Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about our program or the application process? Review the information on this page. Still have questions? Want to set up a time to speak with us? Email [email protected].  

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The Application Process 

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

First, review our programs or speak with a staff member to determine which LL.M. program you want to apply to. Then, start your application and gather all the necessary documents. Applicants can apply through our online application portal (see #12 below), or through LSAC. We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2021 semester (starting late August 2021) and Spring 2022 semester (starting January 2022).

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.

  • 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-semester dual degree 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. Priority application deadlines for Fall 2021:  

  • U.S. Legal Studies & Transnational Legal Practice: May 14
  • Bankruptcy: May 14

Applications received after the deadline will be considered if space is available in the program. The application for Spring 2022 is now open.

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

Below are the documents candidates need to submit to be considered for admission. If a candidate applies through our online application portal, the candidate will upload documents themselves (PDFs preferred). If a candidate applies via LSAC, they need to comply with LSAC requirements regarding documentation. If you have further question about these documents, please contact our office. Email us at [email protected]

  • Transcripts - all institutions post-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 and how the LL.M. program relates to your goals.
  • Writing Sample - 2-5 pages you have already written for school or work showing your legal/analytical writing ability.
  • Proof of English Language Ability - TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test, or Cambridge Certificate
    • To send us your DuoLingo English Test results, follow these instructions.
    • May be waived for applicants who have earned post-high school degrees in English or who were educated in certain English-speaking countries. Most students should expect to submit this item and doing so will increase an applicant's chance of receiving a scholarship.
  • Letters of Recommendation (2) -  from educators or professionals who can speak to your ability to succeed in the program.
  • 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. May be waived for students from partner institutions or on a case-by-case basis.
  • LSAT Scores - only for applicants who have graduated with a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school within 5 years of their application.
  • Application Fee - Spring 2021 update: waived! 

5) Do you accept electronic versions of documents? 

Yes. Materials can be emailed to [email protected]

6) Do I need to take the LSAT? 

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

If you are applying for the LL.M. in Bankruptcy, and you graduated from an ABA accredited law school with a J.D. degree within 5 years of your application to the St. John’s Law LL.M. Program, you will need to provide records of your LSAT results by requesting this information from LSAC or your law school admissions office. 

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: 6.5
  • DuoLingo: 105 
  • Cambridge Certificate: B2

A student who needs a minimal amount of additional language preparation before beginning a LL.M. program may be admitted to a program with the requirement that they complete English for American Law Schools (EALS), an 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 beginning a program should contact our office for more information.

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 3-4 weeks.  

9) Is there an application fee? 

The standard application fee is $100. This is waived for students from universities with formally established partnerships with St. John’s Law; other applicants in need of a fee waiver can contact our office to request one. 2021 UPDATE: We are waiving this fee for all applicants! If you are applying, let us know so we can ensure it is waived for you.

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. It can take several months to complete the process; we encourage all international students to apply early. 

12) How do I use the online application portal

  • Create an account and log in.
  • Start with application type: select “Graduate Application” and the applicable year.  Under “Degree Sought”, choose “LL.M./Graduate Programs”. Under “Program”, choose which of our programs is of most interest to you. This will create the application.
  • Enter all your background information, sign the application and submit it. You must submit the application before you can upload supporting materials.
    • ​​​​​​​Long term permanent residents ("green card" holders): when you are ready to submit the application, email us at [email protected]
  • Upload supporting materials.
  • Some supporting materials, such as transcripts, will be reviewed for completion before marked as received. Please allow several business days for review; you can email [email protected] to expedite review. 
  •  

Please note: 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. 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 semesters (assuming a full-time schedule). The available dual degrees are: Transnational Legal Practice + U.S. Legal Studies; U.S. Legal Studies + Bankruptcy; or Transnational Legal Practice + Bankruptcy. 

If you are not sure which program is the best fit for you, reach out to speak to an admissions representative by emailing [email protected] or request information by filling out this form

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? 

2021 UPDATE: The St. John’s Law LL.M. programs are designed to be taught primarily in-person. In light of the global health situation, online participation options were available for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. At this time, we anticipate returning to a primarily in-person teaching method for the Fall 2021 semester. U.S. citizens and permanent residents have the most flexibility with regards to mode of instruction; students requiring an F-1 or J-1 visa should be in touch with our office to discuss options.  

All classes offered in-person are held at the Law School in Queens, with socially distanced classrooms and health and safety measures in place. The health and safety of all students and staff are the utmost priority; we are paying close attention to any changes in current health conditions and adjustments may be made if needed. The University also complies with all applicable state and local regulations. Please contact our office with any questions. 

16) How long are your programs? 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. We offer the ability to start in either Fall (August) or Spring (January) semesters.

Whether a student can study part-time depends largely depends on a student’s circumstances and visa status. U.S. citizens and permanent residents have the most flexibility to enroll part-time.

  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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. 

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. 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. Applicants also need to meet the qualifications to apply to be licenses to practice law in the country where they earned their first law degree . All individuals who receive a first law degree from outside the U.S. must complete the Advanced Evaluation of Eligibility. Applicants should consult the BOLE website. Our staff supports all 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.   

2020-2021 UPDATE:  Some New York Court of Appeals and BOLE regulations relate to whether instruction is online or in-person. We are continually monitoring updates from the New York Court of Appeals and the BOLE and have structured our programs so that students are able to meet these requirements.  

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. Well-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. Please note this pathway is open only to students who already hold a foreign law degree.  

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. 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.  

20) Do you offer housing? 

University-owned housing is available for graduate students. Some students choose to find their own accommodations off-campus. Review the law school’s housing website for more information. 

21) Can I visit campus? 

2020-2021 UPDATE: Limited tours of the Queens campus are available. All guests must register ahead of time, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing. Prospective students may bring one guest. Contact our office to learn more and schedule a tour.  

Ready to Apply? 

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

Contact our office by emailing [email protected]