Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Maximus
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Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 11:45 am

Has anyone ever made a lateral transfer or transfered to a lower ranked school? I'm looking to transfer out of my current school to any other school that will accept me.

270910
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:49 am

A few people do every year. You need a good reason and probably at least > median grades to have a realistic chance.

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Bert
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Bert » Fri May 07, 2010 11:59 am

What would be a good reason for a lateral transfer?

savesthedayajb
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby savesthedayajb » Fri May 07, 2010 12:00 pm

Bert wrote:What would be a good reason for a lateral transfer?


A need to be at a different location for whatever reason.. family issues are common I guess.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby NU_Jet55 » Fri May 07, 2010 12:08 pm

Bert wrote:What would be a good reason for a lateral transfer?


couple possible scenarios off the top of my head...

1. Spouse gets an awesome job across the country and you decide you need to be with them and you can transfer into a similarly ranked school there
2. You're going to UC Hastings but then decide you absolutely have to work on the east coast for any reason. (or something along these lines)

basically, if you're going to a regional school and decide you want to work in a region where your school has no sway whatsoever AND your grades aren't stellar at your first institution, e.g. Top 45-40%

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 12:11 pm

I'm currently attending a school that I truly dislike. Everything about the school is wrong for me and the past two years have been absolutely miserable (I will lose credits with the transfer but I refuse to graduate from my current school). My target school is approximately half the size, has the exact program that I'm interested in, I want to work in that state, and it's always been my first choice - from what I saw on my visits they treat their students like human beings. I do have a relationship with the school as I have remained in contact and visited on several occassions (was initially accepted off the waitlist but had already started school on the other side of the country). But if I don't get accepted I have to decide whether to apply elsewhere, take another semester of classes and try to transfer in December, or sit out for a few years, retake the LSAT and reapply.

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jks289
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby jks289 » Fri May 07, 2010 12:18 pm

Maximus wrote:I'm currently attending a school that I truly dislike. Everything about the school is wrong for me and the past two years have been absolutely miserable (I will lose credits with the transfer but I refuse to graduate from my current school). My target school is approximately half the size, has the exact program that I'm interested in, I want to work in that state, and it's always been my first choice - from what I saw on my visits they treat their students like human beings. I do have a relationship with the school as I have remained in contact and visited on several occassions (was initially accepted off the waitlist but had already started school on the other side of the country). But if I don't get accepted I have to decide whether to apply elsewhere, take another semester of classes and try to transfer in December, or sit out for a few years, retake the LSAT and reapply.


You are a 2L? I thought no one accepted transfers after 2L began. You may need to look into "visiting" at another school. Sorry to hear you hate it so much.

Edited to say RC fail: Are you in law school? You must be talking about transferring undergrad schools. You can't possibly think that you can drop out of law school, retake the LSAT and start over. Right?

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 12:26 pm

I'm just finishing first semester of 2L. All the schools that I have been in contact with accept transfer credits regardless of the number of credits earned, I will just lose credits (which I do not have a problem with).

I'm an older student and I'm simply looking to attend a school where I will be happy and value the education that I'm receiving. Not looking for big law or any other prestigious position as I plan on working solo and my area is very unique. Some schools require sitting out 3 years and retaking which means you lose everything you earned at another law school.

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sanpiero
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby sanpiero » Fri May 07, 2010 12:46 pm

Maximus wrote:I'm currently attending a school that I truly dislike. Everything about the school is wrong for me and the past two years have been absolutely miserable (I will lose credits with the transfer but I refuse to graduate from my current school). My target school is approximately half the size, has the exact program that I'm interested in, I want to work in that state, and it's always been my first choice - from what I saw on my visits they treat their students like human beings. I do have a relationship with the school as I have remained in contact and visited on several occassions (was initially accepted off the waitlist but had already started school on the other side of the country). But if I don't get accepted I have to decide whether to apply elsewhere, take another semester of classes and try to transfer in December, or sit out for a few years, retake the LSAT and reapply.


Let me get this straight, you are closing in on finishing or finished with 2L and you are considering leaving school, retaking the LSAT, and reapplying if you don't get into your target school? I gotta say, that's a terrible plan B. If that were my approach, I would be applying to at least 3 schools that I knew I would be accepted to, in addition to the target school. When considering other schools make sure to find-out how many transfers they take. Here's a good place to start (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=112318). If you don't find any schools that fit your criteria there, the LSAC site has transfer-in/transfer-out data on every accredited law school. Target those schools that take a substantial number of transfers to increase the likelihood that you'll be accepted to at least one of them. Also, in targeting back-ups, you might want to consider applying to those schools that you would have been admitted to as a 1L based on GPA/LSAT medians.

If you are a 2L you probably have around 60 credits. I have never heard of a school accepting that many credits but such a school might exist. I would look into this.

Have you thought about spending 3L at your target school as a visiting student?

I know it's a little late at this point but why didn't you apply to transfer after 1L?

If I were you, I would apply to your target for admission as a visiting student. If this isn't an option, I would apply to my target and at least three safeties (based on median and transfer-in stats) in the region in which I want to work. That said, I think you should seriously reconsider simply graduating from your current school on-time and moving back to wherever it is you want to work after you're through. Would it suck to graduate from a school at which you've had a bad experience? Yes. Would it suck more to spend 4 years in law school and tens of thousands of dollars to attend school for an unnecessary fourth year? Yep (imo).

hth

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 12:54 pm

I'm just finishing first semester of 2L (I will be losing one semester of credits at this point). Most schools accept 30 some will accept slightly more. My top choice accepted three transfer students with lower numbers based on transfer apps data (I was also accepted off the wait list but had already started school, signed lease, etc).

