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SJD Application Instructions

The SJD program is for individuals who already hold an LLM degree or its equivalent either from Tulane University or other accredited American universities or foreign universities which the Graduate Affairs Committee has ascertained have good standing among the higher education community in the home country. Candidates must have received their LLM or the equivalent degrees with distinction. A Tulane LLM graduate will need to have a 3.5 average or better to graduate with distinction. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply on-line (support is provided by the Law School Admission Council, LSAC).  This method enables candidates to complete the application materials on-line, upload attachments, and submit the application over the Internet. Hard copy application materials can be provided upon request; contact admissions@law.tulane.edu or call 504.865.5930. All required application materials must be on file with the Office of Admission by April 1. 

A summary of the application requirements can be found below. 

1. Complete the Application Form

  • Please provide a personal statement or essay as required by the application. The statement should be used to provide information about yourself and your interests that you consider significant to our evaluation of your file.

  • Provide a brief description of your reasons for wishing to pursue the SJD at Tulane Law School.

  • Provide a brief statement describing the area of law you will pursue as a candidate for the SJD.

  • Submit a résumé or curriculum vitae.

  • Strong interest in and support of the proposal and the candidacy of the applicant by a Tulane Law School faculty member who is willing to serve as a supervisor will be an important factor in the Committee's decision. Applicants are, therefore, strongly encouraged to make every effort to find a supervisor, but they are discouraged from circulating mass letters to the faculty of the Law School. Tulane President Michael Fitts and the Dean and Vice Dean of the Law School do not supervise SJD students, so applicants are encouraged to seek alternative faculty support. 

  • Provide an addendum naming the faculty members at Tulane Law School whom you have contacted about your work, and include a description of their level of interest in your work.  An applicant’s inability to secure faculty interest in their research does not preclude the applicant from applying to Tulane Law School; however, it significantly reduces the likelihood of admission to the SJD program. 

  • If applicable, submit a list of citations of any published work, and submit copies of any unpublished relevant writing as evidence of ability to perform scholarly research.

 2. Official transcripts

  • Tulane Law School requires complete, official transcripts of work at all colleges, universities, and law schools attended, whether or not a degree was granted.

  • If your law transcripts do not include your class rank, arrange for Tulane to receive documentation from your law schools indicating your class rank and/or an evaluation of your strength as a student as compared to others in your graduating class. A rank is requested for your first law degree as well as for your LLM degree.

  • We encourage use of the LLM Credential Assembly Service provided by the Law School Admission Council, LSAC.org. Review our transcript evaluation requirements in the Credential Evaluation and Analysis section found above. 

3. Two Letters of Recommendation

  • Letters of recommendation should be written by two faculty members from the institutions where you received your degrees or from others who can speak directly of your ability to undertake original academic research. 

  • We prefer to receive letters of recommendation through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Letters should be mailed by the recommender directly to the LSAC.

  • Alternatively, letters can be sent by the recommender directly to Tulane Law School. Letters of recommendation should be scanned by e-mail to mgusmaop@tulane.edu or mailed to the following address: 

Tulane Law School
Office of Admission – Graduate Programs
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118 

4. Non-Refundable $100 Application Fee

The application fee may be paid through the LSAC. Contact the Tulane Law School Admission Office if you would like to pay by check or money order. 

5. Official TOEFL Score Report or Official IELTS Score Report

English proficiency testing is NOT required if the applicant's native language is English or if English was the language of instruction during the applicant's first law degree. All other applicants should arrange for Tulane Law to receive an official test score report.

Applicants who must complete English proficiency testing should take:

  • The TOEFL internet-based test , or

  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or

  • The TOEFL paper-based test , along with the Test of Written English (TWE)

The vast majority of our admissible applicants achieve a score of 575 or higher on the TOEFL paper test or 90 or higher on the TOEFL Internet-based test. Successful applicants who take the TWE typically receive a score of 3.5 or higher. The vast majority of our admissible applicants who take the IELTS achieve a band score of 7 or higher.

Tulane Law School accepts TOEFL and IELTS scores for up to three years after the test administration. Please request that ETS forward TOEFL scores to Tulane Law School (Institution #6832, Department 3). Please request that IELTS test scores be sent to Tulane Law School, Office of Admission – Graduate Programs, 6329 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

 6. SJD Research Proposal 

Provide a dissertation proposal in such detail so as to allow the Graduate Affairs Committee to determine the originality and feasibility of the proposal and the likelihood that the research will result in an original contribution to the scholarly literature.