Transfer & Visiting Student Applicants

Advanced standing students come from law schools across the country and make a substantial and welcome contribution to Berkeley Law’s student body. Applicants are considered for the fall term only and admission decisions usually are made in late June or early July. The application filing period is April 15-June 15, but applicants are encouraged to submit complete applications as early as possible.

There are two categories of advanced standing, transfer and visiting status. Information about each category follows:



Transfer students come to Berkeley after their first year in a full-time JD program elsewhere, complete their last two years here, and then receive a Berkeley Law degree. When we review transfer applications, we focus on the applicant’s performance during the first year of law school. Admission is very competitive. We usually receive more than 200 applications for about 25-35 places in our second-year class, and successful transfer applicants usually come from the top 10 percent of their respective home law school classes. The exact number of transfer places available may vary from year to year.

Joining Journals

Although Berkeley Law has thirteen student-run law reviews and journals, only one of them, the California Law Review (CLR), runs a write-on competition for transfer students in mid-July (you may join the other twelve simply by volunteering). This year, the competition will begin on Wednesday, July 5 and end on Saturday, July 15. Successful applicants will be expected to attend a CLR orientation. The date for orientation is still being determined but we will update Write-On participants as soon as it’s available. Any potential transfer student may take part in the write-on regardless of whether he or she has yet been accepted or committed to Berkeley Law.

Those who wish to participate should email CLR Senior Development Editor, Irania Marin, by June 30, 2024. In the body of the email, please provide the following information:

  • Your first, middle, and last name;
  • Preferred email address;
  • phone number; and
  • birth date

For more information, please visit the CLR website.

2L Summer Private Sector Job Search

Due to recent changes in law firm recruiting, we recommend that you continue to work with your current law school’s career advising office on your 2L summer private sector job search while your application to transfer is being reviewed. The timing of our transfer application allows you to participate in our Summer OCI program (“SOCI”), but many law firms will have already begun their recruitment efforts by this time. 

If you are admitted as a transfer student, you also should be aware that the bidding process for our Summer OCI program will take place July 17-22. Interviews will be conducted virtually on July 30, 31, and August 1, and many second round interviews will take place over the following two weeks. If you miss the bidding deadline, you will not be able to participate in the lottery for SOCI. Therefore, if you are interested in working at a law firm for your 2L summer and would like to participate in SOCI, we strongly encourage you to meet with Berkeley Law’s Career Development Office as soon as possible after accepting our offer of admission to develop a strategy for your job search. Time is of the essence.


A law student who has completed one year at another law school may apply for transfer status to enter the second-year class if:

  • Before law school, a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent was awarded by an approved college or university
  • The first-year curriculum was completed in a full-time program at a law school that is approved by the American Bar Association (we do not admit part-time students unless they have completed the entire first-year curriculum)
  • A minimum of 28 semester units was completed at the time of our review
  • The work for which transfer credit is sought is of very high quality
  • The student was not placed on probation nor disqualified.

A maximum of 32 units completed elsewhere will be accepted toward a Berkeley J.D. degree, although students who have completed more units may apply. Berkeley Law reserves the right to prescribe further conditions for granting of such credit.

If you are admitted as a transfer student and wish to enroll, you must commit in writing and withdraw your transfer applications from all other schools. In order to participate in Berkeley’s Early Interview Week, you must also certify that you are not participating, and will not participate, in any other law school’s on-campus interview program. A false certification will be considered a violation of the Student Honor Code.

Order of the Coif

The Order of the Coif is a national honor society for law school graduates who attended member schools. Each year it extends invitations to the top 10% of Berkeley Law’s graduating J.D. students by grade point average. No application is necessary, although students should make sure that their final transcripts are accurate. Third-year Berkeley Law students must have at least 75% of the total credits needed to graduate in graded courses. At a minimum, graduates must therefore have 64 graded credits by the end of their third year. Non-Berkeley Law and non-law courses are not counted into the GPA. Students who have obtained a substantial number of ungraded credits (through journal work, moot court participation, and the like) and who aspire to Coif membership should pay careful attention to the number of graded units they will have at the completion of their studies. Only graded courses are counted in determining final GPA. As students consider classes, they should keep in mind that some of our clinics are offered for credit/no credit, while others are offered for a grade. Students who would like to be eligible for Order of the Coif should pay close attention to which clinics they choose to take and any impact that decision might have on the total number of graded units they have. Students who spend a semester or two studying at an institution other than at Berkeley Law (e.g., Harvard Exchange, transfer, or joint degree students) should refer to the Registrar’s Order of the Coif webpage for their specific requirements.

Transfer Applicants Must Provide the Following:

  • An electronic application form through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) submitted between April 15-June 15
  • The application fee is waived for transfer applicants.
  • A 2-4 page personal statement and a resume
  • CAS report from the LSAC
  • Two recommendations from your current law school professors. One letter should come from a professor who taught you in a doctrinal course, and the second letter should come from a Legal Writing and Research professor. Ideally, these should be included with your CAS report. Letters sent after submitting an application or after the deadline may be provided via email attachments to
  • A home law school transcript, or an individual grade report that includes final spring term grades, sent directly to DO NOT send your law school transcript to the LSAC. We will accept a student copy of your spring term grades to expedite the review process, but a final official transcript must follow if you are admitted. 
  • Financial aid applicants should follow the instructions provided to first-year applicants, located here.

Frequently Asked Questions by Transfer Applicants


We typically receive 25-30 applications for the five places available for visitors, who spend their third year at Berkeley and receive their law degree from their school of origin. Visitor status admission is available to students who have completed two years of high quality work at their home law school and who demonstrate a compelling need to spend their final year at Berkeley. Applicants are expected to explain their compelling need in the personal statement. Examples of compelling need may include a medical condition, a family emergency, or to be with a spouse. Visitor status is not granted to fulfill individual academic interests.

The applicant’s home law school must provide notice to accept work satisfactorily completed at Berkeley as credit toward the student’s law degree. In addition, second-year law students will be considered for visitor status only if:

  • Before law school, a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent was awarded by an approved college or university;
  • Two years of a law school curriculum were completed in a full-time program at an American Bar Association-approved law school;
  • The student was not placed on probation nor was disqualified.

The application filing period is April 15-June 15.

Visiting Status Applicants Must Submit the Following

  • An electronic application form through the LSAC between April 15-June 15
  • The application fee is waived for visiting status applicants.
  • A 2-4 page personal statement that includes the reason for requesting visiting status and a resume
  • Two recommendations from law professors sent directly to
  • A letter from the home law school confirming acceptance of third-year coursework completed at Berkeley Law
  • A home law school transcript that includes second-year, spring-term grades

Frequently Asked Questions by Visitor Status Applicants

Contact Admissions:
Contact Financial Aid: