Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

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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friz90

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Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby friz90 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:57 pm

I am considering starting law school with the intention of transferring after one year. I don't think I would be satisfied graduating from the school I get admitted to. I know transferring depends on having the best grades in the class. I think that is possible to achieve with hard work. Should I just wait a year, and apply in the next cycle, or go to school with the intention of transferring?

Natasha Coats

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby Natasha Coats » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:58 pm

Yea why not. Just study hard.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:02 pm

Everyone things they'll be able to work hard and transfer. The curve doesn't work like that. It's not how hard you work, its how many more points you get than the other people. You can work the hardest and still lose. Just retake and reapply.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:12 pm

No, do not matriculate at one law school with the intention of transferring to another. The first year of law school is much different than undergraduate study. Working hard is not enough to assure one of finishing above median.

It would be wiser to study hard at improving your LSAT score so that you can get admitted to a better law school at an affordable price.

Retake. (Seriously.)

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:15 pm

In order to transfer to a better school, you probably need to finish at least in the top 20% to top 25% at the end of your first year. (If median would suffice, then you should have been admitted to the target school initially without worrying about transferring.)

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby KijiStewart » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:17 pm

friz90 wrote:I am considering starting law school with the intention of transferring after one year. I don't think I would be satisfied graduating from the school I get admitted to. I know transferring depends on having the best grades in the class. I think that is possible to achieve with hard work. Should I just wait a year, and apply in the next cycle, or go to school with the intention of transferring?


That only depends on where you are for school 1, and where you want to transfer to.

For instance, to transfer from a 70-80 school to a 20-30 school (which may or may not be worth it but that's another discussion) you certainly do NOT need to finish in the top 10% of your class.

My answer to your should I do 1L or not therefore does depend on a) where you got admitted to for 1L, and b) where you will be comfortable transferring to.


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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:30 am

OP: You applied very late last cycle; in fact, your prior thread suggests that you only applied to one law school. With a 175 LSAT & a 2.75 GPA, you can do much better. Wait & reapply.

Just to be clear: Your superb LSAT score of 175 is not relevant when applying as a transfer law student; only your law school GPA & class rank matter.

You need to apply to a significant number--maybe 10--law schools among the top 15, including Northwestern ED, next cycle.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby ivankinghk » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:42 am

I started at T4 with the intention to transfer to better law school, and I finished at T20. its doable.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby snowball2 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:23 pm

ivankinghk wrote:I started at T4 with the intention to transfer to better law school, and I finished at T20. its doable.


While you can easily guarantee that there are T4 students transferring to T20 every year, they are the outliers and not the norm. 100% of students start law school expecting to be in the top 5-10% but only 5-10% (duh) actually end up there. If you're fortunate to have that option then it's great, but going to a T4 with the PLAN of ending up in a T20 is not a good plan for anyone.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby Harnas Barnas » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:15 pm

Natasha Coats wrote:Yea why not. Just study hard.

exactly, follow your dreams, good luck

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby friz90 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:34 pm

I
snowball2 wrote:While you can easily guarantee that there are T4 students transferring to T20 every year, they are the outliers and not the norm. 100% of students start law school expecting to be in the top 5-10% but only 5-10% (duh) actually end up there. If you're fortunate to have that option then it's great, but going to a T4 with the PLAN of ending up in a T20 is not a good plan for anyone.


I don't think everyone goes to law school expecting to be in the top 5-10%. For example, I know of a NFL cheerleader at a top 20 law school. Cheerleading is demanding, it probably takes up a lot of time. I don't know here situation, but I am assuming she most likely isn't in the top 5-10%, and doesn't care.

I know someone else who went to one law school, and dropped out. Then started at another law school, finished the degree but doesn't work as a lawyer. She is stay at home mom. Her husband pays her loans.

I don't think everyone tries get high grades in law school. But, I believe that if you try to do your best you will get results. I think if I went to a law school, and tried my hardest, and my best to get good grades, then I would.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby BasilHallward » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:31 pm

friz90 wrote:I
snowball2 wrote:While you can easily guarantee that there are T4 students transferring to T20 every year, they are the outliers and not the norm. 100% of students start law school expecting to be in the top 5-10% but only 5-10% (duh) actually end up there. If you're fortunate to have that option then it's great, but going to a T4 with the PLAN of ending up in a T20 is not a good plan for anyone.


I don't think everyone goes to law school expecting to be in the top 5-10%. For example, I know of a NFL cheerleader at a top 20 law school. Cheerleading is demanding, it probably takes up a lot of time. I don't know here situation, but I am assuming she most likely isn't in the top 5-10%, and doesn't care.

I know someone else who went to one law school, and dropped out. Then started at another law school, finished the degree but doesn't work as a lawyer. She is stay at home mom. Her husband pays her loans.

I don't think everyone tries get high grades in law school. But, I believe that if you try to do your best you will get results. I think if I went to a law school, and tried my hardest, and my best to get good grades, then I would.


Classic 0L rambling. This is an objectively treacherous way to think about law school. Bad advice. TCR concerning advice is to assume median at any school. That's the only honest approach to take when gambling with $100k+

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby actuator » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:16 am

friz90 wrote:I don't think everyone tries get high grades in law school. But, I believe that if you try to do your best you will get results. I think if I went to a law school, and tried my hardest, and my best to get good grades, then I would.


how are there still posts like this on TLS, in 2018

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby hoos89 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:48 am

friz90 wrote:I
snowball2 wrote:While you can easily guarantee that there are T4 students transferring to T20 every year, they are the outliers and not the norm. 100% of students start law school expecting to be in the top 5-10% but only 5-10% (duh) actually end up there. If you're fortunate to have that option then it's great, but going to a T4 with the PLAN of ending up in a T20 is not a good plan for anyone.


I don't think everyone goes to law school expecting to be in the top 5-10%. For example, I know of a NFL cheerleader at a top 20 law school. Cheerleading is demanding, it probably takes up a lot of time. I don't know here situation, but I am assuming she most likely isn't in the top 5-10%, and doesn't care.

I know someone else who went to one law school, and dropped out. Then started at another law school, finished the degree but doesn't work as a lawyer. She is stay at home mom. Her husband pays her loans.

I don't think everyone tries get high grades in law school. But, I believe that if you try to do your best you will get results. I think if I went to a law school, and tried my hardest, and my best to get good grades, then I would.


Why didn't someone just tell the bottom 80% of people in every law school class ever to work hard?!?! Oh sure every law school class is going to have a few people out of hundreds that aren't giving it 100%, but you can expect that 90%+ of people are going to be putting in a lot of effort. You're not just going to outwork people to the top 20% of your class (or higher, depending on where you're starting from and where you want to transfer). I had way more than two friends who were smart, worked really hard and didn't get good grades (I didn't know most of their LSAT scores, but I know for a fact that there were a few in the 170s). Law school grades are certainly correlated with effort, but not as strongly as most 0Ls seem to think.

Don't go to a law school you wouldn't be at least content graduating from and that doesn't give you a good chance at getting a good job. If you really do have a 175 your best course is to apply early next year to every top 20 school plus state schools in the region you want to practice. E-mail admissions offices and ask for fee waivers. Start applying as early in the cycle as possible. You may not get into your top school, but with a 175 you have a pretty good chance to get into a school that you'd be at least content graduating from. Also, you won't have to do as well to transfer up (and your options will likely be better once you do because employers at OCI will still judge based on your previous school once you transfer).

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby nls336 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:39 pm

Listen, objectively I come down on the minority side which says that if you know yourself and your ability to work, and if you REALLY prepare for exams WAY before exams approach (Start reviewing the subjects in the summer/winter prior to the semesters respectively, buy the LEEWS book, take PRACTICE EXAMS as many as you can get your hands on WELL BEFORE your peers figure out that is the MAJOR determinitive factor in whether you ace the exam, and DO NOT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WASTE YOUR TIME OUTLINING IF YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW WEEKS LEFT BEFORE THE EXAM STARTS, seriously outline precipitously early or not at all, really buckle down and MEMORIZE the rules until your exam taking requires 0.0% thought and is basically just regurgitation with new fact patterns) then you will easily do well in your respective school regardless of how difficult 1L is.

