UW-Madison Graduate School Catalog

See the Graduate School departmental page for deadlines, electronic and paper application instructions, statistical profiles, and other information about this major.


Criteria for Satisfactory Progress

The Master's in Legal Institutions (MLI) program provides an opportunity and an environment for the study of law from interdisciplinary perspectives, specifically for individuals trained in the law of a country other than the United States. Typically, students who enter the MLI program have received an LL.B. from a university in their home country. The MLI degree program is not available to persons who already hold a degree from a law school in the United States.

Because of the flexible design of this interdisciplinary program, most of its professors and instructors are those teaching at the university's law school. In addition, potentially, are the professors and instructors from other departments at the university, such as Economics, Sociology, Land Tenure, as well as the School of Business. When an applicant contacts the Law School's graduate programs office for information about the MLI program, a listing of representative law courses is automatically sent in response. For information about courses in other departments, the interested applicant may write directly to that department.

The MLI program is a relatively small master's program; usually during a school year there are between 15 and 20 students in the program. The students in recent years have come from Canada, Korea, France, Switzerland, Japan, Iceland, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Republic of China, People's Republic of China, and Mongolia. Representative areas of students' interests have included the following legal issues: international trade and business, copyright law, human rights law, comparative tort systems, and comparative criminal law procedures.


The Master's in Legal Institutions degree program has competitive admissions standards. Applicants should have an LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) or equivalent from their home country. In the case of applicants from universities where the greater part of instruction was not in English, proof of high proficiency in English is required; this is ordinarily demonstrated by a score of between 580 and 600 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. In cases where applicants have TOEFL scores lower than 580, admission to the MLI program may still be possible and may be made contingent on successful completion of intensive English work previous to entry at the university.

The MLI program has fall entry only and is designed to take one calendar year. Degree candidates are expected to be self-financed. The deadline for applications, including all related documentation, is March 31.

Applicants are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) for admission into the MLI program. To be considered for admission, applicants must provide to the Graduate Programs Committee the following: a completed application form; original transcripts from universities previously attended; three letters of recommendation on letterhead stationery from professors or others who are familiar with the applicant's academic abilities; waivers for letters of recommendation; and a plan of study, which may be included in the applicant's personal statement.

For additional information or for an application packet, please contact: Ethel Pellett, Administrative Secretary, Graduate Admissions Committee, University of Wisconsin Law School, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706; 608/262-9120; fax 608/265-2253; epellett@facstaff.wisc.edu.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School Catalog

© 1996 by the Board of Regents of the Universityof Wisconsin System.
Last Updated on 12/10/96