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The Master of Laws Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Application Procedures and Requirements
Degree Requirements and Studying at UT
Living in Austin
- Does UT Law offer specialized LL.M. degrees?
- We offer a single LL.M. degree with five possible concentrations of study. See Degree Concentrations.
- Who is eligible for each concentration?
- Students with a foreign law degree are eligible for all concentrations. Students with a J.D. from an ABA-approved school are eligible for two:(1) Latin American and International Law, and (2) Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law. We will consider, on an ad hoc basis, an application for the concentrations in Business and Intellectual Property from a student with a J.D. degree and little background in the subject.
- Do I need a law degree to apply to the LL.M. program?
- Applicants must have earned a J.D. from a U.S. law school or the equivalent of the J.D. from an accredited law school or university in another country. In most foreign countries, this is a first degree in law (such as LL.B.). If you are in the last year of your law studies and will receive your degree prior to starting the LL.M. program, you may also apply.
- Do you have a part time program?
- No, our program is full time and must be completed within one year.
- What are the program dates?
- A mandatory orientation for admitted LL.M. students begins in mid-August. The fall semester runs from late August to mid-December, and the spring semester runs from mid-January to mid-May. Most students complete the degree in the spring semester but a few complete it in the summer semester.
- Do you offer an on-line LL.M. degree program?
- May I transfer creits from another LL.M. program to UT Law?
- UT Law does not accept transfer credits in the LL.M. program. Students currently in another LL.M. program may apply to the UT Law LL.M. program, but must take the required 24 credits.
Application Procedures and Requirements
- Do I need to take the LSAT?
- No, it is not required.
- How do I request an application?
- LL.M. applications are available and processed through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Applicant Services.
- What is your LL.M. application deadline?
- Our deadline for priority consideration is February 1. Late applications will be accepted, subject to space availability. Applications submitted by the deadline will have priority.
- Do my transcripts need to be translated into English?
- Yes, you must provide translations of your official transcripts and awards of degree. If your university provides an official transcript in English, this is acceptable. We require all higher education transcripts.
- Do you require interviews for admission?
- Interviews are not required, but we will be happy to visit with applicants. Anyone interested may contact the LL.M. Program Coordinator at (512) 232-1262 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Should I submit a writing sample?
- We do not require a writing sample. Your personal statement and answers to questions on the application are sufficient.
- Who has to demonstrate English proficiency?
- The law school curriculum is rigorous and demands a strong command of English. Applicants with a foreign law degree must demonstrate English proficiency by taking a language test. Applicants are exempt from this requirement if they hold a law degree from a school in: Australia, Canada (outside Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa (English medium universities), or the United Kingdom.
An applicant whose first degree in law was taught in English in another country may also apply for an exemption from this requirement by submitting a statement from their law school/university verifying that English was the medium of instruction.
- What test do you require to show English proficiency?
- The law school curriculum is rigorous and demands a strong command of English.
We accept the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
We require a score of 101 on the (IBT) internet-based test, or 607 on the PBT (paper-based test). The scores should be sent directly to LSAC LLM services. The code for LSAC is 8395. http://www.toefl.org/
We also accept an IELTS Overall Band Score of 7.5 or higher. There is no institution code for IELTS. The official score should be sent directly to the LL.M. Program Coordinator. http://www.ielts.org
- Who should write my recommendation letters?
- You should request letters from persons who are knowledgeable about your academic qualifications and career interests. Letters from academic sources are preferred, although employment references are also accepted.
- Do you have a recommendation form?
- LSAC LLM services provides a recommendation form.
- May the recommendation questions be sent directly to UT Law?
- No, the recommendations must be sent directly to LSAC. Recommenders now have the option to send the letters to LSAC electronically. Instructions are on the LSAC LLM website.
- How do I pay the $75.00 application fee?
- The fee may be paid online with a credit card directly though LSAC.
- Do you grant application fee waivers?
- How do I know if my application is complete?
- We offer an online application status check to keep you fully informed throughout the application process. Once your application is received, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the application status website.
