PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

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06072010
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PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:46 pm

At little bit of background for me: I transferred from a T50ish school to a T10 school. I was accepted at T6. I did not attend my 1L school intending to transfer and feel pretty lucky I did so well against a really competitive group of students. If it wasn't for my particular career plans, I would not have transferred and would have been perfectly dandy staying at my old school.


What schools give me the best chance to transfer?

Do not attend a school intending to transfer. I can't stress this enough. It is much easier to take a prep class and improve your LSAT score. Transfer cycles are notoriously wonky, and there is no gaurenteed measure of succes at your 1L school that will get you a transfer. I was dinged by schools the data suggested I would get in at and vica versa. The top of the class was exceptionally tough at my 1L school and I was genuinely surprised at how competitive (measuring by performance, not attitude) the class was. Be forewarned you might take on a serious amount of debt and be saddled with some really terrible job prospects.


Where can I find data on recent transfer cycles? What percentage do I need at School X to transfer to T1/T14?


The best resource right now is the database at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transferapps/

Law school numbers also has a database, but it's not widely used.

What reasons should I give for wanting to transfer?


I think that honesty is the best policy, but simply pointing to the USNWR rankings isn't going to do you any favors. Talk about professors, curriculum, degree portability, clinics, academic options, etc. Also, if you have family or significant ties to the area I think that is key to mention. Do your research on the school and try to tailor your PS directly to that school, even more than your first cycle.

Which schools accept one semester's grades (Early Action)? [To be updated through T50]

WUSTL
GULC - Deadline for 2009 is March 16th.
Boston College

What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.

Can I write on to law review? What about Latin honors or Order of the Coif?

This varies by school. Check with each schools transfer policy. Some write on competitions are BEFORE YOU ARE ADMITTED.

When can I transfer?
Generally, one can transfer after one full year of credits, in the Fall. Some schools have Spring admissions, but this is rare.


Any general tips on transferring?

The transfer cycle is very time compressed. You have to move fast to get your grades and applications in. Grades and class ranks are notoriously slow in the summer, so you'll need to be on top of it when they come out. The whole process is usually less than a month from grades to admittance.

Am I eligible for scholarships? What about need-based aid?

Generally, transfers are not eligible for scholarships. Some schools offer need-based aid, but it is likely you will pay sticker price at your new school.

How much does previous LSAT score matter?


Except for Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, the LSAT doesn't really factor into transfer admissions. Because the LSAT / GPA are initially used to help predict law school performance, their value isn't as great after law schools have a new data point.

upgrade
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby upgrade » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:00 pm

TLS should modify what they have for regular admissions for transfer applicants. Transfer apps isn't very user friendly and LSN doesn't seem to support transfers now. Deadline for GULC is March 16th, btw.

06072010
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:01 pm

We'll look into that, but there is no way to replicate the data they have over at transferapps. It has 4+ cycles of transfer students, invaluable data.

amped
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby amped » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:12 pm

Definitely sticky this.

You might also put the question "what are my chances from [tier #] school to [tier #] school?" and then put a bunch of categories and talk about general requirements. I.e., Tier 4 to Tier 1 = Top 5%; LSAT/UGPA barely matters.

I'd also like to see a question/answer about the pros and cons of transferring. I.e., if you're in the top 10% at a Tier 1 and trying to transfer to a T14 you probably already have decent options and will get on LR, but if you want prestigious stuff like academia or clerkships then the move might be good. Moving from a Tier 4 to any Tier 1 school will probably always be a good move as well.

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LoseItToMe
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby LoseItToMe » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:06 pm

Fantastic thread idea, PK.

Agreed that transferapps can be very helpful.

If this info is still accurate, it might be useful in the OP.

I like the idea of indicating what class rank will be enough to get you into any given tier from the applicant's current school (with 4-14 and HYS being their own tiers).

I'll post more idea/questions as they come to me.

Virility
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Virility » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:25 pm

Question: Should I try out for Moot Court even though I want to transfer?

My question involves 2 issues:

1) If you make it, they have you sign a "letter of intent." What the hell is that? If it's legally binding, obviously I don't want to sign it if I'm planning on transferring (but what the hell will they do even if I back out?). I might say I want to hold off on signing it until I see if I get Law Review because I don't want to do both next year (the real reason, of course, is I'm waiting to see if I get accepted to a T-14).

