Admitted LLM Students
The University of Cincinnati College of Law welcomes students and international attorneys from all countries to join our LLM Master of Laws in the US Legal System program. We are a top 40 law school and the 4th oldest in the US. To date, we have welcomed students from 28 countries. This year’s class includes students from Venezuela, Uganda, Ghana, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, China, Jamaica and Colombia.
At Cincinnati Law we are committed to a vision in which “[w]e strive to create a learning environment that inspires the pursuit of justice, cultivates diverse and innovative ideas about law in society, fosters collaborative relationships, and imparts the knowledge, values, and competencies needed to excel in a changing world.” Now more than ever we are obliged to educate students to enter a world where people are interconnected — beyond borders, across oceans, and with little regard for language barriers.
Experience and exposure to people and places outside of our own neighborhood is critical. This is why our LLM program is so valuable and important. We are cultivating citizens of the world! Welcome to Cincinnati Law. We are #CitizensoftheWorld and #YouAreWelcomeHere!
2019 Orientation Materials:
Orientation Required Readings
- StrengthsFinders: You will need to acquire a new copy of the StrengthsFinder book and complete the on-line assessment prior to orientation. Please read Parts I and II as well as the corresponding strengths from your assessment outcomes.
- Whose Monet?: Before Tuesday August 13th, the first meeting of Foundations of Law, please read Chapters 1 – 6.
- Expert Learning for Law Students: Before Tuesday August 13th, the first meeting of Fundamentals of Legal Study, please read Chapters 4 and 5. Chapters 1-3 are highly recommended reading.
We ask that all admitted LLM students please complete and submit the student photo release form and the student services form.
ORIENTATION: Mandatory LLM Orientation begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 5th. Please enter the front doors of the law school on Clifton Avenue. We will be there to greet you and direct you to Room 204, where we will be holding Orientation. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Monday. Please bring a laptop, if you have one, and a hard copy and/or electronic copy of your resume/CV. We will go over the schedule for the rest of the week on Monday.
If you are arriving late due to visa issues, please contact Mieke at email@example.com for instructions on where to meet on your arrival day.
TAKE NOTE: Immunization Requirements - Due by Nov. 18.
All incoming undergraduate, graduate and professional students attending main campus who are registered for more than six credit hours must comply with the univeristy immunization policy. Learn more: https://www.med.uc.edu/uhs/vaccination or call: 513-556-2564
GETTING YOUR STUDENT ID CARD
Students are now able to get their Bearcat ID earlier than normal. Instructions to do are:
Email a “passport-style” photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Must have a plain background (white/cream) and well-lit
- Sized under 20kb
- Named: [M#]FirstnameLastname.jpg and attached to email
- Use the subject line: "Badge for Law School Student 2019"
Required action items for all LLM students
PART ONE: Gathering Your Documentation
- Receive acceptance letter.
- Pay confirmation fee (“seat deposit”).
- Before you can be issued a Certificate of Eligibility for a student visa (I-20 or DS-2019), you must first complete UC's Financial Certification Form. When documenting financial support, you must demonstrate that you have financial support for all years of study it will take to complete your degree.
- You should submit your financial documents as soon as possible, but no sooner than 6 months prior to your start date at UC. (This would be March 5, 2019 for LLM students.)
- We recommend that you have your I-20 or DS-2019 sent by express mail, since regular mail overseas takes 4- 6 weeks. To request express mail service, you need to go to study.eshipglobal.com. We have discounted express mail rates negotiated for UC students & scholars with DHL and FedEx, but you must use the eshipglobal service. Do not go through the DHL or FedEx websites directly.
- You will need your UC ID number, mailing address, email address, phone number and a credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards only) to set up a user account. Our office will be notified once you have requested a shipment. If you experience any difficulty, please use the "Help" link in the site for step by step instructions. If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
- You will receive periodic updates on the status of your I-20 or DS-2019 via your UC email, which is given to you after you confirm your admission. You will receive an email from us indicating what documents, if any, are missing. When your I-20 / DS-2019 has been mailed, we will tell you via email and to what address it was mailed.
- Prior to applying for your visa, you must pay a SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This fee is $200 for F-1 visas and $180 for J-1 visas. The SEVIS fee can be paid by credit card over the internet, or by check or money order via mail. If your visa has been denied, you do not need to pay the fee again if you re-apply for the same visa within 12 months.
You will not be able to apply for a visa interview until you have finished these steps.
