Law School Discussion

Law Students => Transferring => Topic started by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 05:37:23 AM

Title: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 05:37:23 AM
Low end T100 to T10 transfer here.  Taking all questions -- admissions, quality of life, grades, student attitude towards transfers, journal participation (on ed. board now, so can talk about that too), etc.  This is much more fun than working on journal stuff.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: upgrade on March 06, 2009, 06:58:41 AM
Thanks for taking questions

What was your gpa/rank at the end of the first and second semesters?
How many/which schools did you apply to and how many accepted you?
Did you make it into HYSCCN?
Is there anything about your application that you think was particularly helpful?

What were your experiences during OCI? 
Was OCI blind? 
How many interviews, callbacks, offers?
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: ls2012 on March 06, 2009, 07:41:53 AM
besides the obvious pros, are there any cons to transferring (minus the idea of giving up your high gpa and prospect for law review, etc.)?
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: TTom on March 06, 2009, 08:32:39 AM
Low end T100 to T10 transfer here.  Taking all questions -- admissions, quality of life, grades, student attitude towards transfers, journal participation (on ed. board now, so can talk about that too), etc.  This is much more fun than working on journal stuff.

How do your grades compare at your new school?
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 10:09:54 AM
Thanks for taking questions

What was your gpa/rank at the end of the first and second semesters?
How many/which schools did you apply to and how many accepted you?
Did you make it into HYSCCN?
Is there anything about your application that you think was particularly helpful?

What were your experiences during OCI? 
Was OCI blind? 
How many interviews, callbacks, offers?


I was told I was number 2-3 in a class of 300+ after first semester.  My second semester grades were almost as good, but I ended up with a B- in one class that pulled me down to number 5.  My GPA is kind of useless outside of context, as schools' curves are all over the place.

I applied to Illinois, WUSTL, Duke, GT, NW, Michigan, Virginia, Columbia, Chicago and Harvard.  I got into five of those.  I dodged the regular and second round rejections at Harvard despite having turned in my app. early, but eventually got torpedoed.  That was my big holdout.

My application didn't stand out much.  I'm not a URM, my personal statement was standard.  I have some work experience that stood out.  It was commented on in a few of the acceptance letters, but I really think it came down to grades and school.  I think if I would of been similarly situated at a bit higher ranked T2, I might of squeezed in at HLS.  But that's speculative and very optimistic.  Needless to say, academically, it worked out well (see responses below).

OCI went well.  Ours was blind and we ended up with 15+ interviews to pick from.  I picked some reaches, some targets and some safeties.  I got offers from all over the place.  I was targeting the Chicago market, but transfer friends who targeted others didn't seem to have any other problems.  Specifically, I had 9 callbacks (a few of which I cancelled after accepting an offer) and 3 offers.  There were a few interviewers who just went through the motions, considering I didn't have grades, but most accepted my grades at my old school as a reasonable proxy.  They ended up being one, thus far.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 10:18:42 AM
besides the obvious pros, are there any cons to transferring (minus the idea of giving up your high gpa and prospect for law review, etc.)?

This is a very good question, in my opinion, as people regularly discount the cons.  Yes, you are giving up your high GPA and prospect for law review.  I'm not on law review at my new school, but I am on a secondary journal which is higher ranked (by a large margin) than my old school's flagship journal.  While the journal rankings are problematic, professors still rely on them, to a degree, in deciding what journal to accept an offer of publication from.  I'm pretty sure I ended up with a better editorial board spot on my current school's journal than I would of received on my old school's journal.  The GPA and journal issues are a non-starter, in my opinion, especially if you are going way up the ranks.

The real cons can be giving up a place where you are comfortable, giving up substantial professor connections, giving up a number of friends, etc.  I love where I'm at academically and I've met some good professors that are serving as mentors, but my connections, both to professors and to friends, were stronger at my old school.  There's something to be said for 1L year -- you arrive and everyone is looking to make friends.  There's a degree of bonding that comes from being in the same clueless position as everyone else.  While I've found new friends at my new school, there's a noticable difference.  It kind of feels like you showed up to the "party" (misleading, I'm not a big partier) a year late.

I went to a respected T100 in a secondary market.  The best advice I received, from a professor who is now a close mentor, is to transfer up only if you can't see yourself staying in that market, if you want to clerk and/or if you have distant academic aspirations.  I'm glad I transferred, given my goals, but it wouldn't of been the best choice for everyone.  The opportunities are starkly different, but some people, based on their needs, don't require them.  This advice still holds, especially for secondary markets, but is weakend somewhat ITE.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 10:22:55 AM
Low end T100 to T10 transfer here.  Taking all questions -- admissions, quality of life, grades, student attitude towards transfers, journal participation (on ed. board now, so can talk about that too), etc.  This is much more fun than working on journal stuff.

How do your grades compare at your new school?

Without tooting my own horn too loudly, they actually went up.  At the end of my first year, I was in the top 2 percent or so.  While my school has yet to rank, based on prior composities, I'm likely in the top 1 percent at the new T10.  There was a lot of luck involved in that...and I am not convinced it will continue. 

What is more useful for transfers in general is the assurances that I've received, from professors and administration alike, that transfer students generally stay in the top 30 percent or so.  There's some structural reasons for this, as transfers don't have to deal with the harsher curve of 1L at most schools, but there's also the notion that transfers, generally, are used to working very hard.  That level of work, coupled with an average to above average legal ability and the structural issue already mentioned, usually equates to top 30 percent or so.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: Droz on March 06, 2009, 10:59:05 AM
are transfers eligible to graduate with honors??
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 11:22:35 AM
are transfers eligible to graduate with honors??

At the school I transferred to, yes.  I think there are a few T10's that have some conditions on that.  Transfer admissions offices know whether or not their are limitations for each specific school.  It's something you want to consider when you have acceptances in hand.  I think most schools will provide you with the option.

I've heard, anecdotally, there are a few that will let you have latin honors (cum laude, magna, summa), but will not provide transfers with Coif (or similar honor) eligibility.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: A. Douchowitz on March 06, 2009, 01:03:00 PM
Since you seem to just be killing it, I was hoping you'd share your study habits/routine and any tips/advice you have for others trying to do well.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 06, 2009, 04:17:01 PM
Since you seem to just be killing it, I was hoping you'd share your study habits/routine and any tips/advice you have for others trying to do well.

I dunno.  Like I said, I did really well at my old school...and I was lucky enough to do very well again last term, but I'm not convinced that will continue.  I'm working hard and hoping for the best, but I assuredly don't think that I'm a genius when it comes to the law (or anything, for that matter).

The things that I've done that have worked for me:  I always do my own outline.  It helps me see how the class fits together in the end.  I never use supplements unless it's for their sample questions, and then I only use them to practice.  The one class I did crappy in was the one that I relied heavily on a supplement.  I talk in class IF I have a question regarding something I don't understand, which will occasionally get me labeled a gunner.  That said, I never really ask questions to make some kind of intelligent observation -- if a Prof. tells me I made a good comment, it was usually by accident b/c there was something I didn't get.  I do talk to the Profs in office hours, but again, it's only when I don't get something.

I also came to law school after working for three years...and came because I really wanted to learn the law (that sounds terribly lame).  I didn't come to get a high paying job or for the glory/prestige/whatever (not to say that's a bad thing).  Even with a genuine interest, I'm growing burnt out with the constant studying.  Nevertheless, there are areas of the law that, even after being bombarded with material, I still enjoy.

Oh, and I never think I really get it.  When I feel like I do, I tell myself I don't so I work that much harder.  Again, the only class where I felt like I really "got it" was the one that I got my worst grade in.

With respect to study habits, I do the reading, even if I feel like it's stupid reading and I won't need it.  I will reread occasionally if I feel like I just don't get it.  I start outlining halfway into the term if it's a four credit hour class, but I only do a chunk of it then so I won't have a ton of crap to do at the end.

Overall, though, this is what I've done.  Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 14, 2009, 12:16:49 PM
Taking more questions, if there are any out there -- I need to procrastinate.  I don't feel like working on this paper.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: bryan9584 on March 14, 2009, 12:24:24 PM
Jeff, just wondering what was the financial impact on your decision to transfer? Lose a scholarship? How much more in loans? Higher cost of living? And how do you think its going to impact your ability to get a higher paying job/repay your loan?
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: Dongo on March 14, 2009, 12:42:15 PM
Jeff,

At your original, T100 school, did you go out for Moot Court or Mock Trial or attempt a journal write on?  If so, and if you made it on to any of those, how did you decline or back out when you decided to transfer?  Were they upset? 

Would you recommend signing a "letter of intent" for the Mock Trial team if we made it?  From what I've gathered, it's more like a head nod or a gentleman's agreement, but not binding or anything.  It looks good on the resume for transferring though, which is why one might try out and join the team.  Plus, there's no guarantee transferring will work out, so it's always good to have just in case.

Thanks!
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: iahurricane on March 25, 2009, 12:09:49 PM
What month did you starting sending out transfer applications? How long did it typically take for a school to give you a response?
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: upgrade on March 25, 2009, 02:31:25 PM
What month did you starting sending out transfer applications? How long did it typically take for a school to give you a response?
Most schools respond in the first couple weeks of July and require second semester grades before making a decision.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: jeff112 on March 25, 2009, 05:24:52 PM
What month did you starting sending out transfer applications? How long did it typically take for a school to give you a response?

All of my applications, absent second semester grades and accompanying class ranking, were out there by April or so (except WUSTL and GT for EA).  My second semester grades and ranking took longer than I preferred, but weren't too bad -- I think I had them all in by June 1st or so (but I had to have one sent by express to make it in time).

One rejection (the shocker -- I had a LOR from an alum, it was peer-ish/lower to the school I ended up with, I really wanted to be there location wise, etc.) and multiple acceptances came quickly -- I remember I got three or so within a week.  The T10 I ended up at came after a week and a half, after which I withdrew from a few lower ranked or tied schools that I wouldn't go to over that one (some I'd heard from, some I hadn't) 

The only remaining holdout was Harvard, which took forever.  I knew from msg. boards that I'd ducked the first round of rejections despite my application being in among the firsts, which had me in the unfortunate position of waiting around (I'd resolved that if I got into H, I'd go).  I got the Harvard ding like four days before I had to pack, conveniently after someone announced on a board that they'd accepted there.  Still sore over that one, but I have no room to complain -- everything has worked out well so far.
Title: Re: T10 transfer, taking questions...
Post by: ln330 on August 14, 2009, 04:36:30 PM
Hey, I just started at a T90 Law School and would really like to be able to transfer to a higher ranked school. Any tips/advice on what I should be doing starting out, from Day 1 of Law School?