Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

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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liltay357
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby liltay357 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:55 am

0L here,

just trying to wrap my head around $$$ if I transfer after my first year. There is no chance that my new school would offer me any money?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:32 pm

liltay357 wrote:0L here,

just trying to wrap my head around $$$ if I transfer after my first year. There is no chance that my new school would offer me any money?

1) viewtopic.php?f=27&t=124519

2) Part of the reason most schools accept transfers is that they're willing to pay full price for the privilege of moving up. That means they're money-makers for the schools, who are just adding bodies in already-existing classes at $40K/head. HYS may offer financial aid, because their aid is all need-based and calculated based on your income/assets/parental contribution. However, it's safe to assume that otherwise you'll be paying sticker if you transfer somewhere.

liltay357
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby liltay357 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:41 pm

Thanks for clearing that up for me!

transfer123
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby transfer123 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:33 pm

Arrow, (and any other successful transfer student)

I am a 1L and I followed your thread 1st semester and have landed in the top 30% after first semester at a Tier 3 school in the Southeast. The school has consistently dropped in the rankings the past 3 years and took its biggest plunge this year. Yet, the school continues to charge $35,000/year, of which I pay because I am not on scholarship. I have made up my mind that I will transfer, but it is just a matter of where. I do not like the school, the town, or the South in general. I have received a decent legal foundation, but cannot imagine spending two more years here, let alone graduate with a degree from this school. Ideally, I would like to transfer to a school in NYC, as I lived there prior to coming to law school and want to work in that market, albeit not necessarily in law. I have significant contacts in the NYC market, and will be working there this summer.

Given my numbers, I know that NYU, Columbia, and Fordham are out of the question. However, what do you think of my chances at Cardozo or Brooklyn? Cardozo's website says that it considers students who have maintained a "B" average and I have maintained well above that. I know that St. Johns and Hofstra would be more realistic, but do you think it is worth trying my luck with Cardozo and Brooklyn?

Is there a general range of rankings that you recommend I stay with regarding my transfer applications? My goal was to be able to break the top 100 and I think I am capable of doing that.

While your post is pretty all-inclusive, I was wondering if you have any advice on when/how to tell classmates that you are leaving? Aside from my study group, I haven't really become close with anyone here. However, I don't want to just come out with this now before finals, and possibly alienate them. I'm going to be working in NYC this summer, so once I leave after finals I will likely not see any of them again for a while. It might seem a little insignificant, but I don't want to keep this from them and just drop it on them over the summer. In your opinion, is there a best way or time to bring this up?

Thanks for your help with everything!

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Arrow » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:19 pm

The top 30% is a good number for transferring laterally, but not for moving very far up. At your current numbers, most T2 schools would be a reach. You can still apply to Cardozo and Brooklyn, but it will be tough in my opinion. St. Johns and Hofstra would be more realistic, and you would probably be able to get in one of those. If you really prefer to work in NY over where you are now, this geographical transfer may be worth it. The difference in rankings between the T2 and T3 aren't huge ("breaking 100" should not be your concern). You'll likely have to network to get a job, and your connections in NY will likely make it easier, and that is why you should consider transferring. I realize you're not happy with your current school, but there is no sure bet that you will "love" your new school either.

For me, I told a few of my closest friends that I was going to transfer. We were fairly open, and I just told them I applied to transfer. Because I transferred during the summer, I never got a chance to tell a lot of people anyways because no one was around campus during the summer. I did have to send a few emails and instant messages to other friends, telling them what happened. Most friends were supportive, and this was generally not a problem. I feel like as long as you tell them and be honest with what you are doing, people will understand.

For now though, focus on working on your grades and fixing what you did wrong last semester. You are already doing fairly well, but you want to aim for #1 of your class this semester and just see where you land. Keep up the good work and good luck!

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Ty Webb
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Ty Webb » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:31 am

Arrow - since you're around, I'd like to try your brain a bit on these matters. I've obviously read what you're written and found it helpful, but I would like an informed opinion on my circumstances (as well as can be done by someone with limited knowledge of me).

