job postings and recruitment portals, over 100 programs and podcasts, databases of student summer program evaluations, clerkship program and interview evaluations, judge names, addresses, and hiring information, and recruitment programs including the Fall Interview Program, the Spring Interviewing Program, an Early Interviewing Program, International Summer Employment Program, and Overseas Trained LLM Student Interview Program.

Harvard LLM Contact Information

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Wasserstein Hall, Suite 5005
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 496-8214
Fax: (617) 496-9179