U.S. law LL.M. program
What is an LL.M.?
The LL.M. (master of laws) is a degree in law for individuals who have already received a first degree in law (either the J.D. in the United States or the equivalent in another country).
Why should I get an LL.M. degree?
This is a decision that only you can make. Law School is an intellectual, financial and emotional commitment and should be entered into with 100 percent effort.
Obtaining an LL.M. degree may open doors to employment for you, either in your country of origin or in the United States. In our increasingly global world, understanding legal systems that are different from your own is more essential than ever. The U.S. aw LL.M. program is designed to provide you with just this type of understanding.
How many applications do you receive for the LL.M. program?
The number of applications we receive varies from year to year.
Is Wayne Law ranked on the U.S. News & World Report rankings? If so, what is the ranking?
Yes. Wayne Law’s full-time program is ranked 105th, while our part-time program is ranked 36th.
Is Wayne State University accredited by the American Bar Association?
Yes. Wayne Law became fully accredited in 1937. Wayne Law is reviewed every seven years by the American Bar Association – the same schedule for regular site visits as every other law school. The LL.M. program has been approved by the American Bar Association.
Do LL.M. students take classes with American J.D. students?
Wayne Law integrates LL.M. students into the Law School and permits them to take courses offered to J.D. students. In the U.S. law program a few introductory courses are offered exclusively to foreign law students. In general you will have wonderful opportunities to learn alongside American J.D. law students in your classes, adding another dimension to your legal education in the United States.
Do professors use visual aids?
Some professors use PowerPoint presentations in class.
What can you tell me about the faculty?
Many law schools market their faculty as being the best of the best. At Wayne Law, we have concrete evidence of our faculty’s success in their numerous books, articles, prominent cases, expert blogs, and regular quotes in local, national and international news sources. They bring a rare wealth of experience and knowledge to the classroom. And their first priority is always students. Our faculty members are not only educators but also mentors, friends and colleagues. They challenge students to raise their expectations and reach heights never thought possible.
Our faculty members are internationally renowned legal experts. They travel around the world, teaching students at colleges and universities and speaking at high-profile conferences. Some even assist governments and international institutions in reforming or establishing laws.
How many students are in the LL.M . program?
Generally 20 to 30 new students enroll in the program each year. The total number of LL.M. students, both ful timel and part time, is about 100 any given year.
How many credits does it take to complete an LL.M.?
Students who received their J.D. degree in the United States (and foreign-educated lawyers electing the corporate and finance, labor and employment, or taxation specializations) must complete 24 credits of coursework and a two-credit thesis to graduate from the LL.M. program. Foreign-educated lawyers in the U.S. aw program must complete 24 credits of coursework to graduate from the LL.M. program.
How are grades determined?
Law school courses generally are graded on the basis of a final exam only. In upper-level courses, such as seminars, courses may be graded on the basis of a paper or a project. LL.M. students are graded on an LL.M. curve and thus aren't graded against J.D. students but only against other LL.M. students.
May I take any classes pass/fail?
How many credits may I take as a part-time student?
Part-time students may register for up to six credits per semester. Students who are working full time, however, are strongly advised to limit their course load to four or five credits per semester. Some courses for specializations offered on a part-time basis take place during the day only, and certain required courses for some programs aren't offered in the evening. Make sure to review the course listings and schedules for more information on course availability.
What is the focus of the U.S. law program?
The program offers an LL.M. in U.S. law. Students receive instruction in legal research and writing designed specifically for foreign-trained law graduates and are able to choose from the wide range of courses available to J.D. students to fulfill degree requirements.
Is it possible to specialize within the U.S. law LL.M. program?
Although we offer no certificate programs, you can specialize in an area of your choosing by selecting specific subject matter courses from our expansive curriculum. You aren't required to specialize. If you prefer, you can study varied courses in major subject areas of U.S. law.
Is there a dissertation requirement?
There is no dissertation or major paper requirement in the U.S. law LL.M. program. However, foreign LL.M. students may do independent research projects with members of the faculty instead of taking a class or seminar.
How long does it take to complete the LL.M.?
Students pursuing the LL.M. on a full-time basis complete the program within about two semesters. Students pursuing the program on a part-time basis must complete the program within six years of matriculation. The law school offers a number of evening courses to accommodate working students.
