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Studying an LLM Program in Minnesota

LLM in MinnesotaThe state of Minnesota is in the north of the United States on the border with Canada, in an area described as the Midwest. It is positioned alongside the Great Lakes. The largest city in Minnesota is Minneapolis and the largest metropolitan area in the state is a combination of two cities known as Minneapolis–Saint Paul or the Twin Cities. The city of Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota, and this city has a population of 300,000 people. The larger city of Minneapolis has a population of 420,000 inhabitants.

The state has a population of 5.6 million people in total, and amongst these residents of Minnesota there are three main languages spoken; English, Spanish and Hmong – although Hmong is spoken only by a small number of refugees who arrived in Minnesota during the Vietnam War. As could be expected, Minnesotans mostly speak English, although interestingly the state is the centre of Scandinavian and German culture in the United States, as a large number of people arrived here from these regions of Europe during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Minnesota has a central continental climate, meaning that it has very warm summers of up to 30°C, and rather chilly winters with temperatures dropping down to -20°C.


Law schools based in Minnesota

There are three law schools in Minnesota; the University of Minnesota, Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of St Thomas, and all three are based in the metropolitan area of Minneapolis–Saint Paul. The University of Minnesota law school opened in 1888 and has educated the leading members of Minnesotan society ever since. The Mitchell Hamline School of Law is the product of the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law in 2015 and has a long tradition of offering students the ability to work and study at the same time. St.Thomas Law School opened in 1923, but closed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, reopening in 1999.

Here is a table illustrating the rankings of the different law schools in Minnesota as compared to the rest of the United States.

Minnesota Law Schools Rankings


LLM programs available in Minnesota

Both the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of St Thomas offer LLM programs that are for international students only who have completed their first degree outside of the US and are an introduction to American Law. The University of Minnesota offers a larger range of legal topics for study during an LLM year. Students can focus on Business Law or a General LLM and then also go on to gain an additional concentration of Labor and Employment Law, Civil Litigation, Family Law, Immigration Law, Business Law, International Law, Human Rights Law, Criminal Justice, Environmental and Energy Law, Health Law and Bioethics, and Intellectual Property and Technology Law. If you are considering an LLM as a way to practise the law in the US, then you should check carefully with the Minnesota State Bar Association regarding your current qualifications and experience.

LLM student experience in Minnesota 

Sutharat Suriyaket of Thailand completed her LLM at the University of Minnesota in 2016 and has now returned to Thailand to sit as a Judge on the Kantharalak Provincial Court. Reminiscing about her time in Minnesota, she says she loved 'winter in Twin Cities, even though it is a little bit colder than other cities', she found that the 'people are so kind and friendly' and that the 'cost of living is reasonable'.

Famous Minnesota law school alumni

The most famous alumni from the University of Minnesota is Walter Mondale who was the US Vice-President from 1977 to 1981 along with a large number of Minnesotan politicians and other businessmen and women.

Expected tuition fees and living costs in Minnesota

For LLM students attending any of the three law schools in Minnesota the cost of living sits at around $20,000 for the year, depending on your lifestyle and including your books. The University of Minnesota is a public university and the tuition fees are $57,800 for all students for the academic year 2020-2021. The University of St Thomas is a private law school so its tuition fees are $41,442 for all students. The Mitchell Hamline School of Law is also a private law school and charges $43,534 in tuition fees for all students.

Admissions & applications for international students

International students for the University of Minnesota must make their applications online providing details of their education, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a CV, details of their English language test scores and to pay the application fee. At the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, students can apply online or with a written form and the St Thomas Law School has the same system. All three law schools use the not-for-profit Law School Admission Council to validate qualifications or to manage applications and an application fee may also be payable to them.

Things to enjoy in Minnesota 

If you choose to live and study in Minnesota you will truly get an experience of the real American way of life. The cities of Minnesota have a lot to offer by way of culture and entertainment. You can enjoy museums like the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Museum of Russian Art and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, which are all well worth a visit. And if retail therapy is more your thing you can pay a visit or two to the Mall of America – a huge shopping mall, even by American standards!

There is also plenty to explore when you venture outside of the cities. Agriculture is a big part of the economy of Minnesota which is reflected in the stunning landscape and areas of natural beauty. The state of Minnesota is also famous for its waterways, lakes and waterfalls so you will definitely need to find time to get out on the water in one way or another while you are living and studying in Minnesota. 

What other US states can you study in?

There are plenty of LLM opportunities for those interested in the living and studying in the United States and we have essential LLM study guides to over 20 US states, including:


Featured institutions

Minnesota Law 

University of Minnesota


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