Northwestern Llm Personal Statement


Programs and Statistics

Are the LLM programs offered only for international students?
The mission of the Executive LLM Chicago (formerly Accelerated LLM) and LLM programs is to provide international attorneys with exposure to the American model and legal education. 

Apart from these programs, the Law School offers an LLM in Taxation and an LLM in International Human Rights, which affords domestic and international attorneys the opportunity to specialize within those disciplines.

Tell me about the Two-Year JD Program for International Lawyers. Is there a minimum LSAT score needed?
Further information can be found on the Two-Year JD Program page.  We do not have a minimum LSAT score for acceptance.  Applicants for the Two-Year JD program will be evaluated against each other.

Where can I find a copy of Northwestern's Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics?
As provided by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, you are entitled to request and receive a copy of Northwestern University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.  This Report includes statistics for the previous 3 years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Northwestern University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus. The Report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies on drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.  You can obtain a copy of this Report by contacting the Northwestern University Police Department Deputy Chief at (847) 491-3256. The Report can also be accessed and printed from the University Police website.

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English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)

Is the TOEFL or IELTS required for admission? If so, what are the TOEFL codes for ETS?
Yes, the TOEFL or IELTS is required for admission into the LLM and LLM IHR programs. Foreign applicants who are not native speakers of English should take the TOEFL or IELTS examination and have an official copy of the score report sent from the testing agency directly to LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service (institution code 1565), and it will be reported in your credential evaluation. 

What is the minimum recommended score for the TOEFL or IETLS examination?
The minimum score for the internet-based exam is 100. We do not accept the paper-based TOEFL. The minimum score for the IELTS exam is an overall 7.5.

How can I request an English Language Proficiency Exam waiver?
TOEFL or IELTS waivers are granted on a case by case basis. Please contact the Admissions Office at to learn more about this process. 

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To apply, students must have a JD from an ABA-accredited law school or a comparable first degree in law (e.g., LLB) from a university outside of the United States.

How can I apply for admission?
Application instructions and a link to the online application can be found on the apply page for the Executive LLM Chicago (formerly Accelerated LLM), LLM, LLM IHR, and LLM Tax programs. 

Is the LSAT required for the LLM application process?
No. The only standardized test that is required for the LLM application is the TOEFL/IELTS.

Are credits from the LLM Program transferrable to Northwestern’s JD Program?
No.  Northwestern Law does not accept any LLM credits, whether from Northwestern or another law school, for the JD Program.  However, Northwestern does offer the Two-Year Program for International Lawyers.  Students who are admitted to the program receive one year of credit for their foreign law degree. Two-Year JD students must complete the required coursework for JD students during their first year. The second year is spent taking elective courses. Two-Year JD students are completely integrated with students in our regular JD program. Graduates of the Two-Year JD program receive a juris doctor degree from Northwestern Law. Please note that the LSAT is required for the Two-Year JD Program.  

Are deferrals granted?
One-year deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis. Historically, the Committee has granted a deferral for compelling reasons, such as unforeseen hardships or extraordinary opportunities. The admitted student must (1) pay their initial $750 seat deposit that holds their seat in the entering class to which they have been admitted and (2) submit a written request stating the reasons a deferral is necessary. If the Admissions Committee grants the deferral, the admitted student will be required to pay two additional deposits on the dates outlined in their letter (i.e., three total deposits). All deposits are non-refundable and applied towards the first tuition bill. In the event that the deferred student withdraws, the deposits are forfeited.

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Financial Aid

Are scholarships available to LLM students?
A limited number of fellowships are awarded to all LLM students each year.  

Are loans available to LLM students? 
International students may opt to finance a portion of their education at Northwestern Law through a private loan.  Students may borrow up to the total cost of attendance, minus personal contributions.  Please contact the applicable lender if you have specific questions about their loan program and contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid if you have general questions about the loan process.  

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Can I interview before I’ve submitted my application?
LLM online video interviews may be completed before or after you have submitted an application.

I indicated that I did not intend to interview on my application, but have changed my mind. What should I do?
You must write to our office at and indicate that you want your application to be held until you have completed your online video interview.