Foreign-educated students typically enroll on a full-time basis unless they are in the United States on a visa status that permits part-time study. Depending on your visa status, you may take as many or as few courses as you would like. To obtain the LL.M. degree you must successfully complete 24 credits. Foreign nationals studying on an F-1 or J-1 student visa are given up to 16 months (or three regular academic semesters) to complete the program and must complete at least eight credits per semester.
How do I select courses?
Each student selects courses to meet their professional or program requirements after meeting with the director of graduate studies one-on-one for academic counseling. This meeting generally occurs during the summer or semester prior to beginning the program.
Does the program include any internships?
We encourage students to consider internships in and around the Detroit metro area. The director of clinical education works with students before they enroll in a clinic or internship.
When does the program begin? Can I start in January?
The U.S. law program is a full-time, one-year program beginning in August only.
What is required to graduate?
Graduation from Wayne Law with an LL.M. degree in U.S. law requires:
- Completion of 24 credit hours of coursework
- An overall cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 or "B" on the total hours taken and completed
Tuition, fees and cost of living
How much does the LL.M. program cost?
Tuition and fees for the 2013-14 academic year for a full-time semester (12 credit hours) are $12,759.10.
How much money should I budget for living expenses while studying at Wayne Law?
Full-time single students living in the Detroit area can expect living expenses for nine months to be about $22,000. These figures aren't a financial aid budget. These amounts are an estimate of costs to help you in planning for your educational and living expenses.
What expenses should I plan for in addition to tuition and fees?
Expenses, such as housing, personal and transportation vary depending upon individual preferences. For example, books can be bought new or used, online or on campus, and a wide variety of on- and off-campus housing options are available. Students typically budget about $600 for books, $12,500 for housing and $4,000 for transportation (if needed). Health insurance is required of all visa-holding students and is about $1,600 for the academic year, August to May. It can be waived for students who already have health insurance approved by Wayne State University. More information regarding health insurance provided by Wayne State University may be found at the Office of International Students and Scholars.
When must I pay my tuition and fees bill?
Tuition is assessed and paid by semester, based on the number of credit hours taken. Fall tuition and fees for new students are due in late August, and winter tuition and fees are due in early January. Students may pay the full semester bill or they may pay in installments. The bill may be paid by MasterCard, Discover, echeck, cash or check. There is also an option for electronic wire of tuition payments. More information on tuition payment options may be found at the Office of the Bursar.
How do I “document my financial resources?”
You (or your sponsor) must provide us with certified bank statements or other financial verifications that show you have the funds to pay for your tuition for a year of study at Wayne Law. Bank or financial statements must be accompanied by a cover letter or certification on the financial institution’s letterhead. If your parents or other family members are your sponsors, they should be specific as to the amount they will be providing you. You should submit a letter from them stating their commitment to financially sponsor your education in the United States, as well as an official letter from a bank or other financial institution verifying that they have sufficient funds to provide for your full course of study and living expenses. If you have a scholarship, your sponsor must send us a letter affirming its commitment to provide funds for your LL.M. studies and stating the amount of the scholarship.
Can I send my application without the Statement of Financial Responsibility and the bank letter?
The Statement of Financial Responsibility and bank letter only are required for international students who need a visa. It isn't necessary to include the Statement of Financial Responsibility or bank letter with your initial application. We will make a decision on your application without having the Statement of Financial Responsibility or bank letter. We won't need the Statement of Financial Responsibility or bank letter until after you have been admitted to process your visa.
How do I request an application?
All applicants must apply online.
What advice can you give me about my application? What should I send along with my application?
Don’t forget to include (or attach electronically) all of the things you are supposed to include, and don’t forget to sign the application (or certify electronically). Answer all questions. Recommendations should be written by professors or employers who know your work well. Explain any irregularities; don’t leave anything about your record unanswered. Feel free to include attachments that fully explain your record and your experiences.
I don’t have a law degree but have worked in a law firm for several years. Am I eligible to apply?
No. An applicant must have a law degree to be eligible for admission.
I am a licensed lawyer. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you are eligible to apply.
Do I have to submit everything at once?
Your admission file is created when the Law School receives your completed application form and application fee. You should submit all application materials at once if possible.
What are you looking for in students?
