Transfer/Visitor Admissions Information

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Each year, Duke Law School enrolls transfer students who have completed their first year at another law school. The exact number varies, but has been fewer than ten in recent years. We may conduct an initial file review once the letter of good standing, class rank (if available), and law transcript from the fall semester are received. Admission decisions are generally made in time for transfer students to participate in most of the On-Campus Interview process for second-year students. In addition, Duke Law journals conduct a write-on competition to allow transfer students to earn staff positions.

Most successful transfer applicants have a law school record that puts them at least in the top third of their class. We are particularly interested in admitting applicants who have specific reasons for wanting to be at Duke Law and seem likely to be active members of our community. Transfer applicants must complete the entire first year of legal study at an ABA-approved law school with membership in the Association of American Law Schools, and complete at least two years of study at Duke Law School.

In addition, Duke Law School considers applications for visitor status, in which students are admitted to complete their final year of law school at Duke. However, their home school awards the degree and agrees to accept credits from Duke.

The deadline for advanced standing applications is June 1. Transfer applicants will receive no more than one year of academic credit toward a Duke Law degree for work completed at another law school. Students with advanced standing are not eligible to apply for application fee waivers, Duke Law scholarships, or dual degree programs.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. Review the full policy to learn more.

Duke LLM students are required to contact the Office of Admissions at  

2024 Transfer and Visitor Application 

Use this application to apply as a transfer (after completing one year of law school at another ABA-approved law school) or a visitor (attend your third year at Duke Law School; degree to be granted by home institution). 


A complete application consists of the following elements.

Submit through LSAC

Submit through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

We will request your CAS Report shortly after we receive your application.

Additional material required (must be submitted to Duke Law Office of Admissions from your current law school)

  • Final semester letter of good standing (may include class rank)
  • Final semester class rank (may be included in the letter of good standing or noted on the transcript)
  • Visitor applicants only - Permission to visit letter from dean or registrar indicating that credits earned at Duke University School of Law will be accepted at home institution

Additional material that may be required

  • Character and fitness information: if you answer "yes" to any of the character and fitness questions, you must provide additional information. A letter from the school is also required if you have school-related conduct sanctions (must be submitted to Duke Law Office of Admissions from your institution).


You will be notified by email once your application has been received. The email will include instructions on how to monitor your file status online. Incomplete files will be reviewed later in the cycle and final decisions will be rendered based on the material received at that time.

If you wish to send additional material after submitting the application, you may forward it to the Office of Admissions by email. Include your full name and LSAC account number for identification purposes. It would be more beneficial to submit a 1-2 page summary rather than lengthy material.

Application Review

The application review process includes a thorough evaluation of a candidate's academic record. Duke Law School seeks to identify applicants who demonstrate leadership and engagement. Most successful candidates show sustained and meaningful commitment to one or more fields of interest to them. The Law School benefits from a student body that represents a broad range of experiences and interests. It is helpful to indicate reasons for interest in law school in general and Duke in particular, especially when they relate to an applicant's specific experiences.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the date of their completion, but there is no strict timeline for when decisions will be made. All admission decisions will be sent by email.

Application Deadline

Please note that it can take several days/weeks to receive all of the required material in order to complete the file.

April 1, 2024 - Begin accepting Transfer and Visitor applications.

June 1, 2024 (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time) - Deadline to submit the Transfer and Visitor application. We will continue to accept supporting material after the deadline if space is available.

Application Processing Fee

Submit the $80 non-refundable application processing fee with the application. Fee waivers are not available for the Transfer and Visitor application.

Resume, Personal Statement, Short Answer Essay(s)

All writing samples must be your own work. This means that the ideas and expressions originated with you, and you wrote all drafts and the final product without the assistance of generative artificial intelligence. It does not preclude asking family members, friends, advisors, and others for proofreading assistance or general feedback.

Resume: Your resume should include your significant work experience, educational history, college, law school, and community activities, honors and awards you have received, any prior Duke affiliation, and dates for all items listed. Your resume does not need to be limited to one page.

