Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates


The College of Law welcomes candidates who have completed (or 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 two academic years.

Ideal candidates for this program will possess competitive undergraduate academic performance, professional experience, and highly proficient English-language reading, writing and speaking skills. Students who have completed a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law 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. 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 J.D. program. All transcripts must be submitted through LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS) for your application to be considered.


Year One:

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 First-Year J.D. Curriculum of required courses:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Property
  • Torts
  • Legal Communication and Research I & II
  • First Year Experiential Elective Course

Year Two:           

In the second year, students must complete the Upper Level J.D. Requirements:
  • Administrative Law or Statutory/Legislative Course
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Legal Communication & Research III
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Writing requirement
  • Six credits of experiential learning
  • 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 Assistant Dean of Student Life to select 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 may 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.



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
  • 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*
  • A Skype interview may be required
Application Details:

  • The application fee is waived
  • Priority application deadline: June 1st
  • The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is not required
  • 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. 

  • Fall 2018 Two-Year Foreign J.D. Program Application

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. 

Please know that the cost of living in Syracuse, New York is very reasonable. There is a high volume of affordable apartments located conveniently in the University Hill, downtown, and greater Syracuse area for students and families.

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