Our objectives are to enroll a high-quality and diverse class with clear plans along a variety of criteria. We are looking for solid students who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and to hard work. We look carefully at the personal statement required by the application to see what is important to you. We are far more impressed by activities undertaken because you were interested in them than in long lists of clubs joined solely for the purpose of enhancing a law school application. Your personal statement should be more than a chronology – it should tell us something about you. We want to hear about your characteristics that may set you apart from other applicants – your background, barriers you may have overcome, your interests, your plans for the future.
What is the minimum GPA requirement for applicants?
No minimum GPA is required, but successful applicants must have a superior academic record. Since Wayne Law students come from a broad range of educational backgrounds that use different grading scales, calculating an average GPA for all admitted students is impossible.
Is there a work requirement?
No. Although work experience may be a positive factor in an application, it isn't required.
I am still in school finishing my first law degree. Am I eligible for admission?
As long as you will have completed your degree by the time you would begin your LL.M. studies at Wayne Law, you may be considered for conditional admission. You must submit academic records of all law coursework completed at the time you apply; if admitted, you will be required to submit final transcripts showing your degree was awarded before starting your first semester at Wayne Law.
When is the U.S. law LL.M. application deadline?
The U.S. law application deadline for fall semester is May 1. Extensions to this deadline may be requested in writing to email@example.com.
How are applications evaluated? How competitive is admission to the graduate programs?
LL.M. prospective students must demonstrate professional competence and career advancement. Applications are reviewed holistically. The review committee will consider every part of each application, including grades, universities attended, English language exam scores, Personal Statement, curriculum vitae, professional experience, letters of recommendation and achievements in nonacademic activities or public service.
May I request an interview as part of the application process?
The committee encourages all applicants to submit all relevant information in writing with the application. An interview is required prior to admission. We will contact you regarding an interview. Skype is our preferred method for interviewing foreign applicants.
Does Wayne Law offer "conditional admission" to its U.S.law LL.M. program?
Yes. Students may be offered conditional admission pending additional English Language Proficiency scores or in other circumstances. Conditional admission is granted on a case-by-case basis when applicants meet all other requirements.
Does it help to apply early?
Yes. The Admissions Committee reviews files on a rolling basis and makes offers throughout the admissions cycle. Therefore, it is to your advantage to submit your application as early as possible within each admissions cycle.
How long from the time my application is complete may I expect to receive a decision?
To communicate in a timely fashion with applicants, all decisions regarding admission to the LL.M. program will be released electronically. Applicants may expect an email notification when their decisions have been released. An official offer of admission to any degree program also is mailed to the address indicated on the application. Decisions other than admission will only be released electronically and won't be mailed. Applicants should expect to receive a decision within four weeks of the application deadline.
Do you accept materials sent by fax or email?
Will Wayne Law review my application even if some of the supporting documents are submitted after the deadline?
Yes. Your application will be reviewed even if some of your materials (e.g. transcripts, letters of recommendation, TOEFL score reports, etc.) aren't received by our deadline. However, you will be at a disadvantage compared to other applicants who have submitted all of their application materials by the deadline.
Is the LSAT required for admission to an LL.M. program?
Can I receive a copy of my application materials?
Once you submit your application materials, they become the property of Wayne Law and cannot be returned to the applicant.
Does Wayne Law require a deposit from admitted students?
If admitted, you will be asked to submit a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit to reserve your place in the incoming class. The deposit will be credited toward your first term tuition fee.
If I am admitted to the LL.M. program, how long do I have to decide whether I will attend?
When you receive your admissions letter, you will be given an acceptance deadline date for you to confirm your attendance with a $1,000 tuition deposit, after which date your seat in the program no longer will be held. This acceptance deadline will be about four weeks after the date of your admission.
If I send in my tuition deposit and then change my mind, will my deposit be refunded?
No, tuition deposits are nonrefundable.
If I am admitted, may I defer for one or more years?
Can I work while enrolled in a full-time LL.M. program?
International graduate students may work up to 20 hours per week in a campus job. LL.M. students who wish to work usually try to find research assistant positions within the Law School. Students may contact faculty members directly to inquire.
Additional application materials
My transcripts and/or recommendations aren't in English. Do I need to have them translated?
Yes. While all official academic records must be issued in their original language, if they aren't in English they must be accompanied by certified English translations. Translations should be made and certified by an official translator. You must submit both the original and the translated versions.
