News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Feb. 11, 2021: For over a century, Caribbean law students have been searching for a better life and career possibilities in the United States. Although it is a long process to become a lawyer in the U.S., it is possible if you are from a foreign country. Of the 34 states that allow international students with foreign law degrees to practice in the U.S., only a few are making it easier for students to pursue their legal careers.
Due to the large migrations of Caribbean immigrants through the last century, over 4.4 million residents in the U.S. originate from one of the Caribbean countries. States like California, New York, and Washington that enjoy a diverse cultural and racial population are giving international law students a chance to practice in their state and be of service to their citizens.
Regardless of location, all international applicants will need to pass the exam, pay the appropriate fees, and participate in a character and fitness review. The state must recognize an existing legal degree, a Uniform Bar Exam can be transferred or your degree must include a minimal amount of study on the U.S. legal system.
If you are dreaming of working in the courtrooms of the U.S. or settling your personal injury case for your first client, there is a certain path that you will need to follow as a Caribbean student. Let’s look at the states that are making it easier for Caribbean Students to practice law.
Caribbean law students with an LLC degree may only qualify to practice in Washington if they meet certain educational requirements.
- The Washington State Board of Governors must approve the institution from which the LLC was earned.
- LLC degrees must include a minimum of 18,200 minutes of instruction
- LLC degrees must include a minimum of 12,000 minutes of instruction involving the principles of U.S. law
- U.S. law instruction must include sectors covering Constitutional Law, Civil procedures at both the state and federal level courts, legal writing, and legal research.
Students from the Caribbean or other foreign nations that hold an LLC degree must complete a further minimum of 700 hours of legal education at a U.S. institution.
- Programs must be completed within two years of matriculation.
- Programs must include no less than two semesters of instruction lasting 13 weeks each.
- A minimum of two credit hours must be dedicated to the subjects of American legal studies, legal writing, and research and ethics.
Foreign students from other countries, including the Caribbean, qualify to take the California bar exam if they meet these criteria:
- Obtain an LLC degree from an approved foreign institution and complete a one-year ABA-approved course covering the Bar Examination subject matter.
- Courses must contain a minimum of 20 credits that include the study of California business law, professional responsibility, and ABA Professional Rules of Conduct.
Caribbean students that have an LLC degree that includes the study of English Common Law generally qualify to sit for the Bar Exam in New York. To qualify for the Bar Exam, students must also:
- Apply for an Advance Evaluation of Eligibility from the Board that will investigate the comparability of degrees to the ABA Standards. This process can take up to six months, and applicants should apply a minimum of 12 months before sitting for the Bar Exam.
- An LLC degree must have been awarded a minimum of two years before the application for entrance to the U.S. Bar Exam.
For law students from the Caribbean that are dreaming of taking their degree to the U.S. to settle, these states are making it easier for them to make their dreams come true.