LLM in International Transactions and Comparative Law

  • Master of laws (LL.M.)
  • Starting date: August
  • Tuition Fee: $23,390.00 USD
  • Language: English
  • Program type: Part-time; Full-time; Continuing education
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Specialization: International Law ; European Law; U.S. Law ; General law

Overview

USF's LLM in International Transactions and Comparative Law is your gateway to a thriving career in American, international, and comparative law. The program equips students with a strong grounding in legal theory and practical skills to pursue gainful employment in the United States and abroad.

 

The Admissions Committee reviews files in the order they are completed, on a rolling basis. Therefore, it is to the applicant's advantage to submit the complete application with supporting materials as early as possible.

 

The program is open to those:

 

  • with first degrees in law
  • who have completed in a foreign country the university-based legal education required to take the equivalent of the bar examination in that country
  • who are qualified to practice law in a country
  • or the equivalent thereof or otherwise deemed sufficiently qualified as determined by our LLM admissions committee

 

Application

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

1. Application Form

 

Beginning mid-October you may complete the application form and submit it electronically through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) by clicking Apply Online. You may also download the LLM application. All mailed admission materials should be sent to the following address:

 

University of San Francisco School of Law
Office of LLM Admissions
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 USA

 

2. $70 Application Fee

 

If you are mailing your application, payment must be in U.S. dollars by check drawn on an American bank or in the form of an international money order payable to the University of San Francisco. If you are applying electronically through LSAC, you may pay by credit card. If you are applying electronically and are unable to pay by credit card, you may submit your application electronically and mail the $70 application fee to the USF School of Law Office of Admissions with the LSAC Certification Form.

 

3. Personal Statement

 

This two page statement should discuss your reasons for applying to the USF LLM program, your work experience, education, background, career goals, and other pertinent information. If applying electronically via LSAC, your personal statement may be submitted as an electronic attachment.

 

4. Two Letters of Recommendation

 

Letters should be from university professors or employers and must be printed on letterhead, signed, and submitted in sealed envelopes. If not in English, the letters of recommendation must be accompanied by an English translation. The letters may be submitted with your application or mailed directly to the USF School of Law Office of Admissions.

 

5. Certification of Finances

 

Foreign applicants (those who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) must submit the Certification of Finances Form and supporting documents, showing funds covering the nine months of study at the university. Certification may be submitted either with your application or after you are admitted. If an applicant submits the certification early and is subsequently admitted, he or she will receive the documentation required to apply for a visa more quickly. See information on the cost of attendance, tuition, and fees.

 

6. Financial Aid

 

The USF School of Law awards a very limited number of partial tuition scholarships each year to highly qualified international applicants who would otherwise be unable to pay for the LLM Program. These applicants must submit a separate written statement with their application materials that provides details of their finances, including financial documents that demonstrate the amount and sources of funding available to support their USF studies. No financial aid application will be considered without this information. Since funds are limited, it is to the scholarship applicant’s advantage to complete the application with supporting materials as early as possible.

 

In addition, a Citibank program offers loans to international students, who are neither citizens nor permanent residents, if they have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen as a co-signor. See www.citiassist.com.

 

U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents needing financial aid may submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 for federal aid and scholarship eligibility. Such students may qualify for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan of up to $20,000. U.S. Citizens of Permanent Residents needing additional financial aid information should visit the law school financial aid website.

 

7. Transcripts

 

Original transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended are required. The transcripts should show your grades, approximate class rank, and any degree received. If the degree received is not printed on the transcript you must provide a copy of the diploma certificate. If not in English, transcripts and diplomas must be accompanied by an English translation. The transcripts must be sent directly to the USF School of Law Office of Admissions in sealed envelopes by your university. If possible, please provide a grading system explanation sheet from each school.

