Transfer PS (First Draft)

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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kaiser
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Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:20 am

The following is a real rough draft of my transfer PS. I'm just looking to find out if the tone is right, and whether it conveys what I am looking to convey. Please hit me with any advice, criticism, or anything else you have to say about it! Thanks so much for the help:


My first year at [Old Law School] was among the best experiences of my life. With each new challenge, I discovered within myself a level of determination far beyond what I thought possible. While at [Old Law School], I sharpened my writing, oral advocacy, and critical thinking skills. [Old Law School] also introduced me to the logical thought process that lawyers utilize to attack complex legal issues. However, the most important piece of advice I received over the past year was to trust my heart and intuition when in doubt. Given the recent development of certain family circumstances, both logic and intuition dictate that I return home to the [X] area.

I hope to continue my legal education at [New Law School] and further develop the skills I gained at [Old Law School]. I have a strong interest in employment law and I hope to take advantage of [New Law School’s] extensive course offerings and clinical opportunities in this area. In addition, I hope to become involved in the highly diverse community of [New Law School]. As a student of hispanic descent, I have a long history of service in my local hispanic community and [New Law School’s] superior location allows me to continue this service. Finally, [New Law School] provides unparalleled employment opportunities within the X area, where I hope to stay upon graduation.

I am confident that I will make a smooth transition into the [New Law School] community. As a student at [New Law School] I hope to engage the brilliant student body and experience a new level of academic rigor as I further my legal education. I look forward to learning from my new classmates and also sharing with them the knowledge I gained during my first year. Although I will miss the wonderful community of colleagues and friends I leave behind, I will form even stronger bonds as a student at [New Law School].

I learned a great amount during my first year of law school. However, I learned even more about my own capabilities, priorities, and goals. [New Law School] will provide me the opportunity to continue my academic success and pursue my ultimate goal of working in employment litigation in the X area. At the same time, I will be in close proximity to my family in light of recent circumstances. [New Law School] has long been my top choice institution for law school, and I hope for the chance to return home and join the vibrant [New Law School] community.

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Cupidity
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 31, 2011 12:22 am

This sucks. Write a new one.

kaiser
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:25 am

Cupidity wrote:This sucks. Write a new one.


Perhaps you can elaborate as to what I should change?

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MrKappus
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 31, 2011 12:27 am

(1) Show, don't tell. You're telling the adcom everything, and showing them nothing.
(2) Be specific. Wide-ranging platitudes likes "I honed my critical thinking and oral advocacy skills" don't make an impression on the reader.
(3) Revamp your explanation of your interest in new law school. Right now it seems you want to transfer because of employment law offerings (which every school has) and diversity (which nearly every school has). There have to be better reasons than this for you to want to pick up and move. Explain these reasons.
(4) Generally speaking: time for a rewrite. Toss this one out, or remake it to such a degree that its next iteration is extremely different.

kaiser
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:31 am

MrKappus wrote:(1) Show, don't tell. You're telling the adcom everything, and showing them nothing.
(2) Be specific. Wide-ranging platitudes likes "I honed my critical thinking and oral advocacy skills" don't make an impression on the reader.
(3) Revamp your explanation of your interest in new law school. Right now it seems you want to transfer because of employment law offerings (which every school has) and diversity (which nearly every school has). There have to be better reasons than this for you to want to pick up and move. Explain these reasons.
(4) Generally speaking: time for a rewrite. Toss this one out, or remake it to such a degree that its next iteration is extremely different.


Thank you. I will certainly work some more examples of things into it instead of speaking in generalities and "telling" more than showing. As for the interest in the new school, my problem is that my real reason for transferring is the personal family reasons. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't even be considering a transfer. Should I try and make that more clear? Or should I keep it minimized? The family thing supersedes any particular interest in the school itself aside from the particularly convenient employment prospects. I'm not sure what kind of things to just throw down there that could actually sound genuine in light of my real reasons.

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Cupidity
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 31, 2011 12:32 am

kaiser wrote:
My first year at [Old Law School] was among the best experiences of my life. With each new challenge, I discovered within myself a level of determination far beyond what I thought possible. While at [Old Law School], I sharpened my writing, oral advocacy, and critical thinking skills. [Old Law School] also introduced me to the logical thought process that lawyers utilize to attack complex legal issues. However, the most important piece of advice I received over the past year was to trust my heart and intuition when in doubt. Given the recent development of certain family circumstances, both logic and intuition dictate that I return home to the [X] area.

I hope to continue my legal education at [New Law School] and further develop the skills I gained at [Old Law School].
I have a strong interest in employment law and I hope to take advantage of [New Law School’s] extensive course offerings and clinical opportunities in this area. In addition, I hope to become involved in the highly diverse community of [New Law School]. As a student of hispanic descent, I have a long history of service in my local hispanic community and [New Law School’s] superior location allows me to continue this service. Finally, [New Law School] provides unparalleled employment opportunities within the X area, where I hope to stay upon graduation.

I am confident that I will make a smooth transition into the [New Law School] community. As a student at [New Law School] I hope to engage the brilliant student body and experience a new level of academic rigor as I further my legal education. I look forward to learning from my new classmates and also sharing with them the knowledge I gained during my first year. Although I will miss the wonderful community of colleagues and friends I leave behind, I will form even stronger bonds as a student at [New Law School].

