Beginning the Application Process

Because we receive hundreds of strong applications and base our decisions on a variety of factors, admission to our LLM program is highly competitive.

One important consideration in our selection process is the strength and rigor of an applicant’s previous legal studies. Our LLM program is demanding, and it is crucial for applicants to demonstrate a record of academic excellence.

However, our assessment of each application is forward-looking, with the goal of identifying potential performance and success at Michigan Law and beyond. Grades alone are insufficient to predict such outcomes, and so we review all application materials thoroughly and carefully. 

LLM Eligibility Requirements

In general, applicants should have a first professional degree in law to be considered for admission to the LLM program.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides products and services to support candidates and schools through the law school admission process. LSAC provides a list of minimum degree requirements to be eligible for admission to the bar in a particular country or area, which can be helpful to evaluate your eligibility for admission to our LLM program.

If your degree or location is not included in LSAC’s list, you are welcome to email us regarding your eligibility for admission to our LLM program.

Questions? Contact Us

We recognize that applying to an LLM program can be daunting, and we are happy to clarify and demystify the admissions process. We enjoy connecting with prospective students at online and in-person events. In addition, please do not hesitate to email us if you have questions at any point.

Submit Your Application via LSAC

We require candidates to register with LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS) and submit their applications via LSAC. This offers candidates like you an efficient way to apply to multiple law schools at the same time.

LLM CAS enables you to submit one copy of your academic records, English proficiency test score reports, and letters of recommendation to a centralized organization. You can then request LSAC to forward these materials to law schools.

LSAC recommends creating an account and registering for LLM CAS at least six weeks before your first application deadline.

Once you create an LSAC account, you will be able to access the Michigan Law graduate application form starting September 1.

How to Apply

For admission to the LLM class for the 2023-24 academic year, candidates may begin submitting applications on September 1, 2022.

Our application deadline is January 15, 2023.

Completing Your Application

We consider an application to be on time if we receive all the required components of a candidate’s application by January 15. We do not submit an application for review until we confirm that we have received all of the required materials.

Applications that are complete after the January 15 deadline are evaluated on a space available basis and may be at a disadvantage in our review process.

We send admissions decisions by email, so please add law.grad.admissions@umich.edu to your contact list.

For applications that are complete by our deadline, we begin releasing our first admissions decisions in February, and we typically finish making our initial decisions by the end of March. 

  • Required Materials
    1. Completed Michigan Law Graduate Programs application form (submitted through LSAC’s website)
    2. LSAC Law School Report that includes:
      • Academic records from all postsecondary institutions attended
      • Official, valid TOEFL or IELTS score (unless an exemption applies)
      • Two letters of recommendation
    3. Résumé or CV
    4. Two essays that discuss the topics provided in the Michigan Law application
    5. $75 application fee or waiver
  • Optional Materials
    1. Supplemental essays, according to the topics offered in the Michigan Law application form
    2. Additional letters of recommendation
  • Application Submission Tips
    Proofread Before Submitting

    While answers to some questions in our application form may be pre-populated based on the information you provide in your LSAC account, please proofread all the answers in your application form, as this will help us maintain accurate records.

    When we review an application, our goal is to gain insight into who a candidate is, and so you should provide complete and accurate information in the application form. If you leave several blank answers in your application form, it may cause processing delays and will likely raise questions for our reviewers.

    Confidentiality

    Please be assured that the Admissions Office recognizes the utmost importance of keeping the contents of your application confidential.

    We will often pass on the names and contact information of admitted applicants to current students, alumni, and faculty who have similar interests. However, if you indicate in your application form that you do not wish to be contacted by members of the Law School community, we will not pass on your contact information to these groups if you are admitted.

    Corrections and Updates

    If you realize that your submitted application contains an error, please email us right away.

    You are welcome to email us if you would like to provide updated application materials (e.g., an updated résumé or supplemental essay). Please be aware that we cannot substitute or remove materials that have already been submitted; we can only supplement.

About the Application Materials

  • Official Transcripts and Degree Confirmations

    You should submit academic records to LSAC from every postsecondary institution you have attended, even if you never received a degree or have just enrolled in the institution.

    Academic records must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.

    Whenever available, transcripts should include an official certification of your class rank, cumulative grade average, and honors. It is very helpful for records to include a description of the institution’s grading system and an indication of the normal length of the academic program.

    How to Submit Academic Records

    You should request your academic records from your educational institutions, and the institutions must send your records directly to LSAC.

    It can take up to two weeks for LSAC to process academic records from U.S. educational institutions, and it can take significantly longer to request and process international records. We strongly recommend submitting your academic records to LSAC as early in the application process as possible, even before you begin working on other application components.

    After you submit your application, LSAC will send us copies of your academic records. Please do not send academic records directly to our office, as we will consider only records submitted via LSAC for our admissions review.

    If you are enrolled in a postsecondary academic program when you submit your application, then you should submit updated transcripts and records to LSAC once new grades become available. LSAC will process your updated academic records and send them to our office automatically so that we can add them to your application.

