LL.M. Frequently Asked Questions

William & Mary Law School LL.M. Admissions Office:  llmadm@wm.edu

What is the LL.M. Program in American Legal Studies?IMG_0518__Hixon.jpg

There are two program options.  The two-semester program provides advanced training for students from outside the United States who wish to increase their familiarity with the American legal system.  The three-semester, full-time LL.M. program allows students three semesters of coursework, including a specialization in a chosen field.

Who should apply?

The LL.M. 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 the online LL.M. application.   There are no fees to apply directly to William & Mary Law School.  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. Or,

2)  Apply online through the Law School Admission Council LSAC. (www.lsac.org).    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 university(ies).


When do you begin accepting applications?

FALL Applications:  September 1.       SPRING Applications:  July 1.

When is the application deadline?

FALL:  March 1.     SPRING:  November 15th. 

When will I receive a decision after submitting my application?

Applications will be reviewed as they become complete.  FALL decisions will be communicated by early March.  SPRING decisions will be communicated by early December.   

What are the requirements to be considered for admission?

1. An applicant must have a law degree from a country outside the United States from a college or university that is accredited and recognized by the relevant educational authority in that country, or be qualified to practice law in a foreign county.

2. An official transcript along with a confirmation of degree conferral certificate from those who have received their law degree prior to their LL.M. application.  A certified English translation is required for both of these documents.   

Those who will graduate after the application is submitted must submit their most recent official transcript and, if admitted, the final official transcript and degree confirmation certificate will be required prior to the start of classes (with a certified English translation). 

Important Note: If an applicant plans to sit for a bar examination in the United States, the applicant needs to obtain a second set of "official" transcripts showing degree conferral, to submit with the bar application.

3. An applicant should take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test, if, (a) the applicant's native language is not English and,  (2) the applicant did not obtain a law degree from an educational institution in which the language of instruction is English.  William & Mary will not consider language scores more than two years old at the time of application.  English language competence may be satisfied through TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or by other means of evaluation.

4. Letters of recommendation - optional.

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 nonrefundable 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 you will accept for admission?

The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 90 (Internet-based total).

The minimum acceptable score for the IELTS is 6.

The minimum acceptable score for the Duolingo English Test is 95.

In certain exceptional cases, William & Mary may accept a student with a slightly lower score; however, an applicant with a low score should re-take the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo to attempt to raise their score prior to applying.

How do I submit transcripts from a college or university outside the United States or Canada?

Application through William & Mary:  applicants will hand-deliver sealed transcripts, conferral, and certified English translations of both upon arrival to the LL.M. program, though no later than September 1 (for fall) and February 1 (for spring).   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:  (757) 221-3800.   Email:  llmadm@wm.edu.

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 service (www.lsac.org) 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.

Total Cost of Attendance (2022-2023 Academic Year)


Virginia Residents 





 Law School Fees



 University Fees



 Living Allowance






International Orientation & Service Fees

 $   260

 $   260

 Total Cost of Attendance



 Are scholarships available to LL.M. students?

Scholarships for the LL.M. Program are limited and are based on merit. The probability of receiving aid through the Law School depends on the availability of funds and applicant qualifications. Students must be prepared to pay necessary travel, living and educational expenses from outside sources.

What additional aid is available to international students?

Although some scholarships are offered to LL.M. 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 employers for career enhancement.

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 credits earned from the LL.M. Program are for that degree only.  Credits accepted towards your W&M J.D. will be from courses taken during your undergraduate LL.B. program.   Any LL.B. courses accepted for transfer credit may not be duplicated during your W&M program.

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

No.  The course credits accepted from you undergraduate (LL.B.) degree, are applied to the W&M J.D. degree as “pass” credits.  Your W&M GPA is created only from W&M graded law courses.

If I am permitted to transfer to the JD 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, those 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.

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

William & Mary's LL.M. program has no formal concentrations or specialized degrees; however, students may concentrate their studies in the areas of their own special interest.  The three-semester LL.M. program offers students three semesters of coursework, including a specialization in a chosen legal field.

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

No, that requirement is waived for students who have completed the William & Mary LL.M. Program.