University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law

Graduate Studies Office
Slaughter Hall Room 126A
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

General LL.M. facts

  • Tuition 61,300

  • Duration 12 months

  • Class Size 50

  • Intakes August

  • Minimum TOEFL 98

  • Minimum IELTS 7.5

  • Listed in Top LL.M.s for US Tax Law

Full Profile

The Program

The University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently recognized among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity, and community service.

Virginia is justly famous for its collegial environment that bonds students and faculty, and student satisfaction is consistently cited as among the highest in American law schools. UVA Law has been recognized as a leader in providing a high quality of life as well as some of the best professors, classroom experiences, and career prospects for its students. LLM students not only get to know other LLM students from all over the world, but also the JD students and our outstanding faculty as well. The same faculty—leading scholars and acknowledged experts in all aspects of public and private law—teach LLM and JD students. At Virginia, law students share their experiences in a cooperative spirit, both in and out of the classroom, and build a network that lasts well beyond their time here.

For foreign law graduates, the LLM program is designed to provide both a broad introduction to American law and legal theory, and advanced training in specialized areas of law that are relevant to the individual student’s planned career in private practice, academics, or public service. Because Virginia offers more than 270 courses each year in an array of topics, students in the program also have wide latitude to plan courses of study that are tailored to their individual interests and career objectives.

By maintaining a small and highly selective program of about 50 students, the Law School ensures a supportive atmosphere. LLM candidates take classes alongside JD students, allowing participants to fully engage in the community.

The University

With 22,000 students and 16,000 faculty and staff members, the University of Virginia has been ranked among the top three public U.S. universities since the U.S. News rankings began in 1983.  The university’s diverse intellectual life is open to law students.

The Law School

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is consistently ranked among the top-10 law schools in the U.S. Virginia's LL.M. program provides an American legal education to lawyers who have obtained their first law degree in their home countries. Through a highly selective program of fewer than 50 students, the Law School's LL.M. candidates take classes alongside J.D. students, allowing participants to fully engage in the community and plan their own courses.

Surrounded by inviting gardens and an elegant, tree-lined lawn, the Law School reflects Jefferson’s conviction that locating an intellectual community within a beautiful environment fosters learning and personal growth. 

The Law School is located on North Grounds, about a mile from the UVA campus and next door to the Darden Graduate School of Business and the North Grounds Recreation Center. The Law School has a full-service dining room that is available for lunch during the school year.

The three-floor library includes 813,778 volumes and volume equivalents (as of June 2016).

Entry Requirements

For foreign law graduates, the LLM program is designed to provide both a broad introduction to American law and legal theory, and advanced training in specialized areas of law that are relevant to the individual student’s planned career in private practice, academics, or public service. Because Virginia offers more than 270 courses each year in an array of topics, students in the program also have wide latitude to plan courses of study that are tailored to their individual interests and career objectives.

By maintaining a small and highly selective program of about 50 students, the Law School ensures a supportive atmosphere. LLM candidates take classes alongside JD students, allowing participants to fully engage in the community.

Applicants must have received the academic degree regarded as their countries' first professional degree in law (equivalent to the U.S. juris doctor degree). LSAC maintains a chart of the minimum degree requirements by country that lists criteria for eligibility for admission to our LL.M. program. If either your degree or your country of study is not listed in the chart, please contact the Graduate Studies Office regarding your eligibility to apply to our LL.M. program based on your legal education. Note that the chart includes only minimum requirements, and that applicants are expected to include information on all postsecondary education, including any academic work completed prior to or after the minimum degree listed.

Application Procedure

Each year, the Graduate Program receives hundreds of applications for the 40-50 spaces in the LL.M. class. The admissions process is highly competitive and the Graduate Committee must, unfortunately, disappoint many qualified applicants. Although demonstrated excellence in prior law study is essential, the committee also considers other evidence of applicants' personality, accomplishments and potential for professional achievement as revealed through letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, personal interests and prior legal or law-related experience. The principal criterion for admission, however, is the closeness of the fit between the applicants' professional interests and the Law School's resources. Accordingly, the committee places special weight on applicants' stated reasons for wanting to pursue graduate legal studies, and their principal intellectual interests and career plans.

