Notre Dame Law School

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to LLM, Master’s, and Certificate Programs


Overhead view of university campus. Ornate yellow buildings with gray roofs are nestled among deciduous trees. A body of water sprawls behind the campus.Founded in 1869, the Notre Dame Law School, embracing equally the wealth of its heritage and a calling to address the needs of the contemporary world, brings together centuries of intellectual and moral tradition, the historic methods and principles of the common law, and a thorough engagement with the reality of today’s legislative, regulatory, and global legal environment. At Notre Dame Law School, students and faculty of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and commitments are encouraged to cultivate both the life of the mind and the wisdom of the heart, to pursue their studies with a passion for the truth, and to dedicate their professional and personal lives to serve the good of all the human family.


Notre Dame’s campus is in Notre Dame, Indiana, and is located less than two hours from Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States. Notre Dame’s location makes it the best of both worlds—a smaller, affordable community where you attend classes, combined with numerous opportunities to experience the commerce, culture, and sophistication of a large metropolitan area.

The Law School is located at the center of the Notre Dame campus, within steps of the iconic Golden Dome, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and Notre Dame Stadium. Our campus is alive throughout the year with performing arts, athletics, art exhibits, and speakers from around the world. The university provides students with an affordable and comfortable standard of living, both on and off campus. The community is family friendly, offering an array of parks, museums, dining options, and shops.

For information on all degree programs at Notre Dame Law School, including the LLM programs listed below, visit Degrees and Certificates Offered.

The LLM at Notre Dame

The LLM program at Notre Dame Law School provides an opportunity to study the legal system of the United States in a traditional US law school environment. It equips students with a fundamental understanding of American law and culture as they enter the global legal market. Some of our students choose to take a bar exam, others use their education to teach outside the United States, and a select number of post-JD students use the Notre Dame LLM opportunity to develop a specialty.

Notre Dame Law School values the diversity that international LLM students bring to the law school community. International students are fully integrated into the Law School’s curriculum and culture as they attend classes and take part in student activities with their US classmates.

All students have access to the core curriculum of the Law School, and may choose to concentrate their studies in a variety of specializations by taking advanced courses offered in the JD program.

Alumni Network

The University of Notre Dame has one of the most vibrant alumni networks in the world.  The thousands of loyal Notre Dame alumni are willing to assist in networking and mentorship and provide a unique community for both professional and personal growth. Our law school graduates are serving the greater good as leaders in the field of law and other industries.


Notre Dame Law School brings a diverse, committed faculty who are not only renowned in their area of legal expertise, but also have a passion for providing a unique and challenging professional education to their students. This passion for teaching can be seen both inside and outside the classroom, through intense legal debate and through informal discussions in social settings. The Notre Dame Law School faculty is a truly one-of-a-kind community of scholars who take pride in educating the future of the profession with values, accountability, and integrity.


Notre Dame Law SchoolInternationally educated students take two courses specially designed to ensure they will have a solid foundation for understanding the US legal system:

  • Introduction to American Legal System
  • LLM Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis

They then develop a deeper understanding of American law by attending classes alongside our JD candidates in a wide selection of courses. Students focus their efforts in a field of personal and professional interest, working with their counselor to choose courses from among any of the featured programs of study or to tailor a program custom designed for their own unique interests.

Many LLM students express an interest in our business law courses, which place a special emphasis on transactional practice; that is, helping clients achieve their desired ends in a way that is efficient and minimizes the risks of litigation. Three major areas of focus include

  • Corporate Law—dealing with private ordering and the organization and management of business and nonprofit organizations
  • Tax Law—dealing with government taxation of business and transactions
  • Commercial Law—dealing with the world of commerce among businesses and financing of business

In addition, because of videoconferencing capacity, it opens up courses that are offered in South Bend, Chicago, and London locations.

Summer Legal English and Oral Proficiency Courses 

To assist our international students’ transition to coursework, Notre Dame Law School offers two summer classes in Legal English and Oral Proficiency. These courses are designed for incoming international LLM students and provides a brief introduction to the US legal system and academic skills used in the American legal classroom. There is no fee for these four week summer courses which give students an early start to academic life at Notre Dame. 

