Thinking about Transferring Law Schools?

This post is geared toward current 1Ls thinking about applying to other schools for their 2L year, but it is also a good thing for 0Ls to keep in mind as they choose where to attend this year.

Here is a very detailed analysis by one person who transferred from Loyola-LA to Boalt – it has a lot of details but I haven’t checked these facts so read it with a grain of salt.

Previous Posts About Transferring:

Here are previous posts of mine on the subject of transferring law schools; I’ve personally responded to hundreds of comments on these posts, so be sure to read through them to see if your question is answered!

Thinking About Transferring as a 2L?:
The Empirical Legal Studies blog offers some great insights into what law schools are thinking when it comes to transfers.

A great option: Applying as a Transfer Student:
I go through some of my best success stories about transferring. Be sure to check out the 177 comments!

More on Transferring Law Schools: The Bluebook Legal blog breaks down the transfer student information. (Beware law school policies discouraging transfers!)

If you’re planning to apply to transfer after your 1L year and you’re looking for help, pleaseΒ contact me. I offer a special Transfer Student version of my “Works” package.

690 thoughts on “Thinking about Transferring Law Schools?

  1. Michael on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I was wondering if you could give me advice about a big question I am facing. I would like to get into Georgetown because of their program. (I am particularly interested in international human rights.) However, I made the decision to go to law school a little late in the application season and took the Feb. LSAT. I scored way below what my practice tests were consistently at and wasn’t able to get into Georgetown for the Fall. I’m registered for the June LSAT and hope to get a score that will qualify me.

    I’m 29 and a little reluctant to put law school off for another year. So, I’m considering attending another law school this Fall and transferring into Georgetown if my LSAT score comes back high enough. Do you think this is a wise course of action?

    Secondly, if I get a score that puts me in Georgetown range, how much weight would they put on the ranking of the school I attend for my first year when they evaluate my transfer application? Would attending a third tier put me at a much greater advantage than a fourth tier? If I choose a first tier (which would cost more) would that put me at a much greater advantage than a third tier?

    Thanks in advance for your help in this crucial question.

  2. Michael,
    When you transfer, it’s not the LSAT score that matters. It’s all on your first year grades and class ranking at the best law school you can get into now. If you’re retaking the LSAT in June, then you will know your score in time to decide whether you’d now be in the running for GT as a Fall 2011 applicant, or whether you’re better off taking whatever offers you have.

    The school you attend your first year matters a lot. It’s one thing to be at a Top 30 school and be #1 in your class and transfer to a Top 14 law school but it’s not nearly as likely to do that from a third or fourth tier school. I’ve worked with clients who transferred from Loyola LA (a Tier 2) to GT, and from Catholic to GT. But it’s all about doing really well at those schools – simply being in the top 20% of your class isn’t going to cut it.

    I hope this is helpful.

  3. Rachel on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I found your site while searching for information on transferring after my first year of law school and was wondering if I could ask you for some quick advice, especially based on what I’m reading in your response to Michael’s query.

    I’m 24, and have been working full-time in publishing since graduating early from a top-10 East Coast university four years ago. I underperformed as an undergrad, and ended up with a low GPA (above 3.0, but still below average.) I did okay on the LSAT (just above 50th percentile) when I took it last year, but not great, as I was fighting through an illness at the time. All in all, my UGPA and LSAT just don’t really reflect my academic potential…

    I applied to a bunch of schools in CA (where I want to attend school and practice law) and was rejected from many, waitlisted at 1 Tier 2, and got into a T-4 with a big merit scholarship and a fellowship based on my interest in IP law.

    Since I got into the T-4, I’ve been planning on working my tail off getting amazing grades and being one of the top 2-3 in my class (unless I get into the T-2 off the waitlist)

    If I’m able to be at the top of my class at the T-4, do you think there’s any hope of me getting into UCLA for 2&3L? That’s always been my top choice…

    Do you have any helpful advice to give? I would be so grateful to hear any of your opinions or feedback. Thanks so much in advance.

  4. This is interesting. However, if I just finished my first year in tier 4 law school with slightly above 3.0 GPA and I am in about upper 35%, is there a possibility to transfer to top 50 school at all? How about tier 2 (50-100)?

    • Max, From a T4 Law school and only in top third, you are probably shooting too high. You can call schools you are interested in and ask where they take transfers from and what ranking they are looking for from different caliber schools. Most will tell you. If you are looking for help with your transfer applications, please feel free to contact me through my website for more specific advice.
      Good luck!

  5. Grant on said:


    I am at Emory and am wanting to transfer back to where my family lives because of personal reasons. I finished my first year with a 2.5 GPA and am worried about getting in as a transfer. I am applying to transfer to lower ranked schools (SMU, OU, OCU, and Houston). Should I be worried about not getting in? I’ve looked at different sites and most are about transferring up in the rankings. Nothing really talks about transferring down. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Grant,
      You’re right. You’re in a different situation. If your 1L GPA was impacted partly because you were so far from home, you need to explain that and why you’re transferring to schools in your home region. I wouldn’t count you out, but you have to show the schools the reason for the lackluster performance (and assure them it won’t be a problem once you’re home) and that you have good reasons for doing what you’re doing. But make sure you impress them before telling them something negative. A lot of people forget this!
      Good luck.

  6. Grant on said:


    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! It was really helpful and calmed down my nerves.

    – Grant

  7. stephen on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I finished my first year at a T4 school in the top 11% of my first year class(3.4GPA). I wanted to go back to California and so I put out a few transfer apps in the tiers above me. I haven’t heard from most of the schools, but I got into a T3 the other day via a phone call. I want to know if a transfer to a T3 law school worth paying double. I’d be giving up a lot by way of scholarships, deans list, moot court etc. I also got some 3.8s and 4.0s on my transcript and I would have to give those up at a new law school.

    The second thing I want to know is what are my chances of getting into T2&T1? I’ve seen some students with lower numbers then mine get into T2 schools. Both of the T2 schools I applied to like to see students in the top 10%-15%. My dream school is in T1, and you need to finish in the top 20% in order to be eligible to apply at all. I believe that a student from a T4 law school has to do much better than that to have a shot, but I don’t know if 11% is good enough.



    • Hi Stephen, We’re talking ranking, but not particular schools so it’s hard for me to tell you what would be worthwhile. If you’re at Thomas Cooley, for example, and you want to be in CA, I’d tell you to leave the money and the 3.8 and run west as quickly as possible. Most of the transfer applicants I’m working with right now have heard back from all or almost all of their schools. Two from T3 schools are jumping up to Top 30 schools with a ranking just a little higher than yours, if that helps.

  8. stephen on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for getting back to me. Ok, here’s the deal. I go to Detroit Mercy School of Law. My dream school is USC and I got into Southwestern. I also applied to Pepperdine and Loyola. I haven’t heard from Pepperdine or Loyola, but my applications became complete last week (our school posts final grades and rankings really late). The important thing is that I met all of the deadlines.

    Pepperdine asks for the top 10-15% in order to be competitive. Loyola likes to see students in the top 10%-15% (thats what they told me). And for USC you need to be in the top 20% in order to be considered at all.

  9. Stephen, That does help – thanks. I think if you want to be in CA, then SW is better than DM, and it’s probably worth the extra $$, but only you can make that decision about how important it is to you to be in LA. I think USC is probably a huge reach, but hang in there with P and L.
    Good luck!

  10. Lauren on said:

    Dear Anne,
    I have been admitted to UDC as well as Catholic University as a first year student. UDC offered me money, and they’re practically free anyway, while Catholic gave me nothing. I was on the waitlist for many others but as of today it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. UMD just released the rest of their waitlist today. Catholic is just as expensive as many other top schools in the area, nearly 40k, but is barely holding onto a spot in the top 100. I was thinking about just going to UDC and transferring out after the first year but I’ve been told that it’s not a good idea to plan on transferring as it’s so difficult to do. I plan on pursuing public interest law or some other related, non-big law, relatively low paying career. Do I bite the bullet and go in debt 120k for Catholic, or go to UDC without any debt and hope I can transfer to someplace better after the first year?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Lauren – great question! UDC is known for public interest, and if it’s practically free you’ll be in a much better position to actually pursue public interest work after law school. If you do well after your first year then you can consider transferring, but I think – given your career goals – you might be perfectly happy with a degree from UDC. Let me know!

  11. Megan on said:


    I did not have a good experience at my past law school (tier 4 ). After a year sabbatical from law school, I applied for transfer as a 2L . I did not get into any of the 8 schools that I applied to, including tier 4. My application was solid, but it was extremely difficult to get materials from my school in a timely manner. For example, transcripts were sent a month late and missing a letter of good standing. I believe this hurt my application.

    What should I do moving forward? I don’t want to return to my school, but I want to finish my education. Are there any other options? Is there any information I can ask the schools for regarding my rejection?

    • Megan,
      This must be really frustrating for you.
      You don’t mention your grades in law school – that might be part of the problem. Your personal statement, resume and LORs are also factors of course. You may have also picked schools that simply didn’t have much room for transfers this year. I’d urge you to cast a wider net.
      PS If you’re looking for consulting help, I do have a special package for transfer applicants on my website.

  12. Ann, I am willing to go anywhere. I am more or less desperate to go to a campus community because the city has been very overwhelming. I have in place letters of recommendation as well as my personal statement because I am ready to make the move, just as long as it’s realistic.

  13. Ed, you may have missed the boat for transferring this summer…. most transfer decisions have been made. It happens very quickly in June and July. Call around and ask some schools you’re considering transferring to.

  14. Mallory on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I am currently at Seattle University School of Law and did well my first year. However, I had a hard time feeling happy since I moved from NYC to Seattle. I applied to transfer to Cardozo and got in. Now I finally feel comfortable in Seattle, but I still think that Cardozo is the better long-term career move? Do you think my career options will be larger with a Cardozo degree than one from Seattle U?

  15. Marcelo T. on said:

    Dear Ann,
    I am about to begin my 1L year at Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law, a T4 school, and I was wondering what my goal should be to attempt to transfer to some more prestigious schools in the South East after this year. I am not looking for a T1 school, but something around T2 would be nice. Some of the schools I am looking at are the University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, or maybe even Georgia State. I like to have a goal and target in my head so any advice would be great.

    • Marcelo,
      Great question! There is no way to set a goal “I’m going to be in the top 20 percent” versus “I’m going to be in the top 10 percent.” You need to do the best you can do in law school – if you feel you need a goal, aim to be #1 in your class.
      Good luck!

  16. Marcelo T. on said:

    Ok I understand that. Well then let me ask another question. When you look at UGA, USCarolina, and GA State, how do you feel about a T4 student trying to transfer in to those particular schools. Do I have a shot? Should I even apply if i am out of the top 15%?

  17. Marcelo, you can call each of those schools and ask them what ranking requirement they would have from the school you will be attending. Schools will usually share that information.

  18. Danielle C. on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I realize this question is a bit premature, but I am really trying to make sure I do whatever I can to make transferring work! I just started my 1L at a T4 (California Western) in San Diego (however I have been here since June, and took a Summer course they offered). I honestly love the school, but have realized that California is not for me. My husband and I would love to move back to Denver and I am hoping to transfer into DU law there. I am really nervous because I don’t know what to do about moving back to Denver before getting an answer from the school, and where to get an internship next summer. So, if Spring grades don’t come out for at least a month after finals, and they don’t get to the new school’s admissions committee until say mid-June, how long does it usually take for them to make a decision? It just sounds like a ton of pressure to make a decision to move back based on your chances, but also would be very difficult to wait until right before school started to be admitted and move. And, of course, I’d prefer to find an internship in Denver next summer. Do you have any advice for this situation? Also, I did email DU admissions and was only told that my first year GPA and ranking was far more important than undergrad grades and the LSAT, but not anything about what they would likely admit. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Danielle, you hear back on transferring pretty quickly, usually within 2-3 weeks.
      I think it’s very feasible to transfer from CW to DU, and I’m probably the only person on the planet who has worked at BOTH of those law schools!

  19. Hi Ann, great site. I can’t seem to get my lsat score past pathetic. It’s frustrating because I am a good student normally. What is the likely hood, or have you heard of anyone attending Golden Gate Law and transferring to Boalt, Hastings, Davis?

    • Hi Drew. I think Hastings and Davis would be reasonable, but we’re talking like top 5% of your class here….. You can actually call Hastings and Davis and ask them what GPA/class rank they would want from Golden Gate. I’ve helped people transfer from Golden Gate in the past, and they’ve gone to some great schools, but it’s all about class rank. And a letter of rec from a willing faculty member too!

  20. Carolyn on said:

    Hello Anne,

    I have always had a passion for the law but somehow lost sight of that in my undergrad and under performed with below a 3.0 . I had a 2.8 in Business Management. After 2 years of working in sales I want to pursue my passion and attend law school . I now fear I may have blown my chances. I live in Denver and would like to attend DU. Do you think there is any chance of me getting in , if I work my tail off for the LSATS? Or do you have any advice in how I could give myself more of an edge for my application? I am willing to take the time and realize it may be a long journey.

    Thanks for your hep.

    • Hi Carolyn,
      If your LSAT puts you at or above DU’s 75th percentile then you can overcome the GPA with a strong application – great LORs and a personal statement and an addendum to show why the 2.8 doesn’t define your academic abilities. Find a good prep course or tutor (I have lots of recommendations on this site) and sign up for the December LSAT.

  21. Hello Ann,

    I am just writing with some general questions about transferring. I’m currently a 1L at the University of Miami – Florida, but I’m from Wisconsin and am considering making a move back to the midwest if my grades are sufficiently decent.

    My main question is: How does one go about getting letters of recommendation for transferring schools from his/her law school professors? It seems that doing so will be very difficult since I don’t have much of a relationship with any of my professors and since they would have no basis for recommending me (because our grades are based on a single final exam).

    Is it necessary to get professor recommendations when transferring? Does LSAC still have my old letters of recommendation (from undergrad professors) on file and, if so, can I just use those instead?

  22. Martin Lukes on said:

    Hello Anne,

    I’m a 1L at Hofstra University School of Law. I’m doing quite well (based on papers and two midterms) at Hofstra, but I hate Long Island and the school’s environment! I have no passion in pursuing a corporate, high-paying, slave hours job in NYC which this school is preparing me for.

    I’m a student interested in both public interest and international law. Hofstra is not really known for a having a strong program in either fields.

    I’d love a move back to Washington, DC or into NYC school that’s ranked higher and known for having a strong international program. Hofstra is a T2 school. I’m looking at transferring to a top 50 school.

    I’m a 26 year-old black male with three years working experience in Washington, DC. I point this out to ask: (1) based off the little information I have given, does being a black male increase my chances of transferring into a prestigious program? (2) American University being my school of last choice, how well should I look to perform this year to be considered for a transfer next year. Or, put a different way, what’s the lowest I can be ranked and still look for a transfer to American U.? I met with a counselor at American U. not too long ago and she said “the school is desperate for black males; we can’t any good candidates?” i don’t know if that caveat makes any difference.

    • Hi Martin,
      Yes, I think being a URM will help you transfer. I’m not sure what you mean that American is your school of last choice. I think that was probably a mistake. I think you should call American and ask what rank they are looking for from Hofstra.

  23. Martin Lukes on said:

    Just to clarify: for lack of a better term, I did mean American my school of last choice meaning I would not be willing to transfer to a school that’s ranked any lower (they’re the bottom of the Tier I, I believe) than American U.

    From reading the insight you provided to others, I look forward to hiring you for my transfer package when the time comes. Thanks for the great advice!


  24. Danielle C. on said:

    Hi Ann! I can’t believe I haven’t checked your response until now.. Must have gotten busy reading πŸ™‚ I just wanted to say how funny I thought it was that you have worked at both CW and DU! I inquired with DU admissions regarding their prospective transfers and the ranking they like to see their accepted transfer students meet, and they couldn’t give me any kind of answer. Since you are familiar with both, do you have any kind of idea to narrow it down for me? (Top 5%?, 15%?, 25%?) Thank you sooo much!


  25. Danielle, I can’t tell you for sure, but really all that matters is you do your best to be #1 in the class. You can’t shoot for “top 15” but you can shoot to do your very best work….

  26. t_lhrh on said:

    Hi Ann,

    It has always been a dream of mine to attend a school like Stanford or Harvard. I feel I have somewhat of a chance to fulfill this dream since I’m now halfway through my first semester 1L year at a lower-ranked T14 school. I’m looking forward to five weeks from hell before those all-important mid-terms, to put it bluntly, and I hope that work will pay off in my being rewarded with a spot in the top one third of my class. From your experience how easy is it to transfer from a low-ranked T14 school to Harvard or Stanford? Everyone at my present school is hyper-competitive, so I’m probably being a bit too optimistic about my prospects of ending up at the top third. But is that ranking sufficient for a transfer to those two aforementioned schools? Or do I have to make it to the top ten percent even at a lower ranked T14? I’m also a first-generation college grad URM with an interesting background, if that helps to contextualize my situation.

    For argument’s sake, let’s say I do end up at the top ten percent. I’ve also snagged a nice scholarship (not full ride but half-ride) from my present school. Is it silly for me to forgo free money at a lower ranked T14 to pay full price at a place like Stanford or Harvard? (I’m figuring they don’t give scholarships to transfer students despite their vast endowments)

    I know that in comparison to past posters I’m just being greedy/extravagant in considering making a move. I should count my lucky stars that I’m in a T14 with a sizeable scholarship. I simply wanted your two cents on this matter since you’re knowledgeable about the whole process.

    Thanks for any help you can furnish!

    • t_lhrh – Thanks for writing. I’ve worked with clients who transferred within the top 5 (from NYU to Stanford and Harvard) and I’m sure it’s possible from T14 (especially for a URM . I’d like to see you have a choice to make between the scholarship you have now and attending Stanford or Harvard. At least Harvard has a sliding loan repayment program…. The key is to do your best this year and then try. Only then will you know whether you made the grade for a transfer. Just try to make friends with a couple professors who might write you LORs. Many professors refuse to write letters to help people transfer.
      PS You’re right about no scholarships from the school you transfer to.

  27. Hi, I am currently at a Tier 3 Law School (UA-LR Bowen) and I want to transfer to a Tier-1 law school in Atlanta, GA for personal and academic reasons. If I am in the top 20% will I have a chance at Georgia State, UGA or Emory? I also have a pretty good scholarship at Bowen should I give that up for a better school?

    • Hi Nia,
      I think Top 20% might be good enough for GSU, but not for UGA and definitely not for Emory. You should finish out this year and see how your grades/ranking look, then put in your transfer applications and see what happens. Then you can make the decision whether to leave your nice scholarship for one of those schools. Good luck on exams!

  28. Hi Ann,
    I’m a 1L at a Tier 4 school in California. I had been hoping to transfer to a school on the east coast, but my grades this semester only got me in the top 35% of my class. Do you think I could still transfer to any school, even another Tier 4?

  29. Hey Ann,

    Im trying to get into University of Memphis law school or Howard Law school. Are these two schools good? Does going to a Tier 3 score significantly reduce my chances of obtaining a good job after law school?

    • Hi Chris,
      The question of whether a school is “good” depends on what you hope to accomplish with the degree. What do you consider a “good” job? If you’re in Memphis and plan to live in Memphis forever and you network well and plan to work in a smaller firm….then the school is “good” for you. Howard is also a school known for networking. It’s what you do with your time there that makes the difference in what you can do with your career. After all, one look at Memphis’ alumni page shows a few judges among their ranks so how “bad” a law school can it be? And Howard graduates are also doing interesting things. It’s about what expectations you have for your career and how you plan to achieve them.

  30. I also have a 3.6 GPA, 149 LSAT score, great personal statement and letter of rec, and a great resume. What chances do you think I have to get into LSU law school , a Tier 2?

    • Chris, It’s not out of the question. If you’re local, they know you and like you, and your materials are as great as you say then it might happen but I just can’t say how likely it is without knowing a lot more about what makes your letters of rec, resume and PS great. After all, no one has ever told me that they have a lame personal statement or inadequate resume. Everyone tells me their materials are “Great”…LSU takes about 10% of people in the 145-149 bracket so it’s not impossible, it’s a reach. Good luck!

  31. Ann,

    Thank you for your responses. I currently live in San Diego California but I ultimately want to practice law out of state. I would like to practice law in say Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, or DC. Is there anyway I could attend a school like California Western School of law (in San Diego) and then apply for work out of state? How difficult with that be? Does one have to go to law school in the state that they want to practice law ( I ask because it is obviously much easier to go to school in San Diego since I live here already)

    ps: California Western is a 4th tier school. Does attending a school like this significantly curtail my job prospects? I always see people online saying that 4th tier schools have weak job prospects.

  32. Max Horowitz on said:

    Hi Ann, this is my first time coming across your website and may I say that you are doing a fine job and your ideas are right on point!

    So I guess it’s time to get personal on this one. I am from Fort Lauderdale florida and attended Florida State University, ending up with a 3.51 GPA. I’ve taken the LSAT three times now, and they’ve been 149, 149, and 152 (respectively). I’m getting a little sick of taking that god forsaken test, so I’m about to go apply for schools. I am a realist and know that all the Tier 1 schools are out of reach at this point, so I’m going to bury my nose into Tiers 2-4.

    I have a few questions: first, I am looking to go into sports law (contracts/business law, etc) and I really want to go to New York or stay in Florida, since those are my favorite sports markets and I want to take the bar in one of those states so I can practice there. I have a few ideas in mind of schools to start off with, namely Syracuse, Hofstra, St. Johns, New York Law (in NY), and UMiami, Stetson, and Florida Coastal (in FL). However, once I get into a school in that list, I was wondering how likely is it to transfer from those schools to a Cardozo, Brooklyn Law, or a Florida State, UFlorida?

    In addition to that question, when it comes down to selection processes, I’ve noticed that some schools (for example Florida State Law) have GPA’s that are in my range (median 3.53) and yet their LSAT requirements (median 160) are out of reach for me. Can you tell me if it is even worth applying to these schools the first time around even though I don’t fall exactly under their medians for both categories?

    I know that I have great LORs and I am crafting an awesome personal statement, so I guess my last question is…how out of reach are all these low T1, high-mid T1 schools from me? Am I doing the wrong thing by not even applying to Cardozo right of the bat? Am I safer trying to transfer? I know that I do much better when I actually have concrete material to study off of, so I have no doubt in my mind that once it comes time to transfer up, I will do it! Still, is it wrong of me to not even allow the top schools in my eyes to glance at my application?

    Thank you so much in advance for all your help!

  33. Hi Ann,
    I’m a 2L at a first tier law school and so far my current GPA is a 2.5. I have a dilemma, I understand all my classes and I can cite the black letter law and apply it but the problem is that when I get back my grades, they are not what I expected. Am usually the one that everyone comes to when they need to understand a topic or find the rules. What am I doing wrong? I wrote most of my exams in law school except two class, can that be it? Also, how realistically is improving my grade to a 3.0 when I graduate?

  34. Jonathan on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I have completed my first semester at a T3 (U of Akron). I want to transfer back to a school in Texas where I’m from, however I underperformed my first semester (B’s and C’s). I do not mind transferring laterally or even lower. I am getting married in the summer and most of my family is from Texas. While I understand UT and maybe SMU might be out of the question, is Weslayan, UH, or even TT good shots to get into with the above stated reason? There were other factors that played into my low performance, but I wont whine about them here. I feel trapped (I don’t wish to stay, my future wife has an excellent job in DFW and can’t move, but I don’t want to quit or delay law school). Would it matter that Akron has a notoriously brutal curve policy (2 and 3L’s warned us during orientation week, a red flag I wish I had been made aware obefore accepting)? What options do I have at this point? All advice is much appreciated.

