Transfer Students Find Welcoming Community at St. John’s Law
Jennifer Flores '17 and Loreal Lingad '17 beamed as they posed for one last photo in their St. John’s Law graduation gowns. It was a special milestone-marking moment for these two young women, who transferred together to St. John’s after their first year at another law school.
“I actually told her to transfer after I attended a St. John’s open house for transfer students,” Flores shares, recounting how she and Lingad forged a connection through their common experience. “Now we’ve become best friends.” Like Flores and Lingad, about a dozen students transfer to St. John’s Law from other law schools each year.
“We make the transfer admissions process as seamless as possible,” says Theresa Hallet, the Law School’s senior director of admissions. “Students can apply with grades from their first 1L semester and can submit an unofficial transcript.” Once accepted to St. John’s, transfer students find a welcoming community and benefit from a strong support system.
“In early August, our transfer students can participate in a writing competition to become a member of one of our student-run journals,” says Assistant Dean for Students Kimathi Gordon-Somers. “Later in August, we host a transfer student orientation. Each student also has an individual advising session where we discuss transfer credits, general interests, the culture at St. John’s Law, and course selection, among other things. And, this year, we’re piloting a program that matches transfer students with student mentors at the Law School.”
After transferring to St. John’s, Flores and Lingad both joined the staff (and, later, the editorial board) of the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development (JCRED), the official publication of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights. “We had a JCRED boot camp the week before classes started,” Lingad recalls, adding, “The journal students really made me feel welcomed into the community.” Flores agrees and notes that, through her journal participation, she connected with law professors “from all over the United States and Canada.” She also organized the annual JCRED Symposium.
Flores and Lingad are also quick to point out the career guidance and opportunities they received at St. John’s. Lingad interned for Hon. Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York and now looks forward to her full-time clerkship with Hon. James J. DeLuca in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court. Flores has been working at the Goldman Sachs Family Office since February 2017, and she will continue working there full-time as an analyst.
Reflecting on her time at St. John’s Law, Lingad says: “Really, my favorite thing was how I felt when a professor or a classmate initiated a conversation about what it means to be a lawyer, how lawyers play an important role in society, and what it means to be a woman and a minority in the legal profession. I’ve met incredible classmates, and I’ve been taught by amazing professors, and I know they’re all rooting for me as I take my next steps on my professional path.”