Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

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nontrad2014

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Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby nontrad2014 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:11 am

Part-time student in PNW at T-4 school. Looking at possible transfer to Stetson, FSU, or UF.

Currently in 2nd year (34 credits after this fall semester), but no class rank for part-time students. Using the school's grade distribution I am top 25-33%. GPA of 3.2. Should be top 25% after this semester

Local market is great for recent graduates, especially those looking to start a firm or enter small practice, like myself.

Would be happy practicing here or in Florida. My business is in Florida (lived there for many years and run it from here), so heading back there would allow better control.

Aside from running the business, I clerk with the DOJ, and a non-profit law firm and think tank. I have been working throughout my entire time in school, plus family, kids, etc.

Tuition and scholarships are not a factor (GI Bill/Vocational Rehab).

I know I want solo or small firm, and would like to head back to Florida and the beaches. I plan to practice admin law, but most likely part-time as I have residual income and a business to run/supplement my income.

Gracias for any insight or opinion.

mvp99

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby mvp99 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:17 am

nontrad2014 wrote:Part-time student in PNW at T-4 school. Looking at possible transfer to Stetson, FSU, or UF.

Currently in 2nd year (34 credits after this fall semester), but no class rank for part-time students. Using the school's grade distribution I am top 25-33%. GPA of 3.2. Should be top 25% after this semester

Local market is great for recent graduates, especially those looking to start a firm or enter small practice, like myself.

Would be happy practicing here or in Florida. My business is in Florida (lived there for many years and run it from here), so heading back there would allow better control.

Aside from running the business, I clerk with the DOJ, and a non-profit law firm and think tank. I have been working throughout my entire time in school, plus family, kids, etc.

Tuition and scholarships are not a factor (GI Bill/Vocational Rehab).

I know I want solo or small firm, and would like to head back to Florida and the beaches. I plan to practice admin law, but most likely part-time as I have residual income and a business to run/supplement my income.

Gracias for any insight or opinion.


How do you know you'll end up top 25%?

Transfer is probably easy and I don't think you need specific advice, just send a transfer app. What I think you should consider though is whether you would lose any scholarship by transferring. Where would you spend less money? I think that's what matters...
Last edited by mvp99 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

nontrad2014

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby nontrad2014 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:34 am

mvp99 wrote:
How do you know you'll end up top %25?

Transfer is probably easy and I don't think you need specific advice, just send a transfer app. What I think you should consider though is whether you would lose any scholarship by transferring. Where would you spend less money? I think that's what matters...


My three graded classes are strong for me. One is admin law (my comfort zone), another is a 1L class, and the last is an A or B class. So, I am guessing that I should see a bump, but that could always change. As is, I am only .04 away from top 1/4.

Money/costs would be about the same.

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hous

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby hous » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:11 pm

I was in a similar situation 3 years ago. I went to FIU for the first year and a half, was in the top 20%, worked a part time job since day 1. I transferred to FSU and had no regrets. Hardest part is making new friends and leaving your old buddies. Best advice I can give you is to just apply. Its not a difficult process and FSU takes in A LOT of transfers from the T2-T4 schools in Florida. UF is more selective and they don't take Spring transfers as far as I know. Don't transfer from a school like FIU to Stetson/Miami though because the tuition increase is not worth it imo. If you go to a school like Florida Coastal, Ave Marie, St. Thomas, Barry, or Cooley then apply everywhere. I would also apply to transfer to FIU because its a pretty well respected school in South Florida and the tuition is reasonable. Good luck!

jenjen1234

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby jenjen1234 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:33 pm

I do not know much about the schools you are looking to apply to but I can give you some pointers on the transfer system in general as I transferred from a Tier 4 [one that is not even ranked] to a T10 school.

In terms of the transfer process:

Get your apps ready early. Especially if you are doing some kind of work over the summer. I ended up doing mine after finals, but at that point I really just wanted to sleep and relax after a grueling first year. I think the best thing to do is prepare the PSs for those schools you are applying to before finals. Also get your letters of recommendation ready to go well before finals time- ask the professor and send the request through LSAC. Then after finals you can fill out the applications [it only takes a few minutes].

Make sure the personal statement for each school is tailored to that school and its programs. Look up journals, groups, centers etc. and pick one that you have some relevant background in, and write about why that center is important to you based on your background. The key point is stressing WHY you want to apply to THAT school. You cant just write a blanket PS and send it to all schools. It needs to be specifically tailored. Write about how you loved your first year experience, and how you really enjoyed your original school, but unfortunately, it doesnt give you the _______ you need to meet your future goals of _____. Give them a little background of what you did as a 1L like trial ad, moot court, maybe an interesting memo you wrote.

