Master of Laws (LLM) Admission
Emory Law's LLM program offers graduates of US and foreign law schools the opportunity to pursue the master of laws degree from one of the top nationally ranked law schools in the United States. Learn more about the LLM degree »
Applicants are considered for January and August start dates. Candidates must have received a first degree in law tha tallows them to practice law in their home country.
- August-start LLMs typically complete their degree the following May.
- January-start LLMs typically complete their degree the following December.
- Apply by April 15 to start in August. Applications are considered for fall on a space available basis through June.
To be considered for admission into Emory Law’s LLM program, candidates must have received a first degree in law that allows them to practice law in their home country prior to LLM enrollment.
- US graduates: Applicants must have earned a JD degree.
- Foreign-educated lawyers: First law degree designations vary by country. For a list of law degrees that meet this requirement, please refer to the Minimum Degree Requirements by Country chart found on the LSAC website »
Admission is based on the applicant’s academic training, professional background, personal statement, and professional and academic references. Strong candidates will possess an excellent academic record and serious interest in experiencing legal education in a superior American educational environment.
Prospective LLM applicants should complete the online application and submit all supporting documents through LSAC. A complete application for the LLM program must include the following:
1. Emory Law Application Form through LSAC »
2. $85 Application fee paid via credit card through LSAC »
3. Personal statement which describes your objective in pursuing graduate legal study at Emory and highlights any experiences, qualifications or other information you believe to be relevant.
4. A resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
5. Undergradnate and/or graduate transcripts. Emory Law School requires the use of LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) for transcript and credential evaluation.
6. Two letters of recommendation submitted via LSAC’s document assembly service. These should come from individuals who can speak to your ability to succeed in a rigorous academic setting.
7. TOEFL or IELTS score submitted via LSAC’s document assembly service (Foreign applicants only)
The Character and Fitness questions on Emory Law’s application sometimes provide a bit of anxiety for applicants. This guide is intended to ensure your answers are complete and accurate, which will greatly assist you when you apply to be a licensed lawyer in your chosen state after graduation from law school.
What You Can Expect
When you apply for Bar licensure to practice law, you will undergo a rigorous character evaluation from the Bar Admission’s Character and Fitness Committee in the state(s) in which you wish to practice. As part of the Bar application, many states ask you to submit a copy of your law school application. The committee will compare your answers to its questions with those provided in your school application.
If your answers are inconsistent, the Bar Committee will initiate a more intensive review of your file. For example, it may contact your law school to question whether you would have been admitted in light of this new information. You may suffer sanctions and revocation of law school admission for failing to disclose. The Bar Committee may schedule an in-person hearing to ask you why you failed to disclose information earlier. In some instances, the committee may delay your certification of fitness, which in turn may prevent you from becoming a lawyer as soon as you may like.
Each state’s character and fitness questions are unique to that jurisdiction. Emory Law’s questions capture as much information as possible to assist you when you apply to be a licensed lawyer in your chosen state(s) and when you undergo the evaluation by the state’s Bar Admission Character and Fitness Committee.
Below is specific guidance on the four fitness and character questions found on Emory Law’s application for admission. Two principles govern you while completing this part of the application:
- When in doubt, disclose.
- If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that our character and fitness questions may be more rigorous than other schools to which you apply. As with all aspects of the Emory Law experience, your integrity, honesty, and character in answering these questions completely is fundamental to the community we strive to maintain.
Guidance for Question #1: Academic Conduct
Have you ever been subject to any academic disciplinary action while in college or any educational setting since high school, regardless of the outcome of the action? This includes academic probation, warning, reprimand, suspension, expulsion, dismissal, or any type of academic discipline.
This questions concerns any sort of academic misconduct or allegations of misconduct with which you may have been involved. Regardless of the resolution, you must disclose. Examples of academic misconduct include—but are not limited to—accusations of using Internet research inappropriately in a class assignment, allegations of inappropriate collaborations on a take-home exam, accusations of misbehavior during an assignment or exam, academic probation, academic suspension, expulsion, or any other academic irregularities.
You must disclose these allegations regardless of what an adjudicator, dean of students, professor or anyone else told you. We understand that at some schools allegations and sanctions may be removed from your file after a certain time. However, you still must disclose that they did occur. If you were found responsible/guilty, describe any sanctions levied against you (failing grade, grade reduction, community service, expulsion, etc.)
- When in doubt, disclose.
