Shot Myself in the Foot By Lateral Transferring/Need Advice

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Shot Myself in the Foot By Lateral Transferring/Need Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:26 am

I am a rising 3L at a good regional school (School B) that transferred from a decent regional school (School A) of about the same rank (essentially a lateral transfer). My grades at my first school were good - while I have distanced myself from the first school as much as I can, I know that after my second semester 1L year my cumulative GPA would have put me at the top 15-20%. I transferred because I did not care for the school, saw myself working in the region of my current school, and was worried about being permanently shoehorned into the region of School A. I probably should have aimed higher when I was transferring, but I didn't think I had any hope of getting into a t14 and knowing that I absolutely WANTED to transfer, I'd rather transfer to a school that was actually in a region I had ties to.

I did NOT have a job my 1L summer. Part of that had to do with me making the decision to transfer (and which is what I tell everyone who asks about why I didn't), but a lot of it had to do with the fact that I simply didn't have any offers on the table. A lot of people, including my own CSO, talked about a "limbo" for students who were above the top 25% percent or so but below the top 5% where people were getting shut out of jobs with firms for one reason or another, and those same people were getting shut out of the non-paying jobs as well because they "ASSUME" that those higher-ranked students would find another job and recant or just blanket-bid everything at OCI. I was also told by a few people that big firms in the area had an incredibly strong preference for people who went to undergrand in the area, which I did not. I don't know how true any of that is, but I knew two people, both of whom had much better undergrad credentials than I but were in the same law school grade percentile who were shut out 1L year as well. But at the time I had a belief that getting good grades would make things fall into place - and when things weren't working I pushed the panic button and transferred - expecting that I'd be able to snag a transfer spot on law review and keep my grades at/above the level they were already at with a clean slate.

Needless to say, nothing has really worked about this transfer decision thus far. During fall OCI I got 3 interviews, 1 which was interviewing ALL transfers, 1 which was a nonprofit I didn't care about at all, and 1 which I would have loved but was pulled as an alternate and was pretty sure from about 5 minutes of that interview I had no chance at. I didn't get a positive response from my numerous other attempts at finding a summer job through other methods. I do have a summer job now, but it's a minimum wage job not in a firm that gives me absolutely 0 chance of future employment and hardly even allows for a chance to build up useful contacts. I didn't get law review, and didn't bother with a secondary journal because I were told they were "jokes." But even worse than that, my grades are about median here, and ABSOLUTE best case scenario I graduate in the top 1/3 (which would require about ~33 credit hours of very high grades), worst case scenario I'm stuck right around median.

The whole reason I transferred is because I was 100% sure I wanted to live and work in this region - but after a disappointing and morale crushing year, I may just end up going back to the VERY REGION I TRANSFERRED FROM TO BEGIN WITH simply because I have 1-2 job leads there as opposed to 0 here, and if I am facing taking a bar arbitrarily, neither of them are particularly good. (That's not to say I might not get some job lead here in the next year, but that seems dubious, as I wasn't really swimming in offers when my grades were good, and now they aren't.) So I'd be facing going back to a region that I wanted to get out of because of its smallness and insularity, with a J.D. from another region, with worse grades than I had before I left. The alternative is I stay here in this region, which also doesn't have the most booming legal market, and attempt to get something outside of SHITLAW in the hopes of one day getting into a midsize firm, knowing that the few number of big firms here hire very small numbers of people with much better credentials than mine will ever be.

I need some kind of plan for this coming 3l year. Should I just resume-dump, leave my GPA off, and hope that someone finds a transfer riveting enough to want to talk to me? The one shining point I had were my 1l grades, which kind of seem to be moot now because I stunk it up as a 2l. I don't really HAVE anything else to put on a resume. What the hell do I do? Every day I read the Vale of Tears thread and look forward to the future. I have a single job lead back in the region I left, and if that doesn't pan out (and I have lost all hope in a lucky bounce ever falling in my court), I have absolutely NOTHING on paper to offer anyone.

I'm not looking for reassurance or false hope - if I would have worked harder, I probably wouldn't be in this position. It isn't a pity party. But some advice would be nice. I am also sorry I worded so much of this so obtusely, but my anonymity would be easily compromised if I spilled more details. If you're interested in knowing more, I will shoot you a PM if you let me know.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:42 am

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shot Myself in the Foot By Lateral Transferring/Need Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:27 pm

ajax adonis wrote:I'm sorry--that is a rough situation. I would still leave your GPA on there because I think if you leave it off, you would make people think you were sub-3.0 (which I assume you're not since you're at median).

Have you thoughts about gov, nonprofit work? They're sometimes less sensitive at local government agencies, such as the DAs or PDs. You could intern at one of those part-time while you attend school

Secondary goal: I would try to pull up to top-third. Take easy semester-type classes. Noncurved.


I am above 3.0, but at a grade inflated school. I think local sources would know of how silly the grade inflation is here, but the other region might not. I'll probably leave it on for out-of-region jobs and take it off for in-region. I don't plan on really hitting the mass mailings until after fall semester, hopefully so that my GPA is a bit higher.

I am doing a clinic next semester which is looked at positively by trial courts and PD/DA around here, but firms of course could not care less. I will almost certainly get a chance to argue some cases at an appellate court level and will at least get some court-filed writing samples out of the whole ordeal, but that negates being able to volunteer for any significant hours during the semester. That is also 6 credit hours this coming semester of guaranteed good grades.

I don't care about prestige or anything of the sort when looking for a job, so I don't even necessarily care about working at a firm. My dream job would be working for a government agency at a state level, so long as it isn't criminal work. That's positive in that grades/prestige aren't as important, but networking/nepotism is (at least in my home state), and I think that leaving my original law school to transfer out of state is going to be a big red flag at trying to get into a lot of jobs back in my old region.

rad lulz
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Re: Shot Myself in the Foot By Lateral Transferring/Need Advice

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:34 pm

I suggest you concentrate most on your home state, where you transferred to

I know you have a couple employers in the other state, but by in large they're gonna red flag you

Trust me, it's really hard to look for a job in a place that's far away

You can't just send out a bunch of mailers and wait for responses

You need to do the proverbial "hustle" which works way better when you're in a place

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Re: Shot Myself in the Foot By Lateral Transferring/Need Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:14 pm

rad lulz wrote:I suggest you concentrate most on your home state, where you transferred to

I know you have a couple employers in the other state, but by in large they're gonna red flag you

Trust me, it's really hard to look for a job in a place that's far away

You can't just send out a bunch of mailers and wait for responses

You need to do the proverbial "hustle" which works way better when you're in a place


Yeah, I was thinking that it would be difficult/impossible to bullshit a reason why I transferred out of my original state, especially because the reason was I just plain did not want to be in that state anymore. The fact that I have a change of heart about going back now just reeks of desperation. That being said, I am hoping that by buckshotting every potential lead in this state, I'll hit SOMETHING.




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