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
  • Perspective Elective (effective with the Class of 2022, this is no longer required)
  • 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.