Should You Transfer Law Schools?

The decision to transfer is a difficult one and is something that cannot be taken lightly. For me, it meant giving up a scholarship and taking on even more student loans. However, it also meant more opportunities and becoming happier. There is a lot to consider in your decision and I hope that this blog post will help guide those who are considering transferring.

Rankings

We hear a lot about rankings when we are first looking at law schools. For me, I decided to apply late in the game, so I only applied to one law school and was accepted. I didn’t pay too much attention to rankings, but I do think they matter, even if many people claim they do not. I have had many more opportunities since transferring to BU since it is a Tier 1 law school with an excellent reputation. While I would like to stay in New England and practice law here, if I ever decided to move and practice elsewhere, I would have more opportunities because BU is so well known and has such a great reputation, whereas a smaller, lower-tiered school may not open as many doors. At some point, however, I am assuming that grades, school rankings, and class rank will not matter as much and hiring decisions will be based on where you have worked previously and on recommendations/references.

Grades and GPA

One downside to transferring is that the student is essentially starting over with a fresh slate. While employers will still look at transcripts from the previous law school, the student will no longer have a GPA and the student’s grades may not be as high as they were at the previous school. 1L is pretty much the same at every law school, however, so it is possible to do just as well, but there may be many more students so a student’s class ranking may not be as high.

Connections and References

Transfer students may also lose the connections they made during their first year. Professors from your previous school may be unwilling to be a reference for you, and you are also thrown into a situation where you have to start over and make new friends where everyone already knows everyone else because they went through 1L together. That being said, there will be other transfer students and the other students at BU are extremely welcoming.

Money

Transfer students are not eligible for merit-based scholarships, which is a big disadvantage to transferring. While I am going to graduate with much more debt than I would have had if I had not transferred, I think that BU has afforded me many more opportunities than I would have otherwise had. I will have more opportunities for better paying jobs, so in the long run, I hope that transferring will pay off.

Happiness

One of the biggest reasons I decided to transfer was because I was very unhappy at my previous school. It was a very small school in a secluded area and it was very difficult to make friends. Transferring to BU was the best decision I could have made for myself regarding my education. I am so much happier and I feel confident in my abilities because of the tools that BU has instilled in me.

Conclusion

Is transferring a good option? It all depends on the student. For me, it was the best option and I am so happy that I decided to transfer, but for the next student it may not be the best option. When it comes down to it, do not take the decision lightly; consider all the factors, but make sure you make the decision that will make you happy and makes the most sense for you.

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