T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

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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AcesandEights
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T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:17 am

Long time lurker, first time poster available to take questions on transferring. I'm a recent grad who desperately wants to do anything other than study for the Bar (and this seems like a good excuse for frequent breaks).

I'm keeping things somewhat vague to avoid outing myself (which might be inevitable anyway), so let's say I transferred from a mid-to-low end T2 to MVPN. I'll take questions on anything--advantages to transferring, disadvantages to transferring, transfer applications, timeline (what I remember of it, anyway), journal work, journal write-ons at the new school, clerkships, forging relationships with professors at the new school, etc.

CanadianWolf
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:20 am

What are your comparative obsevations betwwen the two schools ? What was similiar & what differed (other than location & recruiting) ? Any regrets ? Surprises ?
Classroom atmosphere with respect to quality of discussion ? Any difference re: student motivation ? Sorry for the broadly worded questions, but I am interested in your overall impressions & experiences.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:25 am

Canadian Wolf: That's a fairly broad question, so if I don't get at exactly what you want, let me know and I'll edit. My first school was solid--had a number of professors I loved and got along with, I had a very close, core group of friends, etc. There was something about the fact that I thought I was going to be there for three years that helped me forge very good relationships, esp. with new friends. At my transfer school, my friendships were a little bit more acquaintance-style, which was largely my fault. Part of it was arriving to the party a year late, part of it is that I'm just slow to warm as a person, and a big portion of it was the fact that I knew I was going to be there for two years (even less if you consider summers). Plus, I was fairly involved with journal work and professor interactions at the new school, and that limited my time a lot.

The single difference I can point to at the new school were the kinds of doors it opened (I got a firm job my 2L summer that I never would of gotten at my old school), the kinds of faculty support (namely for clerkships, although I lack a way to compare this to the old school), and the quality of instruction (some of my profs at my old school were just as good or better than the new one, but the new one was more reliable--I only had one prof at the new school that I was kind of lukewarm on).

Edits: Regrets? None really. I missed my friends at my old school, and the new school was farther away from family, but it was only for a brief period (two years is relatively brief, right?). As others have attested, the degree will be with you for the rest of your life. That said, I've definitely gotten to the point over the past two years where I was ready to get back closer to home.

Surprises? I was surprised at how inferior I felt at first. I definitely felt like an imposter, and like I wasn't going to do well, although nobody at the new school made me feel that way. I encountered very little transfer hostility, but in fairness, I should say that this is school-specific (I have friends at other schools that encountered more). I felt better after first semester grades came out, but it took at least a year before I felt like I could cut it at the new school. I was also surprised at how many professors were open to serving as a mentor at the new school. I'd heard horror stories that forging relationships with professors at the new school was hell, and that was wrong in my case. That said, I hit the ground running working to do so, and you definitely have to put some effort in. I knew I'd need recommendations from them sometime in the future.
Last edited by AcesandEights on Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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samiseaborn
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby samiseaborn » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:30 am

GPA/Rank? Did your old school make it difficult to transfer? Do you think you personal statement had any weight in your acceptance? Thanks!

dr venkman
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby dr venkman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:38 am

Can you talk a bit about your recruiting experience, how interviewers both on-campus and at callbacks perceived your transfer, and if you felt it was more challenging as a transfer? Any helpful tips for breaking this "stigma" (if it can be called that)?

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:42 am

GPA/Rank: I think you mean at the old school, right? If so, I believe I was in the top 2 percent at the end of the first year, and probably a bit higher than that (top 1-ish, top 3 students probably) after first semester. Just to relieve some anxiety out there, I did get a "bad" grade (think B/B-) in one class my second semester, and I still got into multiple T14s.

Difficult to transfer? Absolutely not, in fact they outright offered to send my rank in express mail to get it to one school with an early deadline. Professors were even more helpful--when they found out the reasons I wanted to transfer, they figuratively threw me out of the school. One professor in particular spoke with me about it after first semester, as he had suspicions about my long-term goals. When the others found out, they were similarly, hrm, "persuasive." :D

Personal statement: I really don't think so. I don't even think I wrote the optional essays for the schools I got into. I had a VERY good personal statement for one school, linked to professors who were alums and wrote letters, and they were a peer to two other schools I was admitted to. I received my rejection the quickest at that school. By and large, I think transfer admissions are a numbers game. They might not be if you are an atypical candidate (a T10-T10 peer school transfer with compelling need to move) or trying to transfer to Yale/Stanford.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:55 am

Venkman: Just broadly, for my recruiting experience, I targeted one major market where I had fairly strong location ties. I worked at a firm my first summer, but it was NLJ250 in a secondary market. I had about 9 callbacks, and I think 4 offers. I'm class of 2010, so this was before the major reduction in summer classes.

On-campus interviews: There were some firms, mostly V10-20 I'd say, that had decided against me when I walked in the room. Since I targeted only one market, I got a lot of interviews, and it was fairly impossible to know which firms were hostile to transfers at the gate, so I resolved to interview wherever I had an OCI shot. The ones that decided against me would ask one or two questions, never really hostile, and then just shut down (they'd leave 15 minutes for the "What can I tell you about our firm?" portion). Some firms were skeptical, but open (I got callbacks at a few of those). They'd hit me hard with the "Why did you transfer" question, and then invite me to make quasi-negative statements about my old school. Don't. Other firms perceived me without any bias. My best advice is to have answers to these questions ready. My best answer for the "transfer" question was that the school I was in was fantastic, and I miss my professors and friends there a great deal, but that the new school had welcomed me with open arms, and it gave me opportunities the other one lacked. They know the answer, they just want to make sure you won't trash-talk your old school. It's not classy.

Callbacks: No real bias anymore. If I got asked about it, it was positive (Wow, you did really well) and questions about how I liked it at the new school (if you are on a journal, talk about that; if you like a professor in a class, talk about that, etc.).

Breaking the stigma: Beyond what I said above about having good responses to the why transfer question and not talking bad about your old school, even if your experience was meh (mine wasn't), I don't think you can. Certain firms will decide not to hire you based on transfer status (I think it's really because they don't know what to make of you--can't use your first year school grades to assess success--and not just because you transferred). Just try your hardest with each.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:01 pm

Canadian Wolf: Student motivation is a good question--I didn't think about that in my original response. There's definitely a clear difference on that front. The students at my new school are, by and large, more thoughtful, responsive, and eloquent than at my old school. That's not to say there weren't some very intelligent people at my old school (there were), and that some of the people at my new school I've been less than impressed with (there were).

Student motivation tracks similarly. At my old school, there were a lot of people going through the motions. At my new school, there were a lot of people who really loved the hell out of the law, and wanted to genuinely understand it. Exceptions on both end (the biggest classroom slacker I've ever met was at my new school, for instance).
Last edited by AcesandEights on Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:07 pm

Based on your own unscientific analysis, of your fellow T2 students, what percentage of them did you outwork? I know the key is to work smart as well as hard but how much of your effort was straight up hard work?

Also, any good advice for working "smart?"

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:13 pm

Kobe: Guessing how many I outworked is really tough. I know a bunch of people at my T2 who worked hard. I had a friend at my T2 tell me that I worked the hardest out of our section, but I sort of dispute that--I know others who I saw in the library just as much or even more than me, who did similarly well at the T2. That said, there were a bunch of people who (a) didn't feel like working hard and/or (b) who believed work wasn't required, and that magically they'd get amazing grades (probably like they did in undergrad). A bunch of those were opinionated in class first term, and seemed to quiet down second term, although I don't know for sure if they got good/bad grades or if they just tired of talking. I'd say a lot of my success was due to good ol' fashioned hard work, and when I would say that in OCI interviews (that I was raised with a good work ethic), it seemed to engender positive responses.

