Law School Discussion

All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2008, 09:46:35 PM »
Do transfer applications ask for LSAT and UGPA? 

You bet they do. They want the full LSAC report and transcripts.

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Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2008, 09:46:52 PM »
Would it be really stupid of me to consider trying to transfer from Penn to HY after 1L?

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2008, 09:48:11 PM »
To me, transferring to a better ranked school is not about getting a better first job, but the prestige and opportunities a degree from a top school may provide further down the road.  If you are fortunate enough to be considered for partnership, positions in government, judicial positions, etc. a JD from Harvard, I think, is going to help much more than being top 10% at a lesser known school. 

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2008, 09:49:37 PM »
Would it be really stupid of me to consider trying to transfer from Penn to HY after 1L?

Depends on what you want to do.

To me, transferring to a better ranked school is not about getting a better first job, but the prestige and opportunities a degree from a top school may provide further down the road.  If you are fortunate enough to be considered for partnership, positions in government, judicial positions, etc. a JD from Harvard, I think, is going to help much more than being top 10% at a lesser known school. 

I agree. Transferring all depends on your goals.

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2008, 09:53:52 PM »
Do transfer applications ask for LSAT and UGPA? 

You bet they do. They want the full LSAC report and transcripts.

Yikes... I am so screwed lol

Probably not. I would bet a lot of it rides on your 1L grades. In that case, you still might be screwed, but that's up to you.

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2008, 09:54:07 PM »
Yikes... I am so screwed lol

Read my recent post regarding last year's successful Harvard transfer applicants.

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Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2008, 09:54:54 PM »
Chad.... why not transfer to BC or BU from GW?  I really want to practice in Boston after I graduate?

Transferring is a very, very difficult thing to do -- and I don't mean in terms of getting the grades you need to do it (that's easy comparatively...seriously). It's difficult because you effectively have to start over at a new school, and you lose -- to some extent anyway -- a lot of what you spend 1L building. More specifically 1) it's unlikely you'll stay in touch with many of your peers after transferring -- this may or may not matter to you, but from a "networking" perspective, it is a relevant consideration; 2) you'll lose any personal connection you have with a professor; 3) you'll lose any skills boards you make, although you could keep it on your resume as something you did at GW it isn't quite as impressive when it's clear you only "did" it for 1 year (I.E. moot court, mock trial, etc.); 4) it's virtually impossible to transfer onto law review or a good journal as a transfer although it is "technically" possible; 5) you have to relocate your life, and potentially at the last minute -- this means you'll be in a state of "flux" throughout the spring not literally not knowing where you'll be in the fall; 6) you lose your grades...if you have a 4.0 after 1L year, you are basically assured a spot in the Top 10% throughout LS. Transferring takes this away (though, of course, you OCI with your 1L grades).

That said, it can be a worthwhile decision if you have a compelling family reason or simply want to go to a better school.

So . . . okay, I'm guessing you're not of the opinion that HYSCCN trumps the top of the class at, like, BC?  It seems that most people on this board would say that even bottom-feeders at these schools probably have better job prospects than even the very top of the class at a T25, but I could be wrong.
 



It may well be that most people on the board would say that, but I vehemently disagree. Vehemently. Job-wise, you would be measurably better off at the very top of the class at a school like BC than the very bottom at HLS. When I'm talking very top, I'm not talking Top 15%...I'm talking top 1-2%. Bear in mind that people with those grades could very well transfer up to HLS -- it's not like they're staying at their school because they can't do any better. They're functionally just as good and can land all the prestigious clerkships, etc. The point isn't so much about how much better HYSCCN is as it is about how attenuated the difference is once you're literally one of the very best students at your lower-ranked school.

And as far as cosmo's point about transferring to Cornell...definitely a waste with top-notch grades at a worse school. My gut tells me it's a waste to transfer to leave top 1% at any Top 25 school for any school other than HYS, and I'm not even sure it's the best decision to transfer to HYS given all the other less tangible factors I mentioned before. But take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, because I'm still putting together transfer applications despite my ambivalence.