I just finished my 1L year and found those things all to be the most helpful. I was really lucky here in that I found someone at the top of the 2L class and who had most of my professors and was willing to show me the ropes very early on. You have to put the legwork and charisma in to finding people and resources that are right at your school.

Frankly if your life circumstances just don't allow you to "wait another year and reapply" which most peoples do not since waiting another year means finding a job that can help support you (significant others may be on a different timeline), you may have loan payments etc. etc. and you might have a good scholarship at the place you're thinking of going to but not enthused about then I would say if it's your dream, and you're willing to put in you know 60 hours a week just being miserable and studying REALLY hard all the time, and you've done that before, you can pick things up quickly, have a good memory for stuff and have really any prior exposure to the law/its internal logic then don't give up on yourself and just do what you dream of doing.

Really, don't cheat yourself by asking these questions and thinking oh yeah totally me and I'm fine. I mean really probe yourself. Everyone is right when they say that it is statistically unlikely you will be the top % of your class regardless of how smart you are because a LOT of work and misery goes into that.

But on the other hand I believe if you're the above type of person and you pick a good enough school, you can only be benefited by going to a school (AS LONG AS IT IS ACTUALLY A SCHOOL THAT IS WORTH GOING TO Say school X has good employment statistics, people seem happy, you don't hate the job market there and has a name that will get you a job etc. etc.) and aiming as high as you possibly can. You NEVER know. You really don't. I don't believe all of the cynics and I really don't think 1L is as hard as it seems at the outset, or even after its over.

Good luck, friend.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby Npret » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:25 pm

The point isn’t that 1L is hard. The point is that everyone who takes it seriously will be well prepared for the exam and that you are forced into a curve.

I promise you there are people at every law school who think they will do well and end up at median.

OP has the issue as well if not being a good student in undergrad. Who knows if he can get it together in law school?

There is no reason to waste a high lsat because you applied late. It won’t help you transfer. That score is the most valuable to you right now

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby snowball2 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:11 pm

Npret wrote:The point isn’t that 1L is hard. The point is that everyone who takes it seriously will be well prepared for the exam and that you are forced into a curve.

I promise you there are people at every law school who think they will do well and end up at median.

OP has the issue as well if not being a good student in undergrad. Who knows if he can get it together in law school?

There is no reason to waste a high lsat because you applied late. It won’t help you transfer. That score is the most valuable to you right now


Yes. You can do exactly the same level of study/preparation/test performance at the same school in two consecutive years and end up in different places along the curve. It's all about the math. There's simply no way of predicting performance. Maybe Babe Ruth could call his shot with some consistency, but he also missed a lot.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby khaleesi_k » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:10 pm

People on this website got on my case REALLY hard for going to a school and wanting to transfer.

I got top 5% of my class and already have committed to going to a T14 next year as a transfer. Ultimately you know yourself best and I honestly think if you A) believe in yourself (I literally wrote my name on a piece of paper and wrote every 1L class I had next to an A+ on it lol) B) work your a** off it’s totally possible. Just make sure it’s somewhere you’re OK with in case it doesn’t happen!


PM me if you have any questions!!

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby kengh » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:33 pm

Just don’t go somewhere you are not happy staying if things don’t work out!

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby hoos89 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:55 pm

khaleesi_k wrote:People on this website got on my case REALLY hard for going to a school and wanting to transfer.

I got top 5% of my class and already have committed to going to a T14 next year as a transfer. Ultimately you know yourself best and I honestly think if you A) believe in yourself (I literally wrote my name on a piece of paper and wrote every 1L class I had next to an A+ on it lol) B) work your a** off it’s totally possible. Just make sure it’s somewhere you’re OK with in case it doesn’t happen!


