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LL.M. in California - HELP

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CaliLove
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
LL.M. in California - HELP
Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:47 PM
Hello,

I'm a german student planning to do a LL.M. in California (been there before (highschoolyear and I loved it). I have finished my First State Exam (1. Staatsexamen) with a "vollbefriedigend" (above average). I'm now doing the legal clerkship (Referendariat) and my LL.M. wouldn't start until Fall 2014! However, I'd like to get as much information as possible and asap, in order to see if there is a realistic chance to do the LL.M. program in the U.S. at all.

I have done some research so far and the following universities are my favorites:

- UCLA
- University of San Francisco
- Golden Gate University
- Berkeley
(apart from these I'm also thinking about N.Y (different state I know...but not sure about that...just because I like N.Y, too and the rep is very good).

A few pros and cons: San Francisco is my favorite place in the world. I know that the rep for S.F. universities aren't as good as the rep for UCLA or Berkeley but I would have no problem with that. Living expenses seem to be almost the same and not a big difference between these cities/universities (what would YOU recommend per month for living (rent and food and stuff?! I have heard that I should expect a rent starting at 800 dollars but 1000dollars /month would be better to calculate with). Is that true ?

The most important question to me is: the financial situation.
I'd apply for a scholarship and heard that San Francisco does offer generous scholarships (does anyone have precise information about that?).

During that whole application process: I have to submit a financial statement...WHEN do I know whether I'll receive a scholarship or not ? Do I have to state that my financial situation is e.g. 5000 dollar and with that statement I'll also apply for a scholarship or do I have to submit a financial statement that - however (loan, credit) - does already cover the whole financial expenses (tution, living expenses) !?

what kind of scholarship does any of my universities listed above have given ? Is there a chance to get a 50% scholarship (or even a full one) ?!

When will I know whether I will receive a scholarship or not (coz if I won't: I will defenitely not do a LL.M. in USA but in a different country which is less expensive (South Africa, Australia). I wonder when I will be notified about a scholarship after I hand in my application?!

Apart from that: it always says that you should make your application as soon as possible. If e.g. application deadline is februar 2014: how early CAN I make an application? summer/fall 2013 (or is that too early) ?

I'll need to hand in the TOEFL test...as I do have time now, I'd like to do the TOEFL within the next weeks. It says on the homepage that the TOEFL is valid for 2 years...however I have heard that certain universities won't accept a TOEFL that is older than a year. Have you ever heard anything like that ? Or would I be "safe" taking the TOEFL in spring 2012 and it would still be vaild for my end of 2013/spring 2014 application?!

Thank you very much for any information. I appreciate it.
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Alain

Joined: 20 Jul 2009
Posts: 84
LL.M. in California - HELP
Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:32 PM

A few pros and cons: San Francisco is my favorite place in the world. I know that the rep for S.F. universities aren't as good as the rep for UCLA or Berkeley but I would have no problem with that.


Why not go to Berkeley and live in SF? It's just 20 minutes away: mapq.st/rRkGRf
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CaliLove
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:34 AM
Good point! I may be wrong but I assume that it would be easier to be accepted at S.F. University and/or Golden Gate University. My grade is not bad...but you can still do better and I'm not sure if I'll get accepted at Berkeley AND they will give me a good scholarship.

I will see - depending on the application fees - whether I'll apply for Berkeley as well. That whole application process does already cost a lot of money.
But I have also heard that Berkeley isn't that generous with scholarships !?
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bethanyrose
Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 12
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:14 PM
Have you thought of UC Hastings?
Better reputation than Golden Gate and it offers scholarship averaging $5-10000.
I got into GGU for last year but with no funding, couldnt afford to go. Applied to Hastings this year to start 2012 and was accepted.
What year are you looking to go?
In terms of budget, I lived in SF last year and paid $750 on rent but will be planning on about $850 when I go back to give me more options.
Hope this helps a bit
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CaliLove
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:42 PM
Thnx for your response. :-) I havn't heard anything about Hastings so far (nothing good but nothing bad, too). Will keep that in mind and do some further research on Hastings and may come back to you if you don't mind! :)

How long does it take until they tell you about a scholarship after application is made ?!
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bethanyrose
Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 12
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 05:44 PM
my scholarship decision came with my acceptance.
same for santa clara where i also applied.
cant say if it is the same for all schools but most offer the chance to apply for funding at the same time you send in your application so i assume a decision will be made on both at the same time.
with external funding sources, those i have applied to have varying dates from october-august so really depends on what you are applying for.
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CaliLove
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 07:54 PM
Thanks. I really hope to get a good scholarship coz otherwise I won't do the LLM in California.

