Monday, April 1, 2013

The School of Law launches the Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program

Last fall, the University of Arkansas School of Law announced plans to launch an Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers. The program would seek to recruit a small number of qualified foreign attorney's who wished to further their legal education in the U.S.

With the support of the Faculty, Staff, and Administration, the Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers was successfully launched, and will welcome its first candidates in the Fall of 2013.  The program grew out of an increasing desire for foreign attorney's to blend their legal education obtained in their home country, with the curriculum offered in a traditional U.S.- based Juris Doctor course of study.

The School of Law has been fortunate to experience the unique perspectives brought to the classroom from previous international law students, particularly within the renowned LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law. In fact, the LL.M. Alumni have been a vocal support group advocating for programs like the Accelerated J.D., and have been instrumental in recruiting the first group of accelerated candidates. Among the benefits offered to accelerated candidates, is the ability to transfer in a number of credits from a students previous legal coursework outside of the U.S. into their Juris Doctor program, thus "accelerating" the time required to finish their degree. In addition, successful completion of the Juris Doctor degree will satisfy the degree requirement for eligibility to sit for the bar examination in any state in the U.S.

 Keeping the program small  has been the at the forefront of the planning and structure of the program, and will be reflected in the recruitment and matriculation of only the most qualified students. The program will be administered under the direction of Don Judges; Associate Dean for Graduate and Experiential Learning and E.J. Ball Professor of Law. Dean Judges will serve along with several members of the Law School Faculty, on the Graduate Legal Studies Committee, the committee that will ultimately make the decisions regarding admissions. We are looking forward to welcoming our first group of accelerated candidates, and will be posting updates, as well as student biographies here in the near future.

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