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LL.M. Program: Admissions FAQ

General

1. What are the minimum degree requirements for applying to the LL.M. program?
2. What are the required application materials for the LL.M. program?
3. What is the deadline for applying? What does the preferred deadline of November 15th mean?
4. What is the enrollment profile of the current LL.M. class?

Application Process

5. How do I submit an application?
6. What should I do if I encounter technical difficulties with my online application?
7. Will Harvard review my application even if some of the supporting documents are received after the deadline?
8. How do I find out whether a document has been received or if my application is complete?
9. Do you accept materials sent by fax or email?
10. When will admission decisions be available?

TOEFL

11. Do I have to take the TOEFL?
12. Will you accept IELTS scores in place of the TOEFL?
13. What is the minimum TOEFL score required?
14. Will my application be reviewed if my TOEFL score does not meet the required minimum?
15. What is the TOEFL reporting code for Harvard Law School?
16. If I have more than one TOEFL score, which one will you consider?
17. Am I eligible to get a waiver of the TOEFL requirement?
18. What happens if my TOEFL score is not available by the deadline?
19. Can I send Harvard my most recent TOEFL score even after the deadline?

Transcripts

20. Am I required to use the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service provided by LSAC?
21. My school does not provide transcripts in English. What should I do?
22. My official final transcript will not be available by the application deadline. What should I do?

Personal Statement

23. What are the personal statement questions?
24. How long should the personal statement be? Do footnotes count towards the word limit?
25. Can I send Harvard a revised version of my personal statement after submitting my application?

Recommendations

26. How many recommendations are required?
27. Who should write my recommendation letters?
28. Should recommendations be submitted online or on paper?

Application Fee 

29. How do I submit the application fee?
30. If my fee is being paid by Fulbright or LASPAU, how do I submit my online application?
31. Will my application be processed if my check or money order is received after the deadline?
32. Can I request an application fee waiver?

Financial Aid

33. Does Harvard offer financial aid?
34. How do I apply for financial aid?
35. What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?
36. Can I apply for financial aid after I receive an offer for admission?

Miscellaneous 

37. Can I send Harvard an updated version of my CV/résumé after submitting my application?
38. What is the reapplication process?
39. Do I have to take the GRE?

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General 

1. What are the minimum degree requirements for applying to the LL.M. program?

You must have either a J.D. from an ABA-approved U.S. law school or a first law degree (e.g. LL.B., abogado, maîtrise, or the equivalent) from a foreign law school.

If you are in your final year of law studies, you must complete the degree no later than June of the year in which you intend to enroll.

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2. What are the required application materials for the LL.M. program?
  • Online application form
  • CV/Résumé
  • Personal statements, part (A) and (B)
  • Recommendations (at least two)
  • Transcript(s)
  • Official TOEFL report (if applicable)
  • LSAC report (if using the LSAC LL.M. Credential Assembly Service)
  • Financial aid application (if applicable)
  • Application fee of US$85

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3. What is the deadline for applying?  What does the preferred deadline of November 15 mean?

The official deadline is December 1.  While we do not have an early review/early admission option, we strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials by November 15 to ensure that all documents reach our office by the December 1 deadline.

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4. What is the enrollment profile of the current LL.M. class?

Click here for a profile of the LL.M. Class of 2013-2014.

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Application Process

5. How do I submit an application?

In addition to submitting the Harvard Law School Online LL.M. Application by the deadline, applicants must make sure that any required documents (e.g., transcripts, TOEFL results) be sent out in time for delivery to our office on or before the deadline.

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6. What should I do if I encounter technical difficulties with my online application?

Please contact Embark’s Support team at support@embark.com and/or http://support.embark.com. They can quickly review your record within the Embark system and assist you with your application submission, issues regarding online recommendations, and any other technical concerns that may arise.

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7. Will Harvard 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, LSAC reports, TOEFL score reports, etc.) are not received by December 1. However, you will be at a disadvantage compared to other applicants who have submitted all of their application materials by the deadline.

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8. How do I find out whether a document has been received or if my application is complete?

Given the number of applications we receive and the limited time we have available to process, authenticate, and review each of them, it is not possible for us to reply to individual inquiries asking us to verify receipt of application materials or confirm the status of your application.  

Instead, you should use the “Track Your Status” feature on the online application (bottom of Home Page) to check the status of your application as it is processed by our office. Your Applicant Status Page will indicate whether your application and various supporting documents have been received.

Please note: online recommendations will be considered successfully received as long as the status reads “submitted” or “received."

Please note that you will NOT receive a separate electronic notification confirming that your application is complete.

