Texas Law-ITAM Joint Degree Program
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law (Texas Law) has partnered with the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) to provide an opportunity for a cohort of selected student to earn both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Texas Law and the Licenciatura en Derecho from ITAM. The aim of the program is to train lawyers to be exceptionally well qualified to practice law on an international level. The program offers a complete course of study in both legal systems, affording students an extremely high level of preparation for the transnational practice of law. The students who successfully complete the program will be eligible, from the academic point of view, to sit for the bar examination in any U.S. jurisdiction and would be eligible, from an academic point of view , to file a license before the Mexican Ministry of Education in order to be admitted to practice law in Mexico.
Meet Luis Leos (J.D. Expected 2020), one of two students taking advantage of the opportunity to earn an elite law degree in two countries at once, and learn about this unique program. Mr. Leos will spend the next two years at Texas Law, after four years of study at ITAM.
Texas Law J.D. students interested in applying to study at ITAM to complete the Joint Degree Program in Mexico City should contact OutgoingExchange@law.utexas.edu for questions and to submit an application.
All students who participate in the program will spend a minimum of two full academic years in residence at Texas Law. Students who begin their studies in Mexico will spend their first four years of study in Mexico and then will spend the following two years of study at Texas Law.
Texas Law's J.D. is a full-time program with classes offered only during the day. Because they will have to fit their requirements into a more compressed period, students in the program should not plan to engage in outside employment during their two academic years of study at Texas Law.
Grades and Exams
At Texas Law, the following letter grades are assigned in the School of Law: A+, A, A-; B+, B, B-; C+, C; D; and F. In calculating the grade point average for law courses, an A+ counts as 4.30 points a semester hour; an A, as 4; an A-, as 3.70; a B+, as 3.30; a B, as 3; a B-, as 2.70; a C+, as 2.30, a C, as 2; a D, as 1.70; and an F, as 1.30. A student must receive a final grade of at least D in a course to receive credit for that course.
Grades of F are included in the grade point average, but in courses the student earned an F are not counted toward the number of hours required for a degree. A student who fails a required course must repeat it once. A student who fails an elective course may, at their option, repeat it once. The student may not repeat any course more than once. Both the original and the subsequent grade are used in computing the student's grade point average.
A student must have a grade point average of at least 1.90 on all law courses taken to successfully complete the Texas Law part of the program; a student whose final grade point average at Texas Law falls below 1.9 will not have met the minimum requirements for the joint degree.
A student who has received final grades for more than 20 semester hours and whose average falls below 1.80 will be dropped from the program. A student who has received final grades for more than 20 semester hours and who average is 1.80 to 1.89 will be placed on scholastic probation. While on scholastic probation, a student who fails to maintain at least a 1.90 average on all law courses taken during any semester will be dropped from the program.
Students who begin their studies at ITAM will pay a total amount of tuition equal to the credits for the program and 20% of ITAM's units of credits accepted from Texas Law courses taken in the last two years. In addition, students will pay two years of tuition at the non-resident rate to The University of Texas. During the time of enrollment at ITAM, students will make tuition payments directly to ITAM. During the two years of enrollment at Texas Law, students will make Texas Law tuition payments directly to Texas Law and will make the accepted credits payments directly to ITAM.
Classes at Texas Law will be taught in English. Students who participate in the joint degree program will be expected to be fluent in both English and Spanish and must be able to express themselves orally and in writing in both languages at a graduate level. As part of the application process, students may be required to sit for an interview with Texas Law professors or administrators.
ITAM students will be required to obtain the F1 U.S. visa. Texas Law will provide students with the formal acceptance document required by all American consulates in the U.S. to apply for an F1 visa. The University's International Office will provide students with general information on the visa application process. However, students are ultimately responsible for obtaining the visa in a timely manner and meeting the requirements for admission. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Career Services Office (CSO) can help you achieve your career goals by advising you of career options, providing job search strategies and resources, and connecting you with potential employers. Establish an ongoing working relationship with CSO during your job search. Their career counselors (each a licensed attorney) can provide individualized career planning assistance to prepare you for today’s competitive job market. Use your time at Texas Law exploring a number of career options and staying open to opportunities presented to you. Take time to attend CSO's panels and workshops throughout the year that highlight different practice areas and network with as many legal professionals as possible to learn more about the legal profession.
Students with the J.D. degree are eligible, from the academic point of view, to take the bar examination in any American jurisdiction once certified as having completed the requirements fro the J.D.
Rules and Regulations
Students in the program are subject to the academic rules in force at their home school and at the school they are attending, to the regulations of their home and host universities, to all program guidelines, and to the laws of their home and host countries.
Requirements for Juris Doctor:
- Complete a total of 58 credits at Texas Law.
- Take the following courses:
- First semester: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, and Legal Research and Writing I.
- Second semester: Criminal Law, Property, Torts, Legal Research and Writing II, and one (1) Elective.
- Third semester: Constitutional Law II, Professional Responsibility, and two (2) Electives.
- Fourth Semester: Writing Seminar, Skills Class, and two (2) Electives.
How to Apply
- Must be currently enrolled at ITAM and have completed their seventh semester of study. Contact the ITAM Program Coordinator, Claudia Álvarez Estrada, to start the application process.
- Must submit an application for J.D. admission by March 1st. The application can be found at www.lsac.org and will be available starting September 1st.
- Must submit a personal statement as part of their application.
- Must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit an official score report. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test or a minimum a score of 7.0 on the IELTS. Scores cannot be more than two years old. If you are a native English speaker, this requirement is waived.
- Applicants to the combined degree program must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than February’s test administration and submit their applications postmarked by March 1st.
- Register with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Additionally, applicants with a foreign law degree must register for the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.
- At least two letters of recommendation (LORs) are required. You may submit a maximum of three LORs, and these should be submitted directly to LSAC.
- Must submit a transcript.
- Must submit a resume.
- Application questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Two financial aid programs are available to ITAM students while they are at Texas Law. Mexican students are eligible to apply for Tuition Assistance for Mexican Students (TAMS). The TAMS award provides a waiver of the nonresident portion of a student's tuition bill. The TAMS award is not a cash award. To be eligible for the TAMS award, you must be a citizen and resident of Mexico who demonstrates financial need. Receiving the TAMS award is not guaranteed as the application is competitive due to the limited number of awards. The deadline to apply for TAMS is usually early April. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITAM students may apply for the Good Neighbor Scholarship (GNS). GNS provides an exemption of one year's worth of tuition (fall and spring) to students who were born in and are residents of a nation in the Western Hemisphere (excluding Cuba and the United States). A full list of eligibility requirements, including eligible nations, can be found within the GNS application. The exemption provided by the Good Neighbor Scholarship does not pay for any fees or charges on the tuition bill, such as health insurance, late registration fees, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Support Services fee, etc. The scholarship is administered through ISSS on behalf of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The deadline to apply for GNS is usually late February. For more information, contact email@example.com.