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However, it can also be a challenging experience. Did you know that...

For many international lawyers (particularly those trained in Civil Law), the study of U.S. law can be an unexpectedly counter-intuitive process that varies greatly from how they learned the law in their home countries.

For these lawyers, prior training in Civil Law turns out not to be an advantage but, in fact, a source of confusion.

Many Civil Lawyers spend the first half of their academic year trying to figure out what is expected of them, how to navigate their programs and what to do to cover their assignments efficiently.

On average, for each hour of class in a U.S. law school, 4 hours of reading and out-of-class study are required.

Some of the challenges that await are expected:

Language barrier, or not the same level of comfort as with native tongue.

New school, new classmates, new subjects.

Moving to a new city away from home.

Others, however, may be unexpected or underestimated:

Differences in legal systems that highly impact the way issues are “spotted” and analyzed.

Communication differences that impact the way persuasive arguments are expressed.

Different expectations by faculty, which impact the way exams are graded and how performance is evaluated.

Large amounts of material to cover in preparation for class discussions, which are conducted in Socratic style.

Competition with more advanced local students, who have had at least 1 more year (sometimes 2) of U.S. legal studies than international students.

Grading systems tend to foster fierce competition.

But don’t despair! There are resources out there to help you prepare.


The Challenges