University of Illinois College of Law

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Phone: 217.333.6066 | Website: law.illinois.edu/academics/degree-programs/llm-program

Introduction

Aerial view of College of Law campus. Paths cut diagonally across a green field surrounded by deciduous trees in autumn.Since 1897, the University of Illinois College of Law has offered students a rigorous and innovative legal education on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the world’s great research universities. With an internationally renowned faculty, a rich and diverse curriculum, and opportunities for professional training, Illinois Law features a first-rate academic program. The campus is located in the college town of Champaign-Urbana and offers the friendliness, warmth, and safety of the American Midwest while being two to three hours from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

Champaign-Urbana Living

Champaign-Urbana, with its big-city amenities yet small-town accessibility, is a vibrant and extremely affordable college town with a lively cultural scene, free public transit for students, a wide range of restaurants, and numerous sporting opportunities. Recognized as one of the best cities for recent college graduates and as one of the best college towns in America, the Champaign-Urbana area abounds with possibilities, from attending performances at the acclaimed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, watching Big Ten sporting events at venues across campus, to partaking in any number of other local events, such as the Illinois Marathon, the Ebertfest Film Festival, Urbana’s Market at the Square farmers market, or Friday Night Live music events in downtown Champaign. On and off campus, Champaign and Urbana are filled with parks, athletic facilities, green spaces, bicycle and walking paths, and other opportunities for both indoor and outdoor recreation.

Enrollment

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a large, diverse student community with nearly 11,000 international students from over 110 countries. The law school’s enrollment consists of approximately 500 students in its JD, LLM, MSL, and JSD programs. In recent years, the law school has welcomed LLM students from many nations, including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, and Vietnam.

LLM Program Features

Students standing in rows raise their right hands while reading from sheets of paper.The Illinois LLM program is designed to introduce international students to the United States legal system while also providing opportunities to build students’ legal skills and take advanced coursework in their own area of academic or professional interest.

Strengths and Concentrations: The College of Law has a worldwide reputation in several areas of strength, including:

  • Business and Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Environmental Law, Sustainability, and Compliance
  • International Law
  • Public Interest
  • Tax Law
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Formal concentrations for an LLM degree are offered in the following areas:

  • Corporate Law, Commercial Law, and Trade
  • Criminal Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Justice, Democracy, and Legal Rights
  • Regulation, Sustainability, and Compliance

Bar Exam Compliance: For students planning to take a bar examination in the United States, the Illinois LLM is compliant with the requirements of several states, including New York, Missouri, Texas, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. Although a bachelor’s degree in law is not required for admission to the Illinois LLM program, applicants without a bachelor’s degree in law should be aware that they may not qualify to take a bar examination in the United States, even after completing the Illinois LLM.

Degree Requirements: Illinois LLM students complete a minimum total of 32 credit hours (generally eight courses) for the LLM degree. A minimum grade-point average of 2.75 based on a 4.0 scale is required to graduate. For general reference, grading details can be found in The Graduate College Handbook of Policy and Requirements for Students, Faculty, and Staff.

Chicago Program: During the spring semester, LLM students are eligible to take courses in downtown Chicago taught by leading practitioners and College of Law faculty. The Chicago Program offers students the opportunity to experience the City of Chicago and network with the College of Law’s more than 4,000 Chicago-based alumni.  

Mixed Classes: Sharing classes and interacting with the JD students are hallmarks of the Illinois LLM program. LLM students select the majority of their classes from the nearly 150 courses offered each year at the College of Law.

Extended LLM (Third-Semester) Option: Students may elect to remain at the College of Law for an additional semester in order to complete a more intensive program of study, enjoy greater internship options, and benefit from more time to study for a bar exam.

LLM Legal Writing and Research Course: Illinois LLM students take a specially designed two-credit orientation and legal writing and research course. This course provides LLM students initial training in legal reasoning, writing, and analysis, and introduces them to the unique learning environment of the US law school. Students meet their faculty in a classroom setting and practice legal research and writing skills in small-group sections. This course meets for three weeks prior to the start of the fall semester.

Competitions: LLM students have the opportunity to build legal skills through participation in an LLM Negotiation Competition and Client Counseling Competition.

Illinois Legal Service Projects and Pro Bono Activities: Students can intern in the University of Illinois Office of Student Legal Services and participate in the Chicago Service Project, as well as in programs and projects organized by the College of Law Student Legal Relief organization. Many students complete 60 or more hours of community service to earn a pro bono notation on their transcripts.

