An advanced legal studies program for lawyers from around the world
Mitchell Hamline’s LL.M. introduces foreign law graduates to the legal system of the United States. The program brings together a global community of lawyers who receive the specialized training and education they need to practice law and compete on an international level. LL.M. students attend classes with Mitchell Hamline J.D. students, choosing courses and seminars that reflect their individual practice interests.
Key components of the LL.M.
- Structured for students who possess an LL.B. or equivalent degree earned outside the United States.
- Most students complete the program in two full-time semesters.
- Each student is assigned a faculty advisor based on the student’s interest or area of study. Together, the advisor and student design a course of study that includes rigorous law courses and the opportunity to learn from practicing lawyers and judges. Students and advisors meet regularly throughout the program.
- Students are required to earn a minimum of 24 credits to complete the LL.M. degree.
- Students take a required introductory course and then choose from the law school’s J.D. courses. Tutors are available for LL.M. students.
- All degree-seeking LL.M. students may choose to complete a master’s thesis in their area of interest.
- Students can choose courses in specialized areas of law, such as alternative dispute resolution, intellectual property, international and comparative law, business and corporate law, health law, and others.
Benefits of an LL.M. degree from Mitchell Hamline
- Learn American legal doctrine and receive an in-depth understanding of America’s legal system and the practice of law in the United States.
- Deal more effectively with American trained lawyers on international transactions or disputes that involve American law and legal institutions.
- Provide more effective representation to clients with interests in the United States and American clients with interests in your home country.
- Take advantage of Mitchell Hamline’s broad network of practicing lawyers for practical training and in-the-field placement.
- For law faculty, learn about the American legal system and receive important grounding in the case law method and legal reasoning process at the heart of the common law tradition. Increasingly, an LL.M. degree from an American law school is recognized as an important professional credential in many educational institutions.
- Customize your own LL.M. degree with either a specialized focus or general courses. You will have the flexibility to create your own program and put together a curriculum that reflect a certain practice specialty or academic focus that is of particular interest to you.
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.
The fall 2021 LL.M. application is available through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website or by paper application submitted directly to the law school.
- Spring deadline, Dec. 1
- Fall deadline, July 15
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LSAC is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting quality, access, and equity in law and education worldwide by supporting individuals’ enrollment journeys and providing preeminent assessment, data, and technology services.
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Submit an official evaluation of all college or university transcripts. The evaluation must be sent to Mitchell Hamline directly from a credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org). Mitchell Hamline recommends that applicants use one of the following services:
Submit all required application materials to:
Melanie Bishop, Admissions Specialist
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
875 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105 USA
Every application must include the following:
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities the student has attended submitted to LSAC or credential evaluation of all college or university transcripts from a recognized credential evaluation service. (Exchange students provide copies of their transcripts in English.)
- Personal statement, in English, describing previous law study and professional experience, reasons and goals for studying in the LL.M. program, and any other relevant information.
- Proof of competency in English. Applicants from non-English speaking countries or whose native language is not English must provide proof of English competency. This may be by means of an official TOEFL score report, IELTS score report, other established test of English, or successful completion of an English language program. Applicants may also be invited to demonstrate English competency through an interview.
- Two letters of recommendation, in English, submitted directly from the recommender to LSAC or Mitchell Hamline.
- Résumé/curriculum vitae, in English.
Visa materials and documentation of sufficient financial support
Upon admission, students will need to submit:
- Visa information. Most international students enter the U.S. on a student visa (F-1 visa). In order to apply for the F-1 visa, the student needs a document called the “I-20” from the educational institution (in this case, Mitchell Hamline School of Law).
- Financial information. In order to complete the I-20 application, we will need original financial documents that show that the student has sufficient funds for the tuition and cost of living expenses connected to the program. We will send additional information concerning the financial information once you are admitted to the program.
How much does the LL.M. program cost?
The 2021-22 tuition for one year is $34,800 plus $400 for fees. See additional information about tuition and fees on the Financial Aid website.
Is financial aid available for the LL.M. program?
Merit scholarships are available for up to 50% of tuition.
Federal financial aid is not available to LL.M. students. However, LL.M. students may apply for private, non-federal student loans. For more information about this option see the Financial Aid LL.M./International Student Loan webpage.
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 lawyers’ 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.
Can I transfer my LL.M. credits to a J.D. program?
You may receive advanced standing credit toward Mitchell Hamline’s J.D. only for courses taken in Mitchell Hamline’s LL.M. You may not transfer LL.M. credits from another school’s LL.M. program to Mitchell Hamline’s J.D.
LL.M. students can apply for the J.D. program. To do so, you will be required to complete all the same application requirements as other J.D. applicants, including taking the LSAT.
Is the L.L.M. program accredited by the ABA or other accrediting agency?The ABA is authorized to accredit JD programs only. The LLM program is not accredited by the ABA or any other accrediting agency.
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, WES, or ECE. 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 evaluation 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 through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) or submitted directly to the institution. If an applicant applies through 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. This is an easy way to collect all of your application materials in one place and obtain the credential evaluation with the same company.
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 LL.M. students are required to take, other than the Introduction to the Legal System of the United States course. 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.