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LL.M. Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Regarding Application Requirements
Admitted Student Questions
General Questions about the LL.M. Program


QUESTIONS REGARDING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 
 
The application deadline has passed. May I still apply?

Yes, we do accept late applications on a space available basis.  For a list of active applications and instructions please visit the LL.M. Application page.  Please be aware of our registration dates available at law.fordham.edu/calendar.  Students who apply after the start of registration may find themselves closed out of classes due to enrollment limits. 

I have a low TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS score. May I still apply?

To demonstrate sufficient fluency on the TOEFL, applicants are expected to attain a score of 100 or above on the internet-based TOEFL, 250 or above on the computer-based TOEFL, or 600 or above on the paper-based TOEFL; for ILEC, the minimum score is 60; for IELTS, the minimum score is 7.

The language assessment score factors strongly into the decision process.  However, the admissions committee will consider applicants who do not attain the minimum score.  Phone interviews and a conditional acceptance are sometimes offered to applicants with lower scores, but these options are offered solely at the discretion of the admissions committee; you may not request conditional acceptance or a phone interview. 

For applicants unable to demonstrate sufficient English proficiency through our TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS requirement, we are pleased to offer admission contingent on full-time enrollment and satisfactory progress in Fordham’s Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC).  For more information, visit law.fordham.edu/llm/esl.

May I apply for a TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS waiver?

The admissions committee rarely grants exceptions to the language assessment requirement.  We strongly encourage you to sit for either the TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS exams.  For more information about our language assessment requirement, including a list of exempted countries, please click here.

May I defer my enrollment?

After you are admitted to our program, we understand that other commitments arise which may affect the date of your enrollment.  If you need to defer to a following semester, please contact our office at llm@fordham.edu so that we can address your request for deferment.

May I receive a conditional acceptance?

In some cases it may be possible to receive admission to our LL.M. program conditional upon a TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS score meeting our minimum requirements. Additionally, for applicants unable to demonstrate sufficient English proficiency through our TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS requirement, we are pleased to offer admission contingent on full-time enrollment and satisfactory progress in Fordham’s Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC).  For more information, visit law.fordham.edu/llm/esl.

Please apply through the normal admissions process and the admissions committee will consider whether they will grant conditional acceptance. 

Do I need to take the LSAT?

Applicants to the LL.M. program with a law degree from outside of the United States are not required to sit for the LSAT exam.  Applicants to the LL.M. program who received a J.D. from an American law school should disclose their LSAT scores at the time of application.

Can I schedule an interview?

The admissions committee will occasionally conduct an interview as part of the application review process.  However, these interviews are at the discretion of the admissions committee; you cannot request one.  Should the committee feel that they require an interview, you will be notified by email.

Why was I denied admission to the LL.M. program?

The deliberations of the admissions committee are confidential and are not shared with applicants.  However the committee takes a variety of factors into consideration when making their decision, including but not limited to academic performance, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, professional experience, class rank, and performance on the language assessment exam, if required. 

Can I reapply?

The admissions committee generally does not allow applicants to re-apply once denied from the program.  An exception may be made for applicants that have a significant change in their background, however such applicants may not apply for the semester immediately following the semester from which they were denied. 

Can I receive a copy of my application materials?

Once you submit your application materials, they become the property of Fordham University and cannot be returned to the applicant. 


ADMITTED STUDENT QUESTIONS

When do I need to submit the immunization forms?

The immunization form is required by New York State law.  Failure to comply will result in a hold being placed on your account that will prevent you from registering for future semesters.  The hold is pending disenrollment and steps will be taken to bar your access to any Fordham campus, including the residence halls. 

You must submit the form prior to starting classes at Fordham.  If you are unable to have the form completed by a doctor prior to your arrival, you may use the services of the Fordham University Health Center for a fee.  The Health Center is located in McMahon Hall, Room 203.  Students should call 212.636.7160 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible upon arrival in New York City.  The deadline for submission is the start of classes. 

