Information for International Applicants to the Juris Doctor Program

The information found on this page is updated each March to reflect changes in tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. Applicants are advised to wait until this information is posted to complete the Statement of Financial Responsibility. For reference, the cost of attendance can be accessed here.

I - Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

All persons applying for admission to the University of Miami School of Law Juris Doctor program are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which is administered by the Educational Testing Service at various testing centers in the United States and abroad. Admission is based primarily on the applicant's overall grade point average and LSAT scores.

LSAC/LSAT Information Resources:
Website: www.lsac.org
E-mail: lsacinfo@lsac.org
Mail: Law School Admissions Council, 552 Penn Street, Box 2000, Newtown, PA, 18940-0998, U.S.A.
Telephone: 215-968-1001
TDD: 215-968-1128
Facsimile: 215-968-1119

II - Evaluation of Foreign Undergraduate Transcripts/Degrees

The University of Miami School of Law requires that international transcripts be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service's authentication and evaluation feature. If a student has completed more than one year of postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, use of this service for the evaluation of international transcripts is required. This service is included in the Credential Assembly Service registration fee. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into an applicant’s Credential Assembly Service report. Students applying to the Juris Doctor program must possess a bachelor's degree from a US regionally accredited institution, or an equivalent degree from a international institution. The evaluation from the Credential Assembly Service will clarify if international degrees meet this requirement.

Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at 215-968-1001 or www.lsac.org.

III - English Language Proficiency Test (TOEFL / IELTS) 

Applicants whose native language is not English, and whose undergraduate education is from outside the U.S., are required to submit results of an English language proficiency test. Miami Law will accept scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum required TOEFL score for admission is 580 paper-based, 237 computer-based and 92 internet-based. The minimum required IELTS score for admission is 7.0. LSAC's institutional code to electronically report the TOEFL score is 8395. No institutional code is needed for the IELTS. Scores from either tests will be included in the authentication and evaluation feature of the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report. Miami Law also offers an Intensive Legal English program option for qualified law students who need to improve English proficiency before commencing LL.M. studies.

IV - Advanced Standing Credit for Law Study in a Foreign Law School

Foreign-trained law students who have attended an accredited law school outside of the United States may receive credit for some courses taken in the foreign law school which parallel elective courses offered at the University of Miami School of Law. Graduates of civil law schools generally will not be awarded as many advanced standing credits as will graduates of common law schools. The applicant, nevertheless, is required to present all of the documents required for admission, including results of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The Law School's decision regarding the amount of advanced standing credits to be awarded will be sent to the applicant prior to registration. The Committee may require a more detailed transcript evaluation in order to grant advanced standing.

 Graduates of foreign law schools who have completed the requirements for a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at the University of Miami School of Law

These students who are admitted to the J.D. Program may be awarded up to 29 advanced standing credits for law courses taken in the degree granting foreign law school. Read more.
(Miami Law also offers an Intensive Legal English program option for qualified law students who need to improve English proficiency before commencing LL.M. studies.) 

 Graduates of foreign law schools who have earned a graduate law degree from an A.B.A.-accredited U.S. law school other than the University of Miami School of Law

These students may be awarded up to a maximum of 29 advanced standing credits for law courses taken in the degree granting foreign law school. Although these applicants will not receive credit towards the J.D. for the coursework undertaken at the U.S. law school, the coursework may affect their admissibility and the number of advanced standing credits to be awarded for their foreign law degree.

 Graduates of foreign law schools who have not earned a graduate law degree from a U.S. law school

Foreign-trained law students may be awarded up to a maximum of 29 advanced standing credits towards the J.D. degree for law courses taken in the degree granting foreign law school. Graduates of civil law schools generally will not be awarded as many advanced standing credits as will graduates of common law schools. (Miami Law also offers an Intensive Legal English + LL.M. program option for qualified law students who need to improve English proficiency before commencing LL.M. studies.)

V - Practicing Law in the United States: Important Notice for All International Applicants

It is each student’s responsibility to contact the Board of Bar Examiners of the state where he or she desires to practice law to determine whether the foreign degree received allows for sitting (taking) that state's bar examination. Access the National Conference of Bar Examiners website here or visit Miami Law's page on Bar Admissions Information for Foreign Lawyers.

International students must be aware that successful completion of the J.D. program, and even admission to a state bar, does not automatically give the right to practice law in the United States. It is possible to find a situation where international graduates have the same academic qualifications as U.S. citizens, but are unable to work here. Thus, all international students are urged to carefully examine current immigration regulations and consult with a United States Consulate before committing to a major financial outlay.

