Transfer & Visiting Applicants

Transfer Applicants

Yale Law School welcomes applications for transfer admission for students currently enrolled in the first year of law school. An undergraduate degree and an outstanding record at an accredited law school are prerequisites. Transfer applications will be considered only between the applicant's first and second years of law school, as incoming transfer students must complete two years of work at Yale Law School. 

The transfer application for the Class of 2027 will be available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in May 2025. The Law School requires applicants to submit their applications through the LSAC electronic application service included as part of a Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS) subscription

Transfer applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable $85 application fee. If you would like to request a need-based fee waiver of your Yale Law School application fee, you may request one by filling out this brief form. Need-based fee waivers are generously granted, and parental information is not requested as part of the fee waiver application. Additionally, we will automatically waive our transfer application fee for individuals who were offered a place on our waitlist in a prior admission cycle.

Applications will be considered only from applicants enrolled at U.S. law schools approved by the American Bar Association.

Applicants in part-time and evening law school programs must earn the equivalent number of credits as a rising second-year student in their schools’ full-time programs to be eligible to matriculate. With the exception or courses completed online due to COVID-19, course work completed through correspondence or online courses will not be granted credit. Typically, the completion of 24 law school credits is sufficient to be considered a rising second-year student. Upon admission, the Registrar’s Office will make a formal determination of the number of credits that will transfer to Yale Law School.

Qui Transtulit Sustinet, meaning “he who transplanted sustains,” is the official motto of Connecticut, and at YLS, it is also the name of the transfer student organization. Students who accept an offer to transfer will automatically become members of the QTs, which hosts events for transfer students, provides career guidance and mentorship opportunities, and serves as a formal way for current transfers to help improve the transfer experience by advocating for changes to the administration and other student-run organizations. After being admitted, you will receive information about getting in contact with current QTs, and at that time you can also feel free to reach out to the QT’s here for any and all questions you have about the transfer experience.

Participation in any journal at Yale Law School, including the Yale Law Journal, is in no way required, nor is it necessary for success. Most students at YLS are not members of the Yale Law Journal, and they still go on to have very successful and fulfilling careers.

For those interested in a journal experience, YLS has nine journals, all of which, with the exception of the Yale Law Journal, allow students to “walk on” during the school year, generally with nothing more than a brief statement of interest. More information about these publications can be found here.

To apply to the Yale Law Journal, transfer students have the option to either (1) apply for a limited number of transfer-student positions during the summer between their first and second years of law school, or (2) defer their application until the spring of their second year, at which time their materials would be reviewed alongside applications from other YLS students. Transfer students who select option 1 and are offered membership on the Journal will join the masthead the fall of their second year and are eligible to slate for upper masthead positions for the subsequent Volume. Transfer students who select option 2 and are offered membership on the Journal will serve a single semester as a First-Year Editor during the fall of their third year at YLS; as a result, they are unable to slate for upper masthead positions in subsequent Volumes. Please note that students may only apply to Yale Law Journal once, so transfer students selecting option 1 may not then reapply the following year with those transfer applicants who selected option 2. More information and a specific timeline for the application process for the Yale Law Journal can be found here.

Visiting Student Applicants

In special circumstances, a student enrolled in a J.D. program at another ABA-approved U.S. law school may apply for admission on a full-time, non-degree basis. Visiting students may attend Yale Law School for a semester or a maximum of one year, earning credit toward a degree at their own institutions. Applicants must have completed the equivalent of a year of law school before enrolling at YLS under this status.

Students applying as visiting students should complete the J.D. application in the paper format and mail it to the Admissions Office, along with a $85 application fee. Please contact the Admissions Office to request a Visiting Student application.

A complete Visiting Student application must also contain a written statement explaining your interest in studying at Yale Law School, a law school transcript, a CAS Report, two letters of recommendation from law school professors, dean's certifications from all degree programs in which the applicant has been enrolled, and a letter from the applicant’s degree-granting law school giving permission to earn credit for course work at YLS. The Admissions Committee considers past academic performance as well as special circumstances when reviewing applications; decisions are made on a rolling basis.