- When are admissions decisions made?
- Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis after the February 1 application deadline.
- How will I be notified of a decision on my application?
- An email notification of admission is sent to applicants who are offered admission, followed by an admission offer letter. Applicants who are not admitted will receive an email with the decision.
- If I am admitted, is a deposit required to hold my place?
- Yes, a $200.00 deposit is required to confirm your place in the LL.M. program. The deposit may be paid with a money order, cashier's check, Mastercard or Discover card. UT does not accept VISA or American Express.
The enrollment deposit will be applied to your fall tuition. If you do not matriculate into the LL.M. program, the deposit is forfeited.
- How do I get my visa?
- Once you are admitted, the UT International Office will notify you about how to apply for your visa.
- If I am admitted, is it possible to defer my arrival until the following year?
- If compelling reasons arise, you may apply to defer admission to the next academic year
- Can LL.M. students transfer into the J.D. program?
- A LL.M. student cannot transfer into the J.D. program but may apply for admission to the J.D. program. If admitted, the student's LL.M credit hours will not be transferred. However, upon admission to the J.D. program, a LL.M graduate may be awarded partial credit for coursework from his or her first degree in law.
Degree Requirements and Studying at UT
- How many credits are required?
- The LL.M. degree requires a minimum of 24 credit hours. Many courses at UT Law are 3 credit hours, which would be 8 courses over the academic year.
- How many credits do I take per semester?
- Students must be registered full-time to meet UT Law and immigration requirements. Full-time status is 10-16 credit hours per semester. Most LL.M. students register for 10-14 credit hours per semester.
- Is there a writing requirement?
- Every student must complete a substantial research paper under faculty guidance. Most students satisfy this requirement by completing a writing seminar. Alternatively, students may complete a directed research project for at least two credits that includes a thirty page paper involving legal research and analysis.
- What courses are required?
- See Degree Requirements.
- What courses will be offered next year?
- The fall class schedule is posted each year in March. The spring course schedule is posted online in October each year.
The course areas and related classes section of the Law School's website describes the main areas of law study. A drop down menu lists classes in each area from the current and previous semesters.
Not all courses are taught each semester. All course schedules are tentative until the semester in question begins.
- Can LL.M. students take courses in other departments at the University of Texas?
- Students may take graduate-level classes in other university departments with advance permission of the director of the LL.M. Program and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Such courses will be shown on the law school transcript as graded credit/no credit.
- How do students select and register for courses?
- Course selection and registration for the fall semester occurs during orientation. Space is limited in many courses, and so not all courses are available. Class schedules may be changed during the first twelve days of the semester, and many students make changes during this period. Registration for the spring semester takes place in October.
- What is the cost of tuition and living expenses?
- See Tuition and Financial Aid.
- How do I know if I qualify as a Texas resident?
- To qualify as a Texas resident, an individual must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, reside in Texas for one year, and establish a domicile in Texas prior to enrollment.
International students eligible to establish legal domicile in Texas may also qualify for Texas resident status. Please read the Establishing Texas Residency information on the UT residency website.
- When must I pay my tuition & fees bill?
- Tuition is assessed and paid by semester, based on the number of credit hours taken. Fall tuition and fees for new students is due by the fourth class day, and spring tuition and fees is due in early January. Students may pay the full semester bill or they may pay in installments. If the installment option is chosen, the first half is due immediately and then two additional installment payments are due one month apart. There is a small fee for the installment option. The fee bill may be paid by Mastercard, Discover, echeck, cash or a check.
- Do you offer scholarships to LL.M. students?
- UT Law awards a limited number of reduced tuition scholarships to LL.M. students. All admitted applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships.
Financial aid for international LL.M. students is extremely limited. Applicants are strongly encouraged to investigate other sources of support, such as government or employer grants, scholarships, and loans. Non-U.S. citizens may be able to apply for private loans with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal financial aid loans.
List of outside scholarships.
Information is provided on the UT Law Financial Aid website.
- What are the medical requirements for incoming students?
