University of Chicago LLM

University of Chicago LLM Programs

While many schools offer specialized LLM programs for various practice areas, such as taxation or intellectual property, the University of Chicago does not. Instead, it offers a flexible LLM program that allows students to select their own courses and academic focus.

The academic culture at the University of Chicago LLM program is vibrant and challenging. Indeed, the school states that “critical reasoning” is central to the experience, and indicates that faculty and students alike share a passion for engaging with each other intellectually, or, as its website states, “the life of the mind.” The faculty is comprised of a mix of distinguished academics and legal practitioners, who represent many fields apart from law, such as economics, history, and political science. Accordingly, the school is ideal for those seeking to dig into legal conceptual issues, and not just the “nuts and bolts” of practice.

Students in the LLM program have access to all of the 150 courses and seminars offered by the University of Chicago law school. The average class has about 36 students, but seminars are roughly half as big. The LLM program altogether typically has about 70 students, who are given opportunities to bond with each other and with JD students through student life programming such as the International Fellows Program, faculty lunches, national dinners, and a Wine Mess the first week of orientation.

University of Chicago LLM Admission

The University of Chicago LLM program accepts less than 10% of its applicants, and almost all are graduates of foreign law schools. American law school graduates may be accepted, however, in the event that their, “[R]esearch interests strongly correlate with those of a member of the faculty,” and where “[G]raduate studies at [the University of Chicago] seem to be particularly appropriate.”

Applications are due by December 15 each year, but should be submitted at least a month in advance, as they are considered in the order in which they are completed. Applicants can expect final decisions by mid-April.

  • Application form PDF
  • Application Materials form
  • Application fee paid by credit card, check, or money order
  • Official transcript in English or accompanied by English translation
  • Resume, CV, or other similar description of professional and academic background, including name, address, phone number, fax number, email address, academic honors, memberships n professional, honorary, or other societies, scholarly publications, and employment history. To get an idea of what this document should look like, please refer to the University of Chicago Admissions Office’s sample resume.
  • Statement of academic and career goals of 1-3 pages in length
  • Letters of recommendation (2-4)
  • TOEFL or IELTS report

All of these application materials should be enclosed in an envelope and submitted by mail to:

LL.M. Admissions Office
University of Chicago Law School
1111 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Admissions are based on two main factors: an impressive prior academic record (including English proficiency), and a close match between an applicant’s academic interests and available academic resources during the period of his or her residency. Given the second factor, applicants must have well-articulated academic and career plans.

As for the English proficiency requirement, the University of Chicago offers TOEFL and IELTS waivers on a limited basis, and only to those who “[S]tudied law in full-time status for at least one academic year prior to the date of application, within five years of the date of application, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa,” or where, “[A]ll the candidate’s university law courses were conducted entirely in English.” Study of English in countries not listed above (including countries in Asia, and Africa, except for South Africa) is insufficient to qualify an applicant for a test waiver. For such applicants, a minimum TOEFL score of 104 is required for admission.

University of Chicago LLM Tuition

For the upcoming academic year, check the school website for the most recent rates at which University of Chicago LLM tuition is set.

University of Chicago LLM Scholarships

Financial assistance at the University of Chicago LL.M. program is “exceedingly limited,” so applicants should expect to find alternate means of financing their degree. However, some partial grants are awarded.

University of Chicago LLM Employment

After coursework is done, those graduates seeking employment in the United States, or in other countries, can avail themselves of the school’s Office of Career Services, which is tasked with the mission of assisting students with transitioning after graduation. The Office provides one-on-one career counseling for LLMs, assists with finding practical training opportunities, resume collections, and networking opportunities, houses an extensive career resource library of recruiting materials in print from 1000 employers and online from 2500 employers. The University of Chicago Law School also participates in the NYU LLM Job Fair. In addition, alumni can expect to have opportunities to network and participate in a wide variety of school events in many locations around the world, and the Center publishes a career guide specifically for LLMs.

University of Chicago LLM Contact

The University of Chicago Law School
1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: (773) 702-9494