How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

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Gordon Comstock
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How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby Gordon Comstock » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:52 am

From searching previous posts about the transfer PS, a lot of people described it as being just like the one they did last year, only that they had more focus on their 1L and what they liked about the new school. When Xeoh posted his transfer PS (viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4353&start=538) his PS seemed to have that same literary quality that a lot of the regular PSs were supposed to have. But other descriptions of transfer PSs spent no time on describing individual experiences and focused solely on 1L accomplishments, background, and what they want out of the new school. I'm guessing whether to go have a transfer PS as literary (for lack of a better word) as the regular PS is a matter of personal preference, and it seems like the PS matters even less in the transfer application than in the regular one, but I was wondering what people's thoughts were on this.

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DeSimone
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby DeSimone » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:49 am

Many schools limit the length to ~1 single spaced page and ask the "why school X" and/or "why transfer" question, so there is not much room for the "literary" stuff.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:17 pm

It may depend upon the questions asked by each law school's transfer application. Broadly speaking, a transfer application personal statement should be different than one's original personal statement to reflect the changes brought about by one's first year law school experience that prompt the transfer request. This could address changing goals, superior academic performance despite non-stellar LSAT &/or GPA, changed family circumstances warranting a transfer, etc.
Very important to address why you want to transfer to that particular law school without denigrating your current law school.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:26 pm

I wrote a PS very similar to my original PS a year before, two pages, double spaced. From what I could tell, this is fine for most top schools.

I will say that one of the changes I made was to add in discussion of how my first year of law school had meant and why I wanted to transfer to the new school. I think it's critical to at least mention those things and show that you have reasons for transferring to that specific school. You can do what I did and write a broader PS about yourself that includes that, or you can do what others have done and write a PS that's all about your 1L year and your goals and why transferring up will help you accomplish them.

It's fairly open-ended, like the regular PS prompts usually are, but I think the more you show them you have a reason to go there, the more it helps you.

(Also, what CanadianWolf wrote above is true, especially the part about not denigrating your old school. You can talk about how transferring up would help you, but saying negative things about where you are now will set off red flags. Don't do it.)

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patrickd139
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:31 pm

First, I agree with everything VW said in his post, and cosign CanadianWolf's as well. That said, I wrote a significantly shorter PS for transfer admissions (think one page). It mainly centered around why I wanted to transfer. Nothing about how awesome law school or a legal education would be, or why I want to be a lawyer. They were also very, very tailored to each law school.

zomginternets
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby zomginternets » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Was gonna start a new thread, but thought I would tack on my question to this one since it's related.

How critical is it to mention your current school and your experiences there? I don't have much to write about my current school. Right now, my transfer PS kinda reads like a targeted 0L PS. I spend 2 paragraphs (2/3 of a page, double spaced) describing what got me interested in law school, another half page talking about specific career goals, and the remainder of the second page talking about how XYZ law school in particular would enable me to get there. My experiences at my current law school basically contributes nothing (positive) to my decision to transfer. I know this begs the question of why I went there in the first place if I didn't think it would help my career goals, and the short answer is basically the same as almost everyone else--my LSAT/UGPA wasn't good enough to get in anywhere better. It seems better just to leave it out than come up with some phony story.

Thoughts?

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patrickd139
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Re: How similar is the transfer PS to the regular PS?

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:15 pm

zomginternets wrote:Was gonna start a new thread, but thought I would tack on my question to this one since it's related.

How critical is it to mention your current school and your experiences there? I don't have much to write about my current school. Right now, my transfer PS kinda reads like a targeted 0L PS. I spend 2 paragraphs (2/3 of a page, double spaced) describing what got me interested in law school, another half page talking about specific career goals, and the remainder of the second page talking about how XYZ law school in particular would enable me to get there. My experiences at my current law school basically contributes nothing (positive) to my decision to transfer. I know this begs the question of why I went there in the first place if I didn't think it would help my career goals, and the short answer is basically the same as almost everyone else--my LSAT/UGPA wasn't good enough to get in anywhere better. It seems better just to leave it out than come up with some phony story.

Thoughts?

If anything, I would condense the 2/3 of a page you spend on why law school, unless it's compelling. Admissions officers know you want to go to law school because you're there; after your first year success, they know you're good at it. Again, if you have a unique reason, no harm in throwing it out there.

As for the "why you're there" question, you answered that one in the same sentence. There's no shame in describing what happened, just don't belabor the point. A single sentence saying as much would suffice.




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