LL.M. Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LL.M. Program in the American Legal System?FAQs

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.

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

We prefer applicants to apply online through LSAC; however, we will accept the paper application which can be located on the LL.M. admission site.

When do you begin accepting applications?

September 1.

When is the application deadline?

February 15th is the deadline for Fall priority consideration and November 15th is the deadline for Spring priority consideration.  Later applications will be considered on a space available basis. 

When will I receive a decision after submitting my application?

Applications will be reviewed as they become complete and most decisions for Spring are emailed in or before December and for Fall, in or before early March.

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. A final transcript and degree certificate from those who have received their law degree prior to their LL.M. application.  Those who will graduate after the application is submitted must submit their most recent transcript and, if admitted, the final transcript and degree certificate will be required prior to the start of classes. 

Important Note: If you plan to sit for a bar examination in the United States, you need to obtain an additional set of "official" transcripts showing your degree conferral, to submit with your bar application.

3. An applicant must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Languaage Testing Systems (IELTS) 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 scores more than two years old at the time of application.

4. Two letters of recommendation (in sealed envelopes) from law professors, employers or other people who can attest to your professional or academic capabilities.

What factors are considered for admission to the LL.M. Program?

In an attempt to create a qualified and well-rounded entering class, William & Mary Law School considers a variety of factors including general academic ability (using factors such as academic transcripts, strength of school and schedule), 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 the College of William & Mary will be included with the admission materials.

What are the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score you will accept for admission?

The minimum acceptable scores on the TOEFL are 600 (paper-based total); 250 (computer-based total); and 100 (Internet-based total).

The minimum acceptable score for the IELTS is 7.

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

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

Use the LSAC service for international transcripts or include them (with translations) in sealed envelopes with your paper 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 to attend William & Mary Law School?

Virginia Residents Non-Residents
Tuition & Fees $30,800 $39,800
Living Allowance $16,100 $16,100
Books $1,600 $1,600
International Orientation & Service Fees $195
Total Cost of Attendance $48,500 $57,695

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 transfer to the JD Program.  In most cases, students allowed to transfer to the J.D. Program 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 for your first 1L year will come from law 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.