Two-year International J.D. Program
The University of Akron School of Law is proud to offer an accelerated two-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree program for students and practicing lawyers with a foreign law degree. We value the contributions that international students bring to the Akron Law community and we invite students to obtain an American law degree from a respected law school for less than $25,000 per year.
Our Two-year International J.D. Program enables applicants who have earned a first degree in law outside of the United States to:
- Transfer up to 29 credits from a qualified foreign law degree program toward a J.D. degree at Akron Law. This means that you enter our J.D. program with advanced standing and need only 59 credits (the equivalent of four semesters, or two years, of full-time study) to obtain a J.D. degree.
- Gain admission without taking the LSAT or GRE examination.
- Sit for the bar examination in all 50 American states. By contrast, an LL.M. degree allows access to the bar exam in just a handful of states.
- Study on a beautiful and safe campus in a vibrant city known for its hospitality, affordability and many attractions.
- Be in close proximity to many large U.S. cities. Akron is a 40-minute drive from Cleveland, two hours from Pittsburgh, and 2.5 hours from Columbus. Short, direct flights are readily available to New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and the major cities in Florida.
Some students who come to Akron Law with a qualified foreign law degree still find it advantageous to complete their J.D. in our traditional three-year program.
A student's perspective
"I’m really glad I decided to go to Akron Law. I’m benefitting from a good, affordable and flexible program that allows me to earn a J.D. in two years. I will return to my career as a diplomat better equipped, having Peruvian and American law degrees."
— Magaly Norton '20
M.A., Academia Diplomática del Perú Javier Perez de Cuellar
LL.B. Universidad de Lima
Benefits of our International JD Program
Save a significant amount of money as well as time. In only two years, you can obtain a J.D. degree from Akron Law for less than $50,000 in total tuition. This is equal to the cost of some one-year LL.M. degree programs and less than half the cost of J.D. programs at many other law schools. Plus, the cost of living in Akron is very affordable, much lower than most other major cities across the country.
Start law school when you want. At Akron Law, you can begin classes in January, May, or in August, the traditional start time.
Enhance your credentials, employment prospects and professional opportunities by earning an American law degree. A J.D. degree from an American Bar Association-accredited law school is valued by law firms, businesses, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations around the world. It is much more attractive to employers than an LL.M. degree.
Acquire in-depth knowledge of U.S. law and increase your chances of passing the bar exam. Instead of only taking a short, introductory course on the American legal system, as is the practice in most LL.M. programs, you will take all the required first-year courses together with American J.D. students. Also, starting your first year you will benefit from our free, comprehensive bar exam preparation program through our partnership with BARBRI, the country's leading bar exam review service.
Benefit from extensive legal writing and research opportunities. You will take valuable legal writing and research courses taught by experts who have practiced and published in various areas of law.
Participate in all student activities. You can join our moot court and trial teams, gain practical skills in our seven live-client clinics, and benefit from externships and career counseling.
Earn other degrees in addition to the J.D., such as:
- An LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law, by studying for an additional semester; and
- A joint master’s degree — either in business administration (MBA), taxation (M.Tax), public administration (M.P.A.), accountancy–financial forensics (M.S.A.), or applied politics (M.A.P.) — by studying for an additional year.
How do I apply?
You may start your studies in either January (spring semester) or August (fall semester). Our application deadline for spring admissions into the International JD Program is Oct. 15, and our deadline for fall admissions (August start) is June 30. Admission to the International JD program is competitive. Late applications may be possible depending on space availability. However, it is not advisable to delay your application if possible due to the time required to obtain a student visa. Applications should be submitted as follows. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-425-7668.
Applicants for the two-year International JD must submit the following to be considered for admission:
- A complete application form. Click here
- An active LSAC account
- An active Credential Assembly Service (CAS) subscription
- A CAS Law School Report including a transcript from every college or university attended (Note that it is your responsibility to have transcripts sent to CAS for processing.)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Students in our two-year accelerated International JD program should be prepared to read and discuss legal materials. Because class preparation and participation is demanding, students with English limitation may struggle. For this reason, we utilize the TOEFL and IELTS exams to ensure that you will not unduly struggle in the classroom.
- Preferred scores on the TOEFL IBT (internet based test) are a 102 and 610 for the PBT (paper based test). Register for the TOEFL.
- The preferred score on the IELTS is a 7.5. Register for the IELTS.
- At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if:
- (i) the applicant’s native language is English;
- (ii) the applicant has a college degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English; or
- (iii) the applicant can show other circumstances demonstrating proficiency in English.
- Resume: This should summarize your education, work experience, any publications, and other relevant credentials and accomplishments.
- A personal statement. The personal statement may expand on your application or reveal a side of yourself not expressed on your application. It may include, but need not be limited to 1) how a law school education/American JD will further your personal and professional goals; 2) significant personal accomplishments; and 3) special circumstances, if any, that you wish the admissions committee to know as it reviews your file. Avoid clichés, grammatical errors, typographical errors, and plagiarism. If you have overcome special challenges such as economic hardship, educational deprivation, physical disability, discrimination, assimilation to a different culture/society, or any other disadvantage, please also describe those challenges in your personal statement. The personal statement should be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than two pages.
Optional application components
The following application components are optional, but most applicants submit them. It is strongly suggested that all applicants include this information with their applications.
If an application is complete otherwise and these components are missing, the Admissions Committee will consider the application complete and review it for a decision.
Letters of recommendation: Letters may be from instructors, employers, colleagues, or others. Letters of recommendation should come from appropriate sources. For example, applicants who are currently enrolled in an academic program are strongly encouraged to submit letters from instructors, and applicants who have been out of college for a number of years but have significant work experience should seek letters from employers, colleagues, or clients.
Letters of recommendation may be submitted in one of two ways:
- CAS Letter of Recommendation Service (preferred method)
Email directly from the recommender to email@example.com.
If recommendation letters have not been received but all other required components have been received, the admissions committee will review the file without letters of recommendation. Therefore, it is best to have your letters of recommendation submitted before submitting your application. If you go through CAS, please check your account regularly so that you can see whether or not your letters have arrived. Once they have arrived, submit your application.
- Significant nonacademic experience: If you would like the Admissions Committee to consider any significant nonacademic experience (e.g., volunteer work, employment history, academic honors or awards, extracurricular activities, etc.) when reviewing your application, please include an attachment with your application. This attachment may take the form of a list, a resume, a cover letter, or some other summary of accomplishments.