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USA & Canada Universities Recognized by the Bar Council of India

Indian students can pursue legal studies in US and Canadian law schools recognized by the Bar Council of India and return to India for a legal career. Find out which US and Canadian universities are recognized by the BCI.

Indian students of law looking to pursue their law programs in the USA or Canada should keep in mind that only a handful of US universities are recognized by the Bar Council of India. If students want to return after completing their education to pursue a career in law in India, they should only pursue their degree from these recognized universities. After completion, they can return to India and apply for registration at their State Law Council. The state council will forward their application to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the student can then take the council exam.

Students who complete their law programs from non-recognized US universities may still be able to apply for registration. They should directly contact the BCI and find out if they are eligible to practice in India.

USA Canada Universities

In general, the Bar Council recognizes the following degrees from foreign universities: a regular postgraduate law course in the pattern of 10+2+3+3 or a 5-year law course right after 10+2. In the USA, legal education typically includes 4-year undergraduate training followed by 3 years of law school, which is a system also recognized by the BCI. In order to be recognized by the BCI, the course must be at least 3 years in duration, undertaken at a university or a Center of Legal Education which is affiliated to a University, and contain the compulsory subjects of study required by the BCI.

Note that American Law schools generally award a doctoral J.D. degree or an LL.M. (Master of Laws) research degree, and other research degrees such as J.S.D (Doctor of Juridical Sciences), D.C.L (Doctor of Comparative Law), or the honorary degree LLD (Legum Doctor).

Here is a look at some law programs at US and Canadian universities that meet the BCI's criteria.

  • Cornell Law School, USA: Cornell University ranks at number 34 in the world (QS Rankings for 2016) for its law and legal studies, and 17 overall in the world. The university is highly research-focused, with a high score awarded to the faculty's great number of citations per paper. The university also has a high proportion of international faculty members, offering students a diverse learning environment.
  • Georgetown University, USA: Georgetown University ranks at number 27 in the world for law, and is the country's oldest Jesuit and Catholic university. It draws a large population of international students and with twice the number of international postgraduate students as compared to undergraduate students. It is a private university with a heavy focus on research. It offers a Juries Doctor (J.D.) degree.
  • University of Saskatchewan: This Canadian university's LLB degree is recognized by Resolution number 82/1982 of the BCI's Advocate's Act 1961. The university's College of Law is Western Canada's oldest law school along with the University of Alberta.
  • University of Alberta: Also known as U of A, this public research university is located in Edmonton, Alberta. It is recognized by the QS World Rankings as one of the top 5 universities in Canada, and among the top 100 in the world.
  • Southwestern University, USA: The private liberal arts college of Southwestern University is located in Georgetown, Texas, and offers a BCI-recognized Juries Doctor Degree.

Other universities in the USA that Indian students can safely pursue law from include the University of Michigan, University of Texas, the Marshall School of Law of the College of William and Mary, Virginia, Syracuse University College of Law New York, University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania Law School Philadelphia, School of Law Loyola University Chicago, etc.

Indian students searching study abroad options for legal studies can explore some universities in the UK as well. These too are recognized by the Bar Council of India. Here are a few UK universities recognized by the Bar Council of India.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Guest Author: Devyani khosla01 Aug 2017

Need to find out how to study LLM because I have completed my BA LLB from India in 2016 and practising with a criminal advocate since last one year in Delhi.

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