I'm currently 3.67 (top 10%, probably more like top 7%) at one of UH/SMU.

I am from the east coast, though I come from a small hometown in a state with no legal market. Accordingly, going "home" is not something I'm interested in. I do have family on the east coast and a long-term SO on the east coast, so getting back there in some capacity is appealing. The flip side of that is that I do like where I am to some extent. It's not the best city in the world, but the legal market is strong and the opportunities are generally very good for someone in my position out of this school. I could stomach putting down roots here, but it's not my favorite idea.

The bulk of my business and legal contacts, though, are in NYC. I know a few boutique firm owners and 2 BigLaw hiring partners very well. I am working in the city this summer doing a quasi-legal internship with a sports entity. My "go get it" dream is to one day use BigLaw exit options to transition into something in sports, but as anyone who has seen my posts knows, I understand the difficulties associated with that unlikely path. Still, I have a strong family connection with one pro owner and a couple more solid connections.

Money: I pay sticker at my current school, which is biting. I have no idea if my school would pay to keep me from transferring, but it's something I've thought about. Price isn't so much of a concern for me because it feels like I'll be paying generally the same amount no matter where I am. I do like the idea of having LRAP to fall back on, though, in case something happens and I don't land a BigLaw job.

I have had good success here in making solid connections with highly influential professors. Those are valuable connections and I'm not quite sure how much value to give them. I'm attempting to weigh all of these factors against one another, but that's obviously a very difficult process. My ultimate concern has to do with immediate job prospects. Top 10% here is no "guarantee" but I would feel comfortable going into OCI with my interviewing skills and grades to back it up. I'd be wary of transferring to a Georgetown, for instance, as I'm not sure how much of a boost I'd get in the transfer process. The long-term value of a prestigious name, though it shouldn't matter, will matter a great deal to some of the people who I will be counting on down the road. This is especially true of my "go get it" dream, as they simply don't know anything other than attending the best.

So, from where you sit, what's your advice (either general or specific)?

I'll say that I view my "would you go" odds at the following:

NYU/Columbia (what rank would make this possible?) - 100%
Gtown - 75%
Rest of the top-14 - ? - It would depend upon the school.

Thanks.

FGCUguy123
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby FGCUguy123 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:58 pm

Awesome

manny
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby manny » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:42 pm

Arrow (or anyone who has transferred to UCLA or USC).

I am currently in the process of applying for a transfer from a t4 school in Socal to UCLA and USC. After 1L I was ranked in the upper Top 5% of my class, invited on to law review, asked to tutor 1l classes and awarded a scholarship. I also got CALI awards in two classes. Half way through my 2L year, I got offered an internship with a Multinational company's in house counsel department, so I took a leave of absence to take the position.

Now I have been in Los Angeles for almost 4 months and think it would be in my best interest to try and transfer up.

What do you think? I would be giving up a lot, but I do not think that staying where I am will make me competetive in the field I would like to pursue (entertainment law).

Thoughts?

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Ty Webb
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Ty Webb » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:31 pm

Ty Webb wrote:Arrow - since you're around, I'd like to try your brain a bit on these matters. I've obviously read what you're written and found it helpful, but I would like an informed opinion on my circumstances (as well as can be done by someone with limited knowledge of me).

I'm currently 3.67 (top 10%, probably more like top 7%) at one of UH/SMU.

I am from the east coast, though I come from a small hometown in a state with no legal market. Accordingly, going "home" is not something I'm interested in. I do have family on the east coast and a long-term SO on the east coast, so getting back there in some capacity is appealing. The flip side of that is that I do like where I am to some extent. It's not the best city in the world, but the legal market is strong and the opportunities are generally very good for someone in my position out of this school. I could stomach putting down roots here, but it's not my favorite idea.

The bulk of my business and legal contacts, though, are in NYC. I know a few boutique firm owners and 2 BigLaw hiring partners very well. I am working in the city this summer doing a quasi-legal internship with a sports entity. My "go get it" dream is to one day use BigLaw exit options to transition into something in sports, but as anyone who has seen my posts knows, I understand the difficulties associated with that unlikely path. Still, I have a strong family connection with one pro owner and a couple more solid connections.

