The Application Process

Questions about our program or the application process? Review the information on this page. You can also join us for an upcoming admissions event.

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The Application Process 

1) How do I apply to the LL.M. programs? 

First, determine which program is right for you -  review our programs, attend an event, or speak with a staff member. Applicants can apply through our online application portal (see #12 below), or through LSAC. 

To apply for the dual degree in International Trade & Investment Law with Lyon Catholic University (UCLy), see their website.

2) Am I eligible for your programs? How do I know which program is right for me? 

Generally, applicants should have already earned, or be in the process of earning, a first degree in law. Professional experience is beneficial, but not required. Review the program pages and see the "Our Programs" section below. Applicants who are in their final year or semester of studies can apply with an unofficial transcript; if admitted, they must provide an official transcript once it becomes available.

  • The U.S. Legal Studies and Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. degrees are designed for students who have earned, or are in the process of earning, a law degree from a foreign jurisdiction. Applicants hoping to qualify for the New York Bar exam should see #17.
  • The Bankruptcy LL.M. degree is designed for for two types of students: 1) students who have earned a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school (or will earn the degree before starting the LL.M.) or 2) internationally-trained attorneys with experience in bankruptcy/insolvency and a basis of U.S. legal knowledge. A three or four semester plan may be appropriate for these candidates. 

3) When is your application deadline? 

We accept applications on a rolling basis until each class is full. We offer semesters starting in August (Fall semester) and January (Spring semester). Applications received earlier in the cycle receive priority consideration for admission and scholarships. Applications received after the priority deadlines (June 30 for Fall start and October 30 for Spring start) will be considered if space is available in the program.

4) What documents do I need for the application process? 

If a candidate applies through our online application portal, the candidate will upload most documents themselves (PDFs preferred). If a candidate applies via LSAC (school code 2799 LB), they need to comply with LSAC requirements regarding documentation. 

  • Transcripts - from all institutions you attended after high school, translated into English. 
  • Resume - 1-2 page summary of your education and work experience.
  • Statement of Goals (Essay) - 250-500 words you write for this application about your background, professional goals, and how the LL.M. program relates to those goals.
  • Writing Sample - 2-5 pages you have already written for school or work showing your legal/analytical writing ability.
    • Must be in English. Applicants can submit something they originally wrote in another language - the applicant must translate the document themselves.
  • Proof of English Language Ability - TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test.
    • Scores should be dated within two years of application. 
    • Send official score reports to the  by following these instructions: TOEFL, IELTS, DuoLingo English test (be sure to select the Graduate Admissions office). 
    • May be waived for applicants who have earned post-high school degrees in English or who were educated in certain English-speaking countries. See #7 below.
  • Letters of Recommendation (1 or 2) - From educators or professionals who can speak to your ability to succeed in the program.
    • These should be no more than 2 years old. If you are a working professional, letters from work supervisors are appropriate. 
  • Foreign Transcript Evaluation - See list of accredited agencies here.
    • The purpose of this is to help our office understand how the number of classes, type of classes, and your academic performance in them compare in the U.S. educational system. It is different than a simple translation of your documents. Applicants should request a course-by-course evaluation.
    • May be waived for students from partner institutions or in other special circumstances. 

5) Where should I send application documents? Do you accept electronic versions of documents? 

Electronic versions of can be uploaded in the application portal after the background section has been signed and submitted. If your university uses a secure electronic system to send documents, the link can be sent to [email protected]. Hard copies should be sent to: St. John's Law Office of Graduate Studies, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439, United States of America.

6) Do I need to take the LSAT? 

No, you do not need to take the LSAT to apply for the LL.M. programs.

7) What are your English language standards? Do you offer conditional admission if I need to improve my English before I can start the LL.M. program? 

  • TOEFL IBT: 80
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • DuoLingo: 100 

Proficiency Waivers: Applicants who have already earned a university-level degree in English or who received significant prior education in English-taught school systems (such as attending K-12 English speaking schools) may qualify for a waiver. Requests for a waiver should be made in writing and uploaded along with the relevant supporting documentation (e.g., transcript). If the request is based on a transcript, an official transcript or Foreign Transcript Evaluation will be reviewed along with the waiver request.

Improving Language Ability: A student who needs a minimal amount of additional language preparation before beginning an LL.M. program may be admitted to a program with the requirement that they complete English for American Law Schools (EALS), a short pre-semester course. This ensures students are ready to succeed when they start the LL.M. program. Applicants who need additional language instruction before applying for an LL.M. program should consider enrolling in a language program such as the English Language Institute.

