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Future LLM Students

University of Illinois College of Law

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Phone: 217.333.6066 | Website:


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, broad-ranging, 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, opportunities for professional training, and the resources of a world-class, comprehensive university, Illinois Law features a first-rate academic program designed to prepare students to excel in their future professional careers.

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.

The Illinois LLM program is grounded in the learning partnership approach, where dedicated faculty and staff, an exceptional JD student body, and diverse LLM candidates work together to explore US law and professional life. The ideal candidate is one who is committed to active learning, the engagement of ideas, and professional advancement, and is prepared to work toward that goal.

Law School Enrollment

The law school’s enrollment consists of approximately 500 students in its JD, LLM, MSL, and JSD programs. Among these, only the MSL program permits part-time students.

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 US legal system while also providing the opportunity for advanced coursework in their own area of academic or professional interest. The College of Law has a worldwide reputation in several areas of strength, including

  • Business, Corporate, and Banking Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • Justice, Democracy and Legal Rights
  • Commercial Law and Trade
  • Corporate and Finance Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Environmental Law, Sustainability and Compliance
  • International Law
  • Tax Law

Formal concentrations are offered in several of these areas.

For students planning to take the New York bar examination, the Illinois LLM is fully compliant with the requirements of the New York State Board of Law Examiners. Although a bachelor’s degree in law is not required for admission to the Illinois LLM program, applicants without a bachelor’s 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 total of 32 credit hours (generally eight courses) for the LLM degree. A minimum grade-point average of approximately 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.
  • 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. In classes with high LLM enrollment, teaching assistants are assigned to provide additional support.
  • 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 the bar exam.
  • LLM Legal Writing and Research Course: Illinois LLM students are required to take a specially designed three-week, 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 learn study and time-management 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, Client Counseling Competition, and a trial advocacy class for LLM students.
  • Trial Advocacy: A course about trial skills, Trial Advocacy teaches through seeing and doing. In highly individualized sessions, students are guided in the development of these skills through a combination of a student’s personality and courtroom style, an attained understanding of trial skills, common sense, and practice.
  • Advanced Legal Research: Offered during the spring, the course provides LLM students with advanced web-search skills, including Boolean-logic and natural-language searching, case law research, statutory and legislative history research, and regulations research. There are also advanced legal research tools available, including Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law.
  • Illinois Legal Service Projects: 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.
  • One of the Nation's Largest Law Libraries: 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.

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.

Application Requirements

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

  • Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting October 30, 2017. To receive maximum consideration, interested candidates should submit their applications by April 15, but the College of Law will continue reviewing applications until the class is full.
  • Completed application (the application fee for 2018–2019 has been waived)
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Certified transcripts and credentials
  • Two letters of reference
  • TOEFL or IELTS score taken within two years of program term of entry (August 2018)
  • Copy of passport identity page

Financial Information—LLM Tuition

For academic year 2017–2018, tuition is $49,500, and fees are $4,184. Final tuition for the 2018–2019 academic year may change and will be set by the Board of Trustees in spring 2018. Living expenses in Champaign-Urbana are notably lower than in most US cities. Loans are available to international students.

Prelaw Summer Course

A woman stands in the open space between a U-shaped table. Students sit around the table in upholstered chairs. The woman is being filmed as she speaks.Illinois 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.


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 Services, Student Life, and Student Organizations

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. You may want to join in the College of Law softball league or socialize with your classmates at Peer’s Pub. 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.

There are groups and projects for every student-networking interest and in all aspects of the law. Whether it is public interest or corporate law, Illinois provides opportunities for students to get involved.

Champaign-Urbana, with its big-city amenities yet small-town accessibility, is a vibrant and extremely affordable college town with a lively cultural scene, a wide range of restaurants, and numerous sporting opportunities.

One of the largest on-campus recreation facilities in the United States, the Activities and Recreation Center, is just down the street. It features a climbing wall, two 50-meter pools, a one-fifth-mile indoor track, table tennis, and multiple basketball and racquetball courts.

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

Phone: 1.217.333.6066

Official LLM Guide Footer

Apr 17, 2014, 14:54 PM

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