Immigration Law Training Programs and Requirements
Immigration law programs prepare students to work with clients seeking to stay in a country where they don't possess citizenship, as they learn about issues related to the subject, such as naturalization and extradition.
In order to practice law in the United States, immigration lawyers earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited program. This education follows the completion of their undergraduate degree. Law students generally come from many different disciplines and not just pre-law. Most students complete internships in order to obtain practical experience in a specialized field, such as immigration law.
- Program Levels: Juris Doctor (J.D.)
- Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree and LSAT scores
- Program Length : 3 years
- Program Specializations: Options include immigration law
- Other Requirements: Completion of a research thesis or dissertation, comprehensive exams and an internship for graduation
Juris Doctorate Programs with Concentration in Immigration Law
A J.D. program requires three years of full-time enrollment in an accredited law school and a bachelor's degree. Law school admissions are highly competitive, and students complete the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in order to be considered for acceptance. Students pass comprehensive examinations in order to graduate.
The curriculum for a J.D. program is very structured and incorporates coursework in different areas, such as dispute resolution, legal research, contracts, ethics and interviews. Students may specialize in a specific area during the final two years, including immigration law. Some course topics for immigration law training are:
- Immigrant rights
- Visa processes
All practicing lawyers have to be licensed by their respective states by passing the bar examination and often the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). The MPRE is required as part of the bar exam in 48 states and other U.S. districts. Immigration lawyers complete a varying number of continuing education hours in order to maintain state licensure. Many workshops are available through law associations, government agencies and employers to keep legal counselors up-to-date on the latest legal changes and case law issues. Immigration law training is continuous in order for attorneys to do their best work. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) sponsors an annual national conference, along with regular regional meetings by individual chapters. Members of AILA receive business management support, current news alerts, research resources and networking opportunities. Additionally, numerous publications are readily available.