Sep 22, 2021  
2021-2022 Law School Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Law School Student Handbook

Admission


JD Program Admission:

Evaluations and Standards

Applications for admissions are evaluated by the GGU Law Admissions Committee. The review process is holistic and the Committee takes many factors into account during the review process. While we recognize that LSAT and GPA will play a factor in rendering a decision, no one element weighs more heavily than another. Our comprehensive file review incorporates your resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, LSAT writing sample, work experience, and life experience into consideration. We also accept addenda that allow you to expand on special academic achievements and professional opportunities or that may give us greater context on matters of character and fitness. We review all applications on a rolling basis and evaluations take approximately 6-8 weeks. All decisions are communicated via e-mail as well as posted on the LSAC Online Status Check.

Application Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admission cycle. Applicants must register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and submit applications via the LSAC website. Applicants are advised to read the application form thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully. To receive consideration by the Admissions Committee, applicants must submit their applications by the posted deadline. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and are reviewed on a space-available basis. Foreign-educated students must submit their official transcripts to LSAC for evaluation. LSAC does not accept evaluations from other credential review services.

A complete JD program application consists of the following:

  • Completed and signed Application Form;
  • Personal Statement;
  • Current Resume;
  • Additional Statement of Interest (if applicable);
  • Character and Fitness Addendum (if applicable);
  • Letters of Recommendation;
  • A current LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Law School Report including a valid LSAT score, all post-secondary transcripts, and any transfer and/or foreign-earned credits; and
  • Non-U.S. applicants must submit additional documents

Fees and Deadlines

There is no fee to apply. It is highly recommended that applicants apply prior to the priority deadline as admission and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis.

  • April 15 is the priority application deadline
  • June 15 is the application deadline

Admission Process

Applications are complete when they contain all of the required materials detailed below. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. A decision is typically rendered four to six weeks after an application is forwarded to the Committee, but may be reached sooner. Applicants will be notified of decisions through email and LSAC’s Online Status Check (see below). All admission decisions are final.

Personal Statement

Applicants must submit a personal statement. The statement must be no more than two double-spaced, typed pages in 12-point font. The statement should specifically address: the applicant’s motivation for attending law school; why the applicant will make a successful law student and lawyer; and why the applicant wishes to attend Golden Gate University School of Law. The statement may also address the applicant’s ethnicity/race, employment history, volunteer experience, sexual orientation and/or gender identity, socioeconomic and cultural background, or any unique personal characteristics that would contribute to the university’s law school community. Applicants MUST certify their authorship of the statement, and the fact that they did not receive undue assistance in its preparation.

Resume

Applicants must include a current resume detailing educational and work history along with any current or past community service or volunteer experience.

Statement of Interest

Applicants interested in the Public Interest Scholars Program (PISP) or Environmental Law Scholars Program (ELSP) must indicate their interest on the application form and submit an accompanying Statement of Interest. The PISP statement should describe any of the applicant’s relevant professional, educational, and/or volunteer experience. It should also include any plans to pursue a career in public interest law. The ELSP statement should also describe any of the applicant’s relevant professional, educational, and/or volunteer experience. It should also include any plans to pursue a career in environmental law. If applying to both, please submit a different Statement of Interest per program.

Character and Fitness Addendum

If an applicant answers “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section, an addendum is required. Applicants must provide a statement that includes the date(s) of occurrence, an explanation of relevant circumstances, and how the matter was resolved for each “Yes” response in that section. If an applicant has questions or is uncertain about how to answer, the applicant is strongly encouraged to consult our Office of Admissions and/or the Committee of Bar Examiners in the state in which the applicant intends to practice law.

Optional Addendum

Applicants may include an optional addendum to highlight, for example diversity, or address any issues not included in their personal statement. Applicants should also include an addendum to address significant disparities in their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores. The personal statement, resume, and any addenda must be uploaded to the LSAC website as part of the online application.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation. Letters from current or former professors, professional colleagues, and/or supervisors who can attest to the applicant’s intellectual and professional attributes are most effective. Letters from friends, family members, and other such acquaintances are not advisable. All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender directly to LSAC. Read more about submitting letters of recommendation.

Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report

LSAC will consolidate each applicant’s LSAT score(s), post-secondary transcripts, and letters of recommendation into a single CAS Report, which is sent to each law school indicated by the applicant.

LSAT Score – Applicants must have a valid LSAT score. LSAT scores that are less than three years old are preferred, and scores that are more than five years old will not be considered (no exceptions). Read more about the LSAT.

Transcripts – Applicants must provide all undergraduate and graduate (if any) school transcripts directly to LSAC for inclusion in the CAS Report. AT MINIMUM, APPLICANTS MUST POSSESS A BACHELOR’S DEGREE FROM AN ACCREDITED UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTION BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. Admitted students are required to submit an official transcript reflecting the bachelor’s degree and conferral date. GGU Law will withdraw offers of admission from admitted students who cannot show proof of a conferred bachelor’s degree. Read more about requesting transcripts from LSAC.

Online Status Check

Through the LSAC website, GGU Law provides an Online Status Check for applicants to check the progress of their application. We encourage applicants to check their status via this service, as it provides the most up-to-date information. Once the Admissions Office receives an application, the applicant is emailed a confirmation, which includes a unique username and password to access the Online Status Check.

JD Honors Lawyering Program:

GGU Law offers an Honors Lawyering Program (HLP) as part of its JD Program. This prestigious program integrates practice-based learning with real-world apprenticeships in courts, law firms, and government agencies around the world. To be considered for admission into HLP, be sure to check the appropriate box on the JD Program application. The JD Program application requirements remain the same. Due to scheduling restrictions, part-time evening students are not eligible to be considered for HLP.

JD Transfer and Visiting Student Applicants:

GGU Law welcomes applicants from other law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California (CBA).

Application Periods and Deadlines

Fall Semester:

  • Application period begins: May 1
  • Application deadline: July 15*

Spring Semester:

  • Application period begins: October 15
  • Application deadline: December 15*

Please note that Transfer and Visiting applications may be accepted after the deadline. Contact our office for details.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Students who have successfully completed at least one academic year at an ABA- or CBA-accredited law school may apply to transfer to GGU Law as a continuing student. There is no application fee for transfer students.

Applications for transfer students must include the following:

  • Application for Transfer/Visiting Students available on the LSAC website.
  • Official law school transcripts and syllabi for all law school coursework
  • Current resume
  • Personal essay explaining why the applicant wishes to study at GGU Law
  • Letter of good academic standing from the Dean or Registrar’s Office at the current law school
  • Letter of recommendation from a current law professor is strongly encouraged, but is not required
  • Copy of the applicant’s LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report

Students offered admission may be eligible to receive credit for a maximum of 43 units completed at an ABA-accredited law school, or 29 units completed at a CBA-accredited law school for which a minimum grade of C or equivalent was earned. GGU Law evaluates the quality of transfer units and determines the number of units that will transfer to GGU Law. Admitted transfer students are required to meet with Student Affairs prior to registration to schedule classes and complete enrollment. Contact Student Affairs at 415-442-6615.

VISITING STUDENTS

Applicants who have successfully completed at least one year of study at an ABA- or CBA-accredited law school may apply to attend GGU Law as a visiting student. A visiting student is defined as a student who wishes to attend GGU Law for one or more semesters, but expects to receive a degree from his or her original law school. There is no application fee for visiting students. Note: Students in good standing at an ABA- or CBA-accredited law school who wish to take six or fewer units at GGU Law do not need to apply for visiting status.

