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The LLD is awarded to established scholars who have given "proof of distinction by some original contribution to the advancement of the science or study of law", almost invariably in the form of published works. The University also has the power to confer an Honorary LLD on a person of distinction: Lawyers on whom this degree has been conferred in recent years include Baroness Butler-Sloss, Lord Cooke, Dame Rosalyn Higgins, Sir Robert Jennings, Lord Lane, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne, Professor Sir David Williams, Lord Woolf, and Professor S.F.C. Milsom.

The degree of LLD may be awarded to a graduate of the University of Cambridge who has submitted work which, in the opinion of the examiners, contains important and original contributions to the advancement of the science or study of law, gives proof of his or her academic distinction, and entitles him or her to be regarded as an authority in the field or fields of knowledge in which the work is submitted. The level of attainment required for a higher doctorate is very substantially higher than that required for the PhD degree and its award carries great prestige within the University.

Candidates should make their application in writing to the Secretary of the Board of Graduate Studies specifying the published works on which his or her claim to the degree is based, providing a summary in not more than 500 words of the field of research covered by these works and naming the Faculty or other approved institution within whose scope these works fall. The Secretary should, at the same time, be provided with two copies of the published works as specified in the application, two copies of a list of these works, and a fee of £485 for the Chest. A substantial amount of the work submitted must have been published and the remainder must be printed or typewritten.

For further information, including details on the application procedure, see the Student Registry website.