 

Applicants can submit their international transcripts through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  This service is included in the CAS subscription fee.  An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your CAS report. To use the CAS, log in to your online account at www.lsac.org and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request form for each institution and send it to them promptly. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts. Questions about the LLM Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001 or lsacinfo@lsac.org.

 

8. LSAT Scores (for U.S. applicants only)

 

U.S. law graduates must supply an official copy of their LSAT score.

 

9. English Language Requirement

 

Strong English language ability is a prerequisite to admission. For foreign students whose native language is not English, this requirement may be satisfied by (1) having completed basic legal studies in an English-speaking country in a university where instruction was in English or (2) taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or (3) successfully completing the USF LLM English Language Program (ELP). The recommended TOEFL score is 100 IBT and the IELTS score is 7.0. Applicants with slightly lower scores will still be considered for admission.

 

Applicants should register to take these tests as early as possible so the scores will be received by the February 16 deadline. Only TOEFL scores from tests administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) will be accepted. The TOEFL score report must be sent directly to USF by ETS. Use school code number 4792 to ensure the score will be forwarded to the LLM program of the USF School of Law. For information on taking the TOEFL exam, visitwww.toefl.org. As an option, applicants that use the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service can have the TOEFL report sent directly to LSAC using the code 0058. The score will be forwarded to USF along with an evaluation report of transcripts prepared by LSAC. IELTS testing locations and times may be obtained from www.ielts.org. Only official TOEFL and IELTS scores from tests taken within two years of your application submission will be valid.

 

Otherwise qualified LLM applicants who want to improve their English language skills and achieve the level of proficiency necessary to be successful in the LLM degree program, may be admitted to the LLM and English Language Program with the requirement to take one or two semesters of English language development coursework at USF prior starting their LLM degree. 

 

APPLICATION MATERIALS

All materials and correspondence relating to admission or your Law School application should be directed to the Law School LLM Admissions Office. Once submitted, all materials become the property of the School of Law and will not be returned or copied. Please keep a copy of your application and any supporting documents for your records.

 

STATUS CHECKS

The Law School Admissions Office will provide login and password information to all applicants regarding an on-line status check. In addition, all applicants to the law school will be notified by e-mail once their application is received by USF, when your application file becomes complete, and as soon as an admission decision has been reached. Those who require an early decision may contact the Office of LLM Admissions by telephone or email to confirm the status of their application. All official decision letters will be sent electronically or, by request, via mail or courier service.

FAQ

1. WHAT IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?

Our application deadline has been extended to Monday, June 20th.  Please note that the Law School will continue to accept applications after this deadline, space permitting.  However, early application filing is encouraged in order to receive an application decision in a timely manner.

2. WHAT LLM PROGRAMS DO YOU OFFER?

USF offers three programs leading to the LLM degree: LL.M in Taxation, LL.M in International Transactions and Comparative Law (ICL) for foreign lawyers and LL.M in Intellectual Property and Technology Law (IPTL) for U.S. and foreign lawyers. 

3. WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION TO THE LLM PROGRAMS?

The basic requirements for eligibility to apply to the LLM Programs at USF are a first degree in law and fluency in English. Most of our students are lawyers who received their first degree from foreign law schools. U.S.-trained lawyers are eligible to apply, but only to study in the IP Program.

4. WHEN DOES THE PROGRAM BEGIN?

Orientation week for the 2016-2017 LLM Programs begins Monday, August 15, 2016. It is the start of the academic year and attendance is mandatory. The LLM Programs begin once a year in August.

5. HOW LONG IS THE LLM PROGRAM?

Each of the two programs can be completed in two full-time semesters (August – May). Students entering the United States on an F-1 or J-1 visa must attend school full-time. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may attend school part-time and thus it will take longer to complete the program—usually within 3-4 semesters total.

6. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION?

USF requires a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a valid TOEFL/ IELTS/PTE (Pearson Test of English) score, and transcripts demonstrating completion of at least a first degree in law prior to the beginning of the LLM Program. U.S. law graduates must submit a valid LSAT score.