Grades Grades Grades. You are pretty much being evaluated based on your first year grades alone. any other softs really dont mean too much. So, yes, you are in top 25% now but you could bring that up significantly next semester. In my opinion, a lot of people slip in their second semester especially when they do very well in their first semester. The #5 ranked individual first semester at my original school ended up going down a lot, to about the top 20%. Over confidence is a killer, especially among law students who already have a superiority complex of sorts. I was around 18% my first semester and ended up doing better second semester leaving me in the top 5%. contrary to what most people say, it really isn't that difficult to end up on top. Just study, manage your time properly, don't procrastinate, read ahead, spend your weekends reading for the week and reviewing during the week, and use a TON of supplements and you will end up at the top. I went into my first year intending to transfer, and that fueled me pretty well.

Once you send out your applications, be sure to update your FAFSA and include all schools you are applying to right away. If you do this too late, you may not be able to transfer at all.

Make sure that you REALLY want to transfer. The application process itself isnt that hard, it is the transition to a very different institution that makes it difficult.

Things to think about before making the decision to transfer:

Transferring itself is very difficult. You have developed relationships with professors and other students already, and it will be difficult to forge bonds like that at your new school because everyone knows each other already. The professors may be very different from what you are accustomed to. I feel like the professors at my original institution were much better at "teaching" and in some ways held our hands. The different environment can seriously take a toll on your comfort level, which is really important in terms of how well you do after transferring.

Make sure to be on top of all deadlines after accepting a school. For example, the OCI process may be time sensitive because some schools do not make a transfer decision until very late, which may leave you out of a summer position.

Most importantly, you really need to weigh the pros and cons of the decision. After my first year I was offered a full ride plus other private scholarships, invited on to law review and journals, placed on moot court and trial ad. I am not going to lie to you, I sometimes regret the decision even though what I did was supposedly amazing. It is pretty hard adjusting, and the fact that I am so far away from home does not help at all [I know your situation may be different]. Do not look for a "sign" do not make a decision based on what your "heart" thinks is the right choice. Be 100% rational when deciding whether this is right for you.

You may want to check out "the art of the law school transfer" it has some good tips on the process and timeline and can be downloaded as an ebook. It is a pretty easy/quick read. Also check out the ABA 509 reports (google it), which can give you some statistics or numbers as to the institutions you intend on applying to and the gpas of others who transferred to those schools. The forms will help you develop realistic goals as to which schools to look at. Best of luck to you.

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nontrad2014

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby nontrad2014 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:11 am

Thanks, Jen.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:18 am

You shouldn't encounter any resistance when transferring to Stetson. Probably similar for FSU, but I'm not as sure about FSU as for Stetson. Hopefully you still qualify for resident tuition in Florida for UF & FSU.

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inchipwetrust

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby inchipwetrust » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:38 am

jenjen1234 wrote:I do not know much about the schools you are looking to apply to but I can give you some pointers on the transfer system in general as I transferred from a Tier 4 [one that is not even ranked] to a T10 school.

In terms of the transfer process:

Get your apps ready early. Especially if you are doing some kind of work over the summer. I ended up doing mine after finals, but at that point I really just wanted to sleep and relax after a grueling first year. I think the best thing to do is prepare the PSs for those schools you are applying to before finals. Also get your letters of recommendation ready to go well before finals time- ask the professor and send the request through LSAC. Then after finals you can fill out the applications [it only takes a few minutes].

Make sure the personal statement for each school is tailored to that school and its programs. Look up journals, groups, centers etc. and pick one that you have some relevant background in, and write about why that center is important to you based on your background. The key point is stressing WHY you want to apply to THAT school. You cant just write a blanket PS and send it to all schools. It needs to be specifically tailored. Write about how you loved your first year experience, and how you really enjoyed your original school, but unfortunately, it doesnt give you the _______ you need to meet your future goals of _____. Give them a little background of what you did as a 1L like trial ad, moot court, maybe an interesting memo you wrote.

Grades Grades Grades. You are pretty much being evaluated based on your first year grades alone. any other softs really dont mean too much. So, yes, you are in top 25% now but you could bring that up significantly next semester. In my opinion, a lot of people slip in their second semester especially when they do very well in their first semester. The #5 ranked individual first semester at my original school ended up going down a lot, to about the top 20%. Over confidence is a killer, especially among law students who already have a superiority complex of sorts. I was around 18% my first semester and ended up doing better second semester leaving me in the top 5%. contrary to what most people say, it really isn't that difficult to end up on top. Just study, manage your time properly, don't procrastinate, read ahead, spend your weekends reading for the week and reviewing during the week, and use a TON of supplements and you will end up at the top. I went into my first year intending to transfer, and that fueled me pretty well.

