Law School Discussion

Transferring from University fo Miami to To USC, UCLA, Berkley, or Stanford

I got accepted to the University of Miami, and that was the best school I got accepted to.  But I really want to go to USC, UCLA, Berkley, or Stanford.  I'm willing to sack it up a year and go to Miami.  What I want to know is what will I have to accomplish to be able to transfer to one of those schools from U of Miami?  And what's the best way to go about it.


Re: Transferring from University fo Miami to To USC, UCLA, Berkley, or Stanford
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 01:56:00 PM »
You won't get into Stanford or Boalt unless you are #1 in your class after the first year.  I'm unsure about the others, but I would guess you need to be top 5% at least.  However, remember that this will only get your application considered.  You still need good letters of recommendation, essays, and a reason to transfer (I'm guessing a link to California).

Re: Transferring from University fo Miami to To USC, UCLA, Berkley, or Stanford
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 08:35:27 PM »
Odds are you will probably be stuck at Miami after 1L year. Getting top grades is tough and there are no guarantees. If getting out of Miami is absolutely paramount, I'd suggest not enrolling there at all. Rather, retake the LSAT and reapply or enroll in a school that you'd be happy to graduate from.

I'm just wondering why everyone keeps saying things like, "go to a different school," rather than trying to transfer.  The likelihood is that even if he retakes the LSAT he won't get into a better school at this point.  He might as well go to the best school he got into, Miami, and then try his best to transfer to a more desirable school.  If he doesn't get accepted anywhere else, at least he will be at Miami working towards something.  He asked what he would need to do in order to transfer to those other schools.  How about just answering his question, rather than telling him he won't be able to transfer and not to go to Miami at all.

I'll begin with the usual caveat that there are no guarantees of doing well first year.  Having said that, of the four schools you mentioned Boalt and UCLA are known for being "transfer friendly."  They will typically accept up to 30 or 40 students.  Of these, all will be in at least the top 10% of their classes.  Remember that in order to be in the top 10% you will have to beat the other 90 people in your class - certainly possible but no easy feat.  Stanford and USC are known to only accept the number of transfers necessary to make up for attrition (Read:  if no one fails out or transfers out, no transfer students accepted).  No one knows exactly how many transfer students each of these schools accepts, but the conventional wisdom seems to be about 5-10 students.  (And by the way, you absolutely do not need to be #1 in your class to get into Boalt.  This may be a necessity for Stanford).

I say, go to Miami, kick *ss and give transferring a shot.  Worst case scenario, you will be "stuck" at a perfectly respectable law school in a beautiful city.  Miami will only hold you back if you are seeking out certain positions such as Federal Clerk, Biglaw outside of FL, US Attorney's Office, etc. 

Good Luck. 

My impression is that having great recs from professors who know you well, and know that you would do well in a T-14 environment, is a big plus. All your professors went to top schools and they should carry some weight with the admissions office, especially if they know you will be able to succeed in the schools they came from (or schools like theirs).