LL.M. Application Process
LL.M. Application Basics
- Applications for the LL.M. may be submitted from September 1 through April 30.
- Applicants must have completed (or expect to complete) a law degree from a university outside the United States. Correspondence course degrees will not be considered for admission to the LL.M. program.
- If your native language is not English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS.
- LL.M. students begin their studies in the fall semester.
- The application fee is $50.00 (US).
Apply online between September 1 and April 30.
LL.M. Selection Process
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. We make decisions on individual applications as quickly as possible, although the time required may vary from case to case. We evaluate each application thoroughly, reflecting our belief that the quality of the educational environment at Vanderbilt Law School benefits from considering a broad range of information contained in each application.
Vanderbilt's LL.M. Admissions Committee considers:
- Previous legal experience
- Areas of interest
- Academic work
- Letters of reference
- Scholarly publications
- Writing samples (for thesis track applicants only)
- Proficiency in the English language
We require that you apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) using the LLM Credential Assembly Service (CAS) which includes: 1) the Vanderbilt Law School Electronic Application, 2) the LSAC Document Assembly Service, and 3) the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.
This service will save you time and money if you intend to apply to a number of U.S. or Canadian graduate law degree programs. You will only need to obtain your transcripts and other required credentials once in order to make them available for all of your applications. LSAC will collect, authenticate and distribute your university records, TOEFL score, and letters of recommendation to the law schools to which you apply. You will be able to use this credential-processing service to apply to participating U.S. and Canadian law schools for a period of five years. Five reports to law schools are included in the registration fee.
To create your LL.M. applicant account, please visit the LSAC website.
Application Form. Vanderbilt’s electronic application is available on LSAC’s website.
Apply online using the LSAC electronic application form.
Official Transcripts in English. Applicants must submit their official transcripts through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This service is an easy and convenient means of submitting transcripts to a number of different institutions. LSAC, in cooperation with AACRAO (the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers), provides law schools with verification, authentication, and evaluation of transcripts and allows us to efficiently process your application.
Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, or graduate schools attended must be submitted. Your transcripts should show that you have earned, or expect to earn, a university degree in law (the equivalent of a J.D. or LL.B. degree) from an accredited institution outside the United States. Transcripts must show all courses and subjects taken and all grades (marks) received along with a description of the school's grading system.
Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo Test Score. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for the LL.M. program. If your native language is not English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants whose native language is not English who have earned an undergraduate law degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction for all courses may request a waiver of this requirement. Requests may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants should submit official TOEFL scores through LSAC's L.L.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Please use LSAC's designated institution code 8395 and your TOEFL score will be reported to us through LSAC with your other credentials. Vanderbilt’s TOEFL institution code is 1871 and its department code is 03.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score reports must be sent electronically to LSAC using the IELTS system. LSAC only accepts scores submitted for electronic download. An institutional code is not required.
Application forms and further information for the TOEFL and IELTS tests may be obtained online at www.toefl.org. and www.ielts.org.
Note: Vanderbilt Law does not have a minimum score requirement. In general, we look for a TOEFL score of at least 100 or IELTS score of 7.5. We also look at the breakdown for listening, speaking, writing and reading to ensure that all indicate a high level of English proficiency. However, a lower score in one area or overall does not automatically preclude an applicant from consideration for Vanderbilt's LLM program. Applicants whose test score(s) falls below the targets set forth above, should feel free to highlight any specific issues in the personal statement portion of their application they feel might strengthen their application in this regard, such as time spent in English language environments, work done in English, English language publications, etc.
We also accept the
Duolingo English Test.
The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Vanderbilt when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.
Two Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Letters should be from people who have worked closely with you and who know you well. Letters from faculty members who have served as your advisors, research supervisors, or have taught you and are familiar with your work tend to provide information most relevant to you as a prospective law student and most helpful to readers of your application. Recommendations from those familiar with your professional performance are also acceptable.
Personal Statement. Personal statements must be submitted with your Vanderbilt Electronic Application. Your personal statement should include personal, academic and professional background and your reasons for seeking the LL.M. degree.
Resume/Curriculum Vitae. Resumes must be submitted with your Vanderbilt Electronic Application. Please list your educational institutions and professional experience, in addition to any scholarships, awards or honors you have received.
Thesis track only: Legal writing sample. You must provide a writing sample in English of no fewer than 300 words. Your writing sample may be a legal opinion, a scholarly article, or an essay on a legal topic of your choosing.
Character and Fitness: In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. With an eye toward these professional standards, the Vanderbilt application for admission asks specific questions concerning disciplinary actions in an academic setting, charges or convictions of crimes, and charges or findings of offenses (whether or not defined as crimes). Bar examiners may review your answers to these questions on your law school application when you apply for admission to the bar and your background records are checked.
Application fee. Payment of the $50 nonrefundable application fee should be made in U.S. dollars in the form of a certified check or money order payable to Vanderbilt University Law School. If you apply online, you may pay by credit card.
Submitting Your Application
Complete, sign and date the LSAC Electronic Application form. The following items should be submitted with your online application form:
- Vanderbilt Law Electronic Application,
- Transcripts and Degree Verification via LLM CAS,
- TOEFL Report or IELTS Report via LLM CAS,
- Letters of Recommendation via LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service,
- Personal Statement,
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae,
- Application Fee
APPLY ONLINE NOW to Vanderbilt LL.M. program
How to Access the Online Status Checker
You may view the status of your application online using your Applicant Status Portal, which will allow you to confirm your status in real-time. After you submit your application through LSAC, you will receive an "Application Received" email from Vanderbilt. The confirmation email will provide you with a username and PIN for creating your account for our Applicant Status Portal where you may view your application status and upload additional materials for your application. We will notify you by email when we post a decision on your application to your portal.
LL.M. Application Status Checker
Financial Aid for LL.M. Students
Vanderbilt Law School awards merit-based scholarships to LL.M. students each year. Recipients are identified during the selection process and notified after admission to the program. All admitted candidates are considered for scholarship awards. There is no application form required in order to be considered for a scholarship award.
Applicants are encouraged to investigate other sources of support, such as government or employer grants and loans, early in the application process. Non-U.S. citizens may be able to apply for a student loan, but it must be co-signed by a U.S. citizen.
Additional scholarship information is located here.
| Cost of Attendance | |Financial Aid for LL.M. Students |
For more information call the Vanderbilt Law School Admissions Office at (+001) 615-322-6452 or send us an email at:
All correspondence should be submitted to:
Vanderbilt University Law School Admissions Office
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203