Personal Statement: The personal statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and should include (1) specific information about your legal career goals, how you have prepared for them so far, and how Duke Law might help you further those goals, as well as (2) how you plan to spend the summer after your first year of law school. Please use 2-3 pages, double-spaced for the personal statement. (Visitor applicants should include the reason(s) for wanting to spend your third year of law school at Duke.)

Short Answer Essay(s): Our admissions process is guided by the view that a law school class that includes actively engaged students who possess a variety of skills, personal qualities, and life experiences helps to advance the Law School's mission, improves the learning process, and enriches the educational experience for all. Please write one or two short essays from the list below. Be sure to label the essay(s) you are answering and use only one attachment even if you submit two short answers. Please limit your answer(s) to approximately 250-500 words per essay.

  1. What does the rule of law mean to you, and what special background or experience do you have that may help you contribute to its advancement or that underscores its importance to you personally?
  2. The promise of equal justice is fundamental to our legal system. Why is equal justice important to you personally, and what personal experiences or knowledge do you have that may help you become an effective advocate for equal justice under law?
  3. Exposure to a diversity of perspectives and experiences can enhance one's ability to deliver effective professional services. Please describe any opportunities you have had to serve clients or your community, either through work or on a volunteer basis, and how your own exposure to different perspectives and experiences helped you.
  4. Lawyers are members of a learned profession, and are often called to serve the public in a variety of ways. Please describe your interest in public service and any experience that you have had to prepare you for a life of service in the public interest.
  5. Please describe your interest in learning the law in an open, rigorous, and collaborative environment. Why is a commitment to the free expression of ideas so important in the learning process?
  6. What does ethical leadership mean to you? Please provide examples of how you have prepared yourself to become an ethical leader.

Recommendation Letters

Two recommendation letters from law school professors or instructors from your current law school are required and must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service, which is included in your LSAC CAS registration. LSAC will accept up to four generic or school-specific letters. Additional letters may be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions. Letters from friends, family friends, and relatives are discouraged.

Academic Transcripts

Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work must be submitted to LSAC CAS. Questions about transcripts can be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001 or

International Transcripts - Transcripts must be submitted through the LSAC CAS if you received your degree from an institution outside the U.S. or Canada, or if you completed the equivalent of more than one year of undergraduate study outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada. This service is included in the LSAC CAS registration fee. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LSAC CAS report. Log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it to them promptly. Additional time may be required for LSAC to receive and process international transcripts, so please plan accordingly.

Character and Fitness

Duke Law requires that you reveal knowledge of all disciplinary charges, arrests, criminal charges, or criminal convictions (except arrests, criminal charges or criminal convictions that have been expunged from your record). When in doubt, err on the side of full disclosure as subsequent discovery of a failure to fully, and accurately, answer these questions may have serious consequences. You have an ongoing obligation to report any conduct that would require you to answer "Yes" to any of the questions in this section during the pendency of your application. If you are admitted, the obligation to report conduct applicable to the questions in this section continues until your first day of class at Duke Law School.

If you answer "Yes" to any questions in the Character and Fitness section, you will be required to provide an explanation. Include details, the status of any disciplinary action or judicial sanctions, and the final resolution of the issues involved.

In addition, if you answer "Yes" to the school-related conduct question (Section 13, question 2), you will be required to have the dean, registrar, department supervisor, judicial officer, or academic officer with access to official records from your institution submit a letter directly to the Office of Admissions providing complete information about the incident. If your institution has no record of any disciplinary action, have them submit a letter indicating so.

International Students and Visa Applications

Admitted applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents will receive information, after submitting the enrollment material, about applying for a Duke-sponsored F-1 visa. International students will be required to submit copies of their passport, previous visa documents, and proof of financial support. Duke University policy states that graduate and professional students who are not in lawful immigration status will not be enrolled. Non-U.S. citizens granted deferred action under DACA are considered to be in lawful immigration status under Duke's policy.

Advanced Standing Credit

Transfer students will receive no more than one year of academic credit toward a Duke Law degree for work completed at another law school.


Scholarship assistance is not available for transfer or visiting students.

Bar Admission

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission 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. For additional information, visit

Non-Discrimination Policy

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. Visit the Office of Institutional Equity's website at to learn more and review the full policy.