I am not from the US. I'll finish high school in a year. Should I pursue a graduate degree in my country and then apply to Harvard Law or directly apply after high school?

After high school, I have 1 year, otherwise I'll have 4 years. I am aiming for a scholarship. In both cases, how should I go about the preparations and which will be a better option?

Answers

Amy Yvette Garrou, College admissions expert (US and international colleges)

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To add to Michael's great advice about getting a U.S. bachelor's degree: I know that in some countries, "graduation" or "graduate" degrees are what in the U.S. we call "bachelor's" degrees. So indeed, if you wish to study law in the US (at Harvard or any other law school), you'll have to get a bachelor's degree somewhere else first. You can get a bachelor's in almost any subject, especially one in which you do a lot of reading and writing analytical papers. There are even successful law-school applicants (to U.S. law schools) who have bachelor's degrees in accounting or engineering, because these programs involve problem-solving and analysis.

In your country, it might be possible to study law directly after secondary school. If you already have a law degree and then want to apply to a U.S. law school, you'd be applying for a different degree (L.L.M.) which may not be what you need in order to practice in your country. You'll need to think about where you want to practice law later: in your country or region? or in the U.S.? If you don't have U.S.citizenship or a U.S. green card, you'd have to work for an employer in the U.S. who would sponsor you.

Here are some FAQs from Harvard Law School's website for international applicants, which explain the different types of law degrees: http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/jdadmissions/apply-to-harvard-law-school/international-applicants/frequently-asked-questions-for-international-jd-applicants/#faq-1-2

I hope this is helpful!

Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

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Since I don't know what country you currently live in, it's a little difficult to give any specific advice. What I can tell you is that Harvard Law School is a graduate level institution, meaning that incoming students must have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree before attending.

According to the American terminology for grade levels, it wouldn't be possible for a student to apply to Harvard Law directly out of high school. If you haven't yet received your bachelor's, you'll want to focus on getting into a strong undergraduate institution first.

Here is an article on how to prepare for and apply to U.S colleges. It gives a nice overview of what materials you should prioritize. Remember to do a lot of research on the academics and location of each college.

Keep in mind that as an international student, you may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, especially if English is your second language.

Check out this page for some advice on how to prepare for the TOEFL.

This will hopefully give you a place to start as you figure where you want to go and when you want to apply. If I've misunderstood your question, or if you simply have more questions to ask, by all means ask away!

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