7. WHAT ARE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST SCORE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAMS?

The TOEFL score must be a minimum of 600 PBT/100 IBT. The IELTS Overall Band Score must be a minimum of 7.0.

 

The new LLM and English Language Program is designed for otherwise qualified LLM applicants who want to improve their English Language skills and achieve the level of proficiency necessary to be successful in the LLM degree program. After submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores, conditionally admitted students may be required to take one or two semesters of English language development coursework at USF prior to starting their LLM degree. Students will receive some credit towards their LLM degree and a certificate at the completion of the program. More information about the program can be found at https://www.usfca.edu/law/academics/llm/english.

8. IF I APPLY EARLY, WILL I RECEIVE A DECISION EARLY?

The LLM Admissions Committee reviews files in the order that they are completed, on a rolling basis. Therefore, it is to the applicant’s advantage to submit the complete application with supporting materials as early as possible.

9. WHERE CAN ONE OBTAIN AN APPLICATION?

The application and application instructions are available on our website. In addition, the LLM online application is now available on the LLM section of the website.

10. WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION FEE AND TUITION AT USF?

The application fee is $70. Tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year was $22,731 per semester or $45,462 for the academic year. Tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 academic year have not yet been determined. The Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco reserves the right to change tuition, fees, and other charges at any time without notice. For more information about cost of attendance, tuition, and fees, please consult our web site. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the total estimated cost of attendance including room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses including health insurance was $65,632.

11. WHAT FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE TO LLM STUDENTS?

Financial aid may be offered to a few international applicants demonstrating financial need and outstanding academic achievement who would otherwise be unable to pay for the LLM program. Those applicants must submit a separate written statement with their application materials that provides details on their finances, including the amount and sources of funding available to support their USF studies. No financial aid application will be considered without this information. Since funds are limited, it is to the scholarship applicant’s advantage to complete their application with supporting materials as early as possible.

 

U.S. citizens and permanent residents needing financial aid should consult the Financial Aid web site  for information about federal student aid and subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

12. ONCE ADMITTED TO ONE OF THE PROGRAMS, HOW DO I SECURE MY PLACE IN THE INCOMING CLASS?

Each applicant who decides to accept our offer of admission must submit a completed Admissions Response Form along with a first tuition deposit payment of $500, which is non-refundable, but will be applied to the fall tuition. This deposit is due April 1, 2016. In the case of scholarship recipients and those admitted after April 1st, these forms are due 30 days after the date on the admission letter. A second deposit of $500, which is also non-refundable, is due July 1, 2016.

13. HOW DO I OBTAIN THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO APPLY FOR MY VISA?

Once we receive your Admissions Response Form, your first tuition deposit, a copy of your passport page with photo demographic information (place and date of birth, country of citizenship, etc.), and your Certification of Finance Forms, an I-20 form will be issued to you. You will need this form to obtain an F-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

14. WHAT OTHER REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE FOR ENROLLING IN THE LLM PROGRAM?

All students are REQUIRED to have health insurance during their studies at USF. USF automatically enrolls all international students in the University health plan. The fee is included in your tuition bill.

 

An exception to this requirement is anyone who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with your own comprehensive health insurance or a U.S.-based health insurance plan. If you do have a U.S.-based plan and wish to be waived from the USF plan, you must provide evidence of your coverage to the USF Office of University Life.

15. WHAT TYPE OF IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE FOR ENROLLING IN THE LLM PROGRAM?

All international students are required to submit an immunization form showing proof of immunization. Information on the Immunization requirement can be found online at http://www.usfca.edu/hps. See "Health Insurance" on the left side of the page and click on "International." See the "Quick Links" on the right hand side of the page and click on "Immunization Form" to download a copy. In addition, students will be sent these forms to be completed prior to their arrival at USF.