Applicants must submit the following materials in support of their application:

1. Application Form

Applicants are required to complete and submit an electronic application with required attachments through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website. Most scholarship assistance provided by the Graduate Studies Program is awarded on a combined basis of academic merit and need. Admissions decisions are made independently from any request for financial assistance. If you are unable to access the LSAC link, please contact LSAC at

Applicants should carefully outline and discuss their reasons for pursuing graduate work, including a statement of future professional plans. Applicants should also describe their principal areas of academic interest, with as much specificity as possible.

Applicants should submit an application form, including a personal statement, resume, and information on career plans and academic areas of interest; English language test score(s); application fee; letters of recommendation; and transcripts using LSAC. In addition to the LL.M. Document Assembly Service, international applicants must register for the LSAC International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation service.

2. Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit transcripts and proof of degree documents from all prior colleges, law schools, exchange programs or graduate schools attended, even if the applicant did not graduate from that institution.

3. LSAC LL.M. Document Assembly Service

Applicants must register with the LSAC Document Assembly Service. In addition to the LL.M. Document Assembly Service, internationally educated applicants must register for the LSAC International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation service. Do not send your academic transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. For more information about the Document Assembly Service or the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service, please review the LSAC website.

4. Letters of Recommendation

The Law School requires applicants to submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation service. This service is included with your LL.M. CAS subscription. Letters submitted through LSAC are sent to us along with your CAS law school report and can be read online immediately. Updated reports are sent immediately if letters are received after your initial CAS law school report has been sent. To use this service, follow the instructions on the LSAC website.

The Law School requires at least two, but no more than four, letters from people who know the applicant well and are in a position to evaluate his or her capacity for advanced legal study. Current students or recent graduates should submit letters from two law school professors. Applicants who have completed their law degree more than five years ago should solicit a letter from a current or former employer in addition to one from a former teacher. The committee recognizes that a letter from a former teacher may not be practical in the case of an applicant who has been out of school for some time, in which case the second letter may be from an employer or colleague who is in a position to comment upon the candidate's qualifications. Letters from family members, friends or people who are not well acquainted with the applicant's legal capacity are not helpful and should not be submitted. 

If a recommender is unable to write the letter of recommendation on letterhead, please ask him/her to explain why. Unless otherwise specified by LSAC, we do not accept emailed recommendations, except from Virginia alumni.

5. Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay their application fee using a credit card through the LSAC secure server. Follow the instructions on the LSAC website.

6. English Language Proficiency Score

Competency in English is critical to success in the graduate law programs at the University of Virginia, and demonstrated fluency in English is an important consideration in evaluating applications.

International applicants who do not meet the very limited exceptions listed below are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS within two years prior to submitting the application. This is true regardless of the number of years of instruction in English the applicant may have had or if English is the “official” language of the applicant’s home country. Students who have studied in English (in Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, African countries, etc.) are not exempt from the TOEFL requirement. The only exceptions are applicants for whom English is the native language (those from Australia, the English-speaking provinces of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or applicants from South Africa who attended English-medium universities). If applicants do not fall under one of these limited exceptions, they should not assume for any reason that they are exempt from the TOEFL requirement. Instead, they should contact the Graduate Studies Office early in the admissions season, before they apply, to discuss the issue. Domestic applicants whose native language is not English and who have not attended schools where instruction is in English, may also be required to submit TOEFL scores.

For all those required to take the TOEFL exam, the minimum scores we look for are:

Paper Based TOEFL (PBT):
Writing: 60 
Listening: 60
Reading: 60
TWE: 4

Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT):
Writing: 24
Speaking: 22
Reading: 26
Listening: 26

For information and questions about the TOEFL, please contact ETS. The University of Virginia School of Law will continue to accept PBT test scores as long as they are available from ETS and are less than two years old.

