Transferring from a T3

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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Wolverine21
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Transferring from a T3

Postby Wolverine21 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:28 am

I will likely be in the top 5% of my class at a strong Midwestern T3 that is located in a great legal market. Some of my classmates in similar situations are prospective transfers or have successfully transferred. For example, number one in our class was accepted to Georgetown as an early decision transfer this spring. Last year, number two in the class above us transferred to Michigan. So, there is a definite possibility of moving up.

Nevertheless, I am kind of on the fence about transferring. I ended up with a great summer job and have met some good people at this school. However, in saying that, many of the persons in the top 10% of the class had no luck finding jobs or had to settle for externship opportunities that provide great experience, but have us a little worried about career prospects down the road.

I have work experience in New York City and Washington D.C. and I was wondering if it would be worth it to pass up my GPA and Law Review for T1 schools such as Fordham and George Washington. I have a great undergraduate background and soft factors such as work experience, but I have heard that the only reason to transfer from a T3 is to go to an in-state, public T1 school that provides better opportunities in-state, or transfer to a T-14 school.

I was wondering if anyone was in the same dilemma as me? I do not think my grades or my schools reputation provide a great chance at New York schools such as Columbia or NYU and Washington D.C. schools such as Georgetown, especially considering that Georgetown took a transfer student from my school already. Any thoughts?

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Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:55 am

Wait wait.

People with similar ranks at your school went to Michigan and Georgetown and you are looking at Fordham or George Washington?

Pssshhh...

What about Cornell and Georgetown?

I don't see a benefit of landing at median at Fordham (over being top 5% at a T3) aside from access to NYC. However, landing at median at Cornell could be okay (same with Georgetown). I am basically saying that you shouldn't transfer unless you are doing so to move to probably the T18 (I hate using stupid abbreviations, but this one includes the T14 along with Vanderbilt, USC, UCLA, and Texas).

Wolverine21
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby Wolverine21 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:12 am

I agree Aberzombie. However, I do like the access to NYC and DC and ultimately want to work there again and maybe do the big-law gig for a couple years before raising a family. I never thought about Cornell because it seems like they only take in about 10 transfers a year. Think it is a waste to be shooting transfer apps to NYU and Columbia? I did my undergraduate work at a Michigan/Virginia/University of California-Berkley with a 3.7 GPA, but my LSAT was less than stellar, merely in the high 150’s. My work experience includes working at two Fortune 500 companies as a grunt.

yabbadabbado
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby yabbadabbado » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:21 am

No school cares about your pre-law stats, for the most part. If you went to a "good" UG school it might be a nice soft factor in your app over a similar candidate who went to a no-name UG.

Gtown enrolls like 100 transfers each year, and they have to accept many more than that because many of those accepted as transfers end up going elsewhere. I would say apply if you are interested in going there.

Second, biglaw is far from guaranteed anywhere these days. Just keep that in mind. Something you should carefully think about is whether transferring to a school like Fordham or GW would even give you a shot at biglaw. My guess is it wouldn't seeing as cutoffs at those schools for most big firms ITE have gone up, and they will be much more inclined to scrutinize the grades/school you are coming from. If your current school has no rep on the east coast, you are pretty much sunk, especially since I'm pretty sure those schools have pre-screened interviews.

My standard advice would be to apply broadly and see where you get in. Don't sell yourself short. Let your decisions roll in and then figure out where you want to go out of the choice you have.

Wolverine21
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby Wolverine21 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:50 am

My net so far consists of Georgetown, George Washington, NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Michigan and Northwestern.

I think I have realistic shots, from prior student transfer experiences, at Michigan, Georgetown, and Fordham.

Welp2277
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby Welp2277 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:44 pm

I'm in a similar position so perhaps I can offer a bit of advice. The transfer process can be, it seems, rather arbitrary. With your statistics it would be beneficial to apply to all of the top 20 schools that you would be comfortable attending. Regarding Cornell's small transfer class: this could be the result of the TLS stigma attached to their relative lack of transfer size; essentially many well qualified applicant's like yourself do not apply there, thus results a smaller pool from which Cornell has to accept students from. In this economy, where transferring has become very popular, there may even be increased matriculation to certain schools which would open the doors for others at these lower ranked T14 schools. Transfer class size greatly depends on how many students transfer in and out. Additionally, like the other guy said generally these schools accept around 5x more than the students who end up attending. You are essentially a lock at Fordham, but you would honestly be selling yourself short. Same goes for GW. Why not apply to Penn, Cornell, Vanderbilt and University of Chicago? You are bound to get accepted into multiple T14 schools so long as you don't limit where you apply to. These schools all offer plenty of career opportunities that the school you attend likely does not provide. If you are going to transfer you should start contacting your records office now to begin the pain in the ass process that involves various specialty forms (Columbia, NYU etc.) and letters of academic standing sent from your school to the school you wish to attend. Beyond that, give it a go and don't limit yourself to where you think you have a "realistic shot." You just may end up happily surprised.

Wolverine21
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Transferring from a T3

Postby Wolverine21 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:26 pm

Welp,

Thanks for the advice! I have been in the middle of the transfer process these past couple weeks. I am just waiting on one more grade to come through before I finalize applications. Lately, I have had second thoughts on transferring, but I am taking your advice with much thought. If you want to PM throughout the process, let me know.

-Wolverine21




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