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Tips For Transfer Applicants

There is a lot of information out there for first-year law school applicants. However, transfer applicants often follow a different path to law school.

And transfers from lower-ranked schools are more common than one might think. In fact, according to US News, the Georgetown University Law Center, ranked No. 14 among the U.S. News Best Law Schools, admitted 105 transfers in 2017-2018, with a majority coming from American University Washington College of Law, which is ranked in a tie at No. 77 by US News.

Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently offered a few tips for applicants planning a transfer.


When it comes to grades, experts stress the importance of good grades, especially in the first semester.

“While law school applicants are judged on their academic potential in law school based on their undergraduate grades and LSAT score, transfer applicants are judged on their academic performance,” Kuris writes. “Law schools want students destined for career success and will look skeptically at applicants with middling marks, particularly if those grades are earned at a lower-ranked law school.”


While transfer applicants need at least one recommendation letter from a law school professor, Kuris recommends having two.

“It’s hard enough to get to know a law school professor in your first year, when classes are large and the material feels overwhelming,” Kuris writes. “It’s even harder during a pandemic when classes are online. So strategize early on about professors who could write you a good letter of recommendation. Ideally, it should be a class that you find interesting and feel capable of performing well in, taught by a professor who is available outside of class to develop a strong relationship.”


Kuris also stresses the importance of partaking in extracurricular activities.

“By joining a law society, journal or other law-related campus activity, you can advance your transfer application in multiple ways,” Kuris writes. “First, you can demonstrate your ability to contribute positively to a campus community and serve others. Second, you show commitment to a legal career path. Third, you may gain insight into a potential legal specialization that could help you find a school that feels like a better fit. Fourth, you might work more closely with a professor through an activity than through a 1L lecture class.”

Sources: US News, US News