Frequently Asked Questions for Transfer Students

  1. Any idea as to how many transfers you will accept this year?
  2. How will my application be reviewed?
  3. When should I expect a decision?
  4. If admitted, will I be eligible for a scholarship?
  5. How much is tuition?
  6. How much is the seat deposit for transfer students?
  7. When can I utilize the Office of Career Strategy's resources?
  8. When will I find out what credit I've received for my previous coursework?
  9. What criteria does W&L use for awarding Transfer credit?
  10. How is a transfer student's cumulative GPA calculated?
  11. What journals can I join?
  12. Will I be eligible for academic honors and awards?
  13. Can I participate in the Moot Court program?
  14. When is Orientation?
  15. When do transfer students register for classes?
  16. Where can I find additional information for students relocating to Lexington with a family/significant other?

Any idea as to how many transfers you will accept this year?

We seat transfer students every year, but this number varies, and historical data is not predictive of how many offers of admission we will extend in a given admissions cycle.  We review each file in an effort to identify the most qualified candidates who will truly excel at W&L Law.  We do not provide statistics on transfer applications or admissions.

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How will my application be reviewed?

We will not review any transfer application until it is COMPLETE, i.e. we have received all requisite materials. For a great many of our applicants, this process is often delayed by the receipt of their complete first-year transcript, as well as an official letter of good standing from their current law school.  We will not accept faxed copies of these documents in lieu of official, hard copies. Interested transfer students are encouraged to begin this process as soon as feasible as the assembling of these materials can often take longer than anticipated.

As with our J.D. application review, we take a holistic approach to transfer file review. We do not use a formula. We do not assign specific weights to individual aspects of a candidate's file.

Consistent with this approach, we consider a number of factors when reviewing transfer applications, and no single factor is determinative. Such factors include, but are in no way limited to: law school GPA, undergraduate GPA, first year performance, current institution, letters of recommendation, LSAT score, the letter of good standing from the Dean of your current law school. There is no cut-off for class rank, class percentile or GPA.

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When should I expect a decision?

Most transfer applicants receive an admissions decision from our office in late June or early July, although this timeframe is intended to be a guideline and not a guarantee. As with other aspects of the admissions process, the timing of these decisions can vary.

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If admitted, will I be eligible for a scholarship?

Please contact the Office of Admissions.

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How much is tuition?

Tuition and fees are published each year. One of the great aspects of life in Lexington is the low cost of living, and many students find they can live on much less than the amount allotted for the Cost of Living adjustment.

For more information about tuition, fees, and financial aid, please see our Tuition and Fees webpage.

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How much is the seat deposit for transfer students?

Please note that a seat deposit of $500 is required for admitted transfer students. The $500 non-refundable deposit must be submitted by the deadline indicated on the student's Applicant Status Online (ASO) status checker.

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When can I utilize the Office of Career Strategy's resources?

Once you accept our offer of admission, paid the requisite seat deposit, and confirmed your intention to enroll at W&L Law, you will be contacted by a professional from our Office of Career Strategy (OCS) to schedule a thirty to forty minute telephone interview with you. This interview will set the stage for your subsequent interactions with our OCS office and its resources and help you sharpen your resume and companion materials before you begin your employment search.  As many application deadlines are during the summer, you are encouraged to schedule your interview as soon as possible.

For more information about our Office of Career Strategy, please consult their website.

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When will I find out what credit I've received for my previous coursework?

This assessment is NOT conducted by the admissions office. We cannot provide you with an assessment of the amount of credit you will receive for your prior coursework until you've been admitted AND confirmed your intention to enroll at W&L Law. As a general rule, no student will receive more than 32 hours of transfer credit.

Once you've paid your deposit and confirmed that you will be attending W&L Law, a statement of your prior coursework will be prepared by our Director of Law Records and passed along to a Dean for review and assessment. At the conclusion of this assessment, you will receive a letter identifying which W&L degree requirements you've fulfilled, those that need to be fulfilled, and the number of transfer credits awarded. This letter is typically mailed within a few weeks of your confirmation letter. Although we make every effort to conduct this review in as expeditious a manner as possible, we sincerely appreciate your patience as we conduct this evaluation.

What criteria does W&L use for awarding transfer credit?

Our first year is slightly different from the 1L curriculum of many law schools. Our first year curriculum is detailed in the Law School Catalog, available here. It is quite common for transfers not to have taken one or more of these classes during their first year of law school. For more information about Academics at W&L Law, please consult the following links:

Academics webpage

J.D. Program Overview

Criteria for awarding credit include examination of courses taken, the materials covered by those courses, credit hours awarded, and grades received. Courses are eligible for transfer credit only if a grade of C or above was received.

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How is a transfer student's cumulative GPA calculated?

Our practice at W&L is to compute class rank in five (5) percent increments; each semester the grade point averages that are the upper and lower boundaries for each such increment are published by the Director of Law Records. Transfer students will not have a cumulative ranking at Washington and Lee until the end of their first academic year, when they will be assimilated into the ranking of their class based upon the academic record compiled here. 

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What journals can I join?

For more information about journals and the summer write-on process at W&L Law, please see our Journals webpage. Note that there are no spaces reserved for transfer students on journals.

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Will I be eligible for academic honors and awards?

Transfer students are eligible for all academic honors and awards, including Order of the Coif.

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Can I participate in the Moot Court program?

Transfer students are encouraged and invited to participate in the various Moot Court activities. Our Moot Court program is a little different, practically speaking, than programs found at other law schools. Rather than having a fixed Moot Court team of ten or twelve individuals who represent the law school at all external competitions, we have internal competitions to determine the individuals who will represent the school externally. These competitions are not mandatory, but they are open to all second and third year students. The competitions include Negotiations, Appellate Advocacy, Mock Trial, Client Counseling, and Mediation. First year students are not able to compete in these competitions, although they are able to participate as clients, witnesses, and bailiffs.

All participating students will have at least one round of experience at the school level. Those students who perform well advance to subsequent rounds, and the students who win ultimately go on to represent W&L Law at regional and national competitions.

The Moot Court program is run by the Moot Court Executive Board. This organization consists of third year students, and while there is some faculty involvement, the students are responsible for the administration of the competitions. Faculty, practitioners, and judges are often brought in to judge the later and final rounds of the individual competitions.

For more information about our Moot Court program, please see our Moot Court webpage.

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When is Orientation?

Orientation begins each year in late August.  For a full listing of dates and scheduling information, please consult our academic calendar:

Academic Calendar

Transfer orientation occurs over the same period as the Orientation process for the 1L class, although some of the programming is different.  All transfer students are required to attend Orientation.

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When do transfer students register for classes?

Transfer students register for classes as part of the Orientation process. Faculty and staff are available to discuss class selection with those students who are interested.  For a full listing of available courses, please refer to our course catalog:

Online Course Catalog

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Where can I find additional information for students relocating to Lexington with a family/significant other?

Lexington's small town charm, low cost of living, good schools, and strong sense of community provide a high quality of life for those law students relocating to Lexington with spouses, significant others, fiancés, or families. W&L Law even offers a student organization, Law Families, which allows law students, as well as their spouses, significant others, or families, to connect with others who are similarly situated. Please visit our Students with Families page for information about this group, as well as resources for job seekers and information regarding school and childcare for those students relocating to Lexington with children.

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