Application deadlines for Summer and Fall starts of OsgoodePD’s Professional LLMs are fast approaching. Applying to one of these LLM programs can seem daunting, especially if you’ve been away from the academic setting for a while or if you don’t have a previous law degree.
We asked Meghan Thomas, Director of Professional Graduate and International Programs at OsgoodePD, for some pointers on how to craft a strong LLM application and what are some common pitfalls to avoid.
10. Include all education
Meghan: “Avoid ruling out previous education that you think is not relevant. Your educational background helps us understand your suitability for the program.”
> The application form requires you to include all previous university education in any jurisdiction. You may also want to include college programs, particularly if they are relevant to the specialization you’re applying for.
9. Organize transcripts
Meghan: “Missing transcripts can stop the admission process in its tracks.”
> The Admissions department can not release the application for the next round of review if the transcripts are missing. If you can not get original transcripts quickly, upload a copy of them in the application portal as an interim step.
8. Find out if you need an English Proficiency test
> If English is not your first language, determine whether you need to submit a proficiency test (see our Admissions Requirements page). If you need a test, plan to take it as early as possible. If unsure, contact admissions for clarification.
7. Inform your referees
Meghan: Look at the Recommendation Form; what are the qualities we are looking for? Can the referee provide examples of how you embody at least some of these qualities?”
> Often applicants do not communicate to referees what the committee is looking for in a reference. Referees do not need to be Canadian or an academic. However, a good practice is to ask yourself, “Why would the committee find the referee’s comments credible?” or “Why would the committee give the referee’s comments weight?”
6. Approach your LLM application like a job application
Meghan: “Give your application a personality”
> Your application should clearly communicate what you’ve achieved thus far and what you want to achieve with your LLM. The review committee and selectors want to establish an understanding of the person applying and whether you’re a fit for the program.
5. Tailor your application
Meghan: “The connection between your experience and the specialization may not always be as obvious to the committee as it is to you, so connect the dots for them.”
> If you have experience relevant to the program, make sure you illustrate the connection. Identify each element of the application; how can you make your submission relevant to both your experience and the specialization you are applying for? This also helps the admission committee recommend other options for you if you aren’t offered a place in the specialization for which you applied.
4. Write the personal statement to frame your application
Meghan: “Use the personal statement to tie together your transcripts, CV & references.”
> You are submitting not just a package, but a collection of information that reflects on you. How can you coherently portray your background and accomplishments?
3. Complete the application in one sitting
Meghan: “Approach you application as a complete task. If you can, block out time, sit down, and assemble everything you need.”
> Applicants who work on their application piecemeal sometimes forget what they have submitted, and can lose a lot of time following up or scrambling to complete the application at the very last minute.
2. Stay in touch
Meghan: “Our Admissions team is happy to answer questions once you’ve applied. When you call or email us, please provide your 9-digit student ID to help us find your file more quickly.”
> Also, try to respond promptly if OsgoodePD contact you with questions or ask you for an interview; this helps the process keep moving smoothly.
1. Submit your application early
Meghan: “Each application is reviewed thoroughly at least once. Generally the earlier the application is completed, the earlier it is reviewed – especially for our full-time programs.”
> Submitting a thorough and complete application early increases your chances of moving forward to the next round of the admission process. It also reflects well on your organizational abilities and motivation. If you’re experiencing delays from third parties, submit as much of your application early as possible. If you’re interested in submitting a late application, make sure you contact admissions to find out whether that’s available for your specialization and how to submit.
More information on upcoming deadlines for OsgoodePD LLM programs can be found on the individual Specialization pages of the OsgoodePD website. To apply to an LLM program, head to the How to Apply page and start the application process today!