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Frequently Asked Questions about International LL.M.
Q: Why does your admissions page require me to send you my résumé or CV first?
Before sending us any other documents, we do ask candidates to send us their résumé/CV first to determine their eligibility to apply. As we require candidates to submit a significant number of documents as part of the application package, knowing in advance whether you are qualified to apply can save you significant time and money.
Q: Do you charge fees for applying to your LL.M. program?
No. We do not charge applicants any fees.
Q: Do I have to have a law degree to apply to the ONU LL.M. program?
Yes. We only accept candidates who have law degrees.
Q: Though I do not have a law degree, I have worked for my government for several years essentially doing legal work. Do I qualify for admission?
No. A law degree is required.
Q: I have a degree in Sharia law. Can I apply to the ONU LL.M. program?
Yes. A degree in Sharia law satisfies our legal education requirement.
Q: I have been an attorney in private practice for several years but have never worked for the government or NGO. Am I eligible to apply to the ONU LL.M. program?
Yes, but because of the focus of our LLM program, we consider lawyers with experience limited to the private sector on a case-by-case basis. This means you will need to specify in your application why you are interested in our LLM program and how you plan to use the knowledge you will acquire at ONU to help advance the rule of law and democracy in your home country.
Q: In my country, we can practice law while we are in law school. Can that count as my two years of experience?
We will consider whether this experience satisfies our admission requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Q: I am currently studying English in the United States and would like to enter your LL.M. program after I complete my English language studies. Do you offer conditional acceptance?
Yes. We do offer conditional acceptance pending the candidate’s successful completion of the English language program. Additionally, the candidate has to satisfy the other requirements for admission to our LL.M. program: having a recognized law degree, having at least two years of experience in the public or nonprofit sector, being admitted to the bar, etc.
Q: You require evidence of my qualification to practice law. What kind of evidence or documentation do you need?
Countries vary greatly on the approval process for permitting a person to practice law and the documentation that process generates. In some countries, it is the Supreme Court that regulates admission to the legal profession; in others, it is the bar association (a self-governing organization of lawyers). In still others, it is a branch of the government (for example, the Ministry of Justice) that regulates permission to practice law. Most of these countries provide a certificate of admission to practice law. Yet there are countries that do not require any formal admission and allow all law school graduates to practice law without any further requirements, qualifications or certification. If your country does not provide you with a certificate or license, please provide that information to us and indicate what the qualification is and how you satisfy it.
Q: Are my references required to write their letters of recommendation on your form or may they follow their own format?
We prefer letters of recommendation on our form because they address the specific qualifications we are looking for in our candidates. Your references may use our form or draft their own letters as long as they answer the questions we specify in the form.
Q: Do I need to apply through the LSAC website?
No. We do not use LSAC. All applications should be submitted directly to us.
Q: Although English is not my native language, I can speak it very well. Why do I need to take a TOEFL or IELTS exam?
Without a special examination like TOEFL or IELTS, it is not possible for us to evaluate how well you read, write, speak and understand English. As our course of study is very demanding, English-language proficiency is crucial for your success in the LL.M. program.
Q: Although English is not my native language, all (or most) of my legal education has been in English. Do I still need to take TOEFL or IELTS?
No. If the majority of your education has been in English, you are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. However, we need some proof of your English language proficiency. For example, if your law school education was in English, you will need to provide us with a statement from the university indicating that English was the medium of instruction or specifying what percentage of your classes was taught in English.
Q: What if my score is lower than the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score you require?
The TOEFL or IELTS test is just one of the admission requirements we will assess. Considerations will be given to those with outstanding credentials and a successful interview.
Q: How do I register for the test?
Please visit the website of TOEFL (www.ets.org/toefl) and IELTS (www.ielts.org/test_takers_information.aspx) for the most up-to-date relevant information.
Q: How much do the tests cost?
The TOEFL and IELTS fees vary by country. You can find more information by going to their websites, www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/about/fees/ (TOEFL) and www.ielts.org/test_centre_search/search_results.aspx (IELTS).
Q: I took TOEFL (or IELTS) three years ago. Is my score still valid, or do I have to take the exam again?
We accept TOEFL and IELTS scores that are not more than two years old. If you took one of these exams more than two years ago, you will need to take it again.
