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Author Topic: Process of Transferring From COOLEY  (Read 8526 times)

FutureLSStudent

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Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« on: May 08, 2012, 01:54:49 PM »
I am starting Cooley in the fall in Ann Arbor, MI. My gpa in undergrad wasnt very strong and I didn't have a great LSAT score. Like many other students my goal is to attend Cooley for a year then transfer to another law school such as Michigan State or Wayne. I want to have the best chance of getting a job once Im finished and I know going to a better school will do that. I understand that it will not be easy and that I must have a great gpa and be in the top 10% of my class. I want to make sure I put myself in the best position to achieve this and I need to understand more about the transferring procees. If you are a successfull transfer student from Cooley or you have any advice for me please help  :)

1. How many classes should I take during the 1st yr? Full time (6 classes/15 credits a term, fall & winter) or Part time (5 classes/12 credits a term, yr around)? I don't want to overload myself but I want to make sure I have enought credits to transfer. From what I heard Cooley is rough....and I don't want to be naive about doing well.
2. Will I need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member/professor?
3. How likely is it that Mich State or Wayne accept transfer students from Cooley? What other schools should I consider?
4. Will transferring really be better for me in the long run or should I stick it out at Cooley?
5. Can I transfer after 2 yrs instead of after my 1st yr?
6. Anything else I should know or consider??  :-\

Nova Juris

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 02:26:02 PM »
If you havn't started yet and plan to transfer don't go. Just raise your LSAT and (if possible) try to take a few extra classes that are blow off to raise your undergrad GPA. (If going to cooley I am guessing you don't have your full BA)

There are going to be people there who have a 160 LSAT and 4.0 undergad GPA who are attending just for the full ride. They will be the top 10% of your class. They won't want to transfer but will be the only ones other school truely want. The curve will make that happen.

If you can't stand Cooley don't go. If you go, plan to graduate and plan to go part time since if your LSAT is under 160 you can't handle a 15 credit load and not be academicly dismissed. You just can't. Expect 5 years at Cooley if you go.

Nova Juris

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 02:28:10 PM »
If you are serious about this you need to contact the schools you plan to try to transfer to. They and only they can answer these questions properly for you.

cerealkiller

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 11:41:35 PM »
If you havn't started yet and plan to transfer don't go. Just raise your LSAT and (if possible) try to take a few extra classes that are blow off to raise your undergrad GPA. (If going to cooley I am guessing you don't have your full BA)

There are going to be people there who have a 160 LSAT and 4.0 undergad GPA who are attending just for the full ride. They will be the top 10% of your class. They won't want to transfer but will be the only ones other school truely want. The curve will make that happen.

If you can't stand Cooley don't go. If you go, plan to graduate and plan to go part time since if your LSAT is under 160 you can't handle a 15 credit load and not be academicly dismissed. You just can't. Expect 5 years at Cooley if you go.

You act as if there's a perfect correlation between one's LSAT score and law school success. While it's true that the LSAT is a very dependable indicator of one's academic ability, it is far from perfect. For instance, when in law school have you ever been asked to perform the same task that is asked of test takers on LSAT logic games? Never, I suspect.

The LSAT is a gatekeeper, which is purposely designed to generate a bell-curved distribution of scores.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 11:16:53 AM »
Of course the LSAT isn't perfect, no test is. However, as you point out, the LSAT is a dependable predictor of academic aptitude (the exact thing it is designed to predict!). It stands to reason that in most cases a student with a high LSAT score will out perform those with lower scores. The LSAT is not supposed to approximate the law school experience, it just measures ability.

To the OP: don't go to ANY law school unless you are prepared to spend all three years there. Once you start you will quickly discover that law school, whether you're at Harvard or Cooley, is nothing like college. The competition is intense and it's  very difficult to predict how you will perform, especially if you're coming in with less-than-stellar numbers.

If you are prepared to spend all three years at Cooley anyway, that's a different story. Research the school's curve and contact the schools you'd like to transfer to. Most importantly, be realistic about your gals and options. If you start law school on day one expecting to be in the top 10% and transferring, you will likely be disappointed and frustrated. This is nothing against you personally, it's just the cold, hard reality of law school. My law school had a brutal curve that made it very difficult to transfer, and I suspect Cooley is the same.