Once you send out your applications, be sure to update your FAFSA and include all schools you are applying to right away. If you do this too late, you may not be able to transfer at all.

Make sure that you REALLY want to transfer. The application process itself isnt that hard, it is the transition to a very different institution that makes it difficult.

Things to think about before making the decision to transfer:

Transferring itself is very difficult. You have developed relationships with professors and other students already, and it will be difficult to forge bonds like that at your new school because everyone knows each other already. The professors may be very different from what you are accustomed to. I feel like the professors at my original institution were much better at "teaching" and in some ways held our hands. The different environment can seriously take a toll on your comfort level, which is really important in terms of how well you do after transferring.

Make sure to be on top of all deadlines after accepting a school. For example, the OCI process may be time sensitive because some schools do not make a transfer decision until very late, which may leave you out of a summer position.

Most importantly, you really need to weigh the pros and cons of the decision. After my first year I was offered a full ride plus other private scholarships, invited on to law review and journals, placed on moot court and trial ad. I am not going to lie to you, I sometimes regret the decision even though what I did was supposedly amazing. It is pretty hard adjusting, and the fact that I am so far away from home does not help at all [I know your situation may be different]. Do not look for a "sign" do not make a decision based on what your "heart" thinks is the right choice. Be 100% rational when deciding whether this is right for you.

You may want to check out "the art of the law school transfer" it has some good tips on the process and timeline and can be downloaded as an ebook. It is a pretty easy/quick read. Also check out the ABA 509 reports (google it), which can give you some statistics or numbers as to the institutions you intend on applying to and the gpas of others who transferred to those schools. The forms will help you develop realistic goals as to which schools to look at. Best of luck to you.


I did pretty much the same as jenjen and I cosign her advice. Only additional advice I would give, which depends on your first semester grades, is to be aware of Early Action programs -- you're able able to apply/be accepted/deferred with only one semester of 1L grades. Chicago and GULC (not sure about others) have said early action programs if you change your mind about Florida and were looking to go T14. Best of luck!

nontrad2014

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby nontrad2014 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:38 am

inchipwetrust wrote:
jenjen1234 wrote:I do not know much about the schools you are looking to apply to but I can give you some pointers on the transfer system in general as I transferred from a Tier 4 [one that is not even ranked] to a T10 school.

In terms of the transfer process:

Get your apps ready early. Especially if you are doing some kind of work over the summer. I ended up doing mine after finals, but at that point I really just wanted to sleep and relax after a grueling first year. I think the best thing to do is prepare the PSs for those schools you are applying to before finals. Also get your letters of recommendation ready to go well before finals time- ask the professor and send the request through LSAC. Then after finals you can fill out the applications [it only takes a few minutes].

Make sure the personal statement for each school is tailored to that school and its programs. Look up journals, groups, centers etc. and pick one that you have some relevant background in, and write about why that center is important to you based on your background. The key point is stressing WHY you want to apply to THAT school. You cant just write a blanket PS and send it to all schools. It needs to be specifically tailored. Write about how you loved your first year experience, and how you really enjoyed your original school, but unfortunately, it doesnt give you the _______ you need to meet your future goals of _____. Give them a little background of what you did as a 1L like trial ad, moot court, maybe an interesting memo you wrote.

Grades Grades Grades. You are pretty much being evaluated based on your first year grades alone. any other softs really dont mean too much. So, yes, you are in top 25% now but you could bring that up significantly next semester. In my opinion, a lot of people slip in their second semester especially when they do very well in their first semester. The #5 ranked individual first semester at my original school ended up going down a lot, to about the top 20%. Over confidence is a killer, especially among law students who already have a superiority complex of sorts. I was around 18% my first semester and ended up doing better second semester leaving me in the top 5%. contrary to what most people say, it really isn't that difficult to end up on top. Just study, manage your time properly, don't procrastinate, read ahead, spend your weekends reading for the week and reviewing during the week, and use a TON of supplements and you will end up at the top. I went into my first year intending to transfer, and that fueled me pretty well.

Once you send out your applications, be sure to update your FAFSA and include all schools you are applying to right away. If you do this too late, you may not be able to transfer at all.

Make sure that you REALLY want to transfer. The application process itself isnt that hard, it is the transition to a very different institution that makes it difficult.

Things to think about before making the decision to transfer:

Transferring itself is very difficult. You have developed relationships with professors and other students already, and it will be difficult to forge bonds like that at your new school because everyone knows each other already. The professors may be very different from what you are accustomed to. I feel like the professors at my original institution were much better at "teaching" and in some ways held our hands. The different environment can seriously take a toll on your comfort level, which is really important in terms of how well you do after transferring.

Make sure to be on top of all deadlines after accepting a school. For example, the OCI process may be time sensitive because some schools do not make a transfer decision until very late, which may leave you out of a summer position.

Most importantly, you really need to weigh the pros and cons of the decision. After my first year I was offered a full ride plus other private scholarships, invited on to law review and journals, placed on moot court and trial ad. I am not going to lie to you, I sometimes regret the decision even though what I did was supposedly amazing. It is pretty hard adjusting, and the fact that I am so far away from home does not help at all [I know your situation may be different]. Do not look for a "sign" do not make a decision based on what your "heart" thinks is the right choice. Be 100% rational when deciding whether this is right for you.

You may want to check out "the art of the law school transfer" it has some good tips on the process and timeline and can be downloaded as an ebook. It is a pretty easy/quick read. Also check out the ABA 509 reports (google it), which can give you some statistics or numbers as to the institutions you intend on applying to and the gpas of others who transferred to those schools. The forms will help you develop realistic goals as to which schools to look at. Best of luck to you.


I did pretty much the same as jenjen and I cosign her advice. Only additional advice I would give, which depends on your first semester grades, is to be aware of Early Action programs -- you're able able to apply/be accepted/deferred with only one semester of 1L grades. Chicago and GULC (not sure about others) have said early action programs if you change your mind about Florida and were looking to go T14. Best of luck!


Thank you both. We have been looking at the decision as objectively as possible. While many may say not to take advice from strangers, I think that you all have offered sounds advice and understand where I (we as a family) are coming from. For that I am truly grateful.

If anyone cares to chime in see what you think.
Pros in staying put: I currently clerk for the state DOJ (stepping down in December), clerk with a non-profit firm doing the law I am passionate about (I work remotely so relocating is a non-issue), connected with local judges, attorneys, and because our state is the new "rec marijuana" state we have a new niche that I am exploring. We like it here, my wife was offered a residency position for her PhD in Nurse Practitioner with an awesome clinic, we bought a home, have two pit-bulls (amazing stereotype so we have to buy wherever we go), potentially have a gig lined up with the state legislature starting this spring, and also taking pro bono cases for another local non-profit that is doing amazing work for those in need of legal help. If we stay, post graduation, I will be starting a small firm. We also have young kids so location plays a huge role in our decision.

Neutral: I am interested in legislation and policy. Congress created a program for service members who are medically retired. That program holds and offers Congressional Aide positions to us. I have applied twice, been offered positions both times, but chose to stay in school. I am open to doing that post graduation.

Cons: Not sure if we will stay here long term. If the intent is to move on it is best to make that move now rather than graduate from a regional school with no connections outside Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Florida is where our business is, which I have been able to manage from here, but as it keeps growing being closer would be optimal, otherwise I may soon need someone to run it for me. My wife is debating two schools for her PhD. One is Georgetown, which will allow mostly distance learning, and the other is only distance learning. Both schools are the top in the country for her specialty. So, she doesn't need to be in DC for G-town, but it would give her the option of distance learning or in class. Leaving my connections would be lost, except that I would still have the one law firm I work for remotely and another is willing to take me on remotely (that cancels out the other pro bono non-profit I take cases for).

I have solid softs for transferring, if we go that route, will have about 45 credits after the spring semester (so 15 will be lost), but tuition isn't an issue. However, I will realistically only be in the top 15-33% come transfer time. Part of that depends on how they calculate me into the class. Because I am part-time I am not assigned a class rank. The class I started with last year is down to 80 students so despite being number 25ish (based on the grade distribution if I were calculated in), I could be calculated into the current 2L class or the new 1L class, which has about 160 students.

Deans, professors, and attorneys from work are willing write LORs for me. It just depends on whether: 1.) I have a shot at transferring to some solid schools based on my numbers, and 2.) if transferring will put me in a better position post graduation.

Thanks again.

Cerberaus

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Re: Transfer tips for T-4 student contemplating a transfer

Postby Cerberaus » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:40 pm

You need to stop thinking about this too much, bury your head in the books and supplements, and get the best damned grades you can. Without the grades, a transfer to a worthwhile school is highly unlikely.

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