LL.M. Admissions & Program Information

Our Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law offers foreign-educated lawyers from around the world the opportunity to specialize their legal studies in a variety of disciplines, develop their legal English and communication skills, train for the demands of global practice with leading faculty, and enjoy the resources and reputation of a top-tier research university.

LL.M. Information in Arabic
LL.M. Information in Spanish
LL.M. Information in Brazilian Portuguese
LL.M. Information in Kurdish
LL.M. Information in Chinese
  • Priority deadline for fall semester (August) enrollment: May 15
  • Priority deadline for spring semester (January) enrollment: November 15

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:

  1. Submit the online application form and all materials identified below through LSAC.org -or-
  2. Submit the paper LL.M. Application Form and all materials identified below to LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Color Copy of Passport Face-Page
  • Educational Transcripts (in English*)

*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 llmadmissions@law.syr.edu 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.

  • Scholarships: Syracuse Law offers LL.M. Merit Scholarships to select candidates. These scholarships typically range in amount between 10% - 50% of LL.M. program tuition. Syracuse Law does not offer full tuition scholarships for participation in the LL.M. program.
  • Student Loans: For the purposes of obtaining a student visa, international students interested in attending the LL.M. program at Syracuse Law are expected to have sufficient funding to finance their study. Candidates who are either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S. are eligible to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), in order to determine eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loans. Please contact our Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@law.syr.edu for more details on the financial aid process.
  • Private Loans: Candidates may investigate private funding opportunities through outside sources. Additionally, you can search for private educational loans for international students who are matriculated into degree granting programs in the United States. Private student loans typically have variable interest rates, do not require payments while students are in school, and can cover the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for students who are enrolled in an LL.M. program. It is likely that most private student loans require the international student to have a credit worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Syracuse University is not affiliated with any private loan company nor do we endorse any particular private loan.

Partnership Opportunities:

  • Open Society Foundation Fellowship: Syracuse Law is a host institution for the Open Society Foundation’s fellowship programs. For information regarding eligibility specifications and application procedures, please visit the Open Society Foundation’s website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.
  • Organization of American States: Syracuse Law is a host institution for the Organization of American States (OAS) PAEC Scholarship Program as well as the Academic Scholarship for Graduate Studies (2016 Scholarship Announcement). These awards are available to LL.M. candidates from OAS member states. For information regarding eligibility specifications and application procedures, please visit the OAS Scholarships page website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.
  • Fulbright Fellowship Program: Syracuse Law will work with The Fulbright Commission, Fulbright field offices, and Fulbright scholars around the world to host Fulbright Fellows. For information about a Fulbright office near you, please visit the Fulbright Commission’s website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.

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:

  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Contracts
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure - Adjudicative
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure - Investigative
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts
  • New York Civil Practice
  • New York Criminal Procedure
  • Property
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Wills & Trusts

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.

  • Ahmed Hmeedat (Palestinian Territory - LL.M. Student Representative to the Student Bar Association): Mr. Ahmed Hmeedat is a recipient of the LL.M. Fellowship offered by the Open Society Foundation’s Palestinian Rule of Law Scholarship Program. He obtained his LL.B. in Human Rights and International Law from Al Quds University, in the Jerusalem Governate of the Palestinian National Assembly, in 2014. His professional experience includes internships with the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights and the International Child Art Foundation. He is also an artist and art instructor. His LL.M. studies focus on international human rights, post-conflict reconstruction, and refugee and asylum law. He can be reached at amhmeeda@syr.edu.
  • Wani Mathias Jumi (South Sudan): Mr. Wani Jumi is a recipient of the LL.M. Fellowship offered through the Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Leadership Award. He obtained his LL.B. from Kampala International University, in Uganda, in 2006; and he also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala in 2007. He is currently the Secretary General of the South Sudan Law Society where he provides legal and policy advice on human rights and other issues to the Society’s Board of Directors. He has previously been a consultant for USAID-South Sudan, the International Development Law Organization, and South Sudan Human Rights Commission, and the Ministry of Justice of South Sudan. His LL.M. studies focus on subjects in international human rights law, international criminal practice and procedure, and war crimes tribunals. He can be reached at wmjumilo@syr.edu.
  • Mohammed Alkhodair (Saudi Arabia): Mr. Mohammed Alkhodair obtained his LL.B. from King Saud University, in Saudi Arabia, in 2014. During his time in KSU, he served on the College of Law and Political Science’s Student Advisory Board and spent two summers working as an intern for an international finance and securities trading group. His LL.M. students focus on international business transactions, securities regulation, and corporate compliance. He can be reached at mialkhod@syr.edu.
  • Byoung Sun Lee (South Korea): Mr. Byoung Sun Lee obtained his LL.B. from the Korean National Police University, in South Korea, in 2005. He also obtained a Master of Public Administration from Seoul National University in 2009. His professional experience within the emergency management field is vast, having worked as a Platoon Leader for the Riot Police Corps in Seoul City; an Intelligence Analyst for the Intelligence Department of the Seoul Metropolitan Policy Agency; a Senior Inspector with the Police Station in Cheonan City; and most recently as Police Station Section Chief in Seoul City. His LL.M. studies focus on criminal law, sentencing law, international criminal law, cyber security, and national security law. He can be reached at blee105@syr.edu.
  • Samir Mahmudov (Azerbaijan): Mr. Samir Mahmudov is a recipient of the LL.M. Fellowship offered through the Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Leadership Award. He obtained his LL.B. degree from Baku State University, in Azerbaijan, in 2009. He also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Baku State University. Prior to arriving to Syracuse, Mr. Mahmudov worked as a Prosecutor in the Anticorruption Department of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, where he investigated reports of government and private-sector corruption and prepared guidelines on prevention and prosecution of corruption cases. He is pursuing courses in international law, corporate compliance law, corporate law, and international human rights law. He can be reached at samahmud@syr.edu.
  • Pilar Rodriguez (Spain): Ms. Pilar Rodriguez obtained her LL.B. degree from the Universidad de Murcia, in Spain, in 2011. She also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Gender Equality from the Universidad de Murcia. Ms. Rodriguez’s professional and academic career has been focused on the rights of women and the prevention of gender-based violence. She has held internships with the Spanish Constitutional Court, the San Luis Potosi Women’s Institute, and Murcia’s General Directorate for the Prevention of Gender Violence. Her academic interests include international human rights law, gender and the law, and comparative disability rights. She can be reached at pirodrig@syr.edu.


You can also email llmadmissions@law.syr.edu to connect with other students or alumni of the LL.M. program. Finally, you can follow us on Twitter @SyracuseLawLLM and @SUCollegeofLaw.

New Monthly Materials List Available

The January 2017 List of new books, journals and media added to the Law Library collection last month is now available.


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