Transfer PS (Take 2)

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
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 4:08 pm

Ok, so I totally re-wrote my PS today to incorporate in people's suggestions. Among them were

-Elaborate more on what "family circumstances" are leading me to transfer
-Take out the fluff and be more direct/to the point
-Be more specific about what I like about the new school and why I wish to attend that school in particular
-Don't talk so much about my old school, or sound apologetic for leaving

Once again, any and all comments are appreciated. Thanks:


I am a lifelong resident of the X area [location of new law school], and it has long been my intention to attend law school and secure employment close to home. However, I chose to attend [Old Law School] because my fiancé had secured a position in [area of old law school], and we decided that it would be best to remain in close proximity to one another. Although her position ultimately fell through, she recently secured a position in the X area. [New Law School] has long been my top choice institution for law school, and I hope to return home and continue my legal education in the vibrant [New Law School] community.

I have a strong interest in labor and employment law and I hope to take advantage of [New Law School’s] extensive course offerings and clinical opportunities in this area. Through [New Law School’s] Center for Labor and Employment Law, I will have access to conferences, workshops, and unparalleled networking opportunities within the employment law community. I also hope to participate in the Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic to apply my passion for employment law in the [location of new law school] community. I am also particularly excited to learn from Professor John Smith and hear of his experience as the Chief Reporter for the Restatement Third of Employment Law.

As a student of hispanic descent, I hope to continue my long history of community service through [New Law School’s] pro bono program. As an undergraduate in [city X], I organized an extensive community service program in which members sought out victims of employment discrimination in hispanic communities. [New Law School]’s close access to a vibrant and expansive hispanic population allows me to continue my service through both clinical and pro bono work.

it has long been my dream to study law in the X area in pursuit of my ultimate goal of working in employment litigation. Now that I have the ability to return home, I hope to join the vibrant [New Law School] community as I continue to further my legal education.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 4:13 pm

Just a sidenote, but I plan to add in a tiny bit more detail in the first paragraph explaining the circumstances leading to why I'm transferring, and also explaining that I very much enjoyed my 1L experience. But it will definitely be brief.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 11:08 pm

Anyone?

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby specialblend35 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:37 pm

I'll bite.

In my opinion, this is a totally safe, middle of the road, forgettable PS. I know some people think that the content of your PS doesn't really matter; as long as it is grammatically correct and addresses each specific school's prompt then you're good to go. If you adhere to that school of thought, I suppose this is fine. Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing is really great about it either. It's sufficient, but not outstanding. I finished reading it and went, meh... chances are an admissions officer who is reading dozens of these at once will react similarly.

If you're looking to put together an outstanding PS, one that really catches admissions officers' eyes, then I suggest figuring out a way to liven this up.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Tue May 31, 2011 11:40 pm

specialblend35 wrote:I'll bite.

In my opinion, this is a totally safe, middle of the road, forgettable PS. I know some people think that the content of your PS doesn't really matter; as long as it is grammatically correct and addresses each specific school's prompt then you're good to go. If you adhere to that school of thought, I suppose this is fine. Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing is really great about it either. It's sufficient, but not outstanding. I finished reading it and went, meh... chances are an admissions officer who is reading dozens of these at once will react similarly.

If you're looking to put together an outstanding PS, one that really catches admissions officers' eyes, then I suggest figuring out a way to liven this up.


I get what you are saying, but I'm sort of clueless as to how to do this. Isn't a transfer PS supposed to be much more barebones than a PS for initial admission (i.e. just convey why I want to transfer, and what I plan to get out of it). I'd imagine that most transfer PS's lack much memorable spice. Is there something else I was supposed to talk about but didn't? Or are you saying to just find a way to dress up my actual reasons for transferring?

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby specialblend35 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:02 am

kaiser wrote:
specialblend35 wrote:I'll bite.

In my opinion, this is a totally safe, middle of the road, forgettable PS. I know some people think that the content of your PS doesn't really matter; as long as it is grammatically correct and addresses each specific school's prompt then you're good to go. If you adhere to that school of thought, I suppose this is fine. Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing is really great about it either. It's sufficient, but not outstanding. I finished reading it and went, meh... chances are an admissions officer who is reading dozens of these at once will react similarly.

If you're looking to put together an outstanding PS, one that really catches admissions officers' eyes, then I suggest figuring out a way to liven this up.


I get what you are saying, but I'm sort of clueless as to how to do this. Isn't a transfer PS supposed to be much more barebones than a PS for initial admission (i.e. just convey why I want to transfer, and what I plan to get out of it). I'd imagine that most transfer PS's lack much memorable spice. Is there something else I was supposed to talk about but didn't? Or are you saying to just find a way to dress up my actual reasons for transferring?


