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Future LLM Students

About the LLM Degree

Please Note

It is important to check the websites of the individual law schools offering LLM programs for details and requirements.

In today’s global environment, lawyers from around the world are finding that the Master of Laws (LLM) degree from a US or Canadian law school is useful as certification for career advancement and international credibility.

What does LLM stand for?

LLM is derived from Legum Magister, which means master of laws in Latin.

What courses comprise the LLM curriculum?

The LLM curriculum varies depending on the program. Many programs provide a broad curriculum in American law, the US or Canadian legal system, international law, and comparative law. Others provide more specialized courses in subfields such as taxation, intellectual property, human rights law, or international environmental law. Some programs incorporate required courses; some do not.

You can search for programs by area of interest in your LLM account.

How long does it take to earn an LLM degree?

Typically, the LLM is a one-year course of full-time study or two years of part-time study. It can range from 22 to 28 or more credit hours.

What tests must applicants take in order to apply for an LLM program?

Many schools require applicants to submit an English proficiency exam (TOEFL/IELTS) score if English is not the applicant’s native language.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is not required for admission to LLM programs in the United States.

What are the degree requirements for applying to an LLM program?

A first degree in law is required for admission to most LLM programs. US-educated applicants must have a JD degree before applying. Internationally educated applicants must have a first degree in law from their country of origin.

Do all law schools offer LLM programs?

Not all law schools offer LLM programs, and some schools offer programs for domestic students only. Check with individual law schools for information about policies affecting students from countries outside the United States.

Can internationally educated applicants with an LLM degree take the bar exam?

Many US states limit the eligibility of LLM-degree graduates to sit for the bar examination if their first degree in law was earned outside of the United States. Each of the 50 US states sets its own criteria for bar admission. International lawyers are responsible for contacting the appropriate state’s board of law examiners directly to obtain specific information. The website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners links to an alphabetical listing by state of US bar admission offices.

Is financial assistance available for international students pursuing an LLM degree in the United States?

Non-US citizens are not eligible for federal or state funding for study in the United States. However, some law schools may offer full or partial scholarships to international students, and some universities may offer graduate teaching assistantships. Check each school’s website for more information.

International students are advised to contact various employers, government agencies, foundations, and organizations within their own country to inquire whether any scholarship or grant aid is available for studying outside of their country.

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