Applications for visiting students must include the following:

  • Application for Transfer/Visiting Students available on the Law School Admission Council LSAC website
  • Official law school transcripts
  • Personal essay explaining why the applicant wishes to attend GGU Law as a visiting student
  • Letter of good academic standing from the Dean or Registrar’s Office at the current law school
  • Letter of recommendation from a current law professor is strongly encouraged, but is not required
  • A completed Consortium Agreement from the applicant’s current law school
Required Documents

All visiting and transfer applicants must submit their law school transcripts as part of the application. Transfer students must also provide syllabi for all law school coursework. Visiting students are also required to download and complete a Consortium Form.

Personal Essay

The personal essay is the applicant’s opportunity to address the Admissions Committee. The personal essay is also considered a writing sample and should explain the applicant’s reasons for enrolling in law school and for wanting to visit or transfer to GGU Law. It should be concise, well organized, and no longer than two double-spaced pages, typed in 12-point font. Please do not submit books, videos, recordings, plays, theses, dissertations, or other materials in lieu of or in addition to the personal essay, as these materials will not be reviewed.

Letter of Good Academic Standing

A letter of good academic standing is required for every transfer or visiting student. Applications that do not include a letter of good academic standing will be considered incomplete and will receive an unfavorable decision. For visiting students, the letter of good academic standing should certify that the credits earned at GGU Law will be applied toward satisfaction of the original law school’s degree requirements. Visiting students may not request an incomplete grade or other privileges afforded regular GGU Law students.

Letter of Recommendation

Transfer and visiting student applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit at least one letter of recommendation from a current law school professor. We strongly discourage letters of recommendation from friends, acquaintances, and/or family members who can attest only to issues of personal character.

Seat Deposit

Upon admission to GGU Law, transfer and visiting students may be required to make a non-refundable seat deposit to secure a seat in the entering class. All deposits will be credited toward the student’s initial tuition payment.

FINANCIAL AID FOR TRANSFER & VISITING STUDENTS

Visiting students at GGU Law must arrange financial aid through their original law school. Transfer students may apply for financial aid through the GGU Law Financial Aid Office.

LLM Program Admission:

Application Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admission cycle. To receive consideration by the Admissions Committee, applicants must submit their applications by the posted deadline. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and are reviewed on a space-available basis. Applicants may use the electronic application form available through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website or apply directly by submitting a completed application to gradlawadmit@ggu.edu. Applicants are advised to read the application form thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully. Applications are open one year prior to the start of the term.

A complete LLM program application consists of the following:

  • Completed and signed Application Form;
  • Personal Statement;
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.);
  • Character and Fitness Addendum (if applicable);
  • Letters of Recommendation;
  • Law School Transcripts (translated if not in English);
  • Interview (if applicable); and
  • Non-US applicants must submit additional documents, including English proficiency demonstrated with either the TOEFL, IELTS, interview with Program Director, or waived for the exceptions

Fees and Deadlines

There is no fee to apply. It is highly recommended that applicants apply prior to the priority deadline as admission and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis.

  • April 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Fall (August), deadline extension to May 15
  • October 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Spring (January)
  • April 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Summer (late May) – limited to Taxation and Estate Planning programs ONLY.

Admission Process

Applications are complete when they contain all of the required materials detailed below. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. A decision is typically rendered four to six weeks after an application is forwarded to the Committee, but may be reached sooner. Applicants will be notified of decisions through email and LSAC’s Online Status Check (see below). All admission decisions are final.

Personal Statement

Applicants must submit a personal statement. The statement must be no more than 10 double-spaced, typed 8.5-11-inch (or A4) pages. The statement is the applicant’s opportunity to present credentials in non-statistical terms and may include reasons for seeking the degree. The statement may also address the applicant’s experiences as a law student or practitioner in the subject area of the specific LLM program. The applicant is encouraged to describe the impact of these experiences in the decision to undertake graduate legal study. The statement should be in narrative form. Applicants MUST certify their authorship of the statement, and the fact that they did not receive undue assistance in its preparation.

Resume or C.V.

