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Two-Year Juris Doctor (JD) 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 either a first degree in law from outside the U.S., applicants to the two-year JD 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.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Important Policies

Your Continuing Duty to Inform Us of Changes to Your Application

Once an application for admission has been submitted, you have a continuing duty to inform the Admissions Office of any changes in the information in the application, or of any new information without which the application as previously submitted would be inaccurate or incomplete. Your duty to inform the Admissions Office of any changes continues until the time you receive a final decision and, if admitted, until the time you matriculate as a student at the University of Richmond School of Law. False, misleading or incomplete answers or statements made in the application or in any materials submitted to the Admissions Office or the Financial Aid Office could constitute a basis for denial of admission or revocation of an offer of admission.

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. For more information, visit