Money: I pay sticker at my current school, which is biting. I have no idea if my school would pay to keep me from transferring, but it's something I've thought about. Price isn't so much of a concern for me because it feels like I'll be paying generally the same amount no matter where I am. I do like the idea of having LRAP to fall back on, though, in case something happens and I don't land a BigLaw job.

I have had good success here in making solid connections with highly influential professors. Those are valuable connections and I'm not quite sure how much value to give them. I'm attempting to weigh all of these factors against one another, but that's obviously a very difficult process. My ultimate concern has to do with immediate job prospects. Top 10% here is no "guarantee" but I would feel comfortable going into OCI with my interviewing skills and grades to back it up. I'd be wary of transferring to a Georgetown, for instance, as I'm not sure how much of a boost I'd get in the transfer process. The long-term value of a prestigious name, though it shouldn't matter, will matter a great deal to some of the people who I will be counting on down the road. This is especially true of my "go get it" dream, as they simply don't know anything other than attending the best.

So, from where you sit, what's your advice (either general or specific)?

I'll say that I view my "would you go" odds at the following:

NYU/Columbia (what rank would make this possible?) - 100%
Gtown - 75%
Rest of the top-14 - ? - It would depend upon the school.

Thanks.


Bump for Arrow.

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Arrow » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:39 pm

Hey Ty Webb,

I apologize for the delay. Congrats on your high grades! It sounds like NYC and the east coast fits you best, and transferring may be a very viable option. Knowing hiring partners at biglaw firms is priceless, and I am sure that is going to help you out greatly if you end up in NYC. It does suck to pay so much for law school, but that is the price we pay and there really isn't much we can do about it with rising tuition and all. I do think transferring to Georgetown will greatly benefit your access to NYC and the east coast, but it sounds like you just prefer to have a big law job in general.

You have thought a lot about your future and where you want to go, and it is hard to say the amount of influence the name of your school gives or doesn't give, but I would say that transferring overall will support your overall goals and backup options (even if the rewards are not immediate or readily apparent).

I would definitely go to most of the T14 if you get in, as most of them will greatly help you get into NYC and leverage your connections there. With your grades, I would apply to all of them (even UT) that you have any interest in going to. NYC and Columbia may be a reach, but not out of the question. However, you do have a great shot at Georgetown and other T14 schools. As for whether you'll go, it will be up to you when those acceptances letters roll in. Either way, be sure to apply to transfer so you can at least leverage some scholarship money from your current school so you don't have to pay sticker.

Keep up the good grades and I hope this works out well!
-Arrow

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Arrow » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:46 pm

manny wrote:Arrow (or anyone who has transferred to UCLA or USC).

I am currently in the process of applying for a transfer from a t4 school in Socal to UCLA and USC. After 1L I was ranked in the upper Top 5% of my class, invited on to law review, asked to tutor 1l classes and awarded a scholarship. I also got CALI awards in two classes. Half way through my 2L year, I got offered an internship with a Multinational company's in house counsel department, so I took a leave of absence to take the position.

Now I have been in Los Angeles for almost 4 months and think it would be in my best interest to try and transfer up.

What do you think? I would be giving up a lot, but I do not think that staying where I am will make me competetive in the field I would like to pursue (entertainment law).

Thoughts?


This is a bit of a unique situation, and I would definitely call every law school you are interested in to double check that you can even apply to transfer first. I am not sure if they would classify you as a 1L or 2L, or a 1.5L. You definitely had good grades and great connections and you were in a unique position to take a great job, but I am not sure how law schools will perceive you. I certainly think that if you didn't take that extra 2L semester in the fall, that you should be allowed to transfer, but in your case, I just don't know. Grades-wise you are definitely competitive and have shots at UCLA/USC (should be no problem for Loyola/Pepperdine/USD), but definitely double check with the law school first and good luck on your transfer applications!

kdubb513
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby kdubb513 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:55 pm

Good idea to go from CCN to HYS for the need-based Grant aid if your paying sticker?

manny
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby manny » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:13 pm

Hi Arrow,

Thanks for the reply. I am indeed in a unique situation. I have spoken to most of the schools and have been approved to use all of my credits towards graduation, however, some of the schools have policies that require me to be registered for courses for 4 semesters. This means that while I would not have to retake any courses over again, my graduation date would be pushed by an entire year at a school like USC or UCLA who do not offer summer semesters.

