Should I Reapply To Law School or Plan To Transfer?

Law School Expert Blog

Thinking about reapplying to law school for the Fall 2019 cycle?

Summer time, and the livin’ ain’t easy for those on a waiting list who are worried that they won’t be admitted to the schools of their choice this time around. I often get calls at this time of year from people who are deciding whether to reapply next year, hoping for better results, or to go to the school where they’ve sent a deposit this year and “plan” to transfer as a 2L. Here’s a bit about my thoughts on this decision:

8 Responses

  1. Hi Ann,

    I am in a predicament similar to what you mentioned in this video. I applied to law school with a 3.7 GPA and a 157 LSAT score, but I applied very late in the cycle (on the deadline of each application). I was accepted to Baylor and the University of Houston but was (expectedly) rejected from my top choice (University of Texas), and waitlisted to my second choice (SMU) to which I have written a LOCI, met with various students and professors, sent a final transcript and updated resume, and have kept in contact with admissions.

    I am now faced with the decision of attending Baylor for a year and transferring to SMU (schools with nearly identical ranks) or take a year off to work, hurry to study for the September LSAT, and reapply when I get that score back (or hope I get off this waitlist, of course).

    I would very much prefer to enter law school and transfer, and I believe in myself that I can achieve high enough grades to do so as I am a good student and SMU is ranked nearly the same as Baylor. I am concerned that I will not be able to perform better on the LSAT, and end up harming my re-application, as I studied very hard with Kaplan for about 4 months and never increased my score on practice tests beyond my maximum score (157).

    However, many articles online, including your own suggest that taking a year off is the smarter move. I’m wondering if the transfer being of a similar ranking affects your advice at all? I am at the point where I need to begin moving out of my undergrad apartment and find a new place to live, but I cannot do so without a final answer from the SMU waitlist, or a decision to go to Baylor/take a year off on my part. Do you have any different advice for my situation?

    1. Hi Alexis. I know this is frustrating, and it’s been a few weeks since you posted. Have there been any updates?
      I think you could probably raise your score by using a non-Kaplan method, and you would probably get better results applying in the fall rather than at the deadline. I just put that out there for your consideration….

  2. Dear Ann,

    I came across your blog and felt that I would greatly benefit from your input on the following question. Does attaining a score below a 150 mean that I have no reason to attend law school? One person said this on an online forum and I’ve begun to doubt myself ever since. Is there a reason why people believe that 150 is the margin number? Is a score in the 140’s reflecting someone’s inability to get into law school, graduate, or pass the bar exam?

  3. Hi Ann,

    If in hindsight I feel that I submitted a poor resume with my law school applications, could it be beneficial to submit a brand new resume (better format, added content, etc.) with an update to my resume? In other words, I could either update the resume I originally submitted with the new positions without making any other changes, or update it with the new positions and also add more content and details to my originally submitted resume and improve its format. Will the benefit of adding information automatically be outweighed by the strange look of having sent in a brand new resume? Should I just save the new resume for in case I reapply? What do you think?

    Thank you for your insight!

  4. Dear Ann,

    I applied to a ton of schools this round, thinking it was my last (I am in my 50s and law would be a second career–I’m an unemployed social scientist). I was accepted to Drexel, Rutgers, and part-time Seton Hall (all with at scholarships, 100% at Drexel, 45% at Rutgers (65% if I can get in-state residency), and 65% at SHU. I was also waitlisted at Georgetown, Washington & Lee, William & Mary, Mason/Scalia, and Temple. I applied late to Dickinson and have not heard yet.

    My LSAT was not the greatest–I scored 164 without prepping in 2017, but put off school because I thought I could do better. I prepped hard for the September 2018 test, but really crammed and did not sleep well the night before–and scored 162. I decided to retake it with good sleep, but scored only 159 (I believe I messed up transferring answers to the answer sheet, and a week later the dr. said I needed reading glasses). I *think* I could do better if I wait a year, but I thought that last year, too, and here I am.

    If I were in my 20s I would probably wait that year, but I want to get started. I guess my question is whether I should go ahead as planned or wait yet another year. If I wait, I would be tutoring and taking physics courses (as I have the past few years because I love the field and am interested in IP law). But I would be nearing 60, and while I don’t look my age, the number worries me. If I start at one of the three where I’ve been accepted (and I’m leaning toward Rutgers because its full-time load makes it easier to transfer) I would try to transfer next year. Georgetown is my top choice, but they have two lists and I’m on the non-preferred one.

    What do you think about ploughing ahead and transferring if I get into a lower-ranked school or waiting another year (and risking the wrath of my wife 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *