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Author Topic: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$  (Read 2139 times)

nyclaw2222

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Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« on: January 27, 2007, 05:39:05 PM »
Several of us have the following notion, relevant only if we finish high enough in our 1L class to "transfer up":

Submit transfer applications.  The main objective is to persaude my current school to increase my scholarship considerably.  If that fails - and I'm accepted - then hell, I have the option of transfering up!

My current school is very reputable in the NYC market (the top 20% will be able to choose among BigLaw employers, and the top 50% or so can secure something that pays way too much money).  So if I finished high enough to transfer, I would really have little need to do so!  It's basically an attempt to bring more chips to the scholarship bargaining table.

Here are my questions:

(1) Has anyone done this maneuvering, and what success have you had (personal or third-party stories are fine)?

(2) What's the best time frame to work on...when do you notifiy your current school of your intentions/success?

(3) Which schools, ranging in rank from 1-30ish, take in alot of transfers?

I'm sure this is a common practice, but I'm nevertheless curious as to the aforementioned questions.

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

UChi2L

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2007, 09:55:00 PM »
In my experience, schools don't care much about keeping you once you've matriculated.  They're not going to surrender to your scholarship demands just because you have potential to transfer.

Most schools don't accept transfers until late summer, when you have to make a decision relatively quickly.  I was one of the top students at my old school, and they didn't try for one second to keep me around even though I already had a biglaw job.

There's also a risk (at the least, minimal, but at the worst, very significant) that things will start to happen at your old school if you're not only threatening to transfer (basically what you're doing) but trying to get more money out of them in the process.  This could hurt your opportunity to transfer at all, and then you've really gained nothing.

If the top 20% of the class really can "choose among biglaw employers" (careful, this isn't necessarily true no matter what the statistics say), I wouldn't worry about this.  If anything, try to renegotiate your scholarship based on good grades (with, at most, the implicit threat of transfer).  I'd say this is your best bet for success in what you're looking to do.
I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah.

LostMyMonkeys

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 12:03:10 PM »
I negotiated a scholarship after my first semester because of my grades, but as a spring admit, I wasn't in a transfer application cycle at that point. But on the avenue of getting money (I had no scholarship going in, but got them to give me $12,000 a year) so it can be done
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xferlawstudent

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2007, 02:38:11 PM »
I was offered $5k to stay.  Several of my friends who transferred out (and some who stayed) were offered additional money. 

Just be very very tactful about it.  You don't want to look like a jackass.

nyclaw2222

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2007, 03:56:54 PM »
Thanks to all for your comments thus far. 

Definitely, it seems that you want to be careful not to step on toes.  But that of course begs the question...how exactly do you do so?  I mean, you're asking professors for letters of recomendation, your asking the registrar for a transcript, and who knows when financial aid will find out what you're up to.  Other than the not being an overt pushy jackass about $ - which I hope goes without saying - is there a preferred order of operations, i.e. when should you notify financial aid of your intentions?

Secondly, upon reflection, it certainly makes sense that you're not going to get alot of money.  I mean, their main motivation for offering you a scholarship as a 1L is so that you choose to attend and boost their USNews numbers.  The school doesn't get any USNEWS love for simply having a stellar 2L student...if you leave, there is someone else to replace you in the "top 10%," or whatever.  So they aren't even hurt in the job market.  Therefore, the same factor that makes it easier to get into schools as a transfer student - the fact that they don't have to report LSAT scores and undergrad stats - means that your current school isn't going to work very hard to keep you.  Does that anaylsis sound correct?  Can anyone defunct this theory and say, "I was offered a ton of money to stay?"

Thank you all, once again, for your thoughts.

shady2009

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 04:46:36 PM »
I think attrition is calculated in the US News rankings.  Thus a school who has a lot of students transfer will suffer in the rankings and may be willing to kick in a little money to keep you around. 

That being said, I would be extremely careful about asking for extra money.  You don't want to seem like you are trying to strong-arm your previous law school.

xferlawstudent

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2007, 04:52:57 PM »
attrition in USNWR is one incentive for them to hang on to good students. Also, down the road, bar passage rates, reputation in the community, and salary stats will be generally benefited by top students.

UChi2L

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 08:01:37 AM »
Thanks to all for your comments thus far. 

Definitely, it seems that you want to be careful not to step on toes.  But that of course begs the question...how exactly do you do so?  I mean, you're asking professors for letters of recomendation, your asking the registrar for a transcript, and who knows when financial aid will find out what you're up to.  Other than the not being an overt pushy jackass about $ - which I hope goes without saying - is there a preferred order of operations, i.e. when should you notify financial aid of your intentions?

Secondly, upon reflection, it certainly makes sense that you're not going to get alot of money.  I mean, their main motivation for offering you a scholarship as a 1L is so that you choose to attend and boost their USNews numbers.  The school doesn't get any USNEWS love for simply having a stellar 2L student...if you leave, there is someone else to replace you in the "top 10%," or whatever.  So they aren't even hurt in the job market.  Therefore, the same factor that makes it easier to get into schools as a transfer student - the fact that they don't have to report LSAT scores and undergrad stats - means that your current school isn't going to work very hard to keep you.  Does that anaylsis sound correct?  Can anyone defunct this theory and say, "I was offered a ton of money to stay?"

Thank you all, once again, for your thoughts.

This is a nice illustration of the voice/exit paradox (sorry, just finished Voting Rights).  You can only have "voice" (meaning the powers-that-be will listen to you) if you have some exit option (the ability transfer); but if your exit option is too strong, that "voice" loses power.  This is important re: moving out of districts when representatives aren't doing their jobs.  If you're about to move, they won't listen, but if they know you can, they might.

If you're going to talk to someone, you have to go in, ask them about your options, but DO NOT mention transferring.  They know you know you can do it.  Tell your dean you got great grades and you want to maximize your opportunities; disguise it like you're asking for advice.  If you mention transferring, you call attention to how great your possibilities are for "exit", and they're not going to bother trying to keep you.  But if you frame the issue like "I'm doing well, I'd like to see if there's any way to increase my scholarship to reflect this fact" the message is clear, but implicit.
I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah.

Marcus2009

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2007, 01:24:44 AM »
What if you are already enjoying a full ride? Would asking for more be a really bad idea?

UChi2L

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Re: Transfer (or not) to bargain for more $$$
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2007, 04:47:32 AM »
What do you want, a pound of flesh?
I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah.