The LLM degree in Comparative Law is open to American and international students with either civil law or common law training who seek a firm foundation in the American common law and civil law in English. Applicants must hold a Juris Doctor from an American Bar Association (ABA) law school, or its equivalent from a foreign law school and are expected to show that they are sufficiently proficient in English to pursue graduate legal studies in the U.S.
Admissions decisions are made by the LLM Program Committee of the law faculty. The Committee reviews all credentials broadly and holistically, believing that a simple formula cannot measure an applicant’s potential for graduate legal studies and potential to contribute to the law school itself.
Each fall a new entering LLM class enrolls at the LSU Law Center (beginning of August). Note that we do not offer spring admissions. Also, our students cannot currently participate in our program on a part time basis; LSU Law is, however, exploring this possibility. If you are interested in studying at LSU part time, please contact our office.
Applicants must apply to the LSU Law Center and submit all materials through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and register with the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS) by purchasing the Document Assembly Service (DAS). We only accept applications submitted through LSAC.
The application fee of $50 (U.S. funds only) must be paid through the LSAC online payment service (waived for applications submitted on or before February 28).
The priority application deadline is February 28. Applications submitted after February 28 will be evaluated on a space available basis. LSU evaluates LLM files on a rolling admission basis. The earlier you complete your application for admission, the earlier you will receive a decision.
Our final application deadline is March 31. This is especially important for international applicants who require a student visa (final deadline).
If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, we may accept late applications. We encourage you to apply as early as possible, but after March 31, we urge you to call (or email) and speak with someone from our office to inquire if applying is still possible.
For questions, please feel welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
Applications should be accompanied by the following supporting materials:
Letters of Recommendation
The LSU Law Center requires three letters of recommendation but will accept up to four. Letters of recommendation received after a fourth letter will not be reviewed. All letters must be in English. If this is not possible, a translated version and the original letter must be submitted. We do not require that the translation be made and certified by an official translator. You may translate the letter yourself, with the understanding that the original is submitted as well.
Letters of recommendation must be sent through LSAC Letters of Recommendation (LOR) Service. You will be able to have an email sent to your recommender requesting him or her to complete and upload a letter for you on the LSAC website; or you may print the required recommender forms to give to your recommender if he or she would prefer to submit a paper LOR. Also, when using the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), remember to assign the letters of recommendation you want to be sent to the LSU Law Center.
In reviewing your letters of recommendation, the LLM Program Committee is seeking insight into a candidate’s academic performance, as well as personal qualities such as intellectual curiosity, rigor, enthusiasm, and commitment. We strongly recommend that you submit at least one academic letter (from a professor or advisor) who has a well-informed view of your academic ability. We understand, however, that if you have been in the workforce and out of school for a while, that you may submit recommendations from employers. Letters of recommendation from persons, including prominent persons, who lack a personal knowledge of your academic ability do not assist LLM Program Committee members in assessing your potential aptitude for the program.
Academic History: Official Transcripts
You must provide all undergraduate and graduate school transcripts reflecting a complete history of your academic performance. All official transcripts (with translations, if applicable) must be sent to LSAC. All academic documents MUST be mailed directly to LSAC from the issuing institution in a sealed school envelope with a stamp or seal across the sealed flap. Transcripts issued to you or sent to LSAC by you will not be processed. We urge you to begin the process well in advance of the application deadline.
You must use LSAC’s Transcript Request Form (TRF) for this purpose. Your TRF can be printed from the Transcripts page of your account. LSAC’s address is on the forms. Send a TRF to each of the postsecondary institutions you have attended, regardless of whether or not a degree was completed. Have each institution complete the form and return it to us by mail, along with your official transcript/mark sheet/academic record.
If the transcripts are not in English, a translation must also be sent to LSAC. You can complete the English translation yourself, as the translations do not have to be certified. If your university issues only one original to the student, LSAC will accept a copy of the transcript, which is certified by the issuing university as a true and correct copy of the original (certified copy). The official stamp/seal of the institution must be placed over the sealed flap of the envelope.
The personal statement is an important part of the application and provides an opportunity to demonstrate your writing ability. Personal statements can give the LLM Program Committee insight into your life experiences and accomplishments.
A personal statement should answer the following questions: Why are you applying for admissions into the LSU Law Center LLM program? Why do you want to pursue graduate legal studies? Why do you believe that you will be successful in our program? After completing the LLM, what are your plans for a professional career?
You are required to submit a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) in English detailing your educational history, extracurricular activities, membership in honor societies, membership on legal journals or law reviews, community and volunteer activities, and your part-time and full-time work experience.
Publications and Research Projects (Optional)
If desired, you may send us (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) Word copies (1–2) of your best research projects and/or publications. Although we prefer works submitted in English, French, and Spanish, we will accept papers in all languages.
English Language Proficiency Requirement
We do not require English language proficiency testing if an applicant is a native English speaker or if an applicant earned a degree from a university that has English as the language of instruction. All other applicants are required to have their official test score report sent to LSU Law. Applicants who must complete English proficiency testing should take:
- the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test; or
- the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
We recommend that our applicants have a score of 100 on the TOEFL, but we require a minimum score of 90. As for the IELTS, we recommend a score of 7.5, but require a minimum score of 7.
A writing sample, and/or a Skype or telephone interview may also be required by the LLM Program Committee for use in admission decisions.
Conditional Admissions with an Approved English as a Second Language (ESL) Course
Applicants who do not meet our TOEFL or IELTS requirements should consider taking an English as a Second Language (ESL) course to improve their language proficiency. If you have excellent academic credentials, but need to improve your English proficiency, you may be given conditional admissions if you register for an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) course such as the LSU’s English Language & Orientation Program (ELOP).
Also, although we recommend that our applicants take one of these English proficiency tests as early as possible, if you have not yet taken the test, but intend on taking it by March 31 (final deadline for international students who require a student visa), you may be considered for conditional admissions. However, unless you receive a waiver of the English language test requirement, you will not be fully admitted until you obtain an acceptable score.
ELOP Offers Eight-Week English Courses
Louisiana State University offers an ELS course on campus through its English Language & Orientation Program (ELOP). The program specifically offers TOEFL preparation and practice.
The ELOP English classes are designed for students who seek English language training for academic, professional, and personal goals. Students are tested upon arrival and placed in levels according to ability, ranging from elementary to advanced. For more information please visit the ELOP website.
Depending on your level of language proficiency, you may need to participate in more than one term (more than eight weeks).
Summary of Required Application Documents:
- LSAC Application for LLM admissions
- Official Transcripts
- TOEFL or IELTS Score
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal Statement
- Résumé/Curriculum Vitae
- $50 application fee (waived for applications submitted on or before February 28)