I guess my biggest concern is the old "is it worth it"?

What do you think?

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Arrow » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:09 pm

manny wrote:Hi Arrow,

Thanks for the reply. I am indeed in a unique situation. I have spoken to most of the schools and have been approved to use all of my credits towards graduation, however, some of the schools have policies that require me to be registered for courses for 4 semesters. This means that while I would not have to retake any courses over again, my graduation date would be pushed by an entire year at a school like USC or UCLA who do not offer summer semesters.

I guess my biggest concern is the old "is it worth it"?

What do you think?


I think it is (esp. for UCLA/USC), but if you have a good scholarship already or the in-house company gave you a job offer, then you might have reasons to reconsider. Otherwise, just apply and see what happens. At a minimum, you can use any acceptances to leverage scholarships.

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bamlax
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby bamlax » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Hi, I am considering transfering and have a few questions.

First, does anyone know if it would look better to get an LOR from a legal writting professor or a Contracts, Crim, Torts, etc. professor if your grades are about the same in each?

Second, if I know someone (friend of a friend) who has a lot of influence at a school I am trying to transfer too and who is willing to write me a LOR, although they are not involved in my legal experience thus far, would it be a smart move to get one LOR from a professor and a second through this person, or should I get two LORs from teachers and see if I can have the person contact the school in another way without using up a LOR that is legally relevant.

Third, if you are waiting to find out your second semester grades, and they will probably be a large factor in determining your transfer possiblities, do you wait until you recieve your second semester grades before sending in your application or should you send the application in sooner than later and mail the transcript with second semester grades seperately when they become available?

Thanks.

RENJJL
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby RENJJL » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:52 pm

1L at a T20 school with a question. I'm roughly top 15% but my school is generally considered very regional. I see in the FAQ that my rank and school should put me in position for the T10, but I'm unsure. My question is, does the reputation of a school as regional or with low biglaw placement stats matter at all for transfers? Do they just see T20 and leave it at that or does each specific school's reputation play into the appeal of a transfer candidate?

Thanks for this FAQ and everyone's advice.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:33 pm

RENJJL wrote:1L at a T20 school with a question. I'm roughly top 15% but my school is generally considered very regional. I see in the FAQ that my rank and school should put me in position for the T10, but I'm unsure. My question is, does the reputation of a school as regional or with low biglaw placement stats matter at all for transfers? Do they just see T20 and leave it at that or does each specific school's reputation play into the appeal of a transfer candidate?

Thanks for this FAQ and everyone's advice.

Among similar schools, there's not going to be very much difference. What might matter, though, is your reasons for transferring, including geography. If you go to school (for example, just randomly making this up) in Boston, but suddenly start applying to schools in the Chicago area (Michigan, NU, etc.), those schools are probably going to wonder why you want to suddenly go there.

Separately, there's the issue of whether transferring is worth it. T20->T10 is generally not regarded as a worthwhile move. You might be in range to at least try for CCN, and if you can get in one of those it might be worth it. Unless you have a specific geographic reason, I'm not sure why you'd really be wanting to transfer.

RENJJL
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby RENJJL » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:25 pm

Transfer would be two-fold. To be closer to SO and for better employment prospects (specifically better prospects near SO). In my case that would mean transferring to a school in the NE from a non-NE region school. I'm not too concerned about the reasons or whether it makes a lot of sense strictly in the academic/opportunities front. I just want to transfer up as high as possible near my SO. If schools indeed divide things up into tiers and peers similar to TLS does, than I won't worry so much about my schools somewhat lower reputation compared to its surrounding schools.

