transfer possibilities

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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transfer possibilities

Postby coquettish » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:49 pm

Hello, all,

Just thought I would throw my hat in the ring to hear some thoughts on transfer possibilities. My long-term professional goal is to become a legal academic, which is why I have been encouraged to transfer. My two mentors at my current law school seem very optimistic about admission to Harvard (both studied there for their law degrees and one taught there/remains close with many of the faculty), but I (not surprisingly) am feeling a bit more skeptical.

I applied to slightly fewer than a dozen schools, ranging from Harvard and Yale to Georgetown and Michigan. I selected the list of schools under the guidance of one of my mentors based on which schools had faculty members with academic interests that overlapped with my own. I am the first in my family to attend graduate school, and, frankly, I wasn't sure of the exact number of schools to which I should submit applications. I understand that this may have been entirely overzealous; please do not feel impassioned to tell me so.

I am currently at a law school in the Boston area. The ranking of the schools falls into the ~25th position. I am ranked second in my section (there are three sections within the 1L class) with a GPA of a 3.94. This also places me within the top 5% of the overall 1L class. I hope I will be offered a position on Law Review, but that may not be especially relevant because all my applications have already been submitted. As far as pre-law school background goes, I attended an Ivy for undergrad (3.75/4.00) and spent two years working with a national teaching organization as a teacher. While teaching, I obtained an M. Ed. I published an article this year in the journal Signs, which took an interdisciplinary approach to a legal issue through a queer lens (my undergraduate and graduate work before law school were in continental philosophy and sexuality studies). The article was well-received by the journal committee. I was offered my second opportunity to publish this summer, writing a chapter of a book on American federalism that Oxford University will publish.

I received four letters of recommendation, two from my mentors (with whom I have very close relationships), one from the Dean of Intellectual Life at my current institution, and one from a younger faculty member who very generously asked whether he could write on my behalf. I do not know if this remains relevant, but my LSAT score was a 165. That score and my background earned me a scholarship of about three-quarters of the tuition at my current law school. I am not concerned about having to pay back loans. I have wanted to be an academic since I was very young, so that is my priority. I would like to teach in a city on the East Coast, so this is the market within which I will be competing for legal positions.

If more information is necessary, I am happy to supply it. Thank you, all, for your thoughts.
Last edited by coquettish on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: transfer possibilities

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:59 pm

Sounds as if BU might be interested in hiring you as an academic based on the recommendations given.

Where did you earn your MA degree ? Which Ivy ?

LSAT score is interesting but insignificant unless that was the best you were able to achieve with substantial effort. Nevertheless, law school academia is primarily concerned with your law school pedigree (Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia) & legal publications.


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Re: transfer possibilities

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:05 pm

Based on my knowledge (which isn't as vast as others here), you have a fair shot to get in anywhere. You have a strong shot at Harvard and certainly a fair shot at Yale or Stanford. From the consensus on here, Yale is the best school for academia but others will be able to give better advice on transferring. I don't know if it would be beneficial to you, if you do transfer, to stay in Boston at Harvard and try to keep your connections from your Boston law school. Others will be able to give much better advice on that.

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Re: transfer possibilities

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:23 pm

Connections matter as much in legal academia as they do anywhere, but I don't think the OP needs to stay in Boston to be able to maintain the academic connections with their school.The bigger issue will be that geographic mobility is extremely limited in academia, so targeting specific markets can be limiting in an already extremely difficult market, but that's looking a bit more down the road.

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