Wayne State University

Admission requirements



The LL.M. program in U.S. law is designed for applicants who have earned a first law degree from an institution outside the United States. The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in which a solid grounding in the U.S. legal system is extremely helpful, whether that career is in private law practice, government work, business or academia. Those who have earned a juris doctor degree from an American law school aren't eligible for the program, though students who have earned an LL.M. or other non-J.D. from another U.S. university are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be evaluated based on academic record, work experience, language ability, life experience and enthusiasm for the subject matter, as indicated by the application essay. The application process also involves an interview, which is conducted either in person or via the Internet.

Applicants must submit the following via our free online process. Applicants are discouraged from sending documents via post or courier services. Documents should be scanned and uploaded as pdf files and then submitted via our online application program.

Photo of students at eventResume or CV

A short resume or curriculum vitae highlighting qualifications for program admission, such as:

  • Relevant employment or internships
  • Prizes or distinctions received
  • Language fluency
  • Important activities pursued outside of an academic setting
  • Papers published or presented at conferences
  • Listing of all academic degrees received or in process

Academic transcripts

An official transcript, with university seal, reporting final grades from all academic institutions attended.

If the original transcript isn't in English, provide an English translation and indicate who did the translation. If there is a delay in obtaining the official transcript, an unofficial version may be submitted temporarily, subject eventually to submission of the official version.

If some or all of the candidate’s studies were conducted in the English language, indicate so as an addendum to the transcript.

Personal statement

A personal statement in English that describes the applicant’s reasons for pursuing an LL.M. in the United States, highlights any relevant personal experience and describes the applicant’s long-term career goals. Indicate any courses or activities of particular interest to the candidate.

Sample of legal writing

The Law School requests a sample of legal writing from all applicants. This sample should demonstrate a candidate's ability to write and analyze a particular legal matter or string of case law. Note that the case law used need not be from the U.S. but the sample must be written in English. It should be less than 15 pages (although most samples are three to five pages). If candidates need to translate a previous work from another language into English, please ensure that the translation is done by each applicant and not a third party. The sample as a whole should be substantially the candidate's own work and not extensively edited, corrected or translated by someone else. We use the sample not only for admissions purposes but also to help admitted students choose classes that will be most appropriate for their skill levels.

Photo of group of studentsEnglish Language Proficiency Report

To establish English proficiency, applicants (other than those whose prior university work has been in English) must perform well on one of the widely used standardized tests of English proficiency.

Submit a report from one of these tests indicating a score of:

  • 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • 250 or above on the computer-based TOEFL
  • 100 or above on the Internet-based TOEFL
  • 6.5 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The score must be officially reported by the testing organization. It cannot be provided by another party, such as a university. The score report must relate to an examination that took place within the past two years. Report your TOEFL score to Wayne State University using institution code 1898.

Applicants whose English language abilities don't meet these requirements nonetheless may be eligible for admission to the LL.M. program provided they can establish English-language competency in some other manner. Our university’s English Language Institute offers classes year round. Students able to arrive early in the summer may enroll in intensive programs designed to prepare them to begin classes in the fall semester, provided they arrive in the United States with some English competency. Applicants interested in pursuing admission via this option should first apply online to the Law School, which will forward materials to the English Language Institute.

Letters of recommendation

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals who are personally familiar with the applicant’s intellectual abilities, work product and character. Letters from individuals who don't know the applicant well aren't useful.

A scanned government-issued identification document, such as a Passport


Applicants may be invited to participate in an interview with members of the admissions committee prior to an admission decision being made. The interviews, which last 20 to 30 minutes, are informal and are conducted either in person or over the Internet. Interviews conducted over the Internet typically are done via Skype, and applicants are requested to download Skype software (at no charge).

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