So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

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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megaTTTron
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So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Wed May 26, 2010 10:25 pm

As you most likely guessed the first thing I am going to do here is send you to Arrow's fabulous post on transferring (viewtopic.php?f=22&t=82937). Much like his thread on law school success (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77628) his transfer thread is largely regarded as Biblical here on TLS. My aim is to supplement his sections on LORs and Personal Statements, similar to my comment/ response to his law school success article (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=104810). I'm going to keep this short. PM me if you want any more specifics or any advice.

So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

I. Background
II. Letters of Recommendation
III. Personal Statement
IV. Conclusion

I. Background

I am from a t40 law school. I was top 15% after my first semester (when I applied) and was top 10% after my first year. Top 15% is nothing to write home about, however, my school has a high curve. The lowest grade I received was an A-, which make my case a little unique. I am sure the admissions committees took this into consideration.

I applied to both Georgetown and Chicago early action. I was deferred at Georgetown and accepted to Chicago. The only difference between the two applications was (1) an additional LOR to Chicago, and (2) different Personal Statements.

My LORs and PS must have had an impact for me to have been accepted over other applicants with truly exceptional credentials -- people whose resumes put mine to shame. This is why I am posting my method, in the hope that others who are driven enough can make some transfer magic happen (lookin' at you A'nold).

II. Letters of Recommendation

Arrow's advice on this is spot on. Especially walking into a meeting with a professor having everything she or he will need to write you a LOR, including a stamped and addressed envelope and the LSAC form.

What I want to discuss here are additional letters. I treated this process much like hustling a waitlist, except without LOCIs. I was very lucky, in that one of my second semester professors was an alumnus of Chicago. I got to know her throughout the semester and we met several times to discuss her experience and subsequent career. I rarely miss class or skip out on reading (as I respect my professors too much to blow off classes) and so I felt comfortable asking her for an LOR. To my surprise she nearly pre-empted my request and enthusiastically agreed. I asked her to send it directly to the school, which she then did. I am confident that her letter was paramount to my acceptance. Networking with and getting to know your professors can be a powerful tool, especially when you make a good impression on them and they feel comfortable enough to write LORs -- this is especially true when it's their alma mater you're applying to!

Not earth shattering, I know, but keep this in mind and comb your network for potential contacts. Even a call or e-mail to a dean can make a big difference. Don't be afraid to do things like this to set yourself apart, or to truly show your interest in a school -- it's hard to do that among the masses of applicants.

III. Personal Statement

I did this a little differently than Arrow. I wrote a new statement for each school. I knew I was going to apply the moment I got my grades back (although I loved my T1, I was paying sticker and ITE sometimes you gotta make money decisions). I spent two or so months on my Chicago statement, and a little less on Georgetown's. I approached this the same way I did my LOCI's last year. I was simple, clear, honest, and avoided any possible HINT of a "save the world" or "make a difference" cliche that I was SURE was in every other statement. I did the following:

- discussed my grades/ rank
- discussed my career goals, short term and long term
- discussed how I was unable to attain my goals where I was (BUT I never badmouthed my school)
- discussed how I could do so at the transfer school
- discussed my feelings from my meetings with alumni
- remained humble and wrapped it up quickly

My statement was about 1.5 pages long, double-spaced, size 12 font.

The main differences were that I spent more time researching for Chicago, I spoke with several alumni who were professors at my school, and I just wanted it more. Now that I think about it, I spent a huge amount of time on it. The same straight forward, no bullshit attitude I employed for LOCIs I used again here.

The bottom line is that now you've had a semester or two of law school, and presumably your research and writing skills have improved. Do your research -- this includes more than the website. Stuff like finding alumni, talking to students, and determining for yourself what you truly want. And above all else writing clearly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am confident that my additional LOR and well worked PS were driving factors in my acceptance. I understand that Chicago accepts 3-5 early decision applicants, and 15-25 total transfers. Despite my immediate thoughts, my acceptance was not a mistake.

I recall sitting at my computer last year trying to rethink my life plan after blowing the LSAT with a 3.8 GPA. However, I got in off the waitlist at a great T1 school. I out performed more than 85% of the class, and then transferred to CCN. If you did well your first semester or first year of law school and you want to transfer, for any reason, take a chance. The rules are out the window here. TLS and transferapps are great resources, but they are not dispositive.

Word.
Last edited by megaTTTron on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed May 26, 2010 11:42 pm

If I can add something: If in doubt, apply. Even if not in doubt and you think the answer is no, apply anyway. TBH, I was surprised that Mega got in to Chicago with his numbers--they aren't bad, but they're not drop-dead either. Had he asked whether he should apply ED (not sure if he did,) I would have said "yes apply because you have nothing to lose, but expect a ding." So, there you have it--proof that you shouldn't listen to people. If anyone should be giving advice on Chicago ED it's me, and I would have been completely 100% wrong :lol:

Each application costs ~$100. In the end, that is an absolutely irrelevant amount of money.

solidsnake
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby solidsnake » Thu May 27, 2010 12:10 am

Nice post. Congrats again on your acceptance. So you recommend mentioning any alumni professors with whom you had a good relationship over 1L in your actual PS? If we persuade one of these profs to make a call to the dean on our behalf, on top of any LoRs they may write, do you think also mentioning them by name, then, in the PS is overkill?

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megaTTTron
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Thu May 27, 2010 12:31 am

solidsnake wrote:Nice post. Congrats again on your acceptance. So you recommend mentioning any alumni professors with whom you had a good relationship over 1L in your actual PS? If we persuade one of these profs to make a call to the dean on our behalf, on top of any LoRs they may write, do you think also mentioning them by name, then, in the PS is overkill?


