Applying to the LL.M. Program

General Information

The Law School's LL.M. program is strictly a research and writing one designed for people who have already received a basic law degree from an American law school or an equivalent degree (e.g., LL.B.) from a university outside the U.S.  The LL.M. is primarily of value to those planning on a career as a legal scholar or researcher. No course work is required; in fact, degree candidates are actively discouraged from enrolling in courses. Applicants should already have a sufficient education in the field of research to pursue a serious scholarly project.

Be sure to read the LL.M. program requirements and the Overview of the program.

Applicants to the LL.M. program may seek Fall (August) admission. Full-time enrollment and research done in Madison for two regular semesters (i.e., fall and spring) is necessary to satisfy the academic year physical presence residence requirement.

The deadline for Fall admission is March 1. Please see that we receive all application documents by the deadline date.

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To apply to the LL.M. program, an applicant should submit electronically to

1. A completed Application Form

The same application form is used for both the LL.M. and the S.J.D. programs. The application form may be filled in online and saved as a pdf or printed and scanned in as a pdf.

If you are claiming Wisconsin residency please complete a Record of Residence Form. This form should be printed out and then scanned in and emailed with your application. The Record of Residence form does not need to be completed if you answered "No" to Question 16 on the application.

The State of Wisconsin Statutes related to the record of residence form may be of interest to you.

2. A summary of proposed research

To apply to the LL.M. program, the research proposal should be at least four (4) double-spaced typed pages long to ensure specificity devoting most of the detail to the proposed research.

3. A Personal Statement

Include a statement that tells the Graduate Admissions Committee of your experience, interests and goals. (No more than 2 double-spaced pages)

4. A Current Resume

The following documents should be submitted by mail:

5. Undergraduate, graduate and law school transcripts

Include an indication of the degree granted and law school class standing. We do not require a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score for the LL.M. application.

6. Three original letters of recommendation with waivers

The letters of recommendation should be from people who are familiar with your academic ability. The letters should, whenever possible, address the applicant's capacity and ability to conduct serious and creative research. At least one should be from a former law teacher. Letters from law faculty must be on official school stationery. Please be sure to give a waiver form to each recommender; the waiver should be included with the letter of recommendation. 

The letters may be sent separately to the Graduate Admissions Committee by the recommender or included with other mailed documents.  If the letter and its waiver are included with your application, they should be in an envelope sealed by the writer. 

About the recommendation letters: These need to be original letters, signed, and on official stationery (sometimes called “letterhead”), accompanied by the waiver form that you have signed and given to the recommender. Request that the letters of recommendation be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office in a sealed envelope that contains the original signed letter and the waiver form - or - include the letters with your other supplementary materials, making sure that the letters are in their own sealed envelopes. The back of each envelope should have the signature or stamp of the recommender. We suggest that you provide stamped envelopes addressed to the Graduate Admissions Committee and give one to each recommender as a convenience.

 7. An application fee of $56.00 (non-refundable)

Make check or money order payable in U.S. dollars to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Do not send cash.  The Law School does not accept payment by credit or debit cards.

8. TOEFL score (if appropriate)

If your last law degree is not from a law school in the United States or a country in which English is the first language, a TOEFL score of at least 625 [paper] is requested or 100 [internet].

Send the above documents to our office so that they reach us by the deadline: March 1 for fall entry.

Mail to:

Graduate Programs Office
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Email to:

REVIEW OF THE FULL APPLICATION: When the materials listed above are filed with the Graduate Programs Office, the Graduate Admissions Committee will review your application file.


Before applying, please consider whether there are members of the UW law faculty who might be interested in acting as the primary advisor for the proposed project. (See the Law School Web page for information about the Law School faculty.) In general, untenured faculty (those who are assistant professors) cannot serve as primary advisors.  A person seeking admission is expected to be reasonably familiar with the research interests and directions at this law school and make inquiries of UW law faculty members based on the familiarity with the possible faculty member's research interests. 

International applicants

Once admitted, international applicants must provide an official letter or statement confirming financial support for all expenses while completing studies. You must present documentation of having approximately $54,000 USD (single student) to fund your studies here for one academic year (two semesters). If you are admitted to the Law School, this documentation is required for the preparation of your immigration papers. It is your responsibility to assume full support for those dependents who accompany you to the United States. For information about the additional financial requirements for family members, see Tuition and Living Expenses.

Financial Assistance

Funds for graduate support are scarce. Awards are made in exceptional cases and only of modest amount. Admission to the degree program does not ensure financial support. 

If you wish to be considered for financial assistance, you will see that there is a place to indicate this on the second page of the application form.  You will then be directed to submit additional documentation, as noted on the Applying For Financial Assistance page.


If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Programs Office at the University of Wisconsin Law School:

telephone: (608) 262-9120
fax: (608) 265-2253

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