Working smart is working hard, IMHO. My best advice--and the most predictive difference I've seen--is to do your own outlines. You can have another person's outline there to help you create your own, but sit down and create it.

dr venkman
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby dr venkman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:22 pm

How did you find the workload at your new school as compared with your original school? Did you have to work longer hours, or in a different way, at the new school? I know this is a broad question, but generally, were class discussions less black letter and more theoretical, or different in any appreciable way, at the new school?

Thanks for doing this.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Venkman: Workload: I'd say it was the same, honestly. I didn't change the way I prepped for exams in the slightest. I did take a few practical type classes and seminars at the new school, and that involved different kinds of prep (either writing a paper or doing small and steady assignments rather than a big final), but from talking to friends, it's the same at my old school. I did work my hardest over 2L and even 3L. 2L was tough because of journal, OCI, etc. 3L was tough because of journal ed. board, working with a professor on something, and clerkship interviews. I don't think that was a function of the school, though; it was more a function of me taking on a bit too much. Just to nail the point home, though, since it seems like the focus of your question: I didn't change my prep for class or exams one bit, and I did very well at the new school.

Class Discussions: They were different (although this might be partially due to comparing 1L and 2L/3L classes--I think my old school does focus on policy more after the first year and in more advanced coursework). At my old school, it was much more black letter. At the new school, I had to weave policy into black letter law. I did that at my old school to some extent, but I had to do it at my new school to do well on an exam. That said, the basic structure of my exam remained the same, and my prep didn't change. The new school just taught more policy type questions, and so it appeared on my outline, which meant it appeared on the exam.

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creamedcats
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby creamedcats » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:33 pm

Other than making your own online, what kind of study habits did you find were most successful at your school? Did these translate to your new school?

Also, the dreaded question...0L prep or no? If so, what?

Thanks

dr venkman
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby dr venkman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:38 pm

Thanks. That's very reassuring. Did you find that you had any knowledge gaps, based on the curriculum of the new school, as compared with your 1L experience, or even just based on taking the core 1L classes at a different school? If so, did you have to do anything to fix this, or was it a non-issue?

Journeybound
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby Journeybound » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:40 pm

Aces, did you write-on to the journal at your T2 school, and if so, did it benefit you during OCI at your new school? Thanks.

jeeli
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby jeeli » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:45 pm

can you talk about the timeline for applying to ur transfer school? when did you decide and start to prep for your applications? did you retake the LSAT? How is the 2nd application process different from the first?

Thanks!

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:47 pm

CC: I can really only think of making my own outline. I did attend almost every class (absent sickness, weather, etc., it had be real bad before I would even consider skipping, and I'd only do that if I was overworked for another class). I think the key to long-term success in law school is not burning out. I started to burn out my last semester of 3L, and sure enough got a slightly above the curve grade, and my GPA took a punch. My other grades were considerably above the curve, both at the new and old school, and the only difference I can point to is that I did start to burn out. That dovetails with another point: try your hardest to not take on too much. If you are on journal or journal ed. board, monitor other extracurriculars or professor involvement, for instance. All of the study habits I used at my old school translated to the new one: namely, I did my own outline. I looked at other outlines while I made my own where permissible, but I still hunkered down and did my own work.

0L Prep: NO! Absolutely not. No way, no how. I didn't touch a book about legal prep. I didn't lay a hand on supplements before law school (and didn't use them much in law school, either--I'd recommend not, unless you really need help on a concept). Enjoy your summer. If you like the law, you'll enjoy your other summers in law school too, but it won't be "law-free" ever again. Even after you graduate, you have prep for the bar. Despite reading my first non-law book in some time during 3L summer, BarBri is taking up a considerable portion of my life. Enjoy your non-law freedom. Your cup will filleth over soon enough.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:53 pm

