Students with foreign law degrees may pursue J.D. degrees through the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign-Trained Lawyers. This program can be an attractive option for such students and makes them more marketable to employers who see the benefit of having some of their attorneys bear full credentials in 2 or more jurisdictions. The foreign students/lawyers also add a cosmopolitan flavor to classes and help create an excellent professional network for other students and graduates.
Your route to completing the Two-Year J.D. for international attorneys depends on whether you obtained a foreign law degree in a common law jurisdiction1. Common law students do not need to follow the first-year curriculum, and will spend both of their years in the Two-Year J.D. Program taking upper-level courses.
Students who did not obtain a degree in a common law jurisdiction will begin the program with the standard first-year curriculum. During the second year of study, these students are eligible for any second- or third-year course available to all other J.D. students and will need to complete the same required coursework.
Students in the Two-Year J.D. Program are subject to the same grading system that applies to other J.D. candidates. All other law school and university rules apply, as appropriate, to students in the Two-Year J.D. Program. These include rules governing credits from outside the law school and cross-listing of courses.
The Two-Year J.D. Program is not limited to foreign citizens. American citizens who have foreign law degrees are also eligible, whether they were born or raised overseas, or elected to complete their education abroad after high school.
Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, New Zealand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka will typically qualify as common law jurisdictions. Hong Kong and Macau also currently qualify. The dean or a designated faculty member makes the decision about whether or not certain other countries qualify.