Thank you for taking the first step to join UW Law’s community. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you through the process.

Admissions Overview

Admission is competitive, both your ability and motivation are important factors. We also strive for geographic and cultural balance within the class. U.S. and international applicants worldwide are welcome.

The central criterion for admission will be your potential for successful completion of, and contribution to, the program. Important factors to be considered are your overall academic record (particularly in law school), relevant experience and demonstrated interest in your program of choice.


Degree Requirement

All applicants must have a legal education that meets one of the following conditions:

Applicants who received their legal education in the United States must have a J.D. from a school accredited by the American Bar Association.

Applicants who received their legal education outside of the United States must have a first degree in law (LLB, BLaw) or credentials to demonstrate equivalent qualification through work experience and their professions.

For example, those who have passed a bar exam and are practicing lawyers in their own country are usually deemed to have LLB equivalence for the purposes of admission to this program.

Work Experience

We generally prefer LL.M. applicants to have had some professional work experience.

Language Ability

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The ways in which proficiency can be demonstrated are outlined in UW Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Asian Law Program Only: Applicants must be proficient in an Asian language (or a language in which original research on Asian law can be conducted). Proficiency for this purpose means ability equivalent to the level reached after completing a third-year college course.

Application Instructions

To review the University-wide admissions policies that apply to all graduate programs, visit our Graduate School’s guide to understanding the application process.

1. There are two ways to apply; either through LSAC or UW's MyGrad application portal. Applicants can apply through either one, but not both.

LSAC Application

Log in to your account to start your application. Please choose the international application if you anticipate needing an F1 or J1 visa (for any LL.M. program), and choose one of the domestic applications based on your program of choice if you do not need a visa:

MyGrad Application

Fill out an online application, designate recommenders, pay the application fee and upload the following documents:

  • Resume listing educational qualifications, work experience, date of admission to legal practice (if applicable) and any other professional affiliations relevant to the application.
  • Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages) describing your background, primary area of interests, practical or academic experience in the area, career goals and the educational objectives which you expect to meet through the program.
  • Transcripts and Degree Statement from all colleges and universities attended. Please also upload transcripts for in-progress degrees and any degrees that you did not complete.
    Two (required) or three (maximum) recent letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors or others who know you and your legal/professional background and can evaluate your capacity for graduate study in the U.S. Applications submitted through UW MyGrad cannot be processed for review until at least two recommenders are designated.

2. Applicants whose native language is not English

Covid-19 update:
We currently accept the new online TOEFL test for entry to autumn 2020. Check here to see if it is available in your country, and check back later if not, since the situation is changing rapidly.
We also currently accept the Duolingo English test for entry to autumn 2020. The minimum score is 105, and students who enter the program by using this test must take the UW AEP English placement test, unless a qualifying TOEFL score is subsequently submitted before the start of classes. Click here for more information on Duolingo, and here for AEP test information.

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit English Language Proficiency scores or documentation that satisfies the English test score exemption policy, which can be viewed here. Please self-report your scores in the application and electronically submit your test scores to the UW using the following instructions (offers of admission cannot be made until the UW receives the formal scores electronically):

Have ETS send your official TOEFL score electronically to Institution Code #4854.

Note: Our department accepts the IELTS, with a minimum of 6.5 for our LL.M. programs. IELTS scores must be electronically received, either by the UW Graduate School or LSAC, or else they cannot be accepted. If there are electronic transmission problems, only IELTS staff can assist, and if they are unable to resolve the problems, we will not be able to accept the scores.

To submit IELTS test scores, first go to their Find a Test Location page. Select the country where the test was taken, then find the city on the list of testing centers and click the link (“book now”) to the right of the center's name to view its email address. Email the testing center to request that they report your test results into the E-TRF system to:

University of Washington All Campuses
Organization ID 365
Undergrad & Graduate Admissions
Box 355850
Seattle, WA, 98105, USA

Asian Law Program Only: Native English-speaking applicants are required to submit Statement of Foreign Language Ability, with any relevant supporting documents.

3. Interview

You may be required to participate in an interview in person, Skype or by phone after submitting your application.

Application Deadlines

International Applicants

International applicants must submit a full application no later than February 15 of the year in which they plan to commence study at the University of Washington. As the processing of international applications requires extra time, we appreciate early submission of application materials.

The February 15 deadline is for those students who need to obtain a visa. Applicants who reside in the U.S. or are concurrent J.D./LL.M. students at UW can use the deadlines for U.S.-based applicants.

Due to delays many applicants are experiencing from current global health threats, we will extend our application deadline for anyone affected by them. To request an extension, send an email to with a brief statement of your situation.

U.S.-based applicants

Program Autumn Winter Spring
Asian & Comparative Law May 1    
Global Business Law May 1    
General Law May 1    
Sustainable International Development May 1    
Health Law July 1    
Intellectual Property Law & Policy July 1    
Taxation July 1 Nov 1 Feb 1

Applicants for Asian & Comparative Law, Global Business Law, General Law and Sustainable International Development Law must submit a full application no later than May 1 of the year in which they plan to commence study at the UW.

Applicants for Health Law, Intellectual Property Law and Taxation must submit a full application no later than July 1 of the year in which they plan to commence study at the UW.

We recommend U.S.-based applicants submit a full application by February 15 for consideration at the same time as international applicants, so as to maximize their chances of admission. Domestic students may also begin Winter or Spring quarter, but may be limited in their choice of classes, as many prerequisites are only offered during Autumn quarter.