Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Lonagan
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Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby Lonagan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:35 pm

I am a 0L researching the schools I have been admitted to. Yes, I am fully aware entering law school with a plan of transferring is a terrible idea. I would be happy spending three years and potentially a career in the cities I am considering. I am fully aware how difficult it is to transfer, and that even if I study hard and do well I will likely end up with grades that, while good, will not allow me to move up to T3/T6.

Nonetheless, relative transfer potential between prospective schools is a (small) factor I am taking into consideration in my choice. If I don't get a T10 admit (one chance left), Minnesota may be my best option. However, they do not give students their class rank after 1L. As far as I am aware, it is only ever given for clerkship applications and Order of the Coif selection. Students get their GPA and the quartile they are in.

My understanding is that transferring into HYSCCN from T20 requires anywhere from top 1% to top 10%, depending on the school. Assuming I did well enough to hit those thresholds, would GPA combined with the curve median and quartile breakpoints be enough to demonstrate T6 performance, or would the lack of an outright class rank prevent me from being able to distinguish myself from 'top quarter.' According to LSN's most recent data 15 students transferred out of UMN, and most of them presumably transferred up, so it is obviously possible to achieve some kind of upward movement.

My potential interest in transferring is twofold:

-The very top schools have significantly better placement into appellate clerkships and academia, and if I can put myself in a position to open those options I would consider it.
-Negotiating better $$ to stay at a T20.

I am not 'Biglaw or bust' so that isn't the primary driver of my interest.

I hope I have pre-empted the obligatory warnings that usually accompany any discussion of transferring, and appreciate any input anyone has.

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apper123
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Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby apper123 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:52 am

Lonagan wrote:I am a 0L researching the schools I have been admitted to. Yes, I am fully aware entering law school with a plan of transferring is a terrible idea. I would be happy spending three years and potentially a career in the cities I am considering. I am fully aware how difficult it is to transfer, and that even if I study hard and do well I will likely end up with grades that, while good, will not allow me to move up to T3/T6.

Nonetheless, relative transfer potential between prospective schools is a (small) factor I am taking into consideration in my choice. If I don't get a T10 admit (one chance left), Minnesota may be my best option. However, they do not give students their class rank after 1L. As far as I am aware, it is only ever given for clerkship applications and Order of the Coif selection. Students get their GPA and the quartile they are in.

My understanding is that transferring into HYSCCN from T20 requires anywhere from top 1% to top 10%, depending on the school. Assuming I did well enough to hit those thresholds, would GPA combined with the curve median and quartile breakpoints be enough to demonstrate T6 performance, or would the lack of an outright class rank prevent me from being able to distinguish myself from 'top quarter.' According to LSN's most recent data 15 students transferred out of UMN, and most of them presumably transferred up, so it is obviously possible to achieve some kind of upward movement.

My potential interest in transferring is twofold:

-The very top schools have significantly better placement into appellate clerkships and academia, and if I can put myself in a position to open those options I would consider it.
-Negotiating better $$ to stay at a T20.

I am not 'Biglaw or bust' so that isn't the primary driver of my interest.

I hope I have pre-empted the obligatory warnings that usually accompany any discussion of transferring, and appreciate any input anyone has.


Preempting the warnings doesn't make the fact that you are basing your law school decision on the potential to transfer rather than where you will be happy for 3 years any less silly.

Your question seems reasonable, but unless it is playing an absolutely microscopic part in your decision, you really shouldn't even be considering it. You really need to be asking yourself where you will be happy for 3 years, not the best way to get out of town.

That said, the people in admissions at HYSCCN are obviously very intelligent and I highly doubt they will not be able to look at where your school curves and figure out approx. rank. Plus your school would probably (not necessarily, but probably) provide cutoff points.

All that said, for all the reasons you so eloquently articulated for us, this should not be playing any substantial part at all in your law school decision. You may claim it is not, but the breadth of thought you have clearly given it indicates otherwise.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby Vincent Vega » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:09 am

Get a 4.0 and no one will have to guess your rank.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:18 am

Halibut6 wrote:Get a 4.0 and no one will have to guess your rank.

Because that's an easy enough achievement.

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A'nold
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Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby A'nold » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:31 am

I'm somewhere in b/w apper and someone that's like OMGZ, Cooley 2 Harvard baby!

I always knew that I would try to transfer and transferring or being at the top of my class + LR were about 50/50 in my motivation in busting my butt, maybe even a little more for transferring.

You just have to be realistic with yourself. No matter how much I told myself I was likely going to finish at median and that I'd be happy staying put, I couldn't convince myself, haha. People that always want more always think about more, that's just the way it is. You will be very disappointed if you can't transfer, I can tell, regardless of what city you choose. That said, if you don't finish in the top 10% or something like that, you can always re-arrange your goals and shoot for high achievements within your sphere of possibilities. Then you can put all of your effort into writing onto the LR or networking or whatever.

I agree with the sentiment that you should not choose your school based SOLELY on transferring, but let's be honest. You are not happy with your choices because you want T6. You will not be 100% happy outside of the T6. Shoot to transfer into the T6 and worry about how to make your school work for you if it doesn't happen.

Take arrow for example. His main goal wasn't necessarily transferring but he knew he had to be near the top of his class to meet his goals and expectations. Just read his post. He was an absolute madman. If you do anything like what arrow did and research and learn how to nail exams to the extent that he did, I doubt you will not be at the top 10% of your class. It's not always about the effort, I know, but when you approach law school from the perspective of acing exams, having your game face on at all times, and going the extra mile over students that brief like crazy, outline like crazy, take a few practice tests, and then finish median, you should be able to transfer.

*Let the A'nold bashing begin* :)

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Lonagan
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Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby Lonagan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:15 am

apper123 wrote:
Preempting the warnings doesn't make the fact that you are basing your law school decision on the potential to transfer rather than where you will be happy for 3 years any less silly.

Your question seems reasonable, but unless it is playing an absolutely microscopic part in your decision, you really shouldn't even be considering it. You really need to be asking yourself where you will be happy for 3 years, not the best way to get out of town.

That said, the people in admissions at HYSCCN are obviously very intelligent and I highly doubt they will not be able to look at where your school curves and figure out approx. rank. Plus your school would probably (not necessarily, but probably) provide cutoff points.

All that said, for all the reasons you so eloquently articulated for us, this should not be playing any substantial part at all in your law school decision. You may claim it is not, but the breadth of thought you have clearly given it indicates otherwise.


I'm pretty sure I have a better idea than you about what is driving my matriculation decision. Thanks for the input though.

@Halibut: That's the thought.

@Leeroy: That's the reality.

@A'nold: Yeah, Arrow definitely has good advice.

Since my first post was (somehow) not clear enough for some, I'm not actively looking to transfer, nor do I have any illusions regarding what that process entails. If I wind up at Minnesota for three years I have no doubt I will be thrilled to be there and put myself in position for a fulfilling career. I like the Twin Cities better than all but perhaps one of the locations of the T6. I am simply investigating all possible outcomes in order to make the best decision I can.

270910
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Transferring from a school that doesn't give class rank

Postby 270910 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:16 am

Whether or not your school ranks doesn't matter. As somebody mentioned before, ad coms are smart. It's really easy to figure out approximate rank based on the information about the curve that schools give out. They have to - because even if they choose not to do an absolute ranking, employers need a way to know who did well, lol.

Plus, they probably get lots of transfer applications from every school over the years, so they'll get a sense of what people are capable of.




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