College of Law > Academics > JD > Two-Year JD for International Lawyers

Two-Year JD for International Lawyers & Law School Graduates

Foreign-trained lawyers, and other graduates of foreign, non-U.S. law schools, may earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from DePaul University College of Law in only two years. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is not required for admission. DePaul is one of a small number of law schools to offer a two-year JD program that does not require the LSAT. Graduates of the Two-Year JD Program for International Lawyers are eligible to take the bar exam and become licensed in any state in the United States.

Students admitted to the program receive one year of credit (28 credit hours) for their foreign law degree. The remaining 58 credit hours required to earn the JD can be completed in two years.

Read what Our Participants Have to Say About Our Programs

Alumni Spotlight

“DePaul offered the perfect combination for me to successfully pursue a JD. The school honored my foreign law degree from Romania, allowing me to complete the program in two years. The faculty took a personal interest in me and helped me prepare for a career in real estate law with targeted classes and a relevant externship.”

Raluca Banculescu, JD ’15
Associate Attorney,
Mathewson Right of Way Company

Professor Spotlight

“Whether our international students plan to practice in the United States or return home to their home country, a two-year JD or one-year LLM degree gives them a distinct competitive advantage. Employers recognize these graduates as having a clear understanding of the U.S. legal system and legal relationships at an international level.”

Alberto R. Coll,
Professor of Law,
DePaul University College of Law


Program Information

Two-Year JD for International Lawyers & Law School Graduates

DePaul’s Two-Year JD for International Lawyers program attracts foreign-trained lawyers from around the world. As a graduate of a foreign law school, you may enroll in this accelerated two-year program to earn a nationally recognized JD degree, sit for the bar exam and become licensed to practice in the United States.

At DePaul, you will study alongside traditional JD students, taking the same first-year foundational courses and completing your remaining credits.

Expanded Horizon

DePaul’s 2015 entering class includes foreign-trained lawyers from more than a dozen countries including: Australia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda and Ukraine. In the TwoYear JD program, you benefit from studying with classmates from the United States and abroad, who share experiences with a decidedly international point of view.

Accelerated Path

DePaul does not require the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) for admission to the Two-Year JD program. In addition, you receive one year of credit (28 credit hours) for your existing foreign law degree, which allows you to earn a JD in only two years of full-time study.

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Master of Laws (LLM) Programs

Many law firms see job candidates with advanced LLM degrees as an indicator of a graduate’s expanded commitment to and capabilities for a specialized multinational environment. In 2015, 23 lawyers completed LLM programs with graduates hailing from ten different countries. DePaul LLM students may complete the program requirements through either an intensive, one-year course of full-time study, or through a more flexible, self-managed part-time regimen.

Internationally recognized and voted the best in Chicago by National Law Journal readers in 2015, DePaul’s LLM programs are designed to provide you with an expanded set of legal skills and knowledge in one of these specialized areas:

Conditional Admission

DePaul considers conditional admission for students who have a strong overall academic record, but cannot demonstrate the minimum English language requirements (90 on the iBT, 577 on the PBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS). Applicants who are granted conditional admission may enroll in DePaul’s English Language Academy (ELA). Learn more here.

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Additional Resources

Legal Clinics: DePaul’s community-based clinical programs offer a glimpse into many national and international legal issues. The college’s nine legal clinics are designed to provide hands-on learning experiences under faculty supervision—you will earn class credit while working with real clients. 

Field Placement Program: DePaul offers valuable skills training through placements with government agencies, members of the judiciary and other organizations. Recent international placements include: Department of Homeland Security Program, National Immigrant Justice Center, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. 

English Language Academy: ELA offers English courses and activities to meet the personal and professional goals of international students. The ELA is a full-time intensive language program focused on the language and academic skills used in university degree programs and professional endeavors.

International Student and Scholar Services: ISS offers international students comprehensive advising services and immigration support.

Housing and Public Transportation Housing: University Center offers furnished apartments near campus. Students also have access to off-campus location services to find housing options throughout Chicago’s many neighborhoods.

Transportation: All full-time students receive a Ventra U-Pass providing unlimited public transportation across Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs.

Law Career Services: LCS provides JD students with proactive assistance with job searches and teaches them interviewing and networking skills through a first-year professionalism program. LCS also offers international students many opportunities to network with alumni and other attorneys.

Law Student Organizations: The College of Law has more than 20 student organizations that offer all students opportunities for academic and personal development in a wide range of topics and interests.

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