Be realistic about all aspects of law school, not just transferring, be prepared, and be informed. If you do that you'll probably be alright.   

cerealkiller

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 11:44:01 AM »
Of course the LSAT isn't perfect, no test is. However, as you point out, the LSAT is a dependable predictor of academic aptitude (the exact thing it is designed to predict!). It stands to reason that in most cases a student with a high LSAT score will out perform those with lower scores. The LSAT is not supposed to approximate the law school experience, it just measures ability.

You're right. But what I took issue with was Nova Juris saying, "if you go, plan to graduate and plan to go part time since if your LSAT is under 160 you can't handle a 15 credit load and not be academicly [sic] dismissed." That statement is just plain ludicrous.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 01:10:32 PM »
I agree, it's a statement with no basis in reality. Many law schools have a median/average LSAT score below 160, and yet maintain low academic attrition.

cerealkiller

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 02:17:47 PM »
FutureLSStudent, if you're goal is to finish your law degree at a school other than Cooley then you'd probably be better off foregoing school in the fall and retake the LSAT in an attempt to score into the school of your choice.

As Roald pointed out, finishing in the top 10% is unlikely. In fact, you have a 90% chance of not finishing in the top 10%. The odds are stacked precariously against you. And in many ways, how well you do your first year is largely out of your control. The forced curve is brutal. Professors try to grade objectively (one can hope), but complete objectivity is impossible given the subjective nature of legal analysis. It's not as though every question has a clear right or wrong answer; there are many shades of gray in the law. A professor, for example, might mark you down because you chose to flesh out an argument that he thought was of little importance, even though reasonable minds could disagree as to its legal relevance.   

If you move forward with your current plan, you're placing your fate mostly in the hands of your professors and fellow students. Law school is fiercely competitive. It's unlike college in almost every imaginable way. You could conceivably spend 18 hours a day in the library and still end up with a pedestrian gpa that's well outside of the top 10%.

In my humble opinion, you'd be better off devoting the time and energy that you ostensibly plan to exert in your studies this fall to retaking (and mastering) the LSAT.

kjw5029

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 02:41:00 PM »
Everybody is right so far, it seems.  I just thought I'd mention that you don't have to be in the top 10% to transfer per se.  I know plenty of people (even with those pedestrian gpas) who transferred from Cooley a couple years ago.  It really entirely depends on where you are applying and who else is applying to transfer to that school.  In fact, I know someone who transferred to a tier 2 from Cooley who was ranked in the top 40%.  Just something to keep in mind. 

That being said, waiting and getting a higher LSAT score is probably the best move.  Like everyone said, there is no guarantee when you're talking about transferring.  Random hits on your other questions next....

I took 12 units a semester instead of 15 when at Cooley.  I found it very manageable, especially compared to fellow students taking 15. 
You will likely need a letter from a professor.  I found it somewhat difficult to get one from a professor at Cooley (some wouldn't do it at all while others required you receive an A in their class).
I don't think you can reasonably expect to transfer after 2 yrs.  Most schools cap the amount of units you can transfer (usually around 30-34).  I guess it may be possible, but you'd be wasting 30 units you paid for.   

Definitely call schools you are considering and see what is generally required for an acceptance.  I think LSAC contains this information as well.

Nova Juris

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Re: Process of Transferring From COOLEY
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 09:05:07 PM »
Of course the LSAT isn't perfect, no test is. However, as you point out, the LSAT is a dependable predictor of academic aptitude (the exact thing it is designed to predict!). It stands to reason that in most cases a student with a high LSAT score will out perform those with lower scores. The LSAT is not supposed to approximate the law school experience, it just measures ability.

You're right. But what I took issue with was Nova Juris saying, "if you go, plan to graduate and plan to go part time since if your LSAT is under 160 you can't handle a 15 credit load and not be academicly [sic] dismissed." That statement is just plain ludicrous.

It's ludicrous to expect them to graduate, true. A third don't even make 2L. True.