- The University of Texas has both required and recommended immunizations. The University Health Services website for new students has information on the requirements.
- Am I required to purchase heath insurance?
U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not required to purchase health insurance through the University, but it is strongly recommended if they do not have other health insurance. Information is on the University Health Services website.
International students must purchase the University's student health insurance. Enrollment is automatic and the fee is added directly to the student's fee bill. Individual coverage costs approximately $1200 per year. New students are charged an additional $96 fee to cover the 30 days prior to enrollment.
International students who have an insurance policy that meets the University of Texas requirements may petition to waive the mandatory coverage through the International Office. The insurance waiver must be completed and SIGNED by your insurance agent. An electronic signature will not be accepted. This waiver must be provided to the International Office by the 8th class day.
Accompanying F2 dependent insurance coverage (spouse and children) is optional, but strongly recommended. The insurance rates are available through the International Office.
Accompanying J2 dependent coverage (spouse and children) is mandatory.
- Is it possible to get a part-time job while enrolled at UT?
- Students with F1 or J1 visas may work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during regular semesters and up to 40 hours per week during holidays and vacations. Students interested in on-campus employment often work as research or library assistants. UT has a job database for students.
- Can I work in the U.S. after finishing my LL.M. degree at UT Law?
- Students with F1 visas may apply for OPT (optional practical training) to work up to one year in the U.S. Students with J1 visas may apply for CPT (curricular practical training).
- Do students receive help in looking for a job?
- The Career Services Office (CSO) offers assistance to LL.M. students with their job search strategies. This includes resume and cover letter guidance, interviewing procedures and other resources. A CSO counselor specializes in assisting LL.M. students.
Students must be proactive in their job search and begin early. The CSO office can offer advice on how to proceed.
- Does UT Law participate n any LL.M. job fairs?
- Yes, we participate in the International Student Interview Program held at NYU in January. We also participate in the West Coast LL.M. job fair held at UCLA in February.
- Are LL.M. students eligibile for on campus interviews?
- Most employers who recruit at UT Law are primarily interested in interviewing students in the J.D. program. LL.M. students are eligible to interview only with employers who request LL.M. students.
- Will I be able to take a bar exam after obtaining my LL.M. degree at UT?
Each state sets its own standards for admission of attorneys. The American Bar Association provides a list of each state's bar admissions offices and a Comprehensive Guide for Bar Admissions. Review the requirements for any state in which you might want to practice and then contact the Board of Legal Examiners in that state.
Incoming LL.M. students planning to take a U.S. bar exam should submit a request for an evaluation as early as possible to the relevant state Board of Legal Examiners. The New York Board suggests submitting the request up to one year in advance.
Many of our LL.M. graduates are eligible to take the New York Bar Exam. The New York State Board of Law Examiners lists the relevant requirements.
Living in Austin
- What is special about UT's location?
- Austin is the capital city of Texas and considers itself the "The Live Music Capital of the World." Austin is a lively and exciting place to live. The quality of life is excellent — the cost of living is very reasonable and the climate is moderate.
- What about housing in Austin
The University has limited housing for graduate and professional students. Law students do not usually live on campus as dormitories are geared toward first year college students.
Information on graduate student apartments.
The UT International Office provides links to private housing, including private dormitories, cooperative housing, apartment complexes. It also provides a housing resource guide with answers to many questions that international students might have about living in the U.S.
- Are there good schools and childcare options?
- Many LL.M. students have brought young children with them to Austin and have been very pleased with the local childcare and schools. There are many activities available for families, including public parks and pools, weekend activities, and the Austin Children's Museum. The new Dell Children's Medical Center is also located in Austin.
- Do I need to have a car?
- Transportation is easier with a car, but many students do not buy a car and manage fine without one. If you don't have a car, we recommend that you live near the campus, on a shuttle bus route, or a city bus route.
The University has an effective shuttle bus system, and much of the city is accessible through the Capital Metro bus system. UT students may ride on the city buses at no charge with their student ID card.