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. 

There is only Fall admission for the LL.M./S.J.D. degree program.

Application Deadline 

March 1, 2021: Application deadline for Fall 2021 

Application and required materials

  • LL.M./S.J.D. application (will be available September 2020)
  • 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 English Language Proficiency Test Requirement section below)


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 should have their letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS score sent to LSAC through the LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS). Review information about submitting English Language Proficiency Test scores to LSAC.

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. 

Wisconsin Residency

The Graduate Programs Office will email you instructions to complete the Record of Residence Form online.


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

Lock Icon