Thanks for the advice.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:06 pm

RENJJL wrote:Transfer would be two-fold. To be closer to SO and for better employment prospects (specifically better prospects near SO). In my case that would mean transferring to a school in the NE from a non-NE region school. I'm not too concerned about the reasons or whether it makes a lot of sense strictly in the academic/opportunities front. I just want to transfer up as high as possible near my SO. If schools indeed divide things up into tiers and peers similar to TLS does, than I won't worry so much about my schools somewhat lower reputation compared to its surrounding schools.

Thanks for the advice.

You should be applying to H/C/N/P. I think that top 15% at a T20 plus valid personal reasons could get you into at least one of these schools. (Personal connections help because they convey you're more likely to actually pick up and move if accepted.) I think such a move would be upward enough that you could say it's both for the career opportunities and your personal reasons, especially if you're going to want to work up in the NE when you graduate.

Your current school's reputation will matter to the extent that they recognize it as a solid school. Any T20-range school should be recognized as such, though. They may not know exact details about your school's history or placement, but they'll know it's a strong regional school that attracts a lot of bright and capable students, and that achieving high grades at such a school is impressive.

Keep in mind that even HLS regularly admits transfers from up and down the T1, and even the occasional T2. Adcomms typically have a good grasp on what the top schools are and how to evaluate students from schools in the range of their transfer pool. I suspect your grades are too low to get in there, but compelling personal reasons might sway them, and you never know if you don't try.

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Regionality
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Regionality » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:48 pm

1L at T40...nervously awaiting Georgetown EA results which many suspect will starting coming out this week!

After my 1st semester i'm top 7-8% of my class...but my grades broke down such that I got 1 B and the rest some sort of A. Anyone have an insight if schools would prefer your first semester grades look more like: B A A A or A- A- A- A-? Or do they seriously not care and only look at GPA/Rank?

What do people think my chances of seeing an acceptance in the next couple weeks are? If I got into GULC I'd be tempted to go, but I also have a question to pose to the crowds:

Would it be better to commit to GULC EA so that I can compete for the regular law review write-on OR better to apply to T10-14 (I don't see my grades rising all that much 2nd semester...maybe even drop) and wait to compete in the transfer write-on competition?

Also, do people think it's worth it to transfer to GULC if I'd be able to stay in the top 10% of my class?
Last edited by Regionality on Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ak87
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby ak87 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:34 am

I currently go to a 23rd ranked law school and got a 3.9 my first 1L semester. I'm in the top 5% of my class and am definitely thinking about transferring (assuming I do about as well second semester). I wanted to know thoughts on what schools I have a really good chance at transferring into, and what schools are a stretch. Im thinking about UCLA, Berkeley, HYSCCN, GULC....i don't know what schools I will end up applying to. I'm gonna try and apply to a good amount to cover my grounds just to be safe. I would like to end up working in big law in Los Angeles or Orange County. Money for tuition or applying is not an issue. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or opinions.

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98234872348
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:37 am

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Last edited by 98234872348 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:50 am

mistergoft wrote:
ak87 wrote:I currently go to a 23rd ranked law school and got a 3.9 my first 1L semester. I'm in the top 5% of my class and am definitely thinking about transferring (assuming I do about as well second semester). I wanted to know thoughts on what schools I have a really good chance at transferring into, and what schools are a stretch. Im thinking about UCLA, Berkeley, HYSCCN, GULC....i don't know what schools I will end up applying to. I'm gonna try and apply to a good amount to cover my grounds just to be safe. I would like to end up working in big law in Los Angeles or Orange County. Money for tuition or applying is not an issue. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or opinions.

In at all of BCCN, outside chance at H, who knows about Y/S (doubtful).

UCLA is almost definitely not worth it, especially if you would be giving up LR/scholarship/etc.

Agree with all of above, except that I would put SLS in the "possible to likely" range, esp. if OP plays up their desire to work in CA when they graduate.

ak87
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby ak87 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:37 pm

Thanks for the input. Hopefully it all works out. I'll probably update when I start hearing back

Sir Pink
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Re: Advice for Transferring to Another Law School

Postby Sir Pink » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:09 pm

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Last edited by Sir Pink on Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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