LL.M. Program Eligibility
If from the United States, applicants to the LL.M. program must have received, or expect to receive by the summer before their intended matriculation at Yale Law School, a juris doctor degree with high rank from a law school that is a member of the Association of American Law Schools or approved by the American Bar Association.
If from outside the United States, applicants must have graduated, or expect to graduate by the summer before their intended matriculation at Yale Law School, with high rank from a law school or law faculty with standards substantially equivalent to those of U.S. law schools. Ordinarily, applicants must have earned, or expect to earn, a degree that entitles them to practice law in their home countries; see here. All offers of admission are contingent upon graduation from the first law degree. The Law School reserves the right to review or revoke admission if an applicant fails to graduate from the first law degree with his or her class.
Applicants must have a strong record of academic accomplishment. Additionally, some professional or law teaching experience following the completion of the first professional degree is encouraged. Admission is ordinarily not available to students who have obtained or are pursuing an LL.M. or an equivalent degree from another law school in the United States.
Admission is generally available only to individuals planning careers in law teaching and scholarship. The LL.M. program at Yale Law School is not designed to prepare students to take the New York State Bar Examination.
Applications are accepted for the 2024–2025 academic year from August 15 to December 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time. The December 1 deadline should be understood as the date by which all applications to the LL.M. program should be submitted online through the Electronic Application Service of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). All required supporting documents, such as transcripts, must be received by LSAC by this deadline. Please note that it may take LSAC some weeks to process your documents and send them to Yale Law School. Nevertheless, your application will be considered "on time," as long as all required documents have been received by LSAC by December 1.
Informational Webinars for Prospective LL.M. Applicants
From September to November the Graduate Programs Office conducted one-hour informational webinars addressing the goals of the Yale LL.M. program and the application process.
Register for LSAC’s LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
You should register and pay for LSAC's LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) at least four to six weeks before your first law school application deadline. It takes approximately two weeks for LSAC to process a U.S. transcript or letter of recommendation from the time that it is received; transcripts from non-U.S. institutions may take longer to process. LSAC will not send your Law School Report to us until all official transcripts—and your TOEFL score, if required—are received. It is your responsibility to make certain that LSAC receives all of your materials in a timely manner. More about transcripts ...
International applicants must register for LSAC's Document Assembly Service. We also require LSAC's International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.
Questions about the LL.M. CAS should be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001.
Arrange for letters of recommendation
We require a minimum of two, and accept a maximum of four, letters of recommendation. Generally, these letters should be written by faculty members who know you and your work well. Applicants in teaching or practice may substitute a letter from an employer or supervisor. You may submit up to four letters; however, your file will be deemed complete when two letters have arrived. Letters of recommendation must be sent through LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service. More about letters of recommendation ...
Take the TOEFL
The Admissions Committee uses the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to understand the applicant’s ability to succeed and flourish in the Yale Law School academic environment. The Admissions Committee requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test with minimum component scores of 25 in each category: writing, reading, listening and speaking. More about submitting your TOEFL ...
Learn more about Yale Law School
You are welcome to visit the Law School or browse the Law School’s website. We do not typically conduct evaluative interviews; in certain limited cases, we may reach out to some applicants during our review process for further clarification or discussion of their application materials.
Complete the application form
We require all applicants to the LL.M. program to submit their applications online through LSAC’s Electronic Application Service. Submit your application no later than December 1.
Complete the two essay questions and include them, along with your curriculum vitae, as attachments to your application
Two separate essays are required as a part of the application to the LL.M. program. Please note that a personal statement is not required and cannot be substituted for or take the place of these required essays.
—In no more than 1,000 words, please explain your scholarly research, what prompts your focus on the issues you discuss, and how you have explored them thus far. Critical discussion of specific articles or books that have influenced the formation of your research agenda is particularly welcome. (If you include footnotes, they are not counted for the purposes of the word limit.)
—In no more than 250 words, please tell us about a profound academic or personal experience that you have had and how it shaped your intellectual development.
Pay the application fee of $75 (USD)
The application fee is $75 (USD), payable through LSAC by credit card. The application fee is separate and in addition to any fees charged by LSAC for its application, credential assembly, and authentication services. This fee is non-refundable and will not be credited to tuition in the event of admission.
Receive confirmation of your application
You will receive notification from us when we receive your application and, again, when your application is complete. If you have not received notification by January 15, 2023, please contact us. We typically make admissions decisions in mid-March.
Financial aid is not applied for or determined until after admission. At that time, we will provide admitted applicants with information on how to apply for financial aid. Financial aid is available to all admitted applicants and is based on need. Learn more about your options for financial aid.
Check your LL.M. online application status here.