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Transfer Application Timeline

  • Application Opens

    The online application for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) transfer class entering in the fall semester of 2022 is closed. The application for Fall Term 2023 transfer student enrollment will be open in May 2023.

  • Application Submission Deadline

    The deadline for completing transfer application is typically mid-June.

    Once the submission deadline passes, we encourage you to submit any outstanding materials (i.e., 1L spring grades) as soon as they become available.

  • Decision Release

    We expect to notify applicants of their admission decision in early July.

Transfer Application Components

  • Online Transfer Application

    To apply for transfer admission, please submit the application and required materials via the appropriate application portal listed below.

    LSAC Transfer Application (for first-time applicants to HLS)

    The LSAC Transfer Application must be used by any prospective transfer candidate who has not previously submitted an application to the J.D. program at Harvard Law School.

    HLS Transfer Application Portal (for those who have previously applied to HLS)

    The HLS Transfer Application Portal must be used by any prospective transfer candidate who has previously submitted an application to the J.D. program at Harvard Law School (including through the Junior Deferral Program (JDP) pathway).

  • Application Fee

    We require a nonrefundable application fee of $85.00, payable to Harvard Law School.

    If payment of the application fee would pose a financial hardship, we recommend applying for a need-based fee waiver directly from HLS by completing the HLS Transfer Fee Waiver Request Form.

    The HLS Fee Waiver Request Form for those applying for Fall Term 2023 enrollment will open in early May 2023 and close in early June 2023. We cannot accommodate any fee waiver requests made outside of this window.

    No application for admission will be considered before the application fee has been paid or a fee waiver has been granted.

    HLS Transfer Fee Waiver Request Form

  • Resume

    We require a resume as part of the application. Please limit your resume to 1 – 2 pages in length. Please include your expected summer activities even if you have not officially begun the position.

    The following links are to sample resumes from successful applicants in prior years. You do not have to follow the formatting used in these resumes, but all three are examples of well-organized, easy-to-read drafts.

  • LSAT or GRE Score

    We require a LSAT and/or GRE test score as part of the application. All transfer applicants to the J.D. program must submit any LSAT and/or GRE scores utilized for their 1L application.

  • Official Transcripts

    We require official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.

    • Final transcripts, with degree and conferral date (if applicable) displayed, from all previously attended undergraduate and graduate academic institutions are required.
    • Transcripts submitted to LSAC during the application process are sufficient to meet this requirement unless they were in-progress at the time of submission to LSAC. In those cases where an in-progress transcript was submitted to the LSAC, we will require a final version sent to our office.
    • You must submit your first-year law school grades. We realize that it may be difficult in some cases to obtain a final transcript until after the application deadline. Please provide an in-progress transcript at the point of application submission, and then promptly provide a complete first-year grade report when it is available. Unofficial grade reports may be uploaded directly to your application via the status checker.
    • Although we may be able to reach a tentative decision to admit on the basis of unofficial grades, all admitted students must provide us with a final official transcript from each previously attended institution (including the 1L law school) in order to enroll. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution via email or post.
  • Letters of Recommendation

    Two letters of recommendation are required, but you may submit up to three. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a law professor at your current law school. Additional letters should come from faculty members or employers who have had an opportunity to evaluate you carefully and individually over a sufficient period of time to make a reasonable evaluation.

    Our experience is that two thoughtfully selected recommenders are likely to be more effective than several chosen less carefully.

  • Personal Statement

    The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to provide more context on how their experiences and strengths could make them valuable contributors to the Harvard and legal communities, to illuminate their intellectual background and interests, or to clarify or elaborate on other information in their application. Because applicants and their experiences differ, you are the best person to determine the content of your statement.

    The personal statement should address your reasons for applying for transfer admission. A need to be located in the Cambridge area may be relevant and should be discussed in your personal statement if applicable.

    Please limit your statement to two pages using a minimum of 11-point font, 1-inch margins, and double spacing.

  • Optional Statement

    The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand your achievements in the context of your background and to build a diverse student body. If applicable, you may choose to submit an optional additional statement to elaborate on how you could contribute to the Harvard Law School community.

    We ask that you limit your optional statement to one page, double spaced, using a font size that is comfortable to read (not less than 11 point). If an optional statement runs over one page, it will be read. However, we ask that you use your best judgment to determine whether or not your optional statement should exceed the one-page allotment.

  • Additional Information

    We encourage you to provide any relevant information that may be helpful to us in making an informed decision on your application. Any information that you believe to be relevant to your application is appropriate. Examples of information that may be relevant to individual cases include unusual circumstances that may have affected academic performance, a description or documentation of a physical or learning disability, an explicit history of standardized test results accompanying a strong academic performance, or a history of educational or sociological disadvantage.

    It is very helpful for you to provide as much information as possible on the online form itself before referring the reader to additional materials.

  • College Certification Form

    We require a College Certification form from your 1L law school by the application deadline (June 13). Admitted transfer students must submit College Certification forms from all previously attended post-secondary institutions.

    • The College Certification form is not the same as a transcript. In addition to requesting confirmation of expected conferral of your degree, the College Certification form also requests information about possible academic or behavioral disciplinary actions. Detailed instructions on how to submit the College Certification form are located at the beginning of the form.
    • If admitted into our Transfer Cohort, please be aware that HLS requires a College Certification form from any post-secondary institution that you have attended, regardless of whether you received a degree from the institution. The deadline to submit these is late July. Precise dates and requirements will be communicated to admitted students in early July.
    • It is not necessary for the person completing the form to know you. School officials who have access to academic and disciplinary records may complete certifications.
    • Each institution is different, but usually a Dean of Students or Pre-Law Advisor’s office completes this form. The form is usually completed on the basis of the school’s records.
    • Questions about the College Certification process, and the transfer application process, should be directed to transferadmissions@law.harvard.edu.

    College Certification Form