Many students from other countries enroll at US law schools. You should contact the individual law schools that interest you to learn about each school’s particular requirements, as procedures and requirements for international applicants vary from school to school.
If English is not your native language, most schools will require you to take a standardized English proficiency exam, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Each school sets its own requirements for minimum scores on these tests.
You will also need to take the LSAT, which is required for admission to all ABA-approved law schools.
Transcript Authentication and Evaluation
If you received your education outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada, many law schools will require your international transcripts to be authenticated and evaluated. Most ABA-approved law schools accept—and many require—the authentication and evaluation (A&E) feature included in LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). However, some schools require a different service. Before you register for CAS, make sure that CAS A&E is accepted by the law schools to which you intend to apply.
Do I need to sign up for CAS?
Yes, if you are applying to a law school that requires CAS A&E AND either of the following is true:
- all of your bachelor’s-level work was completed outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada, OR
- you were directly enrolled at an institution located outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada and the total amount of work you completed at all such institutions combined is the equivalent of more than one year of bachelor’s-level study in the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada.
No, if you are only applying to law schools that do not require CAS A&E AND
- all of your bachelor’s-level work was completed outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada.
However, you may choose to register for CAS anyway in order to take advantage of the built-in letter of recommendation and electronic application services.
If you do not sign up for CAS, be sure to identify yourself as an applicant educated at an institution outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada when you register for the LSAT.
How CAS A&E Works
To use CAS’s authentication and evaluation feature, be sure that the amount of work you completed outside of the United States, its territories/associated states, or Canada is greater than the equivalent of one US/Canadian academic year, then sign up for CAS and request that the appropriate documents (e.g., mark sheets, academic records, diplomas, degree certifications, transcripts) be sent directly to LSAC from the institution(s) you attended.
Once LSAC receives your transcripts, we’ll forward them to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) for authentication and evaluation. (There is no charge for this evaluation other than the standard CAS registration fee.) After the authentication and evaluation is complete, AACRAO will send a summary to LSAC, which becomes part of your law school report.
Your law school report will also include copies of your transcripts (and translations, as necessary) and your TOEFL/IELTS score, if applicable.
Once LSAC receives a matriculation decision from a law school, LSAC will forward the school your original non-US/Canadian transcript(s).
Financing Your Legal Education
International students must demonstrate the ability to pay for US schooling in order to apply for a student visa (F-1 form).
Additionally, law schools may ask you to complete a certification of finances form; if the school is satisfied that you can pay for your education, it will issue you an I-20 form to submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of your application for a student visa.
Because of the time required to process entry visas, we encourage you to apply for admission as early as possible.
You may be eligible for institutional grants and loans; however, you are ineligible for federal loans. Most law schools will require you to have a US cosigner for any private loans.
Contact the financial aid office at the schools to which you are applying for more details.