Applicants for transfer admission must have completed one year of full-time study in a J.D. 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 J.D. studies in the fall semester only. Please note that transfer applicants applying in the summer of 2018 should submit the standardized test score that they utilized for their 1L application. HLS accepts the LSAT and the GRE.
Fee Waiver Requests
If you received a fee waiver from the LSAC when applying for your 1L year and do not have any eligible application passes left, please notify our office.
If you did not receive a fee waiver from the LSAC, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a fee waiver directly from HLS by June 1, 2018. We are not able to process fee waiver requests after June 1.
Selection Process for Transfer Admission
Successful transfer candidates have excelled academically in their 1L year and often place near the top of their first-year law class. They also bring characteristics such as: work experience and demonstrated leadership, and also intangible qualities such as energy, ambition, sound judgment, ability to overcome adversity, high ideals, and concern for the welfare of others. 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.
Harvard Law Review
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. 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
Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
All transfer applicants are encouraged to apply to the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. In order to be considered for membership, each transfer applicant is required to submit a modified application and participate in a round of interviews. For additional instructions, please visit the Membership and Application Process page.