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Author Topic: Are Transfers Happy?  (Read 1902 times)

Haeldaur

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Are Transfers Happy?
« on: April 26, 2008, 01:28:49 AM »
Ok, this is a serious question.  After being a very happy kid for four years in undergrad, I am absolutely miserable in Law School.  More than anything, socially things just haven't worked out for me, and I am really lonely.  Just haven't found my group so to speak, didn't like the kids in my section, etc.  I really actually enjoy class, it's the out of class that's killing me.  I moved back close to home for school, and now I'm home with parents all the time on weekends instead of going out.  Part of me just wants to flee to an entirely new major city and try to make things work.

That being said...for those of you who have transferred, how have your results been?  Are you happy where you are?  Is it hard to meet people coming in as a transfer?  Also, have you found that employers treat you the same way as other kids at the school?

Thanks,
Mike



mtfbwy

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 09:19:50 AM »
There are a few good reasons to transfer, which can serve to make one "happy."  First and most importantly, one can transfer to a much higher ranked school.  Second, one might desire a particular job market, where the transfer school places better than one's 1L school.  Third, there might be some personal reason (e.g., spouse/partner gets job, etc. in new city, family hardship, etc.).  [I had a couple of those reasons; T4 to T30 to V30.]

The WORST reason to transfer: An improved social life.  I'm assuming your post was sincere, which is why I have taken the time to respond. There are two reasons why transfers face social challenges:

1) You will be hard-pressed to find a transfer who says, "oh boy, the natives have been so friendly, and I've made many more friends than I did at my 1L school."  Think about it: Cliques are formed and friendships are forged during 1L because (i) nobody knows anyone at first and (ii) everyone is suddenly thrust into a new world in which they all share similar stress, anxiety and demands, which are largely unique to the law school experience.  When you show up at your new school, you won't have attended those awkward first social mixers or shared in the (pointless) stress of getting called on, writing a brief, and studying for the most important finals of your life.  Even people who started at the same school, but were in different sections, might not have met during 1L, and are thus less likely to be friends the remaining two years.

2) Aside from those obvious social challenges, there is the fact that some (not all, but enough to make a difference) natives will look down on you.  They're usually of two types: natives who did poorly 1L and are thus without jobs (or with crappy jobs) and natives who were either just barely rejected from a far better school or who chose that school because of its generous scholarship assistance (and who, despite having good job prospects, still need to direct their bitterness at somebody).  Both types of natives harbor the view that "transfers didn't have to compete with us 1L and thus get to start out 2L with a clean slate GPA, while enjoying our school's better rank, and are simply inferior." 

The "bitter native" view described above is, of course, nonsense.  For what it's worth: (i) Transfers, in general, were highly ranked at their former schools, and are thus at least as cabable as the bottom half at their new school.  (ii) Transfer LSAT numbers have no impact on U.S. News rankings.  (iii) Transfers, who pay full tuition, bring in considerable additional revenue to their new school (and anywhere outside the top 25 or so, this is needed to replace revenue lost by students transferring up).  (iv) Transfers face considerable challenges during OCI and certainly don't make things any harder for the marginal natives.  (v) If transfers are in fact so "inferior" to the natives, this should only help the natives for grading purposes.  (vi) Many (though not all) transfers are quite determined (hence their decision to transfer) to succeed, and for those who become successful, that only enhances the school's reputation and widens its alumni network. 

Note: Though transfers generally face a chilly social reception by the natives (whether for the understandable and harmless reasons described in #1, or for the irrational and cynical reasons described in #2), many transfers form very close friendships with their fellow transfers. 

PSUDSL08

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 11:56:54 AM »
There are a few good reasons to transfer, which can serve to make one "happy."  First and most importantly, one can transfer to a much higher ranked school.  Second, one might desire a particular job market, where the transfer school places better than one's 1L school.  Third, there might be some personal reason (e.g., spouse/partner gets job, etc. in new city, family hardship, etc.).  [I had a couple of those reasons; T4 to T30 to V30.]

The WORST reason to transfer: An improved social life.  I'm assuming your post was sincere, which is why I have taken the time to respond. There are two reasons why transfers face social challenges:

1) You will be hard-pressed to find a transfer who says, "oh boy, the natives have been so friendly, and I've made many more friends than I did at my 1L school."  Think about it: Cliques are formed and friendships are forged during 1L because (i) nobody knows anyone at first and (ii) everyone is suddenly thrust into a new world in which they all share similar stress, anxiety and demands, which are largely unique to the law school experience.  When you show up at your new school, you won't have attended those awkward first social mixers or shared in the (pointless) stress of getting called on, writing a brief, and studying for the most important finals of your life.  Even people who started at the same school, but were in different sections, might not have met during 1L, and are thus less likely to be friends the remaining two years.

