First, the Dean's office should have a request sheet where you can request that a Dean's Cert letter be sent to wherever, etc. At some schools, you have to make an appointment with the Dean and at other schools, you just have to fill out the request and provide an address where you want the letter sent.
Second, you really should talk to your professors about wanting to transfer in March especially if you did well first semester. If you didn't do well first semester and want to wait until spring grades, then you need to contact your professor as soon as you receive your spring grades. Email your professor and if he/she hasn't gone out of town and arrange a meeting in their office. Contact the schools you are interested in attending and ask them if a broad letter will do--most times it will but you also have to have your professor filled out a couple of lines on the individual school recommendations. Now back to the professor, ask him/her if they are ABLE AND WILLING to write a recommendation for you. Some professors will say yes but will tell that they don't have much to say because you didn't participate in class, etc. If that's the case, then either make sure the other professor can write you a glowing letter or go to another professor. Oh and law schools do not accept letters of rec from the legal writing professor. If your professors tell you that are willing and able to write your recommendations, then tell why you want to transfer, what type of lawyer you want to be, what the other school might have, etc. DO NOT bad mouth your current school. Also remind the professor of certain class sessions where you were active, etc. Give them the rec forms from the other schools. Fill out your part of the letter. Also separate other schools rec letters by the ones that just want a bunch of checks and a brief little paragraph. But read carefully, sometimes those forms say that they will accept a statement instead. Also have addressed stamped envelopes for the letters and give your professor a date as to when the rec letter has to go to the school.
If you are transferring for the fall, then yes you have to wait until you have your spring grades to get the transcripts sent to the law schools. While you are waiting, you should be doing your transfer personal statements and typing up your transfer applications. You can send your applications before you have your grades but make sure that you write a note telling the schools that your grades and rank are on the way. But also read the school's transfer application instructions. Some schools don't want you to send anything until your transcript is available. Also reactivate your LSAC account and pay for the reports. A lot of law schools are requesting the LSAC reports for transfer students.
It's not very hard to transfer. You need to sit down and gather your applications. You need to write down all the deadlines for the various schools. You need to read the transfer applications and policies of every school you are interested. Those instructions and policies provide a step by step guide. Many of the instructions and policies overlap and are common like send them a year's worth of grades.
You should hear from the law schools you want to transfer to around late July and early August. When all of your applications are sent out, you should start packing. Hopefully one of the schools you are transferring should be one where you are a shoo-in. If that's the case then start packing and maybe looking for an apartment, etc in that city. Some schools don't give you a decision until mid or late August and then you are usually only given about a week to move. So doing some packing now will save you some stress later on. Good luck. And yeah join that transfer group, it can be a great resource.
I got questions about how to transfer from Cooley. First is it hard to get the Dean of Certification letter? Is it hard to get letters of recommendations from your professors? If someone were to try and transfer for the fall, would it be best to apply in the spring and ask for the transcripts after the the Spring Term is over? Somebody who has successfully transferred, please give me a detailed Step by Step process on how to go about things exactly.