- What will the instruction modality be for the 2021-2022 school year?
At this time, our expectation is that Harvard Law School’s academic programs will be on campus during the 2021-2022 academic year, but note that the school’s decisions regarding teaching modality will continue to be guided by public health considerations.
- How many spaces are available in the incoming LL.M. class for 2021-2022?
While we allowed a higher number of students than usual to defer their admission to 2021-2022, at this time we do not know what effect that might have on the incoming class. Note that as in every year, our admissions process is highly selective, and we are unable to offer admission to many impressive candidates.
- Will you be accepting transfer applications?
No, we will not be considering transfer applications.
- Is the LL.M. application process changing due to COVID-19?
Yes, there are a number of procedural changes to the application process, summarized below.
- All recommendations must be submitted by the recommender (or qualified translator) electronically through our online application system. We will not accept hard copies of recommendations this year. We also do not accept recommendations via email or LSAC.
- We will not be accepting hard copies of academic records during the application process this year.
- For academic records, applicants may either (a) use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service; or (b) submit unofficial copies of their transcripts, diplomas, and related materials (together with translations, if applicable) to the Graduate Program via the email@example.com email address.
- Applicants who are offered admission or a place on the waiting list will be required to submit fully satisfactory hard copy official versions of their academic records immediately upon receiving their admissions decisions.
- We will provisionally accept a remote TOEFL test (TOEFL iBT ® Special Home Edition or TOEFL ITP ® Plus for China) if you are unable to take an in-person TOEFL test by November 15, 2020, but we expect that any offer of admission will be conditioned upon receipt of a satisfactory score from an in-person test.
- The standards for TOEFL waivers (near-native fluency) and application fee waivers (extreme financial hardship) will not change.
- Reapplicants who submitted their most recent applications after August 2016 will not need to provide new copies of any academic records, transcripts, or diplomas that were submitted with their previous application. They will need to provide unofficial copies of transcripts (and, for degrees earned, diplomas) for academic work completed since their most recent application.
- Reapplicants who are admitted or offered a place on the waiting list will need to provide official copies of their academic records at that time, even if these have been provided in a previous application cycle.
- Reapplicants must submit two or more new recommendations. Recommendations must be uploaded by the recommender (or qualified translator) electronically through our online application system.
- Reapplicants will need to submit an updated TOEFL score if their TOEFL score is more than 2 years old.
- Are substantive changes being made to the LL.M. application?
No, there are no substantive changes being made. We will not be changing the number of recommendations required, the legal essay or personal statement instructions, etc.
- Can I visit Harvard Law School and/or tour the campus?
Harvard Law School is closed to the public for the fall of 2020. Please check the main HLS Coronavirus page for updates.
- How can I contact the Graduate Program Admissions Office?
The Graduate Program is currently operating remotely, and cannot be reached by phone. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the Graduate Program has limited capacity to respond to inquiries, and you should expect a response within 7 to 10 days.
- How will the Admissions Committee consider online academic work during the spring and/or fall 2020, as well as other disruptions to professional or academic programs?
We recognize that there have been significant academic and professional disruptions since the outbreak of COVID-19, and will not penalize applicants for disruptions experienced as a result of the pandemic.
- How will the Admissions Committee account for universal pass/fail grading systems for students enrolled in school during spring 2020?
As always, our admission process is holistic and does not rely exclusively on numbers. We will not penalize applicants for pass/fail grading systems instituted by programs in response to the coronavirus. Applicants who feel their performance in spring 2020 was especially outstanding may consider asking one of their professors to comment specifically on their performance during that term.
- Will you accept remote TOEFL tests, including the TOEFL iBT ® Special Home Edition or TOEFL ITP ® Plus for China?
We will provisionally accept these TOEFL scores if an applicant is unable to take an in-person iBT TOEFL test before November 15th. Applicants admitted with an at-home or ITP TOEFL score will be required to submit a satisfactory iBT TOEFL score as a condition of admission.
- Can I submit an iBT score that is 2 or more years old?
No, we will not accept any TOEFL scores from a test administration more than 2 years prior to the application submission.
- Will you accept MyBest™ TOEFL score reports?
No, we do not accept MyBest™ TOEFL scores.
- If I am unable to take a TOEFL exam, can I get a TOEFL waiver?
No. Our standards for granting TOEFL waivers remain the same.
- Can I submit results from IELTS, Duolingo, or some other language assessment service?
No, we do not accept results from other language assessment services to meet the English proficiency requirement.
- How can I submit my academic records (e.g., transcripts and diplomas, along with any necessary translations)?
We are requiring that applicants submit academic records either by a) using LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service, or b) sending your academic records via email to email@example.com. Admitted and waitlisted applicants will be required to submit fully satisfactory official hard copies of their academic records.
Do not send any documents in the mail to the Graduate Program during the application phase.
- Should I use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service or submit my documents via email?
If you can get your materials to LSAC before late October and/or are applying to multiple LL.M. programs, LSAC may be a better option for you. In addition, using LSAC may increase the likelihood that the documents you submit will be accepted for processing, because we will not be able to accept documents via email if they are not formatted exactly to our specifications. Note, however, that if you are not able to send your materials to LSAC until later in the application process, you may wish to consider emailing your documents to avoid possible LSAC processing delays.