Applicants must include a current resume or C.V. detailing educational and work history along with any current or past community service or volunteer experience.

Character and Fitness Addendum

If an applicant answers “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section, an addendum is required. Applicants must provide a statement that includes the date(s) of occurrence, an explanation of relevant circumstances, and how the matter was resolved for each “Yes” response in that section. If an applicant has questions or is uncertain about how to answer, the applicant is strongly encouraged to consult our Office of Admissions and/or the Committee of Bar Examiners in the state in which the applicant intends to practice law.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation. Letters from current or former professors, professional colleagues, and/or supervisors who can attest to the applicant’s intellectual and professional attributes are most effective. Letters from friends, family members, and other such acquaintances are not advisable. Required (at least 2, but 4 encouraged) for the LLM Programs in US Legal Studies, International Legal Studies, Intellectual Property, and Environmental Law. Recommended for the Taxation and Estate Planning Programs. All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender directly.

Law School Transcripts

Applicants must provide all undergraduate and graduate school transcripts. AT MINIMUM, APPLICANTS MUST POSSESS A JD, LLM OR EQUIVALENT LAW DEGREE FROM A LAW SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. Applicants are required to provide original, official transcripts or certified true copies of their academic record, whether from a U.S. institution or non-U.S. institution. These records must be in the original issuing language and come directly from the issuing academic institution. If that issuing language is not English, a certified English translation must accompany the record. If these records are included with the applicant’s submission, academic records should be in an official, sealed envelope from the institution. GGU Law will withdraw offers of admission from admitted students who cannot show proof of a conferred law degree.

Interview

Although an interview is not required, one may be scheduled upon request.

Credit Transfers

For ABA-approved JD or LLM programs, up to twelve (12) completed units may be transferred in at admission. To be considered, the applicant must have taken the course within the last five years; the applicant must have earned grades of B- or better (minimum 2.50 GPA); the course must be equivalent to a required or elective course in that particular LLM program; and the LLM Program Director must determine that application of the units towards the degree is in the best interest of the student. The application of units is at the discretion of the specific LLM Program Director. Units from any non-law school program, or non-ABA-approved JD or LLM program will not be transferred in at admission.

Online Status Check

Through the LSAC website, GGU Law provides an Online Status Check for applicants to check the progress of their application. We encourage applicants to check their status via this service, as it provides the most up-to-date information. Once the Admissions Office receives an application, the applicant is emailed a confirmation, which includes a unique username and password to access the Online Status Check.

SJD Program Admission:

Application Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admission cycle. To receive consideration by the Admissions Committee, applicants must submit their applications by the posted deadline. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and are reviewed on a space-available basis. Applicants may use the electronic application form available through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website or apply directly by submitting a completed application to gradlawadmit@ggu.edu. Applicants are advised to read the application form thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully. Applications are open one year prior to the start of the term.

A complete SJD program application consists of the following:

  • Completed and signed Application Form;
  • Research Statement;
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.);
  • Writing Sample
  • Character and Fitness Addendum (if applicable);
  • Letters of Recommendation;
  • Law School Transcripts (translated if not in English);
  • Interview (if applicable); and
  • Non-US applicants must submit additional documents

Fees and Deadlines

There is no fee to apply. It is highly recommended that applicants apply prior to the priority deadline as admission and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis.

  • March 1 is the priority application deadline

Please note fall semester classes are scheduled August to December, spring semester classes are scheduled January to May, and summer semester classes are scheduled May to July, with most classes held in the evening.

Admission Process

Applications are complete when they contain all of the required materials detailed below. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. A decision is typically rendered four to six weeks after an application is forwarded to the Committee, but may be reached sooner. Applicants will be notified of decisions through email and LSAC’s Online Status Check (see below). All admission decisions are final.

Research Statement

Applicants must submit a written research statement. The statement must be no more than 10 double-spaced, typed 8.5-11-inch (or A4) pages. The statement should provide a narrative description of the applicant’s reasons for seeking an SJD in International Legal Studies degree. It should also set forth in specific terms the applicant’s intended fields of inquiry and research objectives. In addition, the applicant may submit a bibliography in support of the statement. Please note that the bibliography is not an acceptable substitute for the narrative research statement. View the SJD procedural guidelines.

Resume or C.V.

Applicants must include a current resume or C.V. detailing educational and work history along with any current or past community service or volunteer experience.

SJD Writing Sample

Applicants must submit one writing sample written in the English language on a legal topic (e.g., published article or LLM thesis).

Character and Fitness Addendum

If an applicant answers “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section, an addendum is required. Applicants must provide a statement that includes the date(s) of occurrence, an explanation of relevant circumstances, and how the matter was resolved for each “Yes” response in that section. If an applicant has questions or is uncertain about how to answer, the applicant is strongly encouraged to consult our Office of Admissions and/or the Committee of Bar Examiners in the state in which the applicant intends to practice law.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation. Letters from current or former professors, professional colleagues, and/or supervisors who can attest to the applicant’s intellectual and professional attributes are most effective. Letters from friends, family members, and other such acquaintances are not advisable. All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender directly.

Law School Transcripts

Applicants must provide all undergraduate and graduate school transcripts. AT MINIMUM, APPLICANTS MUST POSSESS AN LLM OR EQUIVALENT LAW DEGREE FROM A LAW SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. Applicants are required to provide original, official transcripts or certified true copies of their academic record, whether from a U.S. institution or non-U.S. institution. These records must be in the original issuing language and come directly from the issuing academic institution. If that issuing language is not English, a certified English translation must accompany the record. If these records are included with the applicant’s submission, academic records should be in an official, sealed envelope from the institution. GGU Law will withdraw offers of admission from admitted students who cannot show proof of a conferred law degree.

Interview

Although an interview is not required, one may be scheduled upon request.

Online Status Check

Through the LSAC website, GGU Law provides an Online Status Check for applicants to check the progress of their application. We encourage applicants to check their status via this service, as it provides the most up-to-date information. Once the Admissions Office receives an application, the applicant is emailed a confirmation, which includes a unique username and password to access the Online Status Check.

J-1 Visa Visiting Scholar Admission:

GGU Law’s J-1 Visiting Scholar Program is intended to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences. It is also intended to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries.

Application Requirements

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admission cycle. To receive consideration by the Admissions Committee, applicants must submit their applications by the posted deadline. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and are reviewed on a space-available basis. Applicants may use the electronic application form available through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website or apply directly by submitting a completed application to gradlawadmit@ggu.edu. Applicants are advised to read the application form thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully. Applications are open one year prior to the start of the term.

A complete LLM program application consists of the following:

Completed and signed Application Form;

  • Personal Statement;
  • Research Statement;
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.);
  • Character and Fitness Addendum (if applicable);
  • Letters of Recommendation;
  • Law School Transcripts (translated if not in English); and
  • Additional Documents

Fees and Deadlines

There is no fee to apply. It is highly recommended that applicants apply prior to the priority deadline as admission and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis.

  • April 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Fall (August)
  • October 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Spring (January)
  • April 1 is the priority application deadline for starting the program in the Summer (late May)

Admission Process

Applications are complete when they contain all of the required materials detailed below. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. A decision is typically rendered four to six weeks after an application is forwarded to the Committee, but may be reached sooner. Applicants will be notified of decisions through email and LSAC’s Online Status Check (see below). All admission decisions are final.

Personal Statement

Applicants must submit a personal statement. The statement must be no more than two double-spaced, typed pages in 12-point font. The statement should specifically address the applicant’s motivation for attending GGU Law’s J-1 Program. The statement may also address the applicant’s ethnicity/race, employment history, cultural background, or any unique personal characteristics that would contribute to the university’s law school community. Applicants MUST certify their authorship of the statement, and the fact that they did not receive undue assistance in its preparation.

Research Statement

Applicants must submit a written research statement. The statement must be no more than 10 double-spaced, typed 8.5-11-inch (or A4) pages. The statement should provide a narrative description of the applicant’s intended fields of inquiry and research objectives.

Resume or C.V.

Applicants must include a current resume or C.V. detailing educational and work history along with any current or past community service or volunteer experience.

Character and Fitness Addendum

If an applicant answers “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section, an addendum is required. Applicants must provide a statement that includes the date(s) of occurrence, an explanation of relevant circumstances, and how the matter was resolved for each “Yes” response in that section. If an applicant has questions or is uncertain about how to answer, the applicant is strongly encouraged to consult our Office of Admissions and/or the Committee of Bar Examiners in the state in which the applicant intends to practice law.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation. Letters from current or former professors, professional colleagues, and/or supervisors who can attest to the applicant’s intellectual and professional attributes are most effective. Letters from friends, family members, and other such acquaintances are not advisable. All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender directly.

Law School Transcripts

Applicants must provide all undergraduate and graduate school transcripts. AT MINIMUM, APPLICANTS MUST POSSESS A JD, LLM OR EQUIVALENT LAW DEGREE FROM A LAW SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. Applicants are required to provide original, official transcripts or certified true copies of their academic record, whether from a U.S. institution or non-U.S. institution. These records must be in the original issuing language and come directly from the issuing academic institution. If that issuing language is not English, a certified English translation must accompany the record. If these records are included with the applicant’s submission, academic records should be in an official, sealed envelope from the institution. GGU Law will withdraw offers of admission from admitted students who cannot show proof of a conferred law degree.

Interview

Although an interview is not required, one may be scheduled upon request.

Online Status Check

Through the LSAC website, GGU Law provides an Online Status Check for applicants to check the progress of their application. We encourage applicants to check their status via this service, as it provides the most up-to-date information. Once the Admissions Office receives an application, the applicant is emailed a confirmation, which includes a unique username and password to access the Online Status Check.

International Applicants

Golden Gate University School of Law is an award-winning, ABA-accredited law school with a prime location in the heart of San Francisco. GGU Law offers an innovative and personalized learning experience that produces a diverse group of graduates with the skill, judgment, and knowledge to become exceptional lawyers for today’s truly global market.

GGU Law invites qualified applicants from around the globe to expand and enhance their education.

JD Program:

INTERNATIONAL (NON-US) APPLICANTS

Applicants to the JD Program who completed an undergraduate degree outside the U.S. or Canada must fulfill all GGU Law JD Program application requirements, including submitting transcripts and letters of recommendation to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and registering through LSAC for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Visit the LSAC website for more information about transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the LSAT.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

JD Program applicants who received undergraduate instruction in a language other than English must satisfy the Admissions Committee of the proficiency of their English language abilities. An official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the appropriate program at GGU Law satisfies this requirement. Visit the TOEFL website.

The TOEFL Institution Code for Golden Gate University is 4329

The TOEFL Department Code for the School of Law is 03

Alternatively, applicants who received undergraduate instruction in a language other than English may satisfy the Admissions Committee of their English proficiency by their performance on the LSAT.

LLM and SJD Programs:

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:
  • Application form, personal statement, and transcripts in accordance with our LLM or SJD application requirements.
  • Resume or CV
  • Official TOEFL score report sent to GGU Law directly from the testing agency as detailed below or through LSAC.
  • Official Certification of Finances form with bank seal and accompanying documents.
  • Letters of Recommendation; Optional (no more than 3 accepted); 2 min required for U.S. Legal Studies, International Law, & Environmental law.

Read more about the LLM admissions process on the LSAC website.

TRANSCRIPTS

GGU Law requires a complete and detailed report, including course breakdown, grade evaluation, and degree equivalency. A report of basic equivalency is insufficient information.

