Bar Information for International Lawyers

The LL.M. degree does not qualify foreign lawyers to practice law in the United States. Each individual state in the U.S. regulates the admission of attorneys to the practice of law within its jurisdiction. The requirements for bar admission vary from state to state and are quite complex. A foreign LL.M. student who plans to sit for a bar examination in the U.S. should carefully investigate the relevant requirements prior to beginning his/her studies.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to read the information provided by the Board of Legal Examiners in the state in which she wishes to sit the bar. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact that state’s Board of Legal Examiners with any questions, to submit all documents and fees in a timely manner, and to complete any U.S. law courses required by that state’s Board of Legal Examiners.

Each state has final authority to determine whether an applicant meets the requirements to sit its bar examination. 

Traditionally, the two most common and easily accessible bar exams for foreign lawyers have been in California and New York. However, the Texas Board of Legal Examiners recently changed its qualifying rules and essentially established itself as one of the three most easily accessible bars for foreign lawyers.

Texas Bar

The University of Texas School of Law is excited to announce a significant step forward in the globalization of legal education in the State of Texas.

After extensive efforts by The University of Texas and colleagues from across the state, the Texas Board of Legal Examiners amended Rules I, II, III, XIII, XIV, XVII and XIX of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas. The changes became effective Oct. 1, 2014, and the rules (Rule XIII) governing the eligibility of foreign lawyers to sit the Texas Bar are now similar to the rules of the New York Bar; the Texas Bar is now one of the most accessible U.S. Bars for foreign lawyers.

Contact the Texas Board of Legal Examiners.

New York Bar

The LL.M. Program at The University of Texas School of Law has aligned its curricular programming with the curricular requirements of the New York Bar (and the Texas Bar), and all of the courses that foreign lawyers need to qualify for the NY Bar can be completed at Texas Law. Information for qualifying for the New York Bar can be found on the New York Law Examiners website. Additionally, LL.M. students have the opportunity to participate in our Pro Bono program and to begin to accumulate the necessary Pro Bono hours needed to pass the New York Bar.

Contact the New York State Board of Law Examiners.

California Bar

Information for qualifying for the California Bar is available online.