Posted Oct. 7, 2021
The process of applying for an LLM can seem daunting and time-consuming.
You will need to research potential law schools, write a statement of purpose, apply to the school you want, get letters of recommendation from professors at your undergraduate institution and finally, submit all of your materials online. As you embark on this application process, this checklist will help you understand exactly what is required before submitting your application.
1. Properly research the LLM
You should do some research on the specific LLM program that you are considering. You need to make sure that your background and skills will be helpful in the subject you choose. In addition, any knowledge of a foreign language could be beneficial while applying for a course within a law school with an international orientation.
2. Research how to apply online
Once you have compiled all the necessary components, you will need to know how the online system works to submit everything correctly. Some schools allow you to upload all your materials online, while others will require you to send them via email/FedEx. It is a good idea to read the application instructions carefully and follow all of their guidelines to the letter, because missing small but important details could cause your application to be rejected. For example, some schools will require that you upload your transcript as part of your online application, while others accept it as a printed copy. Another notable detail is that some law schools accept only a certain file format for transcripts, for example, PDF or doc. You should always follow the instructions provided by each school exactly, because this will show you are organised and serious about applying to their program.
3. Get Letters of Recommendation
In order to apply to a law program, you will usually need to have at least one letter of recommendation (LOR) from a professor that you have worked with. You can use the personal statement as a way to gauge whether or not the professor who has agreed to write your LOR would be able to do so. Keep in mind that this is not an opportunity for you to simply ask someone in your field of study that doesn’t know you, because they will not have the proper insight to write a good LOR for you.
4. Register for English Language Exams
Depending on where you are from and the requirements of the individual law schools, you may need to take an English language exam such as IELTS or TOEFL. These exams are offered at various locations worldwide, and their dates and times can be found online. Once you get your test scores, you should submit them with your application because if any issues arise with your scores, you will have time to fix them.
5. Write your personal statement
A statement of purpose should explain the motivation for applying to your chosen course, as well as why you are interested in studying a law course in general. In addition, your personal statement should discuss any unique experiences that have been important to you.
6. Get someone to proofread it
No matter how careful you are when it comes to re-reading your personal statement, there’s a strong likelihood that you will miss a couple of grammar or spelling mistakes, so it is also good to have another person proofread your work and look for any errors. They will also be able to pick up and advise on any missing information. These are prevalent mistakes that people often make when applying online – and will stop you from making a good first impression.
7. Submit application prior to the deadline if possible
In order to avoid any issues with timing, it is a good idea to submit your application at least two weeks before the deadline, this will avoid any potential issues with last-minute internet failure or system crash. Just look at the recent total black out of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, technology can, and does, go wrong!
8. Get the help of an LLM program advisor
If possible, try to contact someone who has already successfully applied to an LLM course An advisor can help answer your questions and provide guidance on how to go about completing the application process. You may be able to make such a contact via social media or contacting an alumni network.
9. Ace your interview
Some law schools like to interview their LLM candidates in addition to receiving the written application forms and personal statements, whilst others offer an alternative method to take exams in place of interviews. This will depend on the institution and the requirements for each course. If you do have to go for an interview, the only way to find out the correct answers is by researching what types of questions they frequently ask and spend some time preparing good, concise answers. LLM interviews can range from casual conversations or grilling sessions, but either way, it is a good idea to come prepared with your list of questions that you want to ask the interviewer so they can get a glimpse into your plans and goals.
The process to apply for an LLM program may seem daunting, but by following our application checklist it can be a manageable task. All of these tips should help streamline the application process and make your overall experience more enjoyable and ultimately successful.
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