2) Aside from those obvious social challenges, there is the fact that some (not all, but enough to make a difference) natives will look down on you.  They're usually of two types: natives who did poorly 1L and are thus without jobs (or with crappy jobs) and natives who were either just barely rejected from a far better school or who chose that school because of its generous scholarship assistance (and who, despite having good job prospects, still need to direct their bitterness at somebody).  Both types of natives harbor the view that "transfers didn't have to compete with us 1L and thus get to start out 2L with a clean slate GPA, while enjoying our school's better rank, and are simply inferior." 

The "bitter native" view described above is, of course, nonsense.  For what it's worth: (i) Transfers, in general, were highly ranked at their former schools, and are thus at least as cabable as the bottom half at their new school.  (ii) Transfer LSAT numbers have no impact on U.S. News rankings.  (iii) Transfers, who pay full tuition, bring in considerable additional revenue to their new school (and anywhere outside the top 25 or so, this is needed to replace revenue lost by students transferring up).  (iv) Transfers face considerable challenges during OCI and certainly don't make things any harder for the marginal natives.  (v) If transfers are in fact so "inferior" to the natives, this should only help the natives for grading purposes.  (vi) Many (though not all) transfers are quite determined (hence their decision to transfer) to succeed, and for those who become successful, that only enhances the school's reputation and widens its alumni network. 

Note: Though transfers generally face a chilly social reception by the natives (whether for the understandable and harmless reasons described in #1, or for the irrational and cynical reasons described in #2), many transfers form very close friendships with their fellow transfers. 

Well thought out post, and may be accurate on some levels...but I haven't experienced any of the problems you've mentioned above. I think everything is dependent on where you transfer and how you conduct yourself socially upon transferring.

I started out at a T4, and had little to no social life there since I was hellbent on getting out before I started. I met a few very good friends, but from my experience...the general student population at my T4 was far more arrogant than the people are at my current T2. I feel like the people at my T4 had far more to "prove" than the people at my current school do.

The first couple of weeks were a little awkward, but my first move was to try and make friends with the other 10 or so transfer students. Since everyone is in the same boat (starting out at a new school without knowing anyone), the transfer students were very receptive to meeting eachother. Then as a couple of weeks progressed, I started talking with the other students who started off at the school and before you know it, was exchanging numbers with people and meeting them out at the bars. It did not take me very long to get adjusted and gain acceptance from my peers...and in the process, I've met people that are among some of my best friends.

And any time you transfer, you're automatically goign to be viewed as inferior because you lacked the grades/LSAT to get into the school in the first place. But if you show the same dedication at your new school as you did when you were looking at getting out of your old school, you'll be fine. My gpa/rank are significantly higher at my T2 than they were at my T4. Of my friends that are the "natives," I've outperformed almost all of them in the classroom despite going out nearly every weekend. Even if you transfer and are a below average student, does it really matter whether you're viewed as inferior? At the end of the day, you'll be getting the same diploma as the natives.

I don't believe that transferring for an improved quality of life, including an improved social life, is a bad reason to transfer. However, I would be wary about just up and moving to an entirely new city. The desire to a completely new city was the reason I attended my T4 to begin with, and it turned out to be a less than desirable situaiton. If you're going to transfer, go to a location where you could see yourself living for the distant future. At the very worst, if you transfer and have no social life at hte new school, your social situation will be the same at hte old school, except you'll have better professional opportunities.

SCK2008

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 11:58:48 AM »
Very interesting post MT.

I'm curious about:

 iv) Transfers face considerable challenges during OCI and certainly don't make things any harder for the marginal natives.

Can you talk about the obstacles and how you overcame them?  The one person I know who did transfer (T4-T20) got the job he wanted so I'm just curious. 

Coincidentally he said that his first day/week at his new school was during OCI which made it extra fun meeting people...(I think I'm remembering this correctly).
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NeverTrustKlingons

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 10:38:56 PM »
I am in the same boat as Zuck was... minimal/no social life at my current T3 because I am hell-bent on getting out as well.  There more than a few arrogant kids here who feel the need to set themselves in the limelight, for whatever reason, and it's all a little tiring at the end of the day.

So, to answer the question, my social life couldn't get any worse.  I'm hoping I can meet the transfer students wherever I end up (at least 15 or so kids at most T2's, right?  And a ton at places like GW and GULC...) and start from there.
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xferlawstudent

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 12:05:07 AM »
I started 1L at a T4 school where I actually really liked the social scene and had many good friends I still keep in touch with.  I transferred for the reason most people do--to improve my job prospects.

The above posters are right.  It is tough making it socially as a transfer.  There is definitely some condescention from native students at this new school (40's T1).  Luckily, this school takes quite a few transfers (I think about 20) and most of us hang out together.

This to me is really the only reason NOT to transfer.  However, one must think about the future, and in my case, the job prospects have definitely improved.

resipsaloquitur

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 06:42:20 PM »
Great thread guys, thank you for the insight.

sternerstuff

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 09:36:26 PM »
No matter what happens, we'll always have LSD...

Lascar

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Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 10:29:17 PM »
Blissfully.