Applicants should arrange to take the TOEFL at the earliest possible date in order to ensure that their applications are completed by the Feb. 1 deadline (or April 1 for S.J.D.s).

Scores must be submitted in accordance with the procedures listed above. To arrange an examination date or for further information, please visit

Applicants should have an official score report sent to LSAC using the LSAC Institutional Code 8395. Applicants may also send a score directly to the University. The University of Virginia Institutional Code Number is 5820 and Department Code 03. Please note that it is not necessary to send a report to the University of Virginia if a report is sent to LSAC.

The Graduate Committee will accept a score from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in lieu of a TOEFL score. The minimum score we look for on each section of the IELTS exam is 7.5. As with the TOEFL exam, we will not accept scores that are more than two years old. The details found above in the discussion about the TOEFL exam apply to IELTS scores as well. If you have questions concerning submission of an IELTS score, please contact the Graduate Studies Office.

We also offer a service available to applicants who wish to supplement their standardized English test scores through InitialView. InitialView offers unscripted interviews with native English speakers who completed their university education in the United States. This allows applicants to converse in a live setting about their unique backgrounds and goals, and to further demonstrate their English language proficiency. Initialview will send a recording of the interview to designated law schools as indicated by the applicants, as additional material for review. For further information and to schedule an interview, please contact InitialView at Please note that this is in addition to submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score and not a substitute for either. Applicants may request a Skype interview with a member of the Graduate Committee.

7. Deadlines and Deposits

Applications, including all supporting materials, must be received by February 1 (April 1 for S.J.D. applicants). Applications that are not complete on this date will be reviewed on a space-available basis at the discretion of the Graduate Committee. Applicants are notified by email when their applications are complete. If you have not received an email from us telling you that your application is complete, you should not assume it is complete. Candidates are strongly advised to apply early in the fall semester of the year prior to the one for which they seek admission. Although completed LL.M. applications are not due until Feb. 1, the Graduate Committee follows a "rolling admissions" policy and offers of admission may be made before the Feb. 1 deadline. Therefore, it is advantageous to apply early.

After we have extended an offer of admission, we require applicants to pay two successive deposits in order to hold a seat in the class. The initial $500 deposit must be received by the Law School by April 1. Generally, all admitted applicants must make a second, final deposit of $500 by April 15 unless otherwise noted in the offer. Applicants receiving notification of acceptance after April 1 must pay this deposit by the date indicated in their admission offer email. This deposit is not refundable.  Both deposits will be credited towards the applicant’s tuition and fees upon matriculation.

Additional Information

Importance of Full Disclosure

Falsification of information in an application for graduate studies or failure to provide complete responses to requests for information, including information concerning financial aid status, will be a basis for exclusion from the Law School. In addition, either could result in disciplinary action by bar authorities or loss of legal resident status for noncitizen students. Applicants have a continued duty to disclose even after they have submitted their applications. Students planning to take a bar exam should familiarize themselves with the rules for admission to the bar of the state in which they intend to seek admission, especially those rules relating to character, fitness and other qualifications for practice.


Members of the admissions team invite some applicants to interview over the phone or via Skype. These interviews are initiated by our staff. We also sponsor student-led tours every weekday while classes are in session, and encourage applicants to reach out to the Graduate Studies Office with any questions they may have about UVA Law or the admissions process.  For more information, see Visiting the School.  We also welcome prospective students to visit the Law School, sit in on classes and meet with the director or another member of the Graduate Committee. Such visits must be arranged in advance by contacting the Graduate Studies Office. 

The University of Virginia School of Law does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin in its admission and financial aid policies.

Tuition and Fees

In common with other U.S. law schools, tuition and fees at the University have increased annually in recent years. Applicants should expect tuition and fees to be higher for the 2018-19 academic year than the figures cited below.

