Law Students > Transferring

Transferring from lower to tier to top 15?

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jbean29:
Is this possible?

I received 2 of the highest grades on the only two assignments we have gotten back, and I am feeling pretty confident about final exams.

I want to start thinking about transferring, but im not sure if i am getting my hopes up. My school is the bottom of tier 2, and a lateral move won't really be worth it to me. I like my school, but if i could get into a top 15 i would obviously be out of there in a second.

I know that most law schools say first year grades are paramount but i wonder if the top 15 still focuses on undergrad as well. If thats the case my undergrad was more than rocky, and my lsat was mediocre at best.. Im wondering if that they will take that into account.

Any advice would be helpful.

livinglegend:
It might be possible to transfer most schools from what I know care about first year grades more than anything. However, many people I have known were not that satisfied with their transfer.

I don't know where you are currently attending, but moving across county to a school where you don't know anyone and all the 1L clicks have developed can be tough. I had a friend that transferred from my school to USC and she regretted the decision. Obviously that is not the case for everyone and maybe it will be a good decision it is personal for everyone, but if your doing well somewhere it may not be worth rocking the boat.

One thing to think about which I did is get the transfer papers together and ask for scholarship money from your school. This can save you 40-70k and just an option if no scholarship money is offered then it might be worth transferring, but I think getting out of an ABA school with as little debt as possible is always a good decision.

kjw5029:

--- Quote from: livinglegend on December 06, 2012, 09:54:52 PM ---
I don't know where you are currently attending, but moving across county to a school where you don't know anyone and all the 1L clicks have developed can be tough. I had a friend that transferred from my school to USC and she regretted the decision. Obviously that is not the case for everyone and maybe it will be a good decision it is personal for everyone, but if your doing well somewhere it may not be worth rocking the boat.

--- End quote ---

I did just this.  I transferred from a school on the east coast to a school in CA.  I found that I clicked just fine with some existing students, but my closer friends were all transfers as well.  Just giving another perspective is all.  I too know people who transferred and ended up studying on their own, etc. 

Maintain FL 350:

--- Quote from: jbean29 on December 05, 2012, 02:09:51 PM ---I know that most law schools say first year grades are paramount but i wonder if the top 15 still focuses on undergrad as well. If thats the case my undergrad was more than rocky, and my lsat was mediocre at best.. Im wondering if that they will take that into account.

--- End quote ---

I don't know if your undergrad and LSAT are taken into account for transferring. Your first year grades are, I believe, the major factor. My impression is that transferring from a lower ranked to a T14 requires very, very good grades. The number of slots open to transfer students is small (many top schools only accept 10-20), and the competition will have some serious credentials. I knew someone who transferred from Hastings to Berkeley, and they were ranked near the very top of the class after 1L. I imagine it would be even tougher for someone coming from a lower ranked school.

Livinglegend's idea about using the transfer as leverage for scholarship money is worth exploring. Also remember that depending on where you want to live and work after law school am out of state T1 may not be the best option (unless we're talking about Harvard, Yale, etc). For example, if you want to live in Milwaukee I'm not sure that a degree from UCLA with average grades (your ranking may very well drop if you transfer) is more useful than a degree from Marquette with very high grades.  You may have better opportunities graduating top of your class from a good local school.

livinglegend:
Both posters offered some good insight and to be perfectly honest whether transferring is a good idea or not is highly unique to each person's situation. If your career goals are to be a public defender in Wisconsin and your are currently attending law school at Marquette then stay there, rank in the top of your class, get scholarship money.

If your career goal is to work for Cravath then shoot for the T14, but even if you get into a T14 school it doesn't necessarily mean you will get into BigLaw, but you really will not have a shot otherwise.

Another factor to consider is your personality you know better than anyone else how well you can handle moving to a new location, meeting new people, etc. Some people thrive in this others struggle. If your a person who has worked all over the country, meet new people, blah blah then moving across country probably won't be a big deal. If on the other hand you have never left your hometown then moving across country to start as a 2L at a T14 school might be to much change.

Bottom line is don't simply transfer because U.S. News ranking says X school is #12. Once your out of the law school bubble the name of your school really won't mean that much unless your sole goal is to work in a big law firm. The people you meet, the location your residing in, your personal happiness, and what you want out of your legal career are all things that U.S. News cannot determine nor can any anonymous internet poster like yourself. I see a lot of people freak out about these rankings and make life altering decisions based on them alone and this is not a good idea. Remember it is a for-profit unregulated magazine nothing more and you should not make a life-altering decision based on it alone.

Hopefully some of that offers some insight or feel free to think I am full of s*** just remember anyone on this board or others is an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you. The same can be about U.S. News they are a for-profit magazine and they cannot tell you what is best for your particular circumstance. In the meantime stay focused second semester and kick ass again.

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