Law School Discussion

How easy is it to transfer?

klaw

How easy is it to transfer?
« on: May 25, 2004, 10:08:16 AM »
Last year, I applied to seven ambitious schools and two less-so and gained acceptance to both my safeties and was rejected from the others. Wanting to stay at my job another year and to mull my options, I deferred admission at one and applied to a couple more schools this year, but unfortunately, I am now stuck on waitlists. In the meantime, I visited the school that I deferred from recently and realized that I really didn't like the atmosphere and the people I met, who seemed bored and more interested in partying and getting into big firms.

I'll be 24 this year, and I know it's not old, but I really want to get moving on my legal education and I'm excited to be back in the classroom again. In your opinion, if I don't get off the waitlist at the school of my choice, how easy is it to apply as a transfer for next year? My reasoning is that the 1L curriculum is basically the same at all ABA schools and it might be worth it to try and transfer during the second and third years, when I'll have some choice in coursework. Anyone have any insight on how many transfers schools tend to accept? Thanks in advance.

GA_Kristi

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Re: How easy is it to transfer?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2004, 02:36:44 PM »
It is definitely possible to transfer, but the rule of thumb seems to be that you shouldn't go somewhere you're not willing to graduate from because its tough to transfer.  I found a good resource though to find out how many transfers a school normally takes and what their requirements are.  Its the Barron's guide to law schools, not sure of the exact title, but its the comprehensive book on schools put out by Barron's.  The one I found in bookstores a couple of months back still had Fall 2001 or 2002 data, which sucks, but still gives you somewhat of an idea. 

Most said you had to be in the top 10-20% of your class and the top schools said the top 5%.  Some schools even said they'd only accept transfers who had the credentials to get in their first year class, but not many were this way.  It really varied by school though, some only allowed a couple of transfers, or only however many slots had been vacated from their first year class, but some took 20-30 a year.  I'd say you'd have to be in the top 5% to really be able to feel good about the ability to transfer up.  Most schools are willing to give their data though if you call and ask how many transfer apps they had last year and how many they accepted.  I'd go to the bookstore though and pull the Barron's book and just glance at the schools you're interested in to get a general idea.

klaw

Re: How easy is it to transfer?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2004, 04:21:45 PM »
Thanks for the tip, GA_Kristi. It's not that I would be *unwilling* to graduate from the school I deferred from, but I would definitely prefer to be somewhere else. My friends are telling me that after graduating from a very rigorous undergrad, it might be nice to be the "big fish" again, but I enjoy the company of people who challenge me intellectually. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the aptitude for the LSAT, so my options were limited.

I'll take a look at Barron's and keep my fingers crossed about the waitlists. But any other thoughts from people would be appreciated!

midjeep

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Re: How easy is it to transfer?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2004, 11:57:47 PM »
It's going to depend on your eventual ranking at the law school you will transfer from. There are some tier 1 schools who will look at your LSAT score (however, most don't because the LSAT is used as a precursor to predict your success at a particular law school in your FIRST year....there are too many variables to consider using the LSAT to determine your final standing) but the majority will waive that score and look at your 1L performance. Some schools like Cornell and UMich actually enjoy transfering in students and state that they are "enthusastic members of their law school." Other schools, like Baylor, will only accept transfers if it's a dire situtation (ie a dying relative that needs your care and is located in the waco area). You must also consider location; it is easier to transfer from a totally different location (ie easier to transfer from USD to Georgetown than from American to Georgetown). Another component is the type of law or program your interested in. If you go Kent but decided you wanted to practice health care law, it would be easier for you to transfer to U of H rather than from Seton Hall, which has a health care program. You are going to have a lot of variables to consider when deciding to transfer. Decide what you want to study, where you want to practice, and what schools you would like to go to and then do some research. Call the schools and ask about their transfer policies (most schools have that info on their website). If you do go to the school you got accepted at, WORK YOUR BUTT OFF! Basically your rank and grades are the most important component of your transfer application. Another note, there are T1 schools that don't even care about where you came from, just your rank. So, theoretically, you could go to say, Chapman, stay in the top 1% of your class, and transfer into a school like Harvard....given that you have a good PS, LORs from current law profs, and a good reason.