All application elements must be submitted electronically through the online application and LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Please familiarize yourself with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) requirements for the submission of official documents through the Credential Assembly Service, including the length of time they estimate for processing those documents.
We will not accept any application materials by mail should you miss a deadline with LSAC. No exceptions will be made. Any application materials or supporting documents we receive by mail (or email) will be discarded.
You must submit an application fee of $85 (USD) with your application. This fee is nonrefundable and will not be credited against your tuition. The fee must be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) before you can submit your application online through LSAC.
Components Submitted Online through LSAC
Your Personal Statement should describe your background, academic interests, and your reasons for pursuing an Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law. You should prepare this statement without assistance from others. The format of the statement should not exceed three double-spaced pages using a 12-point font with standard margins. We will not accept a résumé or curriculum vitae in place of the statement.
Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
You must submit a résumé or curriculum vitae for consideration as part of your application.
Components Submitted through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
Transcripts and Diplomas
You must submit an official transcript and, where applicable, a diploma or proof of degree from all postsecondary (university level) institutions you have attended, whether or not you earned a degree. If you are unable to submit original documents to LSAC, you may submit certified copies. If the originals are not in English, you must submit an official, certified translation of each document in addition to the original document. We require the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service in addition to the basic CAS service.
Statement of Rank
If your official transcripts for your first law degree do not include your class rank, you must include a separate statement of rank issued by your University. If your University does not provide official class rankings, you must include a statement from your University that students are not provided with an official class rank upon graduation. Either statement should be sent to LSAC and included in your official CAS report. If your school refuses to issue a statement that they do not rank candidates, please email ExecLLM@law.columbia.edu with a copy of your CV/résumé prior to submitting your application.
Letters of Recommendation
We require two original letters of recommendation from your law school professors, employers, supervisors, or other persons qualified to appraise your academic potential for graduate legal studies. Ideally, one letter should come from a law school professor and one letter should come from a work supervisor. If you received your law degree more than 5 years ago, a letter from a law school professor is not necessary, but you must still submit two letters of recommendation. Letters from family friends and letters from prominent persons who have not taught you or supervised your work are not helpful. If your recommenders cannot write in English, please submit certified translations together with the original letters. We reserve the right to disqualify letters written or translated, in part or whole, by the applicant.
Your recommenders must submit their letters of recommendation directly to LSAC. They may do so either electronically via LSAC’s Electronic Recommendation system (also called E-LORs) or by mail to LSAC. If your recommender uses the E-LOR system, be sure they include a work e-mail address and contact information in their letter, so we can contact them if we have any questions about the letter or to verify the authenticity of the letter. If your recommender sends the letter by mail, it must be written on official letterhead and addressed to the Executive LL.M. Office. If your recommender is unable to print the letter on official letterhead, ask her to include an explanation as to why she is unable to do so.
In the “Recommenders” section of the Columbia Law School online Executive LL.M. Application, you must also include a work email address for each recommender so we can contact her/him should we have questions about the letter or your candidacy (please note that we cannot accept generic email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail addresses for recommenders). Not providing an official work email for your recommender will significantly delay the review of your application, as you will be required to provide one before we review your application. If your recommender does not have an official work email address, you must explain on the online application why s/he does not have one.
Please do not submit more than two letters. Part of compiling a strong application for admission is determining which two recommenders are best able to evaluate your ability to pursue and succeed in the Executive LL.M. program. In very rare circumstances, applicants may feel they have a compelling reason to submit an additional letter of recommendation. If you feel you fall into this category and would like to submit a third letter, your reasons should be obvious to the Admissions Committee and you should give a detailed explanation in the Additional Recommender section below. Nevertheless, your application will be considered complete once two letters have been submitted to the Credential Assembly Service. (Please note: Letters submitted directly to the Executive LL.M. Office, instead of through the Credential Assembly Service, will be automatically destroyed, and not added to your file. No exceptions will be made.)
All applicants except those who earned their first law degree entirely in English in an English-speaking country must take the TOEFL iBT or the paper-based TOEFL and the Test of Written English (TWE) by our admission deadline (December 18, 2018). We do not accept the IELTS or any other exam in place of the TOEFL. The minimum scores required for admission are:
- TOEFL iBT: 105 overall score, with 26 on the Reading and Listening sections and 24 on the Speaking and Writing sections;
- Paper-based TOEFL: 620 overall score, with 59/60 on the Structure/Writing and Reading sections, 60/61 on the Listening section, and 5.0 on the TWE.
If your scores fall below these levels, your chances of admission could be adversely impacted even if your application is otherwise strong. You must decide whether to repeat the test based on how far below these scores your results fall.
You should take the TOEFL no later than our regular application deadline, December 18, 2018. TOEFL scores are valid for a maximum of two years from our application deadline (so you must have taken the TOEFL exam on or after December 18, 2016 for the scores to be considered in this application cycle). If your scores are lower than our minimum requirements, and you decide to retake the TOEFL after December 18, 2018, we cannot guarantee that the Committee will consider your late scores (and any additional scores or scores submitted after the deadline must still be submitted through LSAC).
Waivers of the TOEFL requirement are rarely granted, and are granted at the sole discretion of the Executive LL.M. Office. Therefore, if you are planning to request a waiver, you should assume the request will be denied and make arrangements to take the test by the application deadline. Requests for waivers on the grounds that you have run out of time to take the exam or work primarily in the English language will not be granted. Waiver requests should be sent via email to ExecLLM@law.columbia.edu and should include a detailed description of why you think you qualify for a waiver and your CV/résumé. In your waiver request, if you have ever previously taken the TOEFL, you should also include your prior TOEFL score(s) and the date(s) taken. If you are granted a waiver, you must upload your waiver approval email to the “Attachments” section of the application. Waiver requests sent after December 18, 2018 will be automatically denied.
Once submitted, all application materials become the property of LSAC and/or the Executive LL.M. Office and as such will not be returned to you under any circumstances.