When is the deadline for submitting visa paperwork?

Because the amount of time to secure a visa varies widely by country, there is no official deadline.   However, we strongly urge you to begin the process for obtaining a visa as soon as possible after accepting our offer of admission, as students frequently encounter delays.  For information on visa interview wait times in your specific country, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

What kind of visa do I need?

Visa consultation for admitted LL.M. students is handled by the Office for International Services (OIS).  Only the OIS can advise you on visa related issues.  Please DO NOT contact the OIS before allowing 1-2 weeks for your information to be processed.  After you have allowed time for OIS to process your information, you may contact them by email at ois@fordham.edu.

Where can I find more information about the International Student Health Insurance plan?

This plan is administered by the Office for International Services (OIS).  More information is available on their website.

Where can I find the Orientation Schedule?

A detailed orientation schedule will be posted at law.fordham.edu/llm/orientation when it becomes available.  For the dates of the orientation please consult the law school calendar at law.fordham.edu/calendar.

What if I need to miss a few days of Orientation?

Orientation is mandatory for all students.  Students are required to attend each full day of orientation during the entire orientation period.  Because the Introduction to the U.S. Legal System course is offered intensively during orientation, missing even a few days of orientation is the equivalent of missing several weeks of class.  Excessive absence from class would disqualify you from sitting for the exam and receiving credit for the course (which is mandatory in your first semester).  Additionally, the information in the other orientation sessions is very important and cannot be repeated. 

Please note that domestic students (students who have received a J.D. from an ABA approved law school) may attend an abbreviated orientation program.  For more details please refer to the law school calendar at law.fordham.edu/calendar.
 
How can I get my Fordham ID Number?

If you are a new student your Fordham ID Number will be sent to the primary email address indicated on your application within 1-2 weeks after you have paid your deposit.  If you do not receive your Fordham ID Number within this timeframe please contact our office at llm@law.fordham.edu.  If you have already claimed your Access IT ID you may look up your Fordham ID Number at my.fordham.edu by clicking “Display my F.I.D.N.” under the “F.I.D.N. Lookup” window on the “Student” tab.

Can I work while being a student?

Employment opportunities while a full-time student are largely dependent on your visa status, but most international students are restricted to working on campus only.  Job opportunities on campus are very limited and generally only include a few research assistant positions.  Professors will commonly hire research assistants at the beginning of each semester. 

Work permits are required for all off-campus employment and may be granted by U.S. Immigration authorities for paid practical training.  In general, students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa must complete at least nine months of academic work in order to apply for an off-campus work permit.  For additional information on practical training and employment click here.

Can you recommend a bank for me to get a student loan from?

As a matter of policy Fordham University does not refer students to specific private loan lenders. However, the University Graduate Financial Aid webpage lists some very helpful information regarding educational financing. Specifically, you should review their Private Educational Loans webpage which lists information about a handful of lenders.

Can I stay in the student dormitory?

LL.M. students are welcome to apply for graduate housing both on and off campus.  For more information, please visit the Lincoln Center Residential Life website.  To apply for a room, please contact Residential Life directly at reslifelc@fordham.edu or 212.636.7100.  Please note that to apply for housing you will need your Fordham Identification Number (F.I.D.N.).  Only students who have paid their deposit will have received their F.I.D.N.

Can I take summer classes before I start in fall?

Summer term courses are not available for students who begin programs in fall.  However, many incoming students each year attend the Fordham Law Summer Institute prior to their LL.M. studies.  The Summer Institute is specifically designed for international students and law professionals who are looking to improve their legal English skills and immerse themselves in a variety of topics in U.S. law.  The program consists of three weeks of intensive courses taught by Fordham Law faculty, and includes several outings and extracurricular activities.  For more information and to apply please visit law.fordham.edu/summerinstitute.

