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Two-Year Juris Doctor (JD) for International Lawyers

Our Two-Year JD degree is designed for international lawyers who have earned their first law degree (LLB or the equivalent) outside of the United States. Admitted students will be awarded up to 30 units of advanced standing credit, which allows you to complete the JD within two-and-one-half years of coursework in residence at USC Gould.

Eligibility

In addition to earning an LLB or equivalent outside the U.S., successful applicants will possess excellent law school records and work experience, as well as strong proficiency in English reading and writing skills. You must have completed an LLB degree by the time you commence the JD degree at USC Gould. No conditional offers of admissions will be extended.

Application Process

To apply for admission, complete an online application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). After you create your LSAC account, follow the instructions for applying to USC Gould.

Among the required information and documents you will submit through LSAC are:

  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score (see dates and deadlines for cutoff date) (score must be within the 90th percentile or higher)
  • TOEFL score (minimum of 100)
    • USC's TOEFL institutional code is 4852 and the department code is 03.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.
  • official undergraduate transcripts and degree verification
  • a two- to three-page personal statement that is clear, concise and compelling, and
    • highlights your motivation for studying law
    • your academic background
    • your employment experience, if you have spent a year or more in the workforce after college, and your post-law school plans
    • résumé (optional)
  • two letters of recommendation (the most influential letters are written by people who know you well and can evaluate your academic abilities) on their letterhead, in English

We will contact you if the Admissions Committee feels that a telephone or an in-person interview is necessary.

For your convenience and to streamline the application process, USC Gould requires prospective students to use LSAC's Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service, which allows you to apply to multiple law schools while submitting only one set of materials.

As a non-resident student, if you are admitted, you will need an I-20 for a F-1 student visa. You also will be required to provide a financial statement that certifies that you have sufficient funds available to meet your living (housing, meals, etc.) and tuition expenses while at USC (unless you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or have been granted political asylum). At that time, you also must submit a copy of the photo page of your passport (and passport copies of any dependent(s) traveling with you).

Application Fee

USC Gould requires a $75 application fee.

Deadlines

To be considered for admission, you must apply by the deadline. Space is limited, so apply as early as possible.

Application Status Check

After you submit your application through LSAC, we will send you a confirmation email that provides you with a username and password for the LSAC Online Status Check system. Then you may log in and create a new, personalized password, and periodically check your application status.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made between December and May. We accept applications on a rolling basis, as space is available. You will be notified via email and postal mail. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for 2016—17 is $59,576 plus mandatory fees, which are detailed in the Schedule of Classes. You should budget an additional $18,000—$25,000 annually for living expenses, books and supplies.

USC Gould may consider international candidates for merit-based aid. However, we do not currently offer need-based aid.

USC's Office of Student Financial Services offers numerous payment options, including an interest-free USC Payment Plan for tuition, fees, university housing, meals and other charges, paid in monthly installments.

International students can pursue on-campus, part-time employment to supplement living expenses. Open jobs are posted on ConnectSC.

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

Each U.S. jurisdiction establishes bar registration and admission standards for those who wish to practice law within the jurisdiction. An evaluation of character and fitness is an essential aspect of those qualifications.

USC Gould requires applicants for admission to answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever been dropped, suspended, warned, placed on academic or disciplinary probation, disciplined, expelled, or requested or advised to resign from an post-secondary school, college, university, professional school or law school?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation)?
  • Are any charges pending against you?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you must include a written explanation with your application for admission. Your candor in disclosing the above is crucial, and is valued by the Admissions Committee.

We also encourage you to contact the Board of Bar Examiners of the state(s) in which you intend to practice to learn the qualifications for admission to the practice of law in that jurisdiction. The National Conference of Bar Examiners shares additional information on its website. If you are interested in practicing law in California, visit the State Bar of California website for information.

All candidates for admission have an ongoing duty to disclose material changes to their application, especially as they relate to conduct matters (criminal or disciplinary) to the dean of admissions prior to enrollment. Candidates agree that providing inaccurate or misleading information on the admission application or omitting information will be cause for an investigation of misconduct in the admissions process, rescission of any offer of admission, or for discipline, dismissal or revocation of degree if discovered at a later date.