Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?  (Read 8209 times)

M112

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
I am currently admitted to law school but am looking to transfer out after my first year of school to a more prestigious college.  I have accepted admission this year to a lower tier school because of the financial aid package they offered because without which, I would not be able to attend school for my first year.  During my second year of law school, however, I should be able to afford the schooling no matter what the aid package is hence, my desire to go to a more prestigious school to open up more job opportunities, possible academic career path etc.

My question centers around what I should be doing during my first year outside of being one of the top students in my class G.P.A. wise?  

Should I be on a law journal or moot court?  
Should I be doing any specific types of extra curriculars to make myself a more appealing candidate for transfer at my desired school?

Additionally, being that I am currently going to school at a T4, what is my ceiling as far as transfer is concerned assuming that my class standing at the end of my first year falls anywhere from top five (5) overall on the high end, to barely top 10% in my class on the low end?  Is top 10 a realistic possibility, or is top 30, or top 50 more likely?  Moreover, is their a general rule regarding transfers and financial aid packages i.e. would I possibly be eligible for any scholarships or would that have to wait at a minimum until I have completed one year at my new school?

Also, for some schools I took a look at, their transfer policy states that you must receive a letter of good standing from the dean of the college you want to transfer out from.  Now, would my approaching a dean about a transfer lead to the possible revocation of my scholarship ?  Any pertinent information is greatly appreciated.  

coto29

  • Guest
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 07:19:18 PM »
You have scratched the surface with your research.  Typically, you will not get a scholarship if you transfer, your law school GPA does not go with you. 
How you can you finance your second and third year while not your first?  Like 90 percent of us must take out loans to some extent.
 As to getting a letter in good standing from the dean: usually the registrars office handles that, not the dean personally, so you will not need to have an awkward conversation there.  You will need to have an awkward conversation with at least one prof, however, for a recommendation.
If you are in the top 10 percent your chances at a top 20 seat are pretty decent.  Look at GULC or another school friendly to transfers.
You cannot do law review your first year or moot court.  Furthermore, if you transfer you cannot do it your second year either- you will not have a GPA.
Oh, and you realize that to transfer at all you need 30 credits (one full year), at least at all the schools I have seen, might be ABA rules.   Good luck.

coto29

  • Guest
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 07:22:14 PM »
Read the "how to" transfer book discussed in this forum.  "The Art of Law School Transfer"

M112

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 08:11:32 PM »
You have scratched the surface with your research.  Typically, you will not get a scholarship if you transfer, your law school GPA does not go with you.  
How you can you finance your second and third year while not your first?  Like 90 percent of us must take out loans to some extent.
 As to getting a letter in good standing from the dean: usually the registrars office handles that, not the dean personally, so you will not need to have an awkward conversation there.  You will need to have an awkward conversation with at least one prof, however, for a recommendation.
If you are in the top 10 percent your chances at a top 20 seat are pretty decent.  Look at GULC or another school friendly to transfers.
You cannot do law review your first year or moot court.  Furthermore, if you transfer you cannot do it your second year either- you will not have a GPA.
Oh, and you realize that to transfer at all you need 30 credits (one full year), at least at all the schools I have seen, might be ABA rules.   Good luck.

Thanks a million for the response, it is a huge help.  To summarize the contents of your post:

I should not/will not receive any scholarship aid at my new school.  Is scholarship aid a possibility in year three?

Aside from the awkward conversations with the registrar and professors, will the school I am transferring from pull a scholarship or will negative consequences be relegated merely to the awkward nature of the situation?

I do plan on completing my first year of school i.e. 30 credits before I transfer, but given the nature of Moot Court, Law Journals and their 1-year G.P.A. requirement, would I be eligible to join them in my third year at my transfer school?

Also, to clarify, I cannot afford school strictly on loans my first year because I have already taken an amount of graduate Stafford Loans such that I will meet their limit for those loans by my third year of study if I began taking them in my first year.  However, if I get financial assistance my first year, I will have enough money left to complete my final two years of school without reaching their limit.  My current school has offered half of my tuition (approximately) upfront and I will most likely receive more aid to cover the remaining tuition which is why I will most likely go there this fall.

