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Visiting International Program (VIP) for Lawyers
USC Gould School of Law

The Visiting International Program for Lawyers (VIP) helps legal and business professionals from around the world build a broad foundation of knowledge of the laws and legal system of the United States.

VIP is a unique opportunity to be part of the USC Gould community of scholars. You participate in fascinating and informative courses taught by world-class law professors and interact with law students from around the globe, all on a dynamic and diverse campus.

VIP also allows LLM students to continue their legal studies for an additional year and prepare for the bar exam through bar-related courses.

Although VIP coursework may not be used toward a degree at USC, you will receive a letter of completion.

Why Choose VIP at USC Gould?

Over the course of one or two semesters at USC Gould, you attend daily classes on a non-credit, non-degree basis.

As a VIP student, you will have the opportunity to benefit from:

  • individualized career development advisement
  • workshops on résumé and cover letter writing, interviewing and job-search strategies
  • Early Bar Preparation and other bar exam workshops
  • USC Gould Continuing Legal Education events, where you can network with leading professionals in tax, entertainment, corporate, real estate and intellectual property law, among other fields
  • social and athletic outings with fellow LLM students, including a night at the Hollywood Bowl, a USC Trojan football game and a basketball game at Staples Center

Our Office of International Services provides additional resources to assist you with visa and other requirements for studying in the U.S. The university also maintains international offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei.

VIP Courses

As a VIP participant, you will have access to a wide variety of law courses to suit your interests — from constitutional law, civil procedure and criminal law to corporate finance, entertainment law and intellectual property. VIP students have access to the same course offerings as our LLM students. Attendance in non-credit courses is subject to space availability and pre-approval by faculty.


Tuition for 2022-23 is $72,798 plus mandatory fees. VIP students are also responsible for a $250 processing fee from our Office of International Services for the issuance of the DS-2019 for their J-1 visa. You should budget an additional $26,500 for living expenses, books and supplies.

Application Process

We recommend that you apply for VIP before March 1 for the following fall semester by completing the VIP application.

The VIP application requires:

  • $75 application fee (which must be paid by credit card, cashier's check or money order)
  • a two- to three-page statement
  • TOEFL or IELTS Score Report (which can also be waived with a documented interview)
  • a résumé or curriculum vitae
  • financial support documentation (see section 6 on the application form)
  • Passport copy of applicant and any dependent(s) traveling together (photo page only)

A law degree is not required for VIP admission.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, as applications are received. You will be notified of an admissions decision via email and postal mail in approximately two to three weeks of your file completion date. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone. We will contact you if the Admissions Committee feels that a telephone or an in-person interview is necessary.