Transfer Students

Transfer Students

Each summer, between 30 and 35 students successfully transfer from other law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. These students join the rising 2L class during the fall semester. To be eligible to apply as a transfer student, you must have completed 28 credit hours and a 1L curriculum similar to that of Northwestern Law’s at a school accredited by the American Bar Association. Furthermore, you must intend to complete your last two years of legal study at Northwestern Law.

Northwestern Law transfer students are eligible to participate in practically all of the Law School's offerings, including but not limited to the on-campus interviewing program, the Bluhm Legal Clinic, and our journals.  These upper division JD students may apply to the West Coast Initiative, or register for an International Team Project course.

Transfer students are not eligible for institutional scholarships or grants. Northwestern Law is dedicated to offering a comprehensive financial aid program for students seeking assistance, and financial aid packages for transfer candidates consist of loan funding. The financial aid application process occurs after transfer candidates are offered admission, and Northwestern's Chicago Office of Financial Aid offers detailed guidance for those seeking financial aid.


Transferring of Credit

  • Successful transfer candidates must have completed a minimum of 28 credit hours as of the completion of their first-year JD coursework at their originating law school.
  • The amount of credit a transfer student will receive for completed first-year work will not exceed 28 semester units.

  • Grades below a C or its equivalent will not be accepted for transfer credit.

  • Because of the differences in curriculum among law schools, students who are admitted on a transfer basis may not receive full credit for all first-year courses.


Applying to Transfer

Thank you for your interest in becoming a transfer candidate at Northwestern Law!  Beginning March 2024, we are offering two opportunities to apply for transfer admission.  You may apply through our inaugural Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer program or through our traditional Regular Decision – JD Transfer program. Here are detailed instructions for the Fall 2024 JD Transfer application process.  

Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer

We encourage candidates who have identified Northwestern Law as their top choice for transfer admission to apply through our inaugural Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer program.   

Northwestern Law evaluates Early Decision – JD Transfer applications according to the same selection criteria as Regular Decision – JD Transfer applications. However, an Early Decision – JD Transfer applicant’s particular interest in Northwestern Law, evidenced by their Early Decision – JD Transfer application designation, is specially considered by the admissions committee. And because of the timing for the Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer program, the admissions committee will evaluate applicants’ performance for the first semester of law school. Otherwise, Early Decision – JD Transfer applicants do not have a significant advantage in the selection process. 

This is a binding admission program.  If admitted through the Early Decision – JD Transfer program, Early Decision applicants commit themselves to matriculating at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  Applicants may not apply to any other binding Early Decision – JD Transfer programs during the same transfer admission cycle. Early Decision – JD Transfer applicants may only apply to other law schools through those institutions’ regular decision programs. Please review the conditions for candidates admitted to the Early Decision – JD Transfer program within the Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer Certification Form.

The applicant portal for the Binding Early Decision - JD Transfer program will be available on Monday, March 25, 2024. To get started, click on this application link. You will be prompted to create an account and you must review the JD Transfer Application Instructions before beginning the Binding Early Decision - JD Transfer appliation.

All application requirements, including the submission of an online video interview, must be completed and submitted by Friday, April 26, 2024. The Binding Early Decision - JD Transfer applicant portal will close at 11:59 p.m. CT on April 26, 2024. 

The Office of Admissions will contact applicants to the Binding Early Decision – JD Transfer Program during the week of May 13, 2024. These candidates will be notified of a decision on their file; this decision may be an offer of admission, a denial, or the opportunity to remain under consideration through our Regular Decision – JD Transfer Program. 

Regular Decision – JD Transfer Program

The Regular Decision - JD Transfer application portal will open on our Apply webpage on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. A complete transfer application consists of several requirements. Applicants to the Regular Decision – JD Transfer Program are responsible for submitting and completing every application requirement prior to the deadline on Wednesday, June 26, 2024. The Office of Admissions will make offers of admission on a regular basis as early as the second week of June 2024. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to be considered for admission through the Regular Decision – JD Transfer Program. 


Ready, Set, Apply (to Transfer)! ~ The Northwestern Law Transfer Application Process

Applying for transfer admission is a distinct journey from the one you pursued as a rising 1L. During an hour-long virtual program, a member of the admissions team will guide you through each step of the process, including a discussion of our new Binding Early Decision - JD Transfer program and the interview requirement. Furthermore, she will provide insight on Northwestern Law's approach to transfer admission. Time will be reserved for your questions.  

Ready, Set, Apply (to Transfer)!  |  Wednesday, April 17  |  6:00 p.m. CT  |  Registration is required 

In the meantime, please review our detailed instructions and guidance if you are applying for transfer admission this year.