Thanks again for the response, any other pertinent information is appreciated.



bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 08:30:28 PM »
In all honesty if you will be disappointed if you don't transfer it might be best not to go. The odds are you won't be in the top 10% it is no insult to you, but everybody in law school is SMART. No matter where you go 100% of students think they will be in the top 10%.  You can do the math and see how that will play out. The odds are that if you go to that school that is where you are going to stay. It is not impossible to transfer, but you have a 10% chance of doing it and that is not very good. Even if you do transfer you will lose all the relationships you made first year etc and as I understand it would almost be impossible to be on moot court, law review, etc at the school you transfer into. I could be wrong about that though.

Honestly, the rankings are pretty B.S. really look at the formula they use to determine schools and you will see that it makes no sense. You will see a private company took it upon themselves to make an unregulated regulation system that law school applicants take very seriously. However, the reality is once you get outside of the top 25 or so nobody cares about the rankings it is all about location. Everybody knows Harvard is a good law school, but nobody will really care about the difference between University of Maine and Lewis & Clark. They are both fine schools Maine is respected in Maine and Lewis & Clark is respected in Oregon. I just want to conclude by saying law school is hard whether you go to Cooley or Harvard you will learn the same thing and be in competition with very smart and motivated people. The odds of you being in the top 10% and transferring are very low and it is really something you should consider before going to the school, if your heart is absolutely set on transferring. Good Luck to you.   

M112

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2010, 08:45:56 PM »
In all honesty if you will be disappointed if you don't transfer it might be best not to go. The odds are you won't be in the top 10% it is no insult to you, but everybody in law school is SMART. No matter where you go 100% of students think they will be in the top 10%.  You can do the math and see how that will play out. The odds are that if you go to that school that is where you are going to stay. It is not impossible to transfer, but you have a 10% chance of doing it and that is not very good. Even if you do transfer you will lose all the relationships you made first year etc and as I understand it would almost be impossible to be on moot court, law review, etc at the school you transfer into. I could be wrong about that though.

Honestly, the rankings are pretty B.S. really look at the formula they use to determine schools and you will see that it makes no sense. You will see a private company took it upon themselves to make an unregulated regulation system that law school applicants take very seriously. However, the reality is once you get outside of the top 25 or so nobody cares about the rankings it is all about location. Everybody knows Harvard is a good law school, but nobody will really care about the difference between University of Maine and Lewis & Clark. They are both fine schools Maine is respected in Maine and Lewis & Clark is respected in Oregon. I just want to conclude by saying law school is hard whether you go to Cooley or Harvard you will learn the same thing and be in competition with very smart and motivated people. The odds of you being in the top 10% and transferring are very low and it is really something you should consider before going to the school, if your heart is absolutely set on transferring. Good Luck to you.   

Thanks for the response.  My goal has and will be to be at the top of my class, transfer or not, and while I understand everyone in law school is smart, my goals and expectations remain the same.  However, my intent is not to simply enroll in school to transfer, I would be fine completing all three years at my current school however, I always like to know what all of my options are and if transferring to a more prestigious school i.e. one that will help me land a job easier, get an OCI etc. presents itself, I will probably take advantage of it if finances permit.  I'm not so big on the social scene and my friends and the rest, so transferring out of one school to another doesn't really bother me in that respect.  The only relationships I would be worried about hurting would be with professors or other college staff.

My reasons for potentially transferring are two-fold.  First, some of the schools I would like to transfer to have better clinics in immigration, a field I wish to be a part of in the future.  Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, if a transfer to a more prestigious school would help my job prospects, as I suspect it would, it is an option I am willing to explore.  However, if I do not transfer, I am perfectly content at my current school especially with the large amount of scholarship money they have provided me.  I would essentially be debt-free upon graduation which is actually one of the reasons I might not transfer at all.  I am simply just trying to set-up contingencies for myself so that all available options are at my disposal.  Thank you for the response though any other pertinent information is appreciated.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 12:50:46 AM »
You should have the desire to be number 1 without question.

One thing to be wary about transferring is to not get to caught up in rankings, a few of my friends transferred from GGU a Tier 4 to Santa Clara or USF tier 2 schools and are not to happy with their decision at all.  This is because, they moved from the 127th best school to the 87th or something, but they lost between 40 and 70 thousand dollars worth of scholarship money. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF are not going to make that much of a difference in employment. We have Stanford, Berkeley, and Hastings right here and the difference between GGU, Santa Clara, and USF is not that great when dealing with jobs. Santa Clara or USF might offer somewhat of a leg up, but not a 70,000 with 8% interest leg up. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF  are not going to result in employers chasing you down. When you are dealing with 88, 72, and 121 it's not much of a difference. Now had some of those people transferred into Stanford or Berkley it would be a different and they would have probably been a lot more satisfied with their decision.