8) When will I know if I have been admitted?  

The admissions committee reviews application on a rolling basis. After an application is complete, most applications are reviewed within 2-4 weeks.  

9) Is there an application fee? 

The standard application fee is $100. 2022 UPDATE: We are waiving this fee for all applicants!

10) My school has a partnership with St. John’s Law. Should I complete the application process through my school’s international affairs office or directly with the St. John’s personnel? 

Current students of partner schools should consult with their faculty of law administrators and international affairs officers as they decide to apply and prepare their materials; once a student is prepared to apply, they should use St. John’s online portal to apply directly, as described above. Graduates can apply directly to St. John’s.  

11) I am an international student and will need a student visa. What is the process?

You can review student visa information from our International Student & Scholar Services Office (ISSSO). Once a student is admitted to our program, we work closely with ISSSO to support them through the process. The student visa application and supporting documentation will not be reviewed until after a student is officially admitted. It can take several months to complete the process; therefore, we encourage all international students to apply early. 

12) How do I use the online application portal

Phase 1: Create the application & submit the background information.

  • Create an account and log in.
  • Click "Start New Application."
  • Select “Graduate Application” and under the second pull-down menu, "Graduate". Click "Create Application." If you previously started or submitted an application, your personal information will be carried over.
  • Click "Open Application".
  • Provide the requested information. In the "Academic Interest" section, under “Degree Sought”, choose “LL.M./Graduate Programs”. Under “Program”, choose which of our LL.M. programs is of most interest to you.
  • Accept the Terms & Conditions, provide your Electronic Signature, and submit the application.

Phase 2: Upload supporting application materials.

  • You must submit the application before you can upload supporting materials. After you create and submit the application, when you log in to the portal at, you will see an application checklist showing which supporting materials are still needed.
  • See #4 if you have questions about the required materials.
  • Some supporting materials, such as transcripts, will be reviewed for completion before being marked as received. Please allow several business days for review; you can email [email protected] to expedite the review. 
    • International Students: Please note that your student visa paperwork (the I-20) will not be reviewed until after you are officially admitted. The I-20, Passport, Financial Statement, Affidavit of Support, and Sponsor's Proof of Income will be reviewed by ISSSO in relation to the I-20. They are not needed by the Admissions Committee.
  • Once all required application materials are received, your application can be sent to the Admissions Committee for review.

To check your application status: After you create and submit the application when you log in to the portal, you will see an application checklist showing which supporting materials are still needed. You do not need to have all supporting materials available to submit the application or upload other documents. Once all supporting materials are included, the Admissions Committee can review the application.

To apply through LSAC, see the LSAC website, including the Help for LLM Applicants page.

Our Programs 

13) What degrees do you offer? What classes can I take?

Visit our program webpages to review our programs. We offer the following LL.M. degrees & certificates: 

Students must earn 24 credits minimum; many students earn between 24-30 credits. Each degree includes certain required courses, while students can choose between a variety of electives to fulfill the rest of their degree requirements. Visit each program's page for typical classes. Class offerings vary each semester. An academic advisor works with each student to review and approve course selections that meet degree requirements and students' personal goals.

We also offer dual degrees, where students can complete two LL.M. degrees in three or four semesters, depending on the circumstances. The available dual degrees are: Transnational Legal Practice + U.S. Legal Studies and U.S. Legal Studies + Bankruptcy.

If you are not sure which program is the best fit for you, we encourage you to attend an upcoming admissions event to speak with admissions representatives.

14) How much is tuition? Can I apply for a scholarship? Do you offer financial aid? Are there other funding sources available? 

Please refer our page on Tuition & Scholarships for information about tuition, scholarships, and financial aid. We automatically consider all applicants for partial, merit-based scholarships. No separate application is needed.  

15) In what format are you offering classes? Are they online or in-person, or something in between? Do you offer the LL.M. programs entirely online? 

 The St. John’s Law LL.M. programs returned to in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. 

All classes offered in-person are held at the Law School in Queens, with health and safety measures in place as appropriate under current guidance. The University complies with all applicable state and local regulations. See the university's COVID 19 protocols and updates here

16) How long will it take to complete the degree? Can I study part-time? Can I study only in the evening or weekend? What is your academic calendar?

