Cardozo accepts transfer and visiting students for entry in the Fall or Spring. Scholarships are available for transfer students. To be eligible to transfer to Cardozo, transfer applicants must have completed a minimum of 24 transferable credits at an ABA-approved law school and the majority of Cardozo's first-year curriculum. Part-time students are eligible to apply to transfer to Cardozo provided they meet these requirements. Transfer students are accepted only on a full-time basis and may transfer a maximum of 42 credits. Transfer students will complete their final two years of study at Cardozo and graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Cardozo. Visiting students spend one or two semesters at Cardozo, and graduate from the law school through which they have matriculated.
Application Requirements for Transfers and Visitors
A student seeking admission to Cardozo as a transfer or visiting student must submit the following:
- A completed application for admission through LSAC online.
- An official current law school transcript including all first-year grades. Your application will not be reviewed until we have received all of your first-year grades. Second and third-year students must submit their most recently available transcripts. In some cases, the Committee will delay making a decision on your application until we have received grades from the semester immediately preceding the term you wish to attend Cardozo.
- Your official class rank following the completion of your first year of law school. If your school does not rank, please request that your school send us a statement indicating such. Second- and third-year students must submit their most recently available class ranks. Be advised that the Committee may render an admission decision without your class rank.
- A short personal statement about your reasons for transferring or visiting. You must submit this statement as an electronic attachment to your application. Please note that this statement should be submitted in lieu of the personal statement requested in our application.
- Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must come from one of your law school professors. We prefer that you submit these letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service, but will accept letters sent directly to Cardozo.
- A copy of the first page of your CAS report showing your LSAT score. Your law school registrar may send a copy to Cardozo, or you may request that a new report be sent to us from LSAC.
- A letter from the appropriate official of your current law school indicating that you are in good standing. If you are applying as a visiting student, the letter must expressly grant permission for you to study at Cardozo as a visiting student for the applicable semester(s). A résumé submitted via an electronic attachment.
Transferring 2Ls must submit no later than October 15th of the year of matriculation at Cardozo School of Law, official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions at which they matriculated for a degree. Students who fail to do so will be withdrawn from the Law School.
Character and Fitness
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admissions to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Deadlines and Decisions
There is no firm application deadline for transfer and visiting students since current law school grades are required; however, we recommend that you submit your application as early as possible and that it be completed no later than August 10 for the Fall term, and January 1 for the Spring term. Your file will not be reviewed until all required materials are received.
Decisions on transfer and visiting applications are made on a rolling basis beginning when the application is complete. During the review process, the Committee not only evaluates the merits of each application individually, but also relative to all other applications in the pool. Some applications may receive a decision fairly quickly; in many cases, however, the Committee’s comparative appraisal of a file is a lengthier process, to allow the Committee to re-review an application and carefully assess a candidate’s strength in comparison to the full applicant pool.
As long as a candidate’s file is completed in a timely manner, her/his application will be thoroughly reviewed and given full and complete consideration. Due to the careful assessment of each individual application, the Admissions Committee is unable to guarantee that a decision will be made on an application within a particular time frame.
Admitted transfer students are informed in their admission package of their transfer credit award.
Transfer credit is given only for courses completed at ABA-approved law schools. J.D. transfer credit is not available for pass/fail courses and will be awarded only for graded courses in which a student received a letter grade of "C" or better, although the grade itself will not transfer.
Because of the lack of comparability of grades at other schools, grades in courses taken at another school are not included in the calculation of a J.D. student's Cardozo grade point average for purposes of determining academic standing and class rank at Cardozo, or for determination of honors.
J.D. transfer credit must be specifically approved to satisfy Cardozo’s distribution requirements, course prerequisites, writing requirement, professional responsibility requirement, Advanced Legal Research requirement, or concentrations.
Transfer credit will not be awarded for any coursework occurring prior to the beginning of law school study.
Other than our established joint programs (J.D./MSW, J.D./MSB), we have no agreements between schools governing the transfer of credit (articulation agreements).
