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LLM to JD Transfer - Juris Doctor (JD)

USC Gould School of Law

A limited number of outstanding LLM students from USC Gould 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.

If you have a LLM degree from another law school, you must apply as a traditional JD candidate. No transfer credit will be granted for courses taken outside of the USC Gould curriculum.


You must already have earned a first degree in law from outside the U.S. and have earned your LLM from USC Gould to be considered. If you have not yet completed your LLM, your acceptance will be conditional. You must apply for the JD degree within 3 years of completing your LLM program to be eligible. Please note that students in the online LLM, MITLE, MDR, or MSL programs are not eligible to apply as transfer students.

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, as per American Bar Association (ABA) rules.

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. You must also have completed at least 15 units of JD coursework as part of your LLM. 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

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. The application will become available on LSAC on April 1.

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
  • a one- to two-page statement that describes your professional and career goals following graduation from the JD program
  • 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.

Letters of recommendation are not required, but may be submitted as part of your application. Please email or mail your letters to [email protected] or Graduate & International Programs, 699 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90089.

We do not require work experience or an LSAT score to be considered for admission.

In addition to your application, you will be required to interview with a member of the Graduate & International Programs office. Your interview will be scheduled once your application materials have been received.

You may also be required to interview with an Admissions Committee panel.

Tuition and Scholarship

Please visit the Cost of Attendance page for information regarding tuition and cost of attendance.

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).

Please note that scholarships are not available for LLM-JD transfer students; U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal financial aid.

If scholarship is critical for your attendance, please apply as a traditional JD candidate.

Application Fee

LLM to JD Transfer requires a $75 application fee. Application fee waivers for this program are not available.


You must submit your complete LLM-JD application and all required materials via LSAC by June 15. We will withdraw your application without a decision if we do not receive all required materials by this date.

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.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made around mid-July to early August. We will not review your application until your final and complete LLM transcript is received. You will be notified via email. 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.

All admissions decisions are final. Students who receive a denial may re-apply, if eligible, or may consider applying as a traditional JD candidate.

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