Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Application Procedure


Please take your time to review the following detailed explanations of the application procedures. For additional questions we refer to the Asked & Answered section. If you cannot find the answers to your questions, please contact the Office for International LLM Programs at iblanke1@luc.edu.


Applicants for the LLM for International Lawyers must have a JD degree or an equivalent law degree from a foreign country. Depending on the legal education system, this would include graduates who, in their country, have the first professional law degree or are admitted to practicing law.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) list of minimum degree requirements serves as a guideline to determine which law degrees qualify.  

Admissions Standards

Students in the LLM Program for International Lawyers are carefully selected to ensure that they will have an outstanding academic experience and will contribute to the intellectual discourse at Loyola. Our program is very diverse and includes students from around the world. We strive to maintain and increase the academic standard and cultural diversity with each group of new students. Applicants must demonstrate academic maturity, professional abilities, and cultural versatility (including language skills) that will enable them to swiftly integrate into Loyola’s intellectual environment and to participate actively in the academic life. Professional experience is a plus, but not a must.

Application Timeline

We enroll two groups of new LLM students each year. In the spring semester, courses begin in mid-January. In the fall semester, courses begin in mid-August. We use a rolling admissions system for the LLM Program for International Lawyers. While we do not have a strict deadline, we recommend completing the application as early as possible to leave enough time for the visa process. Generally, students who apply early have better chances of being admitted. We keep our class deliberately small (between 10 and 20 students) to ensure that we can provide individualized student services.

The Admissions Committee will review the application as soon as the required application documents are in our system. The decisions typically will be sent out a week after the application file is completed. It is therefore in your hands to determine how soon you will receive the decision. We do not encourage last-minute applications, but will process them if time and program considerations allow.

As a general rule, we recommend to complete the application at least five months before the beginning of the program. The priority deadline for tuition-assistance consideration is March 1 for the fall semester, and August 1 for the spring semester. 

Application Checklist

This section explains the six steps you need to take to complete the application. The process is less complicated than it looks. Do leave enough time for items that you need to request from others, such as recommendation letters, transcripts, evaluations, etc.

Instead of submitting the supporting documents individually, you also may use the services of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). If you have an account with LSAC, please fill out Loyola's free LLM application form and send an email to iblanke1@luc.edu to request that we order your documents from LSAC. Please include your LSAC account number and select Loyola Chicago as your school of choice.

  1. Free Application Form
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume  
  3. Personal Statement                  
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation
  5. Academic Transcripts and Diploma, translated and evaluated
  6. Language Test Score or Waiver Request

1. Free Application Form

The application form is processed by the Graduate Office of Loyola University. Click on the link, create a user name and password and follow the steps. When prompted to choose the degree you are seeking, click on Master’s Degree. From the drop-down list with all graduate degrees at Loyola choose either International Law LLM or US Law for Foreign Lawyers LLM. Choose your starting semester (Fall Semester or Spring Semester).

You do not have to finish the form in one sitting, but can return to complete it at a later point, logging in with the user name and password. All information previously entered will be saved. Similarly, you do not need to have all documents prepared when submitting the application. You may start the application and then submit the documents later as they become available. The application will be reviewed as soon as we receive all of the supporting documents.

2. A current curriculum vitae or résumé

The curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé provides the Admissions Committee with an overview of information you believe to be relevant in assessing your application. This list should include your education, work experience, professional and academic degrees, honors and achievements, bar and other professional memberships, speeches or lectures given, presentations or publications, language skills, community engagement, and any other pertinent information. The CV should be limited to one or two pages, written in English.

3. Personal statement

The personal statement is a one to two-page narrative that supplements your CV. This is your opportunity to highlight specific aspects of your educational, professional, personal, and cultural background, and to state your motivation to continue your legal education. You also may discuss how you anticipate contributing to the intellectual life and diversity at Loyola, and how you plan to further your career with the LLM degree. 

In other words: this is a chance to tell your story in your own words. Do not repeat, but go beyond the data you already listed in your CV. If you wish to be considered for a partial-tuition scholarship, please indicate this in the personal statement and provide the reasons you want the Admissions Committee to consider when making a decision about your request.

