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Foreign Study Program Overview and Goals

Procedure for Applying to Study for a Semester at a Foreign Law School

  1. Students considering studying at a foreign law school should first obtain a faculty advisor who agrees to review in advance and approve a written plan by the student defining the educational objectives he or she seeks to achieve through foreign study.

    The plan should:
    • outline the student’s educational objectives in pursuing foreign study and how the planned course of study will achieve those objectives;
    • specify the methods to be used in evaluating the student’s attainment of these objectives;
    • indicate the specific courses the student proposes to take at the foreign law school;
    • explain the arrangements the student has made to communicate with his or her faculty advisor about the course of foreign study; and
    • explain the method by which the faculty advisor will monitor the student’s foreign study, including review of the student’s written work (either during the semester or upon the student’s return to Stanford Law School).


    In developing a proposed course of study, students should bear in mind that the purpose of the Foreign Study Program is to expose students to courses not available at Stanford Law School. Students accordingly should not include in their proposed course of study courses substantially the same as those they could take at Stanford Law School, or courses about the U.S. legal system.

    At the discretion of the faculty advisor, the plan may require the student to complete a directed research project, which would not count as a course taken at the foreign law school. (It would, however, count toward the student’s J.D. unit requirement and, thus, could not take the student over the maximum number of term units allowed by ABA accreditation standards.)
  2. After securing the approval of a faculty advisor, the student must file a petition with Foreign Law Programs Committee.

    a. Partner schools: For petitions to study at a foreign law school with which Stanford has a foreign study arrangement, the petition should:
    • demonstrate the student’s eligibility for foreign study according to the criteria set forth in the “Eligibility” requirements here;
    • set forth the dates of proposed foreign study (indicating whether special arrangements have been made to permit students to take exams to enable them to return to Stanford Law School in time to attend courses at the beginning of the quarter following the period of foreign study);
    • state the academic courses that have prepared the student for foreign study at the particular institution;
    • explain the relevance of foreign study to the student’s academic course of study at Stanford Law School;
    • include a copy of the written plan defining the student’s educational objectives that has been approved by the student’s advisor;
    • include a copy of the student’s resume; and
    • include a copy of the student’s unofficial transcript.


    b. Other schools: For petitions to study at a school with which Stanford does not have a foreign study arrangement, the petition must, in addition to the information described above, also include:
    • the name and address of the foreign law school and contact information for an advisor who will be responsible for the student’s academic program;
    • an explanation of the student’s academic or professional need to study in the country or at the law school in question;
    • information indicating that the foreign law school meets the criteria identified in section b here;
    • written assurance from the foreign law school that Stanford Law School’s and the student’s proposed educational objectives can be achieved at the foreign law school; and
    • the course syllabi or similar descriptive course materials for the student’s proposed course of study (so that the Committee can ensure that the program meets standards equivalent to those employed at Stanford Law School).

  3. In all cases, the student must also apply for admission to the foreign law school at which he or she wishes to study. In some cases, schools with which Stanford has established a foreign study arrangement will require students to demonstrate that they have received approval from Stanford Law School to participate in the Foreign Study Program as a condition of admission.

    In all cases, students approved for foreign study by the Foreign Law Programs Committee must demonstrate to the Foreign Law Programs Committee that they have been admitted to the foreign law school at the earliest possible date, and in any event before they begin study at the foreign school.

    Each foreign law school with which Stanford has established a foreign study arrangement has its own application requirements and deadlines. Information about application procedures at partner schools may be found at the Foreign Study Program page on the Law School’s website.
  4. Upon returning from study at a foreign school, students must provide the Foreign Law Programs Committee with copies of any written work they completed during the course of their study.