  35. Jonathan on said:


    About the curve policy…could I mention that there is only one 4. in the school across all levels or does that just look like an excuse I would be best served by leaving out?

  36. Dennis on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am a 23 year old white male from Texas in the process of applying to schools mainly in the northeastern region of the US and wondering at my prospects of transferring up to a tier 1/2 school in either the DC or NYC areas after a good 1L year. Though I had a low undergrad GPA (just below 3.0 area), I was counting on a good December LSAT based on my diagnostics (161-165 range). Sadly, I underperformed on test day and now am stuck with a 156. I debated whether to retake the test for next year’s applications, but having already worked for a year out of undergrad I decided it would be wiser to apply to lower tier schools now and see where I am in a year. I am applying to now to schools like NYLS, Hofstra, and St. John’s. I have also applied to both Rutgers’ schools and Loyola Chicago, but realistically don’t expect to get into those schools. I am wondering if being from Texas will give me an edge in applications? Most law school bound Texans usually stay in the state, so I don’t know how attractive my being from a different region will be to the northeastern schools I am applying to now and those I might transfer to in a year.

    • Dennis, being from Texas isn’t any particular advantage. In fact, you may need to convince NY area schools that you would actually attend and that this is where you want to be. If you do well in law school you’ll be able to transfer to a Top 1/2 Tier school but you really can’t bank on doing well in law school. If you had a 3.9 GPA I might say, yes, you’re someone who has a high likelihood of excelling in law school, but I can’t make that bet based on your GPA. I do think, overall, your current schools list is reasonable.

  37. Hi Ann,

    I love your responses and the style of the site, it is by far the most helpful site I have found in researching transferring. I am currently at a lower tiered school (Charlotte School of Law), which is only provisionally accredited (although the official accreditation visit was a couple months ago and it went well). I had mediocre 3.1gpa in undergrad and a mediocre LSAT (155). I didn’t do as well as I hoped I would my first semester here in Charlotte, and got a 2.5 gpa, however class ranks do not come out until the end of the year. I’ve realized that Charlotte isn’t for me and I would really like to transfer to Denver’s law school next year. I believe in one of your posts you mentioned that you worked at DU, so I am really hoping to get your opinion and advice about my possibilities. Also, if you think that transferring is a lost cause, what about Denver’s visitation year option?? Thank you so so much!

    • Blair, I think you’re going to have a really tough time transferring to DU with those grades at Charlotte. You can call the school and ask about the visiting option but a lot of schools require you to show hardship if you couldn’t go to Denver – like you must have an important family reason to do this.

  38. Hi Ann, I graduated from Georgia State last year with a 3.8 GPA and scored a 163 on the LSAT. I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not I should stay at Georgia State for law school and graduate with little to no debt, or attend a top 15 law school up north (Columbia, NYU, Georgetown) and graduate ~$120k in debt (assuming I get in). Part of me wants to stay in Atlanta because my cost of living is low and GSU is a “bang-for-your-buck” tier 1 law school; however, I keep thinking that I’ll be able to land a higher-paying job and have better overall career opportunities if I go to a higher-ranked school.
    What are your thoughts on this?
    Also, do you think it would be a good idea for me to go to GSU for my first year and then transfer, therefore lessening my debt by 1/3?

    **Currently, I am not sure what type of law I want to practice or at what type of firm. I also don’t have a preference when it comes to where I will work/live after law school. My main goal is to graduate from a school that will provide me with the best/most career opportunities.

    Thanks for your help and I look forward to your advice!

    • Joy, this is a tough one. A lot of people will tell you to go to a T15 but I can’t guarantee you that the economy will enable you to pay back those loans (see my most recent blog post on this that links to a NYT article). I think scholarships are a great thing. Also, listen to some of my Blog Talk Radio show free podcasts – one on How to Get Hired as a Rookie Attorney (where Jaret Davis talks about taking a scholarship to a lower ranked school instead of going to the top 10 school) and also the one where I interview four attorneys who went to fourth tier schools through Yale and what they are doing with their careers.

  39. Hey Ann,

    I included my honors thesis into my law school applications. It is one of my finest works. It is about 50 pages long. Do you think this will help my application?

  40. Ann,

    Unfortunately I already submitted it (with the honors thesis) about a month ago. It wont hurt my chances will it? I mean I figured that if the committee didnt want to read any part of it, they could just ignore it

  41. Manny, please seek out academic support services at your law school immediately. visit faculty office hours to go over exams and get a tutor if you need. It’s not about black letter law – anyone can memorize. It’s about issue spotting, reasoning, and writing. But don’t wait until you’re on academic probation to do something – be proactive! Good luck!

  42. Brandon Wright on said:

    Hello Ann,
    I was wondering if there a difference of applying to transfer after 1L or is it the same if one would apply spring of 2L year?

  43. Brandon Wright on said:

    Hey Ann,
    1st semester avg 2.8 from stetson law do you think I can get into New York law School if i wanted to transfer?

  44. Brandon Wright,
    People who I know of who transferred to NYLS were in the top 30 percent of their class. I don’t know the curve at Stetson, but it’s a good law school compared to some others and I think you should really try to pull your grades up this semester to try to transfer to NYLS. Good luck!

  45. Brandon Wright on said:

    Hey Ann,
    I have another question what schools in New York do you think I would have the best chance getting into with my numbers?

  46. m.chance-rollins on said:

    I attend a regional school ranked approx. 50. I’m in the part-time program but will have finished all 1st year credits by May. After the fall semester, my GPA is .04 below last year’s top 10% ranking. To maintain my GPA or higher, I’d probably need 2 As next semester.

    I would like to transfer or use a transfer acceptance to get a better scholarship at my current school. Is it a good idea to apply to the Early Action transfer program at Georgetown with my current GPA?

    I’m most interested in transferring to either Columbia or NYU. I do not have big law aspirations but would like to be competitive for post-grad fellowships and clerkships. I’m URM/non-traditional.

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • m.chance-rollins,
      You can certainly try the GT early transfer program but I’m not sure how that’s going to translate into a scholarship at your current school. I tend to believe there is something to be said for being a big fish in a smaller pond… but maybe that’s just me. I just spoke to one of my former clients who transferred from a top 50 to Colombia and I think he regrets it a bit….. But it’s always nice to have the option.

  47. Hi Ann,
    I have finished my first semester at NYLS with a GPA of 2.56 and want to know If I do great next semester and get a 2.8 or higher , do I have any chances of transferring out to other schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, St Johns?

    Thanks in advance Ann

    • David, transferring isn’t for everybody. If that’s all you can do at NYLS, a school with more competitive admission standards is not going to be tempted by you…. Sorry to be blunt. I think too many people think transferring is automatic and easy, and that’s not the case. I tell people this because I want them to be wise about where they decide to attend their first year because most likely that’s where they will graduate from.

  48. Manny Diaz on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I was wondering what law school in the NYC area or new york state that takes the most transfer applicants or are the most open to taking transfer students?

  49. Ann,

    LOVE the feedback you are giving people! This forum is very informative.

    I am a 1L at the University of San Francisco in California. I am in my spring semester now, but as for my fall GPA I received a 3.38, which according to the most recent percentiles (June 2010) puts me in the top 20%. I want to apply to transfer to the higher tiered schools in the northern california i.e. Hastings, Boalt, or Davis. If I stayed in the top 20% by the end of my 1L, what are my chances?

    • Thanks, Randy! There’ve been a lot of comments this week but I’m trying to respond to each one promptly. Glad it’s helpful.
      I think you have a shot. Aim for a little bit higher….. Hastings or Davis could happen. Boalt would be tougher – my guess is they are just taking the top 1 or 2 people from Hastings even….
      Good luck! You’re doing great!

  50. Chris Anderson on said:

    I currently attend Brooklyn Law and got a 3.35 GPA my first semester. I’m not exactly sure where that ranks me in my class since my class rankings don’t come out until the end of my first year. I was looking into transferring to one of the other higher ranked New York law school. Is Fordham a reach for me. If so, what GPA would make my candidacy more viable?

    • Chris Anderson, if you call Fordham, they should tell you (if they’re being nice). My guess is you need to be in the top 5% or so since everyone and their brother would be trying to do the same thing you are….

  51. Manny Diaz on said:

    How much do you charge to help with the application for transfer? Do you reject people if you don’t think their school is plausible for their numbers?

  52. Austin on said:


    This website is awesome!

    Huge dilemma, I am applying to law schools. Maybe I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch but I want a good plan “b”. I have 3.42 GPA and 155 LSAT. Top choices for schools are University of Utah and Uni of Washington. With my gpa and lsat I am nervous about my chances of getting in. I have applied to several other schools t3 and t4.

    In your experience, if I could get a full tuition scholarship or more at a t4 or t3 school, would graduating debt free and “top of class” generally bear more weight than graduating from a low t1 or t2 school?

    Additionally, I applied to Phoenix School of Law. They are not ranked but it seems to me that they should be or will be soon because they became ABA accredited in June 2010. Do you think they will become a tier 4 school or is some other reason that would make them remain non ranked?

    Last question. I’ve also considered studying at a lower ranked school and get a full scholarship and then transfer for 2nd year to a low t1 school like U of U.

    Thanks for what you do.

  53. Austin on said:


    That’s a good question. I am from the Northwest and would love to settle there. However after law school I really wouldn’t mind settling down anywhere in the West. It will all depend on where I get job offers. I plan on doing a JD/MBA joint degree and all the schools I applied to, except for Phoenix doesn’t have one.

    While law school could change my whole career path, at this point I want to practice business/corporate law. I am not looking for an ivy league salary but would want to be somewhere with a strong enough background to start at 80K at least.

  54. Hey Ann,

    I recently applied to Howard Law school and I cant figure out if it is a tier 3 school or tier 4 school. What Tier is it? Do you know if this school is a respectable law school?

  55. Steve Z on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I just finished up my first semester at a lower tier 2 school in the DC area. I finished with a 3.599 GPA, which based on last years decile would put me in the top 10% of my class(3.5-3.88). I would really like to transfer to GULC, but I am not sure whether I should apply early action or if I should wait until the spring. Any thoughts?


  56. Marissa on said:

    I’m at a T4 with a very low curve and thinking of transferring next year; however my first semester grades aren’t as good as I hoped they would be. 2.87 booked Legal writing, 207 out of 703. Any thoughts if I can get into FSU still or possible Stetson? Any other suggestions?

  57. Hi Marissa,

    I am a 1L at Cooley and my goal is to transfer out to either Valpo or John Marshall Chicago. Do you think it is possible? I am from Chicago and although I was accepted to other Tier 4’s, I chose Cooley because it is closer to home. I just started this term and want to transfer out ASAP. Would this type of lateral transfer require a 4.0 or for me to be in the top 10% of my class? I am only taking classes part time this term so that I can focus on getting good grades and getting out.


    • Hi Rosie,
      Do as well as you can with grades. You will probably only be eligible to transfer to other part time programs – it depends on how many credits you will have when you transfer. Call Valpo and JM and ask them how they treat Cooley transfers, ok?

  58. Sinclair on said:

    Hi Ann!

    I’m at Cooley and just got my first term grades. I am in the top 20% of my class. Any chance of getting into Golden Gate, Thomas Jefferson or University of SF?


  59. Hi Anne,

    I’m currently in a tier 1 school looking to transfer. My dream school is GULC, but I don’t know if its even practical to try. I got a 2.9 my first semester, all Bs. I know that Georgetown wants a 3.3-3.7 range or a top 15% of class, neither of which I fit. I have a high IQ but I have a learning disability, so school has always been extremely difficult for me, and law school is certainly no different. I’m a gifted writer though (I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be pompous), and I’m fairly certain its what got me into the school I go to now (because my undergrad grades weren’t impressive either.)

    My question is this: Do I have any chance of transferring to a school like Georgetown, or maybe somewhere else in the top 25, if my grades are not fantastic but my personal statement is a magnum opus and I have at least 1 very good LOR? I’m aiming for early action. I would wait another semester to try and get my grades up but truthfully I really don’t think they are going to go up much, if at all, it kind of goes with the territory of having a learning disability. I feel like the sooner I apply the better my chances. What do you think?

    Also, I have an unusual background: Grew up in rural ohio, born in a log cabin, first generation college grad, Dual citizen of Holland, all of which I mention in my personal statement.

    Lastly, should I try to get as many LORs as possible?

    • Jack,
      Let’s start with the easy thing first – it’s not about quantity with the LORs, it’s about quality. You need a law professor to write on your behalf.
      I worry that your “magnum opus” has way too much – talking about how you grew up, dual citizen, and learning disability? The thing is that with transferring, it’s 80% about your grades and class rank (maybe 90%) and the rest is your resume, letter of rec, and a good, professional personal statement that enumerates reasons why transferring makes sense for you.
      I think with your GPA you’re going to have a tough time transferring. The logic (of the evaluating school) is that if you only got a 2.9 at School X, you would do far worse at school Y if the students came in with higher LSAT scores and GPAs.

  60. Oh, and I talk at length about having an LD in my personal statement. Would that garner any help, or does that make me look weak?

  61. Hi Ann,

    Im a 1L at a T4 and was thinking about transferring to NYU or U of Chicago. I got a 3.96 my first semester which I assume is top 5 in the class. I also have a good work resume and strong undersgrad. Do I have a chance at getting in or am I wasting my time?


  62. Sammie on said:

    Dear Anne,
    I’m 23 years old, and I’m currently working as an English Teacher in China. I came straight out of college and been here for about a year and half. I want to go law school but my GPA from undergrad is low ( Below 3.0) and I also did really bad on the LSAT. I took it two times, but still have been stuck with a score of a 135. I’m not sure what to do. I want to go to Law School and know that I can excel once I’m there, however, my low GPA and low LSAT, is singing another tune. Do you think its still possible to be accepted some where ? I’m sure I’m going to have to apply for T4 school, but I’m worried my grades are just too awful for that. I’m thinking about applying to get my certificate in Paralegal studies and then reapply to Law School,and retaking the Lsats, what are some of your thoughts, or school suggestions.

  63. Alisha on said:

    Hi Ann,

    My first semester GPA was a little over a 3.9. While my school doesn’t rank until after the second semester, last year’s full year 10% cutoff was around a 3.6, so if that’s any indicator I think I’m in good shape. My current school is upper T2. I want to apply EA to GULC. I’m wondering how much of a chance I have, and whether the lack of a “rank” will negatively impact my chances.

    Thanks for your help!

  64. Hi ann, i am a student at NIU law and i just got my first semester grades back and i got a disappointing (1.8 , c-‘s) i would like to apply as a visiting student at my hometown law school in orlando (famu or Barry) my first question is would it be a good reason to inform the school that one of my core reasons for applying a visiting student is because of financial hardship and second i plan on pulling my grades up but is it still possible to apply for summer session at another school based on my current gpa?

  65. Hi Ann,
    I’m a 1L at a lower ranked 1st tier state school. I really like my school but I’ve always wanted to go to NYU which is the alma mater of a close relative. Right now I feel my chances of transferring are not bad as I’ve got about a 4.0 gpa, I’m a student of color, and I’ve got a legacy (not sure how helpful a sibling is in comparison to a parent though). That being said, I’ve also got a pretty nice scholarship and my current tuition is about half of NYU. So I’d end up with about twice the debt if I transferred to NYU. So my questions are, do you agree with my that my chances are solid, and if so, is it even worth it to transfer given that I’m getting a good bargaiin at my current school?

    • Will, you can try. If you try then you’ll have a real decision to make. You’ll have to weigh the finances and see what you’re willing to bet on a degree from NYU versus where you are.

  66. Hi Ann,

    I was one of the ppl with a decent LSAT score at 156 which is nothing to brag about but much above Cooley entrance standard, in fact I think I could have gotten into some T2 schools off the bat! I went to Cooley for all the wrong reasons eg. scholarship, starting in January, close to family (I blame myself since I did not do my research on law school properly). I would like to think of myself as a rare example of a T2 student who was in a T4 school.

    I did pretty decent first year with a 2.94 and transferred out to Cleveland State which is a T3 n started this January which isn’t much but still way better than Cooley.

    Based on my final marks which I just received I have a 2.96 in total which isnt much anywhere else but is an accomplishment at Cooley seeing as that put me in the top 30%- 28% to be exact.

    However, I do not want to stay in Cleveland (T3) either. What do you think my chances are for transferring to Florida State University (which from my research accepts a lot of transfer students and requires you be in the top 1/3 of your class), U Miami, and U Houston all T2 schools? Hopefully that would be the final move for, moved up the ladder slowly but got there!



  67. Hi Ann,
    I’m a student at a lower ranked top 100 school. My GPA is about 3.9 and I’m a minority student. I’m thinking of applying to NYU where my sister attended. Do you think I have a shot?


  68. Hi,

    I’m currently at a T1 school with a 3.6 GPA (we don’t have our rankings or grade distributions yet). I’d like to try and transfer back to the east coast where I’m from. I’m not as happy in the region that my school is located in as I would have hoped, and it isn’t the region in which I want to work after I graduate. I came for a high-ranking specialization the school has, and now I’m not certain I want to specialize in that anymore. Also, I would like to go back to the east coast where I’m from and work in public policy and I think schools there would give me more opportunities.

    What are the chances of transferring into the top schools in DC and some NYC schools, like GULC, GW, and Fordham. I’m also going to try and transfer down in ranking to George Mason, American, and Cardozo. Any thoughts?

    • Jill, your grades are good. ABsolutely give it a shot at those schools. I think you raise a great point – people pick areas of specialization and make big decisions based on that, but then things change…

  69. Well hopefully I will be the first student you’ve heard of that transferred twice!

    I got out of Cooley as soon as I possibly could and transferred 30 credits here to Cleveland State. Since Florida State transfers a maximum of 45 credits I don’t see why it would not be possible. The other schools I’m willing to lose a few credits. Any idea on the strength of top 30% class rank at Cooley would have on sending apps to FSU, UMiami and Houston?

    Thanks again,


  70. Hi Anne,
    I have a low UGPA (2.78) and low LSAT score of 147. I also went ahead and got a Masters in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University but did not get a GPA from the program. What do you think my chances are as far as getting into Law School? I still intend on applying to UDC this year but what other schools come to mind as far as a realistic option for folks like myself. I do intend on taking the LSAT for the third time. I think my new work schedule allows more time to study/ take prep courses such as Kaplan.
    I do intend on transferring after my 1L year as I am confident I will do well so choice of school does not matter at this point. My grades during undergrad were as a result of many factors I could not control. I intend to mention this in a personal statement.

    • Sammie,
      I have a few concerns outside of the low numbers and lack of graduate grades (but at a great university so I’m hoping you have brilliant LORs from faculty members). One concern is whether you’re applying for Fall 2011 or Fall 2012 – I hope it’s 2012.
      Also, it makes me nervous when people tell me how confident they are of being able to transfer, especially with no history of great performance in the classroom. It’s important to be realistic about your prospects. Everyone seems to think they are the exception to the rule, and that’s of course not the case.

  71. Currently 1L at tier 4. Disappointed in 1st semester grades. Standing at a 3.3 and top 19%. Undergrad had a 4.0. Any viable chance at getting into the U of I. Illinois resident. Wanting to transfer there, but dont want to waste my time if they will not consider my application


  72. Dennis from Texas,

    Apply to Seton Hall Law, you have a good chance of admission. I’m there and I absolutely love it. I had a 159/3.6 and I recieved a 2/3 scholarship. It’s a wonderful school, way better than Rutgers.

  73. john jun on said:


    In terms of applying for as visiting students, do schools generally accept the applications or are they as critical as transfer student applications? I see that the application process is generally the same, but what do they consider on visiting student application? It would be to an equivalent tier school, but there’s more demand for that school than the one I am currently attending. Thank you in advance.

    • John Jun,
      Visiting is a whole other can of worms. Usually schools want to hear about a real necessity for you to be in that geographic location and a job or wife won’t usually do it. You have to show an emergency in most cases.

  74. Hi Ann,
    I am a 1L at a T4 school. My below potential GPA and LSAT score landed me here. I finished the fall semester with a 3.7, ranked in the top 10% of my class. I am wondering what the possibility of transferring to either UConn Law, St. Johns, or New York Law would be. Thanks so much.

  75. Ann,

    I currently attend a T25 school and have a GPA just above what is typically the top 10% cutoff marker. So by the end of the year, I will most likely be somewhere around the top 8%-15% of my class based on my 2nd semester grades. My goal is to transfer to one of Columbia, NYU or Penn. Do my numbers make me competitive for such a transfer? Also, does URM status factor into transfer admissions? I am hispanic and quite active in the hispanic community, but I’m not sure if that is the sort of thing that they will even care to know when I apply. Thank you for your help.

  76. Ann,
    I am currently a 1L at Suffolk and after fall grades I’m in the top 23% of my class. I am originally from CA and would like to go back. I’m thinking Southwestern…would I have a chance since this is a lateral transfer? Thanks.

  77. Hi Ann,
    I have just gained admittance to Temple, Brooklyn, and Villanova. I have my heart set on Columbia, NYU, Georgetown or Cornell; still waiting on these schools to respond. I studied undergrad at UPenn, but underachieved on my LSAT to hit mid-160’s.

    Given that I do not get into the 4 schools above, and that I receive top marks at Temple or Brooklyn; do I have a decent chance of transferring to one of the 4 schools listed above? And if so, will they accept all of my credits gained at a Temple or a Brooklyn? Thanks for your time Ann.


    • Scott, this all depends on your grades/class rank during your 1L year. Credit acceptance wouldn’t be an issue. I’ve worked with a lot of people at top 100 schools who have transferred into Georgetown – the top 5 schools are a bit more tough from a T100.

  78. Also, would it be easier to transfer from a U Georgia or a UNC which are more highly ranked; given I would perform equally well at those institutions? Thank you again Ann.


  79. Arlene A on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m currently a 1L at Southwestern. My undergrad gpa was a 3.52 with a 152 LSAT, but I rocked my first semester grades at Southwestern with a 3.934 (all A’s and one A-). What are my chances of transferring from T3 to T1 (UCLA, USC, UC Hastings, etc.- in CA)? Is that realistic?

  80. Anderson Vullo on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have received acceptance letters from several law schools. I was offered a scholarship by Charlotte School of Law which is provisionally accredited. I’m finding it really tempting; however, if I chose to transfer after 1L, would I find takers? Appalachian is another school I was accepted to. I guess my question is would I be stuck at these schools even if I excelled during my 1L. I’m planning to graduate from any law school I attend 1L, but hopeful to transfer.

    • Anderson, I think it will be hard to transfer from either of these schools, and it’s never a good idea to start law school feeling like you would NEED to transfer because if it doesn’t work out, you will be stuck.

  81. Hi Ann,

    I recently finished my first semester at a T4, non ranked, and provisionally accredited school. I am currently in my second semester. My undergrad GPA was 3.9, my LSAT was 152, and my current GPA is 3.7 (2 A’s, 2 A-‘s, and a B+ in a writing course). What are the chances of transferring to Duke, UNC Chappel Hill, or U. of South Carolina? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Matt,
      Congratulations on doing so well during your first semester of law school. I think U. South Carolina is the most feasible of the three you mentioned – it’s probably unrealistic to try to transfer to a top ranked school….

