Two-Year J.D. Program for Foreign Law Graduates
Accelerate Your J.D. Program
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 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:
In the second year, students must complete the Upper Level J.D. Requirements:
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.
Skilled 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:
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.
Providing widespread access to legal services is critical if underprivileged populations in the United States are to be treated equitably and fairly. As the American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes, systematic inequities and disadvantages can be exacerbated because vulnerable populations are often unaware of their rights or cannot find or afford counsel. In many cases, it falls to service-minded law students or new J.D. graduates to close the “justice gap” ...