US Law School Admission Tips for International Students
Getting into law school is challenging enough, but due to present shortages in qualified lawyers in the region, many have decided to seek a law education in America. There are extra challenges if you are applying after attending school in another country or if you want to start your studies there. Here are five US law school admission tips for international students. We’ll also address issues that cause many international students headaches because they didn’t know these things in advance.
Know the deadlines for all parts of your graduate school application. When do you have to have a transcript in the acceptable format? When do they have to have your application fee? What is the final date to apply? When do you need to get scores back from the GRE or equivalent exams?
Understand the type of visa you’ll need to apply for and deadlines to apply for them. In general, you need to apply for your student visa immediately after you’re accepted to the law school – and you should know what paperwork you need to get the visa so there are no delays in its processing. If your visa is delayed, you could miss the first few weeks of class.
If you are simply coming to the US to earn a Juris Doctorate degree to become a lawyer on home soil, you should understand the rules to return to practice law. If you want to stay in the US to practice law, start planning now how to get permission to stay in the nation to practice law. You should also focus on programs that teach what you want to learn, whether US business law, immigration law, or another discipline.
Speaking the language fluently will be important when dealing with clients. The legal profession has its own terminology and it is so different from the average person’s language that it is jokingly called “legalese”. Become familiar with the legal terminology before you apply for law school.
Make Sure the Price Is Right
Look for an affordable law school such as the University of Dakota law school. Barring Harvard or Oxford, almost no brand name school, much less second-tier law school, is going to result in higher pay in return for their very high tuition rates. However, you also need to verify that the law school is accredited so that your degree will make it possible for you to sit for the bar exam.
Be very careful about financial aid packages. Many schools extend loans to pay for school that may be mistaken for grants and scholarships. Others may offer a work-study program to defer the tuition costs, but you must understand the time commitments of the work-study program and whether or not you can fulfill the requirements in order to get the discounted tuition.
Consider the Total Cost
Don’t just look at the cost of tuition when considering law schools. You also have to consider room and board and the cost of living on campus. You should also decide if you’re going to travel to and from home while in law school since this adds to the total cost.
The US still has plenty of opportunities to offer international students either seeking to practice on US soils or take their expertise back with them. Understanding the proper procedure for getting accepted is just the start.
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