International Students & U.S. Law Schools

International students should be aware that for the most part, a J.D. from a U.S. law school will not prepare them to practice in their home country as U.S. law schools teach students the common law based in the British system. Schools in Louisiana do teach the Civil Code which may be applicable in some countries. Graduate level legal degrees (the LLM, MCL or MCJ) are usually of more interest to foreign nationals. Some international graduates of U.S. law schools do go on to work for U.S. firms based abroad, or for foreign firms who want graduates trained in the U.S.

International students are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid in the U.S. They may be eligible for private commercial loans, but the interest rates would be higher. Students must be fluent in English to gain admission to a U.S. law school. Check with individual law schools to see whether or not they require a test of English proficiency for admission.

To work in the U.S. after graduation from law school for more than a year or two, students would  need to obtain the appropriate work authorization.The U.S. State Department provides information for international students considering study in the U.S. To learn more, visit their website.