My school doesn't provide transcripts in English. What should I do?
Most foreign institutions provide copies of your transcripts and degree certificates in the English language as well as your native language. In some cases, you may have to ask specifically for them, and in certain cases, you might also have to pay an additional fee for this service. It is important that you submit native language and English language versions to Wayne Law. Applicants may use WES, ECE or another credential evaluation service.
My official final transcript won't be available by the application deadline. What should I do?
Submit the most up-to-date official transcript available. You should have your official final transcript sent to us as soon as it is available.
How many recommendations should I submit?
We ask for two letters of recommendation. One or both letters should be from law school faculty members who have personal knowledge of your academic work. If appropriate, employers also may provide recommendation letters.
How long should the Personal Statement be? Is there a limit?
The Personal Statement should be about two to four pages long, double spaced. It should address topics such as why you wish to attain a second degree in law, how the Wayne Law program will advance your career goals, which educational or work experiences in the past have prepared you to undertake LL.M. studies in the United States and which aspects of our program most appeal to you. The personal statement is also the best place to talk about your work history, your familiarity with the U.S. legal system, your proficiency in the English language, any degree programs that you began but didn't complete and your criminal history, if any. If you are in possession of a U.S. student visa or have been granted one in the past, please note that fact, as well.
Are there any formatting requirements for the Personal Statement or curriculum vitae?
There are no specific formatting requirements, such as margins or font size, but we ask that you ensure that your documents are easily readable.
Do you require a curriculum vitae or resume?
We strongly encourage applicants to include their curriculum vitae or resume that highlights their professional, academic and extracurricular experiences.
English language requirements
Do I have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?
An English language proficiency test is required for all applicants whose undergraduate and/or first law degree program was not taught in English or for applicants whose law degree program was taught in English but whose degree-granting institution is in a country where English isn't the primary language. Such applicants must submit an official score result from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required?
The graduate studies program requires that applicants who take the TOEFL achieve a minimum total score of at least 600 for the paper-based test or a 100 on the Internet-based test. For applicants who take the IELTS, the committee requires a minimum overall band score of at least a 6.5.
My TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum required, can I still apply?
If your TOEFL score is close to our minimum and your application is otherwise strong, we may consider you for conditional admission and, in rare cases, give you the opportunity to take the TOEFL/IELTS again to attain an acceptable score. If your TOEFL score is below the minimum requirement, we encourage you to retake the test. Phone interviews and a conditional acceptance are sometimes offered to applicants with lower TOEFL scores, but these options are solely at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. You may request conditional admittance and phone interview.
May I request a waiver of the TOEFL?
In appropriate circumstances (normally the completion of an undergraduate or first law degree from an English-speaking country at a school where all courses were taught in English), the director of graduate studies will consider requests for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. Any requests for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement must be made in writing and submitted along with your application.
If I have more than one TOEFL score, which one will you consider?
We consider all valid TOEFL results (tests taken within two years prior to your application), but we pay closer attention to your most recent scores.
Does your program provide any English preparation courses?
Yes, Wayne State University offers an English Language Institute.
Will I be given visa information?
Yes. If you are admitted to a full-time graduate program, your admission packet will include a flier about how to locate and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Application to the Office for International Students and Scholars at the university. The Office for International Students and Scholars will help you apply for your visa. LL.M. students in the United States generally have F-1 visas or J-1 student visas. The application process from acceptance to receipt of visa may be from 30 to 90 days. Admitted students should begin the student visa application process without delay to ensure that the student visa will be issued in a timely manner.
What kind of visa do I need?
Visa consultation for admitted LL.M. students is handled by the Office for International Students and Scholars. Only the Office for International Students and Scholars can advise you on visa related issues.
What are the medical requirements for incoming students?
Wayne State University requires that all international students have a tuberculosis (TB) screening at the Campus Health Center. More information on this requirement
If I complete the LL.M., can I stay in the summer to work?
U.S. immigration regulations currently permit F-1 visa students who have been continuously enrolled in Wayne Law for two semesters to apply for post-graduate optional practical training. The optional practical training permission allows F-1 students to remain in the U.S. for about one year to undertake law-related employment. Students with J-1 visa status aren't eligible for the post-graduate optional practical training.
Can my spouse work while I'm a student?