Santa Clara seems like a good choice, too. I guess I'll have to look thru all of the universities offering a LLM in the bay area again and compare them and their programs..and the chance to get a scholarship.
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bethanyrose
Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 12
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 08:31 PM
yes it is super expensive!
i got $6000 from hastings and hoping to get external but obviously not guaranteed so working this year to save up.
good luck!
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Hanna.Vienna
Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 71
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:30 PM
First, San Francisco is an amazing city and I would certainly choose San Francisco over Los Angeles and New York, in fact, I would choose San Francisco over any other city in the world I have seen so far (even so I need to leave my dream city soon for career reasons :(. I did my LL.M. in Berkeley which I liked a lot and lived in San Francisco. But: don't expect financial aid from Berkeley. They are not highly generous..

Try to apply to as many outside sources as possible, such as DAAD, Rotary, law firm scholarships.

What is your goal? Why do you want to do the LL.M.? If you only want to spend a year in SF, the reputation of the school does not matter that much. If you plan to stay, you should go to the best university ranking-wise. If you want to practice in Germany, the ranking does not matter that much, but it is still nice to boost your resume with a nice name like Berkeley or Stanford.

Btw: you should consider Stanford, too. You can communte to Palo Alto (many people who are working in the Silicon Valley commute every day). You could try to have most of your courses only on two or three days, so that you can stay in the city for the remaining days of the week.

For the LL.M. experience as such, the city does not matter that much. You will be surrounded by a bunch of cool guys and have fun no matter where you study. New York will be more party driven, the LA experience will very much depend on where you live, but with Santa Monica and the beach close by, you will have a nice time, too. If you like to hike, winter sports, cycle, and don't mind the sometimes cold and foggy weather in SF, this is the city for you. And: the weather here isn't really that bad. The summer sucks for sure, but the rest of the year is great (many warm and sunny days all year round, especially for someone from Germany).

The Germans who were in Berekely with me were really good! However, a "vollbefriedigend" should be sufficient if you have some more interesting things on your resume.
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CaliLove
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
LL.M. in California - HELP
Fri Dec 30, 2011 09:17 AM
Thank you so so much. That really helps :)

Does anyone know what it means when it says on the homepage: "application deadline is february". And then: "apply as early as possible": How early can I apply ? Would half a year before application deadline (July/August for deadline in February) be too early?
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ca631
Joined: 04 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
LL.M. in California - HELP
Thu Jan 05, 2012 07:57 PM
Some top schools have deadlines in Jan or Feb 1st. i am sure you arenot just applying to this particular school... if you are ready, apply all schools in Feb/Mar, so that you can get decisions around the same time and compare the scholarship packages.
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Danteshek
Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 9
LL.M. in California - HELP
Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:33 AM
Loyola Law School Los Angeles is launching an LLM for international students Fall 2012.
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LLMAttorney

Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 66
LL.M. in California - HELP
Mon Jan 16, 2012 01:22 AM

[Edited by LLMAttorney on 14 Apr 2014]

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mgreene
Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 1
LL.M. in California - HELP
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:36 PM
Golden Gate University has been voted the best LLM Program in California for the second year in a row by those who voted in the local "Recorder" survey. The University has a rolling admissions policy and scholarship decisions are made at the time of application. Students from over 80 countries (including Germany) have graduated from GGU's programs which have been in existence for over 25 years. With its downtown location and dynamic learning environment, GGU is a great choice for getting your LLM degree.
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Danteshek
Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 9
LL.M. in California - HELP
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:59 PM
Golden Gate University has been voted the best LLM Program in California for the second year in a row by those who voted in the local "Recorder" survey. The University has a rolling admissions policy and scholarship decisions are made at the time of application. Students from over 80 countries (including Germany) have graduated from GGU's programs which have been in existence for over 25 years. With its downtown location and dynamic learning environment, GGU is a great choice for getting your LLM degree.


Oh hey, GGU admissions staffer! Are you paid a commission to trick unsuspecting international law students into attending your bottom tier law school? Just curious.

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c.urresti
Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 14
LL.M. in California - HELP
Mon Sep 24, 2012 05:05 AM
Golden Gate University has been voted the best LLM Program in California for the second year in a row by those who voted in the local "Recorder" survey. The University has a rolling admissions policy and scholarship decisions are made at the time of application. Students from over 80 countries (including Germany) have graduated from GGU's programs which have been in existence for over 25 years. With its downtown location and dynamic learning environment, GGU is a great choice for getting your LLM degree.


Oh hey, GGU admissions staffer! Are you paid a commission to trick unsuspecting international law students into attending your bottom tier law school? Just curious.

lol
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