Graduate Admissions

Application Form and Required Materials

Applicants to all programs (LLM, E-LLM, MSL, JSD, or APC) must register for an LSAC account, and use LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. All applicants must purchase the Document Assembly Service ($85). Applicants with foreign education credentials must also purchase the International Credential Authentication and Evaluation Service ($135). All applicants are strongly advised to purchase the required services four to six weeks in advance of their first application deadline, and to supply required materials to LSAC as early as possible.

Only the applicant may complete the application form and author any electronic attachments to the online application. Additionally, all applicants must comply with the relevant instructions when requesting their academic credentials, English language proficiency test scores, and recommendation letters in order to ensure authenticity. The Law School may seek to verify any information submitted by contacting recommenders, employers, or school officials. Except for approved organizations (such as Fulbright, EducationUSA, and LSAC), the use of third-party educational consultants, services, or advisors is strongly discouraged. 

When completing and submitting the application form, applicants must be sure their responses are accurate, and that they fully respond to all questions in each section of the application form (including in the Character and Fitness section). They must attest they have read the application instructions and agree to the submission terms. Applicants must promptly inform Graduate Admissions if there is any change in any of the facts given. Whether on the application form or in communication with NYU, omission or misrepresentation may be the basis for denial of admission, rescinding of an offer of admission, dismissal from the Law School, or revoking any NYU School of Law degrees granted. Misrepresentation also may result in referral to LSAC’s Subcommittee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process.

Application Form and Fee

Prospective students apply online for all graduate degree and certificate programs; they are permitted to submit only one application during the Admission 2021 cycle (Spring or Fall entry). 

Applicants must use the application form that corresponds to their choice of program, entry semester, and/or country of prior education:

Spring 2021 Entry

All spring application deadlines have passed.

Fall 2021 Entry

Applicants must complete all questions in each section of the application form, and electronically attach the required materials, before submitting the application. 

LLM applicants must choose to be considered for the Master of Laws program or one of our LLM specializations. Regardless the choice of LLM program, applicants with an interest in exploring the finance and accounting that underlie transactions and business structures are encouraged to apply to the Advanced Certificate in Law and Business (ACLB)

JSD applicants must state whether they wish to be considered for an LLM in the event they are not admitted to the doctoral program. 

APC applicants must choose to focus in Corporate Taxation, Estate Planning, or International Taxation. 

Unless instructed to attach an addendum to the application, applicants are not permitted to electronically attach additional pages in place of completing the requested information on the application form. Applicants should not mail duplicate copies of materials which are electronically submitted via the online application—doing so will not expedite receipt or review of an application. 

The $85 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, or for whom the application fee would present a financial hardship, should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at The application fee is non-refundable and will not be credited toward tuition if an applicant is offered admission.


Applicants must comply with all LSAC requirements and policies regarding transcripts, and submit their official transcripts and translations with the LSAC form(s) to LSAC’s 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 academic degrees, and translations of these documents from their original language to English, are required. Transcripts from all institutions attended must be sent to LSAC, even if no degree was earned and/or credits from the institution appear on another school’s transcripts, such as with transfer credits and exchange programs. 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. (Read more about submitting transcripts during COVID-19.)

In addition to these documents, all applicants must calculate the grade point average and provide a class rank for their 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.

LSAC will electronically forward an applicant’s law school report to Graduate Admissions as soon as the required materials for the specific degree or certificate program have been received and processed at LSAC. Any materials subsequently added to an applicant’s file at LSAC will automatically generate an updated report to NYU at no additional cost.

Additional Academic Results 

Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program should submit updated official transcripts to LSAC if additional academic results become available at any point in the application process including after the deadline. Any information submitted, including materials sent after an application is complete, will be considered by the Committee on Graduate Admissions if received before a final decision is reached. 

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. For MSL applicants, this standard applies to their bachelor’s degree. 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).

Applicants may choose either the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or the academic version of the IELTS. The Committee does not favor one of these exams over the other, and no exams or language proficiency certifications other than one of these are accepted. Applicants are encouraged to take either test as early as possible and no later than August for spring entry and November for fall entry. (Read more about English language testing during COVID-19.)

