Graduate Admissions

Step 2: Submit the Application Form and Required Materials

Applicants must electronically submit their application by the appropriate deadline. It is strongly recommended (though not a requirement) that mailed application materials be received at LSAC two weeks before the application deadline. No guarantees can be made concerning applications submitted, or application materials received by LSAC, after the respective deadline; such applications may be returned unprocessed.

We suggest you print a copy of your online application for your records, and keep a file of all documents you submit with your application. We cannot return or give you copies of any part of your application, transcripts, translations, letters of recommendation, or supporting materials.

Application Form and Fee

Prospective students apply to all graduate degree and certificate programs using the NYU Online Application, accessible on the LSAC website. Applicants must complete all questions in each section of the application form, and electronically attach the required materials, before submitting the application. Applicants are not permitted to electronically attach additional pages in place of completing the requested information on the online application form. Do not mail duplicate copies of materials which are electronically submitted via the online application.

The $70 application fee is in addition to the service fees charged by LSAC, and is payable by credit card only on the LSAC website. Applicants who are unable to use a credit card to pay the application fee should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at law.grad.moreinfo@nyu.edu. The application fee is non-refundable and will not be credited toward tuition if an applicant is offered admission. The Committee on Graduate Admissions does not waive application fees to the Graduate Division.

Transcripts

Applicants must comply with all LSAC requirements and policies regarding transcripts, and submit their official transcripts and translations with the LSAC form(s) to the LLM Credential Assembly Service. The law school report issued by LSAC includes copies all of transcripts and translations which the Committee on Graduate Admissions will use when evaluating applications.

Official transcripts from all law degrees, and translations of these documents from their original language to English, are required. Applicants who attended a school that releases information about class rankings should ensure that the school includes an official statement of class rank in the sealed envelope with the transcript. If class rank is unavailable, a school may instead include an official statement that attests it does not rank its students.

In addition to these documents, all applicants must calculate the grade point average and provide a class rank for their law degree in order to submit the online application. Applicants in their final year of study must also indicate which classes are currently in progress when submitting the online application. If there is additional information that applicants believe will be helpful to the Committee to evaluate their academic credentials, they should electronically attach an addendum to the online application.

English Language Proficiency Test

An English language proficiency test is required for all applicants whose first law degree program was not taught in English, or for applicants whose law degree program was taught in English but whose degree-granting institution is located in a country where English is not the primary language. Such applicants must submit an official score result from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Information regarding the TOEFL is available from www.toefl.org; applicants may only register for the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). Information regarding the IELTS is available at www.ielts.org; applicants may only register for the academic version. The Committee does not favor one exam over the other. Applicants are encouraged to take either test as early as possible and no later than November.

The Committee requires that applicants who take the TOEFL achieve a minimum total score of at least 100, a minimum score of 26 on the reading and listening subsections, and a minimum score of 22 on the writing and speaking subsections. For applicants who take the IELTS, the Committee requires a minimum overall band score of at least a 7, a minimum score of 7.5 on the reading and listening subsections, and a minimum score of 7 on the writing and speaking subsections. For both exams, JSD applicants must present scores substantially higher than the minimum.

Applicants should request that the Educational Testing Service issue an official score report of their results from the TOEFL iBT directly to LSAC (institution code: 8395). For IELTS test-takers, contact the test center directly and request that your test scores be sent to LSAC electronically. An institutional code is not required. LSAC only accepts scores submitted electronically, and all IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to LSAC.

Under no circumstances may an applicant submit a score report directly to LSAC or to NYU Law; only official reports issued by the testing agencies are acceptable. Please do not send photocopies or examinee copies to NYU; they are not permitted, and will not expedite the review of your application.

Applicants whose primary language is not English must have strong English language proficiency in order to participate productively and successfully in all aspects of the graduate program. Simply meeting the minimum TOEFL or IELTS standards is not necessarily sufficient and will not ensure academic success. In addition to the English language exam, interviews for English proficiency may be required; any such interviews would be conducted in the applicant’s home country.

Applicants whose first law degree program was not taught in English, but who have completed an advanced degree taught in English in a country where English is the primary language are not required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. These applicants must submit an official transcript to LSAC showing the advanced graded academic coursework and the conferral of the degree. Applicants who are currently enrolled in such an advanced degree program, but who have not been conferred the degree, must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score.

