JSD FAQs

Can I apply without a law degree from a law school in the United States? The graduate studies Committee will only consider applications from candidates who are currently in a degree program in a law school in the Unites States or have already received J.D or LL.M. degrees from such a law school. Degrees from law schools in other countries, including other common law countries, do not meet this requirement.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam? Please review the questions on the English Language Proficiency Statement which is part of the application materials. If any of the first three options on that statement describe you situation, you will not need to take the TOEFL or the IELTS exams. Since most applicants to the J.S.D. Program have studied for at least a year in a United States law school within the past five years, they will not need to take these language exams.

When can I contact members of the Law School faculty to see if they would be interested in supervising my J.S.D. dissertation?  You may not contact Chicago faculty until after the Graduate Studies Committee has approved your application to the Program. Since one of the requirements of the application process is to submit a list of faculty members you would like to work with on your dissertation, the Graduate Studies Committee may consult with those faculty members before making a decision on your application but you are not permitted to do that.

How long should I make the dissertation proposal and the statement of interest in the J.S.D. Program? There is no expected size for these documents. Normally the statement of interest is about 2-3 pages long. Dissertation proposals vary in size depending on how detailed a candidate wishes to make the proposal. The norm for proposals is 4-10 pages.

Can I use the Law School Admission Council's LL.M./J.S.D. Credential Assembly Service? No. The Graduate Studies Committee wants faculty writing recommendations to see the language on our J.S.D. recommendation letter form and write their recommendations specifically for Chicago's J.S.D. Program. Please note that the Committee asks that you submit a copy of your dissertation proposal and your U.S. law school transcript to the people who will be writing your recommendations. The only transcript required at the application stage is the transcript from the U.S. law school you attended.