Applying to law school.

Our Application Process

Here’s what you need to know about applying to our academic programs.

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3-Year JD 2-Year JD 3+3 Accelerated BA-JD LLM JSD

Admission to the J.S.D. Program

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Admissions Requirements

The University at Buffalo’s J.S.D. degree is designed for the student who has already earned a first law degree (a J.D. or LL.B.) and an LL.M. degree, who has strong English language skills, and who already has identified a well-defined research problem to pursue. The requirement of an LL.M. may be waived where an applicant with an outstanding academic record has demonstrated the capacity to undertake sophisticated scholarly research by submitting original written work of high quality.

Application Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • an online application form
  • a CV
  • a written personal statement of educational and career goals
  • a draft thesis proposal
  • official transcripts from each college or university attended as a full-time student (verified by the Law School Admissions Council)
  • two letters of recommendation
  • Official English proficiency scores meeting University standards (for applicants who are not native English speakers)*

* Graduates of an academic degree program taught in English may seek waiver of the submission of  English proficiency scores from the University’s Office of International Admissions.

No standardized test of ability or knowledge will be required.  All applicants will be permitted to submit a sample of scholarly writing.  Any applicant wishing to be considered for admission to the J.S.D. without an LL.M. will be required to submit a sample of scholarly writing. All such applicants for admission to the J.S.D. program will also be considered for admission to the LL.M. program.

The Review Process

The Admissions Committee uses a rolling admission process. Applications are put into review with the Admissions Committee as they become complete, and decisions are usually made within four to six weeks. It is essential to make sure you have submitted all required documents. Incomplete applications will not go into review with the Admissions Committee.

Completed applications to the J.S.D. degree program will be evaluated by the program director and a Graduate Admissions Committee. Consideration will be given not only to each applicant’s achievements and promise, but also to their research interests as described in the applicant’s draft thesis proposal.   No student will be admitted to the program unless one member of the faculty agrees beforehand to act as thesis advisor, and a second faculty member agrees to serve as a second reader. 

[Learn more about our faculty and their areas of scholarly interest]