Transfers & Visiting Students
Notre Dame Law School welcomes students from other law schools to attend either as transfer or visiting students. Transfer students enter as second-year students and will spend two years at Notre Dame to complete their legal education. Visiting students may spend a semester or year at the Law School to pursue coursework that may not be available at their degree-granting institution.
The Transfer Admission Process
Notre Dame Law School admits new transfer students for the fall term only. Given the competitive applicant pool, our rolling admissions process, and the bidding deadlines for the on-campus interview and off-campus interview programs, as well as the journal write-on competition, the Admissions Committee recommends that prospective students read the following instructions closely and consider applying early in the admissions cycle. Interviews for transfer students will begin in late-April with admissions decisions following thereafter.
Students are eligible to apply for transfer admission if they:
- Are enrolled full-time in an ABA-accredited law school program and are in the process of completing their first year of studies.
- Are enrolled full-time in an ABA-accredited law school program and have completed their first year of studies (approximately 30 credits).
- Are enrolled in a part-time program or in an evening division of an ABA-accredited law school and will – at the time of enrollment at Notre Dame Law School – have completed no less than 26 credit hours.
- Are enrolled in, but have not yet graduated from, the LL.M. program at Notre Dame Law School.
The Admissions Committee accepts a maximum of 31 credit hours. Applicants who exceed that maximum would still have to complete a minimum of 59 credit hours at Notre Dame Law School in order to graduate. A minimum of 90 credit hours is required to receive the J.D. degree.
The Admissions Committee recommends that interested transfer students pursue a course load roughly similar to that required of first-year students at NDLS. This schedule includes: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts. Transfer applicants may be admitted even if they are missing these requirements if the remainder of their application is strong. Such students will be required to take the remaining required courses during their second year at the Law School.
Beyond first-year coursework and grades, the Admissions Committee uses a holistic review process to find those students who will contribute greatly to the NDLS community during their time at the Law School. To that end, the Committee considers many different qualities in its analysis such as leadership skills; community involvement; overcoming adversity; work and life experiences; internships; and a specific interest in the study and practice of law. When completing an application, students are encouraged to consider how they may address the factors listed above. While it is not necessary to address each item in an application, many of the most competitive applicants highlight the factors they believe are the strongest, address a specific interest in the study and practice of law, and how NDLS will assist them in achieving their personal and professional goals.
Transfer Application Dates
February 1: Application opens
Late-April: Interviews begin
Mid-May: Rolling admissions decisions begin
Late-May: Journal write-on competition (further information below)
June 1: Application deadline to guarantee an interview. We cannot guarantee an interview for candidates who apply after this date.
June 16: Application deadline
Late-June: Bidding for initial phases of the on-campus interview and off-campus interview programs (further information below)
June 30: All application materials must be received
Transfer Application Requirements
- Application form
- Application fee ($50)
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation (from law school faculty)
- LSAT or GRE
- Official transcripts from undergraduate degree-granting institution and from law school
- Letter of Good Standing from current law school
- TOEFL (Required if Applicable)
Please note that all documents must be sent to LSAC except for the Letter of Good Standing. Students should request that the Letter of Good Standing be sent from either their law school’s registrar or dean’s office to the NDLS Office of Admissions via physical mail or email. Further instructions regarding this document are available via the application form on LSAC’s website.
The Admissions Committee welcomes the opportunity to get to know applicants through an interview. The interview is also intended to give applicants an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the admissions process, the Law School, or the University. The Office of Admissions prefers that interviews are done via phone but they may also be conducted in person or via Skype.
Scholarship and Loan Assistance
Notre Dame Law School is unable to offer scholarship assistance to incoming transfer students. Transfer students are eligible for Dean’s Circle fellowships in their third year of law school.
In order to qualify for federal loan programs, applicants must first file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Notre Dame’s School Code is 001840.
Applicants can find more information regarding Federal loans at the Office of Financial Aid’s website.
Law Journal Write-on Competition
Transfer applicants are eligible to compete in the law journal write-on competition. Students may only participate if they have a complete transfer application on file (pending spring law school grades).
Interested students should request information regarding this process from Christine Holst-Haley, Student Services Program Manager, by the end of April.
Please note that admissions decisions and journal selection decisions are made independently from each other. Students will most likely have to submit their writing sample prior to learning their admissions decision.
On-Campus Interview and Off-Campus Interview Program Bidding
Admitted transfer students are eligible to bid for the on-campus interviews and off-campus interview programs after submitting their enrollment and deposit materials. The Career Development Office will contact enrolling students with instructions.
Please note that the initial phase of bidding for the on-campus interviews and off-campus interview programs typically concludes by the end of June. Thereafter, enrolling transfer students are given first priority for any available interview slots on an employer’s schedule. As such, the Admissions Committee encourages transfer applicants to consider applying early in the admissions process, including prior to receipt of their spring grades.
For more information regarding the transfer admissions process, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
A student enrolled and in good standing at an ABA accredited law school may apply as a visiting student at Notre Dame Law School for up to one academic year. Note that a visiting student is one who plans to transfer credits earned at Notre Dame Law back to their home law school. Visiting students are charged Notre Dame Law School’s tuition — rather than their home institution’s rate — while enrolled at NDLS.
Visiting students are required to submit the following:
- The visiting student application form
- Personal statement indicating the reason(s) for visiting NDLS (typically 1-2 pages)
- Letter from the dean’s office of the home school granting approval to enroll at Notre Dame Law School as a visiting student. This letter should also indicate the student’s good standing at their law school.
- Official law school transcript