Harvard LLM Requirements

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Team College Learners

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) program is a one-year degree program that typically includes 180 students from some 70 countries. The Graduate Program is interested in attracting intellectually curious and thoughtful candidates from a variety of legal systems and backgrounds and with various career plans. Harvard’s LL.M. students include lawyers working in firms or NGOs, government officials, law professors, judges, diplomats, activists, doctoral students, business people, and others. The diversity of the participants in the LL.M. program contributes significantly to the educational experience of all students at the School.

Harvard Law School is known for its prestigious LL.M. program, which provides an invaluable opportunity for experienced legal professionals to deepen their knowledge and skills in various areas of law. The program is highly competitive, with a rigorous selection process to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are admitted.

Harvard University is one of the top law schools in the world and U.S. Admission to Harvard LLM is highly competitive. Approximately 1,600 applicants compete for around 180 places in LLM course each year. Looking at the statistics, Harvard LLM acceptance rate is around 11.25%.

Harvard LLM Admission Eligibility


To be eligible for the Harvard LL.M. program, an applicant must have a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from an ABA-approved U.S. law school or a first law degree (J.D., LL.B. or the equivalent) from a foreign law school. This requirement ensures that all candidates have a strong foundation in legal education and are equipped to excel in the advanced studies offered by Harvard.

To be considered for the LL.M. program, an applicant must have a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from an ABA-approved U.S. law school or a first law degree (J.D., LL.B. or the equivalent) from a foreign law school. Harvard Law School is rarely able to accept into its LL.M. program anyone who already holds (or is pursuing) an LL.M. from another law school in the United States.

The admission process for the Harvard LL.M. program is highly selective, with an emphasis on academic excellence, professional experience, and potential for contribution to the legal profession. In addition to meeting the educational requirements, applicants must submit a full application package including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement outlining their goals and reasons for pursuing the LL.M. at Harvard. The admissions committee carefully reviews each application to determine the best fit for the program and select candidates who will thrive in the rigorous academic environment of Harvard Law School.

Admission Document Checklist

  • Online application form
  • CV/Résumé
  • Personal statement, parts (A) and (B)
  • Transcript(s) (including diplomas for all degrees that have been received)
  • Recommendations (at least two)
  • Official TOEFL report (if applicable; please note that we do not accept MyBest™ TOEFL score reports)*
  • Financial Aid application (if applicable)
  • Application fee of US$85**

*Important information about TOEFL waivers:  it is not possible to request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement in advance of submitting an application, or by email.  To request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement, you will need to complete the TOEFL waiver request within the online application form and submit the online application.  Your request will not be considered until after all of your transcripts have been received.  Please note that TOEFL waivers are very rarely granted, and we do not recommend requesting a waiver unless (1) you have completed at least two consecutive years of full-time university education conducted entirely in English AND (2) your level of English fluency is near that of a native speaker.

**Important information about application fee waivers:  it is not possible to request a waiver of the application fee in advance of submitting an application, or by email.  To request a waiver of the application fee, you will need to complete the application fee request within the online application form and submit the online application.  Your request will not be considered until after you have also submitted a complete financial aid application.  Please note that fee waivers are granted only for applicants with extreme financial hardship, and never on a “merit” basis.

Arm Tungnirun, LL.M. Harvard Law School Graduate & Professor of Law in  Bangkok, Thailand | PFAU

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the LL.M. program is highly competitive. Each year approximately 1,600 applicants compete for around 180 places in the LL.M. program. Most applicants are fully qualified for the program, and the Committee on Graduate Studies must select from among a large number of candidates who have excellent credentials. In evaluating applications, the Committee takes into consideration the applicant’s grades and rank in their law and other university studies, letters of recommendation, occupational interests, professional and personal accomplishments, and other factors, including the following:

  • For LL.M. Applicants from Abroad: The program is designed for intellectually curious and thoughtful candidates who come from a variety of legal systems and backgrounds and who have demonstrated an intent to return to their country to contribute to academia or the legal profession. We are equally interested in applicants pursuing careers in law teaching and research, government service, the judiciary, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private practice.  While Harvard does not require work experience, we generally find that applicants who have had at least two years of work experience or further study beyond law school have a better sense of what they hope to accomplish during the LL.M. program. As a result, they often are able to submit stronger applications, and those who end up enrolling in the LL.M. program often find that their experience makes it easier for them to select courses and identify research topics, and in general get more out of their LL.M. year.