No I don't. Especially if they have impacted you or your decision. My professor was very influential to me and my decision. It made sense to mention her.

solidsnake
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby solidsnake » Thu May 27, 2010 12:33 am

megaTTTron wrote:
solidsnake wrote:Nice post. Congrats again on your acceptance. So you recommend mentioning any alumni professors with whom you had a good relationship over 1L in your actual PS? If we persuade one of these profs to make a call to the dean on our behalf, on top of any LoRs they may write, do you think also mentioning them by name, then, in the PS is overkill?


No I don't. Especially if they have impacted you or your decision. My professor was very influential to me and my decision. It made sense to mention her.


Good stuff. Thanks!

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A'nold
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby A'nold » Thu May 27, 2010 12:45 am

Nice Mega. Great thread and great story, congrats again!

You sent a LOCI to Chicago? If so, for normal RD decisions do you think that would be overkill?

traydeuce
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby traydeuce » Thu May 27, 2010 12:56 am

Wait, so you got into Chicago in spite of not quite cracking the top 10%? This gives me hope... (hint hint, I don't still have a 4.0, although I'm still - I think! - in the top 5% of my class at - well, what used to be a t30 school until all our 3Ls just decided to quit law and star in Coors commercials, or whatever it is southern unemployed law students do. Fish, perhaps.)

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megaTTTron
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Thu May 27, 2010 1:20 am

A'nold wrote:Nice Mega. Great thread and great story, congrats again!

You sent a LOCI to Chicago? If so, for normal RD decisions do you think that would be overkill?


NO! I didn't. I thought that was clear. lol. I would not send an LOCI unless I was deferred, and it would probably only be to supplement my updated grades.

JOThompson
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby JOThompson » Thu May 27, 2010 1:21 am

This is motivational. Tagged for future reference.

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megaTTTron
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Thu May 27, 2010 1:22 am

traydeuce wrote:Wait, so you got into Chicago in spite of not quite cracking the top 10%? This gives me hope... (hint hint, I don't still have a 4.0, although I'm still - I think! - in the top 5% of my class at - well, what used to be a t30 school until all our 3Ls just decided to quit law and star in Coors commercials, or whatever it is southern unemployed law students do. Fish, perhaps.)


Hahah. I am confident with your grades you'll crack the t6. Plus you're into Gtown already right? Did you end up depositing at Gtown?

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Thu May 27, 2010 1:25 am

What percentage of students in your class did you work harder than? Rough estimate.

Its been said time and time again that in law school you have to work SMART and hard. But, following Arrow's method, how much harder than everyone did you work?

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megaTTTron
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Thu May 27, 2010 1:39 am

Kobe_Teeth wrote:What percentage of students in your class did you work harder than? Rough estimate.

Its been said time and time again that in law school you have to work SMART and hard. But, following Arrow's method, how much harder than everyone did you work?


Yea, good question. In my other thread (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=104810) I address this. With the exception of only a few, every person that outperformed me worked harder than me. I went to a relatively small school and I was close to most of the people at the top. They just put more time in. I like to be social (and party) which is partially what I attribute to my less than perfect grades. I attribute the rest of it to the fact that some people are just very very bright, and I am not one of them lol. I do know some people who worked more than I did and did not do as well as I did. Most of them briefed cases extensively ahead of time and then had to spend time re-preparing for class the day of, I knew one person with HUGE outlines, like approaching and sometimes passing 100 pages per class, I know he did not do too well.
Last edited by megaTTTron on Thu May 27, 2010 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

icydash
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby icydash » Thu May 27, 2010 1:40 am

tag

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Thu May 27, 2010 1:52 am

megaTTTron wrote:
Kobe_Teeth wrote:What percentage of students in your class did you work harder than? Rough estimate.

Its been said time and time again that in law school you have to work SMART and hard. But, following Arrow's method, how much harder than everyone did you work?


Yea, good question. In my other thread (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=104810) I address this. With the exception of only a few, every person that outperformed me worked harder than me. I went to a relatively small school and I was close to most of the people at the top. They just put more time in. I like to be social (and party) which is partially what I attribute to my less than perfect grades. I attribute the rest of it to the fact that some people are just very very bright, and I am not one of them lol. I do know some people who worked more than I did and did not do as well as I did. Most of them briefed cases extensively ahead of time and then had to spend time re-preparing for class the day of, I knew one person with HUGE outlines, like approaching and sometimes passing 100 pages per class, I know he did not do too well.



Good answer. Thank you.

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trialjunky
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 27, 2010 8:52 am

tag

sigmachiev
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby sigmachiev » Thu May 27, 2010 1:50 pm

This is def some good advice and very similar to an approach I took for both the PS and LORs.

One thing I also did: I wrote an LOCI before I heard anything back giving an update on work stuff and a new idea I had for why the school was awesome.

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megaTTTron
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby megaTTTron » Thu May 27, 2010 2:01 pm

sigmachiev wrote:This is def some good advice and very similar to an approach I took for both the PS and LORs.

One thing I also did: I wrote an LOCI before I heard anything back giving an update on work stuff and a new idea I had for why the school was awesome.


Interesting. And you got in?

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Vronsky
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Re: So You Want To Transfer? Let MegaTTTron Holler At You.

Postby Vronsky » Mon May 16, 2011 7:10 am

Can you say more about LOCI (letters of continuing interest)? I think this would be appropriate for a transfer applicant who was deferred for EA or ED. Namely it appears from above that it is appropriate to send when you contact the school to update with spring grades.

1) basic format and content?
2) appropriate to send in the body of an email, or should it be a separate document?
3) ????
4) how to profit?




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