LLM FAQ

General

What are the dates of the program?
The College of Law’s academic calendar is available here. The mandatory Law 500: LLM Legal Writing and Research course will take place during the Fall 2020 semester.

Do you offer a part-time or distance learning program?
Generally, no. However, online course delivery is available for many classes during the Fall 2020 semester and may continue to be an option during future semesters.

Do you offer LLM concentrations?
Yes, the Illinois LLM program is designed to provide students the opportunity to complete a concentration in their own area of academic or professional interest to enhance their legal education. Formal concentrations for the LLM degree are offered in the following areas:

  • Corporate Law, Commercial Law, and Trade
  • Criminal Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Justice, Democracy, and Legal Rights
  • Regulation, Sustainability, and Compliance
  • U.S. Legal Practice Skills (only available for third-semester LLM students)

Beyond the subjects of the concentrations, the College of Law also has a worldwide reputation in several areas of strength, including:

  • Business and Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Public Interest
  • Tax Law

I have heard that the American Bar Association is considering new guidelines for LLM students to take U.S. bar examinations. What is this about?
While the American Bar Association is considering a model standard for minimum education requirements for LLM students to be eligible to take state bar exams, that model standard has not yet been adopted. Even if adopted, the model standard would simply be a recommendation to individual jurisdictions regarding their bar exam requirements, and may or may not be implemented. The University of Illinois College of Law is tracking this development and will make program changes if necessary. Currently, the LLM program is compliant with the New York Bar’s requirements for foreign educated lawyers; individuals may be eligible to take the bar exam in other U.S. jurisdictions with their Illinois LLM and should consult with the Office of Graduate and International Programs.

How do I contact someone regarding the LLM program?
Call, write, or email us at:

Office of Graduate and International Programs
University of Illinois College of Law
504 East Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
(217) 333-6066 phone
(217) 244-1478 fax

Do you offer transfers from the LLM to the JD program?
No. However, LLM students are welcome to apply to the University of Illinois College of Law JD program, application information can be found here. Additionally, students with a foreign law degree may be eligible for advanced standing admission, more information can be found here. Individuals with questions about admission to the Illinois Law JD program should contact JD Admissions.

Admissions and Requirements

What type of admission process do you have?
The LLM program offers year-round admissions.

I do not have a first law degree, such as a LLB or JD, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, while you must have a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent to apply to the Illinois LLM program, that degree does not need to be in law. Individuals without a first law degree should be aware that even with a LLM degree they may not be eligible to take a U.S. bar exam.

Can I start the LLM program in the spring?
Yes, we understand that a spring (January) start may work better for certain students and have offered this option for several years. Our preferred deadline for spring admission is September 1 of the preceding year.   

What is your TOEFL or IELTS requirement and code?
Unless exempt, you must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Scores from tests taken in person as well as the online TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator are accepted. The test must be taken within 2 years of the program date of entry (August for fall start applicants and January for spring start applicants).

The minimum TOEFL score is 80 internet-based. The University of Illinois College of Law’s Institutional Code of 1836 and department code of 00 should be used in reporting your TOEFL score.

The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 overall.

Do you accept any alternative English tests?
The results of online Duolingo English Tests taken between February 1, 2020 and August 1, 2020 that are from within 2 years of the program date of entry (August for fall start applicants and January for spring start applicants)  will also be accepted. The minimum Duolingo score is 105.

If I am admitted but am unable to attend, is it possible to defer my admission until the next year?
Deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis for compelling reasons, such as the inability to secure a visa or financial hardship. In any case, deferrals cannot be extended beyond one year.

Do you require the LSAT or a similar admission test, such as the GRE?
No.

Application Procedures

How many letters of reference do you require?
We require one letter of reference. Letters are submitted electronically through LSAC or the Graduate College Online Application. Letters can also be submitted in hard copy form in signed and sealed envelopes.

What should I include in my statement of purpose?
Your statement of purpose should be a short (250 to 500 word) essay which tells us something about you that we would not otherwise see in your application, including why you want to complete an LLM degree and your career goals.

Housing

How do I apply online for housing?
In order to apply online for university housing, you must have your UIN (University Identification Number). Once you have that number, you should apply through University Housing. A resource for off-campus housing is the University of Illinois’ Office of Off-campus Community Living.

Legal English

Is an introductory Legal English course available?
No, but all entering LLM students without a U.S. JD degree are required to take Law 500: LLM Legal Writing and Research. The three-week 2 credit course, open only to incoming Illinois LLM and exchange students, is specifically designed to facilitate the entry of LLM students into the University of Illinois College of Law by introducing aspects of the U.S. legal system and legal education.

Tuition and Fees

What are the tuition and fees?
Information about tuition, fees, and other costs can be found at: https://law.illinois.edu/admissions/tuition-aid/. Tuition and fees for the academic year are set during the spring semester of the preceding academic year.

How can I pay my tuition and fees?
You may use one of the following methods: check, cash, debit card, credit card or wire transfer. The University accepts both e-checks and credit card payments online through UI-Pay. 

Credit cards accepted for payment are MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. All credit card transactions will be assessed a 2.4% convenience fee.

More information on paying tuition and fees can be found on the University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations website.

Visa

When will I get my I-20 or DS-2019?
Once your credentials and file are submitted and approved, your I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued by the University of Illinois. It will be sent along with your admission letter to the address you provide. This process may take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

What is the proof of funding requirement for my I-20 or DS-2019?
The U.S. government requires applicants requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 to demonstrate they have the financial resources available to live and study in the U.S. The proof of funding amount is based on the cost of attendance for the LLM program that includes tuition, fees, and estimated living and other expenses. More information about the proof of funding requirement can be found here.