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Author Topic: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?  (Read 1919 times)

kellya122

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Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« on: November 27, 2009, 03:17:51 AM »
Hello all,
So my lsat test date is dec 5, just days away.  I am pretty postive that my score will not be good enough to get into the schools I would like to go to.  If I do, in fact, end up taking the december test (and/or feb test) and only get accepted to "bad" schools, should I go ahead and go for it, in hopes of transferring to a school I actually want to go to?  Or should I just wait and take the lsat again and apply for fall 2011?  Are there any implications as far as job prospects for starting at a bad school and graduating from a good school?

What are your thoughts??  Thanks!

EarlCat

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Re: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 12:02:18 PM »
Transferring law schools is not like transferring undergrad schools.  You've got to achieve a really high GPA to be considered for a move up.  If you start at a "bad" school, you will more likely than not stay there.

Why not wait until June so you can actually be ready for the LSAT?


Ninja1

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Re: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 06:45:25 PM »
Adding onto what EarlCat had to say, also keep in mind that the lower you start, the lower you'll finish, even with a transfer up. If you start at some T4, the highest school that you'll realistically be able to transfer to, assuming you have the grades to escape, is going to be a mid-range T1/2, and even that's not guaranteed, you might be limited to a T3. If, meanwhile, you start at the mid-range T1/2, you might be able to transfer up to a top 20 school, but the top 20 is never going to happen coming out of a T4.

There are no real job implications for transfers that finish at the better school. After all, you only have the one name on your diploma. The only potential downside I can see for transfers career wise is that they probably won't have as many friends that they can use for networking purposes later since they weren't a part of a 1L section (at the good school, anyway), but that's minor and easy to overcome.

All things considered, the LSAT is probably the most important test you'll take as a part of law school, since it determines more than anything else where you'll go to school, and that pretty much sets the stage for everything else. If you're not feeling ready, wait until June (Feb is too late, you're basically picking over the scraps of what's left) and do something else for a year, the future you will thank you.

Where are you wanting to go and what do you think your LSAT would be if you took it in Dec? How are the grades right now?
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

kellya122

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Re: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 07:13:20 PM »
I have been scoring a low 151 on my practice tests.  I know that is good enough for a T4 school, but I definitely do not want to resort to that.  There is one T3 school that I am looking into that seems to be promising as far as being able to get in and being able to transfer out. But obviously, I am not qualified to make such assumptions.

I know that I am capable of scoring better on the lsat, but I also am confident that I will be able to maintain a high gpa once in law school.  Once i'm into something, I completely immerse myself in it.  I feel that the reason I am not scoring high on the lsat is because I just recently decided that law was the right direction for me, leaving my little time to study.

If I begin at a T3 school, do you think I will be able to make it into a mid range T1?  I would love to go to a top 20 school (who wouldn't?) but a top 20 school doesn't dictate my decisions, as I know that a mid range T1 school would be able to fulfill my desire of becoming a public interest law.

Am I being hard-headed???

big - fat - box

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Re: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 07:58:56 PM »
You need to work on the LSAT. Take a prep class, get a tutor, study more, whatever. Do whatever it takes to get your scores on the PTs up. If you are getting low 150s on the practice tests, you will probably end up with a high 140s on the real thing. I know you don't want to hear that but it's the truth.

Also, I was a transfer student. Went from tier 2/3 to t14. It is possible to go from a tier 4 to a top 20 or even a t14 but you need to essentially be one of the top 3 people in your class. You can't bank on that kind of performance during 1L (or even being in the top half), so your plan to attend a t4 hoping to transfer to a higher ranked school is not a good one. Everyone on here is going to tell you not to plan on transferring and do not attend a school you wouldn't be comfortable graduating from. I agree with that advice. Do not take the LSAT if you are not ready, period.

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Re: Not so great LSAT scores --> not so great school --> Transfer?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 08:26:30 PM »
I have been scoring a low 151 on my practice tests.  I know that is good enough for a T4 school, but I definitely do not want to resort to that.  There is one T3 school that I am looking into that seems to be promising as far as being able to get in and being able to transfer out. But obviously, I am not qualified to make such assumptions.

I know that I am capable of scoring better on the lsat, but I also am confident that I will be able to maintain a high gpa once in law school.  Once i'm into something, I completely immerse myself in it.  I feel that the reason I am not scoring high on the lsat is because I just recently decided that law was the right direction for me, leaving my little time to study.

If I begin at a T3 school, do you think I will be able to make it into a mid range T1?  I would love to go to a top 20 school (who wouldn't?) but a top 20 school doesn't dictate my decisions, as I know that a mid range T1 school would be able to fulfill my desire of becoming a public interest law.

Am I being hard-headed???

If you're only scoring a 151 on practice tests, definitely wait. Compared to their practice scores, almost everyone ends up doing worse on the LSAT by at least a couple points, and a sub-150 score is pretty much going to guarantee a remarkably bad school. If you'd be happy with a mid range T1, there's no reason not to wait and get a good enough LSAT score to send you there. It's going to be a lot easier to get to a respectable school via the LSAT than via a transfer, especially when you're not gunning for anywhere too high.

I understand that you believe you can maintain the sort of GPA needed to transfer, but remember, that's going to be how everyone else feels as well. Low ranking schools are filled with people that want to transfer and work accordingly, and since everyone is ranked against everyone else, only so many people can get out. To have a good shot at transferring, you're going to need to be at least in the top 20% of your class and probably higher. That sounds easy enough, but remember, that means you need to beat at least 80% of the people there, people that probably got similar grades and had a similar LSAT. And even if you could have got a better LSAT, it doesn't mean you did and it won't matter anyway once you start somewhere.

Right now, you're in control of the "where to go to school" situation. Once you start law school, you're not even in control of your own grades anymore (thanks to the curve), much less where you might be able to transfer to. The best thing for you to do is to take your time, get the LSAT right, apply early, and go to a good school. If I were you, I'd move Dec to June and start studying now. 6 months of grinding on LSAT prep should get you as good of a score as you're going to get, and even if it only improves your score by 5 or 6 points over where it would be right now, you'll be in a much better situation.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.