TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Anderson: A Different Take On The Law School Transfer Market

Following up on the previous post by Jerry Organ (St. Thomas), 2018 ABA Data Show Continued Decline In Number And Percentage Of Transfers:  Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), A Different Take on the Transfer Market in Law Schools:

The law school transfer "market" is a controversial topic. The rise in transfers arguably contributed to undermining the soundness of many schools during the financial crisis and its aftermath. Brian Leiter sees the transfer market as an artifact of the US News system, which may well be true. Adding to this, Jerry Organ is out with analysis of new ABA data on law school transfers showing that the rate of transfer has declined somewhat. Most academics see that decline as a good thing.

There is another side to the transfer market that often goes unseen, however. Indeed, there is an argument that a healthy and active transfer market could contribute to breaking down artificial barriers to law schools (primarily LSAT). ...

If larger numbers of students with high law school GPAs consider transfers, and if schools judiciously accept more transfer students based on their law school grades, a sorting process will occur that is better than the existing LSAT/UGPA criteria. There are many students who cannot achieve high scores on the LSAT but who are capable of strong performance in law school. A system that encourages a robust transfer market gives those students the opportunity to rise through the law school pedigree hierarchy. ...

In short, there is an argument that increased rates of transfers along with more aggressive admissions and academic attrition at the lower end would increase opportunity for those who are truly capable of high law school performance, not merely those who excel on a single LSAT exam.

Legal Education | Permalink


Law school taught me a free market and free speech - including commercial speech - are good things. And their admissions folks keep saying there's a lot to learn about choosing the right school. Sauce for the goose...

Posted by: Anand Desai | Jan 1, 2019 11:00:25 AM