Early Decision and then transferring

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In my situation, would you apply Early Decision?

Poll ended at Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:44 pm

Yes
1
13%
No
7
88%
 
Total votes: 8

DTrainz

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Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:43 pm

One of the schools to which I'm applying offers a full-tuition scholarship to those that are accepted early decision. It's tempting because it's one of the better schools on my application list with a relatively high-rate of bar passage and full-time employment post graduation. It's not my top choice, but I have at best a 25% chance of getting into my top choice. So, applying early decision is tempting. However, if I go to this school I will have to commute on the weekend once or twice a month to see my partner. Also, I'm interested in criminal law, and the school doesn't have a criminal law journal or as appealing of criminal law clinics as some of the other schools I'm considering. It's less specialized. For these reasons, I'm not all that enthusiastic. So, I'm flirting with the idea of applying early decision, and if I get accepted, consider transferring in my second year. My gut tells me it's probably not a good idea to apply Early Decision to a school that's not your top choice. Also, I hate the idea of having to commute on the weekends for three years. Furthermore, there's always a risk of doing shitty my first year and having a hard time transferring. But a full-tuition scholarship! What would other people do in this situation? Would you apply Early Decision??

cavalier1138

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:45 pm

What are the schools, and what does "criminal law" mean for you?

But 100% no to planning on a transfer.

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:46 pm

There is an obvious key question that I forgot to include. When you accept Early Decision, are you allowed to transfer after 1L??

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:47 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:What are the schools, and what does "criminal law" mean for you?

But 100% no to planning on a transfer.


Why? Because you're not allowed to transfer?

cavalier1138

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:48 pm

DTrainz wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are the schools, and what does "criminal law" mean for you?

But 100% no to planning on a transfer.


Why? Because you're not allowed to transfer?


No, because you should not matriculate to any school that you aren't happy graduating from. You cannot plan on doing well enough in 1L to be able to transfer.

Now, what are the schools and what are your specific career goals? ED is almost never a good decision, but the exception to that rule is with a full scholarship.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:54 pm

All law schools prepare you equally well to do criminal law. It's one of the basic pillars of legal education. You shouldn't pick a school based on crim law preferences (and definitely not on whether there's a crim law journal; that doesn't have any effect on anything).

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:56 pm

I'd rather not mention the schools.

My top choice is ranked 15-20. It's a private university. I applied part-time and am waiting to hear back. If I get in, I will transfer to full-time after the first year. I would have tuition covered in my first year because I currently work for the school. It's located where I currently live and where my partner lives. But again I only estimate a 25% chance of getting in.

The school with the Early Decision option is ranked in the top 50; closer to 40. It's a public university with employment and bar passage rates over 70%. With those school, I still only think I have about a 50% chance of getting in. But besides my top choice, it's better than the other local universities to which I'm applying.

I'd like to work in government perhaps at first as a public defender and later a prosecutor.
Last edited by DTrainz on Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:All law schools prepare you equally well to do criminal law. It's one of the basic pillars of legal education. You shouldn't pick a school based on crim law preferences (and definitely not on whether there's a crim law journal; that doesn't have any effect on anything).


Interesting. I've gotten varying advice on that point. I know it might not be a deal breaker, but I believe it can be beneficial to show that you go through law school with a focus. Unlike a lot of 20 somethings, I'm close to my mid thirties so feel more certain about why I want to go to law school.

cavalier1138

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:00 pm

DTrainz wrote:I'd like to work in government perhaps at first as a public defender and later a prosecutor.


Don't tell any PDs about your long-term career goals (in some jurisdictions; I've heard that outside of major urban areas, this tends to be less of an issue).

If you want to go the PD/ADA route, then a strong regional school with a full scholarship is an awesome option. I'd apply ED if it's the place you want to work. Just make sure the scholarship is applicable if you apply ED to the part-time program. And if you're thinking of going full-time anyway, I'd just do that. You're not likely to save that much money by spending more time working on the degree.

And Nony is 100% right about not needing to go to a school with a crim law journal. You'll be able to extern wherever you go.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:03 pm

DTrainz wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:All law schools prepare you equally well to do criminal law. It's one of the basic pillars of legal education. You shouldn't pick a school based on crim law preferences (and definitely not on whether there's a crim law journal; that doesn't have any effect on anything).


