UT to HYS or CLS?

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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legalalbatross
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:03 pm

UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby legalalbatross » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:08 pm

I posted a similar topic a couple of weeks ago, but I think I should be more specific and list some more of my concerns to see if I can get a better idea for whether transferring makes sense for me.

I finished last semester with a 4.08. We have a pretty generous curve, with a median around 3.3 and I think top 10% around 3.8-3.85, but I think I should be in the top 5%. I have also so far found a professor who graduated from one of HYS who agreed to write me a LoR. So what does everyone think my chances are?

As to my reasons for transferring, if I were sure I wanted to stay in Texas, I would stay at UT and try to finish at the top of my class. As it is, I'm pretty sure I would like to work in Chicago, DC, or NYC. I would like to do a clerkship and then work in the DoJ, if possible directly after clerking, or if not, after working at a firm for a few years. I know I have a shot at doing those things from UT, but how much do my odds improve if I graduate from HYS or CLS? Those increased chances are largely driving my decision, but there is also the more intangible "dream of going to one of the top law schools in the country" thing. It may sound kind of silly, but can anyone give me any feedback on how satisfying it was to fulfill that dream? It would be disappointing to go through the whole process of transferring and then feel like I was just at another school...

Also, how do CLS grads do with clerkships? I wasn't able to find any information on that on their website.

Lastly, I'm concerned about the logistical difficulties of transferring. Could I get on journals at those schools, provided I could get in? How would signing up for OCI work? I have summer jobs lined up that will last until mid-August--is it still doable to move to the new school after that if I'm accepted?

Thanks a lot for any feedback!

lawloser22
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:18 am

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby lawloser22 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:20 am

have fun at harvard!

legalalbatross
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:03 pm

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby legalalbatross » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:46 pm

While I appreciate that enthusiastic (hopefully not overly sarcastic) response, can any transfer veterans give me any input on my questions/concerns?

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BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:59 pm

legalalbatross wrote:While I appreciate that enthusiastic (hopefully not overly sarcastic) response, can any transfer veterans give me any input on my questions/concerns?


PM Marktwain. He went from the very tip top of his class at UVA to Stanford. VanWinkle went from UVA to Harvard.

FWIW going to Texas with your grades will not hurt you at all in applying for DOJ. To be totally honest, I think you need to step back from the mentality of this board and realize that the mindset that they push is not always right. You can work at an elite NYC, Chicago, or DC firm with your grades from UT--let alone DOJ where grades come before school name; and it's not like you go to some crap school. UT is an excellent school.

If you are seriously wondering about UT holding you back, check this out.

http://www.wc.com/attorneys-search.html ... ton=Search

http://www.khhte.com/attorneys_view.php?id=84
http://www.khhte.com/attorneys_view.php?id=88

http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2009/031 ... wship.html

Stay at UT, do the supreme court clinic, split DOJ SLIP with a firm next summer, continue to develop good relationships with professors and you'll be fine where you are. Transferring to Columbia would at best be worthless.

Any exam tips?!

starshield
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:37 am

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby starshield » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:44 pm

I did T20 to HYS and am a 3L. In terms of transferring, I did it because I did a great state school for undergrad and really wanted a top school experience. Do I regret it, not one bit. However, my goal may be different from your's. At the time, I thought I wanted firm. Now, I'm headed to DOJ Honors in one of the top competitive divisions (straight through, no clerkship). How? I specialized in a type of case my division handles. I worked for three professors in the field, took four classes on it, helped write a textbook, and worked my school's alumni network to anticipate the interview questions and develop answers. So my background is a lot different than most. A lot more people I know about head to DOJ from a clerkship instead.

In terms of getting a clerkship, remember transferring is a risk. Yes, you will have stellar grades, going to UT to HYS requires them. However, you will have to start all over again on building professor relationships for strong recommendations. That means day 1, after you get back from callback interviews, you begin finding someone to mentor you and serve as their RA. It's a lot of work. The school's name helps but it does not seal the deal by any means. I know a lot of my fellow transfers who are clerking but none to a top feeder judge.

