Two-Year JD for International Lawyers

Northwestern Law 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 exclusively complete the 1L curriculum required for JD students during their first year. The second year is spent taking elective courses to satisfy remaining requirements. Two-Year JD students are completely integrated with students in our regular JD program. Graduates of the Two-Year JD program receive a juris doctor degree from Northwestern Law.


  • Required First-Year Courses
  • Complete education designated by the Law School on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation. For students engaged in law clinics or field placements, the second educational occasion will take place before, concurrently with, or as part of their enrollment in clinical or field placement courses. 
  • Legal Ethics 
  • 6 credits of Experiential Learning
  • 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 Corporate Tax or Partnership 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
    • 2-Year JD students will complete the Advanced Writing Requirement by completing either a Research Writing or a Professional Writing course, designated as such at the time of registration.  2-Year JDs may not double count a course toward the Advanced Writing Requirement and another graduation requirement, such as Experiential Learning.
    • Curricular Limitations:
      • May enroll in no more than one Research Writing seminar, and may not enroll in a Research Writing seminar if enrolled in Senior Research
      • May enroll in either a maximum of four credits of clinical work or a maximum of four credits of senior research (in extraordinary cases, the Director of Research may approve an additional two credits)

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.


Students in the Two-Year JD program are not eligible to participate on law journal staffs.