  82. Hi Ann,

    I am interested in transferring from a T4 school (Salmon P. Chase at Northern Kentucky) to a T1, the University of Kentucky. I finished my first year in the top 10 of my class (or top 15%). My LSAT was a 151 and my GPA is 3.3. I have worked my whole 1L as a clerk and have gained some great experience. Is it worth the effort of putting together a transfer package or I will be wasting my time?


  83. Jessica on said:

    My LSAT was low, but my undergrad and graduate GPA are high, both over 3.5. I got into Touro Law for the Fall 2011 semester. Would it be possible to transfer from Touro to Hofstra Law after one year at Touro?

    • Jessica, it would be possible if your grades and class rank are near the top. You can inquire with Hofstra about any standards they might have for transfers (top 20%, top 10%, etc.)

  84. Brittney on said:

    Hi Ann, I’m applying this cycle to Virginia publics and lower-tiered D.C. schools and will hear back from some shortly. My UGPA from UVA is probably not competitive enough for UVA, WM, and GMU. So I will likely accept admission, if offered, from Howard, American, or U of D.C. Assuming I finish 1L with solid grades above the top 10%, do I have a decent shot at the Virginia publics? Note: I have a Virginia Veteran’s Ed. Scholarship waiving tuition and fees at a Virginia public, which is why I am desperate to get in either of those. Thanks

  85. Layla on said:

    Hi Ann, I am applying to law school for this fall semester and cannot tell you how helpful your advice has been! I was just wondering if you could help me with my specific situation. I have a low UGPA-a 2.89 and an average LSAT score-a 152. I live in Texas but am applying to fourth tier law schools in california, new york and florida as well as to ones in TX. I am applying to mostly 4 tier schools with the assumption that I don’t really have a shot of getting in anywhere else. I eventually want to live and practice in Texas and would love to transfer to someplace like Texas Tech or SMU. Knowing my UGPA and LSAT score, do you think it will be possible for me to transfer to a higher ranking school (2nd or thrid tier?) Also, do Texas law schools prefer transfter students who are currently enrolled in other Texas schools? I am unsure if my attending a California school will be detrimental to my transfering to a Texas one next year. Thank you!

    • Hi Layla, I’m so happy the blog has been helpful for you. For transferring, it will all come down to your grades in law school. It’s hard for me to tell someone with a low UGPA that they are likely to be in the top 10% of their law school class at any law school, though, especially with an average LSAT score. I think you need to pick a law school you’d be happy graduating from – you can’t count on being able to transfer. If you are able to transfer, great, but you can’t count on that. And if you’re away from TX when you really should be in TX for personal reasons then you are likely to be distracted in law school and not able to concentrate. (This doesn’t happen to everyone but can be a factor for some).

  86. Frank on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just want to first reiterate what Layla said above, this blog has been extremely helpful. I was wondering what my chances are at a certain school, as well as how to draft personal statement for transfer. I go to BC Law, and love it there but would like to attempt a transfer to Gtown. We only have 3 grades in, but I have a 3.33 which lands me somewhere in the top 35%ish i think. I’m racing to apply early action, with an expectation that I will probably be deferred (you think I’m right on that? I called Gtown per your advise above and they wouldn’t budge on telling me where someone from BC would have to be to be a serious candidate, only that they “weigh” the ranking of the school and its competitiveness into their decision).

    My main question is what to say in this personal statement. One of the large reasons I want to transfer is that Gtown has a joint degree program with the harvard kennedy school (which has been my dream school all my life). But it’s not like that is the only reason, I went to GW undergrad and Gtown was my number one realistic choice last year as well b/c of its international focus and proximity to the capitol. I’m sure I would want to emphasize the latter, but am unsure as what to do with the former reason for my transfer (telling a school you in part want to go there b/c you want to go to another school is weird).

    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Hi Frank. This is a popular question since GT has a unique early transfer program. I think that you’ll probably need to get your grades closer to top 20 percent or higher to be a serious contender. I’d be happy to speak with you about this – I can’t advise you what to write about in your personal statement over the blog format but we do offer a transfer package (currently discounted through the end of the month) and personal statement help for transfer applicants.

  87. Hi Ann,

    I am a current 1L at Barry University. I am hoping to transfer into FSU or possibly UF. My law school GPA is a 2.95, but my school curves to a 2.5. However, I am currently in the top 25% of my class after 1 semester and I think that I have a shot at moving up in the rankings this semester. My undergrad GPA and LSAT scores are 3.0 and 155. Do I stand a shot at moving up? Also, would you recommend transferring into a better ranked school where you will likely not make Law Review or stay with a Tier-4 school where your chances of making Law Review are pretty solid? Thank you for your help. Richard

    • Hi Rich,
      Let me answer the second question first. I actually do not think the question is about law review -it’s about jobs. It’s about whether you are networking and hustling and making contacts. If you make law review, then great, but that’s only because it can help you get certain jobs if you market yourself appropriately.
      If you are able to transfer to FSU or UF, I think you’d be better off. But I think you’ll need to continue working on those grades this semester and being in the top 25% won’t be enough. I wish you all the best – let us know if we can help.

  88. Hi Ann,

    I have a sort of unique issue at hand. I am currently a second semester senior at UW-Madison. I got a 162 on the LSAT, and my cumulative GPA is currently a 3.25 (a bit low for my liking). Here is the problem: I slacked academically during my freshman year of college and got some pretty terrible grades. I turned my act around halfway through sophomore year, and I have now had 4 consecutive semesters of a 3.65 or higher, including one 4.0. My goal is to go to Northwestern for law school, but I didn’t bother to apply since I knew that, as I stand, I would be rejected. I did, however, get into Loyola Chicago, Chicago-Kent, and DePaul. I got very large scholarships at 2 of these 3 schools, and a modest scholarship at the other. I’m wondering, if I go to one of these schools for my 1L and get stellar grades, would a transfer to Northwestern be feasible? Moreover, should I retake the LSAT in hopes of transferring? My practice tests (2 per week during the month leading up to the test) were never below a 164, so odds are that I could do better than a 162 if I retook the test let’s say in June, when I will be done with undergrad and can focus all of my attention on the LSAT. Overall, what I’m asking is do I have a shot at transferring into Northwestern after my 1L at one of those other Chicago schools? Also, I am wait-listed at UW-Madison Law. If I get in, would it put me in a better position to transfer to Northwestern if I go to UW for a year since it’s a tier 1 school? Thank you so much, any advice you have for me would be great.

    • Vera,
      You don’t have to retake the LSAT for transfer purposes. Even if you wanted to wait a year and retake the LSAT to reapply I don’t think your practice scores show a high likelihood of improvement since you scored within 2-4 points of your practice exams (unless you left out some important information about your LSAT practice scores). My first pick for you would be UW-Madison. After that, go for the scholarship and work your butt off to get fantastic grades in law school. That way, your worst case scenario is being a bigger fish in a smaller pond (and a big fish with little debt, allowing you your choice of jobs upon graduation!) and you may also find yourself with the opportunity to transfer to your dream school. I wish you all the best!

  89. Hi Ann,

    I took the Feb lsat and got a low score of 151, however I do have a 3.77 GPA. I have applied to all schools in the metro DC area for their part-time program. My question is that if I only get into UDC should I go there and transfer out or should I reapply next year? I have to stay into the DC area because my company is paying for me to go to school part time. Also do other DC schools take transfer applicants from UDC? I’ve heard mixed answers about this question.


    • Hi Uma, I have a few thoughts for you:
      1. I think you would do much better applying early in the cycle than now with a late application.
      2. I think you are great in the classroom, which shows real potential for excelling in law school and either being a big fish in a small pond or being able to transfer to a bigger pond.
      3. My preference would be for you to apply early next year, and perhaps consider whether you have potential to improve your LSAT score in the meantime.


  90. Deanne on said:

    Hey Ann,

    As an undergrad I was unfocused and immature, which is reflected in my GPA (2.4). I had a decent LSAT (163) and was accepted to some lower ranked schools. I realize that my ability to transfer is contingent upon my performance as a 1L, but I was wondering if it was feasible to transfer from Cumberland Law to the University of Alabama. I’d appreciate any insight you might offer! Thanks!

  91. Dear Ann,
    I am just finishing up undergrad and have been accepted to both Charlotte School of Law & New England Law I Boston (both T4 schools). What I am wondering is which school would present the best job opportunitites after graduation from law school? and if I was in the top 5% of my class after my L1 year would it be possible to transfer to a T2 or T1 school? and if it is which of the two above schools would allow the best opportunity to transfer? Charlotte is a new law school that is only provisionally accredited at this time, but expects full accredidation this summer and New England Law I Boston is an older law school that has been around for over 100 years and is fully accredited. I appreciate your feedback.


    • Hi Matt,
      First, I want to be clear that Charlotte isn’t yet ranked, but I agree that it will be a 4th tier school when it is ranked.
      The thing I want to emphasize is how difficult it is to be in the top 5% of any law school’s class. People think if they work harder than they’ve ever worked, they will be at the top of their class. But in law school EVERYONE works harder than they’ve ever worked, so only 5% of the people who are working hard are in the top 5% of the class.
      IF you do end up being at the top of your class, I think you’ll be able to transfer to a Top 100 school from either law school. But I mean top. Not top half or top third….
      Good luck in law school!!!!

  92. Daphne on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am so glad this thread was revived again this year. It has been very helpful, but I still have a bit of a conundrum.

    I am at Univ. of San Diego and like the school well enough, but would really like to transfer back to Northern California for family reasons.

    I have a partial merit scholarship here (renewable) but feel that getting in to Davis or Hastings might still be worth taking the financial hit. My dream of course is Boalt Hall or even going back to UCLA, but I have suspicions that they are well out of my reach.

    Coming in to USD I had a 164/3.67 from UCLA but after my first semester here I am looking at a 3.24 (they haven’t ranked us yet but it is likely that might only put me in the top 30%). Hopefully I can get up to the top 20%, but if not it would be nice to know if even applying is worth the potential drawbacks (ie. OCI/Summer Grants restrictions/write-ons, etc.)

    Given your previous comments about having strong cut-offs for transfers, I am concerned that missing the rank cut-off by even a little would so seriously damage my application. Would it be prudent to not risk applying unless I am at least in the top 20%?

    What about for a lower ranked school like Santa Clara?


    • Daphne,
      There is no reason not to try applying just because you may not make a “cutoff” – you can still try. I don’t think it would be worth it to transfer to Santa Clara because you’ll lose your scholarship. Of course, if you will be living with family members and have decreased costs and more access to jobs where you want to live then it might be worthwhile. Keep working on your grades and try the transfer applications and see what happens.

  93. Hi Ann,

    I am a 1L at a T4 in MI. I am applying to transfer to FSU starting this summer semester. My LSGPA is 3.3(Deans List/Honor Roll) with a class rank in the top 16%. I have 2 strong letters of rec. from law school professors in whose classes I made A’s, as well as a very strong letter from a UG professor. My transfer statement cites the opportunities unavailable to me at my present institution, as well as schools location in the capitol city and affiliation w/ a research university as the main reasons. There are a number of great opportunities for legal scholarship and research at FSU as well as an excellent program and faculty in environmental law. I am a FL resident and the close proximity to my family coupled with the nice in-state tuition rates make FSU an extremely desirable law school for me.

    What do schools take into account when making decisions? Is the fact that I am applying for the summer term helpful to my cause? Please give me your professional evaluation of my case. Thanks so much, your page has been vastly helpful!

    • Zac, it sounds like you’re applying to the right school for the right reasons. I can’t comment on whether FSU takes transfers more easily in the summer than the fall, because in most cases a school wants to see your entire 1L grades before admitting you as a transfer and you won’t have your grades in time for summer session. Your class rank and ties to FL and real reason for wanting to be at FSU should serve you very well. Other good news: Last year, FSU took 61 transfers (that’s a lot!)

  94. Ann,

    My name is Zach, and I currently a 1L in day division at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (“McGeorge”). Here is my story and predicament. As an undergrad I graduated suma cum laude from the University of San Francisco. In the course of my LSAT prep my practice test scores were between160 and 170. However, come test day I scored a 154. Because I did not want to endure the stress induced by the studying again I went ahead and applied. McGeorge was the only Tier 1 school that admitted me and I was given no scholarship money. I am in a section here at McGeorge that does Torts in one semester and Civ Pro in one (I know most schools do some form of this, however this is an exepriment here). My grades to this date are as follows: Torts Final Grade: A-, Legal Writing to date (year long course): A, Property Midterm: B+, Contracts Midterm: B-, Civ Pro Spring Midterm: A+, Criminal Law (Spring Class): Pending. McGeorge uses a scale which begins with a 4.3 for an A+ and descends. I figure my GPA at this point would be around 3.3–3.6, but have not done the math. From what I have gathered, this would likely place me within the Top 25%-10% respectively. I would like to transfer because if I am to pay full price it would behoove me to graduate from the best school (in the context of ranings) possible. I would like to transfer either to UC Hastings, UC Davis or UCLA. Assuming that I get into the top 15-5% range would I have a decent chance of transferring to any of these schools?

  95. Hello Ann,
    Your blog is highly informative – thank you. I recently emigrated to the US and missed most application deadlines for 2011. (I was an attorney abroad and didn’t anticipate having to return to law school.) Which do you think is a wiser route: (i) apply to Emory, GSU or UGA for 2012; or (ii) apply to John Marshall (T4) for 2011 in the hope I can try to transfer in 2012 to Emory etc? My instinct is the former, but I would appreciate your view as someone who knows what she is talking about!

  96. Alexander Reynolds on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I have decided to attend a part time Tier 4 law program. I am wondering if part time law students can transfer to other law schools after 1L? If so, would a Tier 2 part time/full time law program be out of the question even if I excelled in my 1L.

  97. Nate Reynolds on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I have decided to attend a part time Tier 4 law program. I am wondering if part time law students can transfer to other law schools after 1L? If so, would a Tier 2 part time/full time law program be out of the question even if I excelled in my 1L

  98. Melissa on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I am currently 20 years old and graduating with a Bachelors from the University of Maryland. I have received a full scholarship to Whitter, and a partial scholarship to St. Thomas. I was accepted to other schools, but $40,000 a year is not an option financially because I do intend to transfer. I am planning on practicing in New York and therefore hoping to transfer after my 1Y. Whittier is close to home and I would be able to commute, but I have ill feelings about enrolling in a state so different from New York. Am I better off going to St. Thomas if I want to transfer to NY? Should I take the scholarship? I just do not want to regret going to Whittier if being in Florida will give me a better chance at transferring to a New York Law School. Thanks for your time.

  99. Melanie on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I am graduating with a bachelors in criminal justice from the University of Maryland this May. I have been awarded a full scholarship to both Whittier in Los Angeles and St Thomas in Miami. Due to recent developments I will most likely to 100% be practicing in New York. I am considering transfering to a NY law school after my 1L or taking a year off and reapplying. I missed the cutoff dates to apply to the schools in NY, but I cannot decide if it’s a smart decision for me to transfer into NY or to take a year off and start fresh in NY. I really don’t want to give up the scholarship opportunity in Whittier or St. Thomas. If I were to transfer which school am I better off going to next year? Will being in Miami give me a better chance of transferring to NY than LA will? Thanks for your advice

    • Melanie, If you want to go to law school in NY then you need to wait a year and apply early for Fall 2012 admission. Don’t make a short-sighted decision to go to a law school that you know you want to transfer from. Transferring is not automatic!

  100. Ann,
    I recently took my feb lsat and didnt do as well as planned. I anticipate getting into Thomas Jefferson and Golden Gate, both Tier 4 schools. I then planned on trying to transfer. Am I better off waiting a year or attending and trying to transfer??

    • Nate, if you believe you can improve your LSAT score and that you would get into schools you’d rather attend if you do improve your LSAT score, then I advise waiting. Do things right rather than trying to transfer later and then being stuck if it doesn’t work out.

  101. Craig on said:


    I noticed a response to a Matt on March 21st above regarding transferring out of Charlotte School of Law.

    I am considering attending this school because of it’s location (where my wife must live for work), and the scholarship that they’ve offered.

    In your opinion, is it possible to transfer from this school in the future assuming lets say a top 10% 1L? Not planning on going for the sake of transferring later, but like I said, assuming a good performance is it possible in your opinion? Do you have an arbitrary top __% that you would say is where you need to aim should you want this to be an option down the road?


    • Hi Craig,
      I think the closer you can get to the top of the class the better. THere’s not a lot of precedent for transferring from this school since it’s newly accredited.

  102. Ann,

    First Semester I was in the top 10% at Valpo Law. I’m sending out transfer apps to
    IU Bloomington,
    U. Washington,
    U. Colorado, and
    George Washington in DC.
    Am I shooting too high? Does it matter that I don’t have that many ties in Colorado and Washington state?

    Also, will these schools know that I’m sending out applications to other schools (i.e. will IU also know that I’m applying to GW)? Am I sending out too many? I don’t want to make it seem like I’m just applying the “shotgun” method. I have really good reasons to go to each of these schools!

    • Hi Tim,
      I hope that your applications articulate the “good reasons” you have to go to each school. Schools won’t know where else you are applying. I think you are shooting high from Valpo, but I think your grades at Valpo are encouraging. I wish you all the best! Let me know what happens.

  103. Kristie on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I’ve sent out my applications and have been accepted in Golden Gate U. and Western State. I’m still waiting to hear back from Southwestern. I had decent LSAT scores but a poor undergrad GPA. I’m leaning towards going to Golden Gate because I have a home up here in northern cali. My question is, would it make a significant difference if I go to Southwestern (if I get in) versus Golden Gate if I plan to try and transfer after my first year? I would like to try and transfer to either Hastings or UCSF. I would love to go to Boalt but know its is way out of the picture. Would going to Golden Gate significantly decrease my chances of transfering as a T4?

    • Kristie, people transfer from SW to USC, for example, but probably not to Boalt. That’s not incredibly realistic. Also, that only happens if they are in the top 10% of their class – and, please remember that 90% of the class wants to be in the top 10% and don’t make it. If you want to be in Northern California, I don’t see any reason to go to Western State.

  104. Hi Ann,

    I’ve been accepted to Golden Gate and am waiting on the results from Southwestern. I’m leaning towards going to Golden Gate because I’m from northern Cali and have a house in the SF bay area.

    My question is, if I do get into Southwestern, would it make a significant difference if I go to Southwestern versus Golden Gate if I plan to try and transfer after my first year? I plan to try and transfer to Hastings, USF, and Santa Clara. As a very long shot, I will probably also apply to Boalt. I know either way that I would have to get top 5% of my class grades but would transfering from southwestern versus Golden Gate make my chances of success a lot better?

    • I think if you have a home in the Bay Area then it just isn’t feasible to go to Southwestern. If you’re in the top 5% at GG, then USF and Santa Clara are viable, Hastings could happen too, but I still don’t know about Boalt…..

  105. Scott on said:


    I am trying to decide between attending Loyola (Los Angeles) and Brooklyn Law. I was offered a scholarship (50%) from Loyola and Brooklyn Admission mentioned that if I improved my LSAT score (currently low 160’s), I possibly could qualify for merit aid, if some remained in July after taking an LSAT in June. Given that Loyola is ranked higher, which school do you think would position me better to transfer into Columbia/NYU, and if Brooklyn, do you believe it is worth retaking the LSAT.

    • Scott, knowing how you do on standardized tests, it is even feasible to bring up your score significantly? And, if it is, why wouldn’t you then reapply next year to a different crop of law schools?

  106. Ann,

    I am a student at a T4 in the Northeast (outside of NY state) and want to move to NYC, as my wife will be attending college there, and I want to work/live in NYC. I moved here from a large city on the west coast and really want to get back to living in a major city again, as well.

    My GPA as of now is a 3.2, however, for midterms I placed 2nd in Contracts and 3rd in Property so far, which there is an upcoming final for. I am confident that I will do just as well on finals, if not better. The school curves at an 80 (2.5-2.7 i believe). I do not know my full rank at this time, however.

    However, I am often worried at my chances of getting into any school in NYC. I am looking at St. Johns, Cardozo, NYLS, but would accept anything in the city. Also considering Rutgers and Fordham as a reach. Do you feel I have a good chance of getting into any of those schools?

    I also have 2 LORS from law professors if that helps.

    Thank you,

    • Josh, you’re doing so well in your classes – that’s fantastic!!!!! It’s worth trying for, so keep up the good work this semester! And your LORs are great too!

  107. Hello,
    I am wondering if it helps or hurts if I was previously accepted at a T-1, went elsewhere to a T-3, but now want to go that T-1. It was mainly for location reasons that I didn’t go to the T-1. My LSAT was at their 75th percentile. I understand they may not consider your LSAT when transferring. Is that so?


  108. Hi Ann!

    I’m a 1L at a school ranked in the 50s in CA, but am from IL and desperately want to be back home. My ideal school is U of I, but I would be happy going to Kent also.

    I called both schools to ask around what percentile they normally admit. Kent said a lateral transfer from a Loyola Chicago type school, top 50% is ok. U of I said “upper 25%,” not giving information from what type of school.

    At my current school, I have gotten a 3.27, which puts me right at the top third. If I stay in the 3.3 range, do I have a shot at U of I (presumptively because I’m not transferring in from a lower school)?


  109. Hello ann, i am a 1L at a t4 school and did not do well at all during my first semester, i want to do a visiting back home at famu school of law , a school i could have went to in the first place because i would not be able to afford to live whether to keep living where i live at , do u think its possible for me to do visiting for a year at famu. Further the dean at my law school knows the dean at famu law school , and said she would put a good word in, do u think this will help my chances

  110. J, you can certainly try. It’s good for FAMU because it’s tuition and if the dean says he’ll help you then that should help but you’re going to have to return to your current law school.

  111. Ann,

    I have just applied to a number of universities and am looking to attend law school in the fall. On the table right now is Indiana University-Indianapolis, University of Baltimore, and a waitlist at Catholic University. Baltimore has offered me an excellent scholarship covering almost all my expenses and Indiana and Catholic have not. Should I consider attending a T2 law school despite the high expenses of 40K per year for each school or go to a T3 with a nearly full ride and transfer up later? I’m hoping to get into a low T1 school if I can manage to be in the top 1% of my class.

    Thank you!

    • Hi D,
      First, congratulations on your scholarship. I was just in DC and met with a client at UB who is really happy with the school and teachers.
      I think it is REALLY hard to be in the top 1% of your class. I also think that having no debt coming out of law school opens up your choices post law school more than the difference between Catholic and UB opens up choices. You’re not talking about GW or Georgetown here. I think that there’s a lot to be said for going to law school for FREE!

  112. I am having financial issues and wont be able to stay at my school for the second year , do you think that this would be significant consideration for a school near my hometown to allow me to do a visiting for a year?

    • John,
      It might do the trick but you’ll have to provide some convincing (not over-the-top) details, and you’ll also have to share why you’d be able to return to your home institution afterward.

  113. Hi Ann, I’m currently at a Top 20 school with a scholarship of more than 50% of tuition. I’m within the top 25% of my class with a biglaw job lined up for my 1L summer. Would it be worth it to transfer to a school back home in CA, such as Berkeley? Would it be even realistic to apply to Stanford? I “like” where I am now, but would “love” to be back in CA. Thank you!

