Students from other countries are enrolled at US law schools, most frequently in graduate programs (usually called LLM programs) that are designed to meet the needs of people who already hold a recognized law degree from another country but want to learn about the legal system of the United States. Procedures and requirements for foreign applicants for the JD and LLM programs vary from school to school. You should contact the individual schools that interest you to learn about each school's particular requirements. Most schools will ask applicants for whom English is not their native language to take a standardized test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Test of Written English (TWE). Each school sets its own standard for required minimal scores on the tests. Some schools may use a credential-evaluation service to translate documents, inspect them for authenticity, and evaluate a student's grades and degrees for US admission committees. The student is responsible for the cost of this service, and some law schools will require you to use a specific service. For candidates applying to post-JD programs (LLM, SJD, and other similar degrees), the LSAC offers a credential assembly service that collects, authenticates, and distributes all transcripts and TOEFL scores to each law school where the applicant submits an application. Most law schools with post-JD programs for international students subscribe to this service, but candidates should check with individual schools before registering. Detailed information about the service is available at http://llm.lsac.org/. Foreign students must also demonstrate the ability to pay for schooling in this country in order to apply for a student visa (F-1 form). You may be asked to complete a certification of finances form from the law school; if the school is satisfied that the student can pay, it will issue a form (I-20) to submit to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as part of your application for a student visa. Because of the time required to process entry visas, international applicants are encouraged to apply for admission as early in the process as possible. Foreign students may be eligible for institutional grants and loans, but are ineligible for federal loans, and (in most schools) are required to have a US cosigner for private loans. Contact the financial aid office at the schools to which you are applying for more details.
Can an international student go to law school? Yes. Be aware that an international student is not eligible for federal aid. Contact the international offices of the law schools you are considering for further information about alternative ways to finance your legal education. We also suggest international students inquire as to whether or not they will be able to sit for the Bar exam in the state in which they wish to practice. Pre-Law Servides at the University of Texas.