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Two-Year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers

SLU LAW’s Two-Year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers enables highly qualified candidates who have received their first degree in law outside of the United States to earn their J.D. degree in four semesters by granting them advanced standing based on their prior law studies.

This degree 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. candidates attend classes with students in the traditional J.D. program and participate fully in other academic and extracurricular opportunities at SLU LAW. They have access to the faculty advising, library research, academic support, bar preparation and career development services offered at the School of Law.

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.

Requirements for Program Admission

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.

**Due to the challenges of administering English proficiency tests during the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Louis University School of Law will temporarily accept the Duolingo English proficiency test, in lieu of the IELTS and TOEFL exam. The minimum score for the J.D. program and the Two-Year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers program is 125.

International students may register for the Duolingo English proficiency test online and may take the test from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. Test takers will need a passport, drivers license, or national or state ID to take the exam. The exam takes an estimated 45 minutes to complete. Results are generally received within a few days of exam completion. Please visit the resources below to learn more about the Duolingo English proficiency test.

Information on preparing for the exam

Take the exam or practice exam

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Applicants who are admitted to the program will be granted advanced standing and may be permitted to transfer up to 30 hours of academic credit 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 credit hours while in residence at SLU LAW.

Year One: Two-Year J.D. students earn 30 credit hours 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 hours 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.

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.

Information regarding tuition and fees, living expenses and other costs

Information regarding financial arrangements for international students

Assistance With Visa Application and Living Arrangements

Admitted students will receive assistance in applying for a student visa, locating housing and becoming oriented to SLU LAW.

Information about the visa application process

Application Deadline

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.

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