Law School Discussion

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation
« on: April 19, 2011, 11:41:10 PM »
I have a couple of questions.  I am a 1L at a T4 school.  I only recently started thinking about transferring because my first semester grades put me at about 33% (I don't know exactly because I can't find the rankings). 

My first question is when and who I should ask for letters of recommendation.  I never really had any questions in class so I don't have a rapport with any of my professors.  Should I ask two or three that gave me the highest grades or the ones that I think would be the most helpful?  Would a letter from my legal writing professor be as helpful as one from a black letter law class like Torts or Contracts?  Do you have any recommendations for how I can go about asking someone I've never really talked to for help about transferring out of their school?

My second question is if anyone can give me some ideas of how likely it is that I can transfer.  I know that the top third isn't that high- especially from a T4- but I understand the material and the tests a lot better now so think I can bring my grades up to at least the top 20%.  I'd like to transfer to a school in a city in the New England area (one of the big cities like Boston, NYC or Philadelphia).  Can you give me an idea of my chances at T4's, T3's, T2's or T1's and maybe some specific schools in those areas?  I'm sorry, I know the question's very open-ended, but I just want to know what schools I could get into, or at least have a shot at, based on the different levels.

Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 10:04:29 AM »
I would spend some time in professors' offices during office hours developing a rapport so that you can ask for a LOR after your spring grades are released...

Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 12:46:38 PM »
I would also spend time talking to a teacher.  They will be much more inclined to write a good letter about someone they actually know. 

As for the schools, it's difficult to say where exactly to apply.  It really depends where you rank in your school currently (maybe try to find that out).  Philadelphia has a few tier 2 schools in Temple, Villanova, and Rutgers (actually in Camden, just across the river from Philly).  Off the top of my head, I can't think of any tier 3's, but Drexel may be a tier 3/4?  Finally, Widener is a tier 4 about 30 minutes from Philly.  Of course there is UPenn also, but I doubt they take many (if any) tier 4 transfers.  I can't speak about the other cities because I'm not from any of them.  Hope this helps.

Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 01:26:19 PM »
To answer your question specifically, one needs to know your current and target GPA.  To assess your decision, you need to know (1) which school(s) you would transfer to, and (2) their specific requirements for transfers.  That will be on their web site or you may need to call them - that is research that you can do.  Looking for LOR if you don't even meet transfer requirements is putting the cart before the horse.  Whether or not the top 33% is good enough depends on what that is in terms of a GPA -- the schools you are looking at may be looking for at least a 3.25 or 3.5.  I know someone that went from T4 to T1, but he was booking every class.

BTW transfering from T4 to another T4 or a T3 makes little sense unless you get some scholarship money or it is necessary for personal reasons.

Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 08:29:46 AM »
I am in a similar situation. I am in the top 5% at a T4.  I am looking at schools in Philadelphia.  I think you have a good shot at getting into Drexel.  Although it is a T3 it's a new school and I think at least that their rank will increase in time. It may be hard to get into Temple or Villanova unless your grades improve.  I have heard that Rutgers Camden is easy to transfer into and it is a pretty good school. For schools outside of Philly I just had a buddy transfer into Brooklyn Law from a T4.  Syracuse also may be a possibility.  I would look at Duquesne too if Pittsburgh is a city you are interested in.