2) If I make it, it could look very good on my resume both when I'm applying to T-14 schools and for last minute summer jobs, so I really want to get on the team. (It obviously will mean nothing if and when I do transfer).

So, advice please?

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Arrow
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Arrow » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:37 pm

I think our school had a policy where you are only allowed to apply to law review or moot court if you intend on staying, but I have no idea if we have to sign anything yet.

On the other hand, on the yahoo transfer apps, I see people who have put down "graded/write on law review" and other similar things onto their apps. So I guess they either didn't have to sign anything, or just did it and graded on anyways.

As with any good lawyer, I think we should explore and wonder what would happen if we signed an intent to stay and breached that contract. If there is no penalty and the form is a mere formality (which I feel like it might be), then I would go ahead to do it. If the penalty is like Loyola's (where you cannot participate in fall OCI), then the penalty still will not matter since I will be gone. Lastly, I have heard that law reviews have alternates and are prepared to deal with this situation every year.

I do have an intent on staying (so I do have a real reason to sign the form), but only if I get a scholarship, which I will not know about.

Other issues may include whether the letter of intent is required to join law review or simply to apply. If it is only something I sign once I am accepted, then I can apply with ease (without having an intent to stay to apply). Thus, in response to 1), you can still apply and get an offer, put that on your transfer app, but cannot accept the offer onto law review.

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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Fly » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:43 am

If a school just asks for a generic Personal Statement (i.e. no different wording than what they sought for regular admission PS's), should you still include why you want to transfer? Should the primary goal of a transfer PS be to explain why you want to transfer to this specific school?

06072010
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:48 am

Fly wrote:If a school just asks for a generic Personal Statement (i.e. no different wording than what they sought for regular admission PS's), should you still include why you want to transfer? Should the primary goal of a transfer PS be to explain why you want to transfer to this specific school?


That's a pretty good question. I think why transfer should be addressed and it can't hurt to toss in some specifics -- I think the transfer cycle is a much more targeted cycle than general admissions.

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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby midrangejumper » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:52 am

pk, how much does previous LSAT score matter?

let's say my score isn't that amazing, but i still go to a top100 school and do extremely well my first semester or two and decide to leave. would schools like GULC be out of the question if my lsat score, regardless of my 1L transfer-worthy grades, is far from what they usually accept in normal acceptances?

legends159
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby legends159 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:55 am

PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

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SoxyPirate
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:00 am

Do you think attending a tier 2 school after a mediocre showing on the LSAT and attempting to transfer to a tier 1 after a year is a reasonable alternative to taking a year off, retaking the lsat, and applying to the tier 1 school as a regular applicant?

06072010
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:03 am

No, I don't think so. If you won't be happy at the T2, I wouldn't attend.

06072010
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:04 am

midrangejumper wrote:pk, how much does previous LSAT score matter?

let's say my score isn't that amazing, but i still go to a top100 school and do extremely well my first semester or two and decide to leave. would schools like GULC be out of the question if my lsat score, regardless of my 1L transfer-worthy grades, is far from what they usually accept in normal acceptances?


I'll add this to the FAQ -- most schools do not care about the LSAT. HYS claim that you needed to be at least a marginal candidate based on your GPA / LSAT during the regular admission cycle to be considered, but they've been known to take applicants far below their numbers.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:27 am

PKSebben wrote:No, I don't think so. If you won't be happy at the T2, I wouldn't attend.


Well, for example, I'd actually love going to Stetson...or Penn State...or Oklahoma...or Richmond...and I wouldn't be "unhappy" graduating from there.

So the real question in this case would be, one of those schools for a year with a possibility of transferring to UNC/Wake or a year off to retake the lsat?

There are a few possibilities, including:

A. I go to t2, do well, then transfer to UNC/Wake. No time lost.

B. I go to t2, and don't do well enough to transfer to UNC/Wake, graduate from t2 (I'm okay with that).

C. I take a year off, retake the LSAT, do no better, end up at t2 anyway...a year lost.

D. I take a year off, retake the LSAT, do better, get into UNC/Wake...same result as A, just a year later.

IMHO, A > D > B > C

So, from where I'm sitting...the best possible result would come from going to a t2, and the worst possible result would come from retaking. (but again, I could get a better result by retaking...but I could also get the worst result by retaking...I could get a worse result by attending a t2 and attempting to transfer, but I could also get the BEST result by doing so...)

