University of Wisconsin–Madison

LL.M.-Legal Institutions

Course-based Master's Degree Program

Most master's level students at the University of Wisconsin Law School are enrolled in the Master of Laws-Legal Institutions (LL.M.-LI) degree program. The program is a course-based master's in law for students who have received a law degree, such as an LL.B., from a university outside the United States.


The LL.M.-LI degree is a program for students who want to learn about American law and common law analysis. The program is composed of two required courses and multiple elective courses chosen from the J.D. curriculum, totaling at least 24 credits. The program can be completed in two semesters, with either fall semester entry (September-May) or spring semester entry (January-December). Below is more information about the program:

Required Courses

The required courses provide an overview of American law and skills in legal analysis:

  • Introduction to American Law - 3 credits
    An overview of American legal institutions and basic areas of American law.
  • Legal Sources - 3 credits
    An introduction to common law analysis and American legal research sources. Emphasis on the use of American cases in legal problem solving. 

Elective Courses

Elective courses allow students the flexibility to design the program around areas of law that are of interest to them. These courses can be selected from the Law School course schedule.

Bar Exam Qualification

LL.M.-LI 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.



  • October 15, 2018: Spring 2019 Application Deadline
  • March 15, 2019: Fall 2019 Application Deadline

Application and Required Materials

  • LL.M.-LI application
  • Personal Statement
    • In 1-2 pages, double-spaced, explain why you are applying to the LL.M.-LI program and what you hope to gain from your studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Include information such as your prior experience, your current interests, and your future goals.
  • Resume
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can attest to your skills and abilities in an academic or professional capacity.
  • Official transcripts- from all higher education institutions attended (undergraduate, law school, etc.)
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (see below)

Students interested in applying to the LL.M.-LI program have two options to submit their application: online through LSAC or directly to the Graduate Programs Office.

Online Application Instructions

Applicants applying online, will apply through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS scores should be sent to LSAC through the LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS)

Paper Application INstructions

Applicants applying directly to the Graduate Programs Office, should email their application, personal statement, and resume in PDF format as attachments to

Application fee should be paid by check or money order and pay to the order of "University of Wisconsin Law School". Application fee, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts should be mailed to the Graduate Programs Office using the following address:

University of Wisconsin Law School
Attn: Graduate Programs Office
975 Bascom Mall, Room 3222
Madison, WI 53706-1399 USA

English Language Proficiency Test Requirement

All applicants are required to take an English Language Proficiency Test whose first language is not English to adequately demonstrate English competency as a part of the application process.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • A score of 92 or higher is recommended
    • If you are applying with the paper application, you should have your TOEFL scores electronically sent to the University of Wisconsin Law School by using the institutional code C130  
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • A score of 7.0 or higher is recommended
    • If you are applying with the paper application, the University of Wisconsin Law School only accepts IELTS results delivered to our IELTS Results Service E-Delivery account by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted and an institution code for IELTS is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent to the following E-Delivery account using the IELTS system. All IELTS centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. 
    • You must provide the following information to the test center where you took the test when requesting your scores:
      E-Delivery Account Name: University of Wisconsin Law School
      Address (associated with E-Delivery account): 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706

Applicants with TOEFL or IELTS scores below the recommended score are still encouraged to apply.  

Wisconsin Residency

If you are claiming Wisconsin residency, complete the Record of Residence form and submit with your application.

Application Status

The Graduate Programs admission committee reviews applications based on the date they are complete, and does so on a rolling basis. Applications are considered complete when the Graduate Programs Office has received all the required documents.

Usually, applicants will be notified of a decision within four weeks after the application file is considered complete, but that cannot always be guaranteed. The Graduate Programs Office corresponds with applicants primarily through email, and occasionally by regular mail. 


All LL.M.-LI applicants are considered for a scholarship. Many applicants do receive at least a partial tuition scholarship. Applicants are notified of a scholarship via email at the time they are admitted.

Contact Us



Mailing Address

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

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