Scholarships and Financial Information

Illinois Law is committed to providing students with an affordable legal education. All applicants are automatically considered for need- and merit-based scholarships, and more than 80 percent of our LLM students receive at least a partial scholarship. Additionally, with a lower cost of living than most US cities, your money will go further during your time in Champaign-Urbana.

For academic year 2019–2020, tuition is $49,500, and fees are $4,608. Final tuition and fees for the 2020–2021 academic year may change and will be set by the Board of Trustees in spring 2020.

Career Services

The Illinois LLM program is committed to helping students build their legal practice skills and to embark on a successful legal career. The College of Law provides its students with:

  • tools for successful networking, career planning, job-search strategies, and more through regular workshops and resource sessions;
  • individualized counseling; and
  • opportunities to engage with practitioners in many different settings.

Elements of the career development program for LLM students include participation in the International Student Interview Program (in New York) and the opportunity to compete for a Global Law Fellows internship following the completion of the Illinois LLM program. Fellows work at US law firms, public interest organizations, or courts for 3–12 months following graduation.

Pre-Law Summer Course

Illinois Law offers a two-week course in the summer for incoming students and foreign-trained lawyers considering an LLM in the future. Students learn how a US law classroom functions and practice the case method, while improving their legal English.

Facilities and Amenities

University of Illinois College of Law libraryLocated on the southern half of the University of Illinois campus, the College of Law is well equipped and situated to meet the needs of its students.

One of the Nation’s Largest Law Libraries and Library Systems: The Albert E. Jenner Jr. Library offers students, faculty, and members of the community exceptional legal academic resources. College of Law reference librarians are experts in legal research, with dual graduate degrees in law and information science. The law library is part of the University Library, the largest public university library in North America.

Online Legal Research Resources: All LLM students at the College of Law are given full access to a wide range of legal research resources, including WestLaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law.

Connect Anywhere on Campus: All classrooms on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus have free wireless access.

Recreation and the Arts Are Steps Away: One of the largest on-campus recreation facilities in the United States, the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), is just down the street from the College of Law. It features a climbing wall, two 50-meter pools, a sauna, a one-fifth-mile indoor track, an instructional kitchen, table tennis, exercise machines, weightlifting equipment, and multiple basketball and racquetball courts. Krannert Art Museum, the second-largest general fine arts museum in Illinois, is located directly across the street from the College of Law.

Housing

The majority of College of Law students live in off-campus housing that includes apartments, condos, and rental houses. The University of Illinois also has graduate and family housing units available, as well as graduate student dormitories. For information, visit the Housing Division website or call 217.333.5656.

Student Life

The College of Law is a close community whether you come from a small town or a large city. As a student, you will find activities to complement your legal education.

Events: The College of Law and student organizations hold numerous academic and social events open to all members of the Illinois Law community every year. You may want to join in the College of Law softball league, socialize with your classmates while enjoying snacks and refreshments at a biweekly Peer’s Pub event, attend a lunch lecture given by a prominent legal scholar, carve a pumpkin at the annual Fall Festival, or participate in any number of other College of Law events held every semester.    

As a University of Illinois student, LLM students are also welcome to partake in the many events held on and around campus for students every week, such as free lunches at the various cultural houses, free moving showings at the Illini Union, a variety of speakers (in fall 2018, President Barack Obama visited campus), and more!   

Organizations: The College of Law has student organizations covering almost every interest, and there are opportunities for socializing with graduate students from across all departments at the University of Illinois. Whether it is public interest or corporate law, Illinois provides opportunities for students to get involved.

Additionally, there are a plethora of registered student organizations on campus outside the College of Law that LLM students may participate in, including several international student organizations.

LLM Application Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, LLB, or equivalent degree. The bachelor’s degree does not need to be in law.

Applications are considered year-round on a rolling basis. To receive maximum consideration, interested candidates should submit their applications by April 1, 2020, for a fall 2020 start and by September 1, 2020, for a spring 2021 start, but the College of Law will continue reviewing applications until the class is full.

To qualify for review, an applicant must submit:

  • a completed application (the application fee for 2020–2021 has been waived);
  • a résumé;
  • a statement of purpose;
  • certified transcripts and credentials;
  • at least one letter of reference from an instructor or employer; and
  • unless exempt, a TOEFL (at least 80) or IELTS (at least 6.5 overall) score taken within two years of program term of entry (August 2020 for fall 2020 or January 2021 for spring 2021).

Contact Information

For more information about the University of Illinois LLM program, please contact

Office of Graduate and International Programs
University of Illinois College of Law
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

Phone: 1.217.333.6066
Fax: 1.217.244.1478
Email: law-gradprograms@illinois.edu