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Study Abroad - Juris Doctor (JD)

USC Gould School of Law

In our increasingly interconnected world, exposure to international and comparative law can be invaluable — even if you plan to practice solely in the U.S. Our longstanding exchanges with major partnering institutions in five countries offer you the chance to immerse yourself in a foreign legal system while gaining a new perspective in comparative law.

Students may not study abroad at any other program where there is no established partnership. Exceptions will be considered only if students would like to study abroad over the summer through an ABA-accredited law school that has an approved study abroad summer program at which the student can visit.

Partnering Institutions

Law courses at our partnering institutions are taught in English. You will complete four or five courses at the foreign law school, earning 12 to 15 USC Gould academic credits during your semester abroad.

Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong

Established in 1911 and a leading Asian university, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) partners with 80 institutions in 15 countries. The law faculty hosts many internationally distinguished scholars and academic conferences each year.

Lyon, France: University Jean Moulin Lyon

The University Jean Moulin Lyon III ranks among the top public universities in France. Lyon III is one of three universities in Lyon, with a combined population of 100,000 students. As France's second largest city, Lyon offers a great selection of cultural and professional opportunities. After earning your JD, you may elect to return to the university for a semester to complete a Master of Laws (LLM) in International and European Law.

Milan, Italy: Bocconi University

Bocconi University, a private institution in Milan, maintains a global reputation as a leading research university in business, economics and law. Courses include international and European law, international trade law, and comparative business and corporate law. An Italian course is available if you wish to study the language before the law classes begin.

Queensland, Australia: Bond University

Bond University has a distinctly global perspective, aspiring to a 1:1 ratio of Australian to international students, who come from 80 countries. Under the guidance of some of Australia's most eminent legal professionals, students benefit from small classes and active mentoring by Bond professors.

São Paulo, Brazil: Fundação Getúlio Vargas University

The Fundação Getulio Vargas University law school, also known as Direito GV, is recognized not only for its undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs and its research, but also for its constant search for innovation.

Sonipat, India: O.P. Jindal Global University

O.P. Jindal Global University, a top-ranked private school outside of New Delhi, provides interdisciplinary curriculum and a global perspective. Students may select from a variety of courses that specialize in different legal topics. Currently accepting inbound exchange students only; outbound exchange program is pending approval from USC Curriculum Office and is not yet available for enrollment.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Information sessions are held each January on the study-abroad opportunities available through USC Gould. Additional information is available by contacting [email protected].

Most students who apply and are eligible to study abroad are able to attend a program. We send up to four students per study abroad program each year. You may study abroad during the fall or spring of your second year or during the fall of your third year.

Applications for fall and spring programs are due in February of the prior academic year. Since taking classes overseas requires self-motivated study, we look for students who have performed well academically and who have a clear idea of how this opportunity will help fulfill their academic, professional and personal goals. Some experience abroad may be helpful.

Participation in study abroad programs offered through other ABA-accredited law schools is limited and must be approved by the USC Gould registrar's office.

I think studying abroad is the best form of education. Being able to completely transplant yourself into a different part of the world while still being held up by the safety net of being a student creates the best environment to learn. Traveling can open your eyes and allow you to experience different cultures and places, but studying abroad takes it further and forces you to adapt to those cultures. In a study abroad program like mine at Bond University, you are fully able to soak up the experiences that change your perspectives on the world and yourself.

Max Craddock, JD 2016

Participating in study abroad in Hong Kong has definitely influenced my career goals. Since I want to be a litigator, living in such a vastly different culture has enhanced my communication skills and my ability to articulate myself clearly and effectively.

Alyssa Engstrom, JD 2016

The Global Law Program at FGV brings in many interesting students from around the world with varied interests and backgrounds. Being able to interact with them, as well as the Brazilian students, was a great networking experience.

Gerard Olson, JD 2014

Studying in France was the highlight of my law school experience. Spending a semester focusing on international business law enhanced my legal education, which had been primarily focused on domestic law. I also had an amazing time getting to know a diverse group of students and faculty, and living and traveling in Europe for those few months was unforgettable. I would recommend study abroad to any law student who is interested in international law and up for an adventure.

Kristina Holliman, JD 2013

I went to Milan Bocconi the fall semester of my last year. The program was fantastic. The classes were taught in English. I took courses in international trade law, European Union law and intellectual property law. I was in classes with people from all over the world. It was fascinating.

Diana Wade, JD 2015

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