    • Bob, it sounds like you have a lot of great stuff lined up and working well for you. I don’t think top 25% will cut it for Berkeley or Stanford – they are really poaching the top person from schools.

  114. Arthur on said:

    Hi Ann,
    First off, I just read The Law School Admission Game… great book! At any rate, I graduated two years ago from a reputable undergrad program with a 3.2 GPA. I have solid work experience (although not law-related). I’m currently scheduled to take the June LSAT for the first time and reasonably anticipate around a 165.
    Now comes the difficult situation. Pending any decent score on the LSAT, I could attend a T3 school starting THIS fall and possibly transfer later on. I know you advise against entering any school with the intention of transferring, but I’m simply trying to make the most of my time and current situation. I’d like to get into a top 14 school, but even with an LSAT approaching 170, I feel like my undergrad GPA would still drag me down considerably. I’d also have to spend another year waiting.
    I know transfer student pools are very small and competitive, but I’m thinking this is my best bet for a top school. Hindsight is 20/20, and although I could have EASILY earned a 3.7+ in my undergrad had ever applied myself, the question now is whether I will be a more attractive applicant as top 5% of a third tier school, or mediocre at best among standard JD applicants. Thanks!!

    • Arthur, I’m REALLY glad you loved the book. I think I answered this in another subject line but transferring to a top 14 is not easy and you are setting yourself up for graduating from the T3 school you would attend and being bitter your whole life about a choice you should’ve taken the time to set up correctly. Please let me know if I can help you further.

  115. Arthur on said:

    I’m really torn on this and would really appreciate your help: I would absolutely LOVE to attend a certain school ranked 11th by USN, and my second choice would happen to be 12th. I’m several years out of school, my undergrad GPA was a little over 3.2 and I anticipate an LSAT score in the mid 160s when I take it next month.
    My question is this: Should I postpone my LSAT til Oct, try for 170+, then apply for Fall ’12 with my unimpressive GPA, OR attend a third tier school starting this Fall and apply as a transfer in lets say the top 5% of my class? Which is more likely to succeed? The thought of spending a year waiting to begin law school seems awful, but I don’t want to severely limit my options down the road by attending a school that won’t be taken seriously for transfer to top 14.
    Thank you!

    • Arthur, I think it would be unwise to start law school this fall (if you could even get into a law school for this fall with a June LSAT score, which I doubt even if schools claim to be happy to accept your application fee). You need to wait, take the LSAT in October and do the best you can and know you gave the possibility of attending your dream schools the best chance of coming to fruition.

  116. Arthur on said:

    Opps, I accidentally double posted because the original post didn’t appear at first.

    Thanks for the help Ann. I think it’s wonderful that you take the time to maintain these blogs and give people crucial one on one advice. I’ll continue to prepare for the upcoming LSAT, but likely take your advice and postpone it in the end. My main concern is giving myself the best chance possible.

    Out of curiosity, do you think there is even a reasonable chance of someone at the very top of their class at a T3 transferring to a top 14? I took your advice from other questions and called some schools I’m interested in, but nobody could give me any specifics or statistics regarding transfer students they took or denied. For example, Duke hadn’t taken anyone in recent years from my school, but they couldn’t say anything beyond “evaluation is done on an individual basis.” That means it’s hypothetically possible, but if it’s an EXTREME long shot even with a 4.0 and amazing recommendations, then that pretty much closes the book on that option.

  117. Bryce on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently an undergrad at Cal State Long Beach in CA. My GPA is currently a 3.5, great letters of rec/resume and I take the LSATs in Oct. but I know I am not good at standardized tests (even with Kaplan prep courses) I want to end up in the Massachusetts area, and prospectively be able to transfer into any of the top tier schools there. What would be the best route to take in order to reach my goal? Apply to Suffolk, Northeastern, etc and transfer from there, or stay out in CA and transfer from here? Being 21 I’m feeling a great amount of various pressures, and I would very much appreciate any kind of guidance! Thanks Ann!

    • Bryce,
      I think the first thing you need to do is think about the LSAT – what will you do to overcome your standardized testing history? Kaplan may not be the right way for you to go if you struggle with the LSAT – you may greatly benefit from working with a private tutor who is a good teacher and understands how to work with people who have your strengths and weaknesses. It’s too soon to think about transferring – take one step at a time .See where your LSAT score is then we can evaluate your options.

  118. Bryce on said:

    You’re right. I’m really looking forward to getting to that very point. Thank you for being so prompt with your response. This is pretty settling! Great advice πŸ™‚

  119. Eric on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Just finished first year at GW. Still waiting on more than half of my spring grades but will probably be in the B+ range. Strong softs and int’l work experience (though I hear they don’t count for much).

    Trying to transfer to Georgetown.

    Think I have a chance? If not, where do you think I’d need to be. Any advice?

  120. Charlie on said:

    Hi Ann

    My LSDAS GPA was a 3.96 from the business school at the University of Texas but my LSAT score was a dismal 148 (I know, I can’t explain it either…). It looks like I’ll be attending the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, definitely not my top choice.

    With the elite GPA, I figured why not apply to every tier and see what happens and I got some very interesting results. I was waitlisted at UMaryland (Tier 1), Michigan State(Tier 3), and South Texas College of Law (Tier 4). So it appears that I’m competitive for admission at a Tier 1 but can’t automatically get into a Tier 4?

    Anyhow how hard would it be with extremely solid grades to transfer to the following:
    University of Texas (my 1st choice)
    University of Maryland (considering I was waitlisted)
    Michigan State (considering I was waitlisted)

    I can’t see myself staying at Thurgood Marshall, but I can’t bank on the fact that any of these waitlists will open up so please offer your wisdom!

    • Hi Charlie,
      You definitely cast a wide net with your schools and saw the benefits of it. I think what I would suggest is NOT going to Thurgood, and trying to get into MD or MSU. IF you don’t then retake the LSAT and apply next year. (Since you can’t explain your LSAT score – maybe you have a history of poor standardized test performance, but I’m unclear from your message).
      Never attend a law school you don’t want to graduate from because there is NO guarantee that a 3.9 will follow you through law school and that you’ll be able to transfer.

  121. Cammie on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I am at Loyola Los Angeles and will probably be finishing in the Top 5-10%. Do you think it will be worth giving up law review & and my GPA to go to UCLA or USC? I’ve heard horror stories of Loyola grads last year who were in the top 5% and still cannot get a job.

  122. Travis on said:

    Hi Anne,

    I just finished my 1L year at Cooley with a 3.06 GPA. I made the Dean’s list 2nd Semester with a 3.2. I am from Texas and trying to transfer back home. What do you think my chances are of getting into South Texas College of Law in Houston? I am unsure of my ranking because it hasn’t been published by my thoughts are that I’ll be between top 25%-30%. I have two letters of rec from professors and a good resume from work I did between college and law school. Thanks for any advice.

    • Hi Travis, it is definitely worth trying – it’s not an unreasonable option. I think, however, you should add other schools (like St. Mary’s) into the mix.

  123. Brittany on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m feeling a little overwhelmed because I’m deciding to transfer law schools but I’m not sure (1) which law schools I have a good chance in getting into and (2) whether if I should wait on transferring and bring up my GPA (even though i would really like to transfer now than later).

    I’m a part-time student at a tier 3/tier 4 law school. My main goal is to transfer to a school with the best ranking considering my grades at my current law school. My first semester GPA was 3.7 for the Fall semester. However my GPA dropped to an overall GPA of 3.3 during the Spring semester due to some personal issues.

    I’m currently taking summer classes as well and am considering transferring during the fall semester of 2011. I would like to transfer to a part-time school. I have not received my grades for my summer semester yet and my school hasn’t listed my class rank.

    I’m single, young and willing to move to any state that has the best law school ranking and at a city with a decent population and job prospects. I really want to focus on my career but unfortunately I can’t narrow the schools down because I am still uncertain about what field of law I want to go into.

    I guess I need advice on what law schools I have a good chance of getting into? Specifically, I’m looking for an approximate of what tier. For instance, would T30 be too unrealistic? T50? How about T2? I’m from the midwest, so how about my chances for Michigan State Unv?

    Unfortunately transferring is a taboo topic at my current law school, so I can’t discuss this issue with my advisor. So any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Brittany,
      Call Michigan State and other schools where you might have an interest in transferring. I think they will tell you (1) you can only apply to part time programs and (2) you have to apply now, you can’t do it later on in law school. You’ll have to cast a bit of a wide net with the schools list. I don’t know where you attend or what your class rank is, so I can’t comment on where you will be a competitive applicant.

  124. Sylvia on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I like your blog, it’s very helpful!

    I have been admitted to Florida A&M and Florida Coastal law schools. I am a black female in my late 20s, wanting to transfer to a top 14 law school after my year. I aim in becoming an international law attorney.

    The question is I don’t know which school to choose, especially in light of my goals. If you were in my shoes, which one would you recommend?


    • Sylvia,
      It’s highly unlikely you’d be able to transfer to a top 14 from either of these. It’s important to have reasonable expectations. But do the best you can with your grades and then we can talk about options.

  125. Ann, I’m in the bottom 5% of my class at a Top-10 law school and really want to transfer down to be closer to home in California. Is there any hope of transferring to UCLA, USC, UC Hastings or UC Irvine?

    • Hi Tim,
      That’s not one I get a lot! I think you should try but if you’re barely squeaking by it’s unlikely another school will be willing to take you on….

  126. Mick on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I am a prospective transfer student and I have a question regarding academic violations.

    A very long time ago I attended a community college and I didn’t do so well. I vaguely remember receiving a letter stating that I had to shape up ( like an academic warning). Well, I pulled up my grades and sometime thereafter transferred to a 4-year university. At the present date, I just finished my first year of law school and performed exceptionally well.

    Now that you have my background here is my dilemma.

    I remember filling out my law school applications a year ago and reading the question–were you ever put on academic probation/warned. So to find out whether I should mark “yes” or “no,” I called the community college and spoke with a person who works in the records office. He told me there is a concern and transferred me to his supervisor. His supervisor (I forget his name) informed me that the community college does not put students on academic probation. Also, he said there is nothing on my transcript to indicate any academic issue (besides a few semesters of low grades). He did say, however, that my file indicates that I was advised, but not “warned” about my low grades… and, again, he said that there is nothing on my transcript to indicate that I was even “advised.” Thus, he told me to mark the question no (the question regarding academic warnings or probation). So I did. Upon further reflection, I just hope this guy knew what he was doing and advised me in the correct manner.

    Nonetheless, I am concerned about getting “dinged” in my transfer cycle because the adcoms could look into my file and call the community college. What if this supervisor forgets what he told me( I spoke with him over a year ago). What if there is more than one supervisor and he/she tells the adcomms something different? Also, I applied to the law school that I am transferring to last cycle and if I answer “yes” the second time around they will think I was dishonest on my first application. I sincerely completed my applications with a good faith effort and would like to do the same this time around.

    I have read that you have worked on admission committees. Am I just being paranoid?
    What should I do? Thanks!


    • Mick,
      I don’t know the exact prompt you’re referencing (and can’t give you legal advice) but there’s a very small likelihood that a law school would call the community college. People just don’t have time for that kind of stuff. And I agree with your concern about keeping your answers consistent or you’ll have to explain why you answered differently last year.

  127. Mick on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for the timely response. The prompt is question 18 on the application, i.e. : “Have you ever been accused of a violation of the honor code or student conduct code, “warned,” placed on scholastic or disciplinary probation,” etc…

    Just to be clear, I am not asking for any legal advise. I am certain that I did not violate any law. To rephrase my question, what do they mean by “warned” (question 18 on the application).

    Thanks again,


  128. Sylvia on said:

    Thank you Ann for your advice!

    One more thing…I am still having difficulties choosing between those two schools; is one better than the other?

  129. Hi Ann:

    I just finished my 1L at UCLA. Today I received my last grade and I ended up doing pretty well–my GPA is 3.76. I don’t know where in the class that puts me, but I’m guessing pretty high. My LSAT is 174. I was waitlisted at Harvard last year but rejected from Stanford and Yale. I won’t know if I’m on Law Review until July. I’m really happy at UCLA (especially since getting my grades), I have a pretty good scholarship, and I feel like I’m in good shape for OCI. But I know that what law school I go to is something that will stick with me for the rest of my career, and I wonder if I am in a position to transfer to a top-3 school and if it’s worth it? I am most interested in Stanford.

    Furthermore, the application is due in 9 days and I haven’t done anything on it because I really wasn’t sure how my grades would turn out and didn’t want to ask professors for letters before I knew if I would actually apply. Is it too late?

    Thanks for any advice!


    • Don, I love this question! First, congratulations on doing so well at UCLA. Second, I’m glad you’re happy with your situation, your school, and your scholarship. However, if you absolutely can’t live with yourself without knowing whether you could make it to Stanford, then give it a shot. Call a professor or two and get someone on board with you and ask them kindly if they can comply this week. Get the application in and see what happens, then at least you’ll know whether it could have been a possibility.

  130. Matt on said:


    I am a rising 2L and am looking to transfer to a tier 1 school. I am currently at Florida Coastal School of Law (tier 4). I was ranked number 30 out of 730 students. What do you think my chances are of getting into a tier 1 school?



  131. Andrew on said:


    I just finished my first year of law school at Rutgers – Newark (T2). I received a 3.74. Unfortunately, my school does not rank, so I am not sure where I stand in my class. However, looking at another school that also uses a 3.0 curve I estimate I am somewhere in the top 5%. I do not have a scholarship, but I have a possibility of getting one. Without a scholarship tuition is about 25K per year. I would like to live in Philadelphia.

    My question is, what are my prospects of transferring to Columbia, NYU or UPenn? In case it helps, I have had substantial career success creating and running businesses, public speaking and volunteering.

    My second question is do you think if I stay at Rutgers – Newark I will be attractive to Philadelphia area firms?

    • Andrew, I’m a law school admission consultant and not a career specialist so I’ll stick with the first question – I think you have great potential to transfer. Absolutely! I also think, if you stay at Rutgers, there is something to be said for being a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

  132. susan on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I was wondering which school you thought was better, Cal Western or Golden Gate Law? I know both are tier 4 but that is where I am at right now. Also, if I went to ggu what schools could I even transfer to in California that are a higher tier if I was in the top 15% of my class?

    Thank you.


  133. Nsenga on said:

    I would like some advice on where to apply. I am at a T4 school and I I got a cum gpa of 3.13. I am from NYC and would like to move back. I have applied to St. Johns, NY Law and will be applying to Seton Hall and Hofstra. I wanted to try Brooklyn Law, but I feel that may be out of my reach. Any suggestions of schools that would take a candidate like me.

    Thank you!


  134. Ann!

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that your website has been very helpful. But, I have a question about an addendum. Should the addendum be single spaced or double spaced? The instructions do not specify on the application like they do for personal statements (it says double space for personal statements). Also, if you are writing about more than 1 issue in an addendum do you call it an “addenda” ?



  135. Ryan on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I am at South Texas in Houston. I am from here and want to practice in TX and preferrably Houston, but I feel I can benefit from a transfer. I finished my first year with a 3.77 which is well in the top 5% and just out of the top 2%. What are my chances at an SMU or U of H? Thanks.

  136. Chris on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently at a tier 2 law school hoping to transfer to either UNC or Duke. I am a resident of NC and graduated from UNC undergrad in 09. I have a 3.82 GPA at my current school and was wondering what my chances were for either institution.


  137. Hi Ann,

    Question about application procedure:

    When we submit a resume, are we also supposed to fill out our work information on the space provided in the application? Last cycle, I said “see resume.” In hindsight, I think that may have been a mistake.

    Also, the application asks for a home phone, cell phone, and work phone number. I only have a cellphone. Do I enter that number in all three boxes? Because the APP says to leave nothing blank.


    • Hi Joe,
      You may want to check out the chapter of my book that addresses filling in applications and the other on resumes, but the quick answer is that you need to fill in every blank.

  138. Ann,

    I am a 0L who is into Golden Gate School of Law and waiting to hear back from Southwestern SOL. I have UGPA of 3.17 although my degree granting UGPA was 3.38. My LSAT is 152. I know I can do better on the LSAT (given that all of my practice scores were above 157). I am also appealing for accommodations on the test (extra time). That being said, I really want to go to a T1 or T2 school. Should wait another year and try to up my LSAT or should I enter GGU Law or Southwestern and try to transfer? In your experience what is a better/easier way to gain admission?


  139. Hi Ann,

    I have question about admissions/transferring. Does the Admission Committee review old personal statements and compare them to the new ones?


  140. Charlotte on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I earned a 2.4 at a 4th tier school (OCU) and am desperately trying to get out of Oklahoma. Do you think I have a good shot in getting into a 3rd tier school (WU, but I’d love to hear more suggestions)? I have a good resume and LOR from a legal research and writing professor. I have a good GPA from undergrad & from my MBA. In my letter, do you think it would be ok for me to discuss my strong academics in other programs and that the reason my grades weren’t so good in law school was because I was so unhappy?


    • Charlotte,
      It’s not a good idea to tell a law school you’d been unhappy in law school. There are lots of times you’ll be unhappy in your legal career (perhaps) but will still need to do your best work everyday. Transferring “up” is something you will only be able to do from the top of the class once you’ve proved your abilities at another law school, and transferring laterally doesn’t work at your GPA because schools will be afraid of you sliding into academic probation and/or not passing the bar.

  141. HSACM on said:


    I recently posted this, but for some reason it seems to have been deleted. I go to a law school tied at 23 under USNWR’s rankings. I finished my 1l year in the top 3%. I am applying to Chicago, Northwestern, NYU, and Columbia. Could you give any guidance on my chances at these schools – I seem to have a mental block thinking that I could ever have a shot at one of them. Thanks again.

    • HSACM,
      I thought i answered this but you may have posted it in a different location on the blog.
      I think it’s worth trying those schools. Get over the mental block and apply ASAP!

  142. Oliver on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I attended 1L at Atlanta’s JMLS and was ranked 20/200 (top 10%) with a cumulative GPA of 3.3. What do you think of my chances of transferring to some of GA’s better law schools (UGA, Emory of Georgia State)?

  143. Oliver on said:

    To supplement my last questions: I am from Cleveland OH and attending undergrad at The Ohio State University. If I were to consider moving closer to home, what schools might I have a reasonable shot at being accepted?

  144. John on said:

    I will be starting school this semester at a T3 (Gonzaga), which I am extremely fortunate to get into considering my numbers. I basically had a lot of personal issues in college and got a 2.7 by essentially not doing any homework or studying. I wasn’t adult enough for college but managed to get through with my quick wits and good memory. Additionally, when I took the LSAT the first time I was so unhappy at my job that I rushed it and bombed it with a 146. I then took it a month later with rushed prep but got sick and got a 150. Finally I took it a third time and killed the game section (21/23) and did adequate on the logic reasoning (34/50) but absolutely bombed the reading and got a 153 score.

    Long story short, I would love to go back to my home town, Boulder, Colorado at CU Law one day or venture out to Seattle to attend the Univ of Washington because I absolutely loved the atmosphere, and facility there when I visited. Any idea what numbers I should shoot for at either school? I also visited both schools and wrote them snail mail letters thanking them greatly for their time spent on my application and my interest in possibly transferring after one year, although I didn’t mention specifics.

  145. Hi Ann,

    I just finished 1L at Touro with a 3.64 (within top 20% of my class.) What are my chances of getting into a place like Seton Hall, Rutgers, Brooklyn, and/or Cardozo? In addition, I have over three years of work experience within the legal industry. Am I shooting too high?

  146. Jennifer on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I am a 0L, accepted to New York Law School for this fall (a low LSAT score didn’t help me). The thing is, I just got admitted to Qunnipiac Law with $10,000 scholarship. If I were to transfer to a higher ranked, new york region law school (such as Fordham, Cardozo or Brooklyn..), do you think it is worth paying the whole tuition and attend New York Law School instead of Qunnipiac? Or would New York Law School be worth as a regional school anyway, as I have hopes for a New York law firm?

    I would truly appreciate your opinion….

    • Hi Jennifer, Congratulations on these two good options. You need to look at how many Quinnipiac grads are practicing in NY. You have to see where recent grads from each school are getting jobs and then see what it’s worth to you to leave NYC.

  147. Jerad on said:


    I just finished my 1L (part-time) year at a T2 school (Catholic) and am considering putting in a transfer application to GMU. I finished with a GPA of 3.649 in the top 17% of my class. I am a Virginia resident so I would have in-state at Mason but I also have a scholarship from Catholic that will make attendance about $5,000 more than GMU. I can get a recommendation letter from a judge on the Virginia Appeals court and I have two years of work experience in the legal community. Do you think I would have a shot at Mason and is it worth losing the GPA and possibly a shot a Law Review (we don’t have LR results from Catholic yet)?

    • Jerad,$5000 a year isn’t that big a difference, and there is something to be said for being a big fish in a smaller pond. I think the real question should not be whether you have a chance, but why you would want to do this.

  148. Ann,
    I too have questions about applying to law school. My undergraduate grades were not the best. Under 3.0. Since then I’ve earned two MA’s with a 3.5 GPA. I haven’t taken the LSAT as yet.
    How do I get past my Undergraduate grades? Graduate school was a much better experience for me and my grades reflect that.
    Do you have any advice for me?

  149. Zach on said:


    I wrote earlier to you. After my 1L I received a 3.45, good for the top 12-10% at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of law. In addition, I recieved these grades while being hospitalized for the last month all the way up to finals. With both my grades and social consideration into account is there a shot that I can transfer to UCLA, DAVIS, PEPPERDINE, USC, or GW?

  150. Allen on said:


    My question is if I went to Mercer (in Georgia) and was in the top 15% of my class would it be possible to transfer to a school like Vandy? Or even to another state school (UGA or Georgia State) that would be much cheaper?

  151. Zach, I think Pepperdine and Loyola would be good picks and UCLA and USC would be reaches. Davis could work too. It’s all about how many transfers the schools have room for this year.

  152. To all commenters – because this topic has become so unwieldy, I’m not going to be able to give opinions on where people should apply to transfer. IF you have a question that hasn’t been answered on this comment thread previously and isn’t about where you have a shot at transferring, please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.

  153. Ann,
    I was initially waitlisted at a T2 school but was ultimately rejected shortly before classes started. I did everything I could to express my desire to go to that T2 school, and that I would go to a nearby T4 and attempt to transfer in if not admitted off the waitlist. After fall semester at the T4, I finsihed in the 55th percentile (2.7 GPA) but impoved to the top 25% in spring semester (3.29). Combining those two semesters, I finished the year in the 39th percentile (3.0 GPA). I know my overall rank is not fantastic, but will this improvement likely impress the T2 into accepting me?

  154. Rochelle on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have taken the LSAT 2x (144 and 147) and I had an UGPA of 3.023. I have been out of school for 6 years and have been working in the process. I was accepted into 5 out of the 7 schools I applied to (Thurgood Marshall, Valpariso, University of Dayton, University of Detroit Mercy, Southern University) However, I was denied at both my dream schools: Howard and the University of Baltimore. Howard was my first choice then UB. I am attending TMSL in the fall and know some alumni who have graduated from the institution; one was first in her class and the other was in the top 10% and both are very successful and are at top firms. I don’t mind staying at TMSL if need be but is there a chance that i can transfer to Howard, UB, or maybe South Texas after my first year?