    Required Academic Records      Submit Records to LSAC

  • English Proficiency Testing

    To be prepared for the rigor of the LLM curriculum, students must have a high level of English proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Unless an exemption applies, all applicants must submit an official, valid TOEFL or IELTS score.

    Although we review all complete applications, we look for an overall score of at least 100 on the TOEFL or 7.0 on the IELTS. Most admitted students have higher overall scores.

    We advise applicants with scores below 100 on the TOEFL or 7.0 on the IELTS to consider submitting a supplemental essay that discusses their English language abilities.

    Applicants should take the TOEFL or IELTS in person, if the option is available. However, for situations where taking a test in person is impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition and IELTS Indicator scores.

    We do not accept TOEFL MyBest scores.

    TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years, and we accept scores that are within two years of our application opening. During the 2022-23 admissions season, applicants should submit an English proficiency test score from September 1, 2020 or later.

    Learn More About TOEFL     Learn More About IELTS     

    How to Submit English Test Scores

    Applicants should request that testing institutions send their score reports directly to LSAC. If you have taken multiple tests, you should submit all your results.

    Due to the volume of applications we receive, our team submits applications for review once we confirm we have all of a candidate’s required materials, including at least one TOEFL or IELTS score.

    Although we do not universally place applications on hold for pending scores, we recommend that you indicate all the English test administrations that you plan on taking in your application form. If you take another English proficiency test after you submit your application, you should send the new score to LSAC to include in your application.

    As our reviewers consider your application, they will be able to decide whether to wait for future scores. If they feel comfortable making a final decision before receiving a pending score, they will do so.

    Submit Test Scores to LSAC

  • Exemptions From English Proficiency Testing

    The vast majority of candidates are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as an integral part of their application.

    However, an applicant who meets both of the following criteria is exempt from submitting an English language proficiency score:

    • The applicant is a resident of Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States (other than Puerto Rico), 

      AND
       
    • The applicant has completed a rigorous, full-time program of at least three years of postsecondary education in one of the countries listed above.

    If you meet both criteria, please clearly indicate the country where you completed your postsecondary education and the period of enrollment in your résumé or CV.

    If you apply without an English proficiency test score and do not meet both criteria for a test score exemption, we will ask you to submit an English proficiency test score to complete your application.

    Please note that non-native English speakers in our LLM program receive 25 percent extra time on their final exams in their first semester. However, LLM students who are exempt from submitting an English proficiency score in their admissions applications do not receive this extra time on their final exams.

  • Your Letters of Recommendation

    We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation, but you are welcome to submit up to four.

    Recommenders should submit their letters through LSAC’s LLM Letter of Recommendation Service, and they should write their letters in English or obtain a certified English translation if they write their letters in another language. We strongly prefer that letters be on recommenders’ official stationery.

    Content

    Letters of recommendation should be from people who know you well and can evaluate your capacity for advanced legal studies and professional success.

    Letters of recommendation are most helpful when they discuss the extent and nature of the recommender’s acquaintance with you and comment candidly on your qualities, such as your:

    • intellectual and scholarship abilities
    • capacity for original thought
    • ability to analyze and critically assess information
    • quality of oral and written expression
    • growth potential
    • achievements
    • personality
    Your Recommenders

    At least one letter of recommendation should be by a law faculty member who taught you in your postsecondary education.

    In addition, letters of recommendation from employers—particularly for candidates with significant work experience—can provide extremely informative input.

    Recommendations from mentors, advisors, volunteer supervisors, coaches, or others who know you well and have had the opportunity to review your abilities and contributions may also be worthwhile submissions.

    Personal recommendations from family members or friends are generally not helpful. Similarly, we do not find letters from recommenders who have little or no direct knowledge of an applicant’s qualities to be informative.

  • Your Résumé or CV

    Your résumé or CV should contain information about your postsecondary education and employment experience.

    It should list all postsecondary institutions that you attended, including:

    • name and location of each institution
    • dates of attendance
    • name of the degree in the original language (not an English translation)
    • cumulative grade average
    • class rank (if applicable)

    You should also provide information about your full-time and significant part-time employment, including:

    • name and location of your employer
    • your job title
    • dates you held the position
    • major responsibilities and activities
    • any other information you think will be useful

    In addition, your résumé or CV should include:

    • date and location of your bar admission (if applicable)
    • your significant extracurricular and non-work-related activities
    • academic and non-academic honors and awards you have received, including fellowships, prizes, and memberships in honor societies
    • your hobbies, special interests, or academic pursuits
  • Required Essays

    We are proud of our kind and welcoming student body, and our goal is to enroll students with a broad range of perspectives and experiences to generate a vibrant culture of comprehensive debate and discussion. Essay submissions are an extremely helpful tool for evaluating your potential contributions to our Law School community.

    To this end, we require all applicants to submit two required essays in response to each of the questions below.

