Many of our students take either the New York, D.C., or California bar exam upon completion of the LL.M. program. Our Early Bar Preparation Program is offered each year exclusively for our LL.M. and M.C.L. students. It introduces the components of the bar exams and consists of four day-long workshops covering Contracts, Real Property, Multi-State, and Performance Exam workshops. Substantive law is reviewed during the first half of each workshop and students then focus on essay-writing for each subject. Students review outlining and practice writing a question on each subject, which is then graded by workshop instructors. For the Multi-State and Performance Exam workshops, students review the basics of multiple-choice format exams.
It is important for students to determine if they are eligible to sit for a bar exam. Enrollment in an LL.M. or M.C.L. program does not guarantee that a student will be able to take the exam. Typically, foreign-trained students are only eligible to sit for the California, D.C., and New York bar exams. However, students should review the requirements set by each state to take the exam.
The American Bar Association provides important information on their website about U.S. Bar Admissions for foreign law graduates. Please refer to "A Note to Graduates of Law Schools Located Outside the United States: Degrees Other Than a J.D. and Bar Admissions" on their website.
As bar application requirements are unique for each student, the G&IP office cannot determine eligibility for bar exams. We provide resources for LL.M. students so that they can look into the requirements on their own.
Information on eligibility for the:
USC offers three "tracks" of coursework for students who plan to sit for the NY, CA, or D.C. bar exam. These tracks provide guidance to students as to which courses may be required by the bar exam, and help students organize their schedules. In addition, our office staff is available to meet with students to provide counseling as to course selection and to ensure the student's schedule satisfies the bar requirements. Students may satisfy the course requirements for both a bar exam and one of the certificates we offer during the LL.M. program.
For current rules on Optional Practical Training (OPT), please visit USC's Office of International Students (OIS) website.
Students will need to determine their eligibility for and may be required to apply for OPT to extend their visas in order to sit for a bar exam following graduation from our LL.M. program.