In the United States, law graduates are required to take a bar exam in order to practice law. Bar admission is regulated by each of the 50 states, and each state has complete discretion in the process. Some states permit foreign lawyers with a LL.M. degree to take the bar exam and be admitted to practice.
New York is a commonly selected jurisdiction which does permit foreign applications. Each year a group of UM University of Miami LL.M. graduates sit for the New York Bar Exam. The requirements for foreign-educated LL.M. students to seek admission to the New York Bar are complex, and depend upon the particular background and circumstances of each applicant. Additionally, your course of study in the LL.M. program must adhere to certain guidelines (i.e., you must earn a specified minimum number of credits, and take particular courses while in the LL.M program). If you intend to seek admission to the New York bar following completion of an LL.M program, you should carefully read the New York State Board of Law Examiners Guide for Foreign Educated Students. You must also complete New York State’s online Foreign Evaluation Form.
Other states such as Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and California may also permit foreign-educated attorneys to take the bar exam following completion of an LL.M. program in the United States. For a state-by-state analysis, please view the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission.
Florida does not allow foreign applicants to sit for the bar exam with only an LL.M. degree. Only graduates of a three-year ABA approved American J.D. program are eligible for Bar Admission in Florida. Some foreign lawyers do get certified under a special Foreign Legal Consultancy (FLC) rule, which only allows them to counsel clients on the laws of their country of origin (and prior bar admission.)
The FLC rule does not seem to lead to broad job opportunities in Florida. So, if you long-term goal is to practice law in Florida, you should consider the J.D. program. If you are interested, please visit the Transfer to the JD program page under Prospective Students.
Professors John H. Rooney, Jr, Jessica Carvalho Morris, Jan Paulsson, Claudio Finkelstein and Keith Rosenn during the closing reception. (Photo: Jessica A. Giraldo/Miami Law) Full-Size Photo
The Office of International Graduate Law Programs staff and Director Jessica Carvalho Morris (middle) hosted a closing reception at Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita. Faculty Jan Paulsson, John Rooney and Keith Rosenn as well as Claudio Finkelstein are pictured here with the first class of the Basic Concepts in International Arbitration short course. (Photo: Jessica A. Giraldo/Miami Law) Full-Size Photo
Participating students take an oral exam with professor and International Arbitration Program Chair, Jan Paulsson. (Photo: Jessica A. Giraldo/Miami Law) Full-Size Photo
Hear what students have to say about the program.
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