The Two-Year Master of Laws (LLM) for Foreign Lawyers at Washington University is designed for law students with outstanding academic and professional achievements who have not yet reached a sufficient level of English language proficiency to reap the full benefit of studying at an American law school.
Two-Year LLM students will have an entire year of studies with intensive support in legal English combined with concentrated exposure to regular law classes and immersion in the local legal community. This enhanced preparation helps students to enter their second year of studies with a solid foundation in and a good understanding of the academic and linguistic requirements of an LLM program.
Overview of the Two-Year LLM Program
Intensive Summer Program and Orientation
Students admitted to the Two-Year LLM program will start with a four-week summer pre-LLM Intensive Legal English Program (ILEP) on campus. For five hours a day, ILEP students are immersed in courses designed for learners of legal English.
Following the intensive legal English summer courses, students of the Two-Year LLM will attend an intensive orientation before regular classes begin.
The first year of the Two-year LLM program is conducted as a cohort, with all students in the program enrolled in the same schedule of courses. Students will take two legal English classes each semester: 1) Intensive Legal English Writing and Reading and Skills (ILEWR), and 2) Intensive Legal English Communications Skills (ILECS). These five-hour-weekly classes will prepare Two-Year LLM students for the coursework of their substantive law classes as well as for the linguistic and academic demands of an LLM program. Class sizes are kept small in the legal English courses (8-15 students per class), ensuring more comprehensive instructor feedback and enhanced opportunities for practice of English communication skills.
Students will also take a limited concentration of substantive law courses alongside the legal English courses. During the fall semester, students will take Introduction to U.S. Law & Methods I, the first course in a two-course sequence specifically designed for foreign-trained lawyers. During their second semester, students will take the second introductory course, Introduction to U.S. Law & Methods II as well as a course in a specific focus area of US common law (either Property, Torts, or Contracts). Two-Year LLM students will be integrated with one-year LLM students for the substantive law courses.
By the end of the second semester, students will have the skills necessary to immerse themselves into the last year of the LLM, where they can take the regular course load of a one-year LLM. Because they will already have received degree credit for the substantive law courses they took during the first year (7 credits), these students will be required to take fewer courses (17 credits) during their second year.
Two-Year LLM candidates must have earned a first law degree from their home jurisdiction.
Applicants who are academically qualified but have a lower English proficiency score than 100 on the TOEFL or its equivalent on the IELTS or ILEC will be assessed in a Skype-interview language evaluation as part of their admissions interview.
Applicants with a proficiency score of over 100 on the TOEFL will be assessed along the admission guidelines for regular 1-Year LLM applicants.
Candidates must submit:
- An application, which includes one brief essay (250-300 words);
- An application fee (only if applying by mail-waived for online applications);
- Two recommendation letters;
- Official academic transcripts, in notarized English translations, if not provided in English by your university;
- Confirmation of English-language proficiency, as in a recent TOEFL, IELTS or other standardized test scores. (WashULaw TOEFL code: 6929) NOTE: Your TOEFL score must be less than two years old at the time you begin classes at WashULaw.
If you do not have a recent standardized test score or no score at all, we will provide the opportunity for a Skype-interview language evaluation as part of your admissions interview.
Once admitted, you will be required to present a letter of credit from a bank or other lending institution showing you have sufficient financial support to study in the US.
All materials must be submitted by May 15.
We strongly recommend that applicants apply as early as possible.