The Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program


Since 2007, the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School has offered scholarships and stipends to students from the Global South to attend the LL.M. Program in International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School.

The newly renamed Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program offers generous scholarships and stipends to enable graduate students from the developing world to enroll in Fordham’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Law and Justice.

The Program is named to honor the memory of Vivian Leitner, who passed away in 2010, was an intrepid traveler, a student of many cultures, and a fierce critic of injustice wherever she found it.  She was born in Turkey, eventually immigrating to the US in 1950.  She was always grateful for the opportunities she found in the U.S. to advance her education and her work.  It is therefore fitting to name in her honor this scholarship program that seeks to create such opportunities for others.

Each year, a distinguished International Committee selects up to four of the most highly qualified students from the global south for this prestigious Program.  Vivian Leitner Scholars demonstrate outstanding academic merit and leadership potential and a strong commitment to advancing human rights and justice in their home countries. 

The Scholars are fully integrated in the law school community through projects and events at the Leitner Center and Fordham Law School. Vivian Leitner Scholars share their perspectives and experiences with the Law School academic community and contribute to diversity in the Fordham student body, enriching classroom experiences.


About the International Law and Justice LL.M. Program at Fordham Law School

The LL.M. Program in International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School offers students the opportunity to gain an advanced understanding of the rule of law and human rights protection and promotion at international, regional, and domestic levels. This degree is designed primarily for lawyers who work in public interest, including high-level government attorneys, leaders in non-governmental organizations and academics. 

Admitted students are required to complete 24 credits of approved courses, including at least12 credits within the International Law and Justice specialization and a basic course in International Law. Students who do not hold a degree from a U.S. law school are also required to enroll in Introduction to the U.S. Legal System, as well as Legal Research and Writing for LL.M. Students. 

More information about the International Law and Justice LL.M can be found at; more information about Fordham Law School’s LL.M program generally can be found at



Applicants to the Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program should submit their application directly to the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at the address provided below. The application fee is waived for students applying to the Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program.

Please note: Applications received by the Leitner Center for the Leitner Program that are not selected for the Scholars Program will be forwarded to the general admissions process at Fordham Law School. Candidates should indicate whether they wish their applications to be considered for admission in the event that they are not selected for the Vivian Leitner Program.  If so, their application will be forwarded to the LL.M. Program Office, and they will be asked to submit the $75 application fee.


Admissions Criteria

Applicants must hold a degree from a recognized foreign law school, law faculty, or law department that is substantially equivalent to the legal education provided by an ABA-approved law school in the United States. Such education should meet the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in that country. Admission to the Bar of any jurisdiction may meet the eligibility criteria.


Application Package


Applications to the 2011–2012 Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program must be received by February 15, 2011.

The application package must include:


1.      Completed application form, available for download here:


2.      TOEFL or ILEC result reports

All applicants trained in foreign universities are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) unless they hold a degree from an English-speaking country. 

Applicants must attain a score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, or 600 on the paper-based TOEFL.  For more information regarding test dates, testing centers and fees, visit  Fordham University’s TOEFL Code is 2264.

To demonstrate sufficient fluency on the ILEC, applicants must attain a minimum score of 60.  For more information on ILEC, visit  To have your official scores sent directly to the admissions office, please click here to visit the ILEC Verification of Results page


3.      Sealed, official transcripts from each college, university, graduate and law school attended.

Applicants should confirm with each school that the transcript shows in detail your academic record (courses taken and grade received for each), degree(s) earned, and the date(s) awarded.  An official ranking in the applicant's law faculty or law school must be provided, if available. If there is no official ranking, applicants must explain their school's grading system and academic record in relation to it.

Please note: you must ensure that the transcript is in English and includes an explanation of the grading system. If your school does not provide an English translation of the transcript, a certified translation must be done by the consulate or by a professional agency.


4.      A typewritten 500-word personal statement describing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing this graduate degree, where you plan to practice in five years, and the contributions you hope to make to the legal profession upon completion of the course of study.


5.      A supplemental typewritten essay focusing on international justice and human rights not to exceed 500 words.  Discuss your international justice and human rights commitment and goals and the factors that have most significantly influenced them, or any other aspects you consider relevant to your qualification for the scholarships.


6.      Two letters of recommendation. Each letter should be from someone who knows you well and can provide a candid personalized evaluation of your potential success in the Graduate Program.  If possible, at least one letter should be from a law professor or law school dean.  Each letter should be attached to a completed appraisal form.


7.      A current resume or curriculum vitae. This should include your complete university educational experience, your complete employment history, and any additional academic or professional activities. Please also include any publications and presentations.


8.      A statement as to whether the applicant wishes his or her application to be considered for admission to the LL.M. program in International Law and Justice in the event that he or she is not awarded the scholarship.


Materials should be sent by mail in one complete application packet to:


Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars Program

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice

33 West 60th Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10023



Questions about the Program may be sent to:

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
33 West 60th Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Fordham offers one of the most extensive human rights curricula of any law school in the United States

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Faculty and Staff
Tracy Higgins
Professor of Law, Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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