I needed to come back to my current school this year for a very specific reason, which care not to post (but it seems the schools I talked to think it was a very good reason).

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sanpiero
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby sanpiero » Fri May 07, 2010 12:57 pm

Maximus wrote:I'm just finishing first semester of 2L (I will be losing one semester of credits at this point). Most schools accept 30 some will accept slightly more. My top choice accepted three transfer students with lower numbers based on transfer apps data (I was also accepted off the wait list but had already started school, signed lease, etc).

I needed to come back to my current school this year for a very specific reason, which care not to post (but it seems the schools I talked to think it was a very good reason).


In that case, and if you are truly unhappy at your current school, I would say transferring would be sensible. But, like I said above, make sure you apply to a few safeties in your preferred region, too.

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sanpiero
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby sanpiero » Fri May 07, 2010 1:00 pm

Also, if you had the stats to get into the school as a 1L (albeit off the WL) and you have done really well at your current school (i.e. 1/3), I'd say you have a decent shot. But, with the target school only accepting 3 transfers and without knowing the rank of your current school or your target school, it's extremely difficult to even make an educated guess about your chances.

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 1:05 pm

They accept more than 3 transfers (based on transfer apps database 3 students were accepted with numbers lower than mine). The schools are equal (it would be a lateral move this year). By the time I graduate I'm sure it will be a move to a lower ranked school if I'm accepted.

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sanpiero
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby sanpiero » Fri May 07, 2010 1:15 pm

Well, if your question is whether people transfer down or laterally, the answer is yes. I don't see how this question has any significant bearing on your decision, though. You know you want to attend your target school, so apply. If your numbers are better than three who have been accepting in the past and your grades are good (T1/3), you should have a good shot. If your grades aren't so good and target school only accepts a few transfers per year, make sure you have a good back-up plan that doesn't involve remaining at your current school.

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Fri May 07, 2010 1:21 pm

I asked because if I don't get accepted to my target then any other move will be to a lower ranked school.

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sanpiero
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby sanpiero » Fri May 07, 2010 1:30 pm

First, being denied at your target doesn't necessarily mean you will be denied at all higher ranked schools (e.g. denied for transfer at ND doesn't mean you will always be denied at GW, WUSTL, GULC, etc.). Second, if it were me and I was very unhappy at my present school 1.5 semesters in, I would transfer to a lower-ranked school in my preferred region without hesitation, if I thought I would be much happier there. Scholarship at your current school would complicate this decision.

I still really don't know what you're looking for out of this thread that you haven't gotten already. Transferring-down is almost always a decision that is very dependent upon the person's relative and potential happiness and geographic preference. No one here is going to be able to address those considerations for you.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby yabbadabbado » Fri May 07, 2010 1:53 pm

If you are really planning to go solo and are positive you won't change your mind, school rank doesn't matter.

Also, unless you are already at a fairly high ranked school (like top 20-25 or so), transferring down really doesn't mean anything.

Rather than wasting money, time, and effort on repeating credits you'll lose, I would definitely try to work out a situation where you can attend another school as a visiting student for 3L.

engineer
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby engineer » Fri May 07, 2010 9:01 pm

I'm going to fight for a lateral transfer. It's mostly because I know I don't want to work in the south, and the only realistic shot I have at working in NYC is to graduate from a school in that area. Because of that, I'm *praying* Brooklyn or Cardozo take me as a transfer down. With my first grade in this semester, however, even that looks like a stretch. Rock bottom seems closer than ever :|

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun May 09, 2010 7:35 pm

If you're already a 2L, why in God's name wouldn't you just apply as a visiting student instead of losing a year worth of credits? You're talking about blowing a year of your life--and, of course, an extra year of loans--because you're not happy.

I worry about your future ability to survive as a lawyer, but more immediately, your current approach to dealing with issue is incredibly odd.

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Maximus
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Maximus » Sun May 09, 2010 7:43 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:If you're already a 2L, why in God's name wouldn't you just apply as a visiting student instead of losing a year worth of credits? You're talking about blowing a year of your life--and, of course, an extra year of loans--because you're not happy.

I worry about your future ability to survive as a lawyer, but more immediately, your current approach to dealing with issue is incredibly odd.


I worry about your future ability to survive as a lawyer since I'm not really sure how you can equate what I said (just finishing up my first semester of 2L (which means 45 credits)) with "losing a years worth of credits" and "blowing a year of my life."

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun May 09, 2010 7:47 pm

What are the schools?

GueritaPeloChino
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:14 pm

And transfer schools are only looking at your 1L class ranking and not grades, right?
In case one is attending a school with a very low curve...

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VinceIrons
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Re: Lateral Transfer or Transfer to Lower Ranked School

Postby VinceIrons » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:39 pm

You've probably got all you need to out of this thread. Transfering laterally or down does happen, but usually only if there is a good reason for wanting to be at the new place. Though I don't think "I hate my current school" is a good reason by itself, you seem to have some real reasons to want to transfer. You've also been in touch with these schools, they know you're interested in transfering, and they're ok with you transfering as a 2L, correct? Yours seems to be a rather unique situation, so if you haven't already then you should definitely be talking to admissions as much as possible to make sure all this is feasible. From what I can tell, you've done all that. So yeah, go for it, and best of luck!

Right, applying as a Visiting Student is a possibility, but from what I've gathered, you still end up with a degree from your initial school, and I've no idea if being a visiting student helps you get jobs in markets tied to that school. It is something to look in to though.




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