Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions about the LL.M. Program
- From which countries does the LL.M. Program at Wake Forest University School of Law have alumni?
- Our LLM alumni include students from Austria, Albania, the Bahamas, Belarus, Brazil, Bolivia, China, France, Gaza, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the U.K., Ukraine, Wales, & West Bank.
- How many students enroll in the LL.M. Program each year?
- The LL.M. class consists of 12 to 20 students each year. The Program, like our law school, is small and selective by design. We emphasize close personal attention to the student, one-on-one interaction with the professors, the daily opportunity to interact with American J.D. students, and geographic diversity in the LL.M. class.
- Can I enroll in the LL.M. Program on a part-time basis?
- No, we do not admit LL.M. degree candidates on a part-time basis.
- Can I enroll in the LL.M. program for an additional semester or year?
- Yes, in some circumstances. Although the general residence requirement for an LL.M. degree is one academic year, we may permit you to enroll for an additional semester or year. In some situations, LL.M. students have governmental or corporate sponsors that fund their study of U.S. law for up to two years. In such cases, we have permitted LL.M. students to register for additional semesters.
If you are interested in enrolling in our LL.M. program for more than one academic year, you should explain your circumstances in your application.
- Does the LL.M. Program offer spring admissions?
- No. Our LL.M. program begins in the fall semester (August) of the year you are admitted. We offer our LL.M. orientation and Legal Writing and Research for International Lawyers program only in the fall. We have no provision to admit LL.M. students in the spring semester.
- Does WFU offer conditional admission?
- Yes. If your TOEFL or IELTS score is below our minimum required score, you may be considered for conditional admission. If admitted, your acceptance offer will be contingent upon the satisfactory completion of either a summer ESL program or a yearlong ESL program before beginning your LL.M. studies.
- What ESL courses do you recommend? Does Wake Forest have an ESL course?
- Wake Forest does not currently have a year-long ESL course, but does offer a summer ESL program. Click here to read more. In the past we have referred international students to an intensive English language program sponsored through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina. Greensboro is about a 30-minute drive from our campus in Winston-Salem. We have also approved attendance of other ESL programs submitted by applicants. Here is a list of approved ESL programs outside of North Carolina.
- What is the cost of tuition?
- For up to date tuition information, go to http://law.wfu.edu/llm/financial/.
- Do you have an orientation program for new LL.M. students?
- Yes. Our two-day orientation program for new LL.M. students begins in mid-August before regular classes. The orientation introduces you to getting around the city, the University and the law school. For an idea of what was discussed at the 2011 Orientation session, click here.
- Are LL.M. students required to have health insurance coverage while at Wake Forest University?
- All Wake Forest students are required to have health insurance coverage. You must either provide proof that you have adequate coverage from another health insurance provider OR enroll in WFU’s Student Blue Health Insurance.
Applying to the LL.M. Program
- What are the admission requirements for the LL.M. Program?
- The student must have an undergraduate law degree from his home country.
- The student cannot be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
- The student must submit a TOEFL score that meets our minimum of 600/250/100. If your TOEFL score is lower than our minimum, you may be considered for conditional admission, which would require you to attend a summer ESL program in the US before beginning the LL.M. program in August.
- Applicants must submit a complete application. You can find the list of application materials and instructions at http://law.wfu.edu/llm/apply/forms/.
- When can I apply for admission to the LL.M. Program and what is the deadline?
- You should submit your application and supporting materials to the LL.M. Program at Wake Forest University School of Law as soon as possible. The School of Law employs a “rolling admissions” process, which means we review each application once fully completed.
- How do I submit an application for admission to the LL.M. Program?
- To apply for admission, please follow the Application Procedures. You may submit your application by mail, e-mail, or via LSAC. Instructions on completing and submitting the LL.M. application can be found at http://law.wfu.edu/llm/apply/forms/. You may also use the LSAC LL.M. Credential Assembly Service to submit your official transcripts and TOEFL score.
- What is the application deadline for the LL.M. Program?
- The deadline for applications to the LL.M. Program is March 31.
- Can you send me an application by postal mail?
- We will be happy to send you application package, which includes detailed information about the LL.M. Program, Wake Forest University, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. To receive a package, please send your complete mailing address to LLM@wfu.edu.
- Are American citizens or permanent residents allowed to apply for admission to the LL.M. Program?
- No. Our LL.M. Program is specifically designed for international lawyers and students who have earned foreign law degrees and who intend to return to their countries or global firms or companies to practice law.
- What forms of financial aid are available?
- The School of Law offers a limited number of scholarships to incoming LL.M. students that are based on merit and geographic diversity.
- Is there a separate application for financial aid?
- There is not a separate application for financial aid. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please submit a letter in your application materials explaining your need for financial assistance.
- What supporting documents are required to be submitted with the LL.M. application?
