The Council has adopted three sets of Criteria applicable to study abroad: Criteria for Approval of Foreign Summer and Intersession Programs Established by ABA-Approved Law Schools (revised August 2010); Criteria for Approval of Semester and Year-Long Study Abroad Programs (revised August 2010); and Criteria for Student Study at a Foreign Institution.
Standard 307 provides that a law school may not grant credit toward the J.D. degree for studies in a foreign country unless those studies are approved in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools and Criteria adopted by the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
The ABA’s oversight role with regard to study abroad programs is designed to provide assurance of a sound educational experience in a study abroad program sponsored by an ABA-approved law school.
The Criteria related to study abroad provide a framework for law schools to grant students credit toward the J.D. degree for studies abroad. They seek to provide flexibility for a school to design programs and to permit study abroad consistent with the law school’s mission while maintaining a level of oversight of the school’s program of legal education that is consistent with the role and scope of the Standards for the Approval of Law Schools.
These Criteria recognize that the primary responsibility for determining the quality of the educational experience that students receive during a study abroad experience rests with the faculty and administration of the law school.
The ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools shall apply to study abroad programs except as modified by the Criteria or by necessary implication.
Students currentlyenrolled at an ABA-approved law school who desire to receive credit toward their J.D. degree for study abroad should read carefully the applicable criteria for their course of study and should consult with members of the law school staff or faculty who advise students about foreign study. These programs are only open to students who have successfully completed their first year of study and are enrolled in an ABA approved law school. Under the approved Criteria, students enrolled in ABA-approved law schools may earn credit toward the J.D. degree for participating in an approved Semester or Year-Long Study Abroad Program, an approved Foreign Summer or Intersession program or through school-approved individual study programs, sometimes within an approved Cooperative Program between an ABA-approved law school and a foreign institution.