For more information about this program, contact Spencer Kimura at (808) 956-9038 or by email.
Advanced JD (Juris Doctor) Program
The Advanced Juris Doctor (AJD) degree is a special program that allows graduates of foreign law schools to complete a U.S. Juris Doctor degree in as little as two years. This enables graduates of foreign law programs to save time and money in earning their JD degree. It is particularly useful for those who plan to remain in the U.S. to take a bar examination and work in the legal field.
Under the AJD, qualified students may be admitted with advanced standing and awarded up to 29 credits for their previous law study. The decision on the number of credits to be granted will be made when your application is considered. Successful applicants will be notified at the time of admission about how many credits they will receive for their foreign study.
Most students admitted to this program will complete the first-year required JD curriculum in their first year of study, then take their choice of elective courses in the second year of study. An academic advisor will assist students to design an individual program suited to their background and interests, including participation in our programs in environmental, international and business law.
Advanced JD students are full members of our Law School community. Students admitted to the AJD program receive the same degree as other JD students and are eligible to take the bar examination in all U.S. jurisdictions, if they meet the other requirements for admission.
To be eligible for the AJD program, applicants must hold a law degree from an accredited or approved law school outside the U.S. and have excellent English language skills.
- Civil Law Graduates: In addition, applicants with a bachelor of law degree from Civil Law countries are required to have a Master of Laws (LLM) or other graduate degree before applying to the AJD.
- Common Law Graduates: Applicants with law degrees from Common Law countries are not required to have an LLM or other graduate degree before applying.
We recommend (but do not require) that applicants take the LSAT or the GRE examination. Applicants do not have to be members of the bar in their home countries. However, their educational and professional experiences, including law school grades and practice background, are carefully considered by the Admissions Committee.
The application will become available on September 1 of each year, and we consider applications on a rolling basis. We recommend that you submit your application before the final posted deadline.
A complete application includes the following:
- Advanced JD Application Form submitted through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website (account registration required)
- Personal Statement: Write about your experience and qualifications, your reasons for seeking an AJD degree, and the course of study you wish to pursue. The statement that you submit must be written by you alone and should not exceed 800 words (about three typed pages).
- Writing Sample: Submit a document written by you at work or school in English on any topic, up to three pages, as a sample of your English writing ability. The writing sample does not need to be a complete document. You may black out any confidential information.
- Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
- $75 Application Fee: Application fees are not refundable or transferable.
- AJD applicants must have an active Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Registration using the LSAC website. The CAS report is an assembly service that will evaluate and compile your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS score and will send them directly to our law school. Additional CAS fees will apply.
- Letters of Recommendation: You must provide two letters of recommendation to LSAC to be included in your CAS report. We prefer that one of the letters be from a former or current law professor, if possible. If a recommendation letter is not written in English, then an English translation must accompany the original recommendation letter. Applicants to the AJD who have earned an LLM degree in the US should obtain one of the recommendation letters from an LLM teacher.
- Transcripts: Request that official transcripts from all institutions (graduate and undergraduate) where you have studied be sent directly to LSAC to be included in your CAS report.
- English Test Requirement: Your application must include a TOEFL or IELTS examination score report with a minimum 600 TOEFL score or 7 IELTS score, unless you meet the exemption criteria listed below.
- Interview by Zoom or in-person: Once your application is complete, the Admissions Committee may contact you with instructions for scheduling an interview. In most instances, the interview will be conducted electronically via Zoom.
Proof of English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Your application must include a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination score report, unless you earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution in the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand. Exemption is not automatic and will be granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
Test scores must be sent from ETS or IELTS directly to LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). We prefer scores from tests taken within the last three years. LSAC will not accept copies of score reports directly from applicants.
TOEFL: You can arrange for an electronic submission of your TOEFL score directly to LSAC. For TOEFL, use code 8395 when placing the order. You may be asked to choose a department code as well. Any department code will do, regardless of the corresponding department name, as long as you use institution code 8395.
IELTS: Law School Admissions Council only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to LSAC.
If you are admitted to the Law School and need a student visa, you will need to get a passport. The US government will also require that you show proof of adequate funds for the program of study. We will ask you to fill out and submit Visa/Financial Support forums if you are admitted. See tuition and cost of attendance.
Resources from International Student Services [www.hawaii.edu]
“The Advanced JD program brings lawyers from all parts of the globe to Richardson. They add diversity to the Law School community, not just because of their nationalities, but also because of the variety of their work experiences.”
Spencer Kimura, Program Coordinator
Certificates & Requirements
Civil Law Graduates: In addition, applicants with a bachelor of law degree from Civil Law countries are required to have a Master of Laws (LLM) or other graduate degree before applying to the AJD.
Common Law Graduates: Applicants with law degrees from Common Law countries are not required to have an LLM or other graduate degree before applying.
Advanced JD Application: Forms are submitted through LSAC’s website (account registration required).
Credential Assembly Service (CAS): AJD applicants must have an active CAS registration using the Law School Admissions Council website
A Degree in Two Years
The AJD Program is the quickest way for foreign law graduates to earn the JD degree. We do not requre the LSAT exam to apply to the AJD Program; and graduating in two years instead of three is a considerable savings.