  155. Dave on said:

    I have recently been accepted to The University of Dayton and The Charlotte School of law. I know that Charlotte has only been recently given ABA accredidation. My question is after my first year I plan on trying to transfer to a T2 law school. What is your opinion does one school give me a better chance to transfer over the other? I know that my grades have to be high but provided I do top 10-15% in my class I wasn’t sure if they would look at both school’s the same?

  156. Bobby on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I was accepted to the part time programs at Santa Clara and Southwestern. I live in LA, my girlfriend is here, and I would want to practice in LA. The only reason I would go to Santa Clara is to have a better shot to transfer. Is it worth going to Santa Clara over SW? So many people talk smack about SW so im unsure what to do

  157. Lauren on said:

    Dear Ann-
    I originally took my LSAT in October last year and made a 151. I applied to GA State, UGA and Emory. I didn’t get into GA State or UGA, but got on the waitlist for Emory. I decided to retake the test in June and increased my score to a 156. I spoke with the Dean of Admissions at Emory and he says that I’m at the top of his list to get in this fall but to be patient. In the interum I’ve applied to Atlanta’s John Marshal law school and just got the email that I was accepted with an $8,000 scholarship. What should I do? Should I start at John Marshall and hope that Emory or GA State will accept my transfer application? Or reapply for GA State and Emory for Fall 2012 and start in a year?
    I’m just trying to figure out the best path for me to be successful and I want to graduate from either GA State or Emory and NOT John Marshal.
    Any advice?

    • Lauren, This is fabulous. You need to stay on the WL at Emory no matter what. If you don’t get into Emory, you can really for GA St, Emory and UGA next year.

  158. Bobby, in a thread with 300 comments, sometimes things get lost. Can you please post your question again and I will do my best? I can’t answer questions about chances at particular schools.

  159. Kelly on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently an exiting Teach for America Corp Member and I was supposed to go to Washington and Lee (T30) after my Corp experience. Originally, I applied with low LSATs 161 (latest LSAT 164) and a GPA of 3.87. One do you think a higher ranked school is within my reach? And two would it be better to wait another year or try and transfer next year?


    • Kelly, since you have a high UGPA, it’s more likely you would have a shot at transferring. But if you wouldn’t be happy attending W&L, then don’t go there. Wait the year. I don’t know where else you’d want to go (geographically) but of course it’s possible you’d have more options with a 164.

  160. Jessica S on said:

    Hello Ann,

    How does the transferring process work if I will be going into 1L Spring semester? Would I have to wait till the following Spring to apply? Could I apply for the typical June/July deadlines even though I’d only be half way through 1L?

    Thank you!

  161. Eric E on said:

    Ms. Levine,

    I am wanting to transfer from a t4 in Michigan to t4 in Texas. What ranking/gpa would be ideal? Thanks.

    • Eric E, just do the best you can do because every good grade helps! It depends on the particular schools you’re talking about of course (usually by T4 in Michigan people mean Cooley) so I’d say top third at least….

  162. Marie on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I’m about to start my first year at John Marshall in Chicago. It was not my first choice but with average grades (3.1GPA) and a low LSAT (148) it was the best I could do. I was wondering if I complete a successful year what would my chances be to transfer to a higher ranked school. I’m most interested in living/working in New York so I’ve considered Fordham, Brooklyn, and St. Johns, but I dream of Columbia or NYU.



    • Marie, while almost anything is possible, you have to keep in mind that everyone at top 25 schools is trying to transfer to the top 10, and everyone in the top 10 to the top 5, etc. (not everyone, but it sure will feel like “everyone”). I don’t think you can bet on transferring, especially since your grades from undergrad are only average so it’s hard to bet on you being #1 in your class at JM. With your stats, you should be happy to be at JM and do your best there to make connections and succeed. If you end up doing well, then – great – you can consider transferring. But it should be a “bonus” and not an expectation.

  163. I want to apply to law school this fall and would love to attend GWU, Northwestern or Georgetown. I am an international student but I have a really low gpa(about a 2.5) and I am graduating this summer with about 39 credits completed this summer alone. If I was to score a 178 on the LSAT, do I have a chance at being admitted at one of these schools?
    Are there any other schools that you would suggest that I apply to?

    • Toby, I can’t do specific schools feedback on the blog but if you really hit high 170s on the LSAT and you have other good things going for you, you could be competitive at these schools. I have a former client currently at GT with a superb (170s) LSAT and under a 3.0, but he had a very interesting background and upward trend with the grades.

  164. Ann,

    I have just been accepted to two great law schools, The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL and Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL. I want to practice in FL and Stetson is a better school. The problem is I have a personal desire to live in Chicago for a year. I have been born and raised in small towns in FL and want to do something different before it’s too late. However, I do want to come back to FL after my first year. This means I will have to be in the top third of my class to transfer to “the good ones”, like Miami, Stetson, UF, and FSU. What if I cannot get into the top third of my class? Will they still consider me? I’ve always been a great student in undergrad, but this is law school. Everyone is trying to be in the top third and I have no idea how I’ll perform. PLEASE HELP!! Thank you so much.

    • Rose, yes. Think about where you will be networking, what attorneys you will be meeting. How will you meet them if you are freezing your you-know-what off in Chicago? : )

  165. Ann, I am currently an undergrad from University of California Davis with an awful 2.36 cumulative GPA as an Economics major. I started out with taking science classes (pre-med) and did terribly in them. So I changed my major to Economics and minored in Political Science, and my fifth year of college GPA alone was roughly >3.5 with A’s and B’s. I’ve taken practice LSAT’s and have gotten around mid 160’s. I hope to score above 170’s before I take the actual LSAT. If I do end up scoring in the 170’s on the actual LSAT, what are my chances of getting into law school? Perhaps even in the Tier 2 or above? Thanks so much.

  166. Victoria on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just started my first year at St. Thomas School of Law. Do you know what class rank UM requires for transfers? Do they also consider UGPA or LSAT? I’m also interested in Cardozo, Brooklyn Law, Loyola (Los Angeles), Hastings…are those too much of reach for St. Thomas transfers? Thanks!

  167. Ann

    I just began my 1L year at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, KS. I had applied to various schools from all tiers up and down the East Coast, where I truly hope to graduate from. I was rejected from all T1 and T2 schools I applied to, but was accepted to a couple T3 schools (Akron, Ohio Northern, Washburn) and a T4 school (Widener). Ultimately I picked Washburn due to the proximity to my hometown of Wichita, KS and my plan that I would not be graduating here anyway.
    My first question is what are my prospects for transferring to DC-area T1 or T2 schools? (Georgetown, George Washington, George Mason, American) I have read above that it is recommended to call these schools and ask what class rank they require from Washburn, and I will surely do that. But what is your opinion?
    My second question is where do you think the cut-off point of schools would be if I am in the top 15-20% of my class? As in, I shouldn’t apply to schools ranked higher than…
    My final question is, with transfer application deadlines as early as mid-June and the expected delay in Spring grades, should I be applying using only my Fall first semester grades or do I need to wait for the Spring grades to arrive as well and then just move quickly?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Matt, aim for the top of your class and build relationships with faculty and classmates as though you planto graduate from Washburn, because – let’s be honest – chances are that’s what’s going to happen. I do not comment on school chances/selection on the blog format if I can help it. Your June grades WILL be a consideration for transfer except in the case of Georgetown that lets you try to transfer after one semester.

  168. Hi Ann,
    I’m in my second semester at a tier 4 school in CA, I’m currently in the top 4% of my class and was accepted onto law review at my school, I’m also pretty active on campus. I’d like to work at a large firm doing business/IP and I’m wondering if I should consider transferring to University of San Diego Law, or another Tier2 school to better my chances or if its better to excel where i am. The school I attend though has a good IP program. The school has given me a scholarship and I’ve heard they reevaluate based on first year grades. any suggestions?

  169. Hey Ann,
    I just thought I could offer some hope to some of these kids on your site. I graduated from UC Riverside with a 2.7 in political science (I really did waste a lot of time and resources while I was there). I also have a slight criminal record and was on academic probation once during my time in undergrad and had to write addendum’s for both. My LSAT was decent but not great for some of the top tier schools (a 168). I got into Emory, Wiliiam and Mary, Cardozo, Baylor, University of Minnesota, Fordham, and George Washington (where I currently am) purely based on my personal statement it seems. My advice would be to approach the personal statement with the mindset that this is probably the only time you can brag about all the little things that make you unique and desirable (being confident without being completely cocky i suppose) and get away with it! There are a lot of opportunities out there if people let their true personalities shine through in their statements and resume’s to a lesser extent.

  170. Hi Ann

    Do you think it would be worth applying to California Western School of Law with the following stats…3.03 CGPA, LSAT scores 138, 140, 147 respectively and i’m a 26 year old black man (URM)?

  171. I majored in criminology and have a strong interest in social justice, potentially practicing in the public defenders office and/or the district attorney’s office. I’m not too keen about working in a big law firm. Would applying to Cal Western be a good choice given my interests?

  172. Is it true that Cal West grading system leads to 10% of its first year law students being kicked out by the end of the year for not maintaining the required GPA?

  173. Keval Shah on said:


    I am a U Mich Law student who wants to go into business/franchise law, but I am unsure whether I want to go into a law firm. How difficult is it for me to receive a job for an in-house position right out of law school?


  174. Dear Ann,

    I think I’m in a bit of a unique situation. Last year I was accepted at Villanova law and Hofstra law, yet I chose to go to Elon Law (just became accredited this year) because they offered me full scholarship. I would have gone to Villanova, but they offered me no scholarship, and the incentive of a full scholarship at Elon was simply too much to turn down.

    My question to you is: is it possible to transfer to Villanova for my 2L year after I already rejected them and chose Elon? If I finish in the top 10 after my 1L year at Elon and apply for transfer, will Villanova look down on my transfer application because I already rejected them?


    • Scott, I would argue that it only really shows how interested you are in the school. HOWEVER, Elon is an unproven law school and you’d have to basically be #1 in your class for other law schools to seriously consider you as a transfer, especially Top 100 schools. Do the best you can, apply to transfer, and see what happens!

  175. Ann,

    Really? Top 10 wouldn’t do it at Elon in order to transfer to Villanova, ranked 83, a solid T2? Especially if I was already offered acceptance there?

  176. Scott, I can’t tell you it won’t be enough, but I can’t make you any guarantees. You’ll just have to try and see what happens. I’d be doing you a disservice if I made something up about a new school that so few have transferred “up” from to date.

  177. Jennifer on said:


    I am a 1L at GW hoping to transfer to NY. My SO just got transferred for his job and we would like to be in the same place. I’m hoping to get into either Fordham, NYU or Columbia. I’ve been told I need top 10% to transfer up, but what about lateraling to a school like Fordham?

    Thanks for your help!

  178. Jennifer on said:


    I am a 1L at GW hoping to transfer to NY. My SO just got transferred for his job and we would like to be in the same place. I’m to get into either Fordham, NYU or Columbia. I’ve been told I need top 10% to transfer up, but what about lateraling to a school like Fordham?


    • Jennifer, you should call the admission office at Fordham and ask, but probably top 25% or so. Fordham takes a lot of transfers – which is the good news, but a lot come from local law schools like Cardozo.

  179. Hi Ann,

    I’m a second year evening student at Suffolk Law School in Boston. I’ll be done with all first year classes at the end of this year. My current rank is top 16-17%. I hope to bring it higher this year. I also have 3-4 years experience working in a law firm.

    With a strong recommendation from my first year legal writing professor, what kind of shot do you think I have at transferring to NY area schools like Cardozo, Brooklyn, Rutgers Newark? My LSAT was low, will this factor in?


    • Hi Jen, your LSAT won’t factor in. I assume you would be transferring to part time programs and that you’ve checked with the law schools to make sure that they take transfers with your # of credits?

  180. I would have to respectfully disagree with this notion of having to be #1 in your class to transfer from a T4 to a top 100 school. I’m a 2L at a top 40 school and transferred from a T4 that just recently got accreditation. I was in the top 14% with moot court and a couple of other first year honors.

    To strengthen my point, two of my 1L classmates also transferred to top 100 schools: one was top 20% and the other was top 25%. They both now attend schools ranked in the top 70.

    Transferring is very real and it happens much more than you think. Personally, I think top 20% is a solid benchmark to make a move to the top 100 from a T3 or T4 based on first-hand experience. The point is to do well then see who will take you.

    You still have have to be realistic. For example, being top 14% didn’t get me into GW, but I have a friend who did get in from a T3 and he was top 11%. The point is, transfer admissions decisions are quite marginal when it comes down to it so don’t think there’s a magic number. And in any case, that number does not have to be #1 in your class. Hope this helps the people out there trying to make the transfer power move.

    • Jay, thanks for your feedback. You are absolutely right. On the blog, when people are not even starting their 1L years, I try to discourage them from thinking about transferring because so few people end up doing it and I’ve seen too many people plan on transferring and then being bitter that they end up graduating from the school where they started. Transferring is a great option for many people, but it is not something people can count on. It’s also more likely for people who had either a high UGPA for their law school or a high LSAT score for their law school.

  181. Amanda on said:

    Hi Ann-
    I’m hoping to get accepted to St. John’s Law for Fall 2012 however I didn’t do as well on my LSAT as I had done on practice ones. My GPA (I’m currently a senior at St. John’s) is a 3.6 and I have a few internships.
    What do you think my chances of getting into STJ is?
    Does having a high under-grad GPA from STJ play any part in my acceptance?

  182. Hello Ann,
    I am thinking about transferring and was wondering if prior waitlists made a difference. I made it to the final round of waitlisted candidates at Columbia and did not receive my rejection until I had actually started school elsewhere. Can I say on a transfer application “look how close I was to being admitted” and “I was very interested and still am in attending”? All this is assuming I do well with the grades of course. Thanks!

  183. What types of grades will a non ABA school look for in a transfer if that school is working towards their ABA approval? Will they be harder than you would think because they are concerned about bar passage rates? I am a part at an ABA approved school but my commute time is crazy around 6 hours round trip so looking to transfer.

  184. Hi Ann,
    I am currently finishing my senior year at UCR in california, I really want to go to law school but my gpa is very low, a 2.5 and I scored 165 on the LSAT. What are some realistic schools that I should look towards applying to. I want to go to Howard University Law which is a T3 school but I don’t know if it is feasible. Can you please give me suggestions on some decent schools with decent job prospects to look into on the east or west coast or south to look into. I am willing to move from California.

    • Hi Alicia,
      You will get into schools, and Howard could be feasible. I can only create a schools list for my clients because I don’t know enough about people based on what they tell me in the blog format.

  185. I am 1L at Suffolk University. Do you think it is possible to transfer into a top 35 school such as BC, BU, Georgetown, Fordham or GW. Would top 5% in my class be high enough.

  186. Hi Ann,

    I am a Canadian student wishing to study in the US for my JD. I was accepted to various schools, but was unable to attend due to financial reasons. Now that I have more help financially, I am debating attending Florida Coastal for the Spring term (it is the only school I have been accepted to that has a Spring start date) just to start Law school but transfer to another school in Florida or California for the Fall term. If I maintain good grades (and I do understand that this is a risky factor to rely on) in my first semester, will I be able to transfer for the Fall?



    • Eliza, Don’t do it. This is incredibly short sighted. There is absolutely no guarantee you’d be able to transfer, especially because you’d only have one semester of law school under your belt and most transfers have their entire first year. I think this is a losing proposition.

  187. Hi Ann,
    I’m currently a 1L at William Mitchell College of Law and i’m considering transferring. I’m originally from New York and I’d like to transfer into one of the NYC area schools (preferably Fordham). Should I contact the admissions dept and ask what they are looking for in a candidate in my situation? What are my chances of being accepted at a school in NY when I’m transferring from a non-local school? What class rank will give me a good chance of being accepted to one of the better NYC schools?

    • Chris, see what your grades are and then call the law schools in NY and see what they tell you, but to make a big jump (like to Fordham) you would need to be near the top of your class.

  188. Michael on said:


    I got a 3.1 UGPA from Hopkins and scored an 83 percentile on the LSAT. I want to end up at a T-14 school, but my parents and I are in a debate on whether or not I should go to a mid Tier 2 school (U Oregon) and transfer or if I should go to the best law school I can (not sure how high I can go with my stats) and then try to transfer to a T-14. What would your advice for me be? I’m really at a crossroads here and this is something that I don’t want to debate with my parents any longer.


    • Michael,
      With a 3.1 GPA, I can’t predict that you’re going to earn top grades in law school. Therefore, I wouldn’t put money on you being able to transfer to a T14. It’s very hard to get into those schools with your GPA unless there is something very compelling in your background/experience.
      I hope you share this with your parents and that it takes the pressure off a bit : )

  189. Michael on said:


    It wouldn’t be impossible though? What do you think my chances of transferring into a school around the ranking of George Washington University?

    Would it help that I was also a 4 year ROTC cadet (now a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant), worked through college, was in a fraternity, and was a member of the varsity crew team during college?

    Thanks for your advice,

  190. Dear Ann,
    I am a student at Cooley. My GPA is a 3.1 and I am in top 25% of my class. I am wrapping up my first year. I have been contemplated transferring. I am on the fence though, b/c I have gotten a scholarship and if I transfer out I will not be able to participate in law review or get an honors scholarship. I have thought about transferring MSU, which is ranked 95 out of the top 100 law schools.

    Prior to attending law school, I worked as a paralegal for the last 10 years. I have a ton of experience with both sides of the v. If I do well this semester and get my GPA up to a 3.4 or higher would you suggest transferring out or staying.

    Also, my plan upon graduating is moving to DC. How hard will it be for me to secure employment as a graduate from Cooley? Will employers look to the years of experience or will I be penalized because I went to Cooley, which has a great program despite their reputation.

    I would appreciate any incite you could offer me as I have been going back and forth about this for a few months.

    Thank you.

    • Amy,
      I think if you can transfer, it’s worth trying. MSU might be a good choice for you.
      In terms of Career Options in DC, I recommend talking to Career Services or doing your own search of alumni in the DC area and contacting them for advice.

  191. Hi Ann,

    I am just about finishing my first semester at Texas Tech and I am not sure about how my grades will be, but I fear the worst. I am from Dallas and would like to go back or actually to any other law school, but Tech.

    I just don’t like the Lubbock area and hate the food. I would be willing to go to any other law school in Texas, except TSU in Houston of course.

    if I would get all C’s in my classes would I have a chance of transferring or should I not even try. Just so you can know a little about myself. I am hispanic, first generation in the states, I am bilingual, and English is my second language. If this would help any?

    Thanks any advice would be great.


    • Hi Eva,
      You need to see how this semester goes. You need to concentrate on getting the best grades you can and really showing that you can put mind over matter – that it doesn’t matter that you’re in Lubbock or that the food sucks – all that matters is that you are going to prove to yourself that you can DO law school!

  192. Does this mean that getting C are not good enough to transfer?

    The thing is, is that I feel like I understand the material its just everyone in law school is just so much smarter. Only a few are guaranteed an A or a B. I feel that a C doesn’t mean we are dumb its just that everyone else is just that much smarter.

  193. Dear Ann,
    Finding this site was truly a blessing, especially for your wonderful answers in the comments section. I hope you can shed some light on my situation, as you have with so many others. I just completed my first semester at a tier-3 school. I scored a 164 on my LSATs with no prep or study (about ten pts higher than the 75th percentile for my school) but my unimpressive undergrad GPA of 2.8 and some personal reasons forced me to give up the dream of attending a top university. Now I have received my grades and having found a motivation and love of the material that I had never previously experienced, I’ve achieved the number one GPA in my class of 4.2. And to think… all this time I was only shooting for a 4.0! Anyway, my question here is two pronged.

    #1- Is their greater benefit in spending my days at this school and seeking to complete a valedictorian career or in getting out of dodge and taking my talents to the best school that will have me?

    #2- What is my ceiling when looking at schools to transfer to? T50? T14? I am confident I will have the skills to succeed at any institution… I’m just looking for a target to hone in on.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    • Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for those nice compliments.
      Congratulations on your fabulous performance. I think there is a lot to be said for being a big fish in a small pond if you feel the school you are attending is going to stand behind you and support you and really make you their superstar in terms of job prospects, making sure you have access to prominent alumni in a field you hope to be in, etc. I would say the sky is the limit in terms of schools – you may be able to transfer to a top 25 depending on where you go to school, etc. At the very least, pulling your transcripts for an application might get you a scholarship to your current school.
      Wishing you all the best in the new year.

  194. Michael on said:

    Hey Ann,

    I am a 1L at Nova Southeastern Shepard Law Center. I just received my first semester grades and I averaged out at a 3.1. I have aspirations of transferring from a T4 to a T2. I am a little discouraged because friends of mine got higher GPAs than me. I just want to know from your experience can this leap from a T4 to a T2 be achieved based on the direction my GPA is going. As stated, right now I have a 3.1. Where should my GPA be at the end of my 1L year in order to be suitable candidate for a T2 school? I know I should contact the schools first to see what they are looking for, but I do not have a school preference yet because I just want to know if it is possible to transfer first before I start looking for potential schools to transfer to.

    Please respond whenever you are available. Thank you for your time and effort. Very much appreciated.


  195. Hey Ann,

    I’m a 1L at Golden Gate in San Francisco. I just got my first semester grades back and was disappointed with a 3.178. I am happy at GGU but i know its reputation is not all that impressive. I was hoping to transfer to either USF or Santa Clara law school. Do you think there is any chance?

    Thanks and Happy New Year!!

  196. Ann,
    I very much appreciate the time you devote to replying to so many posts, your insight/recommendations are extremely helpful.

    I wanted to receive some advice in light of recent developments affecting my application. I am applying ED to the OU College of Law in Norman. I have a 3.52 GPA (re-calculated by LSAC to 3.45) from a top 15 liberal arts school, and scored a 149 on my LSAT in 9/2009 and then scored a 157 in 6/2011 (the OU median is 158, hence why I applied under ED).

    I submitted my application on 12/31/2011 and it was reveived on 1/1/2012. However, my Dec 2011 LSAT score came in at 153, and a score report update was sent to OU on 1/5/2012. Of course I am extremely disappointed in my most recent score, should I reach out to the law school’s admissions office explaining that this new score is not indicative of how I will perform in law school? How negatively will this new, lower score negatively affect my chance of admissions? Should I do anything about it?

    Otherwise, I feel that I am a very qualified candidate, excellent resume (2 yrs work experience as an analyst for a consulting firm, employee recognition award), very good recs/essays/addendum (I believe), strong undergraduate school reputation with good GPA and extras, etc…

    Any guidance is very much appreciated! Thank you!

    • Derek, You need to send an addendum explaining why your score decreased on the third try. Hopefully your post helps scare some people away from taking the LSAT a third time if there isn’t a good indication that they would improve. If everything else in your application is strong, this doesn’t have to be the end of the world for your decision but on the other hand it makes the 157 look like an aberration, so you do need to explain it.

  197. Ann,
    To apply as a transfer student to a T-14 school should I work on and submit my personal statement (and the rest of the application) during the spring semester and thus before spring semester finals? Or should I wait until i finish spring semester finals and then work on/submit my personal statement? I’m unsure how early I should began the work to apply as a transfer seeing as I won’t know my spring grades until mid-june.
    Thank You!

