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Foreign-trained lawyers can use LL.M.s to gain bar eligibility in several US
states, but should beware that eligibility requirements are continuously

When foreign students make their way to the United States to pursue an
LL.M., they often have one major goal in mind: gaining eligibility to sit that
white whale of legal tests, the American bar exam.

These foreign students choose to sit the American bar exam for a variety of
reasons, according to Susan Karamanian, associate dean for comparative and
international legal studies at George Washington University School of Law.
Some foreign students need their bar results because they want to try to find
a job as a lawyer in the United States. Others are undecided about where
they ultimately want to live and practice law, and plan to take the bar so
they’ll have the option to work in the US down the road. Still others have no
intention of ever working in the US, but want a passing grade on an American
bar exam to show to potential employers in their home countries.

But gaining eligibility to take the bar is not a simple process—and it’s one
that often changes. That’s why directors and officials at LL.M. programs
advise students to get their ducks in a row as early as possible by starting the
eligibility verification process with a state’s licensing board.

“Start [the eligibility process] immediately,” says Julie Sculli, Brooklyn Law
School’s Director of International Programs. “In an ideal world, have a
response [on whether you are eligible] prior to starting your LL.M. degree.”

The requirements for foreign lawyers who want to sit the bar exam vary from
state to state. Thirty states allow foreign-trained lawyers to sit their bar
exams, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, but each of
those states has a different stipulation beyond that, with eligibility
determined by factors such as whether students attended a foreign law
school that meets the American Bar Association's standards, whether they
were educated in the common law or civil law system, whether they are
authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction, or whether they are of

five—New York. including Professional Responsibility.M. to take the New York bar should be wary: the state tightened its eligibility requirements in 2012. with deadlines of April 30 and June 15 respectively for students sitting the bar in July. and topics tested specifically on the New York Bar. that’s the number one reason why students are earning an LL. since the state has a reputation for friendliness towards foreign lawyers. civil law countries who are planning to use an LL. In fact. Georgia. to take the bar. the state also instituted a policy of requiring bar applicants to complete 50 hours of pro bono work. students must submit an online foreign evaluation by November 30 and supporting documentation from their law schools by February 1 if they are planning to sit the bar in February. In 2015.” Using an LL. Washington and Wisconsin—allow students to sit the bar exam based on the completion of an LL. California. American legal studies.M. common law countries should do their research to make sure that their degrees fulfill ABA requirements. to sit the New York bar exam New York is commonly known as the most popular state for foreign law students to sit the bar. which stipulate that students must hold degrees from schools that are accredited by a governmental agency in their home country.” says Sculli. common law country are often eligible to sit the bar without even pursuing an LL.M. And even students from Anglophone.M. But students from non-Anglophone. writing and analysis. legal research. To prove that they meet these requirements. Of those thirty states. with students now required to take a more strictly codified set of classes. at an American school.sound moral character. “For us. “Most want to use our LL. students who attended a three-year law school in an English-speaking. Students in this situation should also be aware that their programs need to be meet the standards set by the ABA.M. .M.

or that their degree authorizes them to practice law in their home country. Georgia State Law offers an LL.s. Of course. with a special bar preparation track. students must have a law degree from a law school that meets American Bar Association requirements. How to prepare for the bar exam while pursuing an LL. "Since LL.D. as well as study for the bar. all by themselves. students about how they can gain eligibility for and pass the New York Bar. students. then pursue an LL. to sit the California bar exam The California bar exam is another popular target for LL.M. That’s why many schools offer specific resources for LL.M. students have three years to prepare compared to the one year granted to most LL. And law prep companies Kaplan and Barbri offer bar review courses specifically geared towards LL. especially when J. it can be difficult for students to parse all of these requirements.M. To gain eligibility to sit the bar in California. it's hard for them to do everything they . or other law program. which must include courses in four subjects tested on the California bar exam. In Georgia. students must complete at least 20 hours of coursework at an LL. students to prepare to qualify for and take the bar.M.Using an LL. programs are so short. To prove that their foreign law degree confers bar eligibility. students must use a credential evaluation service to certify either that their degree is substantially equivalent to an ABA-approved program.M.M. Then. These courses must be completed within three years of the beginning of the student's studies in the United States. Schools such as Penn State Law and Columbia Law School post detailed information about qualifying for the bar on their websites.M. a state where foreign lawyers must have already gained eligibility to practice law in their home country before sitting the bar exam in the US. at an American school.M.M.M. students.M. including a course on professional responsibility that covers the California rules of professional conduct. Boston University distributes a memo to its LL.

