Questions and Answers
Is the degree for the Advanced JD program the same as for the traditional 3 year JD program?
You will earn exactly the same degree: a Juris Doctorate (JD). There is no difference between degrees awarded to students in the Advanced JD program and students on the traditional JD path, and nothing will be different on the diplomas.
Advanced JD students are fully integrated with the approximately 125 to 150 traditional JD candidates in each law school class, and the curriculum and course requirements are the same for Advanced JD and traditional JD students.
The only difference between the two JD programs is that Advanced JD students receive up to 29 transfer credits for their non-U.S. legal studies and, where applicable, receive up to 17 transfer credits for their LLM. Advanced JD students, however, earn exactly the same JD degree as students on the traditional three-year path.
Do I have to graduate in two years? What if I want to stay for three-years like other JD students?
Advanced JD students are not required to graduate in less than three years; they can choose to stay on for another semester or year. While students have an option to extend their time at Arizona Law, most do not. They find that a shortened JD program is enough to lay the foundation to pass the bar exam and be successful in a career as a US lawyer, when combined with their non-US legal training, often significant practice experience, and in some cases, an LLM.
Why don't you require the LSAT for admission?
Advanced JD students enter law school with at least 29 units of credit from their non-US legal training, and up to 36 units for those who also hold an LLM from an accredited US law school. They are thus regarded as transfer students and an LSAT score is not required. Moreover, in over 20 years of experience with non-US students, we have concluded that the LSAT is not a very accurate measure of the ability of non-US students to succeed in law school or as lawyers. We believe that a better measure of the potential of a non-US student's ability to succeed in law school is the nature of the applicant's educational and professional experiences, law school grades, graduate study, and their practice background.
Is the Advanced JD program only for students interested in business and corporate law?
The Advanced JD Program is not focused on business and corporate law. It is a general JD degree and the first year includes the standard foundational curriculum that all JD students take. In the second year, you can focus your studies as you like, including choosing from a number of specialized certificate programs such as environmental, indigenous people's law and policy, criminal law and policy, trade and business law, tax law and policy, and family law.
We believe that earning a JD through our Advanced JD Program will have a very positive impact on your career - and a much more positive impact than an LLM, which many employers view less favorably than a JD. In the Advanced JD Program, you will earn the same JD degree as students in the 3-year program. Yet, you get to start your career one year sooner, thus gaining work experience and avoiding the additional time and financial costs of another year of law school. You have the added advantage of being trained as a lawyer in another jurisdiction.
That said, regardless of where you attend law school or what degree you pursue, securing permanent employment in the United States can sometimes be a challenge for an international student due to immigration laws and quotas.
Therefore, we encourage our international students - students who possess a student visa and no authorization to work in the United States - to expand their career search and utilize their network to identify career options in their home country or outside of the United States. If you work for a multinational company, you can then position yourself for an assignment in the US or elsewhere around the globe.
As an international student, you will need to secure authorization to work off-campus. This authorization is vital to maintain compliance with your immigration status.
The precise requirements and restrictions applicable to you will vary depending on whether you enter the US on an F-1 visa or a J-1 visa.
If you enter the US on an F-1 visa, you must apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work while you are enrolled in the Advanced JD Program. To work in the US, upon graduation you must apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT allows you to work in the US for up to one year upon graduation without sponsorship from your employer and conversion to another visa type. You must apply for OPT no later than 90 days prior to your graduation date. For more information about CPT and OPT, please contact the Office of International Student Programs and Services (ISPS).
If you enter the US on a J-1 visa, your summer work is classified as academic training and you are eligible to work in the United States for a total of 18 months, including work commencing after completion of your studies. The work must be related to your academic field, but you are not required to register for academic credit. For information about J-1 academic training, please contact the Office of International Student Programs and Services (ISPS).
We have recently reduced the tuition for students in the Advanced JD Program from $43,000 per year to a flat $26,000 per year - making it the best-value JD program in the country. At $26,000 per year, you will be able to earn your JD for less than half of what many US students invest for the same degree. Because our Advanced JD students are already receiving such a substantial discount, we are not in the position to offer much in the way of additional scholarships. On occasion, however, we are able to offer small scholarships to exceptional students.
Why does Arizona Law's Advanced JD program cost less than JD and LLM programs at so many other top law schools?
We have tried very hard to make the Advanced JD Program affordable to international students. Many schools price their JD and LLM programs higher and then give "scholarships" as a way to bring down the real cost. In other words, they build in an ability to discount into the price to make students feel like they are getting a bargain or are special, even when they are paying the same net tuition as most other students. We don't do that. Other schools use international students as a source of extra revenue by charging them very high tuition and using that money to subsidize U.S. students. We don't do that either. Our tuition is transparent, without hidden cost, and set in a way that is fair to international students.
You may use your LLM LSAC account to apply to the Advanced JD Program without any further requirements. Prospective students who already have a JD LSAC account may apply through that account ONLY if they have a LSAT score â€“ although the LSAT is not required for admission to the Advanced JD Program, LSAC will not release a JD account memberâ€™s application materials to us without one. Once you have submitted your application through LSAC, please let us know by sending an email with your LSAC account number to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can be sure that LSAC forwards your application to us. Please also contact us if you have any issues in trying to submit your application through LSAC, so that we can assist in resolving them.
Can I choose to live on campus or must I live off campus? And what is the rent that I need to pay for one month if I live on campus.
There are a variety of housing options, both on- and off-campus. You can decide which you prefer. Information, including rental rates, about on campus graduate school housing is available here.
Have another question that is not answered here? Contact Associate Dean Brent White at email@example.com or (520) 626-2063