  198. I’m so glad I found this website and look forward to receiving your knowledgeable input!

    I recently received my grades for my first semester at a T4 for-profit law school in Florida. Class rank has not been released yet but my 3.80 GPA should definitely be in the top %. I received my undergraduate degree in biological sciences from UGA and earned a 3.3 GPA because I was at the time pursuing dentistry. After realizing dental school was not the way to go my senior year, I took the LSAT without studying and made a 157. With these numbers, UGA law was far out of reach; however, and I am interested in transferring there. From my understanding, law schools value loyalty and I am unsure if they will be receptive to a student from Florida Coastal. Should I instead try for a better school in Florida or stay and be a “big fish in a small pond”? My main concern in transferring is that I will register last and not enroll in classes I need next fall i.e. con law.

    Just for context, I am from Georgia and all my contacts are there, while I like the weather, etc. in Florida. My ultimate goal is to receive a job upon graduation and in doing so, I want to market myself in the best available fashion.

    Thank you for any assistance you may provide!

    • Sarah (and others who have posted recently asking similar things about whether they can transfer – I’m sorry I can’t answer individually because I’m actually sick this week but trying to keep up with all of you….)
      It’s not yet proven how successful FL Coastal grads are in transferring. You can certainly try to move back to GA and see what happens but FC is not yet a proven entity in this regard.

      TO the person who has the perfect grades at SW, try to transfer – I think you’ll be very pleased with your outcome.

  199. Shane Mullen on said:

    Hello Ann,

    Thanks for all the help you’ve been giving all of us over the years!

    I just finished my first semester as a 1L in Southwestern. So far, I’ve gotten two Bs and one B-. My other two grades should fare a bit better (I’m expecting a minimum of a B+ rolling in).

    What are your thoughts on this overall? I was considering a transfer to USC or UCLA, but I doubt that’d be possible with these type of grades at this point. Do you know anything about class rank and percentages for Southwestern? I’m dying to know what sort of bracket I’m currently falling into (Am I at least in the upper half? Better, worse?)

    Many thanks.


    • Shane, I’m so glad the blog is helpful. Thanks for being a loyal reader.
      I think instead of thinking about transferring, you need to think about improving your grades a bit and finding ways to distinguish yourself in finding employment – you’re not going to be a good transfer candidate unless you really shoot up this semester.

  200. Hi Ann,

    I am a 1L at Charleston School of Law. I graduated from Washington & Lee with a 3.3 but got a 152 on my LSAT. After my first semester at CSOL, I have a 3.4 GPA. Do you think I have a shot at transferring to UGA, UNC, or Richmond? Also, do you know if my low LSAT score will be a factor in the transfer process? Thanks!

  201. jayson on said:

    Hey, im really nervous i finished 3 semesters of law school but my GPA fell under the appropriate for my school. My school will not take me back as ive restarted before. Am i stuck with 2 years of law school, thousands of dollars in loans and no career? Is there an option for me?

    • Jayson,
      I am so glad you posted this because my readers need to see that this does happen and they really need to consider how likely they are to succeed in law school and what they are willing to do to make it happen. Getting in is no guarantee of graduating!
      If you’ve restarted before and you did not improve, you are not going to be able to show a turnaround that would be convincing. I know this is upsetting but I hope you can find something that is a better fit for you, appreciate this as a (very expensive) learning experience and change what needs to be changed for you to feel successful at what you do.

  202. I know you have helped a lot of people make their decisions on transferring and hopefully you could shed some light for me.

    I just finished my first semester of all school with a 3.0 at Tech and wanted to transfer preferably to SMU, but am willing to go to Houston or Waco.

    Do you think I stand a chance?

  203. Ann,

    How can I send an addendum if I’ve already submitted my application? Should I go so far as to notify the school asking them if I can edit and re-submit my application?


  204. Hi Ann,

    I am a 1L at Charleston School of Law. I graduated from Washington & Lee with a 3.3 but got a 152 on my LSAT. After my first semester at CSOL, I have a 3.4 GPA. Do you think I have a shot at transferring to UGA, UNC, or Richmond? Also, do you know if my low LSAT score will be a factor in the transfer process? Thanks!

  205. Ann,

    Your site has provided much insight and a great source of information.

    Im one of those students who refused to give up on his dream after a dismal LSAT score. I enrolled at a tier 4 in Chicago and my first semester grades have come back with a 3.9 GPA (after much hard work and some faith).

    GULC is the obvious first choice for transfer for me since half my family lives out there, and also due to its stellar reputation. Should I feel confident if I apply Early Action, or do I still have a lot of work to do?

    Likewise, with schools in the top 30 such as UIUC, UNC Chapel Hill, UCLA, USC, Fordham, how do you think I fare as a transfer candidate?

  206. Anthony on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks so much for maintaining this site and providing this invaluable advice. I just finished my first semester at a low top-50 school and eeked out a 3.9 GPA. Unfortunately, my current school only has a regional appeal, and I’m looking to enter a more competitive market in NY or CA. I’m curious – what are my chances at a T14 like Berkeley, or even a T6 like Columbia or NYU? Any chance for Stanford if I repeat my performance next semester? Thanks for your help.

  207. Hello Ann,

    I tried reading other comments but could not find any with my specific issue, so here it goes…

    I’m from California and went to a school in Alabama for the first year because I had family there and the school had a much later application due date than schools in California. I did not have adequate time to compile a sufficient application for California, but I did not want to take off an entire year of school so I decided to just go live with family and go to school until I transfer back after the first year. I can’t seem to even find the ranking of my school, probably due to the fact that it received ABA accredition I believe 6 years ago. I’m assuming it’s a tier 4. I just finished my first semester and am in the 5% (and that was with a job). I quit my job and know that I can achieve maybe top 3% after the end of spring semester. Do you have any advice on what schools in California I could potentially get into. Hastings? Pepperdine? San Diego? Davis? Please help. I know I have a lot of potential and should have given more consideration regarding my initial school choice.

    Thank you for your help, and sorry for practically writing a novel! πŸ™‚

    • Laura, thanks for reading the other comments first ; )
      I can’t give specific feedback on schools without more information but I hope that people currently applying to law school as 1Ls read your comment because this is exactly what I warn people not to do (sorry!) – you shouldn’t make short term decisions in favor of longer term ones. Because your law school is unproven, I can’t tell you how much value prospective transfer schools will see in your grades/success there. You will have to try but cast a wide net with safety schools if you really want to be in California.

  208. Ann,

    Thank you for providing such an incredible resource! I am currently at Gonzaga at just finished with a 3.1 after some disappointing grades. I am currently in the top 33% and am looking to transfer to Colorado first and then Denver second to be be back home.

    I graduated from Colorado and was wait listed two years for Denver both times until the very end of the summer. I have heard a few people transfer from a T3 to Colorado being in the top 25%. What do you think my chances would be in the top 33% for both? I plan on doubling my effort this semester and shooting for at least the top 15%.

    Also, I have emailed the dean of admissions for Colorado twice, three weeks apart inquiring about the length of the personal statement, where they accepted transfer students in the past and where most candidates rank in their class but have gotten no reply either time. Should I give them a phone call in a week or try one more email?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  209. Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at the University of Connecticut School of Law and received my first semester grades (GPA at 3.24). I wanted to ask if it would be possible for me to transfer to a higher ranked school with these grades. Transferring to either BC, BU or Fordham would be the dream. I do not know my class rank as of yet and hope to bring my grades up during second semester. What schools do you think I’d have a good chance at transferring to?

  210. Hi Ann,

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on including an addendum explaining LSAT scores for a transfer app. I am currently in the top 1% of my class and am considering transferring, but I was wondering if I should explain that standardized tests are not indicative of my performance in the classroom. It seems like it might be unnecessary because it is implied by my transcript and credentials. Thanks so much.

  211. Ashley Vance on said:

    Hello Ann,
    Thanks for all of the insight on the sight. I am a 1L at a tier 4 law school in Texas (Thurgood Marshall). This semester I got a solid 3.5 finishing first in my Legal Research/Writing class. I was pretty excited about that considering professors can only give 2 A’s in each Legal Writing class (curve is horrendous). Anyways, I’m working towards making my GPA a little stronger for the end of the school year as well. Recently, I found out that my fiancee (who’s a lieutenant in the Navy) has to take orders for 2 years in Louisiana. I had never planned on transferring schools however, we have already been apart for about a year so I was hoping that I could finish my law degree in Louisiana and possibly make that our new home. Do you think it’s possible with my credentials to transfer into LSU in Baton Rouge? I’m not for sure of my exact ranking but I’m thinking it’s around top 11% (or at least I’m hoping so since we had a nice sized entering class, about 224 first years). I would prefer to go to LSU over the other LA schools bc of tuition. Tulane and Loyola are super expensive and my tuition is currently pretty cheap right now. Do you know how LSU operates as far as transfers or any good advice for getting in?

  212. Ok so I posted to the site earlier but it seemed to have magically disappeared so i apologize if you get 2 posts. I’m a 1L at a tier 4 in Texas (Thurgood Marshall). I got a 3.5 fall semester and earned the highest grade in my Legal Research/ Writing class. I never planned on transferring but my fiancee (who’s a lieutenant in the Navy) has been given orders for 2 years in Louisiana. Considering he has been in California for the past year, I’m trying to not spend an additional 2 years apart from each other. Despite the many negatives, I actually like my school but I’m kind of excited about possibly transferring. i want to practice either 1) Labor and Employment Law or 2.) oil and gas (different arenas, I know, lol). I think I would be in the right place in either LA or TX for both of these specialties and whichever state of law school I graduate from, we are planning to make our home so that i can practice where I studied law. I believe that I’m around the top 11% or so. If I were to keep heading in a positive direction regarding my grades, would I be in a good position for transferring to LSU in LA? I like Tulane and even Loyola but the tuition is killing me. LSU sounds a little more reasonable. Any advice on chances or what I would need to do?

    • Ashley, since you’ve done well in law school you should try LSU and other schools in the locations that would be good for you. At least then you could make a choice about whether to stay where you are or leave.

  213. Oh yeah Ann,
    From Undergrad I had a pretty low LSAT (mid 140’s) and a GPA of about 3.39 double majoring from Purdue University. Don’t know if that is of any help or concern.

  214. William on said:

    Hey Ann, you’re the best.

    I just finished first semester at Catholic with a 3.78. Do you think I have a chance of getting into GULC EA?

    Thanks for everything.

    PS- I just got a copy of your book, so hopefully that will help!

  215. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to all of us! I also read the previous comments but failed to find a comparable situation. I’m a 1L at CUNY with a 3.7 GPA. Our school doesn’t rank and I’m not sure about the curve. I’ve had some extenuating family circumstances throughout my undergraduate career and my first semester at law school, which are only now becoming less burdensome. I took the LSAT once without studying and got a 152, but my UGPA was a 3.8. I didn’t have the luxury of re-taking it because of the aforementioned circumstances.
    I was accepted at schools like Northeastern and Quinnipiac, and waitlisted at UF and Emory; however, I chose CUNY because of its public interest mission, proximity to family, and its affordable tuition/scholarship offering (mostly because of economics…)
    I’ve realized CUNY isn’t the school for me, but I’m not sure if it’s worth transferring to a better school and paying more tuition but gaining better career prospects unless the school is a T-14 or top 30.
    I would like to stay in the NYC/northeastern area, which limits my possibilities. I’m sure my chances of getting in to NYU are slim, at best, but would schools like BU, BC, and Fordham be within reach? If they are, is it worth the money? While I still want to pursue public interest work at some point, I want a secure career and to be able to help my family.
    Thanks again!

    • HI Jen,
      Not a lot of people try to transfer out of CUNY because they usually go there for the reasons you cited. Again, for other readers (not so helpful to you – sorry Jen!) this is why I caution people about going to any law school they can get into with an LSAT score they didn’t prepare for….I think you can try applying (of course) to BU, BC and Fordham and see what happens. These schools are very expensive and if you really want to do public interest in the Northeast then you might be better off being a big fish in a smaller pond. Why don’t you go talk to a Career Services person at your school and see where students have ended up and how you feel about those jobs. Also look into loan forgiveness programs and whether they would apply to you and to what extent (if you transfer to a private school). Look at the jobs you would like to have after graduation and see where those students went. And you may want to read my new book, The Law School Decision Game, for more on career prospects and school ranking.

  216. Patrick on said:

    Hi Ann!

    I just finished my first semester at John Marshall in Chicago with a 3.52 gpa. I do not know my rank yet, but I think it will be within the top 20%.

    I attended undergrad at the University of Illinois and would really like to return for law school. I don’t have standout work experience, but solid academic credentials. Do you have any insight or advice on making this a reality? Thank you!

    • Patrick, talk to a professor who will write you a letter of rec. See if he or she knows of anyone who has pulled this off and what their GPA was. Keep working on your grades this semester – it’s possible you may do even better.

  217. When I applied to law schools I received a full scholarship to DU. I didn’t take it and I just completed my first semester at BYU (top 50%). I am thinking about transferring to DU but the tuition is completely out of my range. Everything I have read says that schools do not give scholarships to transfer students. Is this correct? Is there any wiggle room? Is visiting status a possibility? If so, would I pay BYU tuition at DU? Any direction is appreciated! Thanks!

  218. Bonnie on said:


    I am currently a pre-law senior at the University of West Florida. I have couple of questions about my chances of getting into Florida State. At one point in time my gpa suffered due to circumstances beyond my control. Therefore, the last 60 credit hours of my education I have had to work extra hard to raise my gpa. I have a 3.4 gpa for these last 60 credit hours. My overall is a 3.0. I plan on taking the LSAT this June. So my questions are: How much does life experience count when being considered? What LSAT score should I strive for? How much weight will my 3.4 gpa have over my overall gpa of 3.0?

    • Bonnie, life experience does count, if it is presented well in the application materials. When your GPA will be at a school’s 25th percentile, you would be best situated with an LSAT score at the school’s 75th percentile but anywhere in the 25th-75th percentile range would put you in contention with strong materials. The upward trend does matter, but a 3.4 is not a 3.8. I talk a lot about these issues in The Law School Admission Game so you may benefit from checking that out.

  219. lawschooltransfehopeful on said:

    Hello Ann:

    I am a URM 1L attending law school in the mid-west T70. Due to have a strong desire to practice law on the East Coast and otherwise being a native, I am interested in transferring to a law school on the east coast. I am looking at law school similar ranked to the law school I am currently attending. (e.g. Top 50 through 70). I am non-traditional with about 7 years of solid work experience etc. What sort of GPA/Rank would be competitive? I am just concerned with retiring to the east coast due to family commitment etc.

  220. Hi Ann,

    In one of your posts you stated that it’s generally quite difficult to transfer from Cooley law. I was wondering why that is?


  221. HI Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at a T4 school and want to transfer to the east coast to be closer to my wife and child. I’m not looking to jump up to a higher tiered/ranking school but I just want to be local. I am ok with making a lateral move if necessary. My GPA is a 3.0 so I was wondering what my chance are of making a lateral move or perhaps even jumping up to a tier 3 or tier 2?


  222. Hi Ann,
    I am currently a 1L at Touro Law School. My gpa is currently 3.1. My ugpa was a 3.2 and my Lsat score was a 147. My school has not released class ranks yet. Unfortunately, I received one F and two C s in college. I was working and attending college during that time. I was wondering if I have a chance of transferring to Cuny law school or transferring to any other law school in Ny.

  223. Dear Ann,
    First thank you for your website and everything you’ve written, it was a great help when I was applying to schools! I am currently a 1L at UW Madison, and just finished the first semester with a 3.4 (top 20%). I’m hopping to do slightly better this semester, since one class brought me down (horrible prof, had to teach myself the material). I just got engaged, and am thinking of transferring to the east coast (fiance is in nyc).

    You seem to often advocate being a big fish in a smaller pond… So do you think it is worth transferring to a similar ranked school (ie Fordham, if I get in), for better chances at east coast employment, or stay here and keep my grades up, and make it onto a journal and/or moot court?

    Also, do you think I would have any chances at NYU or Columbia?

    Thanks again!

    • Anita, Thanks for being a long-time reader of the blog.
      I think, if you want to stay engaged and get married, that the best thing is for you to be in NY. It’s just too stressful to be away from your partner (I’m about to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary this year, so I have a bit of expertise on this!).
      I think a lateral transfer is more likely unless you REALLY bring your grades up significantly this semester.

  224. Jennifer on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am interested in going to law school. My UGPA is 3.12, and I haven’t taken the LSAT yet.
    Do I have any chance of getting into Tier 4 schools like Whittier, Western State, Cal Western, or Thomas Jefferson School or Tier 3 school like Southwestern?

  225. Hey Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at George Washington and received a 2.68 GPA in my first semester. I have not adjusted well to city living, feeling uncomfortable the entire time and my grades have suffered as a result. I am looking to transfer back home to UConn in CT (also the place I want to practice), is this unrealistic? If not, what are my chances to returning home to continue my law school education? Also, I was accepted at UConn before matriculating at GW, does this have any effect on my chances?

  226. Hi Ann,

    I currently attend Appalachian School of Law, which has a P/NP 1L grading scheme. Do I have any decent options for potential transfer schools? Anywhere? Thanks!

  227. Hi Ann,

    I will be attending Suffolk Law in Boston this fall. I think ranking #1 or #2 is reasonable. I need to stay in Boston because of family. Is transferring to B.U. or B.C. a reality? if it helps, I am 31 and have 9 years of a self-employment working history.

  228. Hi Ann,

    I’ve been reading posts and the advise you give to students and it seems really helpful. Hoping you could help me too.

    I am at a tier 3 school with a 3.0 GPA. My class doesn’t give out ranks till the end of first year. What are the possibilities of transferring. You can be brutally honest. I really want to know if I stand a chance or if I should just stay put.

    I too just got engaged to my boyfriend of 5 years and I want to be closer to him. Also personal but does long distance usually work out? Since I saw the message you sent one girl regarding that.

    I’ll be waiting for your reply. Thanks Ann!

    • Hi BH.
      I actually enjoy giving the personal advice as much as the professional, so thanks for asking : )
      I think the relationship works if your fiance/spouse is supportive of what you are doing and not just supportive in word, but in deed. Is he willing to travel, to let you study when he visits, to listen to you bitch and moan about the rule against perpetuities? Is he proud of what you are doing? Does he recognize that you are as much a part of building your financial future together as you are? Does he expect you to quit practicing law when you are married and/or when you have children? These are really important things to figure out. (And, to add some credibility to this, let me tell you that I was divorced the year after I graduated from law school and have now been happily married for 10 years this year!)

      About transferring, you can try a lateral transfer and explain to the school that your fiance is nearby. But you are unlikely to transfer ‘up’.
      I really do hope this helps.

  229. Ann,

    He is the most supportive person I could have by my side. He used to visit me twice a month last semester, but since I’m focusing all my energy in hopes of transferring. I haven’t seen or heard from him much, which is a little sad.

    I am trying to boost my GPA this semester in hopes of maybe transferring. I am at the only Tier 3 school in the state and I am not willing to go down to a Tier 4. I love my fiance and he knows that, but my education is really important to me and I wouldn’t transfer closer for a Tier 4 school. God that sounds so awful, but he understands and he wouldn’t let me transfer if it wasn’t to a higher or equivalent school.

    Is there hope for me to raising my grades to moving to a Tier 2? What would be a good GPA.

    Thanks so much.

  230. Richard on said:

    I have a 4.19 gpa and I am ranked #1 in my class so far as a 1L. I was thinking of transferring to Georgetown Law. Is that a good option

  231. Steven on said:

    Hi Ann, I just found your great blog and I wanted to see if I could get your opinion.

    I’m going to Valpo in Indiana, a TTTT school, on a full-ride scholarship. I had a good GPA in my undergrad (3.7ish) and a 160 on my LSAT.

    I got my Fall grades a month ago and I got a 3.49, top 9%, rank 19/200ish, and was accepted into the Honors program. I was wondering what your opinion was on how high-ranked of a school I would be able to transfer to, as well as if it would be worth losing that scholarship and going into probably 100K debt that I wouldn’t.

    Thank you so much in advance if you are able to help me.


    • Steven, you’re a big fish in a little pond. You have a fabulous scholarship. So, tell me, what do you hope to do after graduation and what are people from the top of Valpo’s class doing after graduation? Can you do what you want to do with a degree from Valpo? You might really benefit from reading The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers because a lot of it is about these very decisions, with advice from lawyers who graduated from all kinds of schools discussing their career trajectories.

  232. Ann,

    I am a 1L at the University of Miami and I just finished my first semester in the top 20% of my class. I am considering applying to transfer to Georgetown or George Washington University through their early action programs. Do you think I have a reasonable chance?

    Also, are you aware of any other T1 schools with early action programs for transfer applications?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Steve, sorry to hear you want to leave UM : )
      Top 20% is probably not going to get you to GT or GW but of course I never tell someone not to try – just not to get your expectations up.
      Regarding an answer to your second question, rather than concentrate on early action to a school in a random location just because it’s a T1 and had early action for transfers, why don’t you wait another semester and continue to bring your grades up now that you know the ropes, and apply to schools in locations you’re actually interested in?

  233. Ann,

    I am in my second year as an evening student at Catholic. I am in the middle of the pack in terms of class rank and have a 3.1 gpa. American takes up to 43 credits for transfer students, which I will have after this semester. I know of other students who have transferred from CU to AU with less than amazing grades – would I have a shot at AU at this point? Is it worth it?

    Thanks so much.

  234. Dear Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at a 4th tier law school. I attended because the school gave me a large scholarship. I Have been reading about the job prospects from the school and they do not look very well. I finished my first semester ranked #1 in my class out of 200 and have a GPA of a 4.19. I am thinking of applying to Georgetownfor the early acceptance because I really want to do international law, which they offer. Do you think I have a chance?

    Thanks for the advice in advance!

  235. Charlie on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a 1L at John Marshall (chi) and I am looking to transfer south to UHouston. I did mediocre for my first semester grades(3.2). How high do I need to be to have a chance with UH?

  236. Hi,
    I’m a 1L at Baylor and am considering transferring. I’m definitely in the top 20%, likely in the top 10%, and was wondering what my options would be for getting into other schools. Specifically, I’m considering Texas and SMU. What are my chances?

    • Claire, if you are in the Top 10% it may be feasible to go to TX, and maybe SMU at 20%. You should call those schools and inquire about transfers they’ve taken in the past.

  237. Hi Ann
    I’m a 1L at Fordham law in their evening program. I currently have a 3.5 GPA and chose to attend the evening program so that I could work during my first year. I really want to transfer to either Columbia or NYU. Is this even possible or am I reaching too much? I want to practice entertainment law, and have been working at two different entertainment management companies over the course of my first year. Both Columbia and NYU have great reputations in IP law. For that matter Fordham isn’t bad itself.
    Thanks for your input.

    • Matt, people do transfer from Fordham to NYU and Columbia, but since they don’t have part time programs you may not have enough credits to transfer into the full time program.

  238. Hi Ann,

    I’m currently in the process of getting my letters of admission as a 1L, and my goal is to transfer to UGA and enroll in their joint degree program for obtaining a Masters in Sports Studies as well.