- Your LL.M. application is considered complete only after we receive all of the following documents:
- Printed and signed application forms
- Personal Statement
- Official transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation
- $70 application fee
- Financial documentation
Visit here for more information: http://law.wfu.edu/llm/apply/forms/
- How should I submit my supporting documentation?
- Supporting documentation should be delivered to the LL.M. Program at Wake Forest University School of Law by mail. Application packages may be sent by Federal Express, DHL, or any other international express carrier. The Wake Forest phone number for this purpose is 336-758-3241. If you face time constraints, we accept faxed documents and other information necessary to complete your application pending receipt of the original documents later. Fax to: International Graduate Programs
Wake Forest University School of Law
336-758-4496More detail about submitting your application and supporting documents to the LL.M. Program can be found at www.law.wfu.edu/apply/forms.
- May I submit my supporting documentation through the LSAC LL.M. Credential Assembly Service?
- Yes, applicants who are registered with Law School Admission Council (LSAC) may submit their applications to WFU’s LLM Program via LSAC.
- Does WFU require the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)? If so, what is the minimum score?
- Yes, applicants are required to submit a TOEFL score. You may be exempt from submitting a TOEFL score if you are from an English-speaking country, earned your basic law degree in an English-speaking country, received a prior academic degree in the United States, your native language is English, or if you possess a law degree from an institution at which the primary language of instruction is English. Our minimum required score for the TOEFL is 600 on the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, or 100 for the internet-based test.
- When should I take the TOEFL test?
- If you plan to apply, you should register and take the TOEFL test as soon as possible. Typically, you should register here for the test at least two months before it is given. Sometimes it takes two or three months for the official scores to reach Wake Forest from the testing agency. Therefore, we recommend that you fax a copy of your TOEFL score to us as soon as it is available, pending our later receipt of the official results.
- Can I submit a second TOEFL score at a later date in the admissions process?
- Yes, you may repeat the TOEFL test and send us an improved score that will be added to your application file.
- Does WFU accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and what is the minimum score?
- If an applicant is unable to take the TOEFL or submit a TOEFL score, we will accept an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. The minimum IELTS score we accept is 7.0, which is the equivalent of our minimum TOEFL sores of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based).
- Does WFU require the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)?
- We do not require LL.M. students to submit an LSAT score.
- Should I submit a writing sample or other supplementary materials?
- A writing sample is not required.
- What are your requirements for letters of recommendation?
- We require two letters of recommendation that discuss your suitability for enrolling in and completing our Master of Laws program. We prefer references from former law professors, from your current employer or from someone with whom you have worked in the field of law or business. Recommendation letters should be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.
- May my references send their letters of recommendation directly to WFU?
- Yes. Letters of recommendation can either be submitted directly by your references or included with your application package if recommendations are in sealed envelopes and signed across the seal. Please provide each of your references with the Letter of Recommendation Information and Waiver Form.
- What are the requirements for transcripts of grades from my university?
- Wake Forest requires an original, certified transcript of grades from your first and subsequent degrees in law or other disciplines. All transcripts must include an English translation and an explanation of the grading system. Please ask your university to translate your academic transcripts into English. If your university is unable to translate your transcripts, please use a certified translation service.
- Why must I (or my sponsor) send information documenting my financial resources?
- You must provide proof of sufficient financial support for your study at the law school. We require this information to ensure you will be able to complete your studies without financial hardship and to comply with U.S. government requirements when we issue a Certificate of Eligibility for an I-20 student visa (see question below).
- How do I “document my financial resources?”
- You (or your sponsor) must provide us with certified bank statements or other financial verifications that show you have the funds to pay for your tuition, books, living expenses and travel for your year of study at Wake Forest. Bank or financial statements must be accompanied by a cover letter or certification on the financial institution’s letterhead. If your parents or other family members are your sponsors, they should be specific as to the amount they will be providing you. You should submit a letter from them stating their commitment to financially sponsor your education in the United States, as well as an official letter from a bank or other financial institution verifying that they have sufficient funds to provide for your full course of study and living expenses. If you have a scholarship, your sponsor must send us a letter affirming its commitment to provide funds for your LL.M. studies and stating the amount of the scholarship. For more information click here.
- Can I pay the $70 application fee by credit card?
- Wake Forest University does not accept application fees by credit card. We will accept a check or money order payable in U.S. currency or a wire transfer. Note: International students do not have to provide a social security number. Please do not send cash.
- Do you grant application fee waivers?
- Generally, no. The LL.M. application fee of $70 must be received with your LL.M. application.
- When will admissions decisions be made?
- The School of Law employs a “rolling admissions” process, which means we review each application once fully completed. It generally takes between two to four weeks after your application file is complete for the LL.M. Faculty Admissions Committee to make its decision.
- Does the LL.M. Program require interviews prior to granting admission?