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9. Do you accept materials sent by fax or email?

No. Materials not submitted electronically through the online application or through LSAC must be sent in hard copy to:

Harvard Law School Graduate Program 
Office of Admissions & Financial Aid
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 5005
Cambridge, MA 02138
USA

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10. When will admission decisions be available?

Most admission decisions will be communicated to applicants in late March. However, if you are facing a deadline for accepting an offer from another school, you may email the Harvard Law School Graduate Program at GPQuery@law.harvard.edu; we will do our best to give you an indication of the status of your application where available. Please be sure to attach to your email a copy of the admission offer from the school in question.  

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TOEFL

11. Do I have to take the TOEFL?

All applicants who are from countries where English is not an official language or who did not complete their full-time basic legal education entirely in the English language must take the TOEFL within two years prior to submitting their applications.

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12. Will you accept IELTS scores in place of the TOEFL?

No, we do not accept IELTS scores in place of TOEFL scores.

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13. What is the minimum TOEFL score required?

For the internet-based test (iBT), we require a total score of at least 100, with at least 25 in each of the four subsections. For the paper-based test (PBT), we require a score of at least 600, with at least 60 in each of the three subsections and at least 5.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE).
 
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14. Will my application be reviewed if my TOEFL score does not meet the required minimum?

Yes, your application will still be reviewed. However, you will be at a significant disadvantage compared to the other applicants whose TOEFL scores do meet Harvard Law School’s required minimum.

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15. What is the TOEFL reporting code for Harvard Law School?

To ensure that your TOEFL score reaches the Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions Office, please use the following reporting code: Institution code: 3457, Department code: Graduate Law.

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16. 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.

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17. Am I eligible to get a waiver of the TOEFL requirement?

Applicants with at least two consecutive years of full-time university education conducted entirely in English may request a waiver of the TOEFL. Waivers are not automatic, and are granted at the sole discretion of the Harvard Law School Graduate Program, whose decision is final. To submit a TOEFL waiver request, go to the “Supplemental Forms” page of the online application and follow the instructions.

NOTE: If you have not completed at least two consecutive years of full-time university education conducted entirely in English, your request for a TOEFL waiver will be automatically denied.

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18. What happens if my TOEFL score is not available by the deadline?

You may submit your application without your TOEFL score, but you must state in your application when you took the exam (or when you will be taking it) so that we know when to expect your TOEFL score report. Note that you may be at a disadvantage compared to other applicants who have had their TOEFL reports sent to us on time.

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19. Can I send Harvard my most recent TOEFL score even after the deadline?

Yes, we will accept new TOEFL scores throughout the admissions process.  You may retake the TOEFL and arrange for ETS to have your new score report sent to us as soon as it is available.

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Transcripts

20. Am I required to use the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service provided by LSAC?

No, the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service is recommended but is not required. If you use this service, you do not need to submit your transcripts, Transcript Request Form, or TOEFL scores to the Harvard Law School Graduate Program. You are still required to submit the rest of the online application to us by the application deadline.

Please note that we do not accept letters of recommendation submitted through LSAC.

We strongly recommend that you have your transcripts and TOEFL score to LSAC no later than the beginning of October to ensure we receive your LSAC report by the December 1 deadline.

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21. My school does not provide transcripts in English. What should I do?

You should take the original transcript in the sealed envelope to a qualified translator. For more information, please read Section 10. Certified Translations of the Application Instructions (on our online application site).

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22. My official final transcript will not be available by the application deadline. What should I do?

Please 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.  If no transcript is available, you must submit a letter of enrollment from the university.

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Personal Statement

23. What are the personal statement questions?

a. Briefly describe either an important issue in your field of interest or a current legal problem facing a particular country, region, or the world, and then propose a theoretical framework or a legal analysis or strategy to address this issue.
b. Please tell us something about yourself—in particular, why you wish to pursue an LL.M. degree at Harvard and how doing so connects with what you have done in the past and what you plan to do in the future.

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24. How long should the personal statement be? Do footnotes count towards the word limit?

Your statement must be no more than 1,500 words – anything exceeding this limit will be disallowed. Part (A), the legal essay, should constitute at least half of the total length. Footnotes do not count towards the overall word limit as long as they are limited to providing sources and citations.

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25. Can I send Harvard a revised version of my personal statement after submitting my application?

No, we do not accept revisions to personal statements once you have submitted your online application.

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Recommendations

26. How many recommendations are required?

Two letters of recommendation are required (most applicants provide three). Applicants who hold J.D. degrees from U.S. law schools are strongly encouraged to submit three recommendations, at least two of which should be from law school faculty members.  

