Berkeley Law requires that applicants submit their application online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website. There are two basic steps to applying via LSAC: submissions your applying online (online application form, c.v., personal statement, and application fee) and having your supporting materials sent to LSAC (academic records, English language test scores, and letters of recommendation.
Simplified information about the LL.M. application checklist can be found below. Visit the Application Forms & Deadlines page to see the full and detailed instructions for the 2023-24 application cycle.
Submit the online application form via LSAC by November 10, 2022 for the executive track (remote + summer), or December 18, 2022 for the traditional track, thesis track, or executive track (two summers)
Pay the $80 application fee by credit card while submitting online application.
The Curriculum Vitae should provide a synopsis of your educational and academic background and skills. This summary should include professional experience, research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, and other relevant details.
Upload your C.V. to the online application form.
One written essay is required of all applicants. The Personal Statement should describe your legal interests, the reasons you wish to study at Berkeley Law, and your professional plans or goals following completion of your degree. Since the Advanced Degree Programs Committee does not grant interviews, you may also use the statement to describe aspects of yourself that are not apparent from your application. The Personal Statement should be written without assistance from others, and should be limited to three pages of double-spaced text.
Upload your Personal Statement to the online application form.
The thesis proposal summary should summarize the specific research project you would like to work on while at Berkeley Law, and should be limited to one page of double-spaced text.
A good thesis proposal summary should be:
Specific: What exactly will you argue or demonstrate in your paper? Your proposal should not be vague.
Concise: Be sure to limit your proposal summary to one page of double-spaced text; reviewers will stop reading after the maximum page limit, which could negatively impact their evaluation of your proposal.
Realistic: Your thesis will be written in one academic year, and keep in mind that you will also be taking classes and have other commitments along with research and writing. Make sure that your topic is sufficiently narrow; many proposals are rejected because the scope of the project is too broad.
Indicate the types of research resources you will need to use and whether you have access to the resources on your own or from another institution (including data sets, legal databases from specific jurisdictions, or commentary and analysis in a particular language or a specific topic). In most cases, it is unrealistic to perform primary research and collect data yourself, unless it is very limited in scope and you already have the connections that you need to arrange the research.
Well-Written: Evidence of clear and grammatically correct writing is important to the reviewers, so proofread your proposal summary and any other documents you submit. Make sure that your spelling, punctuation, and phrasing confirm with U.S. legal writing standards. See this article for some writing tips. Citations may be used but are not required.
Thesis track applicants should upload the Thesis Proposal Summary to the online application form.
Thesis track applicants may submit a significant piece of writing, which displays the candidate’s analytical and expositional skills on a legal policy or similar topic. Suitable pieces of writing include a thesis (or portion thereof), an article written in conjunction with a class, or a similar item. There is no formal length requirement for the writing sample; it should be substantial enough to display the analytical and expositional skills relevant to scholarly work. The writing sample should represent your own original writing.
Thesis track applicants can upload the Writing Sample to the online application form.
Applicants must submit official academic records showing graded course work, dates of enrollment, and award of degree(s). If the degree awarded and conferral date is not included on the transcripts, applicants must also submit proof of degree conferral such as the actual degree, diploma, or certification letter from the university.
Important information on how to submit academic records:
We abide by LSAC’s rules regarding receipt of academic records. These records must be sent directly to LSAC from the appropriate issuing institution, and applicants must use LSAC’s Transcript Request Form, which will be available at the completion of your LLM CAS registration. All official documents must be received by LSAC in a sealed institution envelope. Documents sent by the applicant or without the Transcript Request Form will not be accepted. Transcripts received by LSAC become their property and cannot be returned to the applicant or the issuing institution.
If the institution offers to print transcripts in either the native language or in English, order both to be sent to LSAC. If the institution does not offer English translation, it is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure an English translation is sent to LSAC. The translation may be done by anyone as long as it is a literal translation, and need not be certified.
For more information on sending academic records to LSAC’s LLM CAS, go to https://www.lsac.org/llm-other-law-program-applicants/application-process-llm-other-law-programs/application-0.
Berkeley Law requires Official Score Reports of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) before admitting an applicant whose primary language is not English. Applicants whose primary language is English should submit a waiver request as instructed below. We do not accept the Cambridge English Assessment or Duolingo English Test.
Alternative English Tests for the 2022-23 LL.M. Application
We will continue to accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator for the 2022-23 LL.M. application. These scores can be reported to LSAC through the usual method. We do not accept Duolingo scores.