Also, don't forget UT has been focusing a lot on building their clerkship ranks lately. If you're top of your class, UT will fully back you and provides tons of support to make sure you get a good clerkship. HYS may not do that. They barely know you and they have dozens of top students all trying to do the same thing. UT seems to really help their top students more than the other schools.

Hope this helps. It's just my two cents. If you have any questions, I'll try to check this board.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:16 pm

Interested in hearing more thoughts about chances at UT to HYS (and Chicago).

Anyone have a good gauge at what class % makes you competitive? Is it like top 5-10% for Harvard and ~5% (or better) for Stanford and Yale? At least 10-15% for Chicago?

Also- How much of an advantage would transferring give to someone interested in academia?

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:10 am

1) HYS are seriously in a different league than CLS or Chicago. It is not worth it to give up a >4.0 GPA at a school like UT for anything less than HYS, IMO. I'd hesitate even then. (However, you don't get the offer to attend and the chance to decline if you don't apply, so if you're seriously considering it, you should still apply.)

2) Above posters are correct about transferring being a risk. You are starting over from scratch, and leaving behind profs you've impressed for a place where none of the profs even know you.

3) I think it's hard to say what transferring does in terms of academia because of how rare it is for people in either category (>4.0 at T15, transfers into HYS). I just don't know of enough data points. Academic hiring is so rare even at the HYS level that there's just no way to give knowledgeable answers. However, I will say that while academic hiring is much smaller from T15-level schools, those who do it are typically the ones with grades that high. It's not only because the grades show great academic potential but because they typically lead to other important things (offer to join LR, profs being interested in mentoring you, etc).

If you have more specific questions, you can ask or PM me.

asa2
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:09 am

Re: UT to HYS or CLS?

Postby asa2 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:59 pm

legalalbatross wrote:I posted a similar topic a couple of weeks ago, but I think I should be more specific and list some more of my concerns to see if I can get a better idea for whether transferring makes sense for me.

I finished last semester with a 4.08. We have a pretty generous curve, with a median around 3.3 and I think top 10% around 3.8-3.85, but I think I should be in the top 5%. I have also so far found a professor who graduated from one of HYS who agreed to write me a LoR. So what does everyone think my chances are?

As to my reasons for transferring, if I were sure I wanted to stay in Texas, I would stay at UT and try to finish at the top of my class. As it is, I'm pretty sure I would like to work in Chicago, DC, or NYC. I would like to do a clerkship and then work in the DoJ, if possible directly after clerking, or if not, after working at a firm for a few years. I know I have a shot at doing those things from UT, but how much do my odds improve if I graduate from HYS or CLS? Those increased chances are largely driving my decision, but there is also the more intangible "dream of going to one of the top law schools in the country" thing. It may sound kind of silly, but can anyone give me any feedback on how satisfying it was to fulfill that dream? It would be disappointing to go through the whole process of transferring and then feel like I was just at another school...

Also, how do CLS grads do with clerkships? I wasn't able to find any information on that on their website.

Lastly, I'm concerned about the logistical difficulties of transferring. Could I get on journals at those schools, provided I could get in? How would signing up for OCI work? I have summer jobs lined up that will last until mid-August--is it still doable to move to the new school after that if I'm accepted?

Thanks a lot for any feedback!



I think you're being a little conservative with your estimated class rank. Top 25% for 1Ls last year was 3.61 if I remember correctly, so I think you're likely well above top 5%, perhaps even in Chancellor territory. I transferred from UT to CCN and I had a 3.67 gpa. My softs were pretty good, but even assuming that gave me a little bump, I think your should definitely be able to get into CLS if you maintain your GPA. There's never any guarantees with Harvard though. If you're set on clerking and doing DOJ, I would only recommend to transfer if you got into Harvard, because your great grades would give you a greater advantage than going a school with a better overall reputation like CLS. Harvard has such a better reputation and career opportunities that it's worth it no matter what you want to do. If you wanted to do firm work in those cities, CLS is probably better than staying