Yes, international students with the equivalent of a four year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college can study law in the US. In addition, students will likely be expected to have proficiency in the English language in order to qualify for admission to a US law school. If you meet these requirements, it is important to choose the law school that best fits you and your goals.
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Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
For US residents to attend a US law school, they must complete a four year degree from an accredited US university or college. However, another option that is commonly taken by international students, is to complete the equivalent of a four year bachelor’s degree or a law degree from another country.
The Bachelor’s of Law (LL.B.) is a degree equivalent that will generally qualify international students to attend a US law school. The LL.B. is no longer offered in most US universities, however, it remains a viable option for international students.
If you have those requirements, you can apply to a US law school
Applying to a US Law School
Most US law schools offer both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Masters of Law (LL.M.) degrees. The J.D. is a three year degree program that requires prospective students to complete the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as part of the admission criteria. The LSAT can be a difficult test for non-native English speakers. Therefore, most international students choose to complete the LL.M. degree. The LL.M degree is a one year degree program, but it is a master’s degree instead of a doctoral degree like the J.D.
It is important to understand that US law school classes will be mostly taught in English.
Non-native English speakers will likely have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to qualify to study law in the US. Therefore, it is vital that international students fully understand the English language, as this is the primary language US classes are taught in. Students that are not strong in the language can take English classes to strengthen their English. Students with higher TOEFL Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) scores tend to earn higher GPAs, according to the research study, “Relationship of TOEFL iBT® scores to academic performance: Some evidence from American universities.” by Yeonsuk Cho and Brent Bridgeman.
Benefits of Attending a US law school.
One of the key benefits of attending a US law school is the quality of education you will receive. If an individual wants to understand the common law legal system, attending law school in the US is a great choice. In addition, many US law schools have great reputations that will allow you to gain employment all around the world.
Best Law Schools to Attend
Every year, the US News lists the top law schools in the US, and the list is a great place to start when choosing a law school to attend. It is also important to visit the law schools that you may want to attend. You can talk to professors and current students to ensure the law school is a great fit for you.