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LL.M. to J.D. Transfer Option for Cardozo LL.M. Graduates
Cardozo LL.M. students or graduates, who hold a first degree in law from a foreign law school, have a unique opportunity to earn a J.D. degree in two years from Cardozo. Qualified LL.M. graduates may apply as transfer students during the transfer application period in the spring. Qualified LL.M. students may apply during their last semester of study at Cardozo. If admitted, Cardozo School of Law will grant up to 26 units in advanced standing credit toward the J.D. degree for classes taken during the LL.M. studies at Cardozo.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is not required; however, students who have taken the LSAT must report their score.
To be considered for this transfer program candidates must:
- hold a foreign first degree in law;
- be currently enrolled in Cardozo’s LL.M. program or have obtained an LL.M. degree from Cardozo within the last 3 years;
- have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 in their fall and spring LL.M. studies, or have passed the New York Bar.
Academics & Structure
All LL.M. transfer students admitted to the J.D. program must enroll full-time in the program during the two academic years and complete the remainder of the eighty-four (84) credits needed to qualify for the J.D. degree. Students must successfully complete all J.D. academic requirements, including the first-year curriculum and upper-level writing requirements.
- There is no firm application deadline for transfer and visiting students since current law school grades are required; however, we recommend that you submit your application as early as possible and that it be completed no later than August 10 for the Fall term. Your file will not be reviewed until all required materials are received.
- A completed J.D. transfer application submitted electronically through LSAC
- An official current law school transcript including all grades received from your LL.M. studies. Your application will not be reviewed until Cardozo Admissions has received all your LL.M. grades.
- A short personal statement about your reasons for transferring. You must submit this statement as an electronic attachment to your application. Please note that this statement should be submitted in lieu of the personal statement requested in our application.
- Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a Cardozo Law professor. We prefer that you submit these letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service, but will accept letters sent directly to Cardozo.
- An LSAT score is not required. However, if you have taken the LSAT, you must request that a report be sent to Cardozo from the LSAC.
- A letter from the Dean of Students indicating that you are in good standing.
- A resume submitted via an electronic attachment.
Advanced Standing J.D. Degree for Graduates of Foreign Law Schools
Cardozo School of Law offers an Advanced Standing J.D. degree for graduates of non-U.S. law schools. This selective program is designed for students who already hold a law degree from a qualifying institution outside the United States and who are planning to apply for the bar exam in the U.S.
Benefits of the Advanced Standing J.D. program
- Receive a maximum of 30 credit hours of the required credits for the Cardozo J.D. from prior legal studies in a foreign country. The total number of credits allowed will be determined on an individual basis.
- Complete the J.D. program in two years of study and an opportunity to enroll in an additional semester or year to explore more upper–level, valuable courses at Cardozo.
- Satisfy the legal education requirement to apply for the bar exam anywhere in the U.S.
- Receive more preparation for the bar exam than the one-year LL.M. degree.
- Earn a J.D. at a reduced cost compared to the traditional thee-year program.
- Stay an additional semester, at your choice, and earn an LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property or Dispute Resolution and Advocacy.
- Complete Cardozo Spring transfer/visitor application, available through LSAC;
- Official law school transcript, indicating the conferral of a foreign law degree;
- LSAT/GRE score not older than five years;
- Personal statement;
- Resume; and
- Two letters of recommendation.
Applications are accepted beginning in early September. Our application priority deadline is April 1. While we encourage you to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after April 1.
J.D. students in the Advanced Standing program apply using Cardozo’s Spring transfer/visitor application and must begin in May. They are required to take all first-year courses at Cardozo. These courses are Elements of Law, Contracts, Torts, Constitutional Law, Property, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Lawyering Skills and Legal Writing I and II. The first-year curriculum provides students with a firm foundation in American law, focusing on core requirements.
Students admitted to the Advanced Standing program must submit syllabi of the courses for which they seek credit.
Character and Fitness
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. This involves an extensive application with detailed questions relating to your work, educational, and personal history. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Note about Federal Aid
Under current U.S. law, only U.S citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal student loans. Applicants who are not eligible for federal student loans may qualify for private loan programs.