U.S. Bar Exam Information

The LL.M. Programs are not specifically designed as a U.S. bar exam preparation course; however, after graduating from the program, many of our students sit for the New York bar exam. We urge students interested in taking a U.S. bar exam to review the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, which lists the bar eligibility requirements of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The guide is published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Students who opt to sit for a bar exam may be limited in their course selections. We encourage all students to discuss their course of study and the various requirements for their LL.M. and a bar exam with the academic advisors of their respective LL.M. programs.

The qualification to sit for the New York Bar Exam is a foundational goal for many of our LL.M students.   The Program advises students, even before their LL.M degree begins in earnest, to submit the Foreign Evaluation Form to New York State Board of Bar Examiners.  This Foreign Evaluation Form is the second of two requirements to sit for the New York Bar Exam, along with graduation from an LL.M degree with a minimum of twenty-four credits - twelve of which are in New York Bar subjects - with a passing GPA.   

The Foreign Evaluation Form requires several official documents from your legal education in your home country.   In addition, these documents must be properly notarized, sealed, and delivered.   In order to avoid delay in sitting for the New York Bar, students should begin this process - ideally, even before leaving their country and arriving in DC - to allow time for any administrative mistakes, and the resulting resubmission of documents.   Find more information here: Foreign Legal Education (nybarexam.org)  For any questions, please contact Associate Director of the International Legal Studies Program, Fernanda Ellenberg, at fellenberg@wcl.american.edu

New York Bar Exam – Eligibility Requirements

Information about the New York bar for foreign-trained LL.M. students is available here. Foreign-trained students should pay particular attention to Rule 520.6 of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law. Foreign-trained attorneys must seek an Advance Evaluation of Eligibility to sit for the New York Bar Exam up to one year in advance of sitting for the New York Bar Exam.

Foreign-trained LL.M. students who wish to take the New York Bar Exam must complete at least 12 credits of required classes of the 24 credits needed for the LL.M. degree. The following courses are offered at AUWCL for students interested in taking the New York Bar Exam:

Required (6 credits)

  • LAW-580-001: American Legal Institutions (2 credits; offered Fall & Spring)
  • LAW-580L-002: LL.M. Legal Research & Writing (2 credits; offered Fall & Spring), and
  • LAW-550: Legal Ethics (2 credits; offered Spring & Summer)

Plus 6 credits selected among the following courses:

  • LAW-581-001: U.S. Business Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
  • LAW-504-002: U.S. Contracts Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
  • LAW-503-001: U.S. Constitutional Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
  • LAW-507-001: U.S. Criminal Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
  • LAW-636: Family Law (3 credits; offered Fall & Spring)
  • Subject to prior approval, LL.M. students may register for Evidence (LAW-633), Secured Transactions (LAW-840), and Wills, Trusts and Estates (LAW-697), and Conflict of Laws (LAW-621)

LL.M. candidates interested in taking the New York bar exam must complete the degree within 24 months of beginning the LL.M. program, and may only enroll in a maximum of 4 credits in the summer.

NOTE: The New York Rules do not allow online or distance learning credits. Students enrolled in an online LL.M. or hybrid LL.M. program at AUWCL will not be eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam.

View more information about New York Bar Exam requirements here.


Washington D.C. Bar Exam – Eligibility Requirements

AUWCL offers a D.C. bar exam track to foreign trained law graduates where students will take 26 credits in subjects tested on the DC bar exam (which is now the Uniform Bar Exam.) The list of subjects tested on the Uniform Bar Exam is available here.

Information about the admissions of foreign-trained graduates to the D.C. bar is available in Rule 46 of the D.C. Court of Appeals on Admission to the Bar. Specifically, Rule 46 (c) (4) provides that “An applicant who graduated from a law school not approved by the ABA shall be permitted to take the bar examination only after successfully completing at least 26 credit hours of study in a law school that at the time of such study was approved by the ABA. All such 26 credit hours shall be earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single subject tested on the Uniform Bar Exam”.

View more information about admission to the D.C. bar here. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the D.C. Bar Admissions are available here.   

Please address your questions about bar exams and bar admissions in the U.S. for foreign-trained lawyers and students to Fernanda Ellenberg  fellenberg@wcl.american.edu.