I suppose it just comes down to personal preferences and where we've been accepted...and personal/family circumstances,etc....

Ok, I'm probably just talking to myself now. Sorry for the confusion.

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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Virility » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:27 am

legends159 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

Why? Upper year courses are graded on an easier curve and you have a year of law school (what most consider the hardest) under your belt. Starting with a 0.00 GPA with your chosen upper year courses sounds fantastic.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:38 am

Virility wrote:
legends159 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

Why? Upper year courses are graded on an easier curve and you have a year of law school (what most consider the hardest) under your belt. Starting with a 0.00 GPA with your chosen upper year courses sounds fantastic.

+1

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Antop
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Antop » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:40 am

Virility wrote:
legends159 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

Why? Upper year courses are graded on an easier curve and you have a year of law school (what most consider the hardest) under your belt. Starting with a 0.00 GPA with your chosen upper year courses sounds fantastic.



Agree.if I get into GULC..they will hopefully like my 1L gpa..regardless of anything else 200 firms < 800 GULC Firms...

easy

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bwv812
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby bwv812 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:35 am

.
Last edited by bwv812 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

upgrade
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby upgrade » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:26 am

SoxyPirate wrote:A. I go to t2, do well, then transfer to UNC/Wake. No time lost.


What is the purpose in transferring from a T2 to UNC or Wake Forest? Both are good schools, but you are not transferring to top programs where you are almost guaranteed to receive an offer through 2L OCI. If you have top grades at your T2, moving to UNC or Wake might result in getting shutout during OCI where at your old school you may have received offers. I haven't transferred, but I don't think it's worth transferring from a T2 unless you are looking at a top 20 school.

legends159
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby legends159 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:14 am

Virility wrote:
legends159 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

Why? Upper year courses are graded on an easier curve and you have a year of law school (what most consider the hardest) under your belt. Starting with a 0.00 GPA with your chosen upper year courses sounds fantastic.


cause to transfer you will need top grades. But it makes total sense cause it wouldn't be fair otherwise.

06072010
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby 06072010 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:21 am

bwv812 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
midrangejumper wrote:pk, how much does previous LSAT score matter?

let's say my score isn't that amazing, but i still go to a top100 school and do extremely well my first semester or two and decide to leave. would schools like GULC be out of the question if my lsat score, regardless of my 1L transfer-worthy grades, is far from what they usually accept in normal acceptances?


I'll add this to the FAQ -- most schools do not care about the LSAT. HYS claim that you needed to be at least a marginal candidate based on your GPA / LSAT during the regular admission cycle to be considered, but they've been known to take applicants far below their numbers.


I've not seen any of HYS make this claim. H comes the closest, and they merely say that many transfer admits would have been admitted or wait-listed had they applied at 0Ls. Noting that there is a rough correlation is very different from saying that you need to have been a marginal 0L applicant to be admitted as a transfer.



I'm not claiming it's bar for admission, it's just these schools seem to consider things other than 1L grades / school rank.

From the Harvard site "The competition for transfer admission is high. Many successful transfer candidates typically place very near the top of their first-year law class and would have also been admitted or wait-listed as first-year students on the basis of their pre-law-school credentials."

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OperaSoprano
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:36 am

Great info here! What about a list of top schools that will take transfers from other schools' part time programs (I know Berkeley will not), along with the minimum number of credits required to transfer?

Virility
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby Virility » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:19 pm

legends159 wrote:
Virility wrote:
legends159 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
What happens to my GPA at my new school?

You lose it and start over.



dang that sux

Why? Upper year courses are graded on an easier curve and you have a year of law school (what most consider the hardest) under your belt. Starting with a 0.00 GPA with your chosen upper year courses sounds fantastic.


cause to transfer you will need top grades. But it makes total sense cause it wouldn't be fair otherwise.

Your post doesn't seem like a response to anyone in the chain of nested quotes. Why did you type it?

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A'nold
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Re: PKSebben's Transferring FAQ

Postby A'nold » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:31 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:Great info here! What about a list of top schools that will take transfers from other schools' part time programs (I know Berkeley will not), along with the minimum number of credits required to transfer?



This is the age old question that I have never seen answered in its entirety. It is a mystery. You should see if Ken will hire you to research this for the t50 schools.




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