Looking To Transfer Law Schools? Read This.
You didn’t get into your top choice for law school. Reluctantly, you’ve decided to take the road less traveled: enrolling at your safety school. Your plan is simple: after one year, you’ll be able to transfer to your dream school.
Will it work? Recent transfer student data by the American Bar Association reveals some important trends and insights on transferring between law schools.
GOING FROM A LOWER RANKED LAW SCHOOL TO T14
The T14 law schools are the top 14 law schools in the nation. It includes schools such as Yale Law, Harvard Law, Stanford Law, and Georgetown Law.
The ABA numbers show that just because you’re attending a lower-ranked law school, that doesn’t mean you can’t successfully transfer into a T14 law school.
For instance, a majority of the law students who transferred into Georgetown Law, came from American University’s Washington College of Law, which is ranked No. 77, according to US News.
“As the data shows, attending a lower-ranked school doesn’t preclude you from transferring into a school in the so-called T14, an informal designation, not used by U.S. News, that refers to the top 14 law schools,” Daniel Waldman, contributor at US News and admissions consultant at
Stratus Admissions Counseling, writes. “And if that doesn’t convince you, just know that No. 3 Harvard Law School took in a student from Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law, which is ranked in a tie at No. 104 – a jump of more than 100 spots for that fortunate transfer student.”
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO TRANSFER INTO A T14 LAW SCHOOL
While it’s certainly possible to transfer into a T14 law school from a lower-ranked institution, it isn’t necessarily easy.
“A glance at the scores of the students who transferred into Georgetown shows that the median GPA is 3.69, or an A-, which is not an easy feat in law school in general, let alone the 1L year,” Waldman writes. “In most law schools, that means performing among the top 10%, and likely even better than that.”
For instance, at Stanford Law, the median GPA for transfers is a 4.0, which leaves little room for imperfection.
“If transferring to these top schools is your goal, essentially you must be on top of your game 24/7 during your first year of law school,” Waldman writes. “Plus, you still need to be involved in extracurriculars, because the competition is stiff, and you want to persuade higher-ranked schools that you’ll make a good addition to their student body.”