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Transfer Requirements

Transfer applications will be considered only when the student has successfully completed all the courses required in the full-time 1L year of the home school. The number of credits transferred will equal the number of credits successfully completed in that program; transfer students who are deficient in any 1L courses required at Penn Law (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts) will be required to complete those courses as part of their upper-level coursework at Penn Law. The law school from which the applicant seeks to transfer must be able to certify that the applicant has completed all requirements and credits for that school’s full-time first-year program. Applicants must fulfill the first-year course requirements at their host law school by the completion of the spring semester. Transcripts reflecting grades for all courses taken must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by July 15. A transfer applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution has implemented a mandatory pass/fail system for the spring term or if the applicant chooses to participate in an optional pass/fail system for the spring term.

Applicants for advanced standing must be in good standing at a law school that is both a member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) and approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Applications for advanced standing are available beginning May 1. We do not start processing transfer applications until June. All applicants for advanced standing must apply by July 1. Applications must be complete by July 15 with all required documents (see JD Transfer Checklist below). Applicants for advanced standing will not be reviewed until we have received transcripts for both fall and spring semesters of the first year of law school. Decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in mid-June. Students enrolled in a part-time or evening division program at any time during their first year of study are not eligible to apply for transfer to Penn Law.

Applicants for advanced standing are required to provide the same documents that are required for first-year applicants (i.e., completed application form, application fee, personal statement(s), Credential Assembly Service Law School report, academic transcripts from all institutions attended, and two letters of recommendation - preferably from law professors). Additionally, applicants for advanced standing must provide a letter of good standing from a law school dean, or appropriate administrator, at the current law school. The letter of good standing must be emailed by the authorized party of the home law school directly to the Office of Admissions at contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu. We do not provide a form for the letter of good standing; the letter can be generated in whatever format the home law school uses. The letter of good standing is not the same as a dean’s certification letter or letter of class rank.

Transfer applicants are not eligible for need-based financial assistance (grants) or Penn Law merit scholarships.

Transfer applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver.

JD TRANSFER CHECKLIST

Your application will be considered complete and will be referred to the Admissions Committee for review when the following items are received by the dates specified in the Application Instructions:

  • Completed application form with electronic signature
  • Application fee in the amount of $80.00. (Note: We do not grant fee waivers for advanced standing applications.)
  • Academic transcripts from all institutions attended

Note: Your file is not deemed complete until we have received an official  law school transcript showing fall and spring semester grades.

Spring 2020 Update: A transfer applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution has implemented a mandatory pass/fail system for the spring term or if the applicant chooses to participate in an optional pass/fail system for the spring term. Please have law school transcripts either sent directly from your home institution to LSAC or sent directly to Penn Law at contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu via an approved electronic transcript service. We will not accept emailed copies of transcripts nor will we accept transcripts mailed by postal mail or courier service.

  • Credential Assembly Service Law School report
  • Two Letters of Recommendation - preferably from law professors. (Note: You must submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service.)
  • Résumé
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of good standing from a law school dean at the current law school

View or download the Application Instructions.