American to t14?

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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samiam2112
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American to t14?

Postby samiam2112 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:24 pm

I've been thinking about transferrring from American to a t14 (preferrably G'town to stay in DC). My current grades put me in the top 10% (possibly top 5%) at American. My undergraduate degree (History) and GPA aren't anything to write home about (which is why I ended up at American in the first place).

I'd love to end up at a top-10 program, but my chances are probably slim.

Thoughts?

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vanwinkle
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Re: American to t14?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 pm

95% of ability to transfer is 1L grades and school attended. With top 10% or better grades from a T1, it's certainly very possible to transfer up into the T14. It's hard to say exactly how high, since that can depend on 1) how you sell yourself on your app to each school and 2) what softs you have to offer. HYS is probably unlikely (since from lower T1 they seem to prefer the top 1-2%, I think at least) but it could depend on how well you do in the spring.

samiam2112
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Re: American to t14?

Postby samiam2112 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:42 pm

vanwinkle wrote:95% of ability to transfer is 1L grades and school attended. With top 10% or better grades from a T1, it's certainly very possible to transfer up into the T14. It's hard to say exactly how high, since that can depend on 1) how you sell yourself on your app to each school and 2) what softs you have to offer. HYS is probably unlikely (since from lower T1 they seem to prefer the top 1-2%, I think at least) but it could depend on how well you do in the spring.


Not much in the way of "softs" to offer. Nice Jewish boy from Florida. Some international travel experience, but again, nothing that would paint me as a worldwide do-gooder.

No predictions on how I'll do in the Spring, but the study and exam prep system I'm using was borrowed from a few folks who graduated near the tops of their respective law schools. Exams went well because I felt prepared and confident that I could handle them. Yes, yes, everyone says that, but in my case it seemed to work.

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vanwinkle
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Re: American to t14?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:43 pm

samiam2112 wrote:Not much in the way of "softs" to offer. Nice Jewish boy from Florida. Some international travel experience, but again, nothing that would paint me as a worldwide do-gooder.

You can have softs other than public interest. It doesn't just mean "do-gooder". The idea is to sell yourself in some way that shows the school you are capable and a high achiever, and would excel in some capacity as an alum of their school.

samiam2112
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: American to t14?

Postby samiam2112 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:02 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
samiam2112 wrote:Not much in the way of "softs" to offer. Nice Jewish boy from Florida. Some international travel experience, but again, nothing that would paint me as a worldwide do-gooder.

You can have softs other than public interest. It doesn't just mean "do-gooder". The idea is to sell yourself in some way that shows the school you are capable and a high achiever, and would excel in some capacity as an alum of their school.


The latter is pretty difficult to predict so early in one's career. You can map out a life plan, but as the old saying goes, life happens when you're making other plans. Also some schools I'm considering do require undergraduate transcripts and consider undergraduate performance in deciding whether to accept a transfer. This is what I'm concerned about that will sink my battleship.

CanadianWolf
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Re: American to t14?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:20 pm

Apply & see what happens. Are you willing to share any thoughts about American ?

samiam2112
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Re: American to t14?

Postby samiam2112 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Apply & see what happens. Are you willing to share any thoughts about American ?


Hard to say from a comparison perspective, but I'll give it a shot. Overall, nice facility and competent professors. Student body is a bit liberal for my taste, but I knew that going into the place. The cost is very high for what you get. If you want to do well, YOU are the one who has to teach yourself the material. What your professors discuss in class often isn't on the exam (in my limited experience). I prepared for exams by focusing on past exam questions to gauge what was/is actually important to the professor.

Can't speak to my personal job prospects, summer work, etc... too early. Nice alumni network, but there is definitely a bias against American in the local BIGLAW legal circles. This is one of the reasons I'm interested in transferring.

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dcpolitico
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Re: American to t14?

Postby dcpolitico » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:30 am

I transferred from AU to T14. In hindsight, AU is extremely competitive when compared to where I am now. I can say the quality of professors at AU is simply amazing, and you (being in the top of your class) will (almost surely) know more about the law, public policy, social justice, and appellate advocacy than your prospective T14 classmates. (This is partly because you are required to teach yourself so much about the law.) All my AU courses had a distinctive human rights perspective to them, which I deeply miss.

