Further your education and your career with the Advanced Standing Program for Foreign-Trained Lawyers

Are you a lawyer trained in another country, dreaming of earning your Juris Doctor degree in the United States? Iowa Law welcomes you to explore our Advanced Standing Program, designed specifically for internationally trained lawyers like you.

Imagine completing your JD in four semesters (two years) instead of the conventional six (three years) – a reality within your reach through our ASJD program. Approved by the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, this program allows you to transfer up to one year of academic credit from qualifying foreign legal studies.

Why choose the Advanced Standing Program for Foreign-Trained Lawyers at Iowa Law?

  • World-Class Academics: Our innovative curriculum will prepare you for diverse legal roles while amplifying your expertise and positioning you for a brighter legal future in the US.
  • Supportive Environment: Join a community that values diverse perspectives and supports your academic and professional growth every step of the way.
  • Accelerated Timeline: Complete your JD journey in just two years, saving time and launching your legal career sooner.
  • Expert Faculty: Learn from distinguished faculty members who are leaders in their fields, offering a wealth of knowledge and practical insights.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow students, alumni, and legal professionals through our extensive network, fostering valuable relationships for your future.

Global excellence, local expertise

Ralph Arumah

“The Advanced Standing program at Iowa Law was the perfect fit for me. After law school in Nigeria and an LLM at the University of Illinois, the two-year JD program was ideal. The success of Iowa Law alumni was also a major factor for me. I noticed many graduates securing prominent positions, and the school's commitment to assisting students and providing resources for job placement impressed me.” Ralph Arumah (JD24)


Seamless transition, accelerated success

Apoorva Gokare

“Starting law school in a different country was overwhelming, and having to apply for jobs was even more challenging. I came here straight from India, so it was hard to explain my situation to employers. Iowa Law’s career services helped me organize my application materials and practice mock interviews. I can say I made the right decision to come here because Iowa Law helped me to launch my career in corporate law.” Apoorva Gokare (JD23)

Application Details

  1. International law degree:
    • Either completion of a university law degree in a country other than the U.S., such as a Bachelor's of Law (LLB), OR completion of a graduate-level law degree with a course of study of at least three years in a country whose first legal training opportunity is at the graduate level, such as the Chinese Juris Master degree or the new JD degree in Japan and South Korea.
    • Additionally, the school where you studied or received your degree in law must be one that has accreditation within its country similar to accreditation by the American Bar Association.
  2. English Proficiency Exam: All applicants for the Advanced Standing JD whose first language is not English must submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) except for those who:
    • Have completed a bachelor's degree at an accredited university in the U.S.;
    • Have an equivalent degree from an accredited university in Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom; or
    • Submit acceptable alternative evidence of a high degree of proficiency in English.
  3.  Current U.S. work eligibility:
    • All applicants must be currently authorized to work in the U.S. OR be a current member of a U.S. state bar association.
    • Student visas such as F-1 and J-1 do not meet the work eligibility requirement.
    • Exceptions to the work eligibility requirement are rarely made. Those wishing to have an application reviewed who do not meet this requirement must include an addendum to their application providing relevant details.

  1. Apply online with LSAC. The application deadline is April 1.
  2. Personal Statement: The personal statement should be submitted in English and limited to two to three pages. Potential topics for your statement include discussing significant accomplishments or describing any unique life experiences. Your statement should also address questions including why you wish to study law in the United States and how you would contribute to the law school community and the legal profession.
  3. Curriculum Vitae or Résumé: You should include a description of any employment or research experience in a one to two-page curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé, written in English.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: You must submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation.  At least one, and preferably both, should be from law professors who can comment on your critical thinking, writing skills, and potential for success in law school.
  5. Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of academic records of coursework completed in colleges, universities, technical institutes, and professional institutions are required, in English, regardless of the duration of study or whether you obtained a degree.  The College of Law participates in LSAC's Credential Assembly Service.  You are responsible for submitting an official transcript from each institution you have attended to LSAC.
  6. LSAT: The LSAT is not required.  However, submitting an LSAT score can enhance your application.
  7. TOEFL: International students whose first language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS and submit their score. Applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree in the U.S., or an equivalent degree at an accredited English-language university in Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are exempt from this requirement. Most students accepted to the program have TOEFL scores above 105 (Internet)/620 (written) or an overall IELTS score of at least 8.0 with no subsections below 7.0. Waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS requirements is not normally granted. The University's code for both exams is 6681. For more information, visit: www.ets.org/toefl.
  8. Evaluative Interview: After applying to the program you may be invited to participate in an evaluative interview. If you are selected, the College of Law Admissions Committee will contact you with instructions on scheduling an interview. In most instances, the interview will be conducted electronically.

To learn more about the required coursework for Advanced Standing students, please see our Common Curricular Plan.