If you belong to one or more of the following categories, please check the appropriate drop-down boxes for more information:
GW Law Students Attending Another School:
If you have been granted permission by the Dean of Students to attend another law school during a period of the academic year, Law Financial Aid will process your financial aid application. You will be able to apply for loans only; any GW aid you may have been granted would be revoked (need-based grant) or suspended (merit scholarship).
In addition to the usual forms for financial aid, you will need to provide the Law Financial Aid Office with:
- a copy of your approval form from the Dean of Students to take courses off-campus
- contact information for the host school’s financial aid office
We will send a Consortium Agreement to the host school, which we and they must sign. This gives GW Law the power to process your aid based on the Host School's cost of education. The Host agrees to monitor your enrollment, provide GW with the cost of your program, and not to award you any financial aid of their own.
When loan funds arrive at the beginning of the enrollment period, they will be electronically deposited into your GW student account. You are responsible for monitoring your account to ensure that funds are issued to you as a refund, and to pay the Host school its tuition.
Visiting Students Coming to GW Law
Please alert GW Law Financial Aid of your intent to enroll. We will be signing off on your home school's Consortium Agreement, providing them with the cost of attendance for your particular program. We will be able to complete a Consortium Agreement for you after you have been admitted and have registered for courses at the law school.
As an international student applying to the law school, you must be prepared to fund all of your educational and living expenses. You are not eligible for GW Law need-based grants.
U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required to qualify for federal loans. If you do qualify as a U.S. or permanent resident, please review our Federal Stafford and GradPLUS loan pages and the Apply for Aid page. Otherwise, you may borrow commercial, not federal, education loans only if you obtain a credit-worthy U.S. cosigner.
Graduate and International Programs considers all applicants for merit scholarships automatically with each application. Graduate Programs does not provide any other type of grant or teaching assistantships. Non-US LLM, MSL and SJD students who request an F-1 visa from this University will need to provide documentation of sufficient funding to cover any remaining amount of the cost of attendance and living expenses for the entire length of their program. Total costs of attendance are as follows:
LLM and MSL
One year (two academic semesters)
Three years minimum
|Tuition||$53,400||$63,205 total tuition|
Living Expenses (Based on minimum cost per academic year)
|$20,850||$20,850 per academic year in residence|
|Health Insurance (12 months, required)||$2,690||$2,690 per academic year in residence|
|Books and Supplies (9-month academic period)||$500||$500|
|International Student Fee ($45 per semester)||$90||$90 per academic year in residence|
Many organizations provide websites with information on studying in the U.S., financing, and more, including:
Foreign Born General information site for students entering and living in the U.S.
Aetna Student Health All international students on a J-1 and F-1 visa will be automatically enrolled in the university's health plan which provides comprehensive coverage.
Rotary International Rotary International is a global organization geared toward community services that sponsors opportunities for foreign students
Studyabroad.com Resource for study abroad information
Study In U.S. General website that aids foreign students in calculation of costs and funding options available in the U.S.
Bar Information for Foreign-Trained LLM Students
Practicing Law in the United States
In the United States, lawyers who graduate from law school are not permitted to practice law in any jurisdiction until they have passed a certification examination, known as a bar exam, in that jurisdiction. The jurisdictions are defined by the various states and territories of the United States. There is no national bar exam, so if you are interested in practicing law in New York, you need to take the New York bar exam. If you later move to California, you would have to take and pass the California bar exam; however, if you are practicing federal law, for example, immigration or intellectual property, then you can practice law in any jurisdiction once you have the bar in one jurisdiction. The bar exam is a difficult examination; not every test taker passes it the first time.
Foreign attorneys can be admitted to practice law in certain jurisdictions in the United States. Most states require a JD law degree from an accredited law school in the United States to sit for the exam; however, some jurisdictions, including New York, California, and the District of Columbia, do permit foreign law graduates to sit for the bar but only under specific circumstances. For the most up-to-date information about bar examination requirements, eligibility, and test dates, please see the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ website at www.ncbex.org.
Taking the Bar Exam
The bar examination consists of two, or in some jurisdictions three, days of testing. One day consists of multiple-choice questions in a format similar to the TOEFL. This part of the bar exam tests knowledge of general principles of U.S. law. The other day (or days) includes essay questions and sometimes additional multiple-choice questions that test applicants on various aspects of law that apply to the particular jurisdiction in which the applicant seeks admission (e.g., the District of Columbia or New York state). In some jurisdictions, such as California, a third day of testing requires applicants to answer essay questions regarding certain practice procedures in that particular jurisdiction. The examination is held twice a year, once in late July (which is when most U.S. JD graduates take the exam) and once in February.
Additionally, most states require an applicant to pass another, shorter examination known as the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in order to be admitted to practice in the jurisdiction. The MPRE is a 60-question, two-hour-and-five-minute, multiple-choice examination administered three times per year at established test centers across the country. The purpose of the MPRE is to measure the examinee's knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct; the MPRE is not a test to determine an individual's personal ethical values. Lawyers serve in many capacities, for example as judges, advocates, counselors, and in other roles. The law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles is applied in disciplinary and bar admission procedures; by courts in dealing with issues of appearance, representation, privilege, disqualification, and contempt or other censure; and in lawsuits seeking to establish liability for malpractice and other civil or criminal wrongs committed by a lawyer while acting in a professional capacity.
For more information on the exams, please visit http://www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mpre.
Almost all students (including JDs) take an intensive review course in preparation for the bar exam. This review course is offered by several competing private organizations and begins several months before the exam is offered. Students usually begin the review program very shortly after graduating from the LLM program.
For foreign attorneys, the review courses taken by U.S. lawyers may not offer adequate preparation for the bar exam (consider whether an eight-week review can provide the depth of familiarity with U.S. law that JD graduates gain over a three-year training). In general, students from countries with a common-law heritage tend to fare better on the exam. In addition, some foreign students are not experienced with the multiple-choice format of the exam, which leads to additional difficulty. Bar review courses are expensive, sometimes costing in excess of $2,000; the exam fees themselves run $200 and up.
We highly recommend that you plan on taking the bar in February in the year following graduation. We recommend this because it will allow you enough time to adequately and appropriately study for the bar. You only want to have to take the bar one time. To be successful, you need to give yourself enough time to learn the material and strategies for passing the exam. This will also give you enough time to submit all the documents you need to the relevant bar review board to be allowed to sit.
New York Bar
If you are relying upon your LLM studies to “cure” your “durational or substantive deficiency” you will need to do the following:
You will need to take the course Legal Research and Writing for LLM Students both your first and second semesters. You will also need to take the courses Fundamentals Issues in U.S. Law, and Professional Responsibility/Ethics. To complete the requirements for graduation from GW Law, you also will need to complete: (1) a thesis, or (2) a class with a written paper requirement.
In addition, you will need to take six credits in subjects tested on the exam, which are typically three-credit courses as follows:
Subjects tested on the NY Bar as part of the Uniform Bar Exam:
- Constitutional Law I and II
- Contracts I and II
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Federal Civil Procedure, Civil Procedure I and II
- Real Property
- Agency and Partnerships
- Conflict of Laws
- Family Law
- Secured Transactions (UCC 9)
To find out if you are eligible to sit for the NY Bar, you will need to complete an Online Foreign Evaluation application. The New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) states that one must submit, at the latest, both the Online Foreign Evaluation AND all required foreign documentation by May 1 if you want to sit for the February exam, and by October 1 if you want to sit for the July exam. Please note this means all of the documents that must meet requirements as laid out by the BOLE (i.e. translations, descriptions of classes and hours attended, etc.). To assess your eligibility, visit https://www.nybarevaluation.org/Intro.aspx
Note: Once you have passed the bar by achieving a passing test score on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), you will need to do the following to be certified for admission:
- Complete an online course in New York-specific law, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC),
- Take and pass an online examination, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE),
- Take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE),
- Comply with the 50-hour pro bono service requirement, and
- Satisfy the Skills Competency Requirement.
Please see here for further details about the NY Bar:
Washington, D.C. Bar
The D.C. Bar is much stricter than the NY Bar in relation to course requirements. We do not recommend planning on sitting for the D.C. Bar unless you specifically need the D.C. bar. If you have questions about this, you may contact the LLM Bar Counselor once you are on campus.
To be eligible to sit for the D.C. Bar, foreign-trained attorneys will have to “successfully complet[e] at least 26 credit hours of study in a law school that at the time of such study was approved by the ABA. All such 26 credit hours shall be earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single subject tested on the Uniform Bar Examination.”
These courses include:
- Business Associations I and II
- Conflict of Laws
- Family Law
- UCC Art. 9
- Secured Transactions
- Trusts and Estates
- Constitutional Law I and II
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Real Property
- Civil Procedure
As a student at GW Law, you also must take the following classes:
- Legal Research and Writing for LLM Students
- Fundamentals Issues in U.S. Law
You also must write a thesis or take a class with a paper requirement.
These three criteria are required above and beyond the 26 credits required for the DC bar. So, in reality, you will need to take more than 26 credits to qualify to sit for the D.C. bar.
This also means that you will not be able to complete a specialized LLM while taking the necessary courses to sit for the D.C. bar. You will have to take the General LLM. It will also be very difficult to complete all of the required courses in two academic semesters. Most likely, you will have to take additional classes over the summer.
Costs associated with taking a half-time or more course load (3 or more credits for a JD or LLM student) in summer may be met with commercial loans or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
The cost of attendance for GW summer courses is charged on a per credit hour basis; living expenses for the two-month academic session are added; these are a percentage of the COA for the previous fall/spring academic year.
