Immigration Law Training Programs and Requirements

Immigration lawyers work with clients who are trying to acquire the legal right to stay in a country where they don't possess citizenship. Issues related to this include political asylum, extradition and visas. Interested students earn a law degree from a comprehensive program that is up-to-date on immigration laws.

View 7 Popular Schools »

Training Requirements and Recommendations

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. Additionally, most students complete internships in order to obtain practical experience in a specialized field, such as immigration law.

Formal Education

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.

Juris Doctorate

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, naturalization and deportation. Students pass comprehensive examinations in order to graduate.

Job Experience

The majority of law schools provide ample internship opportunities, and some J.D. programs require students to gain field experience prior to graduation. Immigration law training may be gained through clinics, projects or firms. Many recent law school graduates start either as an intern for a judge or an associate at a law firm. These positions require long hours until experience and seniority are earned. Most lawyers are associates for several years before they're considered for a promotion within the firm.

Licenses and Certifications

All practicing lawyers are licensed in their respective states. In order to meet the requirements for licensure, it's necessary to earn a J.D. from an accredited program. Graduates complete the state's 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.

Workshops and Seminars

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.

Additional Professional Development

Members of AILA receive business management support, current news alerts, research resources and networking opportunities. Additionally, numerous publications are readily available. Immigration lawyers also complete a varying number of continuing education hours in order to maintain state licensure.

Show me popular schools

Related to Immigration Law Training

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
List of the Best Immigration Law Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Read on to learn about highly ranked law schools offering degree programs that include immigration law classes. See why these...

Online Immigration Law Schools: How to Choose

While students will find many immigration law courses, both online and in traditional format, full programs that focus on...

Online Courses in Immigration Law

Most universities offer courses in immigration law, but online options are not as readily available. Online courses may be...

Masters in Immigration Law: Degree Program Overview

Colleges and universities don't typically offer master's programs in immigration law, but law school programs often include...

Immigration Law: Introduction to a Career in Immigration Law

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • Pennsylvania (2)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center
    • Associate
        • Associate - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (3)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Virginia (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
        • Advanced Legal Research
        • Law Degree
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
        • Advanced Legal Research
        • Law Degree
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
        • Advanced Legal Research
        • Comparative Law
        • Law Degree
      • Legal Support Services

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics