LLM to JD Transfer Program

Below you will find advice for LLM Students considering applying for JD Admissions, as well as the LLM-JD Transfer Policy.

Jump to policy.

LawCat Chat: My LLM Experience

Hear from LLM to JD transfer student Rodrigo Horna.


If you are considering applying for transfer admission into Cincinnati Law’s JD program, you should know that the process is highly competitive. Very few LLM applicants will qualify.  Here are some suggestions to make your application as competitive as possible.

Wait until the completion of your LLM program before applying to transfer.

You are advised wait to apply until you have completed two semesters in the LLM program. With this length of study, the Admissions Committee can thoroughly evaluate your suitability for admission.  

Although you can apply as soon as you receive first-semester grades, only a truly exceptional student would be admitted based on just one semester at Cincinnati Law. If the Committee concludes that your coursework in the first semester was not rigorous enough, or that your classroom performance was not strong enough, the Committee will deny your application. In that case, you can apply again at the end of the second semester.

Take a rigorous curriculum.

You are strongly encouraged to take several courses on topics that are tested on the bar exam.  These courses will prepare you for the rigor of the JD program, and they will also prepare you take a bar exam. The rigor of your coursework will weigh heavily in the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your application. 

You are strongly advised to take Contracts, a course that all first-year law students take and that is heavily tested on bar exams. In fact, strong performance in Contracts is a good predictor of your likely future success on a bar exam. 

Earn outstanding grades in all your classes.

The Admissions Committee will also want to see that you have performed at high levels in your coursework, and especially in bar-tested courses.  High performance in your bar-tested courses suggests that you will continue to perform well in the rest of the JD curriculum and that you are capable of passing a bar exam. 

Identify three Cincinnati Law professors who will vouch for you.

The Admissions Committee will require and carefully consider the recommendations from three full-time professors who have had you as a student. The Committee is looking for assurances that you will be successful in JD courses, that you are able to pass a bar exam, and that you are and will continue to be an asset to the Cincinnati Law community. 

Carefully consider your financial situation.

Even if you received a scholarship for the LLM program, you may not be eligible for a JD scholarship. You may apply for a scholarship, but you are not guaranteed to receive one.

Please understand that if you are admitted to the JD program it will likely take you 2 to 2.5 years to finish the JD program.  We do not guarantee that you will complete the program in two years. 



Current Cincinnati Law LLM students who wish to transfer into the Cincinnati Law JD program will be considered for admission under this policy. This policy does not apply to LLM students at or graduates of other schools. The transfer admissions process is more selective than the LLM admissions process, and only exceptional applicants will be admitted. LLM students should not expect to be admitted to the JD program. This policy will take effect on August 15, 2018.

Criteria for Admission

The decision to admit an LLM student requires a determination by the Admissions Committee that the applicant is likely to be successful in law school classes; able to pass a bar examination in the U.S.; and a valued addition to the Cincinnati Law community and the legal profession. 

Admission will be based primarily upon two criteria:

  1. the applicant's academic record as an LLM student at Cincinnati Law, with particular focus on the courses completed and the applicant’s performance in those courses, and
  2. recommendations from Cincinnati Law faculty. 

To a lesser extent, the admissions decision will also consider the applicant’s pre-Cincinnati Law background, including schools attended and work history.  Although applicants are not required to take the LSAT exam, if an applicant has taken the exam, the admissions decision will also consider that score.

Timing of Application

Students must complete at least two courses from this list before applying for admission:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Property
  • Torts
  • Business Associations
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Wills

*Students are strongly encouraged to take Contracts

Students may apply after receiving grades from the first semester at Cincinnati Law but no later than 30 days after receiving second semester grades. The Admissions Committee will accept only truly outstanding applicants based on first semester grades. If the Committee denies an application after the first semester, the student may reapply after receiving second semester grades. Students who elect to be graded on a “High Pass/Pass/Low Pass” scale are not eligible to transfer into the JD program.

Application Process

To be considered for transfer admission to the Cincinnati Law JD Program, LLM students must:

  1. Complete the Transfer/Visiting Student application on the LSAC website.
  2. In the LSAC Portal, submit all of the following:
    1. A personal statement explaining the applicant's interest in transferring into the Cincinnati Law JD Program;
    2. A transcript from Cincinnati Law;
    3. A copy of the application package submitted to Cincinnati Law’s LLM program (contact LLM dept.);
    4. A written recommendation from the Assistant Dean of the LLM program; and
    5. Written recommendations from three full-time professors from Cincinnati Law who have had the applicant as a student. The professors’ recommendations should address these factors:
      1. the applicant’s class performance, particularly as compared to that of J.D. students in the class;
      2. the applicant’s likelihood of success in first-year and upper level law school courses; and
      3. any other observations about the applicant’s suitability for enrollment in the J.D. program.
      4. The applicant may be invited to sit for an interview with the Admissions Committee.

Please visit the Transfer & Visiting Students page for more information about the transfer process. 

Relationship to JD Transfer Applications: The space available for transfer students varies from year to year, and LLM applicants for transfer will be considered alongside the pool of traditional J.D. transfer applicants.

Financial Aid: Scholarship decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.  Even if the applicant received a scholarship to enroll in the LLM program, that scholarship may not apply to classes taken as a J.D. student.  

Transfer of Credit: If offered admission, school work completed at Cincinnati College of law will be evaluated and credited toward the JD degree as determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and subject to requirements of the ABA Standards for law schools.