Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LL.M. Program in American Legal Studies?

This is an innovative LL.M. program is designed for foreign-educated graduates and attorneys. Offer two program options. The two-semester program provides advanced training for foreign students who wish to increase their familiarity with the American legal system. The three-semester program allows students to earn an advanced specialization focused on one of six concentrations.

Who should apply?

The LL.M. program is ideal for international attorneys, judges, government officials, corporate legal counsel, and recent law school graduates.

How do I apply to the William & Mary Law School LL.M. program?

1)  Apply directly to William & Mary Law School using W&M LL.M. Application Portal. There are no fees to apply directly to William & Mary Law School, however, applicants are required to utilize a NACES member transcript evaluation service such as World Education Services ( or ECE (, which will have a fee for this service.  Applicants apply online and, if admitted, will be required to supply official, sealed transcripts, graduation conferral, and certified English translations of both upon arrival to the LL.M. Program. 


2)  Apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). There are fees associated with this method of application, so be sure to review LSAC's website prior to applying.  Applicants will use the LSAC transcript request form (TRF) embedded in the LSAC application to order official, sealed transcripts to be sent directly to LSAC from their institution(s). 

What are the key dates?
Key dates for applications (fall and spring)
Application opens Application closes Deposit due Program starts
September 1, 2023 April 15, 2024 May 1, 2024 Fall semester (August 2024)
July 1, 2024 November 1, 2024 November 15, 2024 Spring semester (January 2025)
When will I receive a decision after submitting my application?

Applications are reviewed as they become complete and applicants will receive admissions decisions on a rolling basis. To receive a decision as soon as possible, applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as all materials are complete. For applicants who apply at the deadline, we aim to provide decisions for programs starting in the fall semester by early May and decisions about programs starting in the spring semester by early December.

What are the requirements to be considered for admission?
  1.  Please review the Admission Requirements page.
  2. Remember that we need official, stamped (i) transcripts, (ii) degree conferral, and (iii) certified English translations of both at the latest upon arrival to the William & Mary Law School.
Important Note: If you plan to sit for a bar examination in the United States, you will need to submit official transcripts showing your degree conferral. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you to bring with you a second set of official (i) transcripts, (ii) degree conferral, and (iii) certified English translations of both.
What factors are considered for admission to the LL.M. Program?

In an attempt to create a qualified and diverse entering class, William & Mary Law School considers a variety of factors including general academic ability (using factors such as academic performance, strength of school and course work), extracurricular activities and work experience, capacity for legal study, and other relevant personal qualities and characteristics.

Does William & Mary Law School require seat deposits for the LL.M. Program?

Yes, William & Mary requires a $250 non-refundable seat deposit that will be credited to the first semester tuition bill.

If admitted to the program, how do I get a visa?

Instructions for obtaining a certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) from William & Mary will be included with the admission materials.

What are the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or DUOLINGO scores that you will accept for admission?
How do I submit transcripts from a college or university outside the United States or Canada?

Application through W&M LL.M. Application Portal: applicants will hand-deliver sealed (i) transcripts, (ii) degree conferral, and (iii) certified English translations of both upon arrival to the LL.M. program. The materials must be received no later than September 1 (for the fall semester) and February 1 (for the spring semester). Students will not be able to register for classes until an official transcript is received.

If an applicant intends to ship their official transcripts in advance, use this address to express ship to:  William & Mary Law School, Attn:  International Programs, 613 South Henry Street, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185.  Telephone:  +1 (757) 221-3800. Email: [[llmadm]].

Transcripts and conferrals must be official, stamped by the institution, and placed in a sealed envelope. The institution's official seal must be affixed to the seam of the envelope.

Application through LSAC: Use the LSAC Transcript Request Form (TRF) for international transcripts, which will be found in your LL.M. LSAC application.

Is there a word limit for answers to the essay questions on the application for the LL.M. Program?

No. Please feel free to submit a statement that is long enough to express whatever you believe we should know.

How much does it cost? Are scholarships available to LL.M. students?

Visit the Cost of the LL.M. Degree page for detailed information about costs and scholarships.

What additional aid is available to international students?

Most of our students use individual or family savings and resources to fund their LL.M. Program expenses. Some international students have been funded by their current employers for career enhancement.

Students may browse additional scholarship information here (pdf). Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or who have exhausted all options for federal loans or aid, may also want to explore private loan options here.

May I concentrate my studies in a particular field and get a specialized degree?

William & Mary's LL.M. Program does not offer specialized degrees. However, students who are admitted to the third semester, may pursue a focus on one of the following concentrations: 

  1. Business & Corporate Law;
  2. International Law;
  3. Intellectual Property;
  4. Constitutional Law;
  5. Criminal Law; or
  6. Methods of Dispute Resolution.

Upon completion of the third semester, students will receive their LL.M. Degree with an Advanced Specialization in one of the six subject-matter areas listed above reflected in their transcripts.

Are students allowed to apply for the J.D. Program after completion of the LL.M. Program?

Students who maintain excellent grades throughout the LL.M. Program are permitted to apply to the J.D. Program with advanced standing.  In most cases, students allowed to enter the J.D. Program with advanced standing are in the top 10% of the LL.M. class.

Will the credits I earned during the LL.M. Program be transferred to the J.D. Program?

No.  The credit hours earned for the LL.M. Program are for that degree only.  Credit hours accepted toward your J.D. will be from courses taken during your undergraduate law program.  Any undergraduate law courses accepted for transfer credit cannot be duplicated during your J.D. program.

What about my GPA?  Will you use my GPA from my undergraduate courses for my first J.D. year?

No.  The course credit hours accepted from your undergraduate law degree are applied to the J.D. degree at "pass" credit hours.  Your J.D. GPA is created only from William & Mary graded law courses.

If I am permitted to transfer to the J.D. Program, what classes will I have to take?

To complete their J.D. degree, transfer students must take all required first year J.D. courses, including Legal Practice.  Many LL.M. students take several or all of the required first year courses during their program.  If so, these students will only take those courses not already completed, along with Legal Practice.  Once all the first year courses have been completed, students may choose from any of the many courses being offered.

Will I have to take the LSAT if I apply to transfer to the J.D. Program?

No, that admission requirement is waived for students who have completed the William & Mary LL.M. Program in American Legal Studies.


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