Venkman: I actually had more training in one topic from my 1L curriculum at my old school as compared to my new school. I did gather fairly quickly that, in certain classes (Torts and Crim, namely), my 1L prof was very black letter law, and they learned it differently at my new school. It didn't hit me hard--I found that law school exams are mostly closed universes, in that what you learned in another class is rarely useful to a new class. There are exceptions to this, but most of them either focus on 2L curriculum (can't take Sec Reg w/o taking Corps, for instance), or are con law/civ pro derivative (Fed Courts, Con Law II, etc.). In the latter, you won't be missing much, and can catch yourself up. Most professors will help you too, either in class or in office hours. My Fed Courts prof did on the one area that I had a hole in. It bears noting that in certain areas, I had new school friends tell me I was better prepped than they were by their 1L profs. It's all a function of the prof you had, so I think it works itself out in the end.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:56 pm

Journey: I didn't. My old school had some grade-on and some write-on, and I was advised (smartly) to not bother with the write-on at my old school, because even if I didn't end up transferring, I'd of had to bomb my second term finals to not grade-on. I did end up grading on. I was asked in interviews if I was offered a position on my old school's primary journal, and I told them I was, and the circumstances. Most interviewers seemed to like it just as much as a write-on; even if it didn't make sense, they wanted to know I had that bullet in my belt.

09042014
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:00 pm

How did your grades turn out at the transfer school?

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:02 pm

Jeeli: I did early application for Georgetown, so I had my app materials largely ready to go by whenever that deadline was (I think February? March?). I was admitted to GT early action. I think I had all of my apps done for the other transfer schools by mid May, and was just waiting on final 2L grades to finalize them. I had decided to transfer by late January of my second semester, mostly due to professor discussion, and my LORs were done by mid February. I didn't retake the LSAT (the LSAT is, by and large, completely irrelevent for transfer decisions--it may have some effect at YH, but I would venture to guess that it's still negligible). The only difference in the application process is that it's very constricted--you get all of your decisions, save for early action schools (GT, Chicago, WUSTL), in June/July. Things move very quickly after that, especially given 1L summer job.

dr venkman
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby dr venkman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:08 pm

Can you talk a little about where you ended up fitting in socially? Was it primarily with people you met through the journal, or fellow transfers, or 2L classmates, or a combination? I know you mentioned you these were closer to "acquaintance" type relationships, but I'm curious as to your thoughts on assimilating into the school's social culture. Thanks again.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:09 pm

Desert Fox: I knew this was going to get asked, and you'll have to forgive me for being vague. Let's just say I did "very well"--and say that equals well into the top 5 percent. There are a variety of reasons for this. First, and I want to clearly concede this point: Transfers do not have to take on the burden of the 1L curve. Second, the 2L/3L curve can, in limited circumstances, be more generous. That said, most of my 2L/3L classes had a curve, and I endeavored to take a number of classic core/bar classes (Evidence, Corps, T&E, Tax, etc. type classes). I did balance with usually one (once two) seminar classes per term. I would advise this, especially if you want to clerk and/or you have an interest in the area of law the seminar links to--it helps balance your time, it gives you possible writing samples, it builds relationships with profs, etc.

AcesandEights
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby AcesandEights » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:15 pm

Venkman: I probably had the most difficulty with assimilating in the new school, for the reasons I hinted about above. I'm a slow-to-warm type person, and I'm especially slow if I know I'm going to be in a place for a limited period of time. That said, I did have a number of friends at my new school, but it took time to really give those relationships substance. My close friendships were either 2L classmates or journal people, and, oddly enough, my closest friends 2L year were a few 3L's at my new school who were on the journal I was on. I was also friends with a few transfers, and fairly close with 2 of them especially. Like I said, those friendships didn't start to develop until beginning of third year. I was out of town a lot second year, for a variety of reasons, and was extremely busy during a few semesters. The easiest way to assimilate is to get involved, and I think that's why a number of my friends were either journal or other involvement.

nol607
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Re: T2 to T14 transfer, taking Qs

Postby nol607 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:37 pm

Thanks for doing this. Aside from making your own outlines, working to a sufficient degree and attending class, what did you do to prepare for your exams in your 1L year? Did you supplement your outlines with any outside materials- hornbooks, commercial..., or was it all in-class material? Also, did you go over past exams?

Thanks!




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