The College of Law welcomes candidates who have completed, or who expect to complete, an undergraduate degree in law (i.e. Bachelor of Laws or LL.B. degree) from a foreign legal education institution to apply to this accelerated J.D. program that can be completed in academic years.
Ideal candidates for this program will possess excellent undergraduate academic marks, professional experience, and highly proficient English-language reading, writing and speaking skills. Students who have completed a Master of Laws (LL.M.) program are encouraged to apply. It is also preferred that eligible candidates with an LL.M. degree sit for a state bar examination before enrolling in the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates.
The College of Law will review original transcripts from foreign legal education to identify up to 29 course credits (one-third of the total 87 credits necessary to obtain the J.D. degree) that will be transferred in to the College and satisfy up to one full year of coursework in our J.D. program.
The Two-Year J.D. program is a fully residential program and does not coincide with the online JDinteractive program. Admitted students much enroll full-time in the J.D. residential program.
Students in the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates must attend J.D. Orientation, held each year during the week before classes start, and complete the Lower Division Curriculum of required courses:
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law I
- Criminal Law
- Legal Communication and Research I & II
- Professional Responsibility
In the second year, students must complete the Upper Division Requirements:
- Administrative Law or Statutory/Legislative Course
- Constitutional Law II
- Legal Communication & Research III (or equivalent writing course)
- Writing requirement
- Six credits of experiential learning courses
- Students must also complete elective courses needed to reach the minimum 87 credits necessary to obtain the J.D. degree
Due to the accelerated nature of the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates, students are encouraged to spend their time engaging in subjects tested on the bar examination (i.e. Evidence, Business Associations, Family Law, etc.). Each student will receive personalized academic advising from our Office of Student Life to choose courses. Students in this program are not permitted to pursue co-curricular opportunities such as joint-degree programs, academic journals, Moot Court Honor Society, or trial teams. Students are encouraged to pursue Clinic and Externship opportunities during the summer between the first and second year of the Two-Year J.D. Program subject to additional per/credit tuition costs, similar to other students in the J.D. program.
Skills Competency Requirement of the New York Bar Examination: Section 520.18 to the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.18) states that applicants seeking admission in New York must establish that they have acquired skills and professional values necessary to competently practice law. Answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” about this requirement can be found online [PDF]. Students enrolled in the Two-Year J.D. program may be able to satisfy the requirements of Pathway 2 (completion of 15 credits of practice-based experiential coursework). It is more likely that 2-Year J.D. students can satisfy this requirement through Pathway 4 (one continuous 6-month apprenticeship) or Pathway 5 (one year of full-time practice, or two years of part-time practice in another jurisdiction) described in section 520.18. Applicants Read more about the Skills Competency Requirement on the New York BOLE website.
To Apply to the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates, candidates must create a profile on the Law School Admission Council website.
Application materials include:
- LSAC Application Form: Fall Two-Year Foreign J.D. Program Application (re-opened on September 1, 2021)
- All prior educational transcripts (from Undergraduate/LL.B., LL.M., and SJD degrees)
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- Personal Statement
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Copy of Passport Face-Page
- Official TOEFL or IELTS Score Report*
- An admissions interview may be required
- There is no application fee
- Application deadline: May 1st
- The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is not required, but the Admissions Committee will take into consideration the “whole applicant”, inclusive of any test scores that are provided in the admissions file.
- Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate English-language proficiency. Scores from the TOEFL and IELTS exams are acceptable and must be from within two years of your enrollment to the College of Law.
- Applicants must use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) to submit all transcripts and at least two letters of recommendation. Documents submitted directly to the Admissions Office will not be accepted.
Admissions Review Process and Eligibility Criteria:
The College of Law follows a multi-layer admissions review process for 2-Year J.D. applicants. The first layer requires a credential evaluation of the applicant’s foreign first-degree-in-law by the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The CAS report will indicate degree level, number of years required to the complete the degree, grade conversions scales, and cumulative GPA. An in-house admissions review is performed by the Assistant Dean of International Programs who evaluates for merit (i.e. very strong English-language proficiency and academic credentials) whether to advance the application to a Skype/phone interview. Following the interview, an independent review of the admissions file is performed by the Faculty Chair of the College of Law Admissions Committee.
Upon a favorable admissions review by the Faculty Chair, the admissions file is reviewed by a separate member of the College of Law faculty to identify those courses which would be substantively comparable to those offered by the College of Law’s residential J.D. program and, therefore, constitute credits which are permissible to transfer in towards satisfaction of the residential J.D. program. The College of Law will not transfer in credits from courses it would not normally offer (i.e. Sharia Law) and it will not transfer in credits from courses where a grade of B- or lower was received (on a letter-based grading scale). All foreign coursework must have been completed “in residence” in a live classroom setting. No online or distance-learning course credits may be transferred to the residential J.D. program.
Cost of Attendance & Merit Scholarships
Students in the Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates will be charged tuition and fees consistent with the traditional J.D. program. More information on the Cost of Attendance can be found at: J.D. Cost of Attendance. The College of Law will consider each applicant for a merit scholarship award at the time the application is reviewed for admission.