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Admissions Requirements

***We have reached our maximum number of enrolled candidates to the S.J.D. program. Due to our efforts to keep the program small and selective, we have decided to close our admissions for the 2013-2014 academic year.  We can only accept applications from candidates who are interested in entering our program in August of 2014 or later.***

S.J.D. applicants must have completed an LL.M. (Master of Laws) program at Wake Forest or elsewhere in the United States to be eligible for the program. Wake Forest LL.M. graduates will be given preference in general over applicants from other LL.M. programs. Admission will be based on a formal, written application, with appropriate supporting material, and a dissertation proposal.

Only applicants with exceptionally strong academic credentials, well-planned dissertation proposals, and proficient English language ability are admitted.

An S.J.D. applicant eligible for admission must:

  • Hold a first degree in law (LL.B.) or equivalent from a foreign institution (non-U.S.)
  • Hold a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Wake Forest University School of Law or another ABA accredited law school
  • Have outstanding academic credentials
  • Demonstrate exceptional promise as a legal scholar through submission of prior written work (such as an LL.M. thesis) of high quality
  • Possess exceptional English language proficiency
  • Present an original and detailed doctoral dissertation proposal

Each S.J.D. application will be evaluated by the Dean’s office and a prospective faculty adviser to determine whether it promises to result in an original, creditable, and publishable contribution to legal scholarship.

Applicants will not be evaluated until their complete applications and supporting documents are received. Early application is advised.

The S.J.D. application deadline is July 1. Follow the Application Procedures to apply for admission.

Normally, the year of residency for S.J.D. students begins in the fall semester. In special circumstances the School of Law may first enroll a student in the spring semester. The deadline for spring admission is November 1. Any student admitted in the spring semester must also be in residency for the following fall semester.