Students who begin their LL.M. program in spring are permitted to enroll in up to 4 credits of courses during the summer term between the spring and fall semesters.  Such students pay only a small administrative fee for such courses provided they are enrolled as full-time students in both the spring semester before and the fall semester after the relevant summer term.  In addition, such students may exceed the 27-credit maximum by the number of credits they complete in the summer.


GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LL.M. PROGRAM

How long is the LL.M. program?

The full-time LL.M. program is two semesters.  If you begin your full-time LL.M. program in the fall, you will end your program in the spring semester.  If you begin your full-time LL.M. program in the spring, you will end your program in the fall semester (you will not end your program during the summer, you will have the summer between your spring semester and fall semester off).  If you are enrolled in the part-time program the maximum time permitted to complete the program is two years from when you start attending.

What is the tuition for the LL.M. program?

For tuition information please click here.  Please expect to pay your tuition well before the start of the semester.  Students should check their accounts on my.fordham.edu regularly to view their invoices and determine the date by which they must pay.  Fees will be assessed for late payments and can accumulate rapidly.  We strongly advise students to take payment deadlines seriously. 

Does Fordham offer financial aid or scholarships?

Fordham Law has very limited financial assistance available for LL.M. students.  Fordham Law offers a scholarship through the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice.  This scholarship is restricted to a select few highly qualified candidates in international human rights.  For more information including the application deadline please click here.

Financial assistance may be available to U.S. citizens/nationals and eligible non-citizens through various federal loan programs as well as through private-sector loan programs such as Law Access and Law Achiever.  For more information on financial aid for LL.M. students, please visit law.fordham.edu/llm/financialaid.

Does Fordham provide career development assistance?

Fordham Law offers LL.M. students comprehensive career planning services through the Graduate Professional Development Program.  Services include career advising, practice interviews, resume and cover letter critiques, and numerous programs addressing topics of interest to LL.M. students.  The Graduate Professional Development Program assists students in articulating, developing, and attaining their professional goals; however it is not a career placement office.  You can learn more about the Graduate Professional Development Program at law.fordham.edu/llm/gpdp.

Am I eligible to sit for the New York State Bar Exam?

Generally, students who complete the LL.M. program are eligible to sit for the New York State Bar.  However, completion of the LL.M. degree does not certify eligibility for the New York State Bar.  Students who plan to sit for the New York State Bar are advised to submit all documentation to the New York State Board of Law Examiners as early as possible (ideally before they begin their LL.M. studies) for an advance evaluation of eligibility.  The procedure for this evaluation and the online form that must be completed are available on the New York State Bar Examination website.

Additional information concerning the bar examination and eligibility of international students to sit for the bar examination can be found in the New York State Bar Exam Handbook.  A Bar Examination Information Session will also be held during orientation. 

Will my New York bar admission be affected by the new 50 hour pro bono requirement?

The New York State Court of Appeals instated a new rule requiring applicants for admission to the New York State bar to perform 50 hours of pro bono services.  This new rule affects those applicants who seek admission after January 1, 2015.  Law school graduates who pass the bar examination and are admitted to the New York State bar before January 1, 2015 are not subject to this requirement.  Those students who take and pass the July 2013 or February 2014 New York State bar exam will likely be unaffected by this requirement, provided that they submit all their admission materials in time.  For more information on this requirement please click here.

Does Fordham Law offer ESL classes?

Fordham Law does not offer ESL courses.  We do offer a section of Legal Writing and Research with an ESL component.  This section is taught using ESL techniques and includes a focus on developing legal English skills.  For applicants unable to demonstrate sufficient English proficiency through our TOEFL, ILEC, or IELTS requirement, we are pleased to offer admission contingent on full-time enrollment and satisfactory progress in Fordham’s Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC).  For more information, visit law.fordham.edu/llm/esl.

Can I transfer from the LL.M. program to the J.D. program?

You cannot transfer from your LL.M. degree to a J.D. degree.  If you are interested in a J.D. degree, you will need to apply directly to the J.D. program and satisfy all of the requirements for admissions as outlined by the J.D. admissions office.  For more information on the J.D. program please click here.