PM me if you have any questions!!


Nice anecdotal evidence/confirmation bias. For every person like you who was successful, there are plenty more who thought they knew themselves best, honestly believed in themselves, worked their asses off and got median. The other side of the "only 10% of the class can be in the top 10%" is that "10% of the class WILL be in the top 10%". Some people are going to succeed, but the problem is that you truly can't know that until after the fact. Sure you may think that you really KNEW because hey it turns out that you were correct, but the problem is that other people thought they KNEW going in and it turned out that they weren't correct. You can't really KNOW until after first semester.

Also...yeah that's kind of what everyone on TLS says: it's fine to aim to transfer as long as you're going to a school where it won't be disastrous if you don't transfer. Go somewhere you'd be comfortable graduating from. I haven't typically seen people say that you shouldn't think about the possibility of transferring; the point has always been that you can't bank on that so don't go to some trash school with the intention of getting top 5% and transferring out. Mostly people just want to discourage 0Ls from thinking that if they just work harder they'll definitely get top X% and be able to transfer to their dream school.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby SFSpartan » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:24 pm

I can't believe this is a thread in 2018. YES, IT IS A BAD IDEA TO GO TO A SCHOOL WITH THE INTENTION OF TRANSFERRING. I get that 0Ls are impatient and want to go to LS, but it's MUCH easier to just improve one's LSAT score than it is to get grades good enough to transfer to a T14.

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby Npret » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:11 pm

khaleesi_k wrote:People on this website got on my case REALLY hard for going to a school and wanting to transfer.

I got top 5% of my class and already have committed to going to a T14 next year as a transfer. Ultimately you know yourself best and I honestly think if you A) believe in yourself (I literally wrote my name on a piece of paper and wrote every 1L class I had next to an A+ on it lol) B) work your a** off it’s totally possible. Just make sure it’s somewhere you’re OK with in case it doesn’t happen!


PM me if you have any questions!!

If only those other people who didn’t to well enough to transfer believed in themselves they would have been fine. How can facts and statistics stand up to that advice and anecdotal evidence?

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby Wild Card » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:45 pm

It's not a bad idea in the following circumstances:

w/e @ YHS
60K @ CCN
90K+ @ T13
120K+ @ GULC
FULL @ remainder

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Re: Is it bad to go to law school with the intention of transferring?

Postby khaleesi_k » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:16 am

Npret wrote:If only those other people who didn’t to well enough to transfer believed in themselves they would have been fine. How can facts and statistics stand up to that advice and anecdotal evidence?


yeah and honestly thank god i didn't take that advice or I wouldn't be where I am now. I fully think it is a good choice to go to a school intending to transfer so long as it is somewhere you will be still be happy with if transferring does not work out.

And honestly, I think believing in yourself is a huge portion of it. Law school is intimidating af. There were people in my classes from crazy undergrads like harvard, or who had been working in the legal field for a while. it seemed impossible that I would be able to score well in comparison to all my incredibly smart and successful peers. I think its REALLY easy to allow self doubt consume you in those situations and put up a mental block. Every single 1L book I read started with "recognize that you are capable of doing well in law school" and I do think that is an important portion of it. There is a lot of evidence backing the fact that people perform better when they feel competent.

I didn't JUST say "believe in yourself either". I also said you have to work your ass off. I studied all day every day and took practice tests for each class every single weekend. I do think if you a) believe in yourself and b) put in the effort you can succeed in law school. some of it is based on luck, sure, but test taking for law school exams is a skill and most people who go into law school are smart enough to learn it.

and then my final caveat, which was to make sure you are ok with wherever you are in case you can't transfer. I liked the school I was at this year and knew would have been ok staying there if I hadn't done well enough to transfer... even though I went in with the intention of trying to transfer out.

How is that bad advice? believe in yourself, work hard, and make sure you're ok with the outcome if it doesn't work out? I was in this person's shoes last year and decided to go for it, and thank god I did because now I am going to my dream school in the fall despite like fifty people on here railing me for not retaking.



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