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Guidelines for Transfer Students

On Your Résumé

Transfer students’ résumés should clearly list both the law school from which they transferred and The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law. Students often ask if they are required to list the school from which they transferred. The short answer is “yes.” Students should list both schools and indicate that they transferred from their original school to Penn State Law. In addition to listing their first law school, transfer students may also list any academic achievements from their first school, including a high class rank, Dean’s List, or other honors. Students may also list leadership positions they held at their original school; however, the CSO advises students to weigh the benefit of including these activities against that of including other résumé line items. These activities, and even the academic information, are especially an area to evaluate for culling after the student has spent a semester at Penn State Law. If the student earned a top rank at their original school, it should likely remain on the résumé. Schools should be listed in reverse chronological order, with Penn State listed first.

The “education” section of a résumé for a student who has just transferred might look something like this:

The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law, University Park, Pennsylvania
J.D. anticipated May 2018


Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan (transferred)
GPA: 3.75; Rank: 50/500
Honors: Dean’s list, Excellence in Legal Writing Award


An official percentile chart will be published each semester (fall and spring) on the law school's website after the final semester ranking procedure runs. The chart will identify the cumulative GPA cut-offs associated with percentage ranks in the class for the semester based on the cumulative rankings of full-time students in each class for that semester. For example, it might show that a 3.68 or better is associated with a rank in the top 5% of the second-year class, that a 3.57 or better is associated with a rank in the top 10% of the class, etc. Students who enroll in the law school's full-time J.D. program as transfer students may utilize this chart to compare their performance at Penn State Dickinson with other students. Transfer students should not use this information to compare their GPA from another law school.

Rankings & Transcripts

Transfer students who wish to include information about rank on their résumé should include their semester rank. In doing so, they should be sure not to label semester rank as cumulative rank. When listing cumulative GPA information, transfer students should indicate the number of semesters it includes. Transfer students may include comparative cumulative rank information as well. Students must establish that this is comparative information only.

The following is an appropriate use of comparative rank information:


The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law, University Park, Pennsylvania
J.D. anticipated May 2018
Cum. GPA:  xxx (two semesters); Semester Rank: x/xxx
Performance Benchmarked to Ranked Students:  Top x %  


Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan (transferred)
GPA: 3.75; Rank: 50/500


Transfer students may be asked to provide transcripts in application packets for some employers, or in applications to some job fairs. Transfer students should not alter their transcripts from either of the law schools they attended to reflect any sort of “projected” or “calculated” rank. Students should provide transcripts from their original institution as well as from Penn State, as both transcripts will be required to provide a clear picture of the student’s academic performance.

Information regarding how to obtain a Penn State Law academic transcript can be found on the University Registrar website.  Transfer students should order transcripts from their original law school as early as possible and scan and save them to be used for electronic applications.