Two-Year 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.

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  • Timeline

    September 1, 2022 
    We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2023. All applicants must apply through

    March 1, 2023
    Priority consideration for admission. We will continue to accept applications thereafter until the class is filled.

  • Requirements
    Application- The application must be completed in full, with all required and relevant optional questions answered. All applications must be submitted through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

    Transcripts After you register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), you must have a transcript sent to LSAC from each undergraduate and graduate institution you have attended. This includes any dual credits earned in high school, college-level summer school, and all transfer credits, etc. Applicants must include transcripts from all law school institutions attended, to include any LLM and professional courses taken in the U.S. or abroad.

    Letters of Recommendation - Applicants should use the Letter of Recommendation Service offered through CAS. Two letters are required; up to four will be accepted.  We would encourage at least one letter of recommendation to come from a professor who can address your academic abilities unless you completed your undergraduate work more than five (5) years prior to your application. Note: Letters of recommendation are held in confidence. The submission of your application constitutes your waiver to review letters of recommendation retained by this law school. Letters are used for law admissions purposes only.

    Résumé or Curriculum Vitae - The résumé or curriculum vitae may be of any length and should provide chronological information about your academic background, work experiences, extracurricular or charitable activities, and accomplishments.

    Personal Statement -  The personal statement should be approximately two pages in length and can address any topic you deem relevant. We encourage you to provide information about yourself otherwise not found in your application. We do not recommend explaining any legal or educational issues associated with your application here. If needed, please address these issues in an addendum.

    Addendum - An addendum must be submitted to address any legal, character and fitness, or educational issues associated with your application. If there are multiple issues, each should be addressed in its own addendum.  There is no required format.

    TOEFL Waiver for International Applicants - International applicants are expected to demonstrate fluency in the English language.  Candidates for whom their native language is not English are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.  All scores must be submitted through LSAC; paper copies of scores are not accepted.

    International applicants who believe they are fluent in English or have completed their undergraduate (or other advanced degrees) at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English may request a waiver of the English language testing requirement.  Applicants are required to submit a written statement indicating their level of proficiency and how they achieved it, i.e., either through school instruction or work experience in an English-speaking professional position.

  • English Language Capabilities

    In addition to either a first degree in law from outside the U.S., 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 accomplishments. The preferred scores are as follows:

    • TOEFL: 100 (internet-based total); 250 (computer-based total); or 600 (paper-based total)
    • IELTS: 7

    Richmond Law may occasionally accept students with a slightly lower score where there are other indicia of the necessary language fluency.

  • Character & Fitness

    State Bar Character and Fitness - An applicant’s character and fitness to practice law must be established as a prerequisite for licensure. When you apply to sit for the bar exam, you are required to provide relevant, detailed background information that will be carefully evaluated by the bar examiners in the state in which you apply. Any information discovered during this background investigation that negatively reflects on your character and fitness to practice law may be treated as just cause for further analysis.

    As part of the process, all applicants must disclose any information regarding events both before and during law school. The State Bar’s Character and Fitness Committee will compare your answers to its questions with those provided in your law school application. Any discrepancies can result in adverse consequences, so the information you provide on your law school application must be accurate and complete.  Should the committee find that your responses on the law school application are inconsistent with those provided on the bar exam application, the Board of Bar Examiners will likely initiate a more intensive review of your file. Should this review occur, you may be subject to sanctions, including revocation of law school admission and/or a delay in certification of fitness.

  • Scholarships & Loans

    Merit Scholarships
    The University of Richmond School of Law offers scholarship assistance. All applicants for admission are considered for these scholarships; no separate application form is required.

    Educational Loans
    Permanent Residents and U.S. Citizens applying for federal loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available for submission online starting October 1, 2022, and we would encourage you to submit the required documents no later than February 25 or as soon as possible therafter.  You can submit your FAFSA at; the University of Richmond School of Law FAFSA code is 003744.  

  • Policy Prohibiting Discrimination

    The University of Richmond prohibits discrimination and harassment against applicants, students, faculty, or staff on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, status as a veteran, or any classification protected by local, state, or federal law.

    As a recipient of federal funds, the University complies with federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Title IX provides that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

    Admissions applications will be reviewed in a holistic approach and decisions will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or military status. 

    You are assured both by school policy and by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that the information will be confidential and accessible only to school officials, government agencies, and others with a legitimate educational interest in this information. 

  • Admissions Policy

    Richmond Law seeks to admit highly qualified applicants who have demonstrated the potential to complete not only a rigorous course of legal study but also possess the promise of contributions to the law school, the legal profession, and the broader community. Using a holistic review process, the Admissions Committee seeks to admit a student body of wide-ranging backgrounds, education, and experience.  In so doing, the Committee seeks to bring a variety of skills and perspectives to the classroom and campus community.

    In determining an applicant’s suitability for the program, the Admissions Committee reviews academic factors such as the candidate’s GPA, transcripts, undergraduate institution, and the quality of the applicant’s prior academic experience. Emphasis is also placed on the applicant’s capacity for law school study, as reflected through appropriate evaluative mechanisms, including but not limited to standardized tests and writing samples.  In addition, the Committee recognizes that other factors such as location, ethnicity, leadership qualities, challenges overcome, and work experience can contribute to an applicant’s likelihood for success in law school.  The Committee further acknowledges that such factors can affect the applicant’s ability to constructively impact the legal profession as well as the society at large.

    Character and Fitness

    Applicants to Richmond Law are required to complete all questions in the Character and Fitness section.  Applicants have a continuing obligation to update their responses to these questions if the answers change, even after their application is complete. 

    Admission Decisions

    Once an application has been marked complete, candidates can expect a timely decision, usually within six to eight weeks. On occasion, some applications may be held for future review.

    Offers of Admission & Deferral

    Offers of Admission are good for the year in which the offer is made. An applicant who chooses not to enroll for the year in which the admission offer is made may reapply the following year by completing an updated application. Admission in one year does not, however, guarantee admission in subsequent years, and applicants are considered holistically each year.

    Applicants may request a deferral of enrollment by emailing the Associate Dean of Admissions. Deferrals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must provide a statement explaining their reasons for requesting a deferral. Deferments may be granted for up to two years for military service, or other recognized paid service work such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, etc.

    Applicants who are not granted deferral may reapply for admission in subsequent year(s) and will be considered with the applicant pool for that year.

  • GDPR Statement
    In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the University of Richmond has a legitimate interest in collecting information needed to evaluate an applicant’s personal, educational, and work background in order to make admissions decisions and otherwise process such applications. The University of Richmond General Data Protection Privacy Notice can be found at
  • Licensure & Certification Disclosures

    The University of Richmond School of Law programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for Virginia licensure and certification requirements. Admission into any programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies, not controlled by or affiliated with the University of Richmond School of Law, and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

    The University of Richmond School of Law has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional licensure and certification requirements. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether the completion of the University of Richmond School of Law programs will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v).