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Applicants for admission to the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program at Cleveland State University College of Law must have received the first degree in law from an accredited U.S. law school or an equivalent law school from another English-speaking country that follows the common law system. Graduates from other foreign law schools will be admitted as candidates for the LL.M. degree only upon submission of evidence of knowledge of the English language and the common law system sufficient to permit the candidate to conduct advanced studies. Such students may be required to take one or two core common law courses (Contracts, Property, and/or Torts) that may be included in the credits required for the LL.M. degree.
For admission to the LL.M. program at the CSU College of Law, an applicant must present:
- A proven record of scholastic accomplishment in legal studies
- A coherent plan of study normally including a specialized concentration in an area of the law
- A commitment to the study of law as an intellectual discipline
When selecting students for admission, the Committee on Graduate Studies will consider:
- The applicant's past experience
- Evidence of maturity and motivation
- Personal recommendations
- Other indices of competence such as writings and publications
An interview may be requested by the Committee.
It is important that graduates of foreign law schools who enroll in the LL.M. program understand that earning an LL.M. does not guarantee eligibility for the Ohio, or any other state's, bar exam. Further, the Ohio Supreme Court is currently considering a proposal that would require foreign-educated lawyers seeking permission to take the Ohio bar exam to complete a course of studies in prescribed law subjects totaling 30 semester hours.
The Application Process
- Apply via LSAC using this link https://llm.lsac.org/login/access.aspx?appl=1221L1
- If English is not your native language and you have not received a degree from either a university in the United States or a university where English is the official language of the country and the language of instruction, then results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required. You can receive information about the TOEFL from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website at www.ets.org and you can receive information about the IELTS from the website at www.ielts.org. Either a TOEFL score of greater than 100 on the internet based test or an IELTS score of greater than 7 is normally required for admission to the LL.M. program.
- A letter stating your reasons for applying to our LL.M. program and how our course offerings can fulfill your expectations.
- Three personal reference letters confirming the likelihood of your success in graduate study. It is recommended that at least one letter come from a law teacher in the school awarding your first law degree. In the event you have been employed in any law related capacity, one letter should also come from your immediate supervisor.
- Official transcripts from all colleges awarding degrees.
LL.M applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the fall or spring semester.
For applicants seeking financial aid, loan programs are available to eligible LL.M. candidates who are enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Interested applicants should contact All in 1, Campus411 at 216-687-5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree will be awarded upon the satisfactory completion of a program of study approved by the Committee on Graduate Studies.
- Graduates of American law schools must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours.
- International students are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours or, 30 credit hours is seeking to take the bar exam. Including at least one course for upper-level writing credit.
- The final cumulative G.P.A. must be 3.0 or higher. "Final cumulative G.P.A." shall be calculated at the end of the semester in which the candidate accumulates 20 or 24 semester hours of course work, as appropriate, and shall include all semester hours earned up to that point.
- Not more than six semester hours (nine quarter hours) of credit received from another law school or as a special student at this law school may be applied toward the LL.M. degree requirements, and the acceptance of any such credit shall be at the discretion of the Committee. No credit earned by a candidate prior to receiving the first degree in law may be applied toward the LL.M. degree requirements, except that, where a candidate has earned credit in excess of the first degree requirements before receiving that degree, the Committee may, in its discretion, accept up to six semester hours of such credit toward fulfillment of the LL.M. requirements. Such excess credit may not be applied toward the LL.M. degree requirements if earned for courses taken earlier than the semester in which the candidate completes the requirements for the first degree. Not more than a total of six hours of credit earned in any of the ways specified in this paragraph may be applied toward the LL.M. degree requirements.
- It is expected that an LL.M. candidate will take at least 10 (12 for graduates of foreign law schools) semester hours of course work in an area of concentration. The area of concentration will be designated in consultation with the candidate's graduate advisor.
- Credit hours for the core common law course(s) required of graduates from law schools in non-common law countries may be included in the 24 credit hours required for the degree as long as the grade(s) received is a "C" or better, in which case the grade will be included in the calculation of the student's cumulative grade point average.
- A candidate may take up to three semester hours of independent legal research under the direction of a member of the faculty, with the approval of the candidate's graduate advisor. If the candidate writes an independent study or seminar paper, the candidate's LL.M. thesis, when required, must be on a topic that is either completely different from or a very significant expansion of that paper. The LL.M. thesis is regarded as a requirement in addition to any work done toward the 20 semester hours of course credit required for the degree.
- Students studying on a student visa must take a minimum of 8 credit hours per semester.