The Office of Admissions receives a considerable number of transfer applications each year, and we anticipate that 35 to 60 students will enroll in the Law School’s transfer program each year. Applicants are eligible to apply for transfer admission after having accrued a minimum of 28, and a maximum of 32*, credits from law schools that are either members of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) or approved by the American Bar Association’s section on Legal Education.
Most successful transfer students are in the top 5 percent to 10 percent of their law school class, and transfer admission is indeed based on the entire applicant profile. Your first-year law school performance is paramount; however, the Admissions Committee does consider all other information in your file, such as your undergraduate and any other graduate transcripts, LSAT performance, letters of recommendation, and a statement regarding why you are seeking transfer. For more information, please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Additionally, transfer students are eligible to apply to participate in all student law journals at Columbia Law School, including participation in the writing competition for Columbia Law Review.
Transfer applicants seeking to apply credit from LL.M. or other post-J.D. programs at law schools other than Columbia, including international law schools, are subject to ABA Standard 505(d) and, accordingly, must apply as first-year students.
*Please note that we are able to consider such applicants with fewer than 28 credits and more than 32 credits; applicants to whom this applies must include a written explanation with their application for admission. After you have transferred, a review with the Director of Academic Counseling will determine how many credits will be eligible toward your Columbia Law School J.D. degree.
Transfer Application Materials
Transfer Application Checklist
Columbia Law School will accept applications for those applying for admission to the Class of 2021 starting May 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted online through LSAC.org. A preview copy for preparation purposes will be posted here in Spring 2019.
Please note that the Payment Certification Letter is required only for applicants submitting application fee payments via check or money order.
2018-19 Dates and Deadlines
September–November: Fall Recruitment Season
May 1: Current law students may apply to Columbia Law School as a transfer student
July 15: Transfer Application deadline for Fall term