  • For LL.M. Applicants from the United States: The program is designed for graduates of U.S. law schools who have had at least two or three years of experience beyond law school and who have committed themselves to a career in law teaching. In the admissions process, the Committee focuses primarily on applicants who have excelled in their basic law school studies, who elicit strong letters of recommendation from law school teachers and others familiar with their work, and who have spent at least two years working as a law school teacher, judicial clerk, or practitioner in a public agency or private practice. Evidence of graduate education in a field other than law is also significant. Weight will be given to materials demonstrating the applicant’s interest in, commitment to, and capability for a career in law teaching.

Highlights

Year of Establishment1817
LocationCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
University TypePrivate
Campus SettingUrban
Acceptance Rate15.6%
Total Student Enrollment1990
Mode of ProgramsFull Time, Part Time, Online
English Language Proficiency ScoreTOEFL or IELTS
Financial AidAvailable as per grants, awards and scholarships
Work-study ProgramAvailable
Admission Helpdesk617-495-0722
Websitehttps://hls.harvard.edu/

Harvard Law School Admission Deadlines

Harvard Law School, USA has different Admissions Deadlines for the Graduate and Undergraduate programs. Here are some of the program deadlines.

SemesterDeadline
Fall SeasonFebruary 15
Spring SeasonSeptember 15

Harvard Law School International Admission Process

Harvard Law School, USA offers a wide range of Juris Doctor, Master in Law (LLM) programs, and courses that have different admission application processes and requirements. Here are the admission process and requirements for getting the admission in any program.

Admission Portal: Online portal of the university for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Admission Fee: 85 USD

Admission Requirements: To apply for Harvard Law School, USA, international students must fulfill the following requirements for admissions:

  • Transcripts of High school and Secondary
  • Transcript of Bachelors (If applying for Graduate program)
  • TOEFL, IELTS or other equivalent exam score required for English Proficiency
  • Passport’s Copy
  • Personal statement (250 to 300 words)
  • Letter of Recommendation (Minimum Two)
  • Updated Resume
  • Financial Statement

Note-: All the transcripts and documents must be translated in English language.

English Language Proficiency Test Score for International Students

International Students from different foreign countries are necessarily required to have English Proficiency test scores like TOEFL, IELTS, and equivalent exam for getting admission in any program. Here are the minimum scores required to get admission in Harvard Law School.

Test AcceptedMinimum Score Required
TOEFL (Internet Based Test)100 and 25 in every sections
IELTS7.5
PTE75

Visa Process for International Students

International students from different countries can apply for a student visa process after the approval of their application form. After the completion of the admission process, an Acceptance Letter is received from the university, and with the help of acceptance, letter students can apply for the visa process.

Documents Required for Visa Process

  • Original Passport and its photocopy
  • Acceptance Letter from the Institute
  • Transcripts and other academic documents
  • Recent Photographs
  • Last six months bank statement
  • Financial support proof
  • Medical Insurance Certificate
  • Visa Application Fee

Note -: After the completion of the following process an interview is scheduled with the nearest United States Embassy in the native country.

Harvard Law School Undergraduate Admissions

Harvard Law School offers Undergraduate admissions in programs like Juris Doctor in Law, Juris Doctor in Science and Technology, Juris Doctor in Law and Social Change, Juris Doctor in International and Comparative Law, Juris Doctor in Law and Business, Juris Doctor in Law and History, etc. The students are required to submit all the documents on the official website while filling the admission application.

