Application Instructions

Simplified information on the LL.M. admissions timeline and application checklist can be found below.  To see the full and detailed instructions for the 2021-22 application cycle, please follow these links:

Click here to review the LL.M. Executive Track Application Instructions
Click here to review the LL.M. Traditional Track Application Instructions
Click here to review the LL.M. Thesis Track Application Instructions


Watch this video to hear our Director of Admissions help you avoid common application mistakes.


2021 LL.M. Traditional & Thesis Track Admissions Timeline  

September 1, 2020 LL.M. Application available
December 18, 2020 Deadline to apply online and postmark application materials for 2021-22 LL.M. traditional track
Dec 21, 2020 – Jan 11, 2021 Winter recess (University closed)
March 2021 Admissions decisions finalized, applicants notified
August 10, 2021* LL.M. Orientation
August 16, 2021* Fall semester law school classes begin

*dates tentative

For a more detailed LL.M. traditional or thesis track program timeline, please see the Current Academic Calendar.


2021 LL.M. Executive Track Admissions Timeline

September 1, 2020 LL.M. Application available
September 2020 – February 2021 Rolling admissions: applicants notified of admission status usually within 3 weeks of application completion
November 15, 2020 Deadline to apply online and postmark application materials for executive track option A; early decision deadline for option B
December 18, 2020 Deadline to apply online and postmark application materials for executive track option B
Dec 21, 2020 – Jan 11, 2021 Winter recess (University closed)
Jan 6, 2021* Online Orientation for option A
Jan 7, 2021* Spring classes begin (online) for option A
May 24, 2021* Q1 Orientation (on-campus) for option A and B
June 10, 2021* Q2 Orientation (on-campus) for option B

*dates tentative

For a more detailed LL.M. executive track schedule, please see

LL.M. Application Checklist

A complete LL.M. application should include the following:

  1. Application formsubmitted online via LSAC by November 15, 2020 for the executive track option A, or December 18, 2020 for the traditional track, thesis track, or executive track option B
  2. $80 application fee – pay by credit card while submitting online application
  3. Personal Statement – upload to online application
  4. Curriculum vitae (c.v.) or résumé  – upload to online application
  5. Official academic records – the issuing institution should send directly to LSAC
  6. Two letters of recommendation – upload or send to LSAC with their Letter of Recommendation Form
  7. TOEFL/IELTS score – request that the score report be sent to LSAC. If requesting an English Language Requirement waiver, check the “Yes” button under the English Requirement section of the online application.
  8. Thesis Proposal Summary (thesis track applicants only) – upload to online application
  9. Writing Sample (optional, thesis track applicants only) – upload to online application
  10. Video Assessment (executive track applicants only) – completed online via Kira Talent

Applications and supporting materials must be submitted/postmarked by the following deadlines:

  • November 15, 2020 for the 2021 executive track option A
  • December 18, 2020 for the 2021-22 traditional track, thesis track, or executive track option B

We strongly advise applicants to register for the LLM Credential Assembly Service well in advance of the application deadline.  LSAC recommends applicants register at least four to six weeks before their first application deadline.  It is recommended to have materials sent as early as possible to allow sufficient time for processing. It takes approximately two weeks to process a US transcript or letter of recommendation from the time it is received by LSAC. Transcripts from non-US institutions may take longer.

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.

All questions regarding deposits, fees or refunds should be directed to the Advanced Degree Programs Office.

Official Academic Records (Transcripts)

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



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.


Alternative English Tests for the 2021-22 LL.M. Application

Due to current testing center closures, we will accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator for the 2021-22 LL.M. application. These scores can be reported to LSAC through the usual method. At this time, we are not accepting the TOEFL ITP Plus for China.



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

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 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 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


English Language Requirement Waiver Requests

You are eligible for an English Language Requirement Waiver if any of the following criteria apply:

  1. 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
  2. You have earned a degree from a foreign university in which the sole language of instruction is English, OR
  3. 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.


Personal Statement

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.


C.V. (Curriculum Vitae)

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.

The Personal Statement and Curriculum Vitae must be uploaded to the attachments section of the online application.  Please DO NOT also send a paper copy of these documents.


Letters of Recommendation

Berkeley Law requires two letters of recommendation. We strongly prefer that the letters of recommendation are 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


Thesis Proposal Summary (thesis track applicants only)

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.


Writing Sample (optional, thesis track applicants only)

Applicants may also 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.


Video Assessment (executive track applicants only)

This year, we’re including a video assessment as part of the executive track application process. Applicants will complete this 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.