Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

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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How did you perform this cycle?

Much better than my numbers
7
12%
Better than my numbers
20
34%
At my numbers
19
32%
Below my numbers
9
15%
Far below my numbers
4
7%
 
Total votes: 59

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:58 pm

If they do actually care about learning how you're awesome in the PS, that's where I made my mistake. I wrote pretty much exclusively about why I wanted to transfer to X school and what my plans are.

canesfan1986
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby canesfan1986 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:00 pm

FlanSolo wrote:
fatduck wrote:
canesfan1986 wrote:Sure, but don't transfers perform well at their new schools competing against those same high LSAT people?

yea, because they're gunners.


This, and I think three other things. First, I would not be surprised to find out that a good number of transfers were either splitters or didn't gun for the LSAT, and gunned in law school. I definitely fit this description, and I bet a lot of you do too. Second, it doesn't seem like schools let in transfers who are wildly out of their league, and given the variability in the LSAT anyway, it shouldn't be such a huge surprise for transfers to do well. Third, isn't it generally easier after 1L because of more forgiving curves and reduced gunning overall?


I assume, though I'm not certain, that most, if not all black letter courses are graded on a curve. Evidence, for example, is a supposedly difficult course that most people take. I'm sure there are others. Unless you don't care and are just padding a fresh GPA, I would assume you have to beat the T14's native students to do well.

09042014
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:00 pm

fatduck wrote:
canesfan1986 wrote:Sure, but don't transfers perform well at their new schools competing against those same high LSAT people?

yea, because they're gunners.


Some do well, some don't.

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fatduck
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby fatduck » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:01 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
fatduck wrote:
canesfan1986 wrote:Sure, but don't transfers perform well at their new schools competing against those same high LSAT people?

yea, because they're gunners.


Some do well, some don't.

to be fair this is also true of gunners

canesfan1986
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby canesfan1986 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:02 pm

fatduck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
fatduck wrote:
canesfan1986 wrote:Sure, but don't transfers perform well at their new schools competing against those same high LSAT people?

yea, because they're gunners.


Some do well, some don't.

to be fair this is also true of gunners


lol

PlessFightsFire
Posts: 84
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby PlessFightsFire » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:08 pm

I'm still confused about gunners. I did well and transferred am I therefore a gunner? I almost never raised my hand and spent all class looking at the internet.

canesfan1986
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby canesfan1986 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:09 pm

PlessFightsFire wrote:I'm still confused about gunners. I did well and transferred am I therefore a gunner? I almost never raised my hand and spent all class looking at the internet.


You can't be a gunner if you don't gun. Sorry, you are disqualified.

PlessFightsFire
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby PlessFightsFire » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:14 pm

Damn

transfer dilemma
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby transfer dilemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:14 pm

FlanSolo wrote:
transfer dilemma wrote:The funny thing is I think that employment works similarly, though I'm definitely not the expert. You have to have the grades to make it to the call back, but once you're there, it's all about personality and intangibles. There's probably no marked difference between someone who was #4 and someone who was #6 in terms of ability to attain full time legal employment. I don't think much of the variance between number based expected outcomes for transfer admissions and actual outcomes will be explained by employment prediction.


I think you raise a number of good points here, but the clear difference is that for interviews you actually have to interview. Not to mention this person is partly deciding if they want to give you money and spend 60 hours a week with you. The admissions officer's job is very different because primarily they want to know if you are a good addition to the student body (academics first, of course) and because personality is so much harder to gauge on a resume than in person.

I don't think this observation greatly undermines your point, but it's definitely the case that the "softs" that interest employers and admissions officers are different. For example, an employer looks at your softs to see what they may indicate about your prospects with them, while an admissions officer looks at your softs with more of an eye to how "interesting" they are. I don't think this the most earth shattering point, but I think transfer students should keep in mind that it may be more beneficial to fit a certain archetype the school has in mind than to have what an employer would view as strong softs. Obviously, there's not much a transfer can do about that other than to realize they exist and adjust expectations accordingly and apply to as many schools as possible.


I agree with you here. To clarify, I meant that schools are not going to consider grades above all else in order to ensure that their transfers find legal employment, because the difference to an employer between two similar grades probably won’t be determinate.

Also, I think you’re totally right that schools are looking at how interesting you are. Schools are getting the cream of the crop either way, so they have to find some kind of ground to distinguish them on. With the pressure off from US News, I think schools get to do the kind of holistic admissions that I bet they would like to do in regular admissions but can’t.