Also consider the fact that U.S. law students normally accept clerkships during the summer months. Special employment rules prevail for students in the United States with an F-1 visa which may or may not affect one’s decision to enroll. For more information on the rules relating to the employment of F-1 students, please consult a United States Consulate.

VI - Immigration Information

For individuals who are neither a United States citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States, it is important to review and comply with the following information.

 A. Visa Eligibility

One must obtain a visa (most likely an F-1 student visa) to enter the United States as a law student. Before soliciting an F-1 visa, each student must obtain an I-20 Form from the University of Miami Office of International Admissions. Please keep in mind that receipt of an I-20 Form does not guarantee that a visa will be issued. The discretion to issue a visa rests with the United States government (through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Consulates). Moreover, a student who is issued a visa may be denied entry into this country. Access more detailed information at: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html.

To obtain the I-20 Form, it is required a student demonstrate that he or she has sufficient funds to provide for the educational and personal expenses incurred during one year of study in the United States (estimated total cost is found on the Statement of Financial Responsibility form). Completion of the Statement of Financial Responsibility, and providing a bank letter confirming that the applicant, sponsor, or family has sufficient funds available to defray the applicant’s educational and living expenses is required. The bank verification letter must be in English and must state the amount of funds available in U.S. currency. Moreover, the bank verification letter must be dated within six months of the start of the academic year. Thus, Miami Law cannot accept bank letters dated prior to March. This is the form from last year, and a new one will not be ready until the budget is out – which will be later in March.

For scholarship recipients from the University of Miami, submission of a bank letter confirming sufficient funds to cover living expenses and any portion of educational expenses not covered by the University of Miami scholarship is required. Since it usually takes a minimum of two weeks to receive the I-20 Form, Miami Law encourages students to submit the Statement of Financial Responsibility and bank verification letter as soon as possible after March and no later than two months before enrollment.

For scholarship recipients from an entity other than the University of Miami, the scholarship letter can replace the bank letter. If, however, the scholarship is a partial scholarship only, then submission of a bank letter confirming the applicant has sufficient funds to cover all educational and living expenses not covered by the scholarship is required.

 B. Obtaining the Visa

The Law School will send the I-20 Form to each applicant’s designated address. Well before departing for the United States, each international student should present his or her I-20 Form (together with passport, photograph and application form) to the nearest U.S. Consul. Miami Law recommends requesting an unlimited-entry visa, since students may wish to visit countries in the nearby Caribbean islands during their stay in the United States. Do not come to the University with a B-2 (tourist) visa or through the Visa Waiver Program; it will not be possible to change the status to an F-1 visa without returning to one’s home country.

 C. University Requirements and Services

1. Upon arrival at the University of Miami, international students are required to present a copy of their visa to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. International students will not be able to begin attending classes without documentation of compliance with immigration requirements.

2. All international students and scholars are required to enroll in the University sponsored health insurance program. The annual premium for this coverage is added to each student's fees. All new students are required to provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella. In addition, all international students are required to submit proof of a tuberculosis (TB) test within 6 months prior to registration. A proof of immunization form (Immunization Compliance Form) is available upon request at the Student Health Center. The Health Center's e-mail and website addresses are:

E-mail: studenthealth@miami.edu
Website: http://studenthealth.studentaffairs.miami.edu/ 

3. The University's Department of International Student and Scholar Services exists to meet the special needs and interests of international students. International Student and Scholar Services administrators provide assistance with cultural familiarization, orientation to the University, academic and personal matters, responsibilities of non-immigrant aliens and compliance with immigration regulations. All new international students are required to participate in the Orientation Program prior to enrollment. For any questions or concerns following admission to the Law School, please contact this office directly at 305-284-2928 or isss@miami.edu

4. International students are encouraged to join the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO), the parent organization of all international groups operating on campus. COISO is designed to help international students with social and living adjustments at the University and in the Greater Miami area. COISO currently sponsors over 25 individual country student organizations and represents over 1500 international students. COISO also sponsors several major University programs that highlight the varied cultures represented by the international student body at the University, including International Week and United Nations Day.

5. In addition, the School of Law includes a separate Office of International Graduate Law Programs. This Law School office primarily focuses on post-graduate law programs in comparative and international law. However, the staff is available to assist with the array of requirements and services that affect foreign students at UM. To contact that office, call 305-284-5402 or e-mail intl-llm@law.miami.edu.

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virtual tour

More on Living in Miami

ADMISSIONS VIEWBOOK

 

OUR EXPERT GUIDE: Law School: 29 Critical Questions To Ask