- If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sample Scenario: During his freshman year, Alex attended orientation at State University. During the program, he had to write an essay about the school's history. He and a friend worked together on their papers and shared research. The orientation coordinator discovered similarities in the papers and initiated academic proceedings against them. The dean of students met with Alex, verbally reprimanded him and sent Alex on his way. The dean said he would not make a notation on Alex’s file and that this event would be between them unless Alex repeated the offense. Alex graduated four years later with a 3.9 GPA with no further issues.
Alex should report this incident to Emory Law.
Guidance for Question #2: Social Conduct
Have you ever been accused of, reprimanded for, detained for, or charged with any criminal offense or school conduct violation, regardless of the outcome? This includes any criminal accusations, including traffic offenses, except for parking violations. This also includes any reprimands or social actions while in college or any educational setting since high school (such as noise violations). If yes, submit an addendum titled Social Conduct to explain the situation, including the background and circumstances as well as the outcome and resolution. Disclose even if any charges were dismissed, or if you were acquitted or allowed to pleadnolo contendere, or if the conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or if the record was sealed or expunged. You must disclose regardless of whether you have been told you need not disclose any such instance. When in doubt, disclose.
This question should be viewed in two parts.
First, have you ever been accused of or sanctioned for any criminal conduct, regardless of when it occurred? This includes allegations of juvenile criminal conduct. It does not matter if the situation was sent to a diversion program or any other alternative resolution forum, was dismissed before court, was removed from your record after community service was performed, was expunged or otherwise removed from your record. You must disclose the allegations. In addition, if you were punished, you must also explain the sanctions, including whether they were probation, incarceration, community service, curfew, or other punishment.
We understand that at the time of the allegations and dispute resolution, a judge, lawyer, adviser, or someone else may have told you the matter would be removed from your record or that your record would be sealed. You still must disclose the incident. The underlying point of this question is to disclose any interaction you have had with the criminal system, regardless of the outcome.
Emory Law requires that you submit information on traffic tickets as well. A simple recitation of the ticket, approximate date, background on the situation and resolution—including any fines or other sanctions—will suffice.
The second part of this question relates to social conduct allegations or violations. This deals with incidents that occurred while in college or other post-secondary education such as noise violations, alcohol citations, disruptive behavior, or other incidents that violated your school’s conduct policy. Even if the allegation, violation, citation, or other reprimand was removed from your record, and regardless of whether someone told you otherwise, you must disclose it to Emory Law.
Sample Scenario 1: Georgette shoplifted from a store when she was 13 years old. As part of the county’s juvenile justice program, she was sent to an alternative juvenile court where a jury of high school peers sentenced her to write a letter of apology. All records of the incident were destroyed, and the incident never appeared on Georgette’s criminal record. Moreover, the supervising attorney coordinating the juvenile court specifically told Georgette she would never need to tell anyone about this incident.
Emory Law requires Georgette disclose this incident.
Sample Scenario 2: During orientation, Sam was cited for playing his radio too loudly in the dorm. The floor RA told Sam never to do it again and had Sam write an e-mail of apology.
Sam should disclose this incident.
Guidance for Question #3: School Interruption
Have you ever taken a voluntary or involuntary leave of absence or have your studies been interrupted during your undergraduate, graduate, or professional school attendance, apart from regularly scheduled breaks?
Note: This question does not apply for normal scheduled breaks in your academic studies. If you took a semester or more off, either voluntary or involuntary, let us know and describe why your education was interrupted and what you did during the interruption.
Guidance or Question #4: Military Separation
Were you ever separated from any branch of the armed forces or the Coast Guard under conditions other than honorable? If yes, submit an addendum titled Military Separation.
Disclose any dishonorable separations from military service.
Students in the LLM program should have English language skills at a level that enables them to read and discuss in class, difficult technical material. Daily class preparation is demanding and students with English language limitations may have difficulty. Only students who feel confident in their English language ability should apply.
For this reason, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of foreign applicants whose native language is not English. A TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 on the Internet-based test, or 250 on the computer-based test is expected. All aspects of each application are considered and language skills further evaluated through the interview and as such, candidates with lower scores may be considered.
Applicants whose native language is not English but have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, may request a waiver of this requirement. Requests can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org » However, non-native English speaking graduate students are tested separately from the native English speakers in their courses and at times allowed extra time on exams. If a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS is granted during the admission process, the student will be exempt from this accommodation and will be tested as if English were their native language. Therefore, requests for waiver should be considered carefully and if there is any uncertainty about the language ability, a TOEFL or IELTS score submitted.