Transfer personal statements

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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icydash
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Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:53 am

What did you guys write about? Any suggestions?

sethc
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:14 am

icydash wrote:What did you guys write about? Any suggestions?



I'm going to keep an eye on this threat because I'm curious myself. I'm going to try to transfer after this term (Spring 2011) is over. Have no clue if I'll even have a shot, but I need all the help I can get.

As per Arrow's article (see sticky in this forum) I'm pretty sure the consensus is to basically take the same approach as you did when first applying to law school in terms of subject matter. That's more or less the general way to attack this, from what I've gathered. I'm not sure if it's ever been explicitly said anywhere (probably has) but I think I'm definitely going to try to incorporate 1L in the statement somehow. I want to make sure it's clear that 1L has been beneficial as a person, for my career, yada yada blah blah .. but I also don't want AT ALL to sound like I'm just trashing the school I'm currently at & I am just transferring for "prestige" and shit. I think that part will be pretty easy to do, but I wanna make sure I'm at least cognizant of all that.

If anyone thinks this is off-base and needs some modification - by all means tell me. I'm no expert on the matter at all.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby UCLAtransfer » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:34 am

The following is merely my experience in transferring, so I make no claims that it is universal.

Depending on how you approached your PS the first time around, it could be rather similar or it could be drastically different when applying to transfer. With my PS for applying to law school originally, I tried to really highlight my writing ability as best I could, as well as relate an experience that would make me "stand out" to adcoms. With my transfer PS, I took a very different approach by simply trying to convey (1) my strength as a student during my first year; (2) why I wanted to transfer; and (3) why school X was the perfect place for me to end up.

Accordingly, I included things such as:
(1) My experience as a 1L (short)
(2) What I learned/what I became particularly interested in
(3) My ties to the area
(4) Why I wanted to end up in that area
(5) Discussed certain programs I was interested in at X school
(6) Discussed strengths of X school and how they would help me achieve my goals
(7) Explained why I thought I would bring something great to the program
(8) Referenced a couple of notable faculty that I was particularly interested in working with
(9) Discussed a secondary journal I was interested in joining, and why
(10) etc.

This probably sounds like a ton of stuff for like a two page statement, but somehow I was able to craft it into something I thought flowed and was pretty compelling. Others may disagree, but I based on my experience I think having a strong, targeted PS can be HUGE for transfer success.

Hope this helps somewhat.

random5483
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby random5483 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:50 am

UCLAtransfer wrote:The following is merely my experience in transferring, so I make no claims that it is universal.

Depending on how you approached your PS the first time around, it could be rather similar or it could be drastically different when applying to transfer. With my PS for applying to law school originally, I tried to really highlight my writing ability as best I could, as well as relate an experience that would make me "stand out" to adcoms. With my transfer PS, I took a very different approach by simply trying to convey (1) my strength as a student during my first year; (2) why I wanted to transfer; and (3) why school X was the perfect place for me to end up.

Accordingly, I included things such as:
(1) My experience as a 1L (short)
(2) What I learned/what I became particularly interested in
(3) My ties to the area
(4) Why I wanted to end up in that area
(5) Discussed certain programs I was interested in at X school
(6) Discussed strengths of X school and how they would help me achieve my goals
(7) Explained why I thought I would bring something great to the program
(8) Referenced a couple of notable faculty that I was particularly interested in working with
(9) Discussed a secondary journal I was interested in joining, and why
(10) etc.

This probably sounds like a ton of stuff for like a two page statement, but somehow I was able to craft it into something I thought flowed and was pretty compelling. Others may disagree, but I based on my experience I think having a strong, targeted PS can be HUGE for transfer success.

Hope this helps somewhat.




There is not enough transfer related data for people to disagree with you. Even if people disagree, having a strong targeted personal statement cannot hurt you.

sethc
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:55 am

UCLAtransfer wrote:Depending on how you approached your PS the first time around, it could be rather similar or it could be drastically different when applying to transfer. With my PS for applying to law school originally, I tried to really highlight my writing ability as best I could, as well as relate an experience that would make me "stand out" to adcoms. With my transfer PS, I took a very different approach by simply trying to convey (1) my strength as a student during my first year; (2) why I wanted to transfer; and (3) why school X was the perfect place for me to end up.


Yeah, that's a strong point and I should have mentioned that. I feel like 1L REALLY improved my writing ability. I felt like I was an awesome writer (grammatical & otherwise) prior to law school, but man have I improved. Rewriting completely might not be a bad idea at all. Thanks.

UCLAtransfer wrote:This probably sounds like a ton of stuff for like a two page statement, but somehow I was able to craft it into something I thought flowed and was pretty compelling. Others may disagree, but I based on my experience I think having a strong, targeted PS can be HUGE for transfer success.