AU cons: huge classes!! Now I have roughly no more than 15 students in my doctrinal classes. BTW, I'm glad that I didn't transfer from AU to GULC (also huge classes). AU, like GULC, has a dearth of empirical legal studies and law & economics courses.

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Peekay80
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Re: American to t14?

Postby Peekay80 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:41 am

A buddy of mine went from AU to Cornell. I believe he was top 10%, but he was also URM and Veteran. URM boost was probably pretty big though.

wcl2013
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Re: American to t14?

Postby wcl2013 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:28 pm

dcpolitico wrote:I transferred from AU to T14. In hindsight, AU is extremely competitive when compared to where I am now. I can say the quality of professors at AU is simply amazing, and you (being in the top of your class) will (almost surely) know more about the law, public policy, social justice, and appellate advocacy than your prospective T14 classmates. (This is partly because you are required to teach yourself so much about the law.) All my AU courses had a distinctive human rights perspective to them, which I deeply miss.

AU cons: huge classes!! Now I have roughly no more than 15 students in my doctrinal classes. BTW, I'm glad that I didn't transfer from AU to GULC (also huge classes). AU, like GULC, has a dearth of empirical legal studies and law & economics courses.



Another WCL 1L here. My grades put me at top 5%, possible slightly higher (ended up w/ a 3.8+).

After you got acceptances to transfer, did you try to get any $ out of WCL to stay and were you successful? There are some fellowship applications that are due in the spring that will give you $ to be a dean's fellow BUT you must sign a statement that you will not apply to transfer and if you do, you will not receive a letter of good standing from WCL. I wasn't really thinking of transferring, but it scares me to make the decision now and sign this statement. Then again, if I don't maintain my GPA then I might as well get some money out of the high GPA now? I'm torn...

Also, what was your OCI experience at your new school like? How do they handle your WCL GPA in terms of class rank at your new school? Were job prospects your primary reason for transferring?

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dcpolitico
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Re: American to t14?

Postby dcpolitico » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:48 am

$$ - yes, they offered, but wasn't interested. I tried to negotiate a tenured professorship, but they said no. Lol.

OCI at NU is beyond your wildest imagination. At least 300 employers were on campus for 3-4 weeks this fall. Spring OCI is happening now and is also pretty big; ie, 100 employers or so. Every employer has its own hospitality suite, and you are free to visit all of them, even without interviews. You have full access to an overstaffed career center. Employers are constantly recruiting here, even informally. I don't personally know any classmates without a biglaw job lined up.

globallawyer
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Re: American to t14?

Postby globallawyer » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:13 pm

Another WCL 1L here. After finally getting my grades I ended up with a 3.9x. I really like WCL and I have a hard time with the idea of transferring, but ITE it seems crazy not to at least think about it.

For those of you who transferred, do you feel like you still could have landed a great job if you stayed at WCL? I've hear our OCI is a joke, but there must be at least a few people who get jobs out of it right?

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dcpolitico
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Re: American to t14?

Postby dcpolitico » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:53 am

Yes, but more grunt work. Instead of 300+ big firms showing up on your doorstep, you need to go to them; e.g., sending out letters to setup off-campus interviews, use NALP, etc....

Going into the world of academia with a WCL JD is harder. Looking just at the WCL tenured faculty, over 90% are HLS and Yale grads. But, on the brighter side, the WCL profs I know have extensive contacts with federal judges. WCL pulls its weight when it comes to clerkships. So, you can likely go the appellate clerkship route with your high GPA and have big law doors open afterwards, which is what many people do in the T14 anyways. Or you could become a permanent law clerk :-) !!! (which I think is the best job ever)

globallawyer
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Re: American to t14?

Postby globallawyer » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:21 am

Thanks! I am seriously considering doing a clerkship so that's good to hear. I've been thinking about it a lot in the last week, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay put at WCL.




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