To withdraw or not?

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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Wheretogo2013
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To withdraw or not?

Postby Wheretogo2013 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:47 pm

I'm a 0L who applied to Vanderbilt for law school. I'm probably going to get rejected. That said, I've been accepted to a Top 30 Program and have the idea of transferring in the back of my mind, let's say to Vanderbilt. If I'm most likely going to be rejected anyway, shouldn't I withdraw my 0L application so I don't have to say I was rejected on the transfer? Would it look bad or does it not even matter?

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romothesavior
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:51 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:I'm a 0L who applied to Vanderbilt for law school. I'm probably going to get rejected. That said, I've been accepted to a Top 30 Program and have the idea of transferring in the back of my mind, let's say to Vanderbilt. If I'm most likely going to be rejected anyway, shouldn't I withdraw my 0L application so I don't have to say I was rejected on the transfer? Would it look bad or does it not even matter?


1. Probably won't matter. You're obviously still in review, so you should wait and see. Maybe you'll get accepted?

2. Don't go anywhere with the intention of transferring up.

3. If you are at a T30 and have the opportunity to transfer up, transfer higher up than Vandy. Sacrificing law review, your pristine grades, and the connections you have made at your current school is not worth going to Vandy (which is not to disparage Vandy, because it is a great school). TLS is full of examples of transfer students who sacrificed great job prospects at an old school and struck out at their new school.

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vanwinkle
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:39 pm

romothesavior wrote:1. Probably won't matter. You're obviously still in review, so you should wait and see. Maybe you'll get accepted?

2. Don't go anywhere with the intention of transferring up.

3. If you are at a T30 and have the opportunity to transfer up, transfer higher up than Vandy. Sacrificing law review, your pristine grades, and the connections you have made at your current school is not worth going to Vandy (which is not to disparage Vandy, because it is a great school). TLS is full of examples of transfer students who sacrificed great job prospects at an old school and struck out at their new school.

All of this is TCR.

Wheretogo2013
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby Wheretogo2013 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:41 pm

What's TCR?

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vanwinkle
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:What's TCR?

The credited response (or, alternately, the correct response).

Wheretogo2013
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby Wheretogo2013 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:05 pm

Why shouldn't I intend to transfer up?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:07 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:Why shouldn't I intend to transfer up?


Because the odds, plainly speaking, are not in your favor. Law school grades can be hard to predict.

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Bert
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby Bert » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:08 pm

The TLS consensus is to love the one you are with.

Since grades are a bit of a crap shoot anyway, you shouldn't go to law school expecting to be at the top of your class (which is where you would need to be to transfer out to a better school) so you can transfer to a different school. The odds are against you.

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romothesavior
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:Why shouldn't I intend to transfer up?


Because it is incredibly difficult to do. Don't bank on it. Only go to this school if you feel comfortable with your prospects from there.

The reason I say not to transfer to VULS is simple: say you get top 10-20% after your first year. Those kind of grades at a T30 are likely to land you law review (or a secondary journal) and a solid job at OCI. Is it really worth trading all of that to be a new student at Vanderbilt? I don't think so. A transfer would only be beneficial if it was a big one.

If you are at a T30, I really don't see a transfer up being valuable unless 1) your current school cannot help you achieve your goals, or 2) you can launch yourself into a market that you strongly desire. For me personally, I'm attending a T20 and if I had top grades, I would only transfer to Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or MAYBE Columbia. Top 10% at my soon-to-be institution will likely land me a clerkship and big law, and it isn't worth the risk to transfer up to say, Duke or Michigan.

Wheretogo2013
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby Wheretogo2013 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:28 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Wheretogo2013 wrote:Why shouldn't I intend to transfer up?


Because it is incredibly difficult to do. Don't bank on it. Only go to this school if you feel comfortable with your prospects from there.

The reason I say not to transfer to VULS is simple: say you get top 10-20% after your first year. Those kind of grades at a T30 are likely to land you law review (or a secondary journal) and a solid job at OCI. Is it really worth trading all of that to be a new student at Vanderbilt? I don't think so. A transfer would only be beneficial if it was a big one.

If you are at a T30, I really don't see a transfer up being valuable unless 1) your current school cannot help you achieve your goals, or 2) you can launch yourself into a market that you strongly desire. For me personally, I'm attending a T20 and if I had top grades, I would only transfer to Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or MAYBE Columbia. Top 10% at my soon-to-be institution will likely land me a clerkship and big law, and it isn't worth the risk to transfer up to say, Duke or Michigan.


I might be wrong, but don't most schools have write-on competitions for law review even for transfers?

Edit: "even for transfers"

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vanwinkle
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Re: To withdraw or not?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:37 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:I might be wrong, but don't most schools have write-on competitions for law review even for transfers?

Yes. However, the odds are stacked against you in a bad way.

You'll need to be toward the top of your class to transfer up. It'll depend on what school you're transferring to and what school you're transferring from, but generally you're going to be looking at top 15%, if not better.

Not all of those who transfer to a school make LR at their new school. It varies greatly from school to school, but it's very commonly less than half. In a number of schools it'll be a quarter or less of transfers who make it onto LR each year. In general the rules tend to be more favorable to students at that school than to transfers in terms of making LR. This is why even if you make LR at your current school it doesn't mean it's likely you'll make it at a transfer school.

The odds are stacked against you. In order to make LR at a transfer school you have to overcome the odds not just once but twice from where you are now. This is different than someone who is already in law school and knows they have the grades; as a 0L you have no reference point for your law school success yet. You have no idea whether you're going to get the necessary grades to transfer, let alone know whether you'll be able to successfully write-on to LR at that school.

People on TLS are very hard on people who go to a school with the intent of transferring, and with good reason. There is no way to predict you can get the necessary grades with enough certainty to make this worthwhile. You're now adding a second level of gambling to it, and there is no way to predict you can successfully write-on once you transfer. This is an exponential increase in uncertainty, you're multiplying two different levels of uncertainty together and taking a bet that you're incredibly unlikely to win.

What you are thinking about is a bad idea. The TLS wisdom is to retake the LSAT and reapply if you're not happy with the schools you get into now, because that creates a much higher chance of success getting into better schools (and making LR at those better schools, since you're already there and have more options to get on than transfers do) than the idea of transferring up does. You'd be wise to listen to what people are trying to tell you.




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