Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

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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Transferring from CCN to HYS is:

Always a good idea.
12
12%
Never a good idea.
16
16%
Depends on the context.
75
73%
 
Total votes: 103

justifytheparadox
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Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby justifytheparadox » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:05 am

I have seen some discussion of this question before, but not a ton. I'm leaning against doing it right now, but I wanted to hear some other opinions.

I'm a CCN 1L who just had a very strong first semester (3.9ish). I'm interested in clerking and then going into government work. What are the relative merits of transferring up from a CCN? I'm very happy where I am now, both in terms of geography, peers, and the school itself, but I feel like its an option worth contemplating.

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D-ROCCA
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby D-ROCCA » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:08 am

Being in the top 10% of your class at CCN will open up pretty much every door that being around top 25% of HYS will open, except maybe super comepetitive clerkships and academia. If you want either of those, go for it. If not, stay put and enjoy.

notanumber
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby notanumber » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:10 am

justifytheparadox wrote:I have seen some discussion of this question before, but not a ton. I'm leaning against doing it right now, but I wanted to hear some other opinions.

I'm a CCN 1L who just had a very strong first semester (3.9ish). I'm interested in clerking and then going into government work. What are the relative merits of transferring up from a CCN? I'm very happy where I am now, both in terms of geography, peers, and the school itself, but I feel like its an option worth contemplating.


That's your answer.

justifytheparadox
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby justifytheparadox » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:17 am

notanumber wrote:
justifytheparadox wrote:I have seen some discussion of this question before, but not a ton. I'm leaning against doing it right now, but I wanted to hear some other opinions.

I'm a CCN 1L who just had a very strong first semester (3.9ish). I'm interested in clerking and then going into government work. What are the relative merits of transferring up from a CCN? I'm very happy where I am now, both in terms of geography, peers, and the school itself, but I feel like its an option worth contemplating.


That's your answer.



Right, and that definitely is a huge factor for me. That said, by HYS, I basically mean H. I'm from the area and have lots of friends/family there, so I'm quite sure I'd be equally happy there.

I agree with the poster above about top 10% at CCN being about as good, but I've also heard a lot of people suggest that if you do really well at one school, you're likely to do just as well at another, in spite of a prestige jump. So while top 10% CCN = top 25% HYS, top 10% HYS would still be ideal.

I don't think I want to go into academia, though I've at least entertained the idea, but I definitely want to do as well as possible in terms of clerkships.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:27 pm

This just makes no sense to me.

justifytheparadox
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby justifytheparadox » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:04 pm

vanwinkle wrote:This just makes no sense to me.


Care to elaborate?

deadhipsters
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby deadhipsters » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:14 pm

I think Yale might be worth it, if you were looking for really elite government work. I'd probably stick it out there and enjoy myself. You are in an excellent position.

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thesealocust
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:17 pm

Outside of geography, there are no meaningful differences amongst the top 10 or so schools for students who do as well as you. The 'benefits' of YHS as compared to 'CCN' exist only in the context of being uncertain about your 1L performance.

If you want to work at a law firm (any law firm in the country) then you will not improve your odds by transferring, and you WILL have to interview with alums of your new school who ask "why did you transfer."

If you want to clerk, you've got the stats to make anything possible. From here the X factors are your publication record, whether or not you are on law review, and your faculty connections. Outside of a few extremely rare exceptions, almost all of those factors suggest staying at your current school.

If you want to be a professor, the 'advantage' coming from YH is non-existent because you've got the creds and ostensibly the drive to make it happen from your current school. It's easier for somebody without your stats to become a prof from YHS, but that doesn't mean it's a straight-line benefit that would miraculously appear for you. You just need to publish and talk to faculty, you're in the cat-bird seat.

If you want to work for the government, pedigree was already less of a factor, and you're fine.

In short, there is no conceivable benefit for somebody in your position to transfer - and definitely some risks.

Of course you can still do it if you want to, and it's not like you'll wind up unemployed. But there isn't an upside. You've already been admitted to law school and gotten grades, right now you're better off in terms of employment / prestige points than probably 80-90% of YLS.

DeweyWins
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby DeweyWins » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:23 pm

No it's not worthwhile. If you maintain roughly the same GPA (i.e., Kent), there isn't a single door that's closed to you.

DeweyWins
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby DeweyWins » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:26 pm

DeweyWins wrote:No it's not worthwhile. If you maintain roughly the same GPA (i.e., Kent), there isn't a single door that's closed to you.

Not sure why I assumed you're at Columbia. If you're not, disregard the parenthetical...

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:33 pm

justifytheparadox wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:This just makes no sense to me.


Care to elaborate?

Well, it sounds like you're interested in H in particular, so here's a list of reasons why I think transferring to H makes no sense:

1) You probably have a strong shot at LR where you are. CCN + LR is going to be huge for clerkship applications, and you'd be sacrificing that position to transfer to H. To even have a shot at LR at H, you'd need to do the write-on at the end of May, before you even find out if H will accept you, and you need to do extremely well on it. Unless you make LR at H, which is a huge longshot, you'd be better off staying at CCN and staying on LR there.

2) Even if you don't make LR where you are, you're probably still better off staying there. You have top 10% grades and presumably positive connections with several professors (you should be building these up if you're not already). You'll also presumably be able to get onto a secondary journal of your choice and have a chance at a position of leadership there. You'd be giving that up to transfer, and be starting over from scratch. Most transfers give this up, but they're not giving up that position from CCN, they're making a bigger jump than that so it's more worth it to them.

