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  • Transferring Law Schools

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    If you are not accepted to your first choice law school, you have two options: apply again next year or attend another institution with the intention of transferring.

    If you decide to go the latter route, there are certain factors you should consider.

    Will it be possible?

    The answer hinges upon your academic credentials and the number of spots your intended transfer school has available.

    Admissions committees judge transfer applicants primarily on the grades and class rank they earned at their current law school. Less attention is paid to LSAT scores.

    If the school you want to attend accepts transfer applications, sit down with an admissions officer and find out where you stand. The more prestigious the school, the greater the competition will be for a seat.

    No transfer guarantee

    Don't enroll in a school that you don't want to attend. Sure, it sounds obvious, but many law students attend a school assuming they will successfully transfer later. You don't want to be miserable if things don't go as planned.

    Consider your career

    Leading law firms tend to favor applicants from prominent schools. If your long-term goal is to work for a major company, it's worth investigating schools where that firm recruits. Smaller firms are usually less concerned with reputation.

    On the other hand, if you are among the best students at a less prestigious law school, opportunities will abound. It may be better to be a top student at an average law school than a mediocre student at a great law school.

    Remember that as the years pass, your reputation will matter more than your alma mater.

    Law review and financial aid

    Though most schools allow transfer students to write for the law review, there is a distinct possibility that positions on law review (and other journals) may be filled. If you made law review at your current school and want to be involved at your new school, inquire about potential opportunities.

    Financial aid is another question mark. Your prospective school won't necessarily offer you the same package your original school did. Since transfer spots come in limited supply, schools don't need to entice transfer students with big award packages. This change may have a large price tag!