FlanSolo
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby FlanSolo » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:15 pm

PlessFightsFire wrote:I'm still confused about gunners. I did well and transferred am I therefore a gunner? I almost never raised my hand and spent all class looking at the internet.


Sorry, I meant "gun" as in "work hard." I imagine most people in my section thought I was an idiot, because I did roughly the same thing, and was not very well prepared for cold calls.

09042014
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:38 pm

PlessFightsFire wrote:I'm still confused about gunners. I did well and transferred am I therefore a gunner? I almost never raised my hand and spent all class looking at the internet.


Not all transfers are gunners, but most are. It takes a combination of good grades and no friends to transfer.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby mileslibertatis » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:40 pm

The poll at the top looks suspiciously like a bell curve.

transfer dilemma
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby transfer dilemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:41 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:If they do actually care about learning how you're awesome in the PS, that's where I made my mistake. I wrote pretty much exclusively about why I wanted to transfer to X school and what my plans are.


Could be. My personal statement definitely focused more on me and less on the school (though there was a good chunk about the school/future). I also leaned very heavily on the sample PSes from the TLS guide (i.e. used a narrative style format, vignette, etc.).

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:45 pm

transfer dilemma wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:If they do actually care about learning how you're awesome in the PS, that's where I made my mistake. I wrote pretty much exclusively about why I wanted to transfer to X school and what my plans are.


Could be. My personal statement definitely focused more on me and less on the school (though there was a good chunk about the school/future). I also leaned very heavily on the sample PSes from the TLS guide (i.e. used a narrative style format, vignette, etc.).


Damn. Should have had you look over my PS, after all :lol:

shock259
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby shock259 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Not all transfers are gunners, but most are. It takes a combination of good grades and no friends to transfer.


Lol'd cause it's true. Yay for us transfers.

Anyway, interesting thread. I've learned that the transfer cycle is MUCH less predictable than the normal admission cycle. I got into schools that were serious reaches and I honestly don't know why/how. People with better grades than me from better schools were dinged.

Pure conjecture, but I would guess that the admissions committees try to place an emphasis on admitting people that have he types of softs that employers will value. I'm thinking work experience and "drive" (which may be evidenced through personal statement).

That's the only reason I can come up with as to why my cycle was better than expected.

Or maybe it's just luck of the draw.
Last edited by shock259 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

transfer dilemma
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby transfer dilemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:21 pm

shock259 wrote:Or maybe it's just luck of the draw.


This is what I keep coming back to. What I've gathered so far is that the essential points of transferring (in no particular order after #2) are:

1. Come from the T14. Definitely seemed to be given some weight.

2. Have the grades. Most important but not always enough.

3. Be able to present your background and experiences in an interesting way in your PS.

4. Undergraduate grades and school may be part of the consideration as well. Nothing you can do about that now.

5. Have good letters of recommendation.

6. Have a big headshot so you can take up more space on the dartboard.

There are more, but it feels like trying to quantify the unquantifiable. Overall, I would just say get the grades and do your best on everything the school asks for. Completely useless advice of course, but sometimes there just aren't any easy roads.

Some things that don't seem to matter:

1. Time you applied (early v. late)

2. Minute differences in grades/class ranks between similarly ranked schools.

aca0260
Posts: 137
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby aca0260 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:30 pm

I can't stress this enough: the fascination with class rank is not the only measurement. Schools are MUCH more likely to admit someone with a 3.7 Top 12% than a 3.5 Top 5%. Bottom line, if you go to a school with a low curve you're screwed. Also, going to a school with a huge 1L class will boost your rank but it won't make up for a transcript that isn't littered with As. Bottom line, GPA is much more important than Arrow's post makes out to be.

Skyblaze
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby Skyblaze » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:08 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:The poll at the top looks suspiciously like a bell curve.


Sherlock is right.

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fatduck
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby fatduck » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:08 pm

aca0260 wrote:I can't stress this enough: the fascination with class rank is not the only measurement. Schools are MUCH more likely to admit someone with a 3.7 Top 12% than a 3.5 Top 5%. Bottom line, if you go to a school with a low curve you're screwed. Also, going to a school with a huge 1L class will boost your rank but it won't make up for a transcript that isn't littered with As. Bottom line, GPA is much more important than Arrow's post makes out to be.

this is probably true. there's a reason TTTs have ridiculously low medians.

