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Messages - northerngirl

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Transferring after first year...
« on: July 04, 2005, 02:44:39 PM »
Good post. In general, if you had no shot of getting into a school as a regular admit, then unless you made Law Review at your "safety school," you're probably not going to transfer there. If you do make Law Review (top 10% or so), then you can probably transfer up to a much more highly ranked school, but if you want to crack the top 15 or so, you better have had a shot of being admitted as a regular admit but just failed to make the cut. NYU can fill up its transfer class with just those who they denied but strongly considered, for example.

I don't know if I entirely agree with the law review part, but I do agree with the top 10% part. The thing about many schools, even T14, is that when they consider your transfer application, they don't put the same (and some put very little) emphasis on your LSAT and UG GPA. First of all, your prior numbers don't affect them because they won't be placed in their stats for US News. Secondly, the point of the LSAT is to determine how one will do first year. If one does poorly on the LSAT, but then makes top 10% of his or her class, the school no longer needs an LSAT score to determine one's law school performance.

That said, I did not do as well as I wanted on my LSAT. I didn't bomb it, but I didn't do top 15 Law school performance. My GPA, however, was better than even many top 15 law schools. I made the top of my law school class, and have already been admitted to a top 15 school. I didn't even try out for the journal at my first law school (which is why I disagree with the journal portion of the post) because I already knew I was admitted by the time the journal competition started. Beyond that, some schools don't notify people of journal results (like my old school) until well after transfer applications should be in to your schools.

My point? I don't think it matters whether or not you could've gotten into the school the first time around. With a school like Harvard, it does, but with most others, it doesn't. Yes, it is competitive at some top schools, and perhaps they consider your past scores (and also, as I think Bosco was saying, schools like NYU and CLS have tons of applicants who got waitlisted last year but still want to transfer, even if they are already at top schools - making those schools even more competitive). But, in the end it comes down to your rank at your new school. If you get onto a journal before your apps are due or in complete, then definitely tell the school this, but in my case, such information was not necessary. However, if what Bosco meant by journal was that you basically have to be top 10% (which is normally an invite spot or at least very good indicator that one will be on journal) then I agree.

Anyone who is more curious about transferring should check out the Transfer Board on Yahoo. There are statistics of plenty of people who lacked numbers to get into their dream schools, but ended up in the top of their classes in law school and are now heading to those schools.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Transferring after first year...
« on: July 02, 2005, 04:33:13 PM »
I just finished my first year, and I am transferring to a top 20 school. I have done a lot of research on transferring and have talked to other people who have transferred. Basically, the major mark one should try to hit to transfer is top 10-15% in your class. Many schools will require top 10%, and unfortunately, the lower ranked your school is, the higher the school will want you to be ranked. Some schools have very large transfer classes, like Georgetown, NYU, Columbia; however, these schools also receive many applications for those spots. Other schools only fill the class according to how many people drop out from the previous year.

There is no GPA cutoff because every school has a different curve. Thus, schools focus on your rank.

My main advice to you is to work as hard as you can. Many people will tell you not to go to a school with the intent to transfer because making top 10% is incredibly difficult, and you will likely be let down in the end. I went to my Tier 2 this year with the intent to transfer from Day 1. I still got involved in the school and made friends and whatnot, but I made the work my main priority, had a certain school in mind as my goal, and I reached that goal. Having a goal like that was a HUGE incentive when I felt like giving up (I also got involved to bulk my transfer resume and make sure I made connections in case I had to stay at my school). Make sure you go to a school you will like and you can handle being at for 3 years, but also use transferring as an incentive to be at the top of that school. Good luck.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: seton hall vs rutgers
« on: April 25, 2005, 02:12:17 PM »
Wax Poetic -

I would definitely say that top NJ firms go for SH grads. It has a really good reputation in NJ. After first semester, first years that did well were already invited to a firm reception to meet its partners. So, I definitely think that if one wants to work in NJ he or she will be golden if he or she attends SH. From my experience, I think SH seems to have even more pull in NJ bc of what another poster said - that Rutgers places better in NY. Rutgers is more national in reputation bc of its roots down in NB. Thus, from what I have experienced (and this is just one person's view), Rutgers places much better in the city, but SH just seems to dominate NJ. The judges, the firms, etc. in NJ seem to be flooded with SH grads. And since people that go to SH develop such a huge sense of pride in the institution, it carries a long way.

