A canon lawyer has significant knowledge about the legal system of the Catholic Church. Most canon lawyers spend 2 or 3 post-college academic years studying canon law, earning therein a licentiate (J.C.L.) degree. Some canonists continue their education and earn a doctoral degree (J.C.L.). There are only two canon law schools in North America, The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and St. Paul's University in Ottawa, Canada. Most North American canonists attend one of these although some study abroad, often in Rome.
Canon law in the United States
Canon law is the law of the universal Catholic Church and applies to intra church disputes,
Canon law is the law of Vatican City
Canon law law is also the law of the Vatican City state and juridic entities based there.
Canon law in the US
Some courts will give some weight to canon law as foreign law while others will disregard it.