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Rejection letter suggests transfer

Hi there, I received my first rejection letter. It's from my top choice school. Predictable, given my LSAT score was way below the school's lowest median percentile score. However, the letter, after saying no, says: "Should you consider attending [the school] in the future, I would encourage you to explore the opportunities available as a transfer student." This struck me as unusual in a rejection letter. Is it? Is it normal for the school to suggest they'd be interested in seeing you re-apply as a transfer? And, if anyone has the patience to reply: I've been leery of the whole idea of transferring, thinking that missing out on 1st year relationships at the school you transfer into might negatively affect all your eventual outcomes? I'd appreciate any insights and wisdom anyone might be willing to share. Thank you.

Comments

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2037 karma

    Hi futurelawstudent! That is an interesting offer from your top choice school. If you want to see information about the number of students who transferred into each law school and where they transferred from, check out http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/Disclosure509.aspx, the 509 Required Disclosures on the last page of each report. You can find some information about transferring during law school at https://7sage.com/transfer-101/. Transferring can be a very challenging process and may not be for everyone.

  • 118 karma

    Thanks very much for the quick reply, Selene. I appreciate it. And I found your use of the word 'offer' heartening in my gloom tonight. The 7sage transfer-101 link was great. It addressed a lot of my questions and concerns. I also looked on the ABA site and learned the school admitted very few transfers this past year. However, three of those few were from a school I believe I'll be admitted to. The thing I find somewhat confounding, in view of the early transfer application option, is how on earth professors at the first school may be convinced/persuaded, after knowing you such a short time, to write a glowing recommendation (or a glowing enough one) for your application to the new school? I guess maybe it comes down to just cold hard facts. It seems like a pretty high level of preparation pre-1L is advisable and will be rewarded. Perhaps even starting to think about the pieces of the transfer application asap. Thanks again for your comment and the links.

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2037 karma

    Hey futurelawstudent! You persuade the professors by being prepared for class, doing the reading and the supplemental reading, never "passing" on questions if call on in class, visiting during office hours, and being engaged. Those professors teaching 1L core courses have probably been doing the same lessons for years. They WELCOME the opportunity to confuse new law students. You stand out by showing interest and a willingness to struggle with the issues which will be foreign and confusing to everyone. You also make yourself humble and likable. You should make use of office hours even if you aren't that confused. It is a great way to stand out from the throng. Those 1L professors also teach upper level electives and could end up hiring you to be a research assistant, a teaching assistant, or provide a recommendation or connection to an internship or job opportunity in the future. You just have to actively put yourself out there.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    edited April 2019 9372 karma

    @futurelawstudent said:
    However, the letter, after saying no, says: "Should you consider attending [the school] in the future, I would encourage you to explore the opportunities available as a transfer student." This struck me as unusual in a rejection letter. Is it? Is it normal for the school to suggest they'd be interested in seeing you re-apply as a transfer?

    It's not unusual. It's pretty standard and I think it doesn't mean anything. I've seen it many times last cycle 😅 Did it say "However, we are simply unable to accommodate the large number of applicants who wish to attend [the school]" right before that sentence?

    Here are some other examples:

    "If [School] remains your first choice, you may wish to consider applying to transfer at the end of your first year in a full-time program at another ABA-approved law school. "

    "If [School] remains your first choice you may consider applying to transfer here after your first year."

    "If [School] remains your first choice, you may want to consider submitting a transfer application next year."

    "Should you decide to begin at another law school this fall, you are welcome to apply to us as a transfer student next year."

    "they were impressed with your credentials and encourage you to consider applying as a transfer student in your second year of law school."

    "If you decide to enroll at another institution for your first year, we hope that you will consider reapplying as a transfer candidate."

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Yeah unfortunately I have the same takeaway as @akistotle. I think that is form language and doesn’t necessarily imply you have better odds at being accepted as a transfer.

    Personally, I think attending a school planning on transferring is not the best choice. Typically, you need to have grades at the top of your class in order to do it. Most people going in to law school are all folks who have done very well in high school and college, and we all tend to think we’ll do fantastic haha. But law school is filled with the best and brightest from every undergrad and the competition is stiff. Also, you will likely pay full sticker as most schools do not offer scholarships to incoming transfers. One final thing to consider is that Spivey has blogged about how transfers fare at their new school and it can be tough. For instance, if you see someone transferred into Harvard - that’s amazing! Quite an accomplishment. It can seem like every door is open. However, any employer you interview with sees that you started somewhere else (usually lower ranking), implying that you were not admitted originally. When they have a bunch of Harvard students to choose from, they may favor the ones who have been at Harvard the whole time. That’s not to say that those students did not go on to amazing things eventually, but just to factor in that employers will still see that first school on your transcript and may read into it.

    My personal advice is to only go to a school you would be happy attending all 3 years. Maybe you will want to transfer, and that is great! But bear in mind the possible scenario in which you are not accepted into the other school. Will you be happy remaining at the one you chose? If the answer is no, then I think you’d be better off going elsewhere or trying to boost your LSAT and reapply. But if the answer is yes, you’d be happy at that school for all 3 years even if the higher ranking one didn’t work out for transferring, then it could still be a good choice for you.

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