    I got accepted to Valparaiso with a scholarship, and have a very great opportunity to enroll in their joint degree program for obtaining a Masters in Sports Administration and be apart of their Sport Law Clinic. As you know they are not a ranked school.

    I also got accepted to University of Denver, without a scholarship, but have an opportunity to be apart of the Sports and Entertainment Law Review. There is also no joint degree program with sports, but they are ranked # 77.

    I want to transfer to UGA, as it is my dream school, when I become a 2L.

    Which school gives me a better chance at getting accepted into UGA, and what would UGA be looking for from these schools and my performance in order for me to transfer.

    I greatly appreciate your effort in shedding some light on this situation.


    • Nancy, you go to Denver OF COURSE. Of course you go to Denver. Yes, it’s more likely you’ll be able to transfer from there, but even more importantly (in the event you cannot transfer) you will be at a far better law school.

  239. Hi Ann,

    I am prepared to submit a transfer application, but I am hesitant to submit the required certification form to my current law school because I do not want any of my current teachers to find out. My current school is fairly small and has taken a strong stance against transferring. Any advice?

    • John,
      There’s a line in “Sweet Home Alabama” – “You can’t ride two horses with one ass, Sugarbean.” (or something like that….)
      If you are going to try to transfer, you risk rubbing some people the wrong way at your current school. Also, you’ll need a LOR from a law professor. You should present strong reasons for transferring to individuals at your current school (other than ranking) if you are determined to try to transfer schools.

  240. James Williams on said:

    Hi Ann,
    You might have answered this question, but I am not sure. I am a student who has been accepted to Touro Law (Tier 4). I am also Waitlisted at West Virginia(Tier 2). I made a 146 on the LSAT, so more than likely I am going to Touro, but I want to transfer after my first year. Hopefully, I will make all A’s or however law school has it and transfer to a Top 15 law school. Such as George Mason or GeorgeTown. What do you think is my probability of getting in if I come from a Tier 4; should I even apply?

    • James Williams, It is very hard to transfer from Touro. Yes, I’ve helped someone – once if memory serves – transfer from Touro to Cardozo but he was at the very top of his class and everyone wants to be at the top but only one person can do it. I don’t like those odds. I think you should only start at Touro if you’re prepared to finish there, and then IF you end up kicking butt and getting all A’s as you plan, then you can think about transferring. But not to Georgetown : )

  241. James Williams on said:

    There might be another possibility…. What about transferring from Touro to The university of South Carolina. I am an undergrad here currently, so I will be an alumni once I graduate. Would I have better chances to go to USC?

  242. Richard on said:

    Hello Ann,
    I wrote before but I do not think you responded. I applied for the early application to Georgetown based on my first semester grades. I go to Touro and I am ranked #1 in the school with a gpa of a 4.19… Did I basically waste the application fee on that school?

  243. Reza Hasan on said:

    Hey Ann,

    I just heard back from law schools. My top choices are American University, Brooklyn, and Chicago-Kent. Chicago-Kent gave me a huge scholarship while I am still waiting to hear from American on money and Brooklyn gave me a very small amount of money. I want to transfer after my first year to a T-14 school (assuming I do really well) but I was hoping you could tell me which school would be the best option to go to help me get there. I was also hoping you could tell me what the scholarship opportunities are like once I transfer (if any). Finally, I know the ranking of schools matter, but if I want to work in public interest positions/government positions, does the rank of my school still matter as much. Because if not, I could be very happy at Kent or American. Thanks!

    • Hi Reza,
      The most important thing – and I can’t emphasize this enough – is to pick the law school you most want to graduate from among the bunch you’ve been admitted to. IF you end up being at the top of your class as a 1L, then consider transferring. Since these schools are all similarly ranked and in very different locations, there’s not a huge difference between them in terms of where you could transfer up.
      IF you want to go into Public Interest/ Government then you need to consider cost first, then location. You may want to listed to today’s podcast on the law school decision topic.

  244. Hey Ann,

    I am in my first year at Albany Law (T3) and have a 3.4 and am ranked 34/233. I was wondering what the possibilites were (assuming I stay close to where I am currently ranked) of transferring to a school out west…USC, UCLA, Loyola at LA…or also the Univeristy of Florida? Is it worth my time or am I too far off? Thanks

  245. Scott on said:

    Hi Anne,

    I just completed my LSAT and scored a 160. I’m in my mid-thirties and recently graduated from business school top of my class with a 4.0 GPA. All of my grades over the past 10 years or so have been outstanding. However, when I was first out of high school, I did a lot of goofing off. I was at a community college and keep failing / retaking classes. Being the first in my family to attend college, I had no idea what I was doing to myself. So here I am with a UGPA of about 2.4 because of something I did when I was a kid. I would love to apply to a decent law school, but I don’t think I can get in with a 160 and a GPA so low.

    Thomas Cooley has offered an incredible scholarship package and flexible scheduling. I need to stay in the Detroit area because I’m married with three kids. If I can be ranked 1st or 2nd in my class at Cooley (like I did in my undergrad), is there any chance I could transfer into a highly rated school such as U of M? It’s the only T20 near me. If not, would it be worth my time to transfer from Cooley to a T3 like Wayne State?

    I’m really depressed that I messed up so badly when I first started out. I wish I knew those early years would haunt me for life!!

    Thanks in advance Anne!

    • Scott,
      Don’t go to Cooley hoping to transfer to UM. Your undergraduate history can be explained – this is a common problem for non traditional applicants. The fact that you turned yourself around and became self-motivated with academics will be persuasive if you present it in an effective way in your applications. I understand not wanting to move your family, but what about MSU or other options in Michigan?

  246. Hey Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at Rutgers-Camden and I am looking to transfer this summer to Cardozo, Brooklyn or Miami. I got into Miami last year when I originally applied. Will there be any goodwill there? I got a 3.2 GPA my first semester which I think places me at the top 35% of the class. I also have a Federal Court Internship this summer in Newark. Not sure if that will help. What would I realistically need to transfer into Cardozo/Brooklyn?


  247. Hi Ann,

    I am currently waiting to hear back from a number of law schools including, Charleston, Florida U, and Miami. I have an MBA in accounting from Sacred Heart University with 3.74GPA, B.A. in Finance with a 3.69 GPA, and plan on finishing my CPA by July. I also have 7 months experience in corporate accouning. My LSAT was only a 153 but I have a very solid personal statement and great LORs.

    Just wondering what you think my chances are of getting into at least a tier 2 school. So far I have offers from 5 different tier 4 schools, and waitlisted by Stetson and UCONN. Just getting worried because I have to decide on the tier 4 schools by April 15th, or April 1st if I want the scholarships.

    Thanks for any insight you could provide

  248. Dear Ann,
    I stumbled accross this site in search of information about the schools that I am considering. I was admitted to Seattle School of law and St. Mary’s as well as Texas Wesleyan (I am a TX resident). I want to go to Houston but I have not heard back from them yet—seat deposits are due before I am likely to hear from them and I can’t afford to pay more than one.
    Is it wise to accept Seattle U’s offer (above all others) for my 1L and attempt to transfer to Houston thereafter or should I just stay in TX (or Seattle)?

    • Anon, Wait just a sec! πŸ™‚
      You aren’t willing to shell out another couple hundred bucks in the event your first choice law school comes through and admits you? That seems incredibly short sighted and makes me think that perhaps the debt you’re taking on might be over your head. But perhaps I misunderstood?

  249. Dwight on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just got accepted into Charlotte School of Law. Fiances are obviously playing a big role in my decision to attend because I have undergrad debt already and i recieved a sholarship from them. How realistic is it assuming i finish top 20% in my class, could I get into UF, FSU, Syracuse or Arizona?


  250. Dwight Holmen on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just got into Charlotte School of Law. And I was just wondering if i placed high in my class after my first year would it be realistic to transfer to:

    U Florida
    Florida State
    Wake Forest



    • Dwight, almost everyone who attends Charlotte and is not from the local area has dreams of transferring. I really don’t want to get your hopes up too high…..As per our email correspondence, I think it might be better to give yourself more opportunities to attend a school as a 1L that you would be comfortable graduating from.

  251. John B on said:

    Hey Ann,
    I just began hearing back from law schools and so far I only got accepted at U Conn and wait-listed at Catholic and Cardozo. I am still waiting on Fordham but doubt getting in. Currently I am in my senior year at Georgetown University. My GPA is a 3.65 and my LSAT was a 147 (only took it once in Oct). My aspirations are to be a lawyer in NYC. However, I was wondering whether you think I should go to U Conn, try to get off the wait-list at Cardozo, or neither? Thanks.

    • John, with your LSAT score you are getting promising results; you must have put together a very strong application. I think you need to evaluate the cost difference between U Conn and Cardozo, as well as where people are getting hired from both schools – are they getting jobs in NY?

  252. Miles on said:

    It’s my turn to try to transfer. I have a 4.0 at a 50sranked school, and though not yet ranked, I believe I am 1/90ish. I have two great LORs from current professors. My career plans include academia and/or the judiciary (in the model of Judge McConnell or Judge Starr). Obviously I have stars in my eyes regarding the top 5. Is this realistic and what should I look for as a “safety” transfer school? Is WUSTL a lock?


    • Miles, you’re a great candidate to transfer. There are no “locks” but I think you’ll be able to make a big jump: Top 20 is viable, and even within the T10 (or higher, perhaps).

  253. Steven on said:

    Hi Ann –

    I’m currently at Tulane – I’m guessing somewhere in the middle of the class, maybe a little higher (rankings aren’t out until end of year). Considering transferring to Hawaii or UF – but wondering if you think there is a better bet somewhere given Tulane’s reputation. I really don’t want to stay here because I dislike New Orleans and am not too happy with some of the decisions made by the administration. I haven’t settled on what I want to do afterwards – potentially litigation, perhaps criminal prosecution. I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Thank you so much in advance.

  254. Wondering on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I am 1L at Chicago Kent with a 3.3 GPA. I’m guessing that this puts me roughly in the top 20% of my class. (160 LSAT) I think I can get some solid letters of recommendation from two professors for transfer apps.

    Do I have any chance of transferring to Northwestern or Cornell (did undergrad at Cornell)? In my opinion, it’s not looking good…


  255. Hey Ann,

    Didn’t get a reply my first time so I am reposting this Q. I am currently a 1L at Rutgers-Camden and I am looking to transfer this summer to Cardozo, Brooklyn or Miami. I got into Miami last year when I originally applied. Will there be any goodwill there? I got a 3.2 GPA my first semester which I think places me at the top 35% of the class. I also have a Federal Court Internship this summer in Newark. Not sure if that will help. What would I realistically need to transfer into Cardozo/Brooklyn?



  256. Hi John. There isn’t a lot of good will at a school you were admitted to and chose not to attend : ) I think you’re pretty close to being at a place where Cardozo/Brooklyn/Miami will look at you. You can call the admission offices and ask them whether they can give you any guidelines based on previous years’ classes of where you would need to be in your class to be considered.

  257. Chris on said:

    I am currently a 1L at NYLS, I’m expecting to get 3.4-3.6 – any chance at Fordham? Or should I be aiming at BLS?

  258. Hi Ann,

    I’m currently a 1L at the Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, PA. I’m looking to transfer to the Charleston School of Law since I am moving down there in the fall. My undergrad GPA and my LSAT score both meet their median requirements for getting in. My fall grades as a 1L were not that great – C average – but I’m hoping they will jump up a bit this semester. Do you think I have a shot of getting in to CSOL? I already have a LOR lined up from one of my law school professors. I’m also from New Jersey, and I was wondering if diversity is considered strongly when transferring to a different law school or if they look to take in SC residents first. Thanks!

  259. Rachel on said:

    Hi! I am a 2L at W&M and hoping to achieve visiting student status at Alabama for my last year of law school due to family issues. I was just wondering how often schools let visiting students come in (it seems to be a win for them… they get to take my tuition but do not have to give me a diploma). Thanks!

    • Rachel, I agree that it should be a win-win, but some schools are tricky on this point. Emphasize the family need and that it’s not for access to local jobs (competing with their graduates).

  260. Darkhorse on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I am planning to attend Georgia State in the fall, what would I have to do class rank/grade wise to get into UGA? (which I failed to apply to because I didn’t expect to do so well on my LSAT). Also, if I get into UF, should I go there instead, even though I’m from GA and Georgia State is so affordable? I’m just not wild about living in Atlanta and making a commute to school. I would really prefer the ‘college town’. I already know I want to be a litigator, if that matters. Thanks!!

  261. Charles on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently considering which law school to attend this upcoming year. I have good scholarship opportunities (half to almost full tuition) at both Temple and Kent and it is looking very likely that I will attend either one of those schools. However, I really wanted to go to Wisconsin and am currently waitlisted and waiting to hear back even though at the end of my first year my plan is to try to transfer to a T14 anyway. I guess my question is how much would going to a school like Wisconsin better my chances to transferring to a T14, compared to attending a school like Temple or Kent.

    And do T14 schools favor schools of the same rank as other schools, but are located in the same city. For example, would going to Kent be more beneficial if trying to transfer to Northwestern, or going to Temple be more beneficial if trying to transfer to University of Penn.


    • Charles, generally ranking is important in transferring but so is location near the school you hope to transfer to. I’ve had clients transfer from Cardozo to Columbia, and if you want to be in Chicago then Kent to NW or U Chicago would make sense just like Temple to Penn would make sense.

  262. Hi, I had a really disappointing cycle mainly because I was not at all prepared. I took the LSAT while in the midst of a busy school semester and scored much lower (164) than my practice tests (167-169). I also did not have my applications ready until the end of February and was still sending out the last ones at the end of March. I didn’t really understand the notion of regional clout when applying and based my choices primarily on rankings – a HUGE mistake i know! I want to practice in New York City and set my dreams on Fordham despite having a relatively low LSAT score. I stupidly didn’t apply anywhere else (i.e brooklyn) in teh city because they were “tier 2.” I recently suffered the horrifying revelation while reading blogs like yours that graduates from Cardozo and Pace have a better shot at Biglaw in NYC than someone from a reputable T-1 school in a remote state. I applied to BU and BC (my #2 and 3 choices), Iowa and University of Florida. I got dinged at BC, waitlisted at Fordham and BU πŸ™ I was admitted at Iowa and at UF with a insignificant scholarship. Though I appreciate that UF has a great reputation in FL and much of the SE and that U of Iowa places well in the midwest, I do not have a lot of interest in working in these regions (least of all the mIdwest). As of now I have accepted teh small $$ i got at Florida, withdrawn from Iowa and am praying for Fordham (I also have an app pending with gmu). I am considering waiting until next cycle but am an international student and doubt that I could secure a decent job for the intermittent year with a BA from a US Tier 4. Essentially, I am hoping for some advice as to whether I should enter UF now and hope to transfer up north if I do phenomenally well (this of course is far from a guarantee) or bite the bullet, wait a year and actually apply correctly this time; in October, to the right schools and with an improved LSAT – I hope!

    • Hi Mike. I hope everyone who reads this thread reads your post so they can stop right where they are. Don’t start at a law school that you wouldn’t want to attend. If you’re not happy with your choices (assuming you don’t get into Fordham) then don’t go to law school this year. Being an international student complicates things, of course. If you can wait a year and do things right, I highly recommend it.

  263. Hi Ann,

    I’m currently a 1L at the Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, PA. I’m looking to transfer to the Charleston School of Law since I am moving down there in the fall. My undergrad GPA and my LSAT score both meet their median requirements for getting in. My fall grades as a 1L were not that great – C average – but I’m hoping they will jump up a bit this semester. Do you think I have a shot of getting in to CSOL? Thanks!

  264. Steph on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a 1L evening student at Suffolk, seeking transfer admission to Georgetown’s day OR evening program. I received A’s for my fall semester. I have won a few awards and was inducted to the honors society. I did well at a “mini-Ivy” undergrad. What do you think my odds are of getting in? I’m sweating it here! Thanks so much for creating this site!!

  265. Tina on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I didn’t get a response the first time so I am reposting. I am a 1l at Brooklyn. I was wondering what you thought of my chances are of transferring to Columbia or NYU. I had 3.5 last semester (top 25), have a leadership position in a student group and a position on moot court. I also got my undergrad at an ivy-league school and am an underrepresented minority.

  266. Andrew Stevener on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just finished my 1L year at Regent with an overall gpa of 3.38, and have been thinking of transferring to Richmond or George Mason (I was wait listed at both schools last year). We don’t have our class rankings back for the current term, but after Fall semester I had a 3.18 gpa and my rank was in the top 25% (22% to be specific) so I am hoping that my strong Spring semester will vault me into the top 15%. Do you think that I have a shot at either Mason or Richmond (is either worth even applying to)? And furthermore do you have any insight into whether my estimate that I will move up into the top 15% of my class is a sound judgment? On the Regent website it says that the average 1L gpa from last year was a 2.7 but in another section it says that the median grade for the whole school is a 3.0. Thanks in advance for any and all input!

  267. Clueless on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Thank you for all of the great advice you provide us helpless aspirational 1L’s! I know that generally, (class rank) + (school rank) = (rough probability of transfer success at a given school), but my question is essentially this- what happens when a school’s rank fluctuates wildly (as they’re apt to do), and one wants to gauge how they’ll be evaluated by transferee schools when this fluctuating variable is accounted for. The facts are simple: my school, in the vast majority of years, is ranked 25-30. A few times it’s been higher, and a few times it’s been lower. When I enrolled, it was ranked 28. This year, it dropped to 38- the lowest it’s ever been (and for reasons entirely unrelated to the competitiveness of the entering class- which is actually at a peak based on gpa/lsat). I used to think that I attend “a school in the t25 peer range.” This year, I feel like I attend “a generally lower Tier 1 school.” It’s all how you frame it, but I don’t think that characterization is unfair. Darned US NEWS! I know there’s a difference in the way a top 10 school looks at someone coming from a school ranked t25ish versus “lower tier 1ish”…What I’m wondering, is if you know whether schools pay close attention to the annual fluctuations in school rankings (requiring that I be ranked at their cut-off for a school ranked 38th), or if they don’t fuss over precise numbers as much as the rest of us neurotic students do, and would be more apt to hold me to the standard of the ranking my school has historically occupied (generally a 20-30’s ranked school). I’m shooting aspirationally toward the upper T10, and I’m just trying to figure out how important this year’s ranking’s drop is in my equation- whether it will rock the boat, or barely matter at all. Thank you most sincerely for the time you dedicate to demystifying our little puzzlers- you’re the bestest!

    • Clueless, this is a great question. I don’t think it will make a great difference when transferring because schools know that the caliber of the institution does not change from year to year, and it’s really about how you compete among a group of higher caliber peers. I’m so happy to be helpful!

  268. Rochelle on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just finished my first yeat at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. Although I like the environment at the school my goal is to practice corporate law; however, my school does not offer a variety of courses with this concentration. I was wondering if I should transfer to a better law school with a better reputation or visit a school with more in depth courses in my future field. As of now, I am waiting on my grades to come back in but my UGPA is 3.023 and my LSAT is 147.

    Also, what are the benefits of visiting over transferring and vice versa? I was thinking of South Texas, UH, Howard or 2T/ 3T school.


  269. Hopeful on said:

    Hi, would it be easier to pursue a transfer into a top 20 (with solid 1L grades/rank) from Case Western, Hofstra, or Maryland?

  270. Chanelle on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I will be beginning my first year at the University of Iowa College of Law, which is ranked #29. I was reluctant to accept the offer because of its location, but since I had a low LSAT score (149) I didn’t get into any higher ranking schools. I wanted to know (1) whether or not a JD from Iowa is respected enough nationally to land a job with a “big firm” given the influx of lawyers in the U.S. and (2) IF my GPA is outstanding after my first year (Im not a great standardized test taker but my UGPA at UNC-Chapel Hill was a 3.7) what are the propects of transferring to a T-8?

    Also, I am an underrepresented minority, the first-generation college student, with an interesting background.

    Thanks for your help!


    • Chanelle, you got into a very well respected law school, which is great. If you hustle, there’s no reason you couldn’t find a job in other locations, especially if you spend summers/breaks networking in those locations. Top “8” is a little specific but see how you do!

  271. Cassey on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at a T25 school. I finished my 1L class in the top 15%. I had a LSAT of 164 and an undergrad GPA of 3.88. Do you think I have a chances of transferring to a T14 school?



  272. Cassey on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a 1L at a T20-25 school. I finished my 1L class in the top 15%. I had a LSAT of 164 and an undergrad GPA of 3.88. Do you think I have a chance of transferring to a T14 school?



  273. Katie on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I stumbled on this website and it’s been very helpful!

    I’m currently attending NESL in Boston (4th tier) and just finished my first year. I’m still waiting to hear back from 2 courses, but I have a 3.75GPA (on my midterms I got As in both of the 2 courses so I’d end up with a 3.82, assuming I got As on the final).

    I would like to transfer to Penn State, BC or BU. Do you think I have a chance?

    Thank you very much!

  274. Daniel on said:

    Hey Ann,
    I’m attending NYLS this fall part time, and was wondering do part time students and full time students get ranked together or is it separate ranking for each class status. Also, if I were to transfer would I be able to transfer into a full time program or only part time. And if its only part time then would I be able to transfer into assuming I got in as a transfer, into the full time program.
    Thank you

  275. Daniel, you really need to ask NYLS about this, but generally you are ranked separately and you are only eligible to transfer into other part time programs.

  276. Rochelle on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just finished my first yeat at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. Although I like the environment at the school my goal is to practice corporate law; however, my school does not offer a variety of courses with this concentration. I was wondering if I should transfer to a better law school with a better reputation or visit a school with more in depth courses in my future field. As of now, I am waiting on my grades to come back in but my UGPA is 3.023 and my LSAT is 147.

    Also, what are the benefits of visiting over transferring and vice versa? I was thinking of South Texas, UH, Howard or 2T/ 3T school.


  277. Mel. on said:

    Hi Ann, I go to a T1 school got a 3.5 and want to transfer to a T14 school. I have a very interesting background and got some great letters of rec. Do you think I have a chance?

  278. Zach on said:

    Hi Ann,

    My plan was to not apply for Fall 2012 but I recently applied pretty late to law schools (May 1st) and have only been accepted to New York Law School. My UGPA was a 3.65 and I have a 154 LSAT. I was wondering if applying so late in the process hurt my chances of being accepted to the better ranked schools. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should go to NYLS and try to transfer out or wait and reapply early in the process for the Fall 2013 semester.

    I should also add that I was convicted of a felony while attending college in Boston and have since served time and I am currently on probation (Finishing probation August 2013). My goal is to be a public defender and was wondering how much of an impact my felony conviction has on my ability to get into a better ranked school than NYLS.

  279. Julie on said:

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for all your wonderful advice. I’ve just finished NYLS with a 2.98 overall GPA. Class ranking would be out next week. My career focus is in public interest, so I was wondering if I had a shot transferring to CUNY law? I am currently working for a professor who has great relations with CUNY law… do you think a great recommendation letter from her would help?

  280. Julie on said:

    Hello Anne,

    Thanks for all the great advice! I just finished my first year at NYLS, and got an overall average 2.98 (which is not great, but anyway).. My career goal is to work at a public sector, so I was wondering if I had any chance to transfer to CUNY? I am working for a professor who has a great relationship with CUNY law, so if I get a good recommendation letter from her, do you think it would help?