Q: Does Ohio Northern University have an English language institute or other English language program? If I graduate from such a program, do I still need to take TOEFL or IELTS exam?
The Ohio Northern University does not have an English language institute. However, if you are enrolled in an English language program at another university in the United States, we would consider your request for a conditional admission on a case-by-case basis, pending your successful completion of the English language program. Additionally, you have to satisfy all other requirements for admission to the ONU LLM program: having a recognized law degree, having at least two years of experience in the public or non-profit sector, being admitted to the bar, etc.
Q: What is WES and why should I have to have my educational credentials evaluated by it?
World Education Services, or WES, is a nonprofit organization providing academic institutions, employers, licensing and certification boards, and government agencies in the U.S. and Canada with evaluation of educational credentials received in other countries. If you completed your education outside of the United States, you must have your credentials evaluated in order for us to have them properly understood and recognized. A WES evaluation will provide you with the U.S. academic equivalents of your credentials and allow you to pursue further education and graduate from a U.S. law school.
Q: Do I need to have a WES evaluation in order to apply to the ONU LLM program?
No. We only require a WES certification after the candidate is admitted to our LL.M. program.
Q: I have been admitted to ONU. When should I have my credentials evaluated?
You should start the process as early as possible. We require the candidates admitted to our LL.M. program to have the evaluation process started before coming to ONU. Without proof that the WES evaluation process has begun, you will not be registered for classes. Depending on the country where you received your law degree, a WES certification can take many months to complete. Keep in mind that you will not graduate unless we have your WES certification of file.
Q: What does a WES evaluation contain?
A WES evaluation compares your credentials with their U.S. educational equivalents. WES offers two types of evaluations:
- A document-by-document evaluation contains a description of your credentials, including name, year awarded, name of institution attended, and major field of study. It also provides the U.S. equivalent for each credential.
- A course-by-course evaluation contains all of the information in a document-by-document evaluation. In addition, it lists all post-secondary subjects with their corresponding value expressed in terms of U.S. semester credit and grade equivalents.
Q: Which evaluation should I choose?
We require the course-by-course evaluation because it contains the detailed information that we need.
Q: What is the cost of a WES evaluation?
A WES course-by-course evaluation currently costs $160. If you require additional services, such as rush service or express delivery, extra charges apply.
Q: How long does it take to obtain a WES evaluation?
Generally, WES can complete your evaluation in seven business days or less, depending on the type of service that you request. However, if additional research, correspondence or verification is required, the evaluation will take longer. Additionally, it may take several months for WES to receive documents from some countries. We recommend that you start the process as early as possible to ensure the timely completion of your evaluation report.
Q: Can I send my own credentials to WES?
This varies from country to country. Please consult the rules on the WES website.
Q: How do I order a WES evaluation?
Review the information on www.wes.org/students/index.asp and apply at www.wes.org/application/apply_now.asp. The system will guide you through the process.
Q: Would I be eligible to take a state bar exam and practice law in the USA if I get an LLM from ONU?
The ONU LLM program is designed for students who plan to return to their home countries and contribute to governance and law reform there. It is not intended for those who want to take an American bar exam. Further, the curriculum may not satisfy the various state requirements for foreign lawyers to sit for the bar exam.
Q: Does the LLM program assist its students and graduates in finding jobs?
The ONU LLM program provides its students and graduates with significant assistance in achieving their career goals. This includes assisting with developing students’ résumés, writing letters of recommendation on their behalf, helping with their job search, and providing need-based free individual professional membership in Devex, the largest provider of business intelligence and recruitment services to the international development community.
Q: I have been given a significant scholarship award but no assistance with living expenses. Is there a process for seeking review of my award and requesting additional assistance?
No. The process for making financial assistance awards takes many factors into account, including your individual situation, the needs of other applicants to the program, and the program’s financial aid budget. Your admission and award notice provide you with the final figure for your financial assistance.
Q: I have received the notice that I (or my sponsor) will be required to pay a significant amount of money before I can begin orientation or enroll. It is difficult for me (or my sponsor) to provide this sum at one time. Can this payment be deferred until later?
No. While it is possible to arrange for installment payments to the University during the course of your study, the amount required in advance is necessary to ensure the financial integrity of the commitment to pay the balance required for your LL.M. degree.