Recommendations

All applicants are required to use the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Applicants must comply with LSAC requirements and policies regarding letters of recommendation, and submit the letters with the LSAC forms to the LLM Credential Assembly Service. It is important that you follow the instructions carefully when registering recommenders with LSAC.

One academic letter of recommendation is required for application to the full-time and part-time LLM programs. Applicants may submit additional academic or professional letter(s) if they wish to do so.

JSD applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation from law school faculty members who are familiar with the candidate’s academic work and can attest to the candidate’s ability to complete a doctoral dissertation that will make a significant scholarly contribution.

Applicants to the part-time LLM in Taxation, the E-LLM, or APC in Taxation programs, who additionally received their first degree in law from a US or Puerto Rican law school, may submit a letter of recommendation, but are not required to do so.

Personal Statement and Résumé

All applicants must electronically attach to the online application a brief personal statement of no more than 500 words. Applicants may describe their professional interests and goals, or they may use the statement to describe aspects of themselves and/or their work that are not apparent from their other application materials. Applicants should include their reasons and qualifications for applying for a particular program or specialization, and applicants to the Legal Theory program are encouraged to address their main field(s) of interest within legal theory. Applicants to the part-time LLM in Taxation, the E-LLM, or the APC in Taxation, who additionally received their first degree in law from a US or Puerto Rican law school may submit a personal statement, but are not required to do so.

All applicants must also electronically attach a résumé or curriculum vitae to their application. This document may be one to two pages in length, and should account for all education and work experience, as well as any period of more than three months not spent in school or employed. Publications, presentations, or other career-related information may also be indicated.

Hauser Global Scholarship

If an applicant to the full-time LLM program is applying for the Hauser Global Scholarship a separate essay is required. Such candidates must electronically attach to their NYU Online Application an essay of 500 to 750 words that briefly describes a current legal dilemma, controversy, or issue facing a country, a region, or the world, and suggests a strategy to address the problem. This essay is in addition to the personal statement.

Writing Samples

Due to the large number of applications that we receive each year, the Committee on Graduate Admissions is not able to read or consider writing samples, articles, or research papers submitted with applications. Instead, publications, academic presentations and the like may be noted on an applicant’s résumé or curriculum vitae for consideration by the Committee.

JSD Proposal of Study

***Note for Fall 2015 Applicants: A new proposal of study requirement will be published in early September 2014. It is likely that the current lengthy proposal requirement will be substituted with a requirement to submit a research paper originally written in English and a comparatively shorter proposal. All applicants must comply with the new requirement, and should be sure to check back in early September for the most updated information.***

All JSD applicants are required to electronically attach to their online application a completed proposal of study for the doctoral program of no more than 10,000 words in length, including the relevant bibliography. Proposals of study must be submitted via electronic attachment to the online application by the January 31 application deadline. Late submission of a proposal of study is not permitted. The Committee on JSD Admissions understands that it is difficult to make an argument for a problem one has not yet researched at length, but applicants should give thought to the following when preparing the proposal:

  • Research objectives—the inquiry to be pursued.
  • A review of the current literature in the field.
  • Methodological strategies planned to be utilized.
  • The contribution to the field of inquiry, or how the research will be valuable for others.
  • Difficulties that might be encountered during research.
  • Full-time faculty at NYU, including full-time adjunct professors, with whom the applicant wishes to work (biographies are available on the Law School website).

The proposal should have sufficient specificity to make possible an evaluation by a member of our faculty familiar with the proposed field. While applicants should identify in their proposal of study possible dissertation advisors after reviewing the faculty biographies online, it is not necessary to seek approval from faculty members in advance of application. Students admitted into the program will be notified of their designated advisor. It is expected that admitted students will establish contact with the dissertation advisor before enrolling in the JSD program. Throughout the degree program, the advisor will provide consultation on courses and research, and supervise the student’s progress in writing the dissertation.

Reapplication

Applicants who previously applied to any program at NYU School of Law must submit a new application and fee, and a new set of all required application materials. Such applicants must follow all policies and procedures as first-time applicants.