« on: April 26, 2008, 09:19:50 AM »
There are a few good reasons to transfer, which can serve to make one "happy." First and most importantly, one can transfer to a much higher ranked school. Second, one might desire a particular job market, where the transfer school places better than one's 1L school. Third, there might be some personal reason (e.g., spouse/partner gets job, etc. in new city, family hardship, etc.). [I had a couple of those reasons; T4 to T30 to V30.]
The WORST reason to transfer: An improved social life. I'm assuming your post was sincere, which is why I have taken the time to respond. There are two reasons why transfers face social challenges:
1) You will be hard-pressed to find a transfer who says, "oh boy, the natives have been so friendly, and I've made many more friends than I did at my 1L school." Think about it: Cliques are formed and friendships are forged during 1L because (i) nobody knows anyone at first and (ii) everyone is suddenly thrust into a new world in which they all share similar stress, anxiety and demands, which are largely unique to the law school experience. When you show up at your new school, you won't have attended those awkward first social mixers or shared in the (pointless) stress of getting called on, writing a brief, and studying for the most important finals of your life. Even people who started at the same school, but were in different sections, might not have met during 1L, and are thus less likely to be friends the remaining two years.
2) Aside from those obvious social challenges, there is the fact that some (not all, but enough to make a difference) natives will look down on you. They're usually of two types: natives who did poorly 1L and are thus without jobs (or with crappy jobs) and natives who were either just barely rejected from a far better school or who chose that school because of its generous scholarship assistance (and who, despite having good job prospects, still need to direct their bitterness at somebody). Both types of natives harbor the view that "transfers didn't have to compete with us 1L and thus get to start out 2L with a clean slate GPA, while enjoying our school's better rank, and are simply inferior."
The "bitter native" view described above is, of course, nonsense. For what it's worth: (i) Transfers, in general, were highly ranked at their former schools, and are thus at least as cabable as the bottom half at their new school. (ii) Transfer LSAT numbers have no impact on U.S. News rankings. (iii) Transfers, who pay full tuition, bring in considerable additional revenue to their new school (and anywhere outside the top 25 or so, this is needed to replace revenue lost by students transferring up). (iv) Transfers face considerable challenges during OCI and certainly don't make things any harder for the marginal natives. (v) If transfers are in fact so "inferior" to the natives, this should only help the natives for grading purposes. (vi) Many (though not all) transfers are quite determined (hence their decision to transfer) to succeed, and for those who become successful, that only enhances the school's reputation and widens its alumni network.
Note: Though transfers generally face a chilly social reception by the natives (whether for the understandable and harmless reasons described in #1, or for the irrational and cynical reasons described in #2), many transfers form very close friendships with their fellow transfers.