If you enroll in outside placement credits and your field placement work extends beyond the last day of exams for the GW Law summer session, you may request to increase your COA for summer by a per diem, which may extend through the end of the first week of August.
If you enroll in one of the law school’s summer abroad programs (Augsburg, Munich, Oxford), the maximum you can borrow is based on each program’s own established COA.
Summer sessions are considered the "trailer" for a given academic year, i.e., fall/spring/summer. Therefore, you apply for aid for summer using the same FAFSA you filed for the fall/spring period of the calendar year.
- You need to complete and return to us the Law "Summer Addendum" also available on the Financial Aid page of the Law portal by April 1. Please work with us to apply for summer funds.
- On www.studentloans.gov, Request a Direct PLUS Loan (apply for credit) for GradPLUS no more than 180 days prior to the first day of your summer session classes.
- Consortium agreement required if you attend another school: see page on Visiting Students, and our Forms page.
Funds for summer study at the law school are timed to arrive at the school on the first day of the summer session. If you are borrowing a loan for a study-abroad program, the earliest the loan funds can be disbursed is ten days prior to the start date of the program.
Loans are disbursed by the Department of Education electronically into GWU’s database, then pay into your student account, provided you are registered for the proper number of credits for summer. Tuition and any other outstanding charges are paid first.
If the loan payment is so large it causes your account to have a credit balance, you will need to apply for a refund of the credit balance (GW does not automatically process summer refunds , as it does during the academic year).
If you are using your loan funds to attend another law school/law school program abroad, your loan funds will still be deposited to your GW student account. You are responsible for requesting your refund and paying the tuition, fees, and any other required charges to your host school.
If you are expecting a refund and do not receive it, always contact Law Financial Aid for assistance. Full-time JD students pay tuition on a per credit-hour rate for summer.
NOTE: Should you reduce your course load for the summer after the session has begun, your aid must be reduced or revoked, depending upon your enrollment change.
If you are pursuing your JD degree and another graduate degree within the University, the law school Financial Aid Office almost invariably is responsible for awarding your financial aid. Typically you take your first full year of law courses first, then begin to blend other division courses into your subsequent semester registrations, aided by the Dean of Students.
If you are a U.S. citizen/permanent resident, not a transfer student, not receiving a law school merit scholarship of $16,000 or more, and not receiving GW employee tuition benefits, you may apply for Law need-based grants and federal loans. You may only receive your Law merit scholarship or need-based grant in semesters in which you are paying Law School tuition.
For any semester in which you are registered for courses exclusively in another division, you will be charged the per credit hour tuition rate and all other corresponding special fees* for that division, plus the law school's standard cost of attendance living expenses. GW graduate school (non-law, non-med) tuition rates tend to be lower than the law school's. However, for any semester in which you blend law and other division courses—even if only one law credit is in the mix—the law school's tuition is applied. If you take 12 or more credits, you will be charged the law school flat full-time tuition rate; if you take less than 12 credits, you will be charged the law school’s per credit hour tuition rate.
*Some graduate degrees have special fees charged you prior to graduation. These should be specified when you receive your admission to the other school. For example, currently, the Elliott School of International Affairs charges a $3,600 "grad" fee, in $900 per semester installments. Because the GW system can only post one GW division's charges in any given semester, you may not always see those charges assessed on your student account. Even if you do not see the charges on your bill, they must be paid prior to graduation. If you know you should be billed for a special graduate division fee and don't see it on your account statement, alert Law Financial Aid immediately. If left unpaid, the graduate school will demand payment of the special fee in full prior to your graduation.
Any extra charges you incur at the other graduate school, which are not built into the Law COA, may be added to your law school costs so that you may borrow more to cover them.
GW Law Yellow Ribbon Program
GW Law and the University have entered into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fund tuition expenses that exceed the maximum base pay amount of 9/11 benefits.
Important Information for Veterans
GW Law, like the University, is committed to providing veterans with the highest level of support. The law school provides a valuable experience to all its active duty and veteran service members. Specific programs that highlight the interests of our students with military backgrounds are the National Security LLM program, the Government Procurement Law Program, the Veterans Law Pro Bono Program, and our annual hosting of the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition.
Learn more about University resources and points of contact for specific needs at: GW Student Veteran Services.
Financial aid is normally awarded after a student has been accepted for admission to GW Law. Learn about veteran financial aid options before the admission process. Veterans who want to learn about their financial aid options before the admissions process.
Major Educational Programs Available through the VA or the Department of Defense
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is effective for training on or after August 1, 2009.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (also known as The Post 9/11 GI Bill). This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree-granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Veterans Administration to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum paid through the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. The institution can waive up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution.
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