The Master of Laws-Legal Institutions Degree Program


Most master's level students at the Law School are enrolled in the Master of Laws-Legal Institutions degree program, a course-based master's in law for students with law degrees from universities outside the United States.

The LLM-Legal Institutions degree is a program for those who want to learn about American law and common law analysis. Students take courses at the Law School and can also take courses from other departments at the university. This master's program is a one-year (9 month) program that provides an excellent opportunity for taking a range of courses in U.S. and international law. Below is some information about the LLM-Legal Institutions program:

  • A program composed of two required courses and elective courses chosen from the JD curriculum, totaling 24 credits.
    • The required courses provide an overview of American law and skills in legal analysis.
    •  The elective courses allow students the flexibility to design the program around areas of law that are of interest to them. 
  • Can be completed in one academic year (September-May, or January-May followed by September-December, in the case of spring entry). Students can extend the program through the summer or the following fall semester, if needed.
  •  LLM-Legal Institutions graduates may qualify to take a bar exam in the United States. Please review The Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements and consult with the jurisdiction's bar admission agency directly for up-to-date information.
  • TOEFL score of 92 or higher is desired. Students with lower TOEFL scores may be considered for admission in some cases. In those cases, the student may be required to take a 3 credit English class. In the fall semester, a specialized Legal English class is offered specifically for LLM-LI students. ESL/English classes do not count toward the LLM – Legal Institutions degree. More information regarding ESL courses, schedules, and fees can be found here.
  • A TOEFL score is preferred, however, we will accept an IELTS score as an alternative. The score on the IELTS should be 7.0 or higher.
  • The LLM-Legal Institutions program is also used as the initial course-based master's program by a small number of students from civil code countries who wish to pursue the research-based degrees at the UW Law School (the LLM and SJD programs).
  • The LLM-Legal Institutions program is a course-based program and does not substitute for the Law School's research-based LLM program as a requirement for entry into the Law School's SJD program.

The application and supporting documents for the LL.M.-Legal Institutions program can be submitted online through LSAC or by mail.

If you are interested in the LLM-Legal Institutions program, please read the Requirements of the program. 

If you have questions about the LLM-Legal Institutions program, you may find the answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page or email

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