Interesting. I've gotten varying advice on that point. I know it might not be a deal breaker, but I believe it can be beneficial to show that you go through law school with a focus. Unlike a lot of 20 somethings, I'm close to my mid thirties so feel more certain about why I want to go to law school.

You can focus on criminal law, that's totally fine. My point is that you can focus on criminal law at absolutely every law school in the country. And a criminal law journal has nothing to do with preparing someone to practice criminal law and shouldn't be considered at all (if you have the opportunity you should pretty much always do the flagship general law review over a secondary journal like something focused on crim law, because employers who care about journals will value law review more highly; although frankly crim law is one of the fields where employers don't usually care/journals are pretty irrelevant and you'd be better off getting hands-on experience).

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:04 pm

Thanks. I would apply full-time for ED. The school is located about three hours from the metropolitan area where I'd like to work post-graduation, where about 1/3 of grads go to work post graduation.

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:08 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
DTrainz wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:All law schools prepare you equally well to do criminal law. It's one of the basic pillars of legal education. You shouldn't pick a school based on crim law preferences (and definitely not on whether there's a crim law journal; that doesn't have any effect on anything).


Interesting. I've gotten varying advice on that point. I know it might not be a deal breaker, but I believe it can be beneficial to show that you go through law school with a focus. Unlike a lot of 20 somethings, I'm close to my mid thirties so feel more certain about why I want to go to law school.

You can focus on criminal law, that's totally fine. My point is that you can focus on criminal law at absolutely every law school in the country. And a criminal law journal has nothing to do with preparing someone to practice criminal law and shouldn't be considered at all (if you have the opportunity you should pretty much always do the flagship general law review over a secondary journal like something focused on crim law, because employers who care about journals will value law review more highly; although frankly crim law is one of the fields where employers don't usually care/journals are pretty irrelevant and you'd be better off getting hands-on experience).


Okay that makes sense. Thanks.

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:09 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
DTrainz wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are the schools, and what does "criminal law" mean for you?

But 100% no to planning on a transfer.


Why? Because you're not allowed to transfer?


No, because you should not matriculate to any school that you aren't happy graduating from. You cannot plan on doing well enough in 1L to be able to transfer.

Now, what are the schools and what are your specific career goals? ED is almost never a good decision, but the exception to that rule is with a full scholarship.


I agree with you. Yet I'm still curious. Would you even be allowed to transfer after 1L? This isn't clear to me.

cavalier1138

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:12 pm

DTrainz wrote:I agree with you. Yet I'm still curious. Would you even be allowed to transfer after 1L? This isn't clear to me.


Yes, unless the school specifically places a condition against transferring on your scholarship, and I don't see how that would even be enforceable.

Regardless, I can't imagine it ever being a good idea, because you end up paying sticker for 2L and 3L.

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UVA2B

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm

Depending on where you want to work, your ED option could be a good one. I'm very confident I know what that option is, so please make sure you like the rural areas away from your partner if you want to be a PD/ADA in that area.

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
DTrainz wrote:I agree with you. Yet I'm still curious. Would you even be allowed to transfer after 1L? This isn't clear to me.


Yes, unless the school specifically places a condition against transferring on your scholarship, and I don't see how that would even be enforceable.

Regardless, I can't imagine it ever being a good idea, because you end up paying sticker for 2L and 3L.


You're probably right. Thanks!

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:47 pm

UVA2B wrote:Depending on where you want to work, your ED option could be a good one. I'm very confident I know what that option is, so please make sure you like the rural areas away from your partner if you want to be a PD/ADA in that area.


Thank you. That's good advice. Much appreciated.

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chargers21

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby chargers21 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:53 pm

I can't see a good reason for why you'd go to a school for a full ride just to transfer to a school to pay full price

DTrainz

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Re: Early Decision and then transferring

Postby DTrainz » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:32 pm

chargers21 wrote:I can't see a good reason for why you'd go to a school for a full ride just to transfer to a school to pay full price


Initially, I thought that it would be beneficial to have the first year fully funded. But you're right. I could then transfer to a school without funding versus going to another school all three years without a full scholarship but some funding. Ultimately, I don't think I'm going to do the ED because I don't think I want to be commuting back and forth for three years.

Thanks everyone!



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