About this - quick couple of questions. Did you transfer OUT OF or INTO the UCLA law school? I only ask b/c of your username. Generall ~2 pages (but no more) is the consensus for PS' but that certainly can be hard.. do you think this true of transfers as well? I do, so I was just wondering. Also, what do you mean that PS had a huge success for you?? I was under the impression that the "softs" mattered far, FAR less than when one was doing a first-time application process? Very curious about this, because I'm pretty clueless about transferring.. annd because it'll help the OP too, of course. (lol @ OP: sorry for thread hijacking haha)

sethc
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:56 am

random5483 wrote:There is not enough transfer related data for people to disagree agree with you.


Not a grammar nazi, but put the Property down brotha! That stuff can kill a man if he reads it too much :)

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megaTTTron
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby megaTTTron » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:09 am

Boom. My two cents.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=118669

sethc
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:41 am

megaTTTron wrote:Boom. My two cents.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=118669



WHOAAA.. is name-dropping allowed on TLS? If so, I need some help picking up that one you just dropped hahah jk - I read all of your article and loved it. It gave me some helpful tips and advice, actually.

icydash
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:30 am

Wow. Thanks everyone! This has been really useful stuff.

I generally had thought I should be mentioning the things you guys all have been speaking about, but it's good reinforcement to hear you all say it =)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:02 pm

megaTTTron wrote:Boom. My two cents.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=118669

1) Mad props to megaTTTron for writing all that out. It's good to read different opinions, but if you're not reading his, you're missing out. Anything he writes is credited.

2) My original law school PS was unusual because it did not mention the word "law" or the phrase "law school" at all. I wrote a biographical PS to highlight what I would bring to a law school in terms of perspective and experience, instead of focusing on why I wanted to attend law school or what I planned to do with a law degree. This worked for me because my background and experiences are my biggest selling points. I gave a very open-ended conclusion that I was ready for any challenge now, letting adcomms infer that I considered law school my next big challenge from the fact that I'd applied there.

I used a similar approach when transferring. I essentially rewrote my original PS to make it tighter and cleaner and shorter, added (very briefly) how 1L had added to those experiences and perspectives, and then closed by describing how those experiences have led to new goals and (again, briefly) stating why the school I was transferring to would help me achieve them.

I believe it's important to tell schools why you want to go there, but I don't believe you have to spend your whole PS on it. If you have things about yourself that are worth describing, describe them, sell yourself, show them why they should take you as much as why you want to go to them. For many people, 1L success will be their strongest selling point, so both of those are the same. However, I wrote a 2-page PS where I only talked about law school and transferring in the final half-page of the essay. I tied it all together, but I made sure they didn't just know why I wanted to go there; I made sure they also knew why they should choose me.

The last thing I will say is that, like regular PSes, I think a transfer PS is best if it has a single coherent theme. For transferring, that theme should be what you and the transfer school have to offer each other. You don't have to just sit there and describe your activities or your 1L performance, though. They have your resume and your transcript and will read them; your PS needs to be about why. That's something I can tell also motivated megaTTTron's approach, since the things he names he talked about were his way of explaining why for his situation.

You should convey some reason why going there helps your ambitions or goals, but you can also spend some (in my case, the bulk of) your time on selling yourself, even if your best selling points involve things outside of law school or your 1L performance.

icydash
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:22 pm

I've begun to write some of my personal statement based on everyone's suggestions. Would anyone with experience mind taking a look?

I'm not the best writer (engineering background) haha...

sethc
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:25 pm

icydash wrote:I've begun to write some of my personal statement based on everyone's suggestions. Would anyone with experience mind taking a look?

I'm not the best writer (engineering background) haha...



Granted I'm at a low-tier school & had a shitty LSAT, I'd love to take a look if you wouldn't mind. Law school notwithstanding, I'm a pretty good writer & I at least know what adcomm's are/aren't looking for. Totally up to you though.

Danteshek
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby Danteshek » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:06 pm

Mine was really short, about 2 paragraphs and half a page. Unless you have a complicated situation, there should not be much to say.

random5483
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby random5483 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:19 pm

sethc wrote:
random5483 wrote:There is not enough transfer related data for people to disagree agree with you.


Not a grammar nazi, but put the Property down brotha! That stuff can kill a man if he reads it too much :)


I did mean disagree.

Basically there is so little transfer related information out there that one should not disagree with his quoted statement. It never hurts to write a targeted personal statement.

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patrickd139
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:24 pm

Danteshek wrote:Mine was really short, about 2 paragraphs and half a page. Unless you have a complicated situation, there should not be much to say.

+1. I wrote one page and covered the following: 1) I knew what I was giving up by transferring and it was still worth it, 2) law school is a professional school, so national job prospects are important, and 3) ties (if any) to the area.

icydash
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:32 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Mine was really short, about 2 paragraphs and half a page. Unless you have a complicated situation, there should not be much to say.

+1. I wrote one page and covered the following: 1) I knew what I was giving up by transferring and it was still worth it, 2) law school is a professional school, so national job prospects are important, and 3) ties (if any) to the area.

