Two-year JD for International Lawyers

Northwestern is one of the first law schools in the country to offer a Two-Year JD program for foreign-educated attorneys. Students who are admitted to the program receive one year of credit for their foreign law degree. Two-Year JD students must complete the required coursework for JD students during their first year. The second year is spent taking elective courses. Two-Year JD students are completely integrated with American students in our regular JD program. Graduates of the Two-Year JD program will receive a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern Law.


  • Required First-Year Courses
  • Perspective Elective (required to take one as designated on CAESAR)
  • Legal Ethics (required)
  • Professional Skills Elective (required to take one as designated on CAESAR)
  • US Legal Doctrine Electives (required to take five from the following):
    • Business Associations or Corporations
    • Contracts II: Sales or Commercial Law: Secured Transactions
    • Securities Regulation
    • Basic Federal Income Tax or Entity Tax
    • Mergers & Acquisitions or Antitrust
    • Employment Law
    • Civil Procedure II or Federal Jurisdiction
    • Evidence
    • Administrative Law
    • Legislation
    • First Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment
    • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
    • Estates and Trusts
    • Torts II
    • Environmental Law or Natural Resources
    • Intellectual Property
  • Writing Requirement
    • Must successfully complete Senior Research OR a seminar meeting the JD one-draft writing requirement.
    • Additional Curricular Limits
      • May enroll in no more than one seminar, and may not enroll in a seminar if enrolled in Senior Research
      • May enroll in EITHER a maximum of 4 credits of clinical work OR a maximum of 4 credits of senior research (in extraordinary cases, the Director of Research may approve an additional 2 credits)

Program Admission

To apply, you must hold a first degree in law from a university or college whose requirements for that degree are comparable to those prescribed by Northwestern. Applicants are also expected to have at least one year of work experience in business or law. Applicants must complete an application for admission to the Graduate and International Programs, submit an LSAT score and conduct an evaluative admissions interview. Applications are due March 1.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Under current federal regulations, only citizen and permanent residents of the United States are eligible for federal student loans. Individuals who are not eligible for federal student loans may be eligible for a University-administered Graduate-Professional Alternative Loan (GPAL), provided a United States citizen or permanent resident cosigns the loan. If you do not have a co-signer, you should explore commercial loans in your country. No fellowship or grant assistance is available for students in the Two-Year JD program.

Career Strategy Center Services for Two-Year JD Students

Students in the Two-Year JD program can begin working with the Career Strategy Center even before they begin taking classes. In August immediately prior to their first year at Northwestern Law, Two-Year JD students can participate in our On-Campus Interview program (OCI) with the aim of securing employment during the following summer. The Career Center staff is available over the summer to work with Two-Year JD students on resume and cover letter drafting, interview skills, OCI interview bidding, and general job search strategies. Each year, a national base of more than 600 employer-offices recruit Northwestern Law students through the Fall and Spring OCI programs, off-campus job fairs, and resume collections. Similar to all Northwestern students, our Career Advisors are available to work with Two-Year JDs their entire time in law school and throughout their careers.


Because our student publications require a two-year commitment, students in the Two-Year JD program are not eligible to participate on journal staffs.

For information about Northwestern Law admissions, please visit the Office of Admissions. You may also request an interview or apply online.

Related Links

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