4. Letters of recommendation

Your application must be supported by two confidential letters of recommendation from professional reference contacts - ideally one letter from a professor of your law school and one from a judge or current or previous employer who can assess your professional and legal skills. In the application form, you will be asked to provide the name, title, company/organization, telephone and email address for the reference contacts. Loyola will contact the references with the request to submit the recommendation directly to the graduate school.

The recommenders should be familiar with your academic or professional performance to be able to provide a written statement about your capacity for advanced legal study and professional promise. It is helpful if they can state how you compare to others in your academic or professional environment.

Many professors and employers are not familiar with the US system of recommendation letters. We suggest that you contact your recommenders as early as possible to explain the nature of your request and provide an overview of our LLM Program. Try to leave sufficient time for your reference contact to complete your request.

5. Academic transcripts/diploma

The Admissions Committee will closely review your academic performance as reflected in the transcripts and diploma from all undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities that you attended. The official academic records should list results of all course work taken as well as results of yearly or comprehensive exams.

A record is considered official when it is sent directly by the issuing school or institution to Loyola. Alternatively, you may ask the institution to send the records in a sealed envelope to you. Send this envelope to Loyola without opening it or breaking the seal. If the institution does not issue original documents, attested copies sent in a sealed envelope would be acceptable.

If time is running short, we will accept “unofficial” copies of your transcripts (i.e., those that you may already have in your possession or can easily download from your alma mater’s website) for review purposes only. The admissions decision would then be conditional. To lift the condition, you must submit all official transcripts as soon as possible after enrollment.

Loyola requires applicants with foreign education credentials to provide a certified translation and an official evaluation by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or Educational Perspectives (EP). Please order a General Evaluation with Grade Average Report. The report must be sent directly from the evaluation service to Loyola’s Office of Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management.

Instead of an ECE or EP evaluation, you may submit the CAS report issued by LSAC.

6. Language Test Scores

Students in our graduate degree programs must have a high level of English proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Most international applicants are required to submit a current official score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Exam (TOEFL) or the International English Testing System (IELTS). A test score is considered current if it has been taken within the last two years.

Native speakers are automatically exempt from submitting a test score. Non-native speakers who studied for at least one year during the past 5 years at a university in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or English-language universities in Canada or South Africa, are also automatically exempt from submitting a test score.

If your on-campus legal education primarily was conducted in English in a country not listed above (such as, for example, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and others) you may be exempt from submitting a test score. Please submit a waiver request along with an official statement generated by your law school certifying that all law courses were taught in English.

The law school requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (IBT) or IELTS score of 7.0, with fairly evenly distributed sub scores.  Individual language assessments conducted in person or by telephone may also be required at the Law School's discretion. Please request that your testing center send the score report to the law school electronically. The school's code for the TOEFL/IELTS test is 1412 (University of Loyola Chicago Graduate Programs). You will find detailed information about the language tests at www.toefl.org and www.ielts.org.

We encourage you to apply even if your language test scores at the time of your application do not meet the minimum required for this program. If your academic and/or professional background indicates that you would do well in our law school but for your lack of proficiency in English, the Admissions Committee could offer you a conditional admission. You would be admitted under the condition that you submit sufficient test scores before school begins. This would allow you to re-take the test. Alternatively, you could take the ESL placement test offered by Loyola’s ESL Center upon your arrival in Chicago. Depending on your score in that screening test, you would be required to enroll in ESL classes in the areas where you need additional training (such as writing, for example). Ideally, you would arrive during the summer or fall before school starts to fully focus on improving your language skills. If that were not possible, the law school would limit your enrollment during the first semester to give you more time to focus on developing your language skills. The condition would be lifted upon recommendation of your language teachers. Experience has shown that most students following this route catch up during their first semester and do very well in the following course of their studies.  

Please note that foreign students whose requirement to submit a language test score was waived automatically or upon request will not receive the additional time for final exams granted to the other foreign students in the LLM Program.

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