Admission Portal: Online Portal of the University

Admission Fee: 75 USD

Admission Requirements: To apply for Undergraduate program at Harvard Law School, International students must fulfill the following requirements-:

  • Transcripts of High School or Secondary Education
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • English Proficiency Test Score
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • Passport’s Copy

FOR LL.M. APPLICANTS FROM ABROAD

The program is designed for intellectually curious and thoughtful candidates who come from a variety of legal systems and backgrounds and who have demonstrated an intent to return to their country to contribute to academia or the legal profession. We are equally interested in applicants pursuing careers in law teaching and research, government service, the judiciary, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private practice.  While we do not require work experience, we generally find that applicants who have had at least two years of work experience or further study beyond law school have a better sense of what they hope to accomplish during the LL.M. program. As a result, they often are able to submit stronger applications, and those who end up enrolling in the LL.M. program often find that their experience makes it easier for them to select courses and identify research topics, and in general get more out of their LL.M. year.

FOR LL.M. APPLICANTS FROM THE UNITED STATES

The program is designed for graduates of U.S. law schools who have had at least two or three years of experience beyond law school and who have committed themselves to a career in law teaching. In the admissions process, the Committee focuses primarily on applicants who have excelled in their basic law school studies, who elicit strong letters of recommendation from law school teachers and others familiar with their work, and who have spent at least two years working as a law school teacher, judicial clerk, or practitioner in a public agency or private practice. Evidence of graduate education in a field other than law is also significant. Weight will be given to materials demonstrating the applicant’s interest in, commitment to, and capability for a career in law teaching.

ere are some of the requirements for the Undergraduate or Juris Doctor (JD) programs offered by the Harvard Law School:

RequirementsJuris Doctor in Law, Science and TechnologyJuris Doctor in Law and Social ChangeJuris Doctor in International and Comparative LawJuris Doctor in Law and BusinessJuris Doctor in Law and History
Application Fee (Non-refundable)85 USD85 USD85 USD85 USD85 USD
TranscriptsHigh School and Secondary EducationHigh School and Secondary EducationHigh School and Secondary EducationHigh School, Secondary Education, and UndergraduateHigh School, Secondary Education, and Undergraduate
English Proficiency TestTOEFL or IELTSTOEFL or IELTSTOEFL or IELTSTOEFL or IELTSTOEFL or IELTS
Recommendations2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required
Personal EssayRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
Proof of Financial SupportRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
InterviewRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired

Harvard Law School Graduate Admissions

Harvard Law School offers graduate admissions in Masters in Law (LLM) programs like Masters in Law and Government, Master in Law and Social Change, Master in Law and Business, Master in Law and History, Master in Criminal Justice, Master in International and Comparative Law and Master in Law, Science and Technology, etc. The students are required to submit all the documents on the official website while filling the admission application.

Admission Portal: Online Portal of the University

Admission Fee: 85 USD

Admission Requirements: To apply for the Graduate or Master in Law (LLM) program at Harvard Law School, International students must fulfill the following requirements-:

  • Transcripts of High School or Secondary Education
  • Transcript of Undergraduate program
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • English Proficiency Test Score
  • Proof of Financial support
  • Passport’s Copy

Here are some of the requirements for the Master in Law (LLM) programs offered by the Harvard Law School:

RequirementsMaster in Law, Science and TechnologyMaster in Law and Social ChangeMaster in International and Comparative LawMaster in Law and BusinessMaster in Criminal Justice
Application Fee (Non-refundable)85 USD85 USD85 USD85 USD85 USD
TranscriptsHigh School, Secondary Education, and UndergraduateHigh School, Secondary Education, and UndergraduateHigh School, Secondary Education, and UndergraduateHigh School, Secondary Education, and UndergraduateHigh School, Secondary Education, and Undergraduate
English Proficiency TestTOEFL or IELTS or PTETOEFL or IELTS or PTETOEFL or IELTS or PTETOEFL or IELTS or PTETOEFL or IELTS or PTE
Recommendations2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required2 Letters Required
Personal EssayRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
Proof of Financial SupportRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired

The Harvard Law School also offers various Joint or Dual degree programs and Doctoral Programs, students are advised to choose the program of their choice by taking counseling from the officials of the institute, the officials will guide the student according to their requirements and field of interest.

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