    1. Describe your hopes for your career after completing your graduate legal studies. How will your education, experience, and development so far support your plans?
      (Maximum of 500 words.)
       
    2. Why are you interested in earning your graduate degree at Michigan Law? What do you believe Michigan has to offer to you and you to Michigan? What aspects of Michigan Law’s program, environment, and community are most appealing to you?
      (Maximum of 300 words.)
  • Supplemental Essays

    Supplemental essays give you the opportunity to provide us with relevant information that you were unable to include elsewhere in your application.

    Although supplemental essays are not required, we encourage you to consider submitting your responses to one or two (but no more) of the prompts listed below.

    Each supplemental essay should be no more than 400 words.

    Supplemental Essay Topics
    • What unique perspective or experience do you have that has made a significant impact on your life?
       
    • Describe a failure or obstacle that you experienced. How did you overcome it? Would you do anything differently if you faced this situation again?
       
    • Tell us about a group that you are or have been a part of and how you contribute(d) to it.
       
    • Describe your educational experiences so far. What kinds of learning environments, teaching methods, student cultures, and evaluation processes lead you to thrive?
       
    • Is there any information in your application that you wish to clarify (e.g., particular grades in your postsecondary education, a history of standardized testing that is not reflective of your academic capabilities or English proficiency, gaps in studies or employment)?
       
    • What would you like us to know that your application does not cover elsewhere?
  • Requesting Financial Aid

    All candidates are welcome to request consideration for financial aid from Michigan Law in the application form.

    • To request consideration, go to the “Financial Arrangements” section of the application and find the question “Please indicate whether you would like to be considered for financial aid from the Law School if you are admitted.”
    • Select “Yes.”

    Requesting consideration for financial aid does not affect a candidate’s admission decision, as our admissions and scholarship evaluations are separate processes.

    Scholarship decisions are based on merit and financial need, and all admitted students who request financial aid in their admissions applications are considered automatically for all available scholarships from the Law School.

    Due to the many outstanding applications we receive, the demand for financial aid always exceeds the amount of available Law School scholarships. Therefore, applicants are strongly advised to seek financial support from other public and private sources.

    Finding a Funding Source

    EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network that promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world. Every year, EducationUSA publishes a Global Guide that includes sections on “Foreign Government and Private Funding” resources in various countries; this can be useful to identify potential funding sources.

  • Application Fee

    The application fee is $75, which is payable by credit card on LSAC’s website. 

    We grant application fee waivers to highly qualified applicants through LSAC’s Candidate Referral Service (CRS). To be considered for an application fee waiver, you must have an active CRS account indicating your intended enrollment year and a TOEFL or IELTS score.

    If you register for CRS and qualify for a fee waiver, it will automatically appear in your account on LSAC. We email recipients to make them aware they have received a fee waiver.

    Register for CRS

Michigan Law LLM Admissions Events

The Michigan Law Graduate Admissions Office is delighted to meet you and answer your questions. We are offering a variety of ways for you to learn about the LLM admissions process and Michigan Law.

Michigan Law Online Workshops

Michigan Law hosts online workshops from late August through December. If you would like to attend any of these workshops, please register, and we will send you an email with details about how to participate. We ask that you register for only one time slot per workshop topic.

View All Online Workshops

Choosing the Right Graduate Law Program

Distinctions between the LLM and other law degrees in the U.S., factors to consider when selecting an LLM program.

Register for Choosing the Right Graduate Law Program Online Workshop

Admissions Process

What you need to submit in your application, when to apply, what our team does after it receives an application.

Register for Admissions Process Online Workshop

Application Essays

How our application readers evaluate essays, common mistakes to avoid (and what to do instead).

Register for Applications Essays Online Workshop

Funding and U.S. Student Visas

Types of funding sources available, cost of attendance considerations, common types of U.S. student visas.

Register for Funding and U.S. Student Visas Online Workshop

Meet Us at LLM Events Around the World

We participate in a variety of in-person and virtual events hosted by other organizations, and a schedule is listed below. We will continue to update this schedule throughout the admissions season.

September                 

September 29
Europe LLM Fair and Alumni Panel
Hosted by the US LLM Consortium

October

October 6
Financing Your LLM Degree
Hosted by the US LLM Consortium

October 13
Mexico LLM Fair
Hosted by the US LLM Consortium      

October 24
LLM Fair in Brasilia (Brazil)
Hosted by EducationUSA

October 26
LLM Fair in Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Hosted by EducationUSA

October 28
LLM Fair in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Hosted by EducationUSA

October 31
LLM Fair in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Hosted by EducationUSA

November

November 12
LLM Day in Frankfurt (Germany)
Hosted by e-fellows.net

November 14
LLM Day in Cologne (Germany)
Hosted by DAJV

December

December 1
Brazil LLM Fair
Hosted by the US LLM Consortium

December 7
How to Write the Perfect Personal Statement
Hosted by the US LLM Consortium