I guess this is what I am wondering about -- especially because I don't think that transferring up presents a dichotomy between bottom-of-barrel at a top school v. top student at a less prestigious school (it's probably more like median/no law review at a top school v. top student at a lower school).  For various reasons I've been thinking about transferring as a possibility if I do well at BC next year, because on the one hand, this board among other things has sort of put the fear of God in me about not going to an uber-elite school -- or at least, has made me consider whether certain opportunities that the T6 would afford are things I might actually want.  But on the other hand, before I started frequenting discussion boards I would have enthusiastically agreed with your opinion about the prospects for a top student at a T30.  Plus, I feel as if most people on here don't actually know what the hell they're talking about.

I have some friends from undergrad who have done very well at some T15-30 schools and are considering transferring, so I asked them about this and they've expressed the same ambivalence . . .

So anyway, I guess what I was asking was how you saw the cost-benefit.  I mean, you are putting in transfer apps, after all -- what are you hoping to get out of transferring?  Or, rather, how are you limited at the top of GW's class, and where would you have to go and how well would you have to do there in order for these limitations to be removed?


I don't know that I'm limited at all at GW, to be honest -- I certainly don't feel that way, anyway. I think my peers are very smart, and I really enjoy my classes, the school, etc. I also think the job opportunities are great so long as you do reasonably well here. I'm primarily applying elsewhere for personal reasons...I have a girlfriend in another area, and it might make more sense to be closer to her. Even with that factored in, it's a hard leap to justify for me given all the other considerations weighing against making a switch. I've spoken with a lot of hiring partners and federal judges about it, and they've all indicated it's a wash if you're near-the-top at a school like GW to begin with although "more doors" may open at schools like HYS.

And with regards to what counts...it's ALL 1L grades no matter what any school tells you (check the transferapps data if you don't believe me).

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Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2008, 09:56:29 PM »
To me, transferring to a better ranked school is not about getting a better first job, but the prestige and opportunities a degree from a top school may provide further down the road.  If you are fortunate enough to be considered for partnership, positions in government, judicial positions, etc. a JD from Harvard, I think, is going to help much more than being top 10% at a lesser known school. 

But what I am trying to decide is HOW different in real terms (not the abstract thinkings of this board) my career will be out of Harvard vs Penn (and I have no interest in academia).  Would it really be such a huge difference, or is Penn a well enough known school to keep most of the same doors open as a JD from HLS?

Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2008, 10:01:44 PM »
To me, transferring to a better ranked school is not about getting a better first job, but the prestige and opportunities a degree from a top school may provide further down the road.  If you are fortunate enough to be considered for partnership, positions in government, judicial positions, etc. a JD from Harvard, I think, is going to help much more than being top 10% at a lesser known school. 

But what I am trying to decide is HOW different in real terms (not the abstract thinkings of this board) my career will be out of Harvard vs Penn (and I have no interest in academia).  Would it really be such a huge difference, or is Penn a well enough known school to keep most of the same doors open as a JD from HLS?

A few people from the top of the 1L class at Penn transfer to HYS every year.

That said, if your grades are good enough to be accepted as a transfer, chances are HYS wouldn't open doors that your success at Penn wouldn't, particularly since you're not interested in academia.

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Re: All about TRANSFERRING! (after 1L year)
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2008, 10:16:23 PM »
To me, transferring to a better ranked school is not about getting a better first job, but the prestige and opportunities a degree from a top school may provide further down the road.  If you are fortunate enough to be considered for partnership, positions in government, judicial positions, etc. a JD from Harvard, I think, is going to help much more than being top 10% at a lesser known school. 

But what I am trying to decide is HOW different in real terms (not the abstract thinkings of this board) my career will be out of Harvard vs Penn (and I have no interest in academia).  Would it really be such a huge difference, or is Penn a well enough known school to keep most of the same doors open as a JD from HLS?

A few people from the top of the 1L class at Penn transfer to HYS every year.

That said, if your grades are good enough to be accepted as a transfer, chances are HYS wouldn't open doors that your success at Penn wouldn't, particularly since you're not interested in academia.


I love Penn and am SOOOOOOO excited to be going there, but there is still this little question in my mind about career, you know?  It's stupid, and I KNOW I will have an amazing time at Penn.  I'm just being dumb (it's like my recent wondering if my fiancee is the best woman since I'm getting married soon.)

PLUS, with Penn placing a clerk with some feeder judges this year, I think it is going to be an amazing place to go to school.