How to write an awesome LLM application, from U of T Law

How to write an awesome LLM application, from U of T Law

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-I’m Mariana Prado, associate
dean of the graduate program at the University of
Toronto Faculty of Law. -And I’m Ben Alarie, associate
dean for the first year program. We both went through the process
of applying to LL.M. programs. -And now that we are
on the other side of the table
selecting students, we would like to share
a few tips with you. -But before we do so, let’s
share some information about our school– – –hoping that you will
consider applying here. -Our faculty of law is ranked as
Canada’s number one common law school by “Mcleans
Magazine,” and we’re known as one of the
best in the world. -We hold the largest academic
library system in Canada, third in North America
behind only Harvard and Yale. -And research shows that
our graduate program is a leading source of
law professors in Canada. -But to successfully
become a student here, step one is an awesome
LL.M. application. -For my CV, what’s
better– longer or shorter? -Don’t add things for the
sake of padding your CV. A long CV with little
substance is not good. Members of the
admissions committee are only able to spend two
or three minutes on each CV, so make sure the key parts of
your application stand out. Things like your academic
degrees, honors and awards you’ve received, publications,
important presentations, and your employment
history should be highlighted on your CV. Things that we
don’t need include your photo, whether you’re
married or divorced, conferences you’ve attended,
and other personal information. Remember, keep it to
two or three pages and it’s all about quality,
not about quantity. -Should I include
a reference letter from a person who’s well know,
like the Dean of my school, of a person who knows me well? -Definitely the second. Don’t send a letter
from an important person unless they know you well
and will have lots to say. We look to letters for a
firsthand and detailed account of your performance as a
student and researcher, so empty compliments
will help very little. If someone writes he or
she is a great student, they should follow up
with an explanation. For instance, he or she got
the best grades in my course, wrote an excellent paper, always
asks challenging questions in class. -Most schools as us for
a personal statement. How personal should it be? -Your personal
statement doesn’t have to tell us intimate
details about your life. We also don’t want
something that reads like a self help
book or a true confession. What do we want to know, than? Well, why do you want
to come to U of T? Please be specific. Is it a certain
professor, is Canada at the forefront of a topic
you’re interested in studying? We also want to know about
your personal connection to your academic interest. Provide us some context. If you want to
study queer theory, please tell us about how you’ve
been engaged, for example, with the queer community
and in what capacity. If you want to be a
successful corporate lawyer, tell us about how you
came to that conclusion. Why do you want to work on
Bay Street or Wall Street? And finally, what are your
professional objectives? Tell us where you want
to go next and why. -Schools around the world
approach research papers in different ways. How should I approach
my research proposal? -We value direct language
and original ideas. Normally, our
strongest applications have research proposals
that are clear, concise, and that interest the
reader right away. Don’t wait until
the third paragraph to state your actual
research question. Try to do it in the
first paragraph. Also, use an active voice. Be specific, justify your
topic– why is it important? What is the gap in the
current scholarship that you hope to address? Lastly, explain the
implications of your research. Why does the answer
matter– for what, to whom? -We hope these tips help you
to write one devastatingly effective LL.M. application. -Make sure you also read
our website carefully, especially the
application instructions. -We’ve put a lot of effort to
answering your most frequently asked questions, and if
you still have questions you can email us. -We hope to see you here among
the best and the brightest who make up the graduate program
at U of T’s Faculty of Law. -Our reputation begins with you. -Good luck.

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