  281. Joanne on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I finished top 4% at a school ranked in the 80s range. I was wondering what my chances would be at transferring into NYU or Columbia; and if my interest in IP, and my science background would provide any sort of boost?

    Thank you so much!

  282. Greetings,

    I am at a tier 2 in Southern California and I rank in the top 15% of my class. I have been accepted already to GWU. But I would like to stay in CA and I applied to UCLA and USC. Do you think I have a fighting chance. I called them and they both said that I was competitive, but I am not sure that this means much.

    Any other schools I should look at?

  283. Stumped on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I received a grade that I was unhappy about and I’m considering appealing.

    If I do appeal, should I let my transfer schools know that I’m appealing? Or, alternatively, politely infer that I’m appealing?

    • Dear Stumped,
      You never want to appear to be high maintenance or like a complainer. If you are appealing a grade, and sharing that information in a transfer application, you’d better be able to clearly articulate a credible reason.

  284. Alexander on said:


    I went to USC for undergrad and finished with a 3.2 cumulative GPA, and a 3.56 within the Annenberg School for Communication with nearly straight A’s my last two semesters.

    I took a job back in Philadelphia (my hometown) at the most prestigious plaintiff’s firm in the city while I applied to law schools. I was admitted to Temple Law with an LSAT of 158, and my 1L grades amounted to a 2.82 GPA. Not sure exactly what my class rank is, but obviously I’m not top 5%.

    I wanted to study sports and entertainment law from the start, but accepted my admission at Temple because (1) I was rejected at USC, UCLA, and NYU, and (2) Temple’s trial advocacy program is excellent and I figured it was time to face reality and hedge my bets.

    However, the dream is still alive and I can’t ignore it. Do I have ANY chance of transferring to one of those three? Or will they throw my app in the trash right away because of my grades?

    Thanks for all of your hard work on this thread.

  285. Alexander on said:

    P.S. – I ask about them throwing my app in the trash right away because I know my “softs” are persuasive. I started my own company in college, and I got my job back in Philadelphia by convincing arguably the best lawyer in the city that I was worth hiring. Plus, I already have connections in both Hollywood and New York. All things conducive to success in entertainment law, from what I have been told.

    • Alexander, all of those “softs” are things that you need to use in building your career, but with lackluster grades at Temple, transferring to Top 20 schools is not a reasonable goal. Sorry!

  286. Alexander on said:

    P.P.S. – Sorry! Just want to be thorough. I also received two class awards and was 1L representative in the Student Bar Association. Grades were pretty much straight B’s except for one that dragged me down to 2.82.

  287. Mikel on said:


    Have you had any success with applicants transferring from NYLS? I have heard some successful stories but I was wondering if you had an opinion on the matter. NY is where I would like to stay.

  288. Sandy on said:

    Hi Ann,
    Just finished my first year at a T4 law school and want to know my prospects about transferring. I am ranked in top 4% and would like to go to T14 school with an international law program (my school does not have one). However, my current school is not wanting to produce paperwork in time for transfer deadlines. Do you know whether top tier schools are willing to be flexible with the deadlines? I have made law review by write on competition, CALI’d some classes, am working as a research assistant, and receiving 1/2 tuition waiver– would this be worth leaving behind even if a top school would extend a deadline? Should I stick it out here and then go Ivy league for LLM?

    • Hi Sandy, Congrats on doing so well this year. It’s impressive! I think you should call the schools you want to transfer to and ask. I really don’t think you’ll find yourself at the Top 14, but it is certainly possible to transfer to a T1 school so be sure to leave some room in your schools list. I don’t know where you are or where you want to live when you graduate, or what you hope to do upon graduation, so I can’t tell you whether it would be worth moving, especially without knowing where you’d be moving to.

  289. Richard on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I wrote before but never received an answer. I was able to go from Touro Law (T4) into Georgetown. I know that I saw before you helped a student transfer into Cardozo from there and stated transferring from there is difficult. Being I never received a response, I figured I would update you.

    • Hi Richard, I’m sorry if I missed a previous comment. This thread is a bit congested and sometimes I miss things. Congratulations on the transfer – I’ve seen some amazing results in the last two years.

      • By the way, I did find your previous comments now (from a different address than the one you are currently using). I didn’t respond because I have a policy of not discussing chances of admission on the blog format – for that I offer free initial (private) consultations.

  290. Karim on said:

    Ann, I was accepted to University of Dayton and Valparaiso University. Which one is better ? The real question that I need help with is — Which of these tier 4’s would I have a better chance of transferring out of if I do well!

  291. Hey Ann,
    I am a current Florida Coastal Law student… After my first semester I was wondering if it is possible to transfer to Emory(which now allows 1st semester grades) if I am in the top 10% of my class? Will it be likely for me to transfer to any of the Top tier. I have been looking at practicing in Georgia, so I looked at Emory, Georgia State, UG… etc.

    • Eric, A month ago I would’ve said no – this is never going to happen. However, I just heard from one of my clients that he pulled off this exact transfer!

  292. James on said:

    Hey Ann,
    Regarding your response above to Eric. Is there a way I can contact your client who went to Florida Coastal and transferred to Emory. It would be greatly appreciated to gain insight from a former Florida Coastal student who pulled off that particular transfer.

  293. Daniel on said:

    Hey Ann,
    I’m an entering 1L at NYLS and was wondering if you have any expirience with students after their 1st year at NYLS transferring into top 15 or top 30 law schools.
    Thank you.

  294. sunny on said:

    Dear Ann,

    Since it seems like I missed most of deadlines for the transfer this year, i am wondering if schools do accept transfers after 2L. Do you know any school does that (especially ones in Tier 1) and also if it’s worth transfering after 2L.

    Also, if transfer doesn’t work out, I am curious if applying as a visiting student in 3L would be every worth it. As for applying as a visiting student, what kind of things I should consider? Also, do schools evaluate visiting applicant same/similar as transfer applicant (especially on the grades-wide)?

    Many many thanks for your advice in advance!!

  295. sunny on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I thought I posted my question here earlier, but for whatever reason, I don’t see it anymore. Anyways, am writing it again.

    I guess deadline for transfer is mostly over now. Do you know if any school accepts transfers after 2L (among tier 1 schools) and what your thoughts on transferring after 2L if there is any school allows it?

    If not, what about applying for a visiting student? Are schools as picky when they evaluate visiting students as they do transfers? What are the criteria and is it worth being a visiting student (since it’s not degree granting)…

    Thanks in advance for your advice!!!

  296. Transferring is possible!!! I had a 3.5 from a bottom tier school, and was 14/190.

    I was accepted to UNC, UGA, Wake, and Richmond.

    You can do it!!!

  297. Cristina on said:

    Hi Ann

    I hope you doing great. I have a question regarding transfers. I’m currently attending to a tier 4 law school. I have really good grades. My GPA is 3.7, I was awarded a really good scholarship, I am in dean scholars, got into moot court, and I have been recently selected to represent my school in a moot competition nationwide. I have lots of good things going for me at this school. However, I really want to get into one of the tops 50 schools. My LSAT was not good at all. I was actually accepted into my current school through an alternative admission program. My question is if do you think I have a change into getting into the school I want. To be more specific the school is GA State University.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.
    Thank you in advance.

  298. Olivia on said:

    Hi Anne,
    I’m 41 yrs. old. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Special Education in my country. After I finished my undergrad, it supposedly was my next step to enroll at law school. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue it having a lot of other responsibilities.It’s been always one of the things that I want to fulfill as far as enhancing my career. Isn’t it too late for me to enroll at law school?


  299. Hey Ann,
    I am a first year law student at GW. I am looking into transferring next year and I would prefer to be in a top 14 JD/MBA program. How does the difficulty of transferring into these dual programs compare to the standard JD program? I really appreciate your advise! Thank you!

  300. Robbie on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Great website! I am an evening division 1L in my second year at a regional T-4 in Baton Rouge. I finished the first year with a 3.02 and top 25%. I am interested in transferring into a higher ranked evening division or into a full-time school. I am looking to go anywhere that is not civil law based. The schools that I have looked at include American, Tulane, U of Seattle, FSU, U of Denver, UConn, WashU of St Louis, and Penn State. Are any of these within reach? I am open to suggestions of other schools where I would be a competitive applicant. Thank you in advance for your response.

  301. Hello Ann,

    I’m a first semester 1L @ Chicago’s John Marshall. My LSAT was not as good as I would have hoped and JMLS gave me a big scholarship package. However, I came to this school with the hopes to transfer after my first year. I am looking to attend school in GA, PA or NY. Those are the cities I would like to practice in. My top school in Columbia. I have called them to ask about the ranking and tier requirements. Do you have any advivce about making the move from a T3 to T1 school?

  302. J. D. F. on said:

    I was able to transfer with help of the information on this blog. I am glad I did, as transferring law schools opened up a lot of doors for me. A higher ranked school is obviously looked on better by employers and others. That does not mean that I would have not been successful if I did not transfer, but it is something to think about. Another resource that helped me is the book “How to Win at Law School”

    The reason I mention it is because the information helped me get top grades at my school and I probably would have not been able to transfer if I did not use the information in this book. Good luck to everyone!

  303. harrypg on said:

    Hi, I am currently applying to law schools and expecting a need to transfer (Berkeley is my top choice and, though I haven’t heard back yet, I am not expecting to get in). I am wondering whether and how much you’d recommend differentiating between T1 schools of different rankings when deciding where to go as a 1L.
    My current options include two T1’s in the top 20, and then my state school, which is about #40. My state school’s median LSAT is about 161, while the school’s in the top 20 are 167-ish, which makes me think it would be a good deal easier to finish in the top 10% of the state school. That being said, I do have scolarship $ from at least 1 top-20 school. So:
    1. Do t-14 law schools differentiate a lot between transfers coming from schools in the top 20 vs. the 30’s and 40’s, and
    2. in weighing my decision, would you recommend focusing more on the quality of school or the ease of transferring out of the school

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Doing the best you can at the best ranked school is what it’s all abou for transferring, but there are other considerations like cost, and whether you’d be happy graduating from that school in the event you were unable to transfer….

  304. Chelsea on said:

    I am attending Thomas Cooley’s Tampa bay location. I am from CA and want to go back home and have always planned on transferring. I just got my first term grades back and got a 3.0. I expected to do a lot better. Even if I pull out Straight A’s this spring term I am worried that I am VERY limited. Santa Clara was my first choice because it is in my hometown. I has planned on applying to about 15 schools Loyola, chapman, western, USF, Pepperdine and other but feel like with what I have heard I’m going to be stuck.


  305. Dear Ann,

    I am a first year student at a tier 3 law school. I had a strong undergraduate GPA but not a very good LSAT score (149). During my first semester of law school, I had a lot of family issues (which also had an impact on my LSAT performance) and I didn’t do very well (2.5 GPA). My family situation has been doing much better, and I am doing much better in school this semester. If I show a significant improvement during my second semester GPA (3.5-3.75 for example) and retake the LSAT, what might be my chances of transferring? My only concern is that even if I do extremely well my second semester, because of my low performance the first semester, my class rank may still no be at the top 20 percent.
    Thank you for your time,


    • Ann Levine on said:

      Diana, retaking the LSAT is a complete waste. But if you can pull off a 3.5 or up, it will be a great factor in you being able to transfer.

  306. Hello Ann. I was wondering what my chances of transferring into Columbia or NYU from the Univ of Puerto Rico were. It’s the #1 ranked in PR and doesn’t really fit into the Tier system, since it teaches in spanish. My lsat and undergrad gpa were terrible, but I actually put some effort into my first semester and ended up ranking 5th in my class, out of 215. If I keep it up during the second semester, and get great recommendation letters, would I have a shot? Where would be the highest ranked school you’d say I’d have a shot at? Like I said my undergrad was really bad about 2.7 and I didn’t study for the lsat and got a 146, but does this matter now that i’d be ranked 5th, maybe higher? How much weigh do undergrad and lsat score have? Could the fact that I’m an Under Represented Minority boost transfer chances in any way?

  307. Hi Ann,

    This blog is the most helpful resource I’ve come across- thank you for maintaining it.
    I am a 1L at a T30 school in Boston looking to transfer to NYU. Undergrad GPA 3.79, 159 LSAT, 2/3 tuition merit scholarship at my current school. Not sure of my class rank, but 3.51 first semester GPA (thee B+, one A). I wouldn’t expect any money from NYU but I want to practice in New York and am afraid that my options here are limited. Do you think I have any chance?

    Thank you for your help.


    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Maddie,
      I’m so happy the blog is helpful. I’ve been doing it for seven years now, believe it or not!
      I think it’s absolutely worth you trying to transfer, especially if you are able to continue raising your grades this semester. The good news is that you have a great scholarship where you are, so that’s not such a bad position to be in.

  308. Hi Ann,

    I used your services and was admitted to NYLS with a LSAT score under their 25%. I have just finished my first semester in January and received my grades. My GPA is a 3.2. I was wondering if I were to bring my GPA up, would I have a shot at Cardozo? I want to stay in NYC, I will obviously use your services once again to help me with transfer documents… I was just wondering if you thought Cardozo would be a possibility? Brooklyn? St. Johns? Is it even worth it?

    New York Law School 2015

  309. Deborah on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I was waitlisted at Georgetown and was accepted to U. Michigan earlier this week. I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to get off the waitlist and whether it’s actually worth it to fight for Georgetown. Both are great schools that place people on the east coast in medium/large sized law firms (where I’d preferably like to end up), but beyond that, I’m at a loss of how to decide what to do!



  310. Ann Levine on said:

    Hi John,
    Welcome back!
    If you can really bring your grades up (above a 3.5) then I would feel more comfortable with your chances of transferring to any of these schools. So glad you would come back to us for help!

  311. Hi Ann,

    I currently have a 2.45 GPA at the University of Minnesota Law School, a T-20. Not only do I feel it’s the wrong fit for me, I did not get good grades first semester. I’m a 1L, and I’m 100% sure I want to transfer out, hopefully to a school in NY. Am I stuck here?


  312. Daniel on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I am a 0L who is considering an offer from a #24 law school and #35 law school. I am not really happy with either schools so I am already researching transferring after my first yr.

    My goal is to get into a t14 school after 1L. Assuming that I can make similar class ranks at both schools, how much of an advantage would I have applying as a transfer from a top 25 school rather than from the #35school? because I have a generous scholarship offer from the #35 school and none from #24.

    Thank you,

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Daniel, Being at the top of your class as a 1L matters but so does the cost of law school. You don’t mention location of either school. There are a lot of factors. Have you visited the schools? Realize that you may be graduating from the school you attend as a 1L (pretty likely, since all of your peers will have the same goals as you – to do well and to transfer) so only choose a school where you would be happy for all three years.

  313. Hi Anne,

    I am currently a 1L and looking to transfer back to FL. I attend a Tier 2 school and have a 3.0 GPA.

    Do you think I have a shot at UM, FIU, or FSU?


  314. Hi Ann,

    I’m #1 at a high T2 (50s, though traditionally 40s T1) and am confident in this remaining a reality in June. Working hard for it πŸ™‚ I’m looking at some t10 options. I’m confident in Berkeley, but I like Columbia also. Reasonable transfer to Columbia? (I prefer SF long-term, but I wouldn’t mind starting in NYC… to say the least).

    How about HYS? Is Y even worth applying to, or are they as legacy-exclusive-snobbish as ppl say? What if I have a unique and very impressive soft? (will not reveal here, but… let’s just say it’s something that I know will undeniably give me a boost). Fighting chance or don’t bother? Re: H I have heard of past top 1Ls from my school being accepted. Y / S I don’t know…

    I would honestly choose Boalt over HYS because of IP, but I am interested in keeping academia options open… any advice on this?

    I’m not asking about statistical chances at these specific schools, just reasonable / not reasonable critique, pls.

    Thank you for your advice,

    P.S. I’m sure your book is helpful for potential transfers, but I would also recommend Getting to Maybe to others. Helped me a lot. I would’ve bought yours also if I came across it earlier πŸ™‚


  315. Dear Ann,

    I’m currently at a top 20. I did awful my first semester (2.47). Though I think I will do better this semester, I really want to transfer out of this school for a number of personal reasons. Do you think I have a shot at a lateral transfer, or to a school like Fordham in the top 30?

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Nate,
      You can try a lateral transfer but I think it will be rough. If personal reasons were a factor and they won’t be a factor if you transfer, then you should absolutely submit an addendum with your applications to explain that.

  316. Andrew on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I’m graduating and planning on attending a tier 4 school. I want to transfer to (main choice) wake forest law school or a tier 3,2,1 school. I’m choosing currently attend Touro Law School and Florida Coastal School of Law. Which school do you think would give me a better chance to get into Wake Forest Law School and what school’s would you recommend I apply for transferring after my 1L?

  317. Andrew on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I’m graduating and planning on attending a tier 4 school. I want to transfer to (main choice) wake forest law school or a tier 3,2,1 school. I’m currently choosing to attend Touro Law School and Florida Coastal School of Law. Which school do you think would give me a better chance to get into Wake Forest Law School and what school’s would you recommend I apply for transferring after my 1L?

  318. Andrew on said:

    Dear Anne,

    I was recently accepted to Touro Law School and Florida Coastal school of law. I want to transfer after my 1L to Wake Forest Law (main choice) or to the best tier 1,2,3 law school I can get into. Which school gives me a better chance to get accepted to wake forest or a higher tier school. Also, what do personally think are my chances to get into Wake Forest Law school.

    Thank you

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Andrew, It’s going to be very hard to transfer to WF from either Touro or FL Coastal – it’s not impossible but it’s highly unlikely. Why don’t you ask WF whether they take transfers from these schools?

  319. Hello,

    I am applying to transfer to a school that I was waitlisted before. I did not get off their waitlist. I was wondering if it is alright to submit the same application? Do I need a whole new personal statement? Or can I keep the old one and just put in why cornell? or why I want to transfer?

  320. David on said:

    Hi Ann,

    First, thank you very much for keeping this Q&A and blog up. It is extremely difficult to find information about transferring law schools online.

    I am currently a part time student at Brooklyn Law School (Tier 3). I am also a full time paralegal working in a staff counsel office for a major insurer in the United States. I have been in this position for a few years. I have 49 credits and a 3.09 gpa. I was looking to transfer to American University as a part time student because I received a job offer to work in a new position in the D.C. office of my employer. Do you feel a transfer from Brooklyn to American is realistic under these circumstances?

  321. Hello Ann,

    I have a 3.2 from a T1 and, primarily for personal reasons, wish to transfer to a law school in Michigan. Would I have any shot at all at UofM if I highlighted my work experience between college and law school, and also wrote a strong personal statement geared toward those personal reasons? Or, is there simply no hope given the high number of transfer applicants UofM receives each year? Finally, would it be foolish of me to consider a transfer down to a Wayne State or MSU?

    Thank you!

  322. Mark on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I have a 3.2 from a T1 and, primarily for personal reasons, wish to transfer to a law school in Michigan (family, etc.). Would I have any shot at all at UofM if I highlighted my work experience between college and law school, and also wrote a strong personal statement geared toward those personal reasons? Or, is there simply no hope given the high number of transfer applicants UofM receives each year? Finally, would it be foolish of me to consider a transfer down to a Wayne State or MSU?

    Thank you!

  323. Dave on said:


    I am from a T4, but I am ranked 4th overall in my class. I booked 4 classes. I am thinking about transferring what are my realistic possibilities? I would like to try to attend the best possible

  324. Eddie on said:


    I just completed my first year of law school at a T4. My 1L GPA is right in the top 25%. (I have several A’s but I bombed contracts). I would like to transfer to a school in Florida (UM or FIU) so I can be closer to my family. I got a 155 on the LSAT, my undergraduate GPA was below 3.0, and I have a Masters degree in education. Am I aiming to high applying to UM? Any suggestions for Florida?

    Thanks in advance!

  325. Tarik on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I’m currently attending Phoenix School of Law (T4) in Arizona. I’m originally from California where I wish to return so I could be with my fiance and family, and later, practice. I’m currently in the top 27% of my class and my GPA is a 3.0. I recently applied to 5 law schools in SoCal: UCLA, Chapman, Western State, Southwestern, and Loyola (CA). I should mention that I’m currently taking summer courses as a visiting student at Southwestern. All of the schools listed above, except Loyola, accept at least 42 credits to transfer. Would you be able to give me any guidance as to the probability of acceptance to these schools?

    Thanks. =)

  326. Senate on said:

    Hi Ann
    I have been reading your blog for the past year now and have found all of you advice very helpful. i just completed my first year at the University of Baltimore Law and have been accepted to transfer to American University Washington College of Law. I just wanted to thank you for posting this blog because it has really changed my life. Thanks!!!!

  327. Jacob on said:

    Hello Ann,

    I just finished my 1L year at a Tier 3 school. My first semester grades were lower but I ended up in the top 30% accumulative.I am looking into transferring into my undergrad Texas Tech Law. My LSAT was a 158 and my UGPA was real ugly. Do I have a chance? Will my alumni status help at all?

    Thank you

  328. Erin B on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I am currently a student at a lower T1. I have been accepted at both NYU Law and UC Berkeley. I would like to work in Cali when I complete school. Should I go to UC Berkeley even though it is lower ranked? I am not looking forward to moving to the east coast although would do it if it would help my chances in eventually obtaining a BigLaw job in Cali.

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Erin, Congratulations! Between Berkeley and NYU it’s not about ranking – it’s about location and you’re a Cali girl!

  329. Anthony on said:


    I had a strong fall 1L semester at NYLS, but my grades dropped significantly in the spring due to personal issues at home. I ended up being below the median at my school. However, I wrote an addendum for a Top 14 school transfer app and I shockingly got waitlisted! Are they taking work experience into account? I am a 1L Summer Associate at a large firm and just sent in new recommendations. What else can I do to get in? Thank you

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Anthony,
      Congratulations!You can let the school know you would attend if admitted – that’s a strong start!

  330. Ann,

    I have applied for transfer to the University of San Francisco Law (t2) from Barry Law (t4). I finished the year at Barry ranked top 15% (43 out of 300) with a 3.17 gpa. Amount of transferring out students aside, what do you think my odds are for gaining admission? The lowest grade I received was a B-.

  331. I am attempting to transfer from Seton Hall law school with a 25 k scholarship– essentially it costs me 30 k a year. I just got into georgetown, which would cost about 65 k, leading to 70k more debt overall. I am interested in a career in academia and definitely want to do a federal clerkship after law GULC worth the extra 70k in debt?? Thanks!

    • Ann Levine on said:

      I think most people will say “yes” but only you can answer that – you can’t really go into Academia from Seton Hall so you have no choice….

  332. Hi Ann,

    I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on this situation. I am near the Top of my class at Fordham and my sister is at the Top of the class at Cardozo. We both are on Law Review and have similar GPA’s 3.7-3.8. If we got into NYU/Columbia, do you recommend we go?

    Thanks for all of your help,


    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Dan,
      Assuming scholarships aren’t an issue for you or for your sister, then most people would tell you to transfer to either NYU or Columbia. I suggest you go see both schools and know what environment you prefer, and talk to students at both to gauge how happy they are, how well their needs are being met, etc.

  333. George on said:

    Hi Ann!

    Love the site. Thoughts on jumping from Fordham with a 3.6 (Top 10 %) and LR to a school like NYU or Columbia?

    Thanks for the advice!

    – George