We recommend that LLM and SJD applicants from other nations bring with them an extra copy of their official transcripts of undergraduate and law studies as well as any official documents they have received from the courts or bar associations of their home country indicating that they have been admitted to practice law in that country. Students planning to prepare for a bar examination may need a transcript evaluation by an independent agency. This evaluation can be completed after students arrive to begin the LLM or SJD programs.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

Applicants who received their degrees outside the United States must satisfy the Admissions Committee of the proficiency of their English language abilities. An official TOEFL score report sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the appropriate program at GGU Law satisfies this requirement. Visit the TOEFL Website.

The TOEFL Institution Code for Golden Gate University is 4329

The TOEFL Department Code for the School of Law is 03

Applicants must receive a minimum TOEFL score of 580 Paper-based test (PBT), or 92 Internet-based test (iBT) for the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs in U.S. Legal Studies, International Legal Studies, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Taxation, and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.

TOEFL Practice Online is a community for test takers preparing for the next generation TOEFL test, or anyone wishing to improve their academic English skills. This is the ONLY website that has official test material from the new TOEFL test that will assess these language skills: Listening, Writing, Reading, Speaking. By becoming a member you can access helpful information, discussion boards, sample responses from a speaking test, and purchase a practice test and practice questions. TOEFL Practice Online Website.

GGU Law accepts International English Language Testing (IELTS) scores. Students need about Level 6.5 to be admitted to the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.

Proficiency may be demonstrated with either the TOEFL, IELTS, interview with Program Director, or waived for the exceptions.

HOW TO APPLY

You may submit your application to the LLM or SJD program through LSAC, which is the preferred method, or you may complete the paper application (LLM Application | SJD Application) and send it (signed and dated) to the following U.S. mailing address:

Golden Gate University School of Law
Graduate Law Programs
536 Mission Street, Suite 3300
San Francisco, CA, USA 94105-2968

To have a LLM or SJD application form mailed to you, email gradlaw@ggu.edu.

APPLYING TO THE J-1 VISITING SCHOLAR PROGRAM

A J-1 visa authorizes a sponsored scholar from abroad to research through a qualified US law school. Golden Gate University School of Law is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year to engage in significant independent legal research projects. Prospective scholars may apply to the program as Senior Visiting Scholars – professors, government officials, and law professionals.

Since 2003, sponsored SJD students have engaged in significant independent legal research projects at Golden Gate University School of Law, located in the financial district of the world’s most dynamic city, San Francisco, California, USA. These scholars have included students from many countries, including Iraq, Taiwan, and Turkey; attorneys from the major law firm HanaLaw; prosecutors from the South Korean Ministry of Justice; and senior Judges and court officials from the Supreme Court of Korea.

Since the inception of our Center for Advanced International Legal Studies in 1990, Golden Gate University School of Law’s international legal studies program has expanded from the traditional notion of international law to encompass a broader range of international and comparative legal studies. GGU’s rich offerings in international legal studies are enhanced by our diverse community of graduate law students from around the world, including experienced lawyers and professors of law who represent many of the world’s major legal systems. The center stands in a unique position to provide opportunities for its students and graduates.

J-1 Visiting Scholars also are eligible to enroll in the ELS Language Center of San Francisco located near the campus of Golden Gate University. ELS Language Centers are an industry leader in advanced English language instruction for professionals. Their wide range of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are designed to help advance research, careers, and to improve advanced English.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The visiting scholar application process consists of two parts: admission to GGU School of Law Graduate Law and approval of a J-1 Scholar visa.

LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION

Prospective visiting scholars must first submit an application to the School of Law using the LLM Application form and checking the J-1 Visiting Scholar box. The completed application should include:

  • Personal Statement (1-3 pages, double-spaced)
  • Research Statement with a description of the applicant’s research plans and an explanation of the importance of conducting research at GGU School of Law (No more than 10 pages, double spaced)
  • Proof of English Proficiency (Proficiency may be demonstrated with either the TOEFL, IELTS, interview with Program Director, or waived for the exceptions)
  • Letter of Support (LOS required from employer or academic institution)
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs not required for J-1, no more than 3 LORs should be submitted)

All applicants accepted into the visiting scholars program are considered “in residence” scholars and are expected to conduct their proposed research at GGU School of Law. Applications are reviewed for each applicant’s academic background, research interests, scholarly achievements, and English-language proficiency.

J-1 VISAS

Most foreign visiting scholars will need to obtain a J-1 visa to pursue their research at GGU School of Law. J-1 visas are obtained by the issuance of a DS-2019 document. Applicants who obtain law school approval will receive a DS-2019 form along with the GGU School of Law J-1 Visiting Scholar invitation letter. DS-2019 applications are processed after an applicant is admitted to GGU as a J-1 scholar. Processing of the DS-2019 application takes from 1-2 weeks.

RESEARCH FACILITIES

Upon payment of the GGU School of Law fees and the receipt of a campus GGU ID card, visiting scholars have access to research services through the GGU School of Law. Most important, they have full use of the law library’s extensive collection of legal material, which includes US and other common law jurisdictions as well as the law of more than 50+ jurisdictions of the world, and a collection of international, comparative, and human rights law. Visiting scholars may use the library any time the Golden Gate University Law Library is open. They may borrow any regularly circulating material from the law library and from most other campus libraries as well. In addition, visiting scholars obtain passwords to both Lexis and Westlaw, the two most important legal research databases in the United States. With these passwords visiting scholars will have access to extensive collections of US primary legal materials, journals and reviews, treatises and practice material, as well as to international law, newspapers, and other periodicals.

Due to space and budget restrictions, the law school cannot provide offices or library carrels for visiting scholars. Visiting scholars may be able to consult with law school faculty members in their specialized field of study, and they may audit law school classes with the professor’s permission. Academic credit is not given for audited courses.

COMPUTING & OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES

Wireless access is available throughout the law school, including the law library. Once visiting scholars have their GGU4YOU ID card, they may use their laptop computers anywhere in the law school and in many locations throughout the GGU campus. In addition, the law library has a number of computers that can be used to gain access to all databases licensed by the campus, as well as to .edu .gov and .org websites. A commercial, fee-based, copying service is available in the law library.

LIVING EXPENSES

Living expenses/costs for an individual scholar are at a minimum $2,200 per month. A married couple should expect to incur expenses of at least $2,500 per month, plus $200 per child. Proof of source funding, based on these amounts, are required for GGU Graduate Law and J-1 visa approval.

Auditing Courses

Members of the bar, GGU Law alumni, graduates of other law schools, and members of foreign bars may request to audit courses.

Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with federal and state law, Golden Gate University policy prohibits discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, religion, religious creed, age, veteran’s status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or any other basis that is protected by law. Under the law, these forms of description are referred to as one’s membership in a “Protected Class” of people. Applicable laws governing these prohibitions include Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

For the purpose of this policy, “discrimination” is any decision, act, or failure to act which interferes with or limits a person’s or group’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, privileges, or activities of the University when such decision, act, or failure to act is based on the person’s status as a member of a Protected Class.

Claims for harassment that are not based on an individual’s membership in a Protected Class shall be handled under the applicable disciplinary process.

The University’s policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment applies to all individuals involved in University operations, including students, faculty and staff; applicants for admission or employment; and any persons doing business with or for the University.

Contact

It is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the Admissions Office of any changes (e.g., mailing address, email address, and/or phone number) that may occur after an application has been submitted. Contact the following regarding any such amendments:

JD Program: lawadmit@ggu.edu or 415-442-6630

Graduate Law Programs: gradlawadmit@ggu.edu or 415-369-5289

For document submissions:

Golden Gate University Law Admissions Office
536 Mission Street, Suite 3320
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968, USA