Law School Discussion

Transferring and Employers

Transferring and Employers
« on: January 08, 2006, 10:02:45 PM »
I've heard that a firm's recruiting is largely dictated by students' 1L grades. What does this mean for those of us who are transferring up after our first year? Thanks.

Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 11:31:05 AM »


Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 11:31:51 PM »
It is a bit of a mixed bag.  Obviously, in order to transfer, your grades had to be impressive at your previous school. Unfortunately, the recruiter who arrived on campus probably knows little about your previous school and their grading policies.  In this situation (and this is only speculation on my part) I expect that they would place a greater emphasis on your UG achievments to help decipher your abilities. Unless you are a high-GPA low-LSAT splitter, this probably does not bode well for you.  Also, you will want to contact prospective transfer schools directly if they allow recruiters to select interviewees or use grade or rank cutoffs to assign interviews. Such practices could really screw you overif you don't know how they handle transfers.  Overall, you will certainly be less desirable than a student at the same school with the same grades (I'm assuming you are transferring up), but you will certainly be above those who were in the bottom half of the class.  Where you fall in that vast spectrum will depend on the individual employers.


Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 08:20:03 AM »
I have to disagree.  You seem to be basing most of your argument off speculation.  From what I have heard, and it seems to be a common trend at NYU and Columbia, transfer students do very well at fall OCI at their new school. If your grades are good enough to transfer up, then they shouldn't hurt you. 


Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2006, 09:55:04 AM »
I have to disagree.  You seem to be basing most of your argument off speculation.  From what I have heard, and it seems to be a common trend at NYU and Columbia, transfer students do very well at fall OCI at their new school. If your grades are good enough to transfer up, then they shouldn't hurt you. 

I will admit that my response is mostly speculation, but it is logical speculation nonetheless.  For the sake of argument, let's say that Bob Loblaw transfers from Fordham to NYU after recieving a 3.58 (top 10% of his 1L class). 

1. No recruiter at NYU will consider Bob's 90th percentile grades on par with a 90th percentile student at NYU.  If they did, there would be no reason for Bob to transfer up in the first place, as he would have the same job opportunities at his first school (along with access to Law Review, etc).

2. Neither NYU nor Fordham releases class rank, so the NYU recruiter does not know whether Bob's 3.58 is in the same percentile as a 3.58 at NYU (from what I understand, it is not; top 10% at NYU is generally higher than 3.6).

3. Becuase Bob did not get into NYU out of UG, the odds are that his UG GPA is lower than his peers and/or he went to a school that is not very highly regarded.  Recruiters  look at this information, and I expect that it would play a role in attempting to put Bob's ability level in context. This should hurt Bob's chances.

4. If Bob is not seen as favorably as a student with the same GPA or the same class rank, how much less favorably he is viewed is a function of the firm recruting him.  A firm with a track record of hiring Fordham grades would know the value of his accomplishments.  A firm that does not hire at Fordham would be less inclined to see his performance favorably. 

Yes, Bob will have success at OCI.  Becuase such a good performance is needed to transfer, he can't help but find firms who are impressed by his record.  However, it is illogical to believe that his accomplishments would be viewed as on-par with students who have the same GPA or class rank at the new school.  Combining that disadvantage with his less-than-stellar UG record, and the inevitable confusion that results from lack of information about the previous school and/or its grading policies, he will likely face a good bit of rejection as well. That's why I referred to it as "a mixed-bag."

Yes, it is mere speculation.  But I only dare to speculate becuase it is a logical extension of the evidence we already have about recruiting.  To advance any other position seems incoherant.  Perhaps, if you still disgree, you can elaborate as to where my reasoning has goe astray. 


Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2006, 11:27:15 AM »
My comments certainly did not suggest that your argument was not without merit; however, certain points seem to be too extreme.

1. Without any personal insight into the OCI process, your first point, logically speaking, must be accepted as true.

2. This point assumes that lower ranked schools (here Fordham) will have a lower median GPA, therefore, a GPA qualifying for top 10% would be lower as well.  This lower GPA will in turn disadvantage the transfer student in comparison to non-transfer students during OCI. On an average, median GPA decreases with rank; however, employers are aware of this dynamic as well, meaning that, unless they superficially evaluate candidates by their GPA, they will weight the GPAs differently. One caveat, however, is that Fordham is ranked high enough that the difference in median from NYU is likely not substantial, thus precluding this type of consideration.

