In the first interview under The Admission Interviews, Amicus Partners speaks with Elizabeth H. Woyczynski from the Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law. At CWRU, Elizabeth is the Administrative Director of Admissions and Student Services, Foreign Graduate Legal Services.
In this interview, Elizabeth discusses crucial aspects of the LLM application process such as the personal statements, letters of recommendation, as well as what are the things to keep in mind while applying for an LLM.
Amicus Partners: What do law schools look for in personal statements?
Elizabeth H. Woyczynski: What’s most important is that your personal statement is well written.
We want to see that you know how to structure a paragraph, and an essay – with introductions, arguments, and conclusions. LLM students need these skills to succeed in law school. Of course, we want to see good grammar too.
Secondly, we want to get to know you. An LLM is a demanding program of study, and we want to know your motivation to study law in your country, and your motivation to pursue an LLM in the USA.
Thirdly, we like to see that you have investigated LLM programs, and you have a sense about how our LLM program meets your personal interests.
AP: How are letter of recommendations evaluated by the Admissions Office?
EHW: We require two letters of recommendation. We like to see a least one letter of recommendation from a law school professor.
If you can’t get both letters from law professors, get the other letter from someone who has supervised you in the work place, who can speak to your work ethic and your career ambitions.
AP: When should one start the application process?
EHW: It’s best to start the application process as soon as possible. Look for application deadlines on the LLM websites.
Make sure that all your admissions documents have arrived before the deadline. Students who apply too close to the deadline, or worse, after the deadline, don’t have as good a chance of getting admitted or, especially, getting merit scholarships.
CWRU LLM has rolling admission. So, whenever you complete your application for admission, one month before the deadline or six months before the deadline, we let applicants know about admission and merit based scholarship within one week of the day they complete their applications for admission.
AP: What are the chances of securing financial aid?
EHW: CWRU LLM awards all merit scholarships on the basis of the application for admission. I think this is common for LLM programs at many universities.
Just to be sure, you should email each LLM Admission Office to ask if they have any separate applications or deadlines for merit scholarships. The CWRU LLM does not award need-based financial aid. We award our scholarships on the basis of academics and geographic diversity.