In order to be considered for admission, the Committee requires that applicants who take the TOEFL iBT 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, applicants must contact the test center directly and request that their test scores be sent to LSAC electronically (an institution code is not required). 

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. Photocopies or examinee copies are not permitted, and will not expedite the review of an 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 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 in order to apply. These applicants must submit an official transcript to LSAC showing the advanced graded academic coursework and the conferral of the degree. Despite this policy, the Committee on Graduate Admissions reserves the right to require an English language proficiency test score from such an applicant prior to rendering a decision. 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 at the time of application. 


All applicants are required to use the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Applicants must comply with LSAC requirements and policies regarding recommendation letters. Applicants should advise their recommenders that Graduate Admissions may contact the recommender directly if further information is necessary.  

Letters may be sent to LSAC electronically or on paper depending on the recommender’s preference. The Committee on Graduate Admissions does not favor one submission method over the other. To ensure that the correct letters are received, applicants must carefully follow the instructions when registering recommenders and assigning letters to NYU. Applicants are further advised to provide proper instruction to their recommenders regarding the submission of the letters.

LLM, E-LLM, and APC Programs 

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

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, are strongly encouraged to submit a letter of recommendation, but are not required to do so. 

MSL Program 

One recommendation letter is required. It is strongly advised that the letter be written by someone able to comment substantively on the applicant’s tax experience. Applicants may opt to submit one additional academic or professional recommendation if they wish to do so. 

JSD Program 

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 may submit up to one additional academic letter if they wish to do so. 

All applicants should encourage their recommenders to submit letters to LSAC by the deadline. Applicants who are registered for a course or conducting a research project for credit toward the LLM degree in Spring 2021, may arrange for a letter from that professor to be submitted after the application deadline but no later than mid-to-late May. 

Personal Statement and Resumé

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 to a particular program or specialization.

Applicants to the Legal Theory program should use the personal statement mostly to address their main field(s) of interest within legal theory and the potential research questions/projects they wish to explore. 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 are strongly encouraged to 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 included.

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

Any additional information an applicant would like to share with the Committee on Graduate Admissions that is not already present in the other application materials may be electronically attached as an addendum to the online application.

Hauser Global Scholarship (LLM)

If an applicant to the full-time LLM program for entry in the fall is applying for the Hauser Global Scholarship, a separate essay is required. Such candidates must electronically attach to the 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.

Certified Public Accountant Certificate (MSL) 

Applicants who hold a CPA license are required to electronically attach a PDF copy of their CPA certificate in order to submit the online application. NYU School of Law reserves the right to validate the authenticity of the professional license and/or a candidate’s standing with the governing board at any time. 

JSD Sample Research Paper

Each JSD applicant must submit a research paper originally written in English. Applicants must electronically attach the paper to the online application prior to submitting the application on or before the deadline. The applicant may submit a previously published paper, a research paper written for seminar credit, or a paper prepared specifically for the application. Ideally, but not necessarily, the research paper will address a question in the same substantive area in which the applicant plans to write his or her dissertation. The uploaded paper should not exceed 2MB in size.

JSD Proposal of Study

All JSD applicants must electronically attach a dissertation proposal of no more than 3,000 words to their online application. All proposals must be submitted with the online application on or before the deadline, and late submission of a proposal of study is not permitted. The proposal must be written in English and contain a bibliography. 

The substance of the proposal should:

  • Clearly state the research questions to be addressed;
  • Review the current literature in the field;
  • Identify the original contribution the dissertation will make;
  • State the methodological approach that the applicant plans to adopt;
  • Identify any difficulties that might be encountered during research.

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 NYU faculty biographies online, they are not expected to be in contact with, nor seek approval from, faculty members in advance of application. Students admitted into the program will be notified of their designated advisor.


Applicants who previously applied to any program at NYU School of Law must submit a new application and fee, and all required application materials. Such applicants must follow all policies and procedures as first-time applicants. Note that LSAC retains applicants’ materials on file for five years.