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Author Topic: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?  (Read 971 times)

Twhatever

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Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« on: July 06, 2006, 12:24:50 PM »
I will be attending Santa Clara in the fall and I would like to transfer to a T1 school after 1L.  I'd like to work for a international law firm and my understanding is that getting a job with those firms is almost impossible without a degree from a top 15 school.  That being said, how difficult is it to transfer from Santa Clara to a top 15 school?  How should I position myself the first year to max. my chances of transferring into a higher ranked school?   

Some of the schools I would like to transfer to include Georgetown, USC, Berkeley (alma mater) and Columbia. 

I'd appreciate any insights on transferring into above schools. 

rhombot

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2006, 01:15:35 PM »
when i visited santa clara, i was told by current students that it's hard to transfer out of there. reason: the first year curriculum at SC doesn't cover all the subject most schools cover.

double check that this is true, and that it applies to the schools you're targeting.
case '09

giraffe205

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 03:56:26 PM »
My advice is donít plan on it. I hate to be a downer but in order to transfer to a T14, you will need to be in the top 10% of your class, which by definition means that you are in the minority. There is no way to tell at the outset whether you have what it takes to be in the top 10% since it is relative to how well your other classmates perform. Think of it this way, you have a 10% chance of being successful enough after your first year to transfer to a T14. Ten percent!! That certainly isnít a number that inspire confidence. While it obviously isnít impossible, it isnít a bet that I would take.

If you truly feel that BigLaw is what you would be almost exclusively happy doing, I would suggest that you wait a year and reapply. Whatís the rush after all if itís the only thing that you can see yourself doing? In the meantime, you should try to make your app stronger, e.g., re-take the LSAT and take a study prep course if you havenít already, maybe get a masterís degree (which generally always give out As), even better, do it abroad, get some more work experience under your belt (esp. if you are under 25).

Bottom line: Donít count on transferring. If the career options that Santa Clara has to offer are not satisfactory, donít go. Wait and re-apply.

pinkybella

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 04:57:25 PM »
My advice is donít plan on it. I hate to be a downer but in order to transfer to a T14, you will need to be in the top 10% of your class, which by definition means that you are in the minority. There is no way to tell at the outset whether you have what it takes to be in the top 10% since it is relative to how well your other classmates perform. Think of it this way, you have a 10% chance of being successful enough after your first year to transfer to a T14. Ten percent!! That certainly isnít a number that inspire confidence. While it obviously isnít impossible, it isnít a bet that I would take.

If you truly feel that BigLaw is what you would be almost exclusively happy doing, I would suggest that you wait a year and reapply. Whatís the rush after all if itís the only thing that you can see yourself doing? In the meantime, you should try to make your app stronger, e.g., re-take the LSAT and take a study prep course if you havenít already, maybe get a masterís degree (which generally always give out As), even better, do it abroad, get some more work experience under your belt (esp. if you are under 25).

Bottom line: Donít count on transferring. If the career options that Santa Clara has to offer are not satisfactory, donít go. Wait and re-apply.


What about transferring from Santa Clara to a higher ranked tier 2 school like Loyola, USD or something? Is that more feasible or still very difficult?

jason1114

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 05:56:07 PM »
I wouldn't even go to SCU unless you could see yourself being happy with getting a JD from there in three years. Everybody not at a T14 holds out at least a small fantasy of being at the top of their class and transfering to a "better" school. But, if you do a little research, you'll see that SCU isn't a bad school; actually as far as average starting salary and employment at graduation they rank really high.

I'm going, I liked the school and surrounding area better than Davis or USF, etc. Sure I also have pipe dreams of transferring, but I treat them like pipe dreams. If I can't (or more likely, decide not to) transfer, I think that I will be just fine at SCU. Bottom line, as many people have said here in many discussion threads: Don't go to a school that you don't want to spend three years at.

In fact, don't go to SCU. The less people there are, the better my class rank will be. And then I can transfer to Boalt (lol  ;D)

elemnopee

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 02:41:00 PM »
My advice is donít plan on it. I hate to be a downer but in order to transfer to a T14, you will need to be in the top 10% of your class, which by definition means that you are in the minority. There is no way to tell at the outset whether you have what it takes to be in the top 10% since it is relative to how well your other classmates perform. Think of it this way, you have a 10% chance of being successful enough after your first year to transfer to a T14. Ten percent!! That certainly isnít a number that inspire confidence. While it obviously isnít impossible, it isnít a bet that I would take.

Even if OP makes top 10% at SCU he may not be able to transfer to a T14, especially not Boalt they want top 5 people.   

giraffe205

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Re: Transferring from Santa Clara, any insights?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 04:02:46 PM »

My advice is donít plan on it. I hate to be a downer but in order to transfer to a T14, you will need to be in the top 10% of your class, which by definition means that you are in the minority. There is no way to tell at the outset whether you have what it takes to be in the top 10% since it is relative to how well your other classmates perform. Think of it this way, you have a 10% chance of being successful enough after your first year to transfer to a T14.

While I agree with the general sentiment that you should never go to a law school counting on transferring out after the second year, I disagree with the characterization that you only have a 10% chance of succeeding. That would be true if they pulled your grades randomly out of a hat and you had to be in the top ten percent. In this case, you have a little more control over your fate. If you study hard and smart and prepare dutifully for each and every class and exam, I think that you have a significantly better chance at getting into the top ten percent. Still, it is not an easy thing to do, and it certainly is not a given, so don't plan on it. Also, if you want to get into a T14, I would set my sights on top 5%.


I have yet to meet a person in law school who wasn't smart, studied hard, and was generally well prepared for each class and exam. Law school exams require a certain skill that you either have or don't have. Just b/c you study hard, know all of the concepts, etc. guarantees you no success in the class rank since it is relative to who your peers are and how well they do. For instance, suppose you are the perfect student and do everything right during the course of the semester. Your exam answers are terrific. Yet, you are competing against future Willistons, Wrights, Prossers, and so on. I'm sorry, but you don't stand a chance. Your exam may have been great, but theirs were greater. In the end, that's how grades are calculated and that's all that will matter in determining class rank. Therefore, while you can control your study habits and ability to capture the material, you cannot control your classmates' study habits and how well they will do compared to you on the exam.

My advice is don’t plan on it. I hate to be a downer but in order to transfer to a T14, you will need to be in the top 10% of your class, which by definition means that you are in the minority. There is no way to tell at the outset whether you have what it takes to be in the top 10% since it is relative to how well your other classmates perform. Think of it this way, you have a 10% chance of being successful enough after your first year to transfer to a T14. Ten percent!! That certainly isn’t a number that inspire confidence. While it obviously isn’t impossible, it isn’t a bet that I would take.

Even if OP makes top 10% at SCU he may not be able to transfer to a T14, especially not Boalt they want top 5 people.  

It depends on what school you are transferring from. While every T14 will want the transferee to be ranked as high as possible, schools will often consider other factors, e.g., URM. Many schools will look to balance out their 1L class through transfers. This is not to say that you don't need to have good grades. The point is that as long as you are in the top 10%, I'm sure that one of the T14s out there will accept you, and probably a couple of T25s too.