UConn Law has been a pioneer in international legal education with an outstanding faculty to match. The Law School offers foreign-educated lawyers a great venue to experience the U.S. legal system and American culture. Read more in our answers to Frequently Asked Questions »
UConn School of Law offers four LLM programs in Energy & Environmental Law, Human Rights & Social Justice, Insurance Law, and U.S. Legal Studies to meet the needs of international lawyers. All our programs offer personalized attention and the flexibility to create a course of study that meets the needs of each student. Read more about the LLM Programs »
International law has never been more important, but international travel has never been more difficult. International law students need a solution. The ALEX program at UConn School of Law offers international students the opportunity to study the U.S. legal system, learn legal writing in English, and develop advanced legal research skills, in the Fall 2020 semester——without traveling abroad. The program features three 2-credit courses, delivered online by expert law school faculty, providing a head start on an international law school career and a solid foundation for future law courses.Read more about the American Legal Educational Experience Program »
UConn School of Law welcomes international students from our partner institutions. Their diverse perspectives add intellectual and cultural depth to the classroom, enhancing the legal education and cultural experience of the entire community. Read more about International Exchange Programs »
Each semester, UConn School of Law may admit a small number of visiting students who are studying law at an accredited law school outside the United States. Read more about the International Visiting Students Program »
LLM students who obtain good grades may also apply to our JD program without having to take the Law School Admissions Test and, if accepted, can transfer most of their LLM credits to their JD program. Read more about the LLM to JD Transfer »
The SJD Program is intended for individuals who have demonstrated evidence of superior scholarly potential and who are engaged in, or plan to pursue, careers in academia, government service or the judiciary. Candidates accepted into the program must have the ability to conduct sustained and original academic or professional research at a high intellectual level, culminating in the submission of a doctoral dissertation.Read more about the SJD Program »
UConn School of Law welcomes international applicants to its various academic programs. However, the English proficiency requirements for admissions vary depending on the degree program to which an international student may be applying. Our programs include:
- the Juris Doctor (JD) program
- the Masters of Law (LLM) programs, and
- the Doctor of Laws (SJD) program.
International applicants must familiarize themselves with the requirements applicable to the degree program of interest prior to submitting an application. Those requirements are set out in detail below.
International applicants to the JD program typically must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Unless you can demonstrate that you have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher from a university where the sole language of overall instruction is English, you must take the TOEFL exam. The Law School requires minimum TOEFL scores of 100/250/600 (Internet/Computer/Written) for the JD program. All JD applicants to the Law School, whether international or domestic, are required to take the LSAT.
- Applicants with a TOEFL IBT® score of 90, a TOEFL IPT score of 577, a PTE score of 65 or an IELTS score of 7.0 meet the admission requirement without the need to further demonstrate their proficiency.
- Applicants with a TOEFL IBT® score of 80-89, a TOEFL IPT score of 550-576, a PTE score of 60-64 or an IELTS score of 6.5 should further substantiate proficiency in English through additional evidence of English language skills, including, but not limited to, a strong writing sample in conjunction with an interview with an admissions representative, conducted in-person, by phone, or online (using Skype or similar service).
- Applicants with a TOEFL IBT® score of less than 80, a TOEFL IPT score of less than 550, a PTE of less than 60 or an IELTS score of less than 6.0 may be considered for conditional admission. Applicants will be required to either (1) pass a proficiency test administered by the University of Connecticut American English Language Institution (UCAELI) at the additional cost of $45 (http://ita.uconn.edu/screening-prospective-tas-who-are-non-native-english-speakers-eligible-for-toeflielts-waiver/) or (2) successfully complete an ESL program in the U.S. that is satisfactory to the Admissions Committee plus obtain a new TOEFL IBT® score of at least 80 or a new IELTS score of at least 6.0 before being admitted to the LLM Program.
Special Announcement Regarding English-Proficiency Testing and the Coronavirus:
- Due to the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on TOEFL and IELTS testing, UConn Law Graduate Admissions will now also accept the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency for LLM admission. Duolingo offers a convenient in-home testing option, which will allow students flexibility to demonstrate English proficiency despite the precautions necessitated by the coronavirus.
- A minimum score of 100/160 will be required for admission. Students should send Duolingo English Test results to UConn Law Graduate Admissions electronically through the Duolingo English Test platform after the results have been certified. Once official scores are received, they will be added to students’ application files.
- Information on the Duolingo English test is available at https://englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants. The Duolingo English Test option will be available to all applicants for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters who are foreign nationals and have not otherwise provided proof of English proficiency.
The applicant may be exempt from submitting a TOEFL IBT®, PTE, IELTS, or Duolingo score if the applicant:
- Earned a law degree from a recognized institution of higher learning at which the primary language of instruction was English;
- Earned a prior academic degree from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States;
- Has resided and worked speaking English in an English-speaking country for not less than two years prior to the date of application;
- Has successfully been a non-degree at UConn School of Law and seeks advanced standing in an LLM or Executive LLM program (see also Exchange to LLM Transfer Program);
- Has completed an intensive English language course at UCAELI and received the accompanying certificate of English proficiency from UCAELI; or
- The applicant’s native language is English.
Please note: Any international applicant claiming exemption from the TOEFL IBT®/PTE/IELTS requirement must submit a written request with his or her application for admission that includes an explanation of the applicant’s proficiency in English along with original documentation supporting the requested exemption on the basis of one or more of the above categories. Exemptions are not automatic and require the approval of the Admissions Committee.
In all instances, regardless of TOEFL IBT®, PTE or IELTS score or requested exemption, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny an application and to require a writing sample and an online, phone, or in-person interview as a condition for consideration of any application.
Unless the applicant qualifies for an exemption as outlined below, any international applicant who earned his or her first law degree outside the U.S. must obtain a minimum TOEFL IBT® score of 95, a PTE score of 65 or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0, in order to be considered for admission to the SJD Program at the University of Connecticut School of Law. However, if the applicant meets this required minimum but does not attain a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL IBT®, 70 or higher on the PTE or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS, the applicant must further substantiate proficiency in English through additional evidence of English language skills. This substantiation must include, but is not limited to, a strong SJD proposal in conjunction with an interview with an Admissions representative, conducted in-person, by phone, or online (using Skype or similar service).
The applicant may request an exemption from the TOEFL IBT®, PTE or IELTS requirement if:
• the applicant obtained his or her LLM degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law; or
• the language of instruction at the university where the applicant obtained his or her first or advanced law degree was English.
Please note that any international applicant requesting exemption from the TOEFL IBT®/PTE/IELTS requirement must submit a written request with his or her application for admission that includes an explanation of the applicant’s proficiency in English along with original documentation supporting the requested exemption on the basis of one or more of the above categories. Exemptions are not automatic and require the approval of the Admissions Committee.
In all instances, regardless of TOEFL IBT®/PTE or IELTS score, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny an application or to require an online, phone, or in-person interview as part of the application process.
Here are the answers to our Frequently Asked Questions:
- General Questions about the LLM programs
- Applying to an LLM Program
- Admissions Decision
- Visa Information for International Applicants and Exchange Students
- After earning your LLM degree
- Special Information for International Exchange Students
- Special Information for International Visiting Scholars
- Special Information for SJD applicants
- Student Life
- Why study at UConn Law?
Individualized attention, integration with US law students, an extensive and flexible program of study, reasonable costs, and an outstanding faculty and location are just a few aspects that foreign students can expect of UConn Law.
- What is life like at UConn Law?
Located on a beautiful, collegiate, gothic campus in a pleasant neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, UConn Law School is within two hours of New York, Boston, New Haven, Providence, ski mountains, and the seashore. Students are part of an intimate community with over 40 student groups to work side by side with other students for both academic and social events.
- How big are the programs?
UConn Law has approximately 60-70 international students each year across the LLM programs and we continue to grow.
- Who is the program suited for?
The LLM in U.S. Legal Studies is designed for international lawyers who would like to get a thorough understanding of U.S. laws and legal institutions, and who would like to experience the U.S. culture. For those who want a more specialized program, we have three options for you: Energy and Environmental Law, Human Rights and Social Justice, and Insurance Law.
- How much do the programs cost?
A detailed breakdown can be found here.
- How long are the programs?
Typically, the program is completed in 2 semesters. Some students opt to finish in 3 semesters to complete the LLM+ program, a second LLM, or to meet the bar requirements. Students with U.S. residency may complete over a 5 year period.
- Does UConn Law offer spring admission?
Yes, students may begin in January or August.
- Are LLM students required to have health insurance coverage while at UConn Law?
Yes. Students are automatically enrolled in the university’s health insurance program unless the student opts out and provides proof of sufficient coverage.
- Is financial aid available?
UConn Law offers a limited number of merit based scholarships for international students. All matriculated students are considered for these awards. Typically, the scholarships only cover a small portion of tuition costs and fees.
Also, U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens may submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please contact UCONN Law’s Student Finance Office for more information.
- How does the admissions process work?
Applications may be submitted on a continual basis. Upon receiving a complete application, the admissions committee will review it and conduct an interview (via telephone or Skype). Decisions are typically made within two weeks of receiving a complete application.
- Which universities have UConn Law partnerships?
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Freie University of Berlin, Germany
University College Dublin, Ireland
Leiden University, Holland
University of Mannheim, Germany
University of Muenster, Germany
Bar-Ilan University, Israel
University of Nottingham, England
University of Antwerp, Belgium
University of International Business and Economics, China
University of Siena, Italy
Tilburg University, Holland
University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Puerto Rico
East China University of Political Science and Law, China
Southwest University of Political Science and Law, China
- Who is eligible?
Applicants must hold a law degree from a law school outside the United States. There are some exceptions including an exception related to judges. In legal systems where a person can become a judge without having studied law (such as Turkey and France), the missing educational qualification can be cured if the applicant went through a judicial training period of at least two years and has been working as full-fledged judge for at least one year.
- When should I apply?
You should apply as early as possible. Usually, students apply as early as December for fall enrollment and July for spring.
- What is the application deadline for the LLM program?
Fall Semester: June 15 (international applicants) August 1 (domestic applicants)
Spring Semester: November 15 (international applicants) December 1 (domestic applicants)
Applications are considered on a rolling basis, later applications may be considered.
- What are the admissions requirements?
Please visit our application instruction page for detailed information.
- What are the requirements for the legal writing sample?
The legal writing sample should be between two and five pages long. It could be an excerpt of a longer essay you wrote during your first law degree or a memo you wrote while working as a practicing jurist or intern. The writing sample should reflect your ability to analyze legal issues.
- What are the exceptions to the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirements?
Please visit our application instructions page for detailed information.
- Do I need to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)?
No, you do not.
- What is the Law School Credential Assembly (LSAC) service and should I register for it?
We strongly recommend that international applicants register with LSAC. This service collects and authenticates the academic records and TOEFL scores of international applicants and sends reports to participating LLM programs to which these applicants have applied.
- How can I pay the application fee?
Applicants typically pay the fee directly to LSAC. Alternative, students can pay the fee online.
- Do you grant application fee waivers?
Applicant fee waivers are granted on a case by case basis.
- How do I submit an application for admission to the LLM program?
You can apply either through LSAC or by emailing all required documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When will admission decisions be made?
Admission decisions are made typically two weeks after receipt of a complete application.
- Are admission interviews conducted?
In-person or skype admission interviews are conducted for all candidates.
- I am admitted. What happens next?
You have to fill out the notice of intention (which will be sent to you along with the acceptance letter) and send us the seat deposit of $500.
- I am admitted but would like to defer. Is that possible?
You can defer the start of your program if you pay the seat deposit.
- I am not granted admission into the program. Can I re-apply?
Yes, we encourage you to apply again.
- How can I pay the seat deposit?
The seat deposit can be paid online.
- When should I arrive in Hartford?
We recommend that you arrive at least one week before the start of your classes.
- How do I get my Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 in order to apply for a student visa?
After receiving admission to UConn Law, new JD and LLM Students and exchange students need to request their I-20/DS-2019 forms from International Student and Scholar Services.
- Can I work during my studies?
UConn’s International Student and Scholar Services can help you with any questions on what type of work is authorized under your visa.
- How many credits do I need to complete the program?
You need at least 24 credits to graduate from an LLM program.
- What are the mandatory courses?
- What are the areas of specialization?
As part of the LLM in U.S. Legal Studies degree, students may obtain a certificate of specialization in seven areas:
Corporate and Regulatory Compliance
Energy and Environmental Regulation
Financial Services Regulation
International Human Rights
Foundations of U.S. Law
U.S. Civil and Criminal Justice
U.S. Business Law and Regulation
U.S. Law of Property Transfer
- What is the difference between clinics, seminars, and lectures?
Clinics are programs that allow students to gain practical experience in working on different cases; seminars are small, discussion-based classes; and lectures are larger classes where the professor shares his or her knowledge on the subject matter with the students.
- Is there a writing requirement and how can it be fulfilled?
Yes, there is a writing requirement for LLM students. Please review the LLM Academic Regulations for detailed information.
- What types of career services are available to LLM students?
We have a career counselor that provides one-on-one career services to LLM students including assisting with crafting successful resumes and cover letters. She also facilitates small group workshops on a variety of professional development topics including: interview skills, personal branding and building a professional network..
- Can I practice law in the U.S. after obtaining my LLM degree?
Yes, provided you become a member of a state bar and can get legal permission to work in this country. You can attend the required courses during your LLM program. Students interested in passing a state bar should review the state requirements.
- Can I transfer to the JD program and what are the requirements?
Yes. For more information please visit our page on JD/LLM Transfers.
- How can I apply to UConn Law’s international exchange program?
UConn Law has existing exchange relationships with a number of international law schools. Students from these law schools should inquire about the application applied at their home institutions.
Please contact the International and Graduate Programs Office of your law school.
- I am accepted in UConn Law’s international exchange program. What happens next?
You will be contacted by your international student advisor.
- How many credits do I have to take during my exchange semester/year?
You will need to talk with your home university and see what sort of requirements they have for you.
- Where do I have to pay my fees and tuition?
You pay program fees at your home institution. Other fees (such as parking and printer) have to be paid to UConn Law.
- What are the requirements for the SJD program?
Please visit our SJD website for detailed information.
- I am accepted into the SJD program. What happens next?
You will be contacted by your international student advisor
- How is housing handled?
The International and Graduate Programs office has good relationships with many people who rent houses to international students. The international student advisor will contact you prior to your arrival for more information on housing and how to obtain a place to stay before you get here
- What kind of support do International students receive?
UConn Law provides you with a vast array of support. You will receive help with finding housing, getting settled, you will be provided with individual course counseling, career counseling and networking opportunities.
- What social activities take place?
Both the International and Graduate Programs office and the Student Services plan social activities open to all students throughout the year. There is an events calendar posted on the UConn Law School website, and you will be given a calendar with optional events during orientation.
- Can I work during my studies?
UConn’s International Student & Scholar Services Department (ISSS) can help you with any questions on what type of work is authorized under your visa.
- Can I participate in student groups?
Yes. You are strongly encouraged to actively participate in student groups. This vastly enriches your law school experience.
- Are there other activities available in the Hartford area?
The Hartford area contains many riches in cultural, recreational and educational resources. For example, the Wadsworth Athenaeum is the oldest public art museum in the United States and the Hartford Symphony performs regularly at the Bushnell Memorial Hall. The region also offers many opportunities to see live performances and has a wealth of wonderful restaurants. Check out https://www.law.uconn.edu/portal/students/students/international-students/culture-and-entertainment.