Frequent questions about Mitchell Hamline’s LL.M. for International Lawyers
Who should consider applying for the LL.M. program?
Mitchell Hamline’s LL.M. program is designed for foreign lawyers and law faculty who seek to learn American substantive law and receive an in-depth understanding of America’s legal system and practice of law.
The LL.M. degree is especially attractive to lawyers who expect to work with American trained attorneys on international transactions or disputes that involve American law and legal institutions. This includes lawyers who 1) represent clients with interests in the United States or 2) have American clients with interests in the lawyer’s home countries.
For faculty, the LL.M. program offers the opportunity to learn American substantive law and receive important grounding in the case law method and legal reasoning process which characterizes the common law tradition. Faculty will also have the opportunity to participate in many of Mitchell Hamline’s innovate teaching and curricular initiatives. Increasingly, a master of laws degree from an American law school is seen as an important credential for professional advancement in many educational institutions.
The LL.M. degree is not intended to qualify foreign lawyers to take the bar exam or to practice law in the state of Minnesota. Although the LL.M. degree may enable students to take the bar exam in other states, it is the responsibility of any student who may be interested in practicing law in the United States to research and understand the requirements of doing so.
Do my transcripts need to be translated into English?
Yes, please ask your university to translate your academic transcripts into English. If your university is unable to translate your transcripts, please use a certified translation service, such as the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service provided through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
What is a “credential evaluation”?
In order to evaluate all applicants on a uniform basis, we require all LL.M. applicants to have their transcripts/grade reports evaluated by an independent company, such as LSAC or WES. These evaluation companies translate the information into English as well as provide us with your U.S. grade equivalency. If possible, always request a “course by course” report which lists each individual university course and the grade received.
What is the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service and should I register for it?
Mitchell Hamline will accept applications only through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). LSAC collects and authenticates the academic records and TOEFL scores of international lawyers who are applying for admission to U.S. LL.M. programs. To register for the service or receive more information, go to llm.lsac.org.
Whom should I ask to write my recommendation letters?
Please supply recommendation letters from knowledgeable persons who can tell us about your academic qualifications and career interests. If possible, please include at least one academic reference.
Am I required to declare a specialization when I apply?
No. Mitchell Hamline does not require its LL.M. students to take a specialized LL.M. program or have a specific focus for their LL.M. degree. Students can design their own LL.M. program. There are no specific courses that LLM students are required to take, other than the introductory course before fall semester. This means that students have the flexibility to create their own programs and put together course and seminar schedules that reflect certain practice specialties that are of particular interest to them.
Does completion of the LL.M. degree qualify students to take the bar exam?
The LL.M. degree is not intended to qualify foreign lawyers to take the bar exam or to practice law in the State of Minnesota, although it may enable students to take the bar exam in other states. Each state has its own regulations regarding qualification to take the bar exam. Students should do their own research regarding these regulations. The National Conference of Bar Examiners publishes a yearly guide with bar information of all individual states and additional details. If you are interested in taking a bar exam in the United States, we recommend you research these regulations before you enroll in any LL.M. program.