Two-Year JD for International Lawyers


Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Curriculum: Chris Martin

Program Overview

Northwestern Law is one of the first law schools in the country to offer a Two-Year JD program for foreign-educated attorneys. Students who are admitted to the program receive one year of credit (28 general law credit hours) for their foreign law degree. Two-Year JD students exclusively complete the 1L curriculum required for JD students during their first year. The second year is spent taking elective courses. Two-Year JD students are completely integrated with students in the regular JD program, but they are not eligible to participate on law journal staffs. Graduates of the Two-Year JD program receive a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern Law.


Required First-Year Courses

Course Title
Complete all 8 courses:
BUSCOM 510Contracts
CONPUB 500Constitutional Law
CRIM 520Criminal Law
LAWSTUDY 540Communication and Legal Reasoning I
LAWSTUDY 541Communication and Legal Reasoning II
LITARB 530Civil Procedure
PPTYTORT 530Property

Perspective Elective

Students must complete a Perspective Elective course, designated as such at the time of registration.

Legal Ethics 

Course Title
Select one from the following:
LITARB 600Legal Ethics
LITARB 600GLegal Ethics in a Global Legal Practice
LITARB 600LLegal Ethics for Business Lawyers
LITARB 600PLegal Ethics for Public Interest and Government Lawyers
LITARB 607Legal Ethics (ITA)
TAXLAW 685Tax Ethics, Opinions and Penalties

6 credits of Experiential Learning

Students must complete at least 6 credits in courses that count toward the Experiential Learning requirement, designated as such at the time of registration.

US Legal Doctrine Electives 

Course Title
Select five courses from the following:
BUSCOM 601SBusiness Associations
or BUSCOM 602L Corporations
BUSCOM 605DContracts II: UCC Article 2 (Sales Law)
BUSCOM 620Securities Regulation
BUSCOM 629Employment Law
BUSCOM 650Antitrust Law (or BUSCOM 638 Mergers & Acquisitions)
BUSCOM 690Basic Federal Income Taxation
or BUSCOM 723 Corporate Tax (JD/Gen.LLM)
or BUSCOM 724 Partnership Tax (JD/Gen.LLM)
CONPUB 600Administrative Law
CONPUB 610First Amendment
or CONPUB 615 Fourteenth Amendment
CONPUB 644Legislation
CRIM 610Constitutional Criminal Procedure
LITARB 635Evidence
LITARB 650Civil Procedure II
or CONPUB 650 Federal Jurisdiction
PPTYTORT 610Environmental Law
or PPTYTORT 618 Natural Resources
PPTYTORT 625Estates and Trusts
PPTYTORT 650Intellectual Property

Writing Requirement

2-Year JD students will complete the Advanced Writing Requirement by completing either a Research Writing or a Professional Writing course, designated as such at the time of registration.  2-Year JDs may not double count a course toward the Advanced Writing Requirement and another graduate requirement, such as Experiential Learning.

Curricular Limitations

  • May enroll in no more than one research seminar over the course of their program, and may not enroll in a research seminar if enrolled in Senior Research.  A research seminar is a course carrying the Research Writing attribute.
  • May enroll in either a maximum of four credits of clinical work or a maximum of four credits of senior research (in extraordinary cases, the Director of Research may approve an additional two credits)