LL.M. Admissions & Program Information
Candidates for admission to the LL.M. in American Law program must hold a first degree in law (visit the LSAC website on eligibility for guidance by country) from a foreign institution, and must submit the application materials below. There are two ways to submit your LL.M. application:
*If educational transcripts need to be translated into English, a translator does not need to be “certified” or “sworn” in order to provide a “certified translation.” A certified translation is any translation performed by someone other than the candidate, accompanied by a signed statement attesting that the translation is accurate and complete to the best of the translator’s knowledge and ability. Any translator or translation company may “certify” a translation.
Candidates should expect to appear for an admissions interview via Skype upon submission of a complete LL.M. application. Original transcripts must be submitted upon arrival to Syracuse University. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions on your application or the admissions process.
The College of Law’s course offerings are divided primarily on a semester basis (Fall and Spring) constituting one full academic year. LL.M. students must complete 24 Law credits (minimum 12 credits per semester) in the academic year to qualify for graduation, but may enroll in up to an additional four credits each semester.
In the first semester, LL.M. students are required to enroll in three courses designed for the LL.M. program; Introduction to American Legal Studies (3 credits); U.S. Legal Writing for LL.M. Students (2 credits); and the International LL.M. Skills Course (1 credit). Students must also enroll in Professional Responsibility (3 credits) in either the Fall or Spring semester. In addition, each student must fulfill a Writing Requirement in either semester. This requirement allows the LL.M. student to engage deeply with a faculty member to produce a significant research paper and can be accomplished through one of our many seminar classes or by Independent Research credit.
Candidates to the LL.M. in American Law program may choose among four program options to pursue their studies. Our LL.M. students are encouraged to enroll in the core, common law first-year classes such as American Constitutional Law and Contracts as well as to use their electives to explore an array of course offerings and specializations. For a complete list with descriptions of the courses offered by the College of Law, please review our Course Descriptions and Course Options by Subject.
Candidates to the LL.M. in American Law program must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. Syracuse Law strongly recommends a TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0; but will consider additional factors when assessing proficiency.
Candidates who do not demonstrate sufficient English-language proficiency may apply for conditional admission pending successful completion of an English program at Syracuse University’s English Language Institute (ELI). Upon arrival to ELI, candidates will take a placement test to determine level of proficiency. It is expected that each LL.M. candidate will complete Level 4 (out of 4 levels) of English-language training before enrolling in the LL.M. program. Candidates who enroll into the LL.M. program directly from ELI are not required to take a TOEFL/IELTS exam.
All candidates are strongly encouraged to attend our “Legal English” summer session.
Outside Funding Opportunities:
Prior to enrollment at Syracuse Law, international applicants, including Canadian applicants, must submit original proof of sufficient funding to cover the cost of attendance for at least one academic year’s expenses ($72,000). This proof is required before an appropriate visa can be issued to the student. Acceptable proof for privately sponsored applicants is an original signed letter of support from the sponsor that includes the U.S. dollar amount of support and certified bank statements indicating funds sufficient to cover at least the student’s first-year expenses. For government-sponsored applicants, acceptable proof is an official or certified copy of the award letter that includes the U.S. dollar amount of the award per year and any special billing instructions. Photocopies are not acceptable.
Students admitted to the LL.M. program who are non-U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents must provide a complete SEVIS Foreign Address (this is your permanent residential address abroad, including home number, street name, city, state/province, and postal code).
Information about the student visa process can be found on the U.S. Visas website. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your LL.M. admissions letter and I-20 or DS-2019 student visa document when scheduling your interview with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. For students who expect to bring a dependent spouse and/or child(ren) to the United States, please also complete and submit Syracuse University’s Dependent Request Form.
LL.M. students intending to sit for a State Bar Examination should consult with the LL.M. Admissions Office at LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu. It is the LL.M. student’s responsibility to ensure they are academically qualified to sit for a State Bar Examination.
New York State Bar Exam: Foreign-educated LL.M. applicants intending to sit for the New York State Bar Examination must complete the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and submit their foreign education documentation to the New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) at least eight months prior to the first day of the bar examination application period. LL.M. students are strongly encouraged to submit the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and required documents before matriculation into the College of Law. For more information, visit the BOLE website.
While the LL.M. program meets the academic requirements established by the BOLE, the determination of eligibility to sit for the exam is made exclusively by the BOLE and it is the responsibility of each student to ensure their academic record during the LL.M. program complies with the requirements and cure provisions articulated by the BOLE to sit for the exam.
ABA Standard 504 Statement: In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
The following courses have been approved by the New York State Court of Appeals to satisfy the academic requirements for eligibility to sit for the New York State Bar Exam:
LL.M. students are not required to pursue a Bar Exam following the completion of their studies; however if they choose to do so, and are deemed eligible by a State’s bar examiners, Syracuse Law offers a variety of opportunities to prepare students for the Bar Exam. For example, students may enroll in the “test prep” course, titled: “Foundations for Attorney Licensing,” offered in the fall and spring semesters for 2 credits. This course provides an understanding of the bar review and bar exam processes, as well as the skills necessary to be successful in the licensing process. Also, students are encouraged to take advantage of our “Rock the Bar” program, which offers a series of authentic test prep study sessions throughout the academic year.
Finally, during the time between graduation from Syracuse Law and the July exam date, a majority of students enroll in a private Bar Exam prep course offered through companies such as BarBri, Pieper, Kaplan, Themis, and others. Note: Syracuse Law does not endorse any particular private test prep company.
Students in our LL.M. program come from all over the world - Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Togo, Kenya, China, Peru, India, Canada, and many other countries! Review the profiles of a few of our current students below and feel free to connect with them to ask questions and introduce yourself.