- How do I format my academic records to be submitted by email?
Transcripts for each degree or program should be included in one PDF file per degree/program in the following order:
- English versions:
- Diploma (required for degrees that have been granted)
- GPA and/or Class Rank Statement (only if available)
- Letter of enrollment (only for PhD programs or programs in progress for which no transcript is available)
- Original language versions (if not in English) of the same documents, in the same order.
The file should be named “Last Name, First Name – School – Degree.”
Send all transcript files in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address provided in your online application.
Please see “Special Transcript Instructions” section of the full application instructions for more information.
- Can I have my school submit my academic records via email?
Not during the application phase. Applicants who submit their academic records by email to email@example.com must send all of their academic records together in a single email.
- Can I go ahead and send hard copies of my documents to the Graduate Program during the application phase if they are available now?
No. The Graduate Program is operating remotely and cannot process any documents sent by mail during the application phase. We will ask applicants who receive offers of admission or places on the waiting list to send official hard copies of their academic records after admissions decisions are released. Any documents received before admissions decisions are released will not reach our office while we are working remotely and will be destroyed before we are able to access them.
- If I am using the LSAC Credential Assembly Service, can I email copies of my academic records just in case?
No, you must choose one modality for submitting all of your academic records.
- Can I switch to the LSAC Credential Assembly Service after emailing my documents or vice versa?
- If I am admitted or waitlisted, when will I need to submit official, hard-copies of my academic records?
Once admissions decisions have been released, admitted and waitlisted applicants will need to send their official, hard-copy documents immediately in order to maintain their offer of admission or place on the waiting list. The documents will need to arrive at the Graduate Program office within 4 weeks after admissions decisions are released.
- If I submit official copies of my academic records to LSAC, will I later need to submit official hard copies to the Graduate Program if I am admitted or waitlisted?
Yes – anyone who is admitted or waitlisted will be required to submit official hard copies of their academic records to the Graduate Program.
- What should I do if I need to submit certified translations of my academic records?
For academic records requiring translation, we recommend requesting 2 official copies of your academic records from your school and providing them to a qualified translator in a sealed envelope. Ask the translator to give you one copy of the translation along with the applicable academic record, so you can submit them during the application phase, either (a) to LSAC; or (b) if not using LSAC, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The translator should return a second copy of the translation together with the second copy of the official academic records to you, both sealed together in the same envelope (see our instructions for official documents in the application instructions), so that you may have these materials on hand for easy submission if you are offered admission or a place on the waiting list.
- How can I ensure that I will have my official academic records ready for when I receive an admissions decision?
We recommend that applicants requesting documentation from their schools request at least 2 official copies, one copy to submit during the application phase, either (a) to LSAC; or (b) if not using LSAC, to scan and email to email@example.com. They should keep the official second copy in the sealed envelope to send in if they are admitted or waitlisted to the LL.M. program.
- How can I submit my letters of recommendation?
All recommendations must be submitted electronically through our online application system, either by the recommender or by a certified translator. Applicants will register their recommenders and/or translators within the online application. We will not accept hard copies of letters of recommendation, or electronic copies through email or LSAC.
- What should I do if I need to submit certified translations of my letters of recommendation?
For letters of recommendation requiring a certified translation, applicants should still plan to receive a paper copy in a sealed envelope from the recommender and take that envelope to the certified translator. You should register the qualified translator as the recommender, and in the “relationship” box, you should indicate “certified translation for recommendation from (Recommender name and relationship).” The translator will receive an email link from our online application system to upload the recommendation. Ask the translator to upload both their certified translation and the original document in a single file to our online application system using the link they receive.
- What if I have already sent in hard copies of my recommendations and/or academic records?
You will need to re-submit them according to this year’s application instructions.
- What is an official transcript?
An official transcript is a transcript printed on special (typically watermarked, stamped, and or sealed) paper and issued by the official academic records officer of a school or university in a sealed envelope (with a signature/stamp across the flap to confirm that it has not been opened) to the Graduate Program Admissions Office. As long as an official transcript in a sealed envelope has not been opened, then it may be released to the applicant to send (still unopened) to the Graduate Program, LSAC, or a qualified translator. An official transcript opened and viewed exclusively by a qualified translator and/or LSAC remains official provided that the translator or LSAC certifies that the transcript they received was an official transcript. Once an envelope containing the transcript has been opened by an unauthorized party, the transcript is no longer official. A scan of a transcript sent by email is not official.
- Will you be operating on a different schedule this year? When can I expect a decision on my application?
At this point, we expect our admissions process to proceed according to our regular schedule, with admissions decisions slated to be released at the end of March. We will communicate any changes to applicants during the application process.
- Will you be granting application fee waivers for applicants experiencing COVID-19 related financial hardship?
As always, our application fee waivers are reserved for applicants experiencing extreme financial hardships. We will continue to grant application fee waivers for applicants who experience extreme financial hardships, whether COVID-related or not. Note that many students who receive significant grant aid from the Graduate Program do not receive fee waivers.
- What financial aid is available to assist with COVID-19 related hardships?
As always, Harvard Law School financial aid is need-based, and we aim to meet the financial need of each student through a combinations of grants, loans, and term-time employment, no matter the reason for financial hardship. Please be sure to submit your financial aid application by the December 1st deadline to be considered for financial aid.