- The LL.M. Faculty Admissions Committee will base its decision upon your application and supporting documentation. No interviews will be required.
- If I am granted admission into the LL.M. Program, what materials must I submit to hold my place in the class?
- If you choose to accept the LL.M. Faculty Admissions Committee’s offer of admission, you will be required to submit the following commitment documents:
- Two (2) tuition deposits of $300.00 (U.S.), along with the yellow payment card included in your acceptance package.
- A signed and dated copy of the “Information for Accepted Applicants” form.
- The “Certification of Finances” form, which is needed to prepare your visa documents.
Upon admission, you will be notified of the deadline to submit these commitment documents in order to hold your place in the upcoming LL.M. class.
- If I am granted admission into the program but am unable to attend this year, can I defer my studies until the following year?
- Yes, if you are offered admission into the LL.M. Program and can offer a compelling reason why you would be unable to attend, you may defer your studies until the next academic year.
- If I am not granted admission into the program, can I re-apply next year?
- If you are denied admission to the LL.M. Program, you may re-apply the following year by submitting a new application and re-submitting your supporting documentation.
- If I am accepted, when will I be issued an I-20 student visa?
- Under U.S. immigration regulations, Wake Forest can issue a Certificate of Eligibility for a student I-20 visa only after:
- you have been accepted to our LL.M. program
- you have paid the required tuition deposits
- you have provided us evidence of sufficient funds to cover your full course of study and living expenses while enrolled in the LL.M. program.
After receiving the I-20 form, you must make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence in order to apply for an F-1 student visa to travel to the United States. Please make an appointment well in advance of the date you intend to travel to the United States, as some embassies and consulates take several weeks (or even months) to process visa requests.
- Is on-campus housing available for graduate students?
- Wake Forest University does not offer on-campus housing for graduate students, but there are many off campus housing options for housing near the University. In addition to a number of apartment complexes, the School of Law maintains a list of housing vacancies in privately-owned, off-campus houses and apartments near campus and roommate searches. The University also rents off-campus, furnished housing to international students. For more information, go to http://www.wfu.edu/properties/
- What hotels are near the Wake Forest University campus?
- 1)Sundance Plaza Hotel & Spa (10 minute walk to campus)
3050 University Parkway, Winston-Salem 27105
Tel: 336-723-2911, 1-800-272-6232 2)Courtyard by Marriott-Wake Forest (10 minute walk to campus)
3111 University Parkway, Winston-Salem 27105
Tel: 336-727-1277, 1-800-321-22113)Crossland Economy Studios (20 minute walk to campus)
7910 N. Point Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27106
- How many courses must I complete for my LL.M. degree? Are there any required courses?
- You must complete at least 24 credit hours to earn your LL.M. degree. The selection of courses is largely up to you. We require only that you take the following courses:
- Legal Research and Writing for International Lawyers (2 credit hours)
- Introduction to American Law (2 credit hours)
- Independent Research and Thesis/ Seminar Course* (2 credit hours)
* Required for Thesis track students
You must also select at least one course (3 credit hours) from the first-year curriculum. On enrollment, you will consult with your faculty advisor to select these and other courses that meet your plans and interests.
- Do you offer a masters degree in International Law, Environmental Law or Business/Commercial Law?
- Our LL.M. Program in American Law is meant to provide you an introduction to U.S. law. As an LL.M. student, you choose the courses and area of concentrationthat best suit your interests from our wide array of course offerings. Although we do not offer a special degree in international law, environmental law or business/commercial law, our curriculum includes courses in many fields that may interest you, such as
- International Law: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Comparative Law, Conflicts of Law (private international law), European Union Law, International Business Transactions, International Civil, Litigation, Immigration Law, Public International Law, Taxation: International Tax
- Environmental Law: Property I and II, Administrative Law, Business Crimes and Torts, Environmental Law, Legislation, Natural Resources Law,
- Business/commercial Law: Contracts I and II, Agency, Antitrust, Banking Law, Bankruptcy: Selected Topics, Business Drafting, Business Organizations, Business Planning, Corporations: Advanced Topics, Debtor-Creditor Law, Financial Products and Payment Systems, Law and Accounting, Real Estate Finance, Sales, Secured Transactions, Securities Regulation, Taxation: Corporation and Shareholders, Taxation: Corporate Reorganizations, Taxation: Partnerships.
- Can I take courses in other departments at WFU?
- Our LL.M. students are eligible to select courses in the Undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Babcock Graduate School of Management. The credit earned in courses outside of the Law School except for one MBA course, if approved by the Dean of International Affairs, will not count towards your required twenty-four (24) hours of credit, but these courses can supplement your legal studies while at Wake Forest.
- Do LL.M. students have to satisfy a writing requirement?