The spouse or dependents of an F-1 visa student are usually required to enter the United States under F-2 visa status. F-2 spouses and dependents aren't eligible for employment in the United States under current U.S. immigration regulations. The spouse or dependents of a J-1 visa student are usually required to enter the United States under J-2 visa status. In some cases, a J-2 spouse or dependent may be eligible to work in the United States. The J-1 student should consult the Office of International Students and Scholars for advice regarding employment permission for a J-2 spouse under current U.S. immigration regulations.
Moving to Michigan
What is the weather like?
Michigan is a state with all four seasons in their glory. Summers in Michigan are beautiful, with lots of warm, sunny days at our beautiful Great Lakes beaches. Autumn in Michigan brings generally warm days through September, with the weather becoming cooler and the leaves turning color and falling off the trees in October. November and December sometimes bring snow, but definitely bring cooler temperatures. January through March/April brings cold temperatures (bring your hat and gloves) and snow, and May and June bring warmer temperatures and the return of green to the trees and the blooming of flowers.
What about moving to Michigan and getting settled? Will the Law School help me?
Wayne Law is committed to one-on-one attention for all of our students. Once you have decided to attend Wayne Law, we will provide you with an extensive apartment guide and assist you with all other facets of your relocation to Michigan – including identifying schools for your children or a carpool for your commute. The Office of International Students and Scholars exists specifically to meet the special needs of international students, including cultural familiarization, academic and personal matters or compliance with immigration regulations. For more information, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars.
When should I plan to arrive?
To arrange housing, you should plan to arrive by early August. You also should plan to attend the orientation session in late August as it offers much useful information to newly admitted students.
Does Wayne Law have on-campus housing for law students?
Yes, a limited number of dorm rooms and on-campus apartments are available for law students. For more information, contact the Housing Office.
Are there student organizations I may join?
Yes, numerous student organizations are available at the Law School and throughout the university. Law School student organizations
Where can I find a copy of Wayne Law’s Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics?
Where can I find the orientation schedule?
A detailed orientation schedule will be emailed to you when it becomes available.
What is appropriate attire for school?
Most students dress casually for class. Remember, however, that this is the beginning of your professional career. In the future, you will be asking professors and administrators for letters of recommendation and will be seeking business referrals from your fellow alums. The impressions you make will last long after law school so you may want to avoid attire that, while trendy or fashionable, may not foster the long-term image you want to create. Also, when selecting your clothing for a given day, you should consider what events are occurring on campus. For example, the Career Services Office frequently hosts presentations by practicing attorneys. These events are a great opportunity for you to network and perhaps obtain a job interview, so you should wear something that will create a positive impression on the prospective employer.
Will I need a computer?
We highly recommend you use a laptop in class. The Law School’s technology enhances the classroom experience and provides students with exciting and innovative research capability. All entering students, including LL.M. students, are encouraged to have laptop computers. Students have wireless Internet access within the Law School buildings, web-based e-mail, BlackBoard Course Management System and free access to many Web-based legal research resources. More information about university computer resources
If I am a foreign-educated student, can I take a bar exam after I earn my LL.M.?
LL.M. students who received their first degree in law in a foreign country may take a U.S. bar exam in the following states upon completion of their LL.M. at Wayne Law: New York and California. (Students interested in sitting for a bar exam in the United States should research that state’s bar requirements as these regulations change frequently.) Students should be sure to select courses that will allow them to take the bar exam of their choice. Refer to the American Bar Association Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. Completion of the LL.M. degree doesn't qualify a graduate student to apply for permission to take the bar examination in every state. Each state applies its own criteria for allowing applicants to take the bar examination and for admitting attorneys to practice law.
I didn't receive the information packet I requested. What should I do?
It normally takes two to four weeks for an information packet to reach the recipient. If you don't receive it within this time period, email Olive Hyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I take a tour of Wayne Law?
Yes, tours can be scheduled. To make an appointment, email Olive Hyman at email@example.com. Take a virtual tour of campus and portions of the Law School.
How many hours a day will I study?
The amount of time a student studies each day varies from student to student. Some students are more efficient in their studies than others. A good guide, however, is to anticipate that you will be studying two to three hours per week for every hour of class time. This equates to about nine hours of preparation, reading and study for every three-credit-hour course per week.
What if my questions aren't answered here?
Email the LL.M. program at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.