Two-Year Juris Doctor (J.D.) for International Lawyers

Lawyers with a first degree in law from outside the United States who are admitted to our program receive one year’s credit toward their Juris Doctor degree. This enables them to graduate in two years but still to receive the same J.D. degree that our three-year students receive.

Two-year students are fully integrated into the J.D. program. They take the regular first-year curriculum required of all J.D. students and in the second year select from an extensive array of elective courses and seminars.

In addition to a foreign law degree, applicants to the two-year J.D. program must have excellent English language ability (as evidenced by a TOEFL or IELTS exam) and a strong record of academic or professional accomplishment. Applicants are not required to take the LSAT.

About Richmond Law

Established in 1870 and situated on one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States, the University of Richmond School of Law offers an exceptional legal education. Our world-class faculty combined with small classes and a uniquely collegial environment assures that each student receives the individual attention they need to thrive.

The city of Richmond is a thriving business and legal practice hub and is home to multinational corporations, leading law firms and major government agencies. It is also a lively, livable city, full of first-rate arts, entertainment, dining and nightlife with an extremely modest cost of living

The location, within easy driving distance of both the mountains and the ocean, is also close to Washington, D.C. and an hour’s flight from New York City.

Career Development

Students in the two-year J.D. program should anticipate receiving the same support our Career Development Office (CDO) offers our regular J.D. students. They may participate in our on-campus interview (OCI) program with the goal of securing both summer and permanent employment. The Career Development Office's professional staff works with all our students in drafting their resumes and cover letters as well as honing their interviewing skills. With the assistance and support of the CDO, our students develop successful job search strategies and ultimately reach their goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a two-year J.D. degree different from a three-year degree?

The degrees conferred are identical. Students with a qualifying international law degree are awarded one year’s advance standing based on the earned foreign law degree, allowing them to complete their degree requirements more quickly.

In what states will I be able to take a bar exam?

A J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school is the basic requirement to take the bar exam in every state in the country and a Richmond Law J.D. will meet this degree requirement.

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and othe qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

How easy is it to obtain housing on or near campus?

There are a myriad of affordable housing options available in close proximity to campus as well as some on-campus housing available for which international students have first priority.

Application Process

Applications should be submitted through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Web site. In order to submit an application using LSAC’s service, you must create either an LLM or JD account. If you have taken or plan to take the LSAT (not required for the two-year J.D. for international lawyers), you should create a JD Account and apply using the “JD for Intl Attorneys” application. Applicants with a JD Account should utilize the JD Credential Assembly Service for evaluation of foreign transcripts.

If you have not taken or will not take the LSAT, you should create an LLM Account and apply using the “JD for Intl Attorneys” application. Applicants with an LLM Account should register for the LLM Credential Assembly Service and pay for the Document Assembly Service. Applicants may utilize LSAC’s International Transcript Authentication Evaluation Service or an accredited transcript evaluation service for evaluation of foreign transcripts.

To speak to someone about this opportunity, please contact the Admissions Office at (804) 289-8189.


Law Admissions Office

Mailing Address:
University of Richmond School of Law
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173

GPS Location:
37.579172, -77.536167

Phone: (804) 289-8189
Fax: (804) 287-6516
E-mail: lawadmissions@richmond.edu