Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

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shuttlesworth
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Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby shuttlesworth » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:01 am

I got a 3.88 first semester at a lower T14 (with lowest grade an A-), which puts me well within the top 5% of the class based on previous years' curves. Would there be a distinct advantage to transferring to HYS and performing at the median, or would similar opportunities be available to me as a student near the top of my class at my current school? I would eventually like to work for the DOJ in some capacity. Or--I suppose I should ask this first--do I even have a shot at HYS?

Renzo
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:08 am

I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.

Plus, you'll be abandoning any faculty support/connections (which can matter a lot for clerkships, etc.) that you've accrued over your 1L year to start over.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:50 am

Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.


I agree with the point that it would probably be a mistake to transfer. But I don't think the bold will really be an issue. At OCI typically almost all the recruiters are from your new school so they probably already have a bias towards the transfer school. (I assume by "your school" you mean "your old school.")

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sojasoph
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby sojasoph » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:54 am

Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.

Plus, you'll be abandoning any faculty support/connections (which can matter a lot for clerkships, etc.) that you've accrued over your 1L year to start over.

I dont see this being a big factor.

I would not transfer, but I would say I plan on transfering and ask for money.

Renzo
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:58 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.


I agree with the point that it would probably be a mistake to transfer. But I don't think the bold will really be an issue. At OCI typically almost all the recruiters are from your new school so they probably already have a bias towards the transfer school. (I assume by "your school" you mean "your old school.")

You're right that OCI screeners tend to be from your current school; I was thinking more globally. Callbacks, future interviews, etc.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:01 am

Renzo wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.


I agree with the point that it would probably be a mistake to transfer. But I don't think the bold will really be an issue. At OCI typically almost all the recruiters are from your new school so they probably already have a bias towards the transfer school. (I assume by "your school" you mean "your old school.")

You're right that OCI screeners tend to be from your current school; I was thinking more globally. Callbacks, future interviews, etc.


Ahh.. good point. That would be pretty ackward interviewing with someone from your old school during a callback. I doubt the decision to transfer up would be the swaying point on their decision, but it still would be weird nonetheless (even moreso if the person brought it up as a question).

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megaTTTron
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby megaTTTron » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:39 pm

Renzo wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.


I agree with the point that it would probably be a mistake to transfer. But I don't think the bold will really be an issue. At OCI typically almost all the recruiters are from your new school so they probably already have a bias towards the transfer school. (I assume by "your school" you mean "your old school.")

You're right that OCI screeners tend to be from your current school; I was thinking more globally. Callbacks, future interviews, etc.


Unless you've got a compelling reason to transfer. Even if not, I don't know that I buy this. You'll also have much more in common with the alumni of the HYS that you didn't before lol. Still, at top 5% I'm not sure transferring is the right move.

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KMaine
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby KMaine » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:43 pm

A few people from Cornell did it last year. Did not quite understand the logic myself, but don't really think it is likely to help or hurt prospects too much. May help for a future career in academia. Do what you want. If you are from Cornell, please note that the new curve could seriously impact class rank.

d34d9823
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:48 pm

KMaine wrote:May help for a future career in academia.

I think this is the key. If you want a successful career in practice, might be better to stay. But if you have world-breaking aspirations, the HYS name is what will get you there.

nleefer
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby nleefer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:50 pm

I really doubt that kind of transfer would help you get a job through OCI, and it might even hurt you. That said, if you want to clerk for the Supreme Court or be a law professor it might help you. Otherwise it's probably not worth it.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:51 pm

If you want to go DOJ (which you said you did) it may be the best decision you ever made. The only schools LRAP that will cover you under the DOJ's salary are HYS and to a lesser extent Columbia.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:48 pm

At HLS, most interviewers will accept "because it's Harvard" as an answer to why you transferred (though it's certainly better to have more than that). Transferring certainly doesn't hurt. This year, even with all the ITE madness, it seemed like every HLS transfer who did OCI had multiple offers to choose from. Many ended up accepting at top Vault firms. Employers know that transferring in is competitive, and it certainly does not hurt you (overall, at least) to have done so.

However, there are definitely advantages to staying put. I think the biggest would be LR, assuming your GPA stays high enough to grade-on where you are; you've got a very tiny chance of making LR at H, and you must do the LR app in mid-May, which overlaps with many schools' 1L final exam schedules. You won't even compete for LR at S or Y until after you've accepted and enrolled, so you can't know whether you'll make LR or not until after you've gone.

HYS > T14 when everything else is equal, but if you make LR at your T14 and have the grades to match, then staying put is the better choice. That "(T14) Law Review" line on your resume will stay there for years and remain as a badge of success, and you'll have a shot at clerkships and all kinds of employment opportunities even if you stay where you are.

Renzo
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:51 pm

vanwinkle wrote:At HLS, most interviewers will accept "because it's Harvard" as an answer to why you transferred (though it's certainly better to have more than that). Transferring certainly doesn't hurt. This year, even with all the ITE madness, it seemed like every HLS transfer who did OCI had multiple offers to choose from. Many ended up accepting at top Vault firms. Employers know that transferring in is competitive, and it certainly does not hurt you (overall, at least) to have done so.

