Thank you for your interest in BU Law’s LLM Degree Programs. Below is the detailed set of criteria and instructions for applying to our LLM Degree Programs, as well as the Legal English Certificate Program. We look forward to seeing your application!

Application Overview and Timelines

Our admissions process is designed to be as personal as our programs, and we are one of the only LLM programs to interview candidates. From the moment you apply, we will be in constant contact with you about your application, including providing an online application status checker, so that you know exactly where you are in the admissions process.

Applications for Spring, Summer, and Fall entry are now open. For entry in the Fall semester, we begin reviewing applications and making decisions on a rolling basis in late fall and continuing throughout the spring. Generally, during this timeframe you may expect to receive a decision within 3-4 weeks of being notified by BU Law that your application is complete. Should you have circumstances that require you to receive an expedited admissions decision, please let us know. We understand that the application process can be stressful, and are here to help in whatever way we can!

Application Details

Before You Apply

US-trained applicants must be graduates of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association at the time of matriculation.

Foreign-trained applicants must hold a first degree in law, or its equivalent, from an accredited or comparably recognized law school or law faculty outside the United States at the time of matriculation. Admission to the national bar of certain jurisdictions may meet the eligibility criteria.

While our programs are designed for qualified lawyers, we occasionally admit into our Executive LLM in International Business Law Program highly-qualified candidates who hold a bachelor degree or its equivalent but do not have a law degree. Our Legal English Certificate Program is also open to non-lawyers.  If you wish to receive additional information on the qualifications of students without a first degree in law who are typically admitted to these programs, please contact bullm@bu.edu.

Admission to BU Law is highly competitive and depends to a great extent on the demonstration of high achievement in previous law studies. While work experience is not required, it is highly valued.

Application Deadlines*

Programs open for spring admission: Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law, Graduate Tax Program, Executive LLM (see deadlines below), and all graduate certificates

International Applicants: October 31, 2017

Domestic Applicants: November 28, 2017

Tax program (online option), Graduate Certificates: November 28, 2017

Programs open for summer admission: Graduate Tax Program (online option), Executive LLM (see deadlines below)

 

All applicants deadline: April 30, 2018

International Applicants*: April 15, 2018

Domestic Applicants: July 31, 2018

Tax program (online option), Certificate in Financial Services Compliance: July 31, 2018

*Please note: the LLM in American Law is open to foreign-trained attorneys only and is only available for Fall entry

Fall 2017 Session Enrollment
Deadline: June 30, 2017

Spring 2018 Session Enrollment
Deadline: December 13, 2017

Summer 2018 Session Enrollment (both sessions)
Deadline: April 15, 2018

*For all LLM Programs, we strongly encourage applications be submitted well before these dates. Applications received after these dates are reviewed on a space available basis.

**While there are no formal application deadlines for the Executive LLM program, the deadlines above are suggested deadlines that should be taken into account by applicants.

The Graduate Tax Program and the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law, while designed to lead to the LLM degree, will accept a limited number of highly qualified, domestically-based non-degree students to take selected courses. Please contact bullm@bu.edu if you would like to apply to one of these programs on a non-degree basis.

Application Process


The following items are required supporting materials to complete the application for admission for all students:

  1. Completed Application for Admission Form: Please note, Boston University School of Law uses one application for all LLM programs. You will indicate to which LLM program you are applying by answering the first question on the application: question #1—Program Information. If you wish to apply to more than one LLM program, please email bullm@bu.edu for additional instructions.
  2. Application Fee: Payment of a nonrefundable application fee of US $85 must accompany the application. Applicants may pay this fee by credit card. This is in addition to any service fees assessed by LSAC.
  3. Official, Sealed Academic Records: Complete official transcripts—or notarized, full-sized copies—of all colleges, universities, or graduate schools from which you have earned a degree must be submitted to LSAC. The official transcript or an accompanying report must contain your class standing, if given, together with a description of the school’s grading system. All transcripts or other academic records must be official documents bearing the registrar’s signature and/or the institution’s seal. If these records are not in English, a certified English translation must be submitted together with the originals or copies. Transcripts submitted via LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service are considered official; you do not need to submit additional copies. For more information, visit www.lsac.org/llm or see below for information about the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation: You must submit two letters of recommendation written by individuals who are well acquainted with your academic or professional abilities and are able to provide a thoughtful, thorough and candid assessment of your academic ability and potential for success in graduate level law study. BU Law requires at least two – but accepts up to four – letters of recommendation. We welcome letters from former law professors, as well as from employment supervisors and other professional colleagues who have direct knowledge of your skills and attributes. If these letters are not in English, a certified English translation must also be submitted.
  5. Personal Statement of Interest: A carefully worded and detailed personal statement of interest is an important part of your application. You should discuss your personal and professional reasons for pursuing the LLM degree. You should also include an explanation of your study interests and their relation to your previous study, employment experiences and professional goals.
  6. Curriculum Vitae: Please include your curriculum vitae as a separate item, not as a substitute for your personal statement.
  7. Law School Admissions Test: If you have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), you must list on the application form each time you took the test and the scores you received. (We do not require GRE or other standardized test results.) The LSAT test is not required of foreign-trained applicants.
  8. TOEFL or IELTS score report: Proof of English language proficiency is not required if: (i) your native language is English; or (ii) you received your undergraduate or first law degree in a country where the language of instruction and only official language are English. For all other applicants, we must receive satisfactory proof of your English proficiency in the form of an official TOEFL or IELTS score report, submitted via the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service. For more details, see Part 2: Foreign-trained Applicants Only.


