Law School Transfers Are A Thing??

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Law School Transfers Are A Thing??

Postby SirDoge » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:21 am

Hello everyone

I was recently accepted to a lower T14 school and one of my friends who was accepted to the same school said that they were going to transfer to either Harvard or Columbia. I know that you can transfer to different universities during your undergrad but I had no idea that this was something you could do in law school. Personally I would never transfer from my school ( It was my first choice :D ) but I’m a little curious about how the transfer process works.

First off, how does it work? Do you apply through LSAC like regular admission? Do you actually have to mail an application to the school?

Second, what are some of the advantages/drawbacks to transferring? I know that the first year of law school is where a lot of students form close friendships/networks so why would someone want to give all of that up? If you transferred would you have to give up law review? Could you still graduate with honors?

Third, what do they look for in applicants? Is it just based off of your grades or do your LSAT and LSAC GPA play a significant part too? What grades would you even need to transfer into a school like Harvard or Columbia.

And finally, how are your previous grades factored in? I know that different law schools have different curves so would that play a part in the grade conversion? What would they do with schools like Harvard that don’t even give grades? Would transferring disqualify you for honors like the order of the coif?

To me it seems like it doesn't seem like its really worth it. I'm sure that the GPA you would need is pretty high and being at the top of your class at a t14 will already give you a ton of opportunities.

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Re: Law School Transfers Are A Thing??

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:30 am

Yes, law school transfers happen. It's highly transactional, unlike colleges: school tier + grade range = transfer school opportunities. It's mainly an option for people with highly mobile personal lives that land near the top of their class and don't have a large scholarship at their current school.

Transferring within the T14 is usually pretty useless. If you are at the top of your class at a T-14 school--which you would need to transfer to CLS/HLS--you have the same opportunities as the student that transfers. There are limited scenarios where this makes sense, for example if you want to become an academic and you're transferring to Yale and you didn't receive a large scholarship at your current school. As a general matter, it's transferring from outside the T14 into the T14 that makes sense and is the most common/desirable transfer route.

If you wanted to transfer to CLS, you'd want to be at least top 15% of your class at a lower T14; for HLS, top 10% or maybe even 5%.

So yes it's a thing, but it's not a common thing for students like you. And your friend or fellow classmate should certainly not enroll with the intention of transferring: it's way easier to retake the LSAT and apply again than to transfer up.

Abbie Doobie

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Re: Law School Transfers Are A Thing??

Postby Abbie Doobie » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:04 pm

law school transfers are such a big thing that there is an entire TLS sub-forum dedicated to transferring.

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