- Yes, LL.M. students must complete a two-hour writing requirement and may select either the thesis option or the seminar paper writing option. We will assign you to a professor who will serve as a mentor/advisor for your selection, research and writing of your thesis.
- How is my participation in the LL.M. program graded?
- Courses in our law school, like most in the United States, are generally graded by a separate exam or written paper. There is no general comprehensive examination at the end of the LL.M. program. The final examination or paper for each course is usually the only graded exercise for the semester, and the grade received in the course is based on this examination or paper. LL.M. students, like other students in the law school, must maintaina minimum grade point average of 2.0 to graduate. LL.M. students do not receive a class ranking. Some professors give written essay-type exams, other professors give objective-question exams, and others a combination of the two. In other courses, professors require a written paper. You may want to review sample examinations and sample paper assignments at http://law.wfu.edu/llm/academics/grading/
After earning a LL.M. Degree at WFU
- Will I get a job in the U.S. after earning my LL.M. degree?
- The Wake Forest LLM Program in American Law is designed for international lawyers and students who wish to enhance their legal careers by studying the laws of the United States. Our graduates typically return to their home countries to resume or advance their legal careers in corporate law, public policy, litigation, public service, investment banking, and a wide range of other specialties related to international law. The program is not designed to prepare students to take U.S. bar exams or to practice in the United States. It is difficult to acquire a permanent legal position in the U.S. without a J.D. degree. Our alumni have had more success finding internships with law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies before returning to their home countries. The LL.M. Program’s administrative staff and the School of Law’s Office of Career Services assists interested students in finding internships in the U.S.
- What types of career services are available to LL.M. students?
- The faculty and staff at Wake Forest University make many efforts to assist LL.M. students in their search for jobs and internships. The Law School’s Office of Career and Professional Development offers a wide variety of services to LL.M. students, which include helping you prepare a U.S. style resume, performing mock interviews with you, and searching possible internship and job opportunities. The administrators of the LL.M. Program also work individually with students to assist them with career searches and advice. We make efforts to contact law firms and companies around the world and annually send a resume book to over 120 firms and companies, which includes the resumes of current students who are interested in finding a job and/or internship upon graduation. Also, Wake Forest is a member of the New York University International Student Interview Program (ISIP), which allows students to interview with the largest international firms and companies in the world. Only 32 of the 83 LL.M. Programs in America are members of the NYU ISIP.
- Does WFU School of Law participate in the New York University International Student Interview Program?
- Yes, Wake Forest is a member of the New York University International Student Interview Program (ISIP). Held at New York University in January of each year, the NYU ISIP brings together international students studying in U.S. law schools with the largest international firms and companies in the world that are looking for lawyers with legal training in the U.S. The NYU ISIP also provides international students the opportunity to meet with American law firms and corporations that are seeking international interns. Only 32 of the 83 LL.M. Programs in America are members of the NYU ISIP.
- Can I use an LL.M. degree from Wake Forest to take the North Carolina bar examination and to become licensed to practice law in the State of North Carolina?
- No. Our one-year LL.M. program is not designed for students who wish to be licensed and practice law in North Carolina or other U.S. states. Instead, we have designed the program for international lawyers who wish to obtain an LL.M. in American Law and return to their home countries to continue their legal career there. The program is not meant to prepare students to take a U.S. state bar examination and become admitted to law practice in the United States. Normally, our law school certifies J.D. students who have completed three years of law studies as qualified to seek admission to the bar of any state in the United States. Our policy, however, is not to certify to U.S. bar authorities that LL.M. students who have completed our one-year program as qualified to seek admission to the bar of a state in the United States. Nonetheless, you should be aware that our LL.M. graduates are permitted to take the New York Bar Examination, which requires only that we verify satisfactory completion of the LL.M. degree and does not require a separate certification. For information on New York State’s bar requirements, you may write or call: Board of Examiners, New York State
7 Executive Central Drive
Albany, NY 12203-5148.
Telephone: (800) 342-3335.For further information on the licensing of foreign attorneys in the United States, you may want to see the American Bar Association website. Foreign lawyers who intend to reside permanently and to practice law in the United States should apply for the three-year J.D. degree program, the first degree in law, rather than the LL.M. program.
- Can current LL.M. students transfer into the J.D. Program?
- It is possible for WFU LL.M. students to transfer to the J.D. program after earning a LL.M. degree. LL.M. students are required to submit an LSAT score and all of the other J.D. application materials, which you can find at http://law.wfu.edu/admissions/apply/. In a situation where a student has successfully completed the LL.M. program and applies to the J.D. program, the LL.M. student’s LL.M. grades and recommendations from Wake professors would be given much greater weight than the LSAT score in an admission decision.
- Do graduates of the LL.M. Program receive special consideration when applying to the S.J.D. Program?
- Yes, Wake Forest LL.M. graduates will be given preference in general over applicants from other LL.M. programs.