I am thinking of applying in a year or two. Should I schedule an interview if I'm not applying this cycle?
You should interview only in the year you are submitting an application. Interviews are only valid for the application cycle in which the candidate has applied. 

Can I interview multiple times?
Applicants are not allowed to interview more than once per cycle unless otherwise indicated by the Admissions Office. 

What should I wear for the interview?
Treat the online interview similar to a job interview, so dress professionally and upload a copy of your resume.

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Are there support programs for LLM students?
The Law School has a Director of International Programs who serves as the primary academic advisor for every member of the LLM population. Additionally, through the Law School's Career Strategy Center, there is an associate director dedicated to career counseling for LLM students.

Does the completion of the LLM program enable the graduate to sit for the bar exam?
Only some states permit foreign lawyers to take the bar examination, and each state has its own requirements as to prior legal education, coursework in a US LLM program, and other matters. For many students, admission to one or more states is possible if the appropriate courses and the bar examination are completed. As such, the LLM and LLM IHR programs do not guarantee students that they will qualify to take the bar examination or to practice law in the United States. Eligibility, however, has been extended in the past in the the states of New York and California dependent on meeting some specific criteria. Please refer to the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements at

While the Law School does not guarantee bar exam eligibility to Executive LLM Chicago (formerly ALLM) students for any state, the California State Bar has notified Northwestern Law that the current Executive LLM Chicago program will qualify a student to take the California Bar Exam. Along with other courses in the ELLMC program, students must satisfactorily complete the Professional Responsibility course offered in the ELLMC program to meet California Bar Exam eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements for more information on bar exam eligibility requirements for any state.

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Application Process for Incoming Students

Applicants to Northwestern's JD-PhD program must meet the admission requirements of both the Law School and The Graduate School to gain admittance into the program. The program has a single, integrated online application, which means applicants need only submit one application.

Applicants should follow the instructions for applying as outlined on The Graduate School's website, as well as complete the additional instructions set out below. International students must also meet the requirements for certification of language proficiency. 

Within The Graduate School application, applicants will be asked to select their PhD program of interest. Then, on page 4 of the application applicants must also indicate that they are applying to the joint JD-PhD program.

Both The Graduate School and Law School admissions offices review each application. The schools sometimes award admission independently if the joint application does not result in an offer of admission.

Effective September 2016, individuals who have completed a year of law school at an institution other than Northwestern University will not be eligible to apply to the joint JD-PhD program. Such students, however, may apply separately to The Graduate School and, as a transfer student, to the Law School. Students who successfully gain admission to the Law School will be required to complete all requirements associated with transfer students, including two years in residence at the Law School. Financial aid will be awarded in a manner consistent with prevailing Law School practices and policies for transfer students. Students should consult The Graduate School for information concerning their related programmatic and funding policies.

Application Timeline

Prospective students may apply to the JD-PhD Program beginning on October 1. The Law School reviews all applications received by February 15. However, deadlines within The Graduate School vary by department. Please consult with The Graduate School for more details regarding their individual application deadlines. For full consideration, applicants to the joint JD-PhD Program are encouraged to submit the following by the corresponding PhD department deadline.

Law School Supplemental Application Items 

A complete application to the JD-PhD program includes all items required by The Graduate School, plus the following specifically for the Law School (instructions on how to submit these items to the Law School will be sent once The Graduate School application has been submitted):

CAS Report

All applicants must register with the Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS), which contains a summary of each applicant's

  • Post-Secondary Transcript(s),

  • Results of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT; if a valid score is on record with LSAC)
  • At Least One Letter of Recommendation. (Separate from the letter of recommendation submitted to The Graduate School.)

Standardized Test Score

In addition to any tests required by The Graduate School, JD-PhD applicants can satisfy the Law School’s admissions test requirement by submitting either the LSAT, the GRE, or both. Through the CAS process, the Law School will be able to access LSAT results and will consider those results in its review if an applicant has previously taken it.

To submit your GRE score, use school code 2579 through ETS. 

To read more information on submitting your standardized test score results to the Law School, read our FAQ.


Northwestern Law is the only law school in the country that attempts to interview everyone who applies. JD-PhD applicants are eligible to participate in an On-Campus or Video interview as part of their JD-PhD application. 

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