The minimum score required is 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, or 600 on the paper-based test. There is no subscore requirement. Information about test dates and registration procedures is available at most universities and US consulates and on the TOEFL website at www.toefl.org.
We accept all versions of the TOEFL iBT, including the Home Edition and Paper Edition.
TOEFL scores that are more than two years old at the time of application cannot be considered; applicants must retake the test to submit a more recent score. Applicants should register for the TOEFL in time to ensure that the Official Score Report will be sent by the application deadline.
LSAC has arranged to receive TOEFL scores electronically; to have your TOEFL score report sent to LSAC, place an order to their institution code 8395.
MyBest TOEFL Scores will be accepted, but please note that these scores are not reported to Berkeley Law automatically. To submit your MyBest score for consideration, download a copy of your latest score report from ETS and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment with the subject “MyBest TOEFL Score”. Note that all test scores included in the MyBest Score must have been sent to LSAC and verifiable through the LLM CAS report.
The minimum score required is 7 on a 9 point scale (overall score) on the Academic Modules. There is no subscore requirement. To register for the IELTS, consult the IELTS website at http://ielts.org to locate the office of the test center where you plan to take the test.
LSAC has arranged to receive IELTS scores electronically; to have your IELTS score report sent to LSAC, contact your test center and ask that your official score report be sent to LSAC for electronic download.
For more information on sending your English test scores to LSAC, go to https://www.lsac.org/llm-and-non-jd-applicants/llm-non-jd-application-process/application-requirements/english.
English Language Requirement Waiver Requests
You are eligible for an English Language Requirement Waiver if any of the following criteria apply:
- You have attended a US university for full-time study for a minimum of one academic year with a 3.0/B average or higher, OR
- You have earned a degree from a foreign university in which the sole language of instruction is English, OR
- You are a native English speaker.
To request a waiver via our online application, check the “Yes” button for Question 1 under English Requirement and choose the appropriate reason from the drop down options. If your waiver is based on education in English, you must submit official academic records through LSAC to verify your eligibility. Once your request has been processed you will receive an e-mail notifying you whether your TOEFL waiver request has been granted. Please do not contact the Advanced Degree Programs Office in advance of applying if you meet the criteria above; requesting the waiver through the application will suffice.
Berkeley Law requires two letters of recommendation. We strongly prefer that one of the letters of recommendation come from a law professor as this is an academic program. If you have been out of school for five or more years, one professional reference from a current or former employer is appropriate. It is ultimately up to the applicant to determine who they ask for a letter of recommendation. Applicants may submit one additional academic or professional letter if they wish to do so.
To send Letters of Recommendation to LSAC – 1) Log in to your LLM CAS account and click on Letters of Recommendation. 2) Add your recommenders’ names and contact information. 3) Assign the appropriate letters to each school using the letter ID number. 4) An email will be sent to each or your recommenders requesting them to complete and upload a letter for you, or you may print the required recommender forms to provide to your recommenders if they prefer to submit a letter by paper.
The recommender should send the recommender form and letter to LSAC. Letters without a form will be returned to the sender. Letters processed by LSAC become their property and cannot be returned or copied.
For more information on submitting letters of recommendation to LSAC’s LLM CAS, go to https://www.lsac.org/llm-and-non-jd-applicants/llm-non-jd-application-process/application-requirements/letters.
Executive track applicants will complete a video assessment through Kira Talent’s online platform and will receive an email invitation after submitting their application through LSAC. More information about the video assessment process will be provided in the email invitation.
Watch this video to hear our Director of Admissions help you avoid common application mistakes.
We strongly advise applicants to register for the LLM Credential Assembly Service and submit their supporting materials well in advance of the application deadline. LSAC recommends applicants register at least six weeks before their first application deadline.
Applicants will not be considered for admission until all required application materials are received by Berkeley Law’s Advanced Degree Programs Office. All applications and supporting documents become the property of Berkeley Law and will not be returned. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all items are submitted before the deadline.
Please note that LSAC will not forward any supporting documents to Berkeley Law until all of your transcripts are received, as well as authenticated and evaluated if you purchased the International Authentication & Evaluation Service.
Admitted applicants are required to submit a $1,000 deposit if they choose to accept. The deposit will be applied to tuition fees in the first semester of study, and it is non-refundable under any circumstance.
All questions regarding deposits, fees, or refunds should be directed to the Advanced Degree Programs Office.