- Make an appointment with the American Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction over your home country. The U.S. immigration rule states that the F1 visa can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start of the program, so you should call early to schedule your appointment for up to four months before the start date of your program (for LLM students, this would be April 8, 2019).
Although you may apply at any U.S. Consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. You will need to complete the DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. If you want to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate in Canada or Mexico, please download the instructions.
Find the embassy or consulate closest to you. You should apply for your visa well before the date you would like to depart for Cincinnati. The summer period is very busy at the U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, and it is important for you to have your visa so that you can arrive in time to begin your program.
Appointments are now mandatory for all visas, and some U.S. embassies and consulates require that appointments be made at least four to eight weeks in advance. All U.S. embassies and consulates have a website where you can read the latest information on visa procedures.
- When you know what city your visa interview will be in, we can provide a Letter of Support from our Senator’s office for you to bring with you. If you would like a Letter of Support, please email us the following:
- Your Name EXACTLY as it appears on your passport
- Your Date of Birth (in the format: month/day/year)
- Your Passport Number
- The City and Country in which you will attend your visa interview
Please gather everything you will need for the I-20 and for your visa interview so that you will be ready when the deadlines come.
PART TWO: The Visa Interview
- The MOST COMMON reason that students’ visas get DENIED is that there is not enough evidence that they plan to return home after the LLM program or that they indicate in any way that they hope to stay in the United States permanently.
Prove that your stay is temporary using appropriate documentation. U.S. law very clearly states that F and J visas may be given only to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily. This rule is the number one reason that visa applications are denied. You must prove that you intend to return to your country after completing your program. You can demonstrate this by following these tips:
You must have a definite academic or professional objective. You must know what you are going to study and where it will lead. Be ready to say what you want to study and what kind of career it will prepare you for in your home country. Be prepared to explain why it is better for you to study in the U.S. than at home.
- You must be qualified for the program.
- You must be definite about your choice of schools. If you do not seem certain that you want to study or work at the University of Cincinnati, you will not get a visa.
- You must be adequately financed and have documents to prove it. Except in the case when employment is specifically authorized on the Form-I-20 (i.e. graduate assistantship), you may not plan to use employment as support while you are in the U.S.
- Remain calm and impersonal when speaking to the consular officer. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.
- Do not emphasize any ties you may have to the United States or to family members in the United States.
- U.S. government officials are convinced more easily by written documents than by spoken statements. When possible, show your connections to your home country.
- If your family owns property, take the deeds.
- If you have a brother or sister who studied in the U.S. and then returned home, take a copy of the brother’s or sister’s diploma and a statement from an employer showing that they have returned home.
- If possible, show that an individual or company in your home country will give you a job when you return. If you cannot get a promise of a job, try to get a letter saying that you will be considered for a job, or that the company needs people with the kind of education you are coming to the U.S. to receive.
- If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank, describing the business, to the visa interview with you.
- Your visa application if at least part of your financial support comes from your home country.
- Please reach out to people in your country that you may know who have gone through this process before. They may have tips that are relevant to YOUR country.
- Dress professionally for your interview.
- EducationUSA offers video tutorials on how to ace the visa interview.
- Bring all necessary documents to your visa interview. These documents include the following:
- Required photo(s)
- Visa fee or proof of visa fee payment
- Federal SEVIS Fee payment receipt
- U.S. non-immigrant visa application forms (unless you will completing it at the consulate or embassy)
- University of Cincinnati College of Law LLM admission letter
- University of Cincinnati SEVIS I-20 or SEVIS DS-2019
- Test scores and academic records
- Proof of English proficiency
- Proof of financial support (if applicable)
- Evidence of ties to your home country
- Any other documents required by the embassy or consulate
- Please keep us informed as to your progress on obtaining a visa!
- Remember that LLM Orientation begins August 5th and that we are expecting students to arrive by August 1st to get settled and prepared to start the program. You will not be allowed to enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019, so please plan your travel accordingly.
- The majority of UC students and scholars will be successful in obtaining their visas. Despite this, a small number may have their visa applications denied. The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial. If your visa is denied, please send an e-mail message to us and to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide the date and location of your visa interview and details regarding the reason given by the visa officer for the denial. We will help you reapply or determine your next steps.
All LLM students will take U.S. Legal System and LLM Legal Research and Writing in the fall semester. Beyond those two classes, you may choose an additional two or three classes. To help make your selections, I suggest the following steps. Please think about these considerations, and we will discuss your options during our call.
