Miami Law Recruitment & Admissions

Information for International Applicants to the Juris Doctor Program

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The information found herein will be updated in late March to reflect changes in tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. Therefore, we advise you to wait until this information is posted to complete your Statement of Financial Responsibility. For your reference, the cost of attendance for the 2013-14 academic year 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 you completed more than one year of postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your international transcripts. 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 your 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 - Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Applicants whose native language is not English, and whose undergraduate education is from outside the U.S., are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. If this applies to you, you must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD Credential Assembly Service is 0058. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your LSDAS report.

Our minimum required score on the TOEFL examination depends upon which version of the test you take. We require a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, and a total score of 100 on the internet-based test. Waivers of the TOEFL requirement will only be considered in situations where the applicant can present other evidence of English capability (such as a degree from another accredited American institution).

To receive information concerning the TOEFL, contact TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, U.S.A.; E-mail: toefl@ets.org; Website: www.ets.org/toefl.

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

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 and 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. In addition, if they compile a strong record in their LL.M. coursework and meet the program's requirements, they may forego receiving the LL.M. degree and transfer most of the credits earned during the LL.M. Program towards the J.D. degree, thereby earning the J.D. in two years or two years plus one summer.

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 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 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.

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

It is your responsibility to contact the Board of Bar Examiners of the state in which you desire to practice law to determine whether the foreign degree you received will entitle you to sit for that state's bar examination. You may access this information here.

If you choose to study law in this country, you must be aware that successful completion of the J.D. program, and even admission to a state bar, does not automatically give you the right to practice law in the United States. You may find yourself in a situation in which you have the same academic qualifications as U.S. citizens, but are unable to work here. Thus, we urge you to carefully examine current immigration regulations and consult with a United States Consulate before committing yourself to a major financial outlay.

You may also wish to 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 your 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

If you are neither a United States citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States, it is important that you review and comply with the following information.

A. Visa Eligibility

To enter the United States as a law student, you must obtain a visa (most likely an F-1 student visa). Before you can solicit an F-1 visa, you 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. You may access more detailed information at: travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.

To obtain the I-20 Form, you are required to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to provide for the educational and personal expenses you will incur during one year of study in the United States (estimated total cost is found on the Statement of Financial Responsibility form). You must complete the Statement of Financial Responsibility, and must provide a bank letter confirming that you, your sponsor, or family has sufficient funds available to defray your educational and living expenses. 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, we cannot accept bank letters dated prior to March. This is the form from last year, we will not have a new one until the budget is out – which will be later in March.

If you are the recipient of a scholarship from the University of Miami, you must submit a bank letter confirming that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and any portion of your educational expenses not covered by the University of Miami scholarship. Since it usually takes a minimum of two weeks to receive the I-20 Form, we encourage 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.

If you are the recipient of a scholarship from an entity other than the University of Miami, your scholarship letter can replace the bank letter. If, however, the scholarship is a partial scholarship only, you must provide a bank letter confirming that you have sufficient funds to cover all educational and living expenses not covered by the scholarship.

B. Obtaining the Visa

The Law School will send the I-20 Form to your designated address. Well before departing for the United States, you should present your I-20 Form (together with your passport, photograph and application form) to the nearest U.S. Consul. We recommend that you request an unlimited-entry visa, since you may wish to visit countries in the nearby Caribbean islands during your 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 for you to change your status to an F-1 visa without returning to your home country.

C. University Requirements and Services

1. Upon your arrival at the University of Miami, you will be required to present a copy of your visa to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.. You will not be able to begin attending classes without documentation that you have complied 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: www.miami.edu/student-health

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. If you have any questions or concerns following your admission to the Law School, please contact this office directly at 305-284-2928 or isss@miami.edu. The website address is www.miami.edu/international-student.

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 you 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.