The following items are required supporting materials to complete the application for admission for foreign-trained applicants.

Proof of English Language Proficiency: Proof of English language proficiency is not required if: (i) your native language is English; or (ii) you received your undergraduate or first law degree in a country where the language of instruction AND only official language are English.

For all other applicants, we must receive satisfactory proof of your English proficiency in the form of either a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score report, submitted via the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service. You should take one of these exams as early as possible, preferably eight months or more before your anticipated admission.

TOEFL. If taking the TOEFL exam, you must demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or 100 (internet-based). If you have taken the new internet-based test, your scores on the individual sections should at a minimum be 25 (reading), 25 (listening), 25 (writing) and 25 (speaking). You must arrange for an official report of your TOEFL scores to be sent electronically to LSAC from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

IELTS. If taking the IELTS exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 7.0.

Applicants seeking exemption from the requirement to submit proof of English language proficiency are considered on a case by case basis. To request a waiver, you must submit a waiver request form (available in the “Forms” section of the application in LSAC) with your application, indicating the basis of your request. Waiver requests should be made as early as possible in the application process, so that applicants who are not granted waivers will still have time to take an English language proficiency examination. The law school retains discretion to approve or deny any waiver request.

International Student Data Form: Foreign students are required to complete the International Student Data Form and provide the appropriate financial declaration and documentation, as described in the form. While these documents are formally required after academic admission, your official immigration documents may be expedited by submitting all materials with your initial application. To issue your immigration documents, we need to receive official financial documentation from you demonstrating the availability of funds to cover estimated tuition and living expenses for the academic year. Tuition and expenses for the 2018-2019 academic year will not be released until April 2018. To estimate these costs prior to their release, we suggest adding 3-5% to the 2017-2018 tuition and living expenses for graduate students. If you will be bringing a spouse and/or children, or if you will be attending the CELOP Legal English Summer Program, additional funds will be required. View CELOP’s fees and expenses.

The Program Director and/or Assistant/Associate Director interviews all qualified applicants by phone (or in person, if practical). The appropriate graduate program office will notify applicants of the time and date of scheduled interviews.

We make admissions decisions on a rolling basis. Although the official deadline for Fall semester enrollment is April 15th, priority will be given to applications completed prior to this date. Upon notification of acceptance, a nonrefundable deposit of US $750 is required to hold your place in the class. If the deposit is not paid within the specified time, the acceptance will be canceled.

See below for the full information about the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).

International applicants who are currently in the United States must submit copies of all current visa documents. Applicants who are accepted for admission will ordinarily be issued the Form I-20 (needed to secure the F-1 student visa) directly from Boston University. For additional information concerning passport or visa requirements, international applicants should contact:

Graduate & International Programs Office
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Email: gradint@bu.edu

Scholarship Information

LLM Scholars Program

Through its LLM Scholars Program, BU Law awards financial support to a select number of LLM applicants who have demonstrated notable academic and professional achievements. There is no separate application process for scholarship awards; all candidates admitted to an LLM program receive full consideration, with no additional paperwork required. (At this time, students admitted to the online option of our Graduate Tax Program are not eligible for the LLM Scholars Program.) LLM Scholar awards come in the form of partial-tuition waivers. Complete tuition waivers are not available. Therefore, all candidates must secure their own funding sources to cover the entire cost of attendance.

Financial Documentation

International students applying to a full-time residential program are required to complete the International Student Data Form, and provide the appropriate financial declaration and documentation, as described in the form, directly to BU Law’s LLM Admissions Office. While you may submit your financial documentation after you receive admission, processing your visa materials may be expedited if you submit your financial statements at the time of your initial application.

LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service (LSAC LLM CAS)

LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) consists of two parts: the Document Assembly Service and the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.  These simplify the application process by centralizing the submission of application materials. By utilizing the LLM CAS, applicants need only send one set of documents to LSAC, who will assemble and distribute reports to all the participating law schools to which you wish to apply. Your Credential Assembly Service account will be active for five years.

We require that applicants use the Document Assembly Service ($85 USD), which collects academic records, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency exam score(s) and distribute them to the law schools of your choice. There is also a  required Report Fee ($30 USD) that goes along with the Document Assembly Service. The International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service ($135) is optional but strongly recommended for applicants educated outside of the United States, as it enables applicants’ official academic documents to be sent once to LSAC for evaluation, authentication and transmission to the participating law schools of your choice. We strongly advise applicants to register for the LLM Credential Assembly Service in advance of the application deadline.

Total Application Fees

Fee Type Cost Required or Optional?
BU Law LLM Programs Application Fee $85 Required
LSAC LLM CAS Document Assembly Fee $85 Required
LSAC LLM CAS Report Fee $30 Required
LSAC LLM CAS International Transcript Authentication & Evaluation Service $135 Strongly recommended

If you experience technical difficulties in using LSAC’s online application service, please call the LSAC Help Desk at 215-968-1393 or e-mail support@LSAC.org. LSAC Help Desk hours are listed here.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, or veteran status. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs and activities, including admissions, financial assistance, employment, housing, athletics and educational programs. Boston University recognizes that nondiscrimination does not ensure that equal opportunity is a reality. The University therefore will continue to take affirmative action to promote equal opportunity for all students, applicants and employees. Inquiries regarding the application of this policy should be addressed to:

Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
25 Buick Street
Boston, MA 02215
Phone 617-353-4477

Contact Us

Please direct all correspondence, inquiries, and application materials to:

Boston University School of Law
Graduate & International Programs Office
765 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 1003
Boston, MA 02215
Phone 617-353-5323
Email bullm@bu.edu