However, there are definitely advantages to staying put. I think the biggest would be LR, assuming your GPA stays high enough to grade-on where you are; you've got a very tiny chance of making LR at H, and you must do the LR app in mid-May, which overlaps with many schools' 1L final exam schedules. You won't even compete for LR at S or Y until after you've accepted and enrolled, so you can't know whether you'll make LR or not until after you've gone.

HYS > T14 when everything else is equal, but if you make LR at your T14 and have the grades to match, then staying put is the better choice. That "(T14) Law Review" line on your resume will stay there for years and remain as a badge of success, and you'll have a shot at clerkships and all kinds of employment opportunities even if you stay where you are.



I neither entirely agree nor disagree with this post. It's true that HYS > T14, all things held constant; but that's not the choice here. The choice is between very high probability of LR and top of class at T14 vs. ??? shot at LR and ???? class standing at HYS.

d34d9823
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:52 pm

Renzo wrote:I neither entirely agree nor disagree with this post. It's true that HYS > T14, all things held constant; but that's not the choice here. The choice is between very high probability of LR and top of class at T14 vs. ??? shot at LR and ???? class standing at HYS.

That's what he said?

Renzo
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:53 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
Renzo wrote:I neither entirely agree nor disagree with this post. It's true that HYS > T14, all things held constant; but that's not the choice here. The choice is between very high probability of LR and top of class at T14 vs. ??? shot at LR and ???? class standing at HYS.

That's what he said?

Fine. What I should have said is, "I agree with your post, but don't think your point comes across."

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vanwinkle
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:54 pm

Renzo wrote:Fine. What I should have said is, "I agree with your post, but don't think your point comes across."

Fair enough.

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Cavalier
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:02 pm

If you have a good scholarship, you shouldn't transfer at all, IMO. If you won't be giving up any money by transferring, I still would lean against transferring unless your goal is academia or a top position in government (one that requires a presidential appointment). By transferring you are giving up great grades, law review (assuming grades stay the same), and connections with professors, all to start over again at a more prestigious school. I have no doubt that someone in the top 5% at any T-14 would excel at YHS, but I still think they'd be more secure staying put.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:54 pm

I don't think theres any chance a top 5%er at lower t14 would not get the same grades at HYS.

shuttlesworth
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby shuttlesworth » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:30 pm

Interesting. Thanks for the input, everyone. I always figured Law Review would be the toughest thing to give up in transferring simply because LR would be an awesome experience, but I didn't realize LR was that important on a resume.

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patrickd139
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:50 pm

shuttlesworth wrote:Interesting. Thanks for the input, everyone. I always figured Law Review would be the toughest thing to give up in transferring simply because LR would be an awesome experience, but I didn't realize LR was that important on a resume.

:lol: Maybe because I'm still a non-board-member 2L, but LR has not been an awesome experience thus far. Casenotes and cite checking, ftl. It does seem to be an incredibly important line on a resume though.

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dr123
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby dr123 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:52 pm

Dude, I bet there are tons of kids at HYS who would kill to be in the top 5% at a lower t14. Think about that

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Cade McNown
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby Cade McNown » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:54 pm

Stay at your t14 and keep kicking ass. Also, good time for a poll?

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:56 pm

patrickd139 wrote: :lol: Maybe because I'm still a non-board-member 2L, but LR has not been an awesome experience thus far. Casenotes and cite checking, ftl. It does seem to be an incredibly important line on a resume though.


Forgive my 0L intrusion, but if one grades on to LR, what does that show an employer/judge other than that you had the grades for LR? Do they actually give credit to the experience?

run26.2
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:10 pm

sojasoph wrote:
Renzo wrote:I think it would almost certainly be a tremendous mistake to transfer, unless you can articulate a good reason beyond prestige. Imagine yourself in a job interview having to explain to an alum of your school why the prospect of being at the very top of your class wasn't good enough, so you left to go to a more prestigious school.

Plus, you'll be abandoning any faculty support/connections (which can matter a lot for clerkships, etc.) that you've accrued over your 1L year to start over.

I dont see this being a big factor.

I would not transfer, but I would say I plan on transfering and ask for money.

Asking for money and telling your administration it would be a lot easier to stay is much more compelling if you have an acceptance from one of these schools in hand.

Assuming your in the same spot at the end of the year, I think you should at least apply, simply because it does make this argument more compelling.

run26.2
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Re: Top 5% at T14--worth it to transfer to HYS?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:17 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
patrickd139 wrote: :lol: Maybe because I'm still a non-board-member 2L, but LR has not been an awesome experience thus far. Casenotes and cite checking, ftl. It does seem to be an incredibly important line on a resume though.


Forgive my 0L intrusion, but if one grades on to LR, what does that show an employer/judge other than that you had the grades for LR? Do they actually give credit to the experience?

It doesn't necessarily show that you had the grades, because some grade on, some write on, and some get on with a combination of both. In essence, it is a nearly universally recognized indicator of high academic success at your institution. They credit journal experience generally, and law review in particular, supposedly because you spend countless hours looking for obscure references--doing research--and extensively editing scholarly works.

Some people forgo the experience entirely or recreate it for themselves by doing research for a professor and/or attempting to get published on their own. But this doesn't really replace the cred you get from having law review on your resume.




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