Two-year J.D. for Foreign Lawyers

Students in Ireland during study abroad

Two-year Juris Doctor (JD) for Graduates of Foreign Law Schools and International Lawyers

Students enrolled in the two-year JD are subject to the same rules and regulations and earn the same degree as those enrolled in the traditional three-year JD and, upon graduation, are eligible to sit for the bar in every state in the U.S.

Application Requirements

All candidates for admission must be graduates of a foreign university and hold a first, professional degree in law at the time of registration at the School of Law. A first professional degree in law includes an LL.B., abogado, maitrise, or equivalent foreign degree in law. Consult the list of the eligible foreign degrees.

Foreign-degree applicants must complete all requirements for domestic applicants and submit credentials to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for translation and evaluation. LSAC will then send your CAS report to Duquesne.

Foreign-degree candidates whose primary language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS. The TOEFL or IELTS should be taken by February 1 of the year in which you plan to enroll. The deadline to submit the application is the same as that for new domestic applicants, but it is suggested that foreign degree candidates apply as early as possible to allow sufficient time for credentials evaluation.

The Admissions Committee will generally consider a total TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.5 to be minimally acceptable.

Degree requirements

Students spend two years in residence at Duquesne and must take all courses required for the traditional JD program.

The two-year JD degree requires completion of the same number of credit-hours as the traditional three-year JD (currently 87 credit hours); however, students admitted into the two-year JD program are given advanced standing and may receive up to 28 transfer-credits for courses completed at a law school outside the United States.

Applicants must submit to Duquesne a copy of the syllabus for each course for which transfer credit is requested.

All syllabi must be in English, must indicate the topics covered, and must show the amount of in-class and out-of-class work assigned with sufficient specificity for Duquesne to determine whether it would have granted credit for the course and the number of credits that would have been granted under Standard 310.

As a general rule, transfer credits will not be awarded for coursework completed more than five years prior to the date a foreign student matriculates into the two-year JD.


The following curriculum assumes that none of a student's transfer credits satisfy any of the core courses.

First-year curriculum. During the first year of residency, students admitted into the two-year JD program take the required first year curriculum: Civil Procedure and Drafting 1, Civil Procedure II, Contracts I and II, Legal Research and Writing I and II, Property I and II, Torts I and II, and Criminal Law.

Second-year curriculum. In the final year, students must take the remaining required courses: Constitutional Law I and II, Corporations I and II, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Sales and one of the following two courses: (1) Criminal Procedure: Fundamentals or (2) Criminal Procedure: The Police Function. If a student's G.P.A. at the end of the first year would result in that student being ranked in the bottom quarter of the first-year class for the traditional three-year JD, the student will be required to take Core/Applied Competencies I and II. The remainder of the second-year curriculum is comprised of electives and satisfying the Upper-Level Writing Requirement and the Experiential Learning Requirement.