all prospective students should keep in mind that these requirements are continuously changing and evolving. Starting in 2018. to ensure that students emerge from the programs with their LL. which also offers a bar prep course independently of its LL.M. But although many schools are working to keep students up to date on bar requirements.M.s geared towards foreign lawyers say they see these evolving requirements as an opportunity. which will result in more paperwork and more boxes to check off when students are applying. programs with bar preparation tracks Several schools across the country offer LL. New York will institute a skills competency requirement for foreign-trained lawyers who want to sit the bar. says that her school’s LL. Susan Karamanian.M.M. LL. associate dean for comparative and international legal studies at George Washington University School of Law. “I consider [pro bono work] very important as it allows students to have firsthand experience in dealing with the needs of those who are unable to pay for legal services.” says Sculli of Brooklyn Law.need to do for the bar during that one-year program. she and other officials view the pro bono requirement as an opportunity to encourage students to engage with the community.” says Karamanian. These programs are designed with bar examination requirements in mind. program. Schools that offer these bar track programs include: Georgia State University University of Iowa .” Many schools that run LL.M. But she says it wasn’t difficult to revise the school’s curriculum. as well as with all the information and skills needed to pass the bar exam. program adjusted its course offerings to make sure they corresponded with the requirements for the New York Bar.M. programs with specific bar preparation tracks. “This is a nice way for them to get a summary. and that in fact.

? How Many Big . Leave a Reply post comment Schools mentioned Iowa Law Duquesne BU Law Drexel . 2016 23:34 Reply The University of Georgia School of Law also provides extensive guidance to LL.Kline Brooklyn Law George Washington Penn State Law Columbia GSU Law How Many Big Law Associates and Partners Have an LL. students who wish to apply to take the Georgia bar exam. Comments 00251 29 Sep.Duquesne University Boston University's Fundamentals Track Drexel University Photo by Philip Larson.M.M. and offers a curriculum designed to fulfill the bar's curricular requirements.

net to Host an LL.M.M.M.Fall 2016 Sep 26.? READ ARTICLE Related Discussions NY Bar Exam Books Sep 27 2016 0 LL. Programs in Air and Space Law LL. Programs in Air and Space Law READ ARTICLE Related LLM News USC Launches Two Master Degrees in Alternative Dispute Resolution USC Launches Two Master Degrees in Alternative Dispute Resolution Sep 29. 2016 The school will offer an LL.M. 2016 IU McKinney to Add a Global Residency Option to LL.M. Program Jul 15.Law Associates and Partners Have an LL. 2016 More LLM News Related Articles LL.M. Admissions: Tackling a Low TOEFL or IELTS Score By Emily Cataneo on Jun 29. Info Event in Frankfurt on November 12 Aug 31. 2016 .M. as well as another master's degree aimed at non-lawyers Info Sessions and Visits Available at US Law Schools .M. 2016 e-fellows. in ADR. Admissions: Tackling a Low TOEFL or IELTS Score LL. 2016 Albany Law School to Offer a 2-Year JD Program Jul 13.

at the same time as an MBA. Programs: Tax Nerds Wanted for LL.M.M. 2016 The best way to get into that selective US Tax LL. Programs: Tax Nerds By Emily Cataneo on Mar 10. 2016 A small number of schools are offering students the opportunity to pursue an LL. you have your eye on? Enthusiasm More Articles About us Submit LLM Program Advertise Contact us Privacy Term of Use Cookie Policy .How some schools now offer intensive English courses that give students the chance to overcome a low TOEFL or IELTS score Joint Law / MBA Programs: Law or Business? Why Not Both? Joint Law / MBA Programs: Law or Business? Why Not Both? By Emily Cataneo on May 17.D. Wanted for LL.M. or J.M.

Kline School of Law Drexel University .) Programs Worldwide Southwestern Law School Southwestern Law School LL. DC University of Connecticut (UConn Law) University of Connecticut (UConn Law) 4 LL. programs in Washington. General LL.M.M.M. Entertainment and Media Law.Featured LLM Programs MBA Programs Login My Account Board LLM News Articles Facebook Twitter Search LLM Programs  2001–2016 Pritzwalks – LLM GUIDE – Master of Laws (LL.M. in American Legal Practice University of Minnesota Law School University of Minnesota Law School LLM in American or Business Law Xiamen University School of Law Xiamen University School of Law LL.Kline School of Law LL. Georgetown Law Georgetown Law General and specialized LL. programs in Hartford Drexel University .M.M. in Chinese Law .M.

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