A student studying full-time typically completes the program in two semesters. New students can start in either Fall (August) or Spring (January) semesters.

Part-time study is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We recommend part-time students plan to complete the degree in three semesters, possibly with one summer class. International students on a student visa are generally required by the federal government to enroll in a full-time course load.

  • Students in U.S. Legal Studies & Transnational Legal Practice degree programs can expect to have a varied schedule, with day and evening courses. Our academic advisors work with each student to develop a schedule that works for their goals. Many local students are able to complete the program on a part-time schedule that works for them, attending classes two or three days per week.
  • To meet the requirements to qualify to take the New York bar exam, students enrolled in a bar pathway degree must complete all requirements within 24 months.
  • Most international students requiring a visa should expect to complete the LL.M. degree in two full-time semesters. 
  • Students in the Bankruptcy LL.M. program can expect most of their courses to be held in the evening, with some short weekend intensives. Bankruptcy LL.M. students have up to 4 years to complete their degree.

Our main semesters run August - December and January - May. Some short courses may be offered over the summer or winter breaks. For reference, you can see a typical academic calendar here. Admitted students should visit the Admitted Students page and pay attention to communications from our office for updates regarding specific semesters. 

17) I want to take the New York bar exam. Am I eligible? Which program should I apply to? 

The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies and LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice (Bar Track) are meant to help internationally-educated students meet the academic requirements needed to qualify to take and successfully prepare for the New York bar exam. Academic advisors counsel bar-track students regarding course plans that typically meet BOLE requirements. Attend an information session or contact us to determine which program is right for you. Applicants should have earned, or be in the process of earning, a first degree in law. Applicants do not need to be licensed to practice law in the country where they earned their law degree. 

Please note: Eligibility for the New York bar exam and admission to the bar are governed by the New York Court of Appeals and the New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE). Ultimately, whether an LL.M. graduate qualifies to take the bar exam is determined by the BOLE. Generally, to be eligible to take the NY bar exam, an individual must have earned a first degree in law, such as BA or LLB, equivalent to at least three academic years in duration. Applicants generally need to meet the qualifications to apply to be licensed to practice law in the country where they earned their first law degree. BOLE requires all applicants who earned a foreign law degree to complete the Online Foreign Evaluation. Applicants should consult the BOLE website. Our staff supports students and graduates as they navigate the process of applying to take the bar exam, bar study preparation, and the application for admission to the bar in New York.

18) What about the J.D. degree? Can I transfer to the J.D. program? 

While an LL.M. is designed for internationally-educated applicants with a first degree in law, a J.D. is designed as the first law degree for a domestically-educated student. Highly-qualified LL.M. students can apply to transfer to the St. John’s Law J.D. program after completing one year of LL.M. studies. No LSAT is required and if a student is awarded a scholarship for the LL.M. program, this same scholarship will be applied to the required two additional years of the J.D. program. Some benefits to this path include more time for academic study, experiential and professional development opportunities, and opportunities to be involved in co-curricular activities such as journals or moot court. If you are interested in this option, contact our office to learn more. 

19) What practical opportunities do you offer? Can I get a job or internship while I am a student? What about job opportunities after I graduate? 

Practical experience is an essential part of a legal education. Many academic courses include practical, hands-on elements. We have dedicated career advisors who help students create job application materials, prepare for interviews, and connect with potential employers, including many loyal alumni. Students can participate in for-credit internships starting in their second semester, and many students are able to secure internships or employment during the summer. Our career advisors also help students looking for post-graduate work. 

Students holding U.S. citizenship or pemanent residency have a good deal of flexibility in this area. International students are subject to more limitations due to the nature of their visa. Our career advisors help both international students and permanent resident/U.S. citizens explore employment opportunities as available depending on the rules and regulations applicable to each group. Some of international alumni have been able to use OPT (Optional Practical Training) to work in the U.S. temporarily after their graduation.

20) Do you offer housing? 

University-owned housing is available for graduate students. Many students choose to find their own accommodations off-campus. Review the law school’s housing website for more information. Please note the Housing office sets its own deadlines, which may fall earlier than our office's application deadlines. Students interested in Housing should apply early in the cycle. 

21) Can I visit campus? 

Tours of the law school can be arranged with advance notice. Contact our office to learn more and schedule a tour. Note: Application materials are accepted via online submission only. 

Ready to Apply? 



Do you have a question we haven’t answered here? 

Contact our office by emailing [email protected]