I learned a great amount during my first year of law school. However, I learned even more about my own capabilities, priorities, and goals. [New Law School] will provide me the opportunity to continue my academic success and pursue my ultimate goal of working in employment litigation in the X area. At the same time
, I will be in close proximity to my family in light of recent circumstances. [New Law School] has long been my top choice institution for law school, and I hope for the chance to return home and join the vibrant [New Law School] community.


The struck out portions are bland over-generalizations that are patronizing at best. It is fluffy garbage and they will care about it as much as I did.

The three substantive comments you have made 1) Employment Law 2) Hispanic Community 3) Family, are too vague to show that you give a fuck. For 1), name a course, professor, secondary journal, etc. 2) Name a specific project the school is involved with, and a specific project you have been involved with, that way it shows you actually care about the cause, and the school, and you aren't just providing lip service. 3) I'm sure you want your privacy respected, but saying the word "family" and "situation" is insufficient to convince me you aren't lying.

kaiser
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:39 am

@cupidity

Thats another question I was curious about: to what extent do I actually explain the "family circumstances" I'm referring to. In reality, it is nothing serious. I wanted to stay in my home region for law school, but my gf was only able to line up a job where my current school is. But it fell through after I had already committed to attending the school. Now she finally has a job back home, which is where I wanted to be all along, and things would be very difficult if I stayed away from home for another 2 years (this is a very long term relationship). Sort of need to maximize my job prospects back at home, which my current school may not do for me. Thats pretty much the whole story on my "family circumstances", which I guess is more deceptive and vague a term than anything else as I have it currently used. I just don't know how to convey this or whether it is a good idea to convey at all.

As for your other suggestions, I will definitely do as you advise, and find more concrete and specific things to speak of. I just have no clue what this thing is supposed to say and how direct and concise it is supposed to be.
Last edited by kaiser on Tue May 31, 2011 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 31, 2011 12:42 am

kaiser wrote:@cupidity

Thats another question I was curious about: to what extent do I actually explain the "family circumstances" I'm referring to. In reality, it is nothing serious. I wanted to stay in my home region for law school, but my gf was only able to line up a job where my current school is. But it fell through after I had already committed to attending the school. Now she finally has a job back home, which is where I wanted to be all along, and things would be very difficult if I stayed away from home for another 2 years. Sort of need to maximize my job prospects back at home, which my current school may not do for me. Thats pretty much the whole story on my "family circumstances", which I guess is more deceptive and vague a term than anything else as I have it currently used. I just don't know how to convey this or whether it is a good idea to convey at all.


Sounds great turn it into a cohesive paragraph and you are solid for 1/2 of your PS. I'm of the opinion it's ok to lie and say "fiance" in these situations to boost your credibility and avoid saying "girlfriend" like we are twelve year olds. Some disagree with me on that, but honestly, whose gonna call you on it?

kaiser
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:46 am

Cupidity wrote:
kaiser wrote:@cupidity

Thats another question I was curious about: to what extent do I actually explain the "family circumstances" I'm referring to. In reality, it is nothing serious. I wanted to stay in my home region for law school, but my gf was only able to line up a job where my current school is. But it fell through after I had already committed to attending the school. Now she finally has a job back home, which is where I wanted to be all along, and things would be very difficult if I stayed away from home for another 2 years. Sort of need to maximize my job prospects back at home, which my current school may not do for me. Thats pretty much the whole story on my "family circumstances", which I guess is more deceptive and vague a term than anything else as I have it currently used. I just don't know how to convey this or whether it is a good idea to convey at all.


Sounds great turn it into a cohesive paragraph and you are solid for 1/2 of your PS. I'm of the opinion it's ok to lie and say "fiance" in these situations to boost your credibility and avoid saying "girlfriend" like we are twelve year olds. Some disagree with me on that, but honestly, whose gonna call you on it?


Wonderful. I was just afraid that people would read that and say "thats not compelling enough". I'll definitely re-write with this as a focal point, along with a more specific 2nd half about the things I desire in the new school. Thank you.

kaiser
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 12:52 am

Do you guys think that there really needs to be an intro and conclusion to bookend this thing, or should it be just directly to the point? (i.e. just start with something like "I originally chose Old Law School because X. Although I enjoyed my time there...")

run26.2
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Re: Transfer PS (First Draft)

Postby run26.2 » Tue May 31, 2011 1:16 am

kaiser wrote:Do you guys think that there really needs to be an intro and conclusion to bookend this thing, or should it be just directly to the point? (i.e. just start with something like "I originally chose Old Law School because X. Although I enjoyed my time there...")

To the point is much better. You don't have much space, so don't make your conclusion just a restatement of things you've already said. Paraphrase or just end with a statement about why you look forward to joining the new school while being complementary of said school.

Why do you keep talking about your old law school? You don't need to be apologetic in explaining yourself. Plus, you are wasting space talking about something they probably do not care that much about.

I liked your sentence about new school X long being one of your top choices. I would convey that sentiment from the outset. Take cupidity's advice and focus on offerings at the new school that are attractive to you and tell them how they help you better reach your goals. Throw in the family thing. Explain that you're from that region. Weave these things together to show that you want to go to the new school because you really want to work in that region and because they're strong in your field of interest and you can have a strong PS.




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