Apply to the S.J.D. Program

Upon matriculation, applicants must have received a professional degree in law (such as a J.D. or LL.B.), as well as an LL.M. degree.


Prior to Applying

Students interested in applying for admission to the S.J.D. Program must first contact Vic Telesino, Director of Graduate Admissions. He will help you to determine whether our small, competitive program is a good fit for you. Please send inquiries to Mr. Telesino only during our application period of November 1 to March 1.

  1. What is your proposed area of research? (200 words or less.)
  2. Is there a UCLA School of Law faculty member with whom you are particularly interested in working?
  3. Where did you receive your first law degree (i.e., J.D. or LL.B.)?
  4. What was your grade point average and/or class rank during your J.D./LL.B. studies?
  5. Where did you receive your LL.M. degree?
  6. What was your grade point average and/or class rank during your LL.M. studies?
  7. Have you published any academic writing in print (i.e. in a law review, journal, or book)? If so, please list.

Mr. Telesino can be reached at Please answer the above questions directly in the body of your email, and do not attach documents to your initial inquiry. You will receive a response within two to three weeks after your inquiry.

Faculty Supervisor

If you are then invited to apply, Mr. Telesino will work with you to locate a UCLA faculty member who is willing to supervise your research. Please do not contact faculty members without first coordinating your efforts with Mr. Telesino. The proposed faculty supervisor must confirm his or her willingness to supervise your research and assume responsibility for supervising your program of study. He or she must also attest to the importance and soundness of your Statement of Research Purpose.

To locate a faculty sponsor, view our current list of UCLA School of Law faculty members sorted by their area of legal expertise. Please note that only a tenure-track faculty member with a title such as "Professor" or "Acting Professor" may serve as an S.J.D. dissertation supervisor. Those with titles such as "Lecturer," "Adjunct Faculty," or "Director" are not eligible to supervise.

Applying to the S.J.D. Program

After conferring with Mr. Telesino, please submit the items below by mail to apply for admission. Please try to send all of your materials to the following address in the same single package:

UCLA School of Law
S.J.D. Program Admissions
Attn.: Vic Telesino
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476, USA

The application deadline is March 1.

1. Application Form

The application form requests basic data regarding career interests, academic qualifications, references, and the Statement of Research Purpose. If you are invited to apply, you will receive a PDF copy of the application form by email. Please print, complete, and submit the application form with the rest of your supporting materials.

2. Current Resumé or Curriculum Vitae

3. Official School Transcripts

Applicants must submit transcripts from their university evidencing their completion of a J.D. degree in law (or its foreign equivalent) and an LL.M. degree (or of current enrollment in a program leading to an LL.M. degree prior to entrance into the S.J.D. program). Transcripts should include all courses and examinations taken and grades received for all university work. Transcripts must be translated into English. If the law school transcript does not indicate a relative class standing, and such information is available, please have an appropriate school official indicate class standing.

4. Two Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are asked to provide two letters of recommendation from reputable and reliable sources with personal knowledge of the applicant’s academic abilities and potential for engaging in advanced research. If possible, please include at least one academic reference. While employer references are acceptable, letters from academic sources will be viewed more favorably. Please send no more than two letters.

5. Substantial Research Paper

Applicants must provide a substantial research paper. This paper should exemplify the applicant’s best scholarly work. It must be written in, or translated into, English or in a language that can be read by a UCLA faculty member.

6. Application Fee

An application fee of $75.00 is required to process an application, payable to "The Regents of the University of California." Acceptable forms of payment are U.S. dollar check or money order, drawn in U.S. funds, payable at a U.S. bank. Please do not send cash.

7. TOEFL Score

Applicants should ask the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to provide UCLA School of Law with a copy of their score on the TOEFL. When taking the exam, please indicate School Code 4837 and Dept. Code 03 so that the score will be sent to UCLA School of Law. For further information about the TOEFL, contact ETS at or (609) 921-9000.

Applicants whose native language is English, or who possess a law degree from an institution at which the primary language of instruction is English, are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.