If you guys (and anyone else who transferred) can post what school they transferred to along with what they wrote (generally, like the above quote), it would be helpful. Maybe we'll see a common thread between kinds of essays that help gain admission to certain schools.

It sounds like people generally stayed away from "why law school" (in general), and instead just focused more on "why law school X"
Last edited by icydash on Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 pm

icydash wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Mine was really short, about 2 paragraphs and half a page. Unless you have a complicated situation, there should not be much to say.

+1. I wrote one page and covered the following: 1) I knew what I was giving up by transferring and it was still worth it, 2) law school is a professional school, so national job prospects are important, and 3) ties (if any) to the area.

If you guys (and anyone else who transferred) can post what school they transferred to along with what they wrote, it would be helpful. Maybe we'll see a common thread between kinds of essays that help gain admission to certain schools.

It sounds like people generally stayed away from "why law school" (in general), and instead just focused more on "why law school X"

Not sure if you "should" stay away from 'why law school,' but I did. Accepted to GULC (EA, deferred), SMU. Dinged at UT.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:40 pm

icydash wrote:It sounds like people generally stayed away from "why law school" (in general), and instead just focused more on "why law school X"

I think this is correct. You're not trying to say why law school because you're already in law school. Presumably you've already answered that question. What they need to know is, why their law school, especially why over your current one.

Danteshek
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby Danteshek » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:24 am

I need to transfer for one simple reason. My background in the asset management industry, coupled with my experience this summer working for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C., will allow me to market myself effectively to law firms with securities and white collar practices. The only missing piece is a more highly respected law school on my resume. Upon graduation, my first choice is to go to Washington D.C. to work for the SEC. My second choice is to work for a large firm in a securities, white collar or business litigation practice. Although I believe the SEC will consider me even if I do not transfer (since they hired me this summer), many corporate law firms do not (or very rarely) hire students from Southwestern. Also, Southwestern has very few full time professors in corporate law. Adjuncts teach most of the upper division courses. Access to the Loyola corporate law faculty and expanded course offerings will greatly enhance my law school experience.
Thank you for your consideration.



Edit: for what it's worth, my experience has been better. I made law review at Loyola and have a great advisor for my Note on the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. I'm also taking Business Planning from the guy who wrote the book.

icydash
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:46 pm

Danteshek wrote:I need to transfer for one simple reason. My background in the asset management industry, coupled with my experience this summer working for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C., will allow me to market myself effectively to law firms with securities and white collar practices. The only missing piece is a more highly respected law school on my resume. Upon graduation, my first choice is to go to Washington D.C. to work for the SEC. My second choice is to work for a large firm in a securities, white collar or business litigation practice. Although I believe the SEC will consider me even if I do not transfer (since they hired me this summer), many corporate law firms do not (or very rarely) hire students from Southwestern. Also, Southwestern has very few full time professors in corporate law. Adjuncts teach most of the upper division courses. Access to the Loyola corporate law faculty and expanded course offerings will greatly enhance my law school experience.
Thank you for your consideration.



Edit: for what it's worth, my experience has been better. I made law review at Loyola and have a great advisor for my Note on the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. I'm also taking Business Planning from the guy who wrote the book.

Cool -- My personal statement is about this length right now, which is about 3/4 of a page. You found something this short to be enough?

keg411
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby keg411 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:48 pm

megaTTTron wrote:Boom. My two cents.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=118669


Very helpful :)

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:41 pm

Danteshek wrote:I need to transfer for one simple reason. My background in the asset management industry, coupled with my experience this summer working for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C., will allow me to market myself effectively to law firms with securities and white collar practices. The only missing piece is a more highly respected law school on my resume. Upon graduation, my first choice is to go to Washington D.C. to work for the SEC. My second choice is to work for a large firm in a securities, white collar or business litigation practice. Although I believe the SEC will consider me even if I do not transfer (since they hired me this summer), many corporate law firms do not (or very rarely) hire students from Southwestern. Also, Southwestern has very few full time professors in corporate law. Adjuncts teach most of the upper division courses. Access to the Loyola corporate law faculty and expanded course offerings will greatly enhance my law school experience.
Thank you for your consideration.



Edit: for what it's worth, my experience has been better. I made law review at Loyola and have a great advisor for my Note on the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. I'm also taking Business Planning from the guy who wrote the book.


This is what you used as your PS?

Danteshek
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby Danteshek » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:33 am

Yep.

icydash
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby icydash » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:51 am

Danteshek wrote:Yep.

Can I ask where you transferred to and what your GPA was when you tried to transfer?

That PS seems overly...blunt. I would be surprised if they allowed a transfer just because the person "wants a better name on their resume."

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transfer personal statements

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:09 am

icydash wrote:That PS seems overly...blunt.

Anyone who takes advice from a guy with a flipping-the-bird avatar should expect nothing less.




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