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:
- Applying online (online application form, c.v., personal statement, and application fee)
- Having your supporting materials sent to LSAC (academic records, English language test scores, and letters of recommendation).
Click on each section below for basic information about the LL.M. application checklist, or go to the Application Forms & Deadlines page to see full, detailed instructions for 2023-24 applications.
Pay the $80 application fee by credit card while submitting online application.
Note: if you are applying to more than one track, email us to request an application fee waiver code so that you only have to pay the application fee once. For the LL.M. executive track, you can apply for both options on the same application form with one application fee.
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, and affiliations. There are no format requirements.
Upload your C.V. to the Attachments section of the online application form.
The Personal Statement can describe your legal interests, the particular area of study you intend to undertake as a law student, the reasons you wish to study at Berkeley Law, and your professional plans or goals following completion of your degree. Since the admissions committee does not grant interviews, you may also use the statement to describe aspects of yourself that are not apparent from your other application materials. The Personal Statement should be written without assistance from others, and should be limited to three pages of double-spaced text. There are no other format requirements.
Upload your Personal Statement to the Attachments section of 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 Attachments section of 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 Attachments section of the online application form.
It is your responsibility to request an official copy of academic records to be sent directly to LSAC from each institution you attended, using LSAC’s Transcript Request Form which can be printed from the Transcripts page of your LLM CAS account. All academic records must be mailed directly to LSAC from the appropriate issuing institution in a sealed school envelope with a stamp or seal across the sealed flap of the 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.
Academic records issued in a language other than English must be translated into English. The translation may be done by anyone as long as it is a literal, line-by-line, word-for-word translation in the same format as the original, and need not be certified.
Go to LSAC’s website for more information on sending academic records to LSAC’s LLM CAS, and specific document requirements by country.
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. We do not accept the Cambridge English Assessment or Duolingo English Test.
Applicants whose primary language is English should submit a waiver request as instructed below; Berkeley Law will not assume English proficiency for any applicant.
The minimum score required is 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) taken at a test center or through the Home Edition, or 600 on the iBT Paper Edition. 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.
To have your TOEFL score report sent to LSAC’s LLM CAS, provide ETS with 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 email@example.com 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 IELTS Academic Test, taken at a test center or through IELTS Online. There is no subscore requirement. Information about test dates and registration procedures is available on the IELTS website.
To have your IELTS score sent to LSAC’s LLM CAS, you must request that your official score report be sent for electronic download using the IELTS system to Law School Admission Council LLM/JD Credential Assembly Svc.
TOEFL and IELTS 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 test in time to ensure that the score report will be issued by the application deadline.
Go to LSAC’s website for more information on submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score report to LSAC’s LLM CAS.
English Language Requirement Waiver Requests
You may request 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. We do not waive the English Language Requirement based on work experience in English. 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 and will accept a third if you feel it will strengthen your application. We strongly prefer that at least one letter comes from one of your law professors.
To send letters of recommendation to LSAC, log in to your LLM CAS account and follow the instructions to add your recommenders’ names and contact information, submit requests for letters to your recommenders, and assign your letters once they are submitted. An email will be sent to each of 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. Letters processed by LSAC become their property and cannot be returned or copied.
Go to LSAC’s website for more information on submitting letters of recommendation to LSAC’s LLM CAS.
Executive track applicants will receive an email invitation after submitting their online application form to complete the video assessment through Kira Talent’s online platform. 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.