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U.S. lawyers
TimMay 28, 2024 2:04:12 PM3 min read

Best 5 Day 1 CPT Programs for Lawyers

For international students studying law in the United States, obtaining an H-1B visa is extremely struggling. The reason is that LL.M  and J.D. degrees only provide a 1-year OPT. Also, requiring H-1B sponsorship creates significant challenges for LL.M students, who are generally less competitive in the legal job market compared to J.D. holders. As a result, many foreign legal professionals would need to pursue Day 1 CPT to continue their careers in the U.S. This article introduces the top 5 Day 1 CPT programs for lawyers.

Note: Your Day 1 CPT program should be relevant to your job. Since there is only one Day 1 CPT program related to law, it is advisable for foreign legal professionals to choose programs related to business or management as alternatives. If you need an individualized assessment before applying to a school, please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation with us.

How to Select a Day 1 CPT School by Program

Table of Contents

1.  MBA (Master of Business Administration)

2. DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)

3. MS in Project Management

4. MS in Criminal Justice

5. MS in CS/IT/DS (suitable for parent attorneys)


1. MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Schools Options: Westcliff University (CA; FL); CIAM (CA)Sofia University (CA); Monroe College (NY); New England College (NH); Ottawa University (KS; AZ); University of the Potomac (D.C.)

The MBA is a versatile program that meets the needs of various professional fields. As lawyers advance in law firms, they will need to supervise junior associates and attract clients. Therefore, mastering skills in management, leadership, and negotiation that are provided by an MBA program becomes essential. Additionally, attending an MBA program can make a lawyer's educational trajectory more reasonable to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). It is natural for lawyers with several years of experience to pursue an MBA to prepare for senior positions within a law firm.

This option is particularly suitable for lawyers practicing in corporate law, tax law, and financial law, and it is generally recommended for those working in the private sector.


2. DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)

School Options: Westcliff University (CA; FL); Sofia University (CA); Ottawa University (KS; AZ); University of the Potomac (D.C.)

A DBA is an advanced version of an MBA, offering lawyers the necessary skills to succeed in management roles within a law firm. For J.D. holders concerned that obtaining a master’s degree might raise suspicions from the USCIS, a DBA program is a better option. Although DBA programs typically have higher tuition than MBA programs, they offer more opportunities to join the H-1B visa lottery due to their longer duration. This extended duration not only enhances career prospects but also increases the chances of securing a visa.


3. MS in Project Management

School Option: Harrisburg University (PA)

The MS program in Project Management, which equips students with knowledge in organizational leadership and professional communication, can be considered an alternative to an MBA. As lawyers advance to senior associate and partner positions, they will need to manage individual projects and take on management responsibilities. Therefore, this program is an excellent choice for those who aim to succeed in management roles within a law firm.


4. MS in Criminal Justice

School Option: Monroe College (NY)

This program is the only Day 1 CPT program related to law, offering substantial knowledge in law enforcement principles and practices, crime prevention, and the psychology of criminal behavior. It is an excellent option for lawyers practicing criminal law. Monroe College requires onsite attendance once per month, so it might only be suitable for those living in New York or nearby states.


5. MS in CS/IT/DS (suitable for parent attorneys)

School Options: Westcliff University (CA); Sofia University (CA); Monroe College (NY); Saint Peter’s University (NJ); New England College (NH); University of the Potomac (D.C.)

If you work in parent law or intellectual property law and your work involves software, data, or information, you might consider pursuing an MS degree in Computer Science (CS), Information Technology (IT), or Data Science (DS) to justify your decision to use Day 1 CPT. Attending a technology-related program can distinguish your two degrees, showcasing a clear progression in your educational journey. Additionally, this program can offer in-depth knowledge in tech fields, enhancing your expertise and making you more valuable in your area of legal practice.


Above are top 6 Day 1 CPT programs suitable for foreign lawyers working in the U.S. For more information about Day 1 CPT, refer to the following pages: 



Senior educational consultant with 10+ years experience