In all honesty the rankings are pretty bogus.  If you look at the formula you will see only 12% of the formula is objective the remaining 88% is purely subjective based on U.S. News opinion, which is a private company and the ABA and LSAC specifically say to ignore it. Obviously, there are elite schools that will open doors and you and me both knew what those schools were when we were 5 years old. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and schools of that Elk are ELITE and will open doors a tier 2, 3, or 4 will not. However, I would recommend not transferring from a tier 4 to a tier 2 everyone I know that has done that has been disappointed. I am sure there are exceptions, but that is the consensus of the people I have talked to.

I am only in my first of law school so I might be talking out of my ass, but that is just my own experience. However, I know I will not transfer to Santa Clara or USF based on what I have heard from people that have transferred from GGU to those schools have told me about their experience. 

M112

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 05:36:48 PM »
You should have the desire to be number 1 without question.

One thing to be wary about transferring is to not get to caught up in rankings, a few of my friends transferred from GGU a Tier 4 to Santa Clara or USF tier 2 schools and are not to happy with their decision at all.  This is because, they moved from the 127th best school to the 87th or something, but they lost between 40 and 70 thousand dollars worth of scholarship money. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF are not going to make that much of a difference in employment. We have Stanford, Berkeley, and Hastings right here and the difference between GGU, Santa Clara, and USF is not that great when dealing with jobs. Santa Clara or USF might offer somewhat of a leg up, but not a 70,000 with 8% interest leg up. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF  are not going to result in employers chasing you down. When you are dealing with 88, 72, and 121 it's not much of a difference. Now had some of those people transferred into Stanford or Berkley it would be a different and they would have probably been a lot more satisfied with their decision.

In all honesty the rankings are pretty bogus.  If you look at the formula you will see only 12% of the formula is objective the remaining 88% is purely subjective based on U.S. News opinion, which is a private company and the ABA and LSAC specifically say to ignore it. Obviously, there are elite schools that will open doors and you and me both knew what those schools were when we were 5 years old. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and schools of that Elk are ELITE and will open doors a tier 2, 3, or 4 will not. However, I would recommend not transferring from a tier 4 to a tier 2 everyone I know that has done that has been disappointed. I am sure there are exceptions, but that is the consensus of the people I have talked to.

I am only in my first of law school so I might be talking out of my ass, but that is just my own experience. However, I know I will not transfer to Santa Clara or USF based on what I have heard from people that have transferred from GGU to those schools have told me about their experience.  

Very much appreciate the comments and advice.  In the hypothetical you provided, if I were inserted into them rather than your friends, I would probably end up forgoing a transfer and staying at my current school.  I actually have my sights set on only two schools for possible transfer for two different reasons.  One is a top 10 school, of the elk you mentioned (my long shot school) and the second school is a top 30 school that I am still yet to hear word from I may just end up on the wait list.  This school is not only Tier 1 school, but would also to cost me less to attend than my current school, scholarship withstanding, so the financial consideration is another possible reason for transfer.  

The transfer is not the be all end all for me though.  I am content at my current school and appreciate all the help they have already given me.  However, if I had an opportunity to go to an Ivy League school or a top 30 school that would cost me less, I would almost assuredly take it.  Again not saying it will happen, just want to test the possibility and take a shot at it.

Again thanks a million for the response though.  Any other pertinent information is appreciated.    

Aluhks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 08:52:38 AM »
One of the posters above gave slightly inaccurate information about moot court/law review. It's true you can't do those during your first year. If you transfer, however, you do not necessarily lose out on your ability to do those during your second year. Each school has its own selection methods for law review, secondary journals, and moot court. Some accommodate transfers (for example, by reserving journal spaces and having a second writing competition transfers only in the fall or by requiring prospective transfers to compete in the main competition in the spring). If those are activities you're interested in and you end up looking to transfer, make sure to do your research thoroughly.

coto29

  • Guest
Re: How to successfuly plan to transfer before even beginning 1L studies?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 01:21:20 PM »
Really, what school allow that? Every one I have looked at have competition in the summer, i.e. before the transfer process.  Do you have a list?