LLM for Foreign Lawyers

There are important differences between a Juris Doctor (JD), which is a professional degree, and Master of Laws (LLM), which is an advanced academic degree. This distinction is particularly important for lawyers who have earned a professional law degree outside of the United States, and wish to practice law within the United States. Enrollment in an LLM program is often the only alternative to spending another three years and tens-of-thousands – if not hundreds-of-thousands – of dollars on a second professional law degree. LLM programs for foreign lawyers usually require one year to complete, provide a broad survey of the American legal system, and include an English proficiency test. The only requirements for most programs are an approved foreign professional law degree, and successful completion of the required English proficiency test. One option for foriegn lawyers to earn their LLM is our partner's recently launched @WashULaw Master of Laws (LLM) program through the top-tier Washington University School of law, which offers an online Master of Laws (LLM) in the U.S. specifically for foreign lawyers.

The trouble is that some states strictly require a JD to practice law, while others allow lawyers with professional law degrees earned in foreign countries to practice law if they complete an ABA-approved LLM program. What this means is that if you hold a professional degree in law from a country outside of the United States, you must either complete a three-year JD program in the United States, or a one-year ABA-approved LLM program in order to practice law in the United States, depending on which state you want to practice law in. You can research your specific situation in the recent edition of the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, which is published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association (read pages 14-19).

For more information, contact the local Bar Admissions Office in the states where you are considering practicing law. Below find a table with the each state Bar Association website, applicable information for international lawyers and a phone number where you can reach someone to answer more specific questions:

LLM for Foreign Lawyers - Table
State Bar Website International Info Phone Number
Alabama LMM Alabama Bar Association N/A 334-269-1515
Alaska LMM Alaska Bar Association N/A 907-272-7469
Arizona LMM Arizona Bar Association N/A 602-452-3963
Arkansas LMM Arkansas Bar Association N/A 501-374-1855
California LLM California Bar Association California International LLM 334-269-1515
Colorado LMM Colorado Bar Association N/A 303-866-6626
Connecticut LLM Connecticut Bar Association Connecticut International LLM 860-706-5135
Delaware LMM Delaware Bar Association N/A 302-577-7038
District of Columbia LMM District of Columbia Bar Association N/A 202-879-2710
Florida LMM Florida Bar Association Florida International LLM 850-487-1292
Georgia LMM Georgia Bar Association N/A 404-651-6454
Hawaii LMM Hawaii Bar Association N/A 808-539-4919
Idaho LMM Idaho Bar Association N/A 208-334-4500
Illinois LMM Illinois Bar Association N/A 217-522-5917
Indiana LMM Indiana Bar Association Indiana International LLM 317-232-2552
Iowa LMM Iowa Bar Association Iowa International LLM 515-725-8029
Kansas LMM Kansas Bar Association N/A 785-296-8410
Kentucky LMM Kentucky Bar Association Kentucky International LLM 859-246-2381
Louisiana LMM Louisiana Bar Association N/A 504-836-2420
Maine LMM Maine Bar Association N/A 207-623-2464
Maryland LMM Maryland Bar Association N/A 410-260-3640
Massachusetts LMM Massachusetts Bar Association Massachusetts International LLM 617-482-4466
Michigan LMM Michigan Bar Association N/A 517-373-4453
Minnesota LMM Minnesota Bar Association N/A 651-297-1800
Mississippi LMM Mississippi Bar Association N/A 601-576-4620
Missouri LMM Missouri Bar Association Missouri Bar 573-751-9814
Montana LMM Montana Bar Association N/A 406-442-7660
Nebraska LMM Nebraska Bar Association N/A 402-475-7091
Nevada LMM Nevada Bar Association Nevada International LLM 702-382-2200
New Hampshire LMM New Hampshire Bar Association N/A 603-271-2646,
New Jersey LMM New Jersey Bar Association N/A 609-984-2111
New Mexico LMM New Mexico Bar Association N/A 505-271-9706
New York LMM New York Bar Association N/A 518-453-5990
North Carolina LMM North Carolina Bar Association N/A 919-828-4886
North Dakota LMM North Dakota Bar Association North International LLM 701-328-4201
Ohio LMM Ohio Bar Association N/A 614-387-9340
Oklahoma LMM Oklahoma Bar Association N/A 405-416-7075
Oregon LMM Oregon Bar Association N/A 503-620-0222
Pennsylvania LMM Pennsylvania Bar Association Pennsylvania International LLM 717-231-3350
Rhode Island LMM Rhode Island Bar Association N/A 401-222-4233
South Carolina LMM South Carolina Bar Association N/A 803-734-1080
South Dakota LMM South Dakota Bar Association N/A 605-773-4898
Tennessee LMM Tennessee Bar Association N/A 615-741-3234
Texas LMM Texas Bar Association Texas International LLM 512-463-1621
Utah LMM Utah Bar Association Utah International LLM 801-531-9077
Vermont LMM Vermont Bar Association N/A 802-828-3281
Virginia LMM Virginia Bar Association Virginia International LLM 804-367-0412
Vermont LMM Vermont Bar Association N/A 802-828-3281
Washington LMM Washington Bar Association Washington International LLM 206-727-8209
West Virginia LMM West Virginia Bar Association N/A 304-558-7815
Wisconsin LMM Wisconsin Bar Association N/A 608-266-9760
Wyoming LMM Wyoming Bar Association N/A 307-632-9061