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Transfer & Visiting Students



Each year, the law school considers applications from J.D. students at other law schools who request to transfer for their second and third years of legal studies. The Vanderbilt J.D. program is full-time only; we have no part-time or evening programs.

Transfer applicants should note the following:

  • If admitted, transfer students may transfer up to 30 credit hours. Courses satisfactorily completed at the other school are usually accepted, even when the number of credits for a particular course differs from the number of credits for the same course at Vanderbilt.
  • Transfer grades are recorded as “Pass” grades, not as the numerical or letter grades originally awarded, and they are not included in the cumulative grade point average.
  • Transfer students are required to complete four (4) full-time semesters at Vanderbilt to receive a J.D. degree.
  • Transfer students may participate in the student journal selections.
  • Because Vanderbilt accepts transfer credits but not grades, it is unlikely a transfer student can meet the 75% rule to qualify for Order of the Coif.
  • Although transfer students are not eligible for joint-degree programs, they may apply to the Ph.D. in Law and Economics program as second-year J.D. students at Vanderbilt.
  • Transfer students are not provided VLS merit- or need-based scholarship assistance. Federal loans are available; complete the FAFSA listing Vanderbilt's Title IV code 003535, and you may be interested in exploring external scholarships.

Early Action applications must be completed by May 15. Regular Decision applications must be submitted by July 1.

It is recommended that transfer applicants apply as early as possible in order to ensure participation in our complete on- and off-campus interview process/offerings. Depending on the date of application completion and admission, an incoming student may not be able to participate in OCI.


Transfer Early Action: Apply between February 15 and May 15

We will consider Early Action applications from students who have completed the first semester of study in an ABA-approved JD program. Early Action decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in early March. Early Action applications may be accepted, denied, or deferred to the Transfer Regular Decision process. Deferred Early action applications will be considered under Regular Decision upon receipt of a law school transcript containing final grades obtained during the full first year of law school.

All Early Action offers of admission are contingent upon receipt of a final first-year transcript showing second-semester performance consistent with the level achieved during the first semester Accordingly, each admitted applicant is required to submit an official transcript containing final grades for the full first year of law school to the Admissions Office for approval and confirmation of admission. If approved, you will be required to submit a $1,000 non-refundable deposit by a deadline provided with your confirmation of admission. By late June, all entering transfer students must provide a binding statement of intent to enroll at Vanderbilt, affirming withdrawal of all transfer applications to other law schools as a requirement for participating in on-campus employment interviews.


Transfer Regular Decision: Apply by July 1

Transfer Regular Decision applications may be submitted through July 1. Admission decisions are made as soon as possible after completion of each file, including receipt of a law school transcript containing final grades obtained during the full first year of law school.

If you are admitted as a transfer under regular decision, you will be required to submit a $1,000 non-refundable deposit by a deadline provided with your offer of admission. 


Required Transfer Application Materials

We are committed to providing a thorough evaluation to each application, and the admissions process reflects our belief that the quality of the educational environment benefits from considering a range of information about individual applicants. First-year law school performance is particularly important in the transfer process.

The following items must be submitted to complete your electronic application:

  1. Application form - Complete as instructed and attach your résumé and personal statement. 
  2. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report - You must register with LSAC for CAS at Your CAS report will include your LSAT score(s), LSAT writing sample, letters of recommendation, photocopies of your academic transcripts, and a transcript analysis.
  3. Two letters of recommendation - Letters should be from people who have worked closely with you and who know you well. One letter must be from a faculty member at your current law school. Letters from faculty members who have taught you tend to provide information most relevant to you as a law student and most helpful to readers of your application. Faculty members who have served as your advisors, research supervisors, or have taught you in more than one course are often good choices. Letters from employers who know you well can also provide helpful and relevant information for your application. Letters of recommendation should be submitted through CAS.
  4. Law school Dean's letter - Transfer applicants must provide a law school dean's letter indicating good standing. The letter should be submitted directly to the Admissions Office.
  5. Transcripts - Original official law school transcripts must be submitted through CAS.
  6. A $70 application fee - The fee is non-refundable, and must be paid online by credit card.



| Vanderbilt J.D. Transfer Application



Visiting Students

J.D. students at other ABA-approved law schools may apply for visiting student status by submitting the same materials required for transfer applicants except an LSAC CAS report. Please provide a transcript from your law school showing grades for all academic work you have completed. Visiting students may not apply online, however, and must obtain forms and instructions by contacting the Admissions Office  

Visiting student applications must be submitted by August 1 for the Fall semester and by December 1 for the Spring semester.

Questions? Contact the Admissions Office

615-322-6452 |