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Frequently Asked Questions—LL.M. Applicants 

When is the application deadline?

The priority application deadline is March 1. Applications submitted after March 1 will be evaluated on a space available basis. Most students apply in early February, and LSU evaluates LL.M. files on a rolling admission basis. The earlier you complete your application for admission, the earlier you will receive a decision.

However, note that all LL.M. application materials must be submitted by April 30. This is especially important for international applicants who require a J-1 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 April 30, we urge you to call (or email) and speak with someone from our office to inquire if an application is still possible.

What is the application fee?
The application fee of $50.00 (U.S. funds only) must be paid through the LSAC online payment service (waived for applications submitted on or before March 1). This fee is nonrefundable.

How do I apply for admission?
Applicants must apply to the LSU Law Center and submit all materials through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC.org) and register with the LSAC Document Assembly Service (DAS). We only accept applications submitted through LSAC. Specified supporting documentation should be sent by mail to:

LL.M. Office of Admissions
LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center
W326, 1 East Campus Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
United States of America

Can I submit a paper application?
No, we only accept applications submitted online through LSAC.

Does LSU Law offer a part-time, evening, or online program?
No, we do not offer a part-time, evening, or online LL.M. program. A part-time program may be offered in the future. In the event you are interested, let us know.

Do you require the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
We recommend that our applicants have a score of 100 on the TOEFL, but we require a minimum score of 90 (on the internet-based test). The LSU Law Center institution code is 6373.

Do you accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score instead of the TOEFL score?
Instead of the TOEFL, we accept the IELTS; we recommend a score of 7.5, but require a minimum score of 7.

Do you consider requests for waivers of the TOEFL 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. You may apply for an English language test waiver by responding to a few questions within the LSAC application (section entitled “English Proficiency”).

All other applicants are required to have their official test score report sent to LSU Law. Keep in mind that we may request a Skype interview to assess your English language proficiency.

If I do not meet the TOEFL or IELTS requirement, what can I do to improve my chances to be admitted at LSU?
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 acceptance if you register for an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) course such as LSU’s English Language & Orientation Program (ELOP): http://www.outreach.lsu.edu/ELOP1. Note that LSU Law will only be able to remove the condition on admission once you meet our English Language requirement.

What is the English Language & Orientation Program (ELOP)?
Louisiana State University offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) course on campus through the 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 about the ELOP, please visit their website: http://www.outreach.lsu.edu/ELOP1. Depending on your level of language proficiency, you may need to participate in more than one term (more than eight weeks).

Can I request an in-person or a Skype interview?
Our LL.M. Program Director and LL.M. Coordinator will be happy to meet with you to discuss LSU Law (or have a Skype call). We do not have personal, evaluative interviews unless specifically requested by the admissions committee. Any information you would like to share with the committee should be included in your application for admission or in a separate addendum. Anyone interested in learning more about LSU Law’s LL.M. program may schedule an appointment by contacting llmadmissions@lsu.edu.

How much will an education at LSU Law cost per year?
The resident tuition and fees for the fall 2018 entering class was $19,750; for nonresidents $39,100. We are expecting tuition to remain the same for the 2019-2020 academic year. For more information, see Tuition & Fees. Note, however, that our merit-based scholarships are generous such that on average, the cost of tuition & fees paid by our LL.M. candidates is below $10,000 for the entire year.

How do I apply for scholarships?
Admitted LL.M. students are automatically considered for scholarship assistance. Note that 100% of our fall 2018 incoming class received merit-based aid, with scholarships ranging from partial to full tuition.

What should I write about in my personal statement?
Personal statement including research interests, reason for pursuing advanced legal education, and your plans following the completion of the LL.M. degree. The personal statement is a good place to explain anything particular about your life experience and professional project.

Can you I have my letters of recommendations sent by email?
We prefer to receive letters of recommendation through LSAC Letters of Recommendation (LOR) Service. You must submit your letters of recommendation through the Document Assembly Service (DAS). When using the DAS, remember to assign the letters of recommendation you want to be sent to the LSU Law Center. We require that you submit at least one letter through LSAC. Letters should be mailed by the recommender directly to the LSAC.

Alternatively, for the second and third letters, they can be mailed by the recommender directly to the LL.M. Office of Admissions. Make sure to request from your recommender that they send it in a sealed envelope, signed by the recommender over the seal. However, if this is a problem for you, please send an email to llmadmissions@lsu.edu and we will try to find a solution.

All letters must be in English. If this is not possible, you must submit a translated version and the original letter. 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 you will also provide the original.

How do students select and register for courses?
Students select and register for their courses during the first week of our August orientation. Each candidate’s program of study is arranged on an individual basis between the candidate and Dr. Olivier Moréteau, our Program Director. Dr. Moréteau is happy to provide comprehensive course recommendations for students who are considering taking an American state bar exam after the LL.M. Course descriptions can be found in the LSU Law catalog.

How do I apply for a J-1 student visa?
Once admitted into our LL.M. program, our coordinator will contact you and guide you through all of the steps required to obtain a student visa (J-1 visa). As explained in the Cost of Living page of our website, you must have sufficient funds to cover all estimated expenses (minimum: $16,928+) for the 10 months of studies at LSU. If you do not have the funds, it is unlikely that LSU will be able to help you obtain a J-1 visa.

Frequently Asked Questions—LL.M. Admits

I am currently looking at plane tickets and planning to buy a return ticket to France (to go back during the holidays) as it is less expensive. The LSU Law Academic Calendar indicates three different dates: end of examinations, end of semester, and start of winter holidays. When is the best time to book my flight?

If you plan to fly back home at the end of the Fall Semester, do not buy a return ticket with a departure earlier than the first Tuesday following the last day of the scheduled examination period. Although our LSU Law Academic Calendar may show an “examination end” date, in the event that an exam is missed for sickness or other reasons, you will be given the opportunity to take the exam on the first Monday following the last date of the scheduled examination period. Having a plane ticket with a departure at an earlier date is no excuse for missing the “reschedule date” opportunity and you may be given no other chance to take the missed exam.

This policy also applies to the Spring Semester. As such, we ask that you take these dates into consideration prior to purchasing your return ticket. However, we encourage you to stay at least until a day after the graduation ceremony (Hooding Ceremony).

Prior to making travel arrangements, you should also consider the following:

  • Commencement (also called Hooding Ceremony) is a special ceremony where you will be honored for your academic achievements. In the last few years, many students have opted to skip this event; this is unfortunate since they essentially missed out on the opportunity to celebrate a significant life milestone. Last month, a student who attended the ceremony told me that her experience at Commencement was amazing and that she was very glad that she chose to stay a little bit longer.
  • 30-Day Grace Period For those of you who will be holders of J-1 visas, you have a 30-day grace period to leave the U.S. once your visa expires. Many students have taken this opportunity to travel within the U.S.
  • LL.M. Employment In addition, holders of a J-1 visa may work in the U.S. for up to 18 months after graduation. For more information, see the section of our website dedicated to LL.M. Employment. We will discuss this in detail during our Orientation Program.