3. Assuming the employer, after becoming confused by the student's GPA, places more emphasis on accomplishments prior to law school, your argument considers only one type of transfer student. The student with a lower UGPA from a lesser undergraduate institution would obviously be at a disadvantage; however, UGPA and undergraduate institution are only two of the four factors which likely contributed to his attending of a lower ranked school (UGPA, LSAT, undergrad institution, and work experience/soft factors). While you mentioned it briefly in your original post, your second post completely ignores the possibility that a student may have a strong UGPA from a highly regarded undergrad institution, yet missed the mark on the LSAT, or was mediocre on all fronts. There are many possibilities as to why a student would be at a lower ranked institution, yet the only situation your argument addresses is where the student has a low UGPA from a lower undergrad institution (probably because it is the only situation which supports your argument).

Because your argument builds on assumption after assumption, ignoring equally plausible possibilities, it becomes too tenuous to be considered a representation of the situation as a whole.

Your fourth point is the obvious conclusion of your previous assumptions.

Instead of forming an argument merely to support your preconceived conclusion, I suggest that you consider all the possibilities within the situation then form your conclusion.


Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2006, 11:53:12 AM »
All excellent points, Slough.  Truly.  I'd just like to address a few points:

Not knowing Bob's real stats, I was trying to construct a most-likely scenario.

2. As you mentioned, on average, the mean GPA goes down with school rank.  Thus, when speaking about what I expect to be the most-typical result, I make this assumption.  There are certainly other possibilties.  The reason I chose Fordham is that I have access to its GPA/class rank conversion via the BCG guide.  In my original example, I was going to use Pace, but I have no idea what their grading system is like.  I agree that the difference between Fordham and NYU isn't so great as to hurt Bob much in this scenario. 

3. Since I mentioned the high-GPA exception previously, I didn't feel the need to revisit it again, but I do believe it would be the best-case situation for a transfer student.  Again, however, on average, GPA drops along with rank.  So when trying to provide information about will happen in the most likely scenrio, I felt it safe to assume a lower UG GPA than the average NYU student.

Frankly, I don't think we are terribly far apart in our disagreement.  My posts attempted to explain the outcome that I expect to happen in the largest plurality (if not the majority) of transfer cases.  Your posts elaborated on other alternatives that, when combined with my "average" scenario, completed the picture. 

Perhaps my original post would have been more helpful had it deliniated all possible outcomes, but, as I admitted before, so much of this is speculation that I dare not make assumptions about how a recruiter would view those outliers (such as when a student has a high 1L GPA from a lower-ranked school with a very high mean).  The assumptions I did make were the "safe" assumptions, and I still believe they are the most relevant to the largest group of students.

Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2006, 02:40:18 PM »
Back to information that's a little more practical. Either the registrar or career services should be able to give you some kind of letter that explains the curve to future employers. Get a copy of this letter; you don't have to tell them what it's for. That way, in the unlikely event that your school brushes you off when you transfer and you can't get that information in time for OCI at your new school, you'll have the information handy.

Another thing that you can do is call the schools that have accepted you as a transfer student. Ask them how they handle transfer students and if they have any statistics concerning placement during OCI, and if you even qualify for OCI. I would think that this would be a huge factor that will determine where you decide to transfer, anyway.

I'm considering transferring, and so far the policies from law review selection to financial aid have been all over the map for transfer students. I'm not convinced that there's a uniform standard among career placement offices.

Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2006, 11:48:45 PM »
Transfers do very well at OCI.  Period.

Employers can look at your 1L school and where you're at now, and have a general sense of where you're at.  If you have the grades to go from Fordham to NYU, they'll have no problem hiring you.

You basically get the best of both worlds, a 1L gpa that is ridiculously good, combined with the prestige of your new school. 

Also a lot of employers like the fact that transfer candidates are motivated enough to pull themselves up the rankings ladder... I think it signals the type of ambition they're looking for. 

Re: Transferring and Employers
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2006, 10:18:17 AM »
I must weigh in on this. Transfers can do very well at OCI in the Fall. But another factor that has not been mentioned is the problem of timing. Most law schools transfer application deadline is not until July 1st with a decision being made anywhere in the next 6 weeks. The Fall OCI is usualy before the first week of classes so in early August for most places. My experience was that it was not that the firms would not have wanted to interview you or thought you were great, it is just that you missed the deadline for them to see your resume in the first place due to the way the deadlines work out. But you can still cold call and get your resume in another route. And there is Spring OCI too.