Taking advantage of the summer to work on your LL.M. applications
Summer is looming on the horizon and prospective students like you are probably gearing up to fill application forms and gathering relevant documents. We hope that you are by now familiar with application procedures. If you are not, then don’t waste any more time and start planning as soon as you can!
When to get serious about your applications
Applying for a course can be exhausting for some while more convenient for others who have got it all planned out. As long as you remain conscious of your deadlines and put together all the relevant information, you will be in a position to get through your applications smoothly. It is until then a matter of sitting back and waiting for the offer to arrive! This doesn’t mean you should wait until you see the deadline is right at the corner, but start planning ahead and foresee steps for completing your applications.
Late spring or at the beginning of summer would be a good time to focus all your energy on applications- especially if you are looking to apply to universities in the UK as they have deadlines in July/August. Researching universities, gathering referee details, drafting a personal statement, assembling all your education details, etc. This should be a work-in-progress. Not to mention, the weather is reasonably nice around this time of year so get to a café or sit in a park and start concocting your plan of action!
How to get serious about applications
If you have only just completed your undergraduate law exams and assessments, a sensible way to use your time is by applying for your postgrad course! For a busy legal professional, finding time to work on applications can be challenging. Summer time is a chance for you to take holidays from work and dedicate time on your applications!
Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
You are a law graduate looking to apply for an LL.M. degree: it is highly likely that you have some knowledge of LL.M. courses through family or friends. Ask for guidance and seek help with applications. For those of you who don’t have help on hand, it is important that you do thorough background research into the requirements for the course and talk to college representatives. A good way to do this is to contact colleges on doubts that you may have on application requirements or attend local career sessions. In a related article we will look at how you can go about choosing an LL.M. program.
Below are a few key points to note for filling up your application forms:
All applications have deadlines that you must meet in all strictness (unless under exceptional circumstances) This is because of high level of competition for US, UK and EU programs.
Note that early deadlines may in all likelihood apply to scholarship applications for which dates are prior to regular applications. If you are awarded with a scholarship it will be conditional on you receiving a full offer on a course. Scholarship applications are undoubtedly scrutinized very carefully.
Universities may insist on early closing of applications if they are certain of receiving a very high volume of applications and this means that the earlier you apply the better! Given the high level of competition for a place on the programs, stay ahead in the race.
Some law schools may have different application deadlines for domestic and international students. Either way, don’t hesitate to contact the university if you are unclear of what conditions apply to you.
As mentioned above, the application cycle for LL.M. programs can require considerable time, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible. Other universities may slot in extended deadlines to get more applicants. Therefore, it is key that you prioritize your applications depending on the law schools you wish to go to.
Most universities follow the online application process which would enable you to pause at each stage, save your form and resume from where you left off- it is advisable though to try and finish the application as early as you can after making sure filling in completed information.
Typical ways to make sure that you know all the application information beforehand are:
- Read the LL.M. prospectus thoroughly before you start applying. You can ask the college to clarify application details to enable you to feed all the right information in.
- Once you start filling in your form, you get a sense of the different categories of information that are being sought from you. Start making a list of items that you need under each category and then go about gathering this information.
- For sections that may require you to fill in large amounts of paragraphs of information, start working on drafts and ask people around you to proofread them for spelling or grammar errors.
- If you are unsure of a particular section, don’t fill in the information unless you get it clarified from the university.
- Plan ahead to whom you would like to ask for a reference- by giving them an advance notice and discuss how they would go about suggesting you as an ideal candidate for the course.
Typical LL.M. application forms require a minimum set of documents that you would need to submit- either by uploading them online or by posting them to the college. They include: a transcript of your undergraduate law degree marks, other educational qualifications, reference letter(s) (this may depend on each college’s requirement), proof of English language proficiency, etc.
Please note that each college may have its own set of requirements and you are advised to follow instructions carefully before finalising your application.
5. Choosing your course
You need to include details of the course you choose on the application. If you are still unsure of the course, then start exploring your options seriously, talk to your classmates, law lecturers, etc. to make your decision. As for specific modules you can select them once you secured your place.