USC Gould Search

LLM to JD Transfer

A limited number of outstanding LLM students from USC Gould and other American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law schools are selected each year to transfer from the Master of Laws (LLM) to the Juris Doctor (JD). If chosen, you will have the opportunity to complete the JD degree requirements at USC Gould in two-and one-half years.

Although not required, some work or research experience in the legal field is preferred.


You must already have earned your LLM or currently be pursuing an LLM to be considered. If you have not yet completed your LLM, your acceptance will be conditional.

We will grant up to 30 credit units from your LLM degree toward the 88-unit minimum for the JD degree. However, credit for classes offered only to LLM students will not be transferred.

In addition, no more than 20 percent of your total LLM units may have been taken on a credit/no credit or CR/D/F basis. The limit does not include courses that are only graded on such a basis, nor does it apply to students whose LLM programs do not provide numerical grades.

Applicants who hold any degree from outside the United States must have their transcripts authenticated and evaluated by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

Application Process

If you received your LLM from an ABA-accredited law school other than USC Gould, you must apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). After you log in to LSAC or create an LSAC account, follow the instructions for applying to USC Gould. If you received your LLM from USC Gould, email to request an LLM to JD Transfer application instruction packet during the spring semester.

Among the required information and documents you will submit through LSAC are:

  • transcripts and degree verification (if you are completing your LLM degree, you must submit your final LLM transcript before your application will be reviewed)
  • a two- to three-page statement that describes your personal, academic and professional background and your reasons for interest in LLM to JD Transfer
  • two letters of recommendation, one from a law professor and one from an employer (or both from law professors) on their letterhead, in English
  • a résumé or curriculum vitae
  • TOEFL or IELTS report (no minimum score is required)
    • USC's TOEFL institutional code is 4852 and the department code is 03.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.

We do not require work experience or an LSAT score to be considered for admission to any of our graduate degrees.

For your convenience and to streamline the application process, USC Gould requires prospective students (except for those transferring from the USC Gould LLM) to use LSAC's Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service, which allows you to apply to multiple law schools while submitting only one set of materials.

If you are admitted, you will be required to provide a financial statement that certifies that you have sufficient funds available to meet your living (housing, meals, etc.) and tuition expenses while at USC (unless you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or have been granted political asylum). At that time, you also must submit a copy of the photo page of your passport (and passport copies of any dependent(s) traveling with you).

We also require the director of your LLM program to complete the Program Director Evaluation form (also available on LSAC) and upload it to LSAC or submit by email to

Application Fee

LLM to JD Transfer requires a $75 application fee.


Space is limited, so apply as early as possible and no later than the deadline.

Application Status Check

After you submit your application through LSAC, we will send you a confirmation email that provides you with a username and password for the LSAC Online Status Check system. Then you may log in and create a new, personalized password, and periodically check your application status.

If you opt to submit your financial documents after you receive an admissions decision, please note that your application status will remain "incomplete," even though your file will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made between late June and early July. We accept applications on a rolling basis, as space is available. You will be notified via email and postal mail. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone. We will contact you if the Admissions Committee feels that a telephone, Skype or in-person interview is necessary.

If you are on an F-1 visa, you must apply for Optional Practical Training to ensure your visa remains valid throughout the decision period.