Law Schools

Transfer Students Have Lower Credentials, but Boast More Prep and Competitive Grades, Study Says

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Despite lower entering credentials, transfer students are more likely to prepare for class and spend more time reading and studying than their non-transfer counterparts, a new study finds.

Transfer students’ grades are on par with those of their new classmates at their new–often higher-ranked schools–and they reported greater gains in the areas of academic and personal development, according to a study released today by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University reports.

One negative issue the survey of more than 33,000 students in 95 U.S. and Canadian law schools identified was the fact that fewer transfer students reported success integrating into their new environment, and were less likely to participate in co-curricular activities or collaborate with other students and faculty.

Although globalization is ever-present in the business world, the LSSSE’s findings revealed that interaction between American JD students and international law students still is quite limited and doesn’t fully capitalize on opportunities for American JD students to work with international peer groups without leaving home, according to the report.

“LSSSE is premised on the notion that students’ reflections on their own experiences comprise a valuable barometer of the health of the law school,” said Carole Silver, director of LSSSE and professor of law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. “As law schools increasingly compete for students, opportunities for transferring likely will increase. Awareness of these differences therefore enables law schools to address the challenges of transferring and adjust their programs accordingly.”

LSSSE is co-sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Copies of the LSSSE 2011 Annual Survey Results, “Navigating Law School: Paths in Legal Education” are available for download.

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