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Elsbeth Magilton; photo by Bambi King
Elsbeth Magilton, J.D.

Executive Director 
206S Law
PO Box 830902
Lincoln NE 68583-0902


The LLM program is designed for students holding degrees in law from universities outside the United States. Students from around the world come to Nebraska and receive a rigorous academic experience studying U.S. law.

Graduates are trained to meet the demands of legal practice in our globalized world by attending their courses side-by-side with J.D. students. Our goal is to engage international attorneys in U.S. legal studies and to provide a wider worldview for our J.D. students.




About the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies Program

Application Procedure

LSACYou will begin by creating an Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) account, selecting the correct application, and providing the required application materials listed below. The application for U.S. Legal Studies will be available beginning October 1, 2013.

Applicants must also submit:

  • $50 Application Fee
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation written in English
  • Personal Statement (written in English) addressing applicant's desire to learn U.S. Law 
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based or 233 computer-based or 577 paper-based. If the internet-based (or comparable) score is below 100 an interview is required. Please contact Elsbeth Magilton at to arrange any necessary interviews
  • Certified foreign transcripts indicating a foreign law degree via the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
  • Resume (written in English)


Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis.

Applications must be received by April 15** for a fall semster start date due to Visa timetables. 
**we are still accepting applications but request students ensure their consulate has available immigration appointments to allow students to arrive in Lincoln in late July. 
Reading Room


Nebraska LL.M. students attend their courses side-by-side with J.D. students.

LL.M. students are required to complete 24 credit hours:

Required Courses:

  • August Pre Session Course: U.S. Legal System and Constitutional Principles for LL.M. Students (Number TBA, 3 credit hours)
  • Foundational Legal Skills: Research, Writing, and Professionalism in the fall semester only (Law 513/G-514/G, 2 credit hours)
  • Legal Profession (Law 790, 3 credit hours)

LL.M. students select the remaining 18 credit hours from the J.D. Curriculum. LL.M. students are eligible to take first-year (1L) courses, but because the majority of those course are year-long, 6 credit hour, courses we suggust LL.M. students also review the Upperclass Curriculum
Graduation Requirements:

  • Completion of 24 credit hours
  • Receive a ‘4’ (this is equivalent to a ‘C’) or higher in every course

Focus Your Studies 

Law CollegeLL.M. students may choose to focus their studies in a particular area of law and interest. Nebraska Law has faculty specializing in a wide array of practice areas and a large selection of courses each semester. Popular choices include courses in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Business Transactions, or Litigation. 

Please note, because the program is only two semesters LL.M. students are unable to receive a formal certificate of concentrated study, but may register for the courses specific to their interests. 


Students in the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies program pay the same tuition rate as our out-of-state J.D. students.

In 2012-2013 the cost of 12 credit hours per semester for a year was $20,268.00. You can see more on our J.D. Tuition & Fees page.


Student Life and Housing

The transition to life in the United States can be confusing.  Below are some links you may find helpful.

The University of Nebraska encourages students to think about cross-cultural adjustment and provides tips and things to think about when studying in a foreign country. 

Find More Resources

EducationUSAEducationUSA centers are the U.S. State Department‘s network of over 400 advising centers in 170 countries designed to assist local students find the appropriate college or university in the United States. Click on the logo above to find your center!

Obtaining your student Visa 

1. Apply and Gain Admission (including language verification via TOEFL).

2. Submit Financial Resources Form.

3. The University of Nebraska will create the applicable forms for your visa type and express-mail it to you with your Certificate of Admission.

4. Schedule an interview with the applicable consulate and pay SEVIS fee. For the best available information and advice on applying for a student visa, consult the Education USA resources from the U.S. Department of State.

5. Receive your visa, enter the United States, and report to the law college by contacting Elsbeth Magilton.

6. Report to the International Student and Scholar Office to validate and activate immigration record.

For questions and assistance regarding immigration please contact the International Student and Scholar Office. 


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

If you received your law degree from an institution that does not instruct and grade students in English you must take the TOEFL exam.

The LL.M. program requires students to achieve a score of 90 on the internet-based exam or 233 on the computer-based exam or 577 on the paper-based exam.

If the internet-based (or comparable) score is below 100 an interview is required. Please contact Elsbeth Magilton at to arrange any necessary interviews.

Find a center and prep courses:

Go directly to the TOEFL homepage or contact the EdUSA center nearest you be clicking on their logo below.


Student Groups Across Campus

UNL is a diverse campus with nearly 2,000 international students representing 100 countries. There are about 30 different international student organizations open to the undergraduate and graduate population on both main and east campus. The Office of International Engagement maintains a list of the all international student groups available on campus to any students. 

Main Campus

Student Groups at Nebraska Law

Nebraska Law students have formed a wide variety of student organizations, most of which are open to LL.M. student.

International students may be particularly interested in the International Law Student Association (ILSA). ISLA enables law students who are interested in international law and international trade to continue their education in this field beyond the classroom. Activities include: sponsoring the Jessup International Moot Court competition; counseling on graduate level and summer programs in international law, internships and career opportunities; and interdisciplinary programs sponsored by the College of Business Administration, the College of Agriculture, the Institute of International Affairs and other University of Nebraska colleges and departments involved in international relations and trade issues.


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