Applicants for transfer admission must have completed one year of full-time study in a JD program (or one third of total credits required in a part-time program) at a United States law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Students may apply for transfer to begin the second year of JD studies in the fall semester only.
Competition for Transfer Admission
The competition for transfer admission is high. Many successful transfer candidates typically place very near the top of their first-year law class and would have also been admitted or wait-listed as first-year students on the basis of their pre-law-school credentials. Given the small number of transfer spaces available and a comparatively large and accomplished transfer applicant pool, some applicants who meet these characterizations cannot be offered admission. We cannot make estimates of an individual’s chances for admission.
Law courses taken before matriculation at Harvard Law School will be considered part of the transfer student’s first year of J.D. studies and may not be used to meet any Harvard Law School upper-level requirements and will not be included in Latin honors calculations.
Transfer students must satisfy the Law School’s first-year requirements (with the exception of the Problem Solving Workshop) and can do so through demonstrating completion of comparable courses at their prior institution or completion of qualifying courses after matriculation at HLS. The Harvard Law School Office of the Registrar can advise students on comparable courses.
Harvard Law School courses taken by the transfer student–including first-year Law School courses and qualifying courses taken after matriculation to bring the transfer student into compliance with the School’s first-year requirements–may be used toward the upper-level credit requirements and will count in overall performance in the 2L or 3L year according to the rules set forth in the Harvard Law School Handbook of Academic Policies.
The Harvard Law Review encourages transfer applicants to apply for membership on the Review. If you wish to be considered for membership, you must participate in the Writing Competition. All prospective transfer students may participate in the competition, including those who intend to apply and have not yet done so and those who have applied and have not yet received a decision. You will be notified of the results of the Writing Competition in late July.
Those admitted transfer students who are selected to join the Harvard Law Review must return to Cambridge in early August to begin work. Further instructions on taking the Writing Competition may be found here: Membership Details