A lot of PSs probably lack 'memorable spice'...not just ones for transfer students. They're difficult, frustrating things to write, I know.

I think a PS, for regular admission or transfer, is supposed to be an exemplary piece of your writing. Your reasons for wanting to transfer are fine, and I don't think it's necessary to expand on this. What I'm saying is to make this a more engaging, lively piece of writing, to the extent that is possible given your life experiences and motivations for transferring.

I think the amount of effort you should spend making further edits to this depends on the extent to which you are a "lock" (if there is such a thing) at the schools you're trying to transfer to. If you're in the T3 trying to crack the T14, this needs a LOT of work. If you're top 20 trying to transfer into the T14 with top 5% grades, you're probably in good shape as it is. Basically, if you're applying to schools where, with your numbers, your PS could be outcome-determinative, then you'll want to make edits accordingly.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:08 am

specialblend35 wrote:
kaiser wrote:
specialblend35 wrote:I'll bite.

In my opinion, this is a totally safe, middle of the road, forgettable PS. I know some people think that the content of your PS doesn't really matter; as long as it is grammatically correct and addresses each specific school's prompt then you're good to go. If you adhere to that school of thought, I suppose this is fine. Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing is really great about it either. It's sufficient, but not outstanding. I finished reading it and went, meh... chances are an admissions officer who is reading dozens of these at once will react similarly.

If you're looking to put together an outstanding PS, one that really catches admissions officers' eyes, then I suggest figuring out a way to liven this up.


I get what you are saying, but I'm sort of clueless as to how to do this. Isn't a transfer PS supposed to be much more barebones than a PS for initial admission (i.e. just convey why I want to transfer, and what I plan to get out of it). I'd imagine that most transfer PS's lack much memorable spice. Is there something else I was supposed to talk about but didn't? Or are you saying to just find a way to dress up my actual reasons for transferring?


A lot of PSs probably lack 'memorable spice'...not just ones for transfer students. They're difficult, frustrating things to write, I know.

I think a PS, for regular admission or transfer, is supposed to be an exemplary piece of your writing. Your reasons for wanting to transfer are fine, and I don't think it's necessary to expand on this. What I'm saying is to make this a more engaging, lively piece of writing, to the extent that is possible given your life experiences and motivations for transferring.

I think the amount of effort you should spend making further edits to this depends on the extent to which you are a "lock" (if there is such a thing) at the schools you're trying to transfer to. If you're in the T3 trying to crack the T14, this needs a LOT of work. If you're top 20 trying to transfer into the T14 with top 5% grades, you're probably in good shape as it is. Basically, if you're applying to schools where, with your numbers, your PS could be outcome-determinative, then you'll want to make edits accordingly.



Ok, so maybe weave a little more narrative about my personal experiences and story into the whole thing? Just as an aside, I also plan to include a diversity statement that covers the particular experience that got me interested in employment law (more proper for a diversity statement since it involves activism in the hispanic community and wouldn't really be proper for the PS itself).

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby specialblend35 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:15 am

kaiser wrote: Just as an aside, I also plan to include a diversity statement that covers the particular experience that got me interested in employment law (more proper for a diversity statement since it involves activism in the hispanic community and wouldn't really be proper for the PS itself).


I completely disagree. This is a perfect topic to use as a hook. First impressions are important! Lead with a compelling anecdote about your experience as a community activist and how that planted the seeds for your interest in Employment Law...then transition to why you want to transfer because they're better at employment law than your current school blah blah blah. I think you should use some other topic for your diversity statement if you still choose to include one.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby kaiser » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:20 am

So then the situation with my girlfriend should just be a secondary reason to bolster the primary reason (I.e. better opportunities in employment law)?

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby specialblend35 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:28 am

I think they're both important reasons. I think the whole community activist/employment law angle is a better primary reason, as far as your PS is concerned.

I think all you have to do is add two or so paragraphs at the beginning that revolve around an anecdote or something else interesting you can think of to write about, then make sure it transitions smoothly to what you've already written, and then you're pretty much all set. That was the basic structure of my PS: Interesting anecdote -> link to why i went to law school -> why im trying to transfer schools and how the transfer school will better help me reach my goals. Figure out a way to work the fiance in there somewhere/how, but don't make that the main thrust of your motivation to transfer.

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soaponarope
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby soaponarope » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:32 am

I like the no bullshit, straight to the point PS. I can't imagine having to read over a hundred "it was August 6th, 2010 and I was blah blah blah." Law trained readers want you to get to the point and get to it fast. OP's PS does that. I want to transfer to X school because of X reason.


It still needs some work though...

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:35 am

specialblend, are you a 0L?

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: Transfer PS (Take 2)

Postby specialblend35 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:27 pm

keg411 wrote:specialblend, are you a 0L?


nope




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