Please be sure to tell us the names and professional positions of every recommender by completing Question 11 (“References”) on Page 3 of the online Application Form.  If you will be submitting more than 3 letters of recommendation, please provide the names and professional positions of the additional recommenders on Page 9 (“Additional Information” upload page) of the online application.

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27. Who should write my recommendation letters?

Recommendations that are the most helpful are written by law school faculty members who know you well or by persons for whom you have worked in a professional capacity. The content of each recommendation is much more important than submitting a large number of recommendations. Recommendations from personal or family friends, no matter how eminent, are generally not helpful.

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28. Should recommendations be submitted online or on paper?

Recommendations may be submitted either online or on paper.  You should consult with each recommender to determine which submission process he or she prefers.  You do not have to use the same process for all recommendations, but please do not have the same recommender submit both an online and a paper recommendation.

Please note that we do not accept letters of recommendation submitted through LSAC.

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Application Fee

29. How do I submit the application fee?

You may pay by credit card, check, money order, or electronic check (available only if you have a U.S. account). Checks and money orders must be in U.S. dollars, made payable to Harvard Law School, and drawn on a bank with a U.S. branch indicated on the face of the check to ensure proper credit.

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30. If my fee is being paid by Fulbright or LASPAU, how do I submit my online application?

Please submit a note to that effect by uploading it on page 9 (“Additional Information” upload page) of the online application. Please email the Harvard Law School Graduate Program at GPQuery@law.harvard.edu for instructions on how to submit the online application if your application fee will be paid by a sponsoring organization.

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31. Will my application be processed if my check or money order is received after the deadline?

As long as you submit your online application by December 1, you will not be penalized if we receive your fee payment within the first week following the application deadline.

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32. Can I request an application fee waiver?

To request a waiver of the application fee, you must submit a Fee Waiver Request Form (available in the online application’s Step 4: Supplemental Forms). Please note that you must provide information on personal and family financial resources (including parents and spouse, if applicable) by completing and submitting the Financial Aid Application before your request for a fee waiver will be considered.

If you do not submit a financial aid application, your fee waiver request will be automatically denied. Please email the Harvard Law School Graduate Program at GPQuery@law.harvard.edu for instructions on how to submit your online application when requesting a fee waiver.

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Financial Aid

33. Does Harvard offer financial aid?

Admitted students who cannot afford the cost of attending the LL.M. Program are eligible for financial aid from Harvard Law School. Our financial aid awards are based on the individual applicant’s demonstrated financial need, as determined from financial information provided by the applicant and his or her parents (and spouse, where applicable). Financial aid may take the form of grants (scholarships), loans, or a combination of the two. Every student in the LL.M. class of 2012-13 who demonstrated financial need received aid, whether as grant and loan or loan only.

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34. How do I apply for financial aid?

Please complete and submit the Financial Aid Application found in Part II of the online Application Form. You may work on Part I (the Application for Admission) and Part II simultaneously, but you must submit Part I before you may submit Part II.

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35. What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?

To be considered for financial aid from Harvard Law School, you must complete and submit the online Financial Aid Application (including the Parental Form and, if applicable, the Spouse’s Form) by December 1.

Your application for financial aid will have no impact on your application for admission, since the two decision processes are completely separate. Financial aid applications are not reviewed by the Committee until after admission decisions have been made.

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36. Can I apply for financial aid after I receive an offer for admission?

Each financial aid application requires a significant amount of time to process, analyze, and verify – all this must be done by the staff before the Committee actually reviews the applications to make their financial aid determinations.  Because our goal is to make financial aid decisions available as soon as possible after admission offers have been communicated, we cannot wait to receive financial aid applications from admitted students. If you do not submit your financial aid application until after you receive an admission offer, there will most likely be no scholarship funds left at that point, with only loans available.

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Miscellaneous

37. Can I send Harvard an updated version of my CV/résumé after submitting my application?

No, we do not accept updated CVs/résumés once you have submitted your online application.

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38. What is the reapplication process?

We retain application records for two academic years after the original year of application. If you reapply within two academic years of your original application, you do not need to re-submit transcripts and recommendations already provided with your original application. However, you must complete and submit the online application again, indicating on page 1 of the Application Form that you have previously applied to the LL.M. Program, as well as the academic year for which you originally applied. You must also provide at least two new letters of recommendation, and transcripts for additional academic credentials you have received since your earlier application. You must also provide a new Personal Statement and a new application fee of US$85. If you wish to apply for financial aid, you must submit a new Financial Aid Application. The deadline for reapplications is December 1.

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39. Do I have to take the GRE?

No.

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Last modified: September 05, 2013

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