Q: I am from a developing country and my salary does not allow me to pay for education in the United States. Can you assist me with getting a student loan?
Unfortunately, no. The ONU College of Law does not participate in any loan programs beyond those available to citizens and permanent residents of the United States. We can certainly facilitate financial transactions with other loan providers and give them any information they may require to confirm your enrollment, but there are none we work with directly.
Q: Can I pay my tuition and fees in monthly installments instead of a lump sum at the beginning of each semester?
Yes. ONU will work with you and/or your employer or sponsor on developing a payment plan. However, please keep in mind that failure to make a full payment by the required date will result in your dismissal from the program and the University, revocation of your DS-2019, and referral to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Administration for deportation.
Q: Why am I required to buy health insurance? I am in my 20s and in good health.
It is a legal requirement for every foreign citizen coming to study in the United States to carry health insurance. Every international student is required to purchase health insurance through the University or provide ONU with the proof of health insurance coverage for a substantial amount.
Q: How much does it cost to buy health insurance through ONU?
The price of health insurance changes every year. During 2013-14, the cost of health insurance for international students was $1,300. This amount is payable at once and covers the entire academic year.
Q: What kinds of medical services are covered by the ONU health insurance plan?
The ONU student health plan provides coverage for illnesses and medical emergencies and payspart of the cost of prescription drugs. It will not pay for the treatment of pre-existing conditions (health issues you have had during the previous 12 months). Students have an option to purchase additional health insurance through the University. Please note that the University health plan for students does not cover routine vision or dental care, although these services can be added to your plan for an extra fee.
Q: Can I bring my spouse/family?
Bringing your spouse or family would require you to provide the University with proof of your capability to finance their stay in the Unites States for the duration of the LL.M. program. This is a government requirement that we have to follow in order to issue their DS-2019 forms. Additionally, you will have to find your own housing, as we do not provide support or accommodations for spouses or family members. The most we can do is provide some suggestions for securing alternative housing. Off-campus apartments and houses in Ada are mostly unfurnished.
Q: What are my housing options in Ada?
We require international LL.M. students who receive scholarship awards from the University to live in campus apartments with their classmates. While less-expensive options are available, we believe the quality, convenience and all-inclusive nature of the campus apartments make them a superior value. In addition, living with your classmates quickly builds a sense of community and shared objectives that reinforce the goals of the program.
Q: What will I need for my apartment in Ada?
International LL.M. students who live in fully furnished University apartments will have all the necessary items, including furniture, bedding, cable television, dishes, cooking utensils, etc. We also provide desktop PCs and printers if the students request them in advance. The LL.M. program arranges for a shopping trip shortly after you arrive to allow you to purchase food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other things you may need. Keep in mind that American electrical outlets are 110V/60Hz, and foreign appliances, such as electric razors and hair dryers, intended for 220V will not work here without converters. However, it is fairly inexpensive to buy compatible appliances once here. You also will need adapters, as electric plugs are different in different countries.
If you are not receiving a scholarship and choose to reside off-campus, you will need furniture, bedding, cooking utensils and dishes, etc. You also will have to enter into contracts with your landlord, utility companies (electric, gas, water, etc.), and TV and Internet service providers.
Q: What is the weather in Ohio like?
Weather in Ohio can be unpredictable. Summers are usually hot and humid, and spring and fall tend to be rainy. Thunderstorms are common from late winter until late fall. There is usually at least one big snow in the winter. The average summer temperature is +30C, winter is around 0C, and the typical spring and fall is +18C. Of course, there is some fluctuation around these average temperatures.
Q: Is there public transportation in Ada?
No. Ada is a small town and it is easy to walk or ride a bicycle to every place in town. There is no public transportation to the larger towns and cities around Ada, but the program helps arrange rides to nearby cities and towns for additional shopping and entertainment through other students, faculty and staff. There is commercial bus service from nearby towns to major cities, and there are several major airports within 90 miles.
Q: What religious worship opportunities are available in Ada?
The University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and has an active chapel program. The village of Ada has a number of other Christian churches, including Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Assembly of God. There is an active Muslim worship community in Ada, with its own mosque on campus. Orthodox, Jewish, Seventh Day Adventist, and Mormon congregations are located in nearby towns. The University chaplain facilitates transportation to these and other churches and religious organizations for the University’s diverse student body.