Xferr
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby Xferr » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:11 pm

I think i did a bit better than my numbers, but still waiting on a few decisions (which I left pending just out of curiosity)

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lnllnl
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby lnllnl » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:26 pm

aca0260 wrote:I can't stress this enough: the fascination with class rank is not the only measurement. Schools are MUCH more likely to admit someone with a 3.7 Top 12% than a 3.5 Top 5%. Bottom line, if you go to a school with a low curve you're screwed. Also, going to a school with a huge 1L class will boost your rank but it won't make up for a transcript that isn't littered with As. Bottom line, GPA is much more important than Arrow's post makes out to be.


That being said, you also need some sort of class rank or percentage band. My school, a DC TTTT, does not rank at all. (We also curve to a B-/C+ but don't publish our curve). My buddy and I, (3.94 & 3.64, respectively) both got dinged by GWU, while the transfer stats document shows that a CA TTTT got in with a 3.27 but was top 1% in their class. On the transfer yahoo group, there's a NC TTTT with a 3.190 but ranked 37/125 who also got in.

My other thought was that because we're a local TTTT, they may look at our program even more negatively than other TTTT's.

transfer dilemma
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby transfer dilemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:34 pm

aca0260 wrote:I can't stress this enough: the fascination with class rank is not the only measurement. Schools are MUCH more likely to admit someone with a 3.7 Top 12% than a 3.5 Top 5%. Bottom line, if you go to a school with a low curve you're screwed. Also, going to a school with a huge 1L class will boost your rank but it won't make up for a transcript that isn't littered with As. Bottom line, GPA is much more important than Arrow's post makes out to be.


Is there any evidence of this other than your assertion that this is the case? I think adcomms are probably aware that GPAs are not directly comparable to other schools. The only way I could see GPA having an impact in itself is if your GPA compares favorably to the GPAs of past applicants from your school. Looking at this spreadsheet, there might be some examples of higher GPAs with lower ranks performing better, but it's pretty much impossible to tell with such sparse data. The ranking breakdowns would probably have to be much more precise to notice any effect anyway.

fatduck wrote:this is probably true. there's a reason TTTs have ridiculously low medians.


I feel like the poor performance you would see from someone who is applying from a TTT probably has less to do with their low GPA due to a low forced curve and more to do with the fact that they're applying from a TTT...

aca0260
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby aca0260 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:44 pm

transfer dilemma wrote:
aca0260 wrote:I can't stress this enough: the fascination with class rank is not the only measurement. Schools are MUCH more likely to admit someone with a 3.7 Top 12% than a 3.5 Top 5%. Bottom line, if you go to a school with a low curve you're screwed. Also, going to a school with a huge 1L class will boost your rank but it won't make up for a transcript that isn't littered with As. Bottom line, GPA is much more important than Arrow's post makes out to be.


Is there any evidence of this other than your assertion that this is the case? I think adcomms are probably aware that GPAs are not directly comparable to other schools. The only way I could see GPA having an impact in itself is if your GPA compares favorably to the GPAs of past applicants from your school. Looking at this spreadsheet, there might be some examples of higher GPAs with lower ranks performing better, but it's pretty much impossible to tell with such sparse data. The ranking breakdowns would probably have to be much more precise to notice any effect anyway.

fatduck wrote:this is probably true. there's a reason TTTs have ridiculously low medians.


I feel like the poor performance you would see from someone who is applying from a TTT probably has less to do with their low GPA due to a low forced curve and more to do with the fact that they're applying from a TTT...


Several T14s have told me they care more about transcript than class rank - each explaining that they don't rank at their schools. I know, I was frustrated with this explanation because they are comparing schools with different grading scales. Regardless, there are examples of people who have gotten in because of high gpa's and vice versa. For example, I believe MegaTTTron got into Chicago with a Top 12% rank; however, the GPA was like a 3.8+. Bottom line, a 3.7 GPA Top 10% looks better than a 3.5 Top 10%.

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taxnstuff
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby taxnstuff » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:06 am

lnllnl wrote:My other thought was that because we're a local TTTT, they may look at our program even more negatively than other TTTT's.



This is true - during one meeting with admissions at xxx school my TTT was thought of higher than "xxxxx TTTT down the road that will take pretty much anyone with a pulse, which is where we get most of our transfer applications from"

mileslibertatis
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Re: Let's Figure this Transfer Thing Out

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Well, I was #1 with a 3.9 and I still underperformed.

Also another data point: I know someone who was #2 at a school in the high 40s who applied late (not after deadline, but way after most of us) and got H and Y both. And I know this for realsies, not just a rumor.




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