Taking into account additional estimated expenses (other than travel costs), a typical budget for a single, nonresident graduate student for 2017-18 would be:

LL.M. Program, 2017-18



Tuition and Fees:



Living Expenses:



Health Insurance (amount expected to change): 2,690 2,690  
Books and Supplies: 2,450 2,450  










Financial Aid

Admissions decisions are made without regard to requests for financial assistance.

The Graduate Committee awards scholarships after admission offers have been made.  Scholarships range in about from 10-50% of tuition.  Most common are scholarships between 10 and 50% of tuition.  Our scholarships can be used for tuition and fees, as well as for living expenses.  If you receive a financial aid grant, it will not cover your tuition and living expenses. University regulations do not permit “waivers” of tuition. We cannot provide assistance for all deserving applicants, and funds must be allocated on the basis of comparative merit and financial need. Most students must therefore expect to meet their expenses from other sources. Applicants from abroad are encouraged to contact the educational attaché at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in their home country for assistance that may be available under the Fulbright or similar programs.


Located just two hours from Washington, D.C., and featuring a metro area population of more than 230,000, Charlottesville is known for its ideal combination of urban amenities and gorgeous natural setting.


The university offers housing for graduate students, for both single students and families. Many students choose to live in off-grounds housing that is within walking distance of the Law School. Admitted students will be provided with a list of housing options, and the Graduate Studies Office will facilitate interaction with current students on housing options.

Student Life

Virginia Law is enriched by the scope of student organizations, extracurricular activities, and the community spirit that permeates student life. Opportunities include 10 student-run academic journals, 67 interest-centered organizations, student self-governance (both Law School and university), and a vibrant range of social and athletic activities. In addition, the university and local community are both large enough to offer something to meet anyone’s interests and small enough to make active participation compatible with a student’s rigorous academic schedule.

Virginia values its reputation as a school that produces graduates who are skilled in law and balanced in life. It encourages students to enjoy their legal studies, to expand intellectually and personally, and to join the thousands of successful alumni who recall their law school years with warmth and enthusiasm.

Career Services

The Office of Career Services provides full service assistance to LLM students in their search for positions during Optional Practical Training (OPT), as well as long-term assistance in private practice, public service, or academic careers. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Overseas-Trained LLM Interview Program coordinated each year by the Columbia University School of Law and cosponsored by the University of Virginia School of Law and the law schools at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Harvard, the University of Michigan, Stanford, and Yale.

Programs at Virginia (UVA) Law


12 months
Business Organization and Finance
Commercial Law
Communications and Media Law
Constitutional Law
Criminal Justice
Employment and Labor Law
Environmental and Land Use Law
Family Law
Health Law
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Intellectual Property
International and National Security Law
Jurisprudence and Comparative Law
Legal History
Litigation and Procedure
Public Policy and Regulation
Race and Law
Tax Law
  • Listed tuition is based at the current program cost for non-resident students.
  • Tuition for Virginia residents is 58 300 USD.

Discussions About Virginia (UVA) Law (191)

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UVA Law | Admitted Applicants
18 hours ago  1642  Manmade
Michigan v. Virginia (both w. scholarships)
Mar 20, 2018  337  dnunes
Public International law in Leiden, UvA, or Maastricht
May 21, 2017  417  carla.vale...
most beautiful campus
May 01, 2017  2130  00251
Tiers within the T14: what are yours?
Apr 20, 2017  3029  belkinbori...
Late application - LLM Leiden,UvA and Utrecht
Apr 19, 2017  341  GargiX
UVA LLM 2017-2018
Apr 18, 2017  4440  guiafa
Cornell - UPenn - UVA - USC
Apr 13, 2017  727  AndyHuo
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Apr 05, 2017  6432  col88
Ranking US news 2018
Mar 16, 2017  4189  LLM1517

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