Preparing your LL.M. application is one the most difficult parts of your LL.M. But you can meet this challenge.
You need commitment, positive energy and determination.
And you need to complete a careful self-examination to make sure you are moving in the direction that is best for you. Are you applying to the LL.M. programs that are best for you, in the cities you desire, in the specialized areas of law that fit your fit your interests and career goals? Once convinced that you are on the right track, it's time to persuade U.S. law schools to admit you!
Chiefly, your application should portray your achievements, and provide evidence of your potential to succeed in a rigorous academic program. But this may not be as easy as it sounds.
Your application will have many components, both formal and informal.
Formal Part of Your LL.M. Application.
This is the concrete, tangible part of your LL.M. application. This includes the specific, detailed requirements that the school outlines on its website. The formal part of your LL.M. application includes:
1. Evidence of your law training or bar membership
a. Your non-U.S. law degree; or
b. Your being already admitted to practice law in a non-U.S. jurisdiction; or
c. If you do not have a non-U.S. law degree or admission to a non-U.S. law practice, then you need a law degree or law practice substitute.
2. Recommendation letters. These letters are testimonials from your undergraduate or graduate professors, work supervisors, or others about you and your accomplishments, your past work and other attributes that make you suitable for
3. English language competency. You may have to provide proof of your English language abilities. You may need to submit TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge ILEC, or other evidence of English skills.
4. Personal statements & essays, personal interviews. LL.M. admission committees want to know more about you than they can learn from your transcripts, diplomas or certificates. You have the chance to tell the committee who you are as a person, your goals and your motivations. You will probably not have a chance to have a personal interview with the committee. So your personal statements will and essays will convey to the committee aspects of your personality. For Tips on writing your personal statement, click here.
5. Your curriculum vitae. Applications sometimes request a “resume” or “CV”. Check LL.M. Roadmap for tips on preparing your CV or resume.
6. Transcripts, diplomas, bar certificates, class ranks. These provide evidence of your academic achievements.
7. Credential verification and authentication (Schools often seek to verify your submissions, particularly if your materials originally were in a language other than English. Verification services include the LSAC Credential Assembly Service.)
8. For a specialized LL.M.
a. Your demonstrated interest in the specialization
b. Your personal statement should detail your level of experience or interest in the specialized area
9. For research-based LL.M.
a. Your demonstrated interest in scholarly research
b. Your personal statement should detail your level of experience or interest in researching and writing an LL.M. thesis
c. Your CV or resume may identify research you have previously conducted, or your prior publications, if any
10. Financial resources proof. For school and visa purposes, you must demonstrate your ability to finance your LL.M. degree.
11. Application fee. Some schools do not charge an application fee. You might also ask a school if it will waive its application fee for you.
12. Application submitted by the deadline. Be certain to submit your application before the deadline. The earlier the better! If the deadline has passed, you might apply anyway…the school could possibly still admit you!
Informal Part of Your LL.M. Application.
On the informal side, your application will consist of impressions that the admission committee may gather from your communications. These impressions might include or relate to:
1. The courteous or non-courteous manner in which you communicate with the admission committee
2. Whether your application is tidy or sloppy
3. Your perceived ability or inability to follow directions (for example, honoring the word or page limits for your personal statement)
4. Your responsiveness or non-responsiveness to follow-up questions or concerns
5. Implicit evidence of your honesty & integrity. (Lawyers and law students have particularly high ethical standards in the profession. Your application is meant to be honest, comprehensive, and not misleading, deceptive, or incomplete. If the law school learns that your application is deficient in these or similar ways, it will not admit you.)
Convincing the U.S. School to Admit You.
Ultimately, you—the applicant—must convince the admission committee that it should select you to join their LL.M. class. You must convince the admission committee:
· that you possess all the attributes the school seeks in its prospective students;
· that you have a stellar record of academic achievement and great potential;
· that you will gain a great deal from your LL.M. experience at that school; and
· that you will also contribute to the school not only during your LL.M. year, but also long after you graduate.
Follow LL.M. Application Directions.
An extremely important part of convincing a U.S. LL.M. program to admit you is to follow instructions the school provides for applications. Read the applications very carefully, and follow all guidelines.
LL.M. Application Tips.
Don't forget to follow LL.M. Application Tips provided by LL.M. Roadmap. Click Here!