Becoming a LL.M. Student at Cornell Law

Cornell Law supports students from admission through commencement and beyond. Learn about financing your LL.M., locating housing in Ithaca, and applying for post-graduate fellowship awards.

Tuition and Financial Aid

General LL.M. tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is US$70,188. Total expenses, including tuition, are estimated to be US$96,560.

We provide a number of financial awards to General LL.M. candidates based on merit. For fellowship consideration all of your application materials must be received by December 15 to be considered for an award. Please indicate your interest for financial assistance on your application.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for federal loans. Learn more about how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will need to submit a Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF form) documenting available funds to support yourself and all dependents who will be with you during your time at Cornell.

Please visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page for complete information.

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Visa Information

The Office of Global Learning has detailed information about applying for visas and preparing for life at Cornell.  After receiving admission to our General LL.M. program, the Office of Graduate Legal Studies will provide you with more information on how to begin the visa process, including submitting proof of financial support and coordinating the I-20.

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The university operates a number of graduate student housing facilities. Private houses, apartments, and cooperatives are within easy walking distance of the Law School. Rents vary according to the location and the time of year you make arrangements. Learn more about local communities near campus.

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Career Advising

Working with a dedicated career advisor, you will get support in designing an individual job-search strategy.  One-on-one counseling appointments can assist you with researching job opportunities, finding externships, networking with alumni, building résumés and cover letters, and developing interview skills.

Cornell Law School co-sponsors the International Student Interview Program, typically hosted annually at the end of January in New York City. This program provides foreign-trained lawyers the opportunity to interview with U.S. and foreign employers. LL.M. students interested in public service have the opportunity to attend the Equal Justice Works Conference in October and the Public Interest Legal Career Fair in February.

General LL.M. graduates may be eligible to sit for the New York State bar examination after completing the General LL.M. degree. Most, however, return to their home countries to practice law, enter government service, teach, or pursue other professional opportunities.

As an international lawyer, if your ultimate goal is to practice law in the United States, you should consider enrolling in a J.D. program. Foreign LL.M. students face a variety of challenges when seeking associate opportunities in the United States. While it is possible to secure legal employment in the United States after completing your LL.M., domestic law firm hiring continues to center on U.S. educated J.D. students.

The following resources may help you explore legal career options for foreign attorneys in the U.S.:

  • American Bar Association: Extensive links to information regarding legal education, bar admission, legal employment, and the legal profession.
  • New York State Board of Law Examiners: Links to important information regarding the New York State bar examination, including examination qualification requirements for foreign-trained lawyers and bar admission rules.

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Public Service Opportunities

Cornell Law School strongly encourages students to take part in pro bono work. Public service law benefits society and enhances legal careers. Cornell Law students, including General LL.M. students, can participate in the Public Service Challenge. Learn more here

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Post-graduate Fellowships

Grants are available to fund summer legal internships with government agencies (including courts) or nonprofit organizations outside of the United States.

  • Berger International and Comparative Legal Studies Summer Fellowships for collaborative partnerships with public, non-profit and non-governmental agencies addressing human rights, international criminal law, and international trade law issues. Grant amount and fellowship duration: Pro-rated, based on length of internships (e.g., $2500 for 4 weeks; $5000 for 8 weeks; and so on). Application instructions will be posted by the International Programs Office during the spring semester.
  • The Furman Family Fellowship supports an internship at the Supreme Court of Israel. Application instructions will be posted by the International Programs Office during the spring semester.
  • The International Court of Justice Judicial Fellows Program offers the opportunity to clerk for ten months at the Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • The Robert and Barbara Kent Fellowship at the Southern African Institute of Policy and Research awards a two-month internship in the corporate law firm of Musa Dhudia & Co.

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Contact us to learn more.

Phone: +1-607-255-5185