 

Students must return the form by August 15, 2016 to:

 

USF Student Health Promotion Services
University Center, 5th Floor
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel : (415) 422-5797
Fax: (415) 422-5909

 

International Students will not be able to register for classes if the completed immunization form has not been received.

16. WHERE DO LLM STUDENTS LIVE?

The majority of LLM students live off-campus within the city of San Francisco. Some students live on the “peninsula” (south of the city), across the bay in Berkeley or Oakland, and in Marin County. The San Francisco Bay Area has excellent public transportation systems (bus, train and subway), which make USF quite accessible. There are various web sites that may provide additional resources regarding off campus housing. Some of these resources can also be found at the Residence Life web site (see below).

 

On-campus housing options are available for graduate students, but these options are limited and not guaranteed. Applications for on-campus housing for the 2016-2017 year will be available by February 2016 and should be submitted to the USF Residence Life Office by May 1, 2016 for priority consideration. Most graduate students are assigned to Loyola Village, an apartment-style complex, and will be asked to share a bedroom in a two- or three-bedroom unit. Because on campus housing is in short supply, students desiring such housing should submit a housing application form promptly upon acceptance in the program. Please be aware that university residence halls are closed each year during winter break. Students residing in the residence halls, who remain in San Francisco, must make alternative living arrangements during that period. Personal possessions may remain in the room during the closed period. For additional housing information, including an on-campus housing application, please visit theUSF Office of Residence Life.

17. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO GRADUATE FROM THE LLM PROGRAM?

There is no GPA requirement. LLM students are graded using a system of HIGH PASS, PASS, LOW PASS and NO PASS. All credits count towards the degree except for classes in which you receive a no pass grade. Graduates of US law schools in the IP program may opt for letter grades if they prefer. International law graduates do not have this option. Both LL.M. degree programs require completion of 25 units (with a maximum of 30 units).

18. HOW WILL MY DEGREE READ ON MY DIPLOMA?

It will read as follows: Master of Laws in Intellectual Property and Technology Law or Master of Laws in International Transactions and Comparative Law.

19. WILL I BE ELIGIBLE TO TAKE THE BAR EXAMINATION IN CALIFORNIA OR ANOTHER STATE ONCE I OBTAIN MY LLM DEGREE?

Graduates of the LL.M. programs may be eligible to take the bar examination in California and other states. Requirements vary by state. Information concerning bar admission in California may be found at www.calbar.ca.gov. Information about other states may be found at www.ncbex.org.

 

Students who are interested in taking a bar exam must review the requirements for the bar exam in the state where they plan to take the exam prior to their scheduled meeting with their academic advisor during Orientation Week. During this consultation, the students and advisor will the discuss the courses they need to satisfy the bar exam requirements keeping in mind the required and recommended courses that they will need to satisfy the requirements for their LLM degrees. LLM graduates have passed the bar exam in U.S. states such as California and New York. LLM students begin the bar exam application process during the fall semester.

20. WILL I BE ABLE TO FIND A JOB AS A LAWYER IN THE UNITED STATES AFTER GRADUATION?

As an LLM graduate, international students are subject to the legal requirements of their visa status. For example, they can apply for a one-year extension of their visas to receive optional practical training in the area of interest. Finding employment as an attorney in the United States can be very challenging. The law school’s Office of Career Planning (OCP) has resource materials available for use by LLM students who can also attend various career development and networking events at the law school organized by OCP. In addition, the LLM Program organizes a special event early in the spring semester to give advice to its students about the job search process and to hear from LLM graduates working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

21. WHERE SHOULD QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LLM PROGRAM BE SENT?

If you have questions about these materials or the programs in general, please feel free to contact:

 

Julianne Cartwright Traylor
Associate Director
International LLM and Visiting Scholar Programs
USF School of Law
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 USA

E-mail: jctraylor@usfca.edu
Tel:  (415) 422-6658
Fax: (415) 422-5440
Email: masterlaws@usfca.edu