Law School Discussion

Transferring After 1st Semester 2L Year

Transferring After 1st Semester 2L Year
« on: October 15, 2013, 06:14:05 AM »
I was just wondering if it would be advisable or possible to transfer after first semester of my 2L year. I am currently in the middle of my first semester of my 2L year. I have decent grades, but didn't make law review. I was relatively content at my current school, up until its admission policies negatively impacted its rankings. I was just wonder if it would be possible to transfer at the semester (assuming I could even get into a better school). I'm not concerned as much about the debt or eating the credits, I just want to know if  I could transfer, and if I were to transfer to a higher ranked school, would it negatively impact me career-wise (to the extent that I'd be better of sticking it out at my current school).


Re: Transferring After 1st Semester 2L Year
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 11:38:35 PM »
Please do not take the rankings to seriously remember it is nothing more than an unregulated for profit magazine offering an opinion. Additionally U.S. News ranks more than law schools and currently New Mexico is the best place to live citation here.

Are you going to move to New Mexico because U.S. News said it is the #1 place to live? I hope you would not make the life altering decision to move to New Mexico simply because U.S. News said it was the #1 place to live. On the same vein do not make the life altering decision of transferring law schools because U.S. News has changed the ranking. Also realize the U.S. News formula makes little to no sense for that reason schools rankings change drastically year by year.

You can look at this table to see how often schools have changed over the past four years.  if you transfer it is very possible the school you are attending now will rise above the school you transfer to. Schools can jump 20 to 30 spots any given year.

On top of that I can tell you very few firms care about the U.S. News Rankings outside of the "Top" law schools. If you were transferring to Harvard or Yale it could open more doors, but if your transfering from say Florida International to Stetson or Gonzaga to Seattle nobody cares about the difference between the 92nd and 112th best school.

If you are content at your current school stay there. Remember legal education at every school is essentially identical I do not know what law school you attended, but I imagine your first year consisted of Torts, Civil Procedure and Property. In Torts you read Palsgraff for Proximate Cause and Pennoyer v. Neff for Notice etc. In the end you will learn the exact same things whether your transfer or not and when you graduate you will then take BarBri or Kaplan for your State's Bar exam and be in a room with law students from around the Country learning the same thing. You will then take the Bar Exam, which will be very stressful and if you pass you will have a license to practice law. Once you are a licensed lawyer what you with it will matter much more than the arbitrary U.S. News Ranking of the school you attended. 

I cannot tell how many law students place so much emphasis on these rankings, but frankly they are B.S. Obviously Harvard, Yale Stanford etc will open doors and you didn't need U.S. News to tell you those are elite institutions, but frankly outside of the "top" law schools I have no idea what the various rankings are and I am an attorney that reviews resumes.

Also you should be very concerned with the Debt you incur and eating credits based on a magazine. Stay where you are unless you have legitimate reason to transfer such as family emergency or something, but if you had an interview with my firm and told me you decided to pay an extra 25,000 dollars and took an extra semester of law school based and left all the friends and connections you made at your current school based on a magazine I would question your judgment.

All I can say is use common sense and do not make life altering decisions based on opinions published by a for-profit and unregulated magazine.

Good Luck.

Re: Transferring After 1st Semester 2L Year
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 10:44:08 PM »
Citylaw offers great advice do not transfer based on your school dropping a few points in the rankings.

When choosing a law school the most important factors are as follows (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) Understanding the Realities of Legal Education and (5) Last and Least U.S. News Rankings.

Location is far away and the most important thing when choosing a law school. I don't know where your law school is in, but if your in Chicago when you graduate you will most likely take the Illinois bar and get a job in Chicago or nearby Chicago regardless of whether you attended Depaul, John Marshall, or even Northwestern.

Cost be wary of Costs your law school's ranking will change during the next two years, but the total amount of money you owe upon graduation will not flucuate and it will accrue interest be careful.

Personal feelings about the school. As you stated you are content at your school, but if you leave you will lose your connections and have to adjust to a new school you may not like.

As Citylaw states legal education is the same whether you attend the 82nd or 94th best school at the end you will use BarBri or Kaplan.

U.S. News is a magazine nothing more it has some credibility, but you should not make a life altering decisoin based on it.

Re: Transferring After 1st Semester 2L Year
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 07:08:18 PM »
Indeed Legend and Spellman I cannot reiterate enough do not get to caught up in the rankings and if your content at your school don't leave. If there is some major personal issue that requires a transfer or family emergency then you might be able to find a way to transfer, but to alter your life over a magazine is not a good idea.

Good luck.