Law, J.D. (Two-Year for Foreign Lawyers)
Saint Louis University School of Law offers a two-year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers program enabling highly qualified candidates who have received their first degree in law outside of the United States to earn their Juris Doctor in four semesters by granting them advanced standing based on their prior law studies.
The two-year J.D. is designed for foreign lawyers who would like to enhance their professional training by earning the same degree held by U.S. lawyers but in a shorter amount of time.
Two-year J.D. students attend classes with students in the traditional J.D. program and can participate fully in other academic and co-curricular opportunities. In addition to earning a credential that may enhance the candidate’s home country practice, a Two-Year J.D. candidate may sit for the bar in any U.S. state after successful completion of the program. Additional eligibility requirements must be satisfied in all states.
Applicants who are admitted to the program will be granted advanced standing and may be permitted to transfer up to 30 credits earned at their first law degree-granting university or law school. In order to earn the Two-Year J.D degree, students must complete at least 61 credits while in residence at SLU LAW.
Year One: Two-Year J.D. students earn 30 credits by completing the same core curriculum courses as first-year students enrolled in the traditional three-year J.D. program. Those courses consist of Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Constitutional Law I, and Legal Research and Writing.
Year Two: Two-Year J.D. students earn at least 31 additional credits through a combination of required courses and electives. Required courses consist of a course in professional ethics, a seminar, a perspectives on law course and a professional skills course. Electives may be chosen from any upper-division course or seminar offered at SLU LAW.
Students planning to sit for a bar exam in the U.S. upon completion of the Two-Year J.D. are strongly advised to enroll in the following recommended courses for bar preparation purposes: Business Associations, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Procedure: Investigation, Evidence, Trusts and Estates. Students may choose to take up to six of their elective credits in upper-division courses in another school of the university, with the prior written approval of the director of the Two-Year J.D. program and the dean of students.
To be eligible for admission, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- Hold a first degree in law from a university or law school outside of the United States that qualifies the applicant for bar admission in the home country
Have outstanding academic credentials and demonstrated excellence in professional career activities
- Complete an application for admission to the J.D. program and submit all supporting documentation required in such application (including official transcripts and diplomas, two letters of recommendation, professional resume and personal statement)
- Submit an official LSAT score reported within the past three years that demonstrates the potential to succeed in the program
- If the language of instruction in the applicant’s first law degree program was other than English, demonstrate a high level of spoken and written English proficiency by submitting an official TOEFL report with a score of 100 or above or an official IELTS report with a score of 7.5 or above
Note that SLU LAW requires the use of the LSAC Credential Assembly Service, including International Credential Evaluation, in submitting an application for admission to the Two-Year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers. SLU LAW requires that all documentation be submitted in English or with an English translation.
Applications for the Two-Year J.D. program are accepted on a rolling basis starting on September 1 of each year for admission the following fall. Applications will not be reviewed until all required materials are received by SLU LAW. Applications should be submitted by March 11 to ensure that visa paperwork can be processed in time for admission in the fall.
Costs of Attendance and Financial Arrangements
Financial arrangements for funding a course of study in the Two-Year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers program must be made well in advance of commencing studies at SLU LAW.
Visa Application and Living Arrangements
Admitted students will receive assistance in applying for a student visa, locating housing and becoming oriented to SLU LAW.
- Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of substantive and procedural law and the American legal system.
- Graduates will be able to demonstrate an effective ability to resolve legal issues.
- Graduates will be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, to clients and other audiences in a variety of legal contexts.
- Graduates will be able to research effectively and efficiently.
- Graduates will be able to demonstrate competency in additional skills that are essential for effective lawyering.
- Graduates will be able to exercise proper professional and ethical judgment in interactions with clients, the profession, and the legal system.
- Graduates will be able to exemplify SLU LAW’s mission.