Due to the variety of the available course selections, the sterling roster of NYU Law faculty, and the sheer diversity of the graduate students admitted, the NYU LL.M. program is arguably one of the more popular and sought-after postgraduate programs in the world.
While the application instructions featured on the NYU Law website are fairly straightforward, the LL.M. application process can be a fairly daunting task. Here are a few tips that might be helpful.
1. Take note of deadlines.
The deadline for application is December 15, 2011. This means that the online application as well as the relevant attachments (i.e., transcript, recommendation letters, among others) should be completed before then.
For those required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (“TOEFL”), it is advised that you take the exam before November.
2. Make a checklist of application requirements.
These generally include the online application form, payment of the application fee, submission of transcripts, TOEFL (where applicable), recommendation letters, resume, and your personal statement. It might also be good to take note of information that you will have to provide, but may need verification of from the institution from which you received your prior law degree, such as class or percentile rank, and grade point average (GPA) or its equivalent.
3. Check to see whether a particular form, formalities, or limits are required for certain documents.
Official transcripts, for instance, must be signed by the authorized representative of the academic institution and placed in a sealed envelope. If some of these documents are in a language other than English, a certified English translation may be required. In some cases, a cover sheet must be signed and attached to the recommendation letters or to the official transcript. It is also important to take note of page or word count requirements. Your personal statement, in particular, should not exceed 500 words.
4. Put real effort into writing your personal statement.
The NYU Committee on Graduate Admissions does not grant interviews, so the personal statement is your only opportunity to highlight aspects of yourself that are not immediately apparent from your application documents. Due to the 500-word limit, it might be helpful to focus on the following points in crafting your personal statement: your professional interests or goals, qualifications, and reasons for applying to your desired program.
5. Pay attention to details when compiling and sending out your application documents.
There have been instances when applicants for a particular LL.M. program made the critical mistake of sending the application documents to the wrong recipient. This can be avoided by noting the proper addressee and address for some of the application documents. Organizing all these documents in a properly labeled envelope or folder lessens the chances of a mix-up. Lastly, due to the importance of these documents, you should seriously consider sending them via courier. Courier services provide tracking numbers for sent applications, the delivery status of which can be conveniently checked online. Thus, the courier service is worth it, even if it’s a bit pricier than sending your application via regular or express mail.
The above tips are not meant as a substitute for going through the actual application requirements. Considering the highly selective nature of NYU LL.M. admissions, a solid, well-prepared application, while not a guarantee of admission, is one foot in the door.