Tuition and Scholarships

The LLM at Notre Dame offers scholarships to admitted LLM students based on their education, experience, and other qualifications. We do not require a separate scholarship application and every applicant is considered for a scholarship.

Transfer to JD Program 

Notre Dame LLM students who successfully complete the program may apply as a transfer to the school’s JD program.

How to Apply

The Notre Dame Law School Admissions Committee employs a whole-person review philosophy to create a class from a large number of highly qualified applicants. We seek multidimensional students with a wide range of talents, backgrounds, experiences, accomplishments, and points of view. We aim to enroll a talented class that will enrich the life of the Law School through their academic skills and leadership abilities. The NDLS community welcomes students to a program that emphasizes excellence, commitment to community service, and preparation for the ethical practice of law.

The application period begins September 1 and applications must be received no later than April 1. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Applicants must complete the LSAC online application. A complete application includes the following:

  1. Personal statement
  2. Résumé
  3. Transcripts with proof of JD, LLB, or equivalent degree (with English translations, if necessary)
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. English language proficiency demonstrated by TOEFL, IELTS, or university level study in English
  6. Application fee of $75

Applicants must have a first degree in law.

LLM in London

This LLM program allows students to obtain a degree from a US law school while studying in England. Focusing on international and comparative law, this program is designed for students from common law countries who seek advanced training, and for graduates of law schools in civil law countries who seek training in common law disciplines or who wish to pursue studies comparing their legal systems with those of the United States and Great Britain. The LLM in International and Comparative Law is offered exclusively at the London Law Center.

Established in 1986, it is the only overseas graduate-degree program offered by an American law school.

How to Apply

The application period begins September 1 and applications must be received no later than April 1. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Applicants must complete the LSAC online application. A complete application includes the following:

  1. Personal statement
  2. Résumé
  3. Transcripts with proof of JD, LLB, or equivalent degree (with English translations, if necessary)
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. English language proficiency
  6. Application fee of $75

Applicants must have a first degree in law.

LLM in International Human Rights Law

Nearly 400 lawyers from over 90 countries have graduated from our LLM Program in International Human Rights Law at the Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) at the University of Notre Dame. Our graduates’ commitment to human rights—as well as the rigor and richness of their academic life at the CCHR—has established our LLM program as among the most prominent in the world.

Applicants to our LLM program are inspired by their compassion for victims of human rights violations, but are often lacking in the technical skills and theoretical grounding required for strategic human rights lawyering. Ensuring that our students gain competence in the substantive and procedural aspects of international human rights law is our first priority. As past Notre Dame president Father Hesburgh said of lawyers during the dedication of the Notre Dame Law School library, “Compassion without competence would be a cruel hoax upon those they serve.”


As approved by the University of Notre Dame and the American Bar Association, our LLM students enroll for one academic year, during which they must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework. Courses are assigned from 1 to 4 hours of credit depending upon the number of hours scheduled each week for the course.

Our program is carefully crafted to meet the intellectual and practical needs of lawyers practicing human rights law in their home countries and in regional or international institutions. Therefore, our curriculum is not designed for those seeking admission to the bar in the United States.

For a summary of the LLM in International Human Rights Law curriculum, visit Curriculum.

How to Apply

Applicants to the LLM in International Human Rights Law MUST possess a JD degree from an American law school approved by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar or an LLB (or equivalent degree) from an accredited law school in a foreign country.

The LLM Program in International Human Rights Law uses the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) online application system. Applications and accompanying materials are due by April 1. Late applications may be accepted, but admission is subject to availability. Decisions will be transmitted to applicants as soon as they are available.

General Requirements to Apply

  • The application period begins September 1 and applications must be received no later than April 1
  • Applicants must complete the online application found on the Law School Admission Council’s website
  • A juris doctor from an ABA-approved American law school or a bachelor’s degree in law from an accredited college or university 
  • Personal statement addressing your specific interest in the LLM Program in International Human Rights Law
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency
  • Application fee of 75 USD (the Law School offers need-based application fee waivers to those with extreme financial need)

Contact Information

Law School Admissions, PO Box 780,
Notre Dame, IN 46556,
United States