3) Getting involved in journals is a lot more difficult for transfers at H. Here, unlike most schools, students get involved in journals at the start of 1L year. You're basically a year behind everyone else as a transfer, which makes it harder to establish yourself and get in a good position for a leadership role on the journal. Given that the next best thing to LR is being on the executive board of a prominent secondary journal, you're making this harder on yourself too by transferring.

4) As mentioned, you'll be asked why you transferred by pretty much everyone you interview with. For most transfers this is easy to explain, since they're making a pretty significant jump in schools. You're leaving behind top 10% at CCN to make what's honestly still a real jump, but a much smaller one than most people make. It doesn't sound like you have a good explanation here, and that should be concerning.

5) While yes, it's true that people often do as well at their new school as their old school, that's not always the case, and you could find it hard to stand out and maintain those kind of grades at H. This is especially true given H's H/P grading system, and if you manage to get multiple Ps (which could translate to as much as an A- at your old school) then you won't look quite so good, at least, not "top 10%" good anymore.

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patrickd139
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:42 pm

vanwinkle wrote:This just makes no sense to me.

Sadly, it makes a little sense to me. But only in the "top 10% at CCN is still somehow mesmerized by the prestige that is HYS" kind of way. Or at least that's how I read the OP.

OP: add my name to the "don't do it" list.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:26 pm

No.

Curry

Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby Curry » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:29 pm

Top 10% at CLS is pretty much a golden ticket. Don't give that up.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:22 pm

And OP has added a poll that looks specifically designed to not produce useful results.

missinglink
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby missinglink » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:42 pm

vanwinkle wrote:And OP has added a poll that looks specifically designed to not produce useful results.

haha.

"It depends" is the answer to 99% of all questions.

justifytheparadox
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby justifytheparadox » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:14 pm

vanwinkle wrote:And OP has added a poll that looks specifically designed to not produce useful results.


The poll was there during your two previous responses. Anyways, thank you, your post above was very insightful.

phoenixsoars
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby phoenixsoars » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:47 am

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Last edited by phoenixsoars on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sundance95
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby sundance95 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:49 am

Given vanwinkle's experience with transferring to Harvard avatar, you really should listen when he tells you it's a trap.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:29 pm

phoenixsoars wrote:I would agree with the general consensus that it's probably, in most cases, not worth it to transfer from CCN to HYS. That being said, I transferred to H, and can tell you that there are 2 CCN transfers this year. Expand that to transfers from T14 schools and there are at least 9. I would imagine that most, if not all, of these students were at or near top 10% at their previous schools. Thus, the prestige bump alone is worth it to some, regardless of whether it's "worthwhile" in other respects, e.g., employment prospects, general happiness, etc.

I was one of the T14 transfers you mention, and I think this is a bad idea.

Putting aside the fact that the "prestige bump" from lower T14 to H in my case is larger than OP would get from CCN to H... Individual circumstances matter a lot. For me the prestige bump was worth it because I had grown unhappy with where I was due to specific individual circumstances. This included striking out at a number of opportunities (LR, preferred secondary journals, board positions on different student orgs), which actually gave me an incentive to transfer since starting over elsewhere meant new chances at these things. So it's not just the "prestige bump" that plays a role, it's also weighed against how much or how little you're leaving behind. In OP's case, where he describes not just being happy with his current location and peers but with his school, it sounds like there's a lot more he'd have to leave behind.

phoenixsoars
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby phoenixsoars » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:03 pm

.
Last edited by phoenixsoars on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:57 pm

phoenixsoars wrote:My point is simply that having the HYS credential is worth it to some people, even if they are in a similar position as OP when they decide to leave. If you asked them, they would probably tell you it was a good idea to transfer, even if we might think it wasn't.

Okay, true enough.

chasgoose
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Re: Transferring from CCN to HYS...worthwhile?

Postby chasgoose » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Another important thing that VanWinkle mentioned is that the grading systems at HYS could potentially make it slightly more difficult to stand out. Assuming that you maintain your top 10% status at CCN, you will be definitively in the top of your class. At HYS, with their variations on HP/P/LP/F grading, determining ranking/performance becomes a lot more nebulous. I'm not totally sure how this ends up working out, but it seems like that could actually be a negative for you.

The key point of consideration, however, is the difficulty of making LR. The only things that might be shut off to you being top 10% at CCN vs. HYS are the super competitive clerkships and academia positions. The problem is, however, that in order to get those you pretty much have to be on LR or at least a journal. While the LRs at YS, due to their small class sizes and other considerations (from anecdotal evidence most people who want LR at Yale appear to get it) seem to be much easier to get onto than other schools, H's would be almost impossible to get on as a transfer. As H is your primary transfer target the inability to get on LR pretty much makes it impossible to get the only career options that would make such a transfer worth it in the first place. In fact, you would probably be in a worse position for those jobs as an H transfer than you would as top 10% at CCN. That, combined with all the other serious negatives of transferring (uprooting yourself, starting over socially, losing important professor relationships, awkward questions about why you transferred at job interviews, etc) make transferring a seriously bad idea. I chose NO, because the only circumstance where transferring to H would make sense would be if you absolutely had to be in the Boston area for a serious personal reason (family member is ill, SO/spouse transfer that make your current living situation emotionally and financially impossible, etc). Otherwise, it makes no sense to transfer. Prestige is only important in the way that it helps your career. Here, the added prestige of HYS would be offset by the negative consequences of transferring to the point that it would actually hurt your career rather than helping it.




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