Do you plan to pursue a bar exam in the U.S.? If so, you will want to research the bar rules for the relevant state and carefully consider what you need to do to become both eligible and prepared. To be prepared, you should take as many classes as possible covering material that will be tested on your bar exam. View the Ohio Bar rules.
Do you plan to focus on a particular area of law?
- Review our Professional Pathways to better understand the classes, clinics and other opportunities and how they relate to various areas of the law. Please note that different classes are offered each year.
- You may choose to earn a Business Law Concentration
Review the College of Law course offerings for Fall 2019 as shown on the attachment and make a list of classes you wish to take. You will want to make note of days and times to avoid conflicts. All LLM students are required to take US Legal System (3 credits) and Legal Research and Writing (3 credits) during fall semester. All other courses during your LLM are your choice. To plan for Spring 2020, you can review the course offerings from Spring 2019. The 2019 list won’t be identical, but it will be quite similar.
Tips on Choosing Classes for your LLM Year
- If you are a full-time student, you must register for at least 12 credits, and you may not register for more than 18 credits. We recommend 15-16 credits each semester.
- Some bar classes are offered in only ONE semester
- Fall Only: Constitutional Law I, Civil Procedure II, Contracts, Torts, and Evidence
- Spring Only: Constitutional Law II, Civil Procedure II, Property, Criminal Law
- All students who plan to take a bar exam in the US should take Legal Ethics in the fall or in the spring.
- LLM students may apply for clinics and internships (which we call “externships”) for the spring semester. Applications will be available in November.
- LLM students may audit one class. You will not earn credit for this class. You may not audit if you have already enrolled in 18 credits. You must discuss an audit with Assistant Dean Wagner, and you will need to obtain the permission of the instructor
- We offer a slightly different collection of classes each year, so we do not guarantee that the same classes are offered each year.
- Occasionally, classes fill up or are canceled. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have additional, “backup” choices in mind.
We look forward to your arrival in August. PLEASE NOTE THAT LLM ORIENTATION BEGINS AUGUST 5th. Please plan to arrive in Cincinnati no later than August 1st in order to get settled and ready for the beginning of the program on August 5th.
First, if you have not already done so, please join our LLM Admitted Student Facebook Group.
You should also join UC International’s new closed Facebook group page for "UC International 2019-2020 Arrivals". Our admitted students can go to the page and request to join. You can post questions/answers and find information on housing, etc.
Next, we will send you some information regarding graduate student housing at our university.
There are many options for apartments very close to the law school--within walking distance or close to a bus stop that would connect you to the law building.
UC’s Graduate Housing Office offers information on several UC-run apartment complexes open to graduates, staff, and faculty only. This means they are quiet and good for studying. Senator Place and Deckebach apartments are within walking distance to UC Law, and Bellevue Apartments connects easily to UC Law with the UC Shuttle Bus, which runs every 15 minutes all day and evening. If these apartments have waiting lists. I would encourage you to put your name on a waiting list if you have decided on one of these options. Click here for more information.
Bellevue Gardens is a bit further from UC Law than Senator Place or Deckebach. (I have been told that Senator Place is already full for the coming school year.)
This next link will take you to a compilation of apartments, homes, and rooms for rent that our current UC Law students are living in and will be vacating this summer. Housing options where current students have had good experiences with locations and landlords are on this list. Please note that there are two tabs, one for housing in Cincinnati, and the other for housing in Northern Kentucky, which is right across the river and considered part of Cincinnati (even our airport is on that side of the river!).
If you are looking to share an apartment or house with another LLM student, feel free to announce this on our UC LLM Facebook group or on UC International’s pages for international students arriving in fall 2019 or who have arrived this past year. Many students will be leaving their apartments this summer and will be listing their apartments on these Facebook pages for new students.
Some of you might want to utilize temporary housing when you arrive and then take time to find an apartment you like. Others may have a lease that begins mid-August and need to find temporary housing to take you through the first days after arrival. UC is recommending that students find temporary housing through the website below, in hotels, or through AirBnB.com (or a similar service like VRBO.com). We can recommend good neighborhoods if you need to explore hotels or AirBnBs. Some of you might be able to share temporary housing by connecting on our LLM Admitted Student Facebook Group as well.
Private apartment listings and short-term housing options are also listed under Off-Campus Housing at https://www.uc.edu/housing/graduate.html. There is also a list of off-campus housing that you can click on there. All of those apartments are either close to UC Law or close to a bus stop.
UC also has this website with a lot of information on off‐campus housing. You can also advertise here for a roommate: https://offcampushousing.uc.edu/.