I think if you are deciding between the two schools and you want to work in NJ it really is a toss up. SH seems to be to be a more relaxed, open atmosphere. I think the biggest selling point of the school really is the professors.

In regards to summer work with either, after your second year, firm jobs in NJ will definitely roll in, but first year, most people seem to be doing non-paid judicial clerkships. Some people landed firm jobs through contacts and others are working crim law. A lot of students are also research assistants for professors, which pays. I don't think job prospects after first year will be affected by either one you choose.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: seton hall vs rutgers
« on: April 24, 2005, 05:57:54 PM »
Correct - I don't think they have any problems, specifically in NJ reputation-wise. They're bar pass rate is much higher than Rutgers, their alumni connections are vast, and each admissions cycle is becoming more competitive. But, it is a NJ school, so many alumns are in Jersey and as would be expected, the schools networks best in NJ. That is just how it goes when you go to a law school outside of the Top 20 (arguably). They tend to place best regionally, so go to school where you want to practice(is the advice I have been given).

Also, I don't want to bash career services because everyone who works there is very nice. I just think that they have tunnel vision in getting people NJ jobs and in thinking it is impossible to get 1Ls firm jobs, rather than at least trying to draw firms to the school.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: seton hall vs rutgers
« on: April 24, 2005, 04:04:51 PM »
Well...they really are trying to improve it, but I don't think it is working. For example, in the beginning of the year, they gave us a career services talk at which they basically said it was impossible for 1Ls to get firm jobs and the main way to get jobs is networking. Every time I have gone there, they emphasize networking, rather than what they can provide. I realize that a large part of legal employment comes from who one knows; however, the point of a career services office is not to reiterate to me that I need to network. So, basically, I had to send out over 50 resumes just to get a few callbacks for a summer job.

That said, the alumni base for SH is unbelievable, and I was able to secure a paying job this summer through that. So, where career services is lacking, the alumni come in strong. There is a great sense of pride in SH, more so in many other law schools I have seen. Alumni want good things to happen for the school and are very involved.

Additionally, Spring OCI consisted of about 25-30 options most of which were resume collections.

Like I said earlier, it is definitely not bad in terms of connecting students with jobs in NJ, and it is very good for if one wants a non-paying judicial clerkship. However, if you want a job elsewhere, they aren't much help. But, most tier 2 schools don't have as many connections as higher ranked schools outside of their regional area. That seems to be the nature of legal employment.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: seton hall vs rutgers
« on: April 24, 2005, 06:47:13 AM »
Hey Guys - I am a current 1L at SH, and I can confirm that your perceptions of the school are pretty accurate. It is a very student-based school. The professors have an open door policy. All of my professors know who I am, stop to have conversations with me, numerous ones helped me with my job search, etc. It is pretty unbelievable how attuned the professors are to students. In addition, it is a younger, less-competitive feel than Rutgers (my roomie's bf went there and a friend of mine went there, so I have some comparisons). The school has a lot of social events and tries to make law school as enjoyable as possible.

That said, it is a regional school. If you want to practice in NJ, then SH is the place to be. But, SH's career services is really bad. If you are looking to work in a firm in NYC and you got into a school in NY, I would go to the school in NY. This is not to say that SH never places in the city because people do work there. However, its main target is NJ and you are competing with tons of great schools in NY. If you only want to work in NJ or if you aren't interested in firm work, then I don't think this applies to you. Also, if you are at the top of your class at SH, you will probably do well getting a job in NY. But that is very hard to do, so I would just think about that before you make your choice. Once again, I am not trying to dissuade anyone bc you're all right...it is a very laid-backed atmosphere and the professors are so amazing it is unbelievable.

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