The University of Wisconsin Law School's research-based degree programs are strictly designed for those who have received a law degree from an American law school, or an equivalent degree from a university outside of the United States (e.g., LL.B.). 

The LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees are generally of value to those planning on a career as a legal scholar or researcher. The research-based degree programs do not require any coursework and primarily involve completing research and writing, along with mandatory attendance at seminars and workshops. 

Students are expected to complete the LL.M. and S.J.D. degree in 4 years total. There is no direct entry into the S.J.D. program.


Deadline for Fall 2020: March 1, 2020

Application and required materials

  • LL.M./S.J.D. application (will be available September 1, 2019)
  • Personal Statement
    • In 1-2 pages, double-spaced, explain why you are interested in the LL.M./S.J.D. program at the University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Resume
  • Research Proposal
    • Provide a brief summary of your planned research proposal in at least 6 pages, double-spaced
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Letters of recommendation- two letters are required, three are preferred
    • Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can attest to your skills and abilities in an academic or professional capacity
  • Official transcripts
    • Submit official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended (undergraduate, law school, etc.). If transcripts are not in English, submit certified translations with them.
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (see below)

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 part of the application process. We accept TOEFL or IELTS scores.

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

Application Instructions

All applicants will apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). You will need to create an LSAC LLM account, if you have not already. Complete the application by clicking the above LL.M./S.J.D. application link. You will upload your personal statement, resume, and research proposal before submitting your application. You will pay the application fee when you are ready to submit your completed application.

Applicants have two options for submitting the rest of their required materials- submitting to LSAC through LLM CAS or directly submitting to the Graduate Programs Office (GPO).

LSAC Submission of required materials 

Applicants who select this option should have their letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS score sent to LSAC through the LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS). Additional instructions about submitting English Language Proficiency Test scores to LSAC can be found here.

Direct Submission of REquired Materials to GPO

Applicants who select this option should have their letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS score sent directly to the Graduate Programs Office (GPO). Please follow the instructions for each item below:

Letters of Recommendation- applicants should have their recommenders email letters of recommendation as a PDF attachment to the Graduate Programs Office at

Official Transcripts- applicants should have their official transcripts 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 Scores (only accepted electronically):

  • TOEFL score- applicants should have their TOEFL score electronically sent to the University of Wisconsin Law School by using the institutional code C130  
  • IELTS score- applicants should contact the test center directly where they took the IELTS test and request that their test score 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 score:
    • E-Delivery Account Name: University of Wisconsin Law School
    • Address (associated with E-Delivery account): 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706

Wisconsin Residency

If you are claiming Wisconsin residency, the Graduate Programs Office will email you the Record of Residence form for you to complete.


Applicants who are admitted to the LL.M./S.J.D. degree program, will have an advisor selected for them by the Graduate Programs Committee based on research proposal topic. 

Financial Aid

Applicants are encouraged to seek funding and financial aid from additional sources. The University of Wisconsin Law School has some financial aid available to LL.M./S.J.D. students. Requests for financial aid can be made on the LL.M./S.J.D. application when applying. Applicants will be notified if they are to receive financial aid via email, shortly after 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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