Bar Exams & Careers

Depending on their previous legal training and experience, LLM graduates may be eligible to take a bar examination in the U.S. Even if your goal is to take the New York or California bar exam, you may still study for your LLM degree in Hawai‘i. We can help you plan your U.S. law study so you can meet the course requirements of the bar exam you wish to take. As an LLM graduate, you may also pursue optional practical training, whether in Hawai‘i or on the U.S. mainland, and many of our graduates have done so.

Generally, the Hawaiʻi State Bar Examination requires that you have a JD degree to be eligible to take the exam. But applicants from a common law country where English is the language of instruction and practice are eligible to take the Hawai‘i bar exam if they have practiced law in that jurisdiction for five out of the six years preceding their application. If you do qualify under this provision, a year’s study in Hawai‘i will still provide essential preparation for the bar.

Since everyone’s situation is different, it is your responsibility to determine whether you are eligible to take the bar exam in a particular state. If you have specific questions or concerns, it is important to contact the bar examiners of that state:

Optional Practical Training

After the LLM Program, you may remain in the United States for up to a year to perform Optional Practical Training (OPT) at a law office or other organization. OPT is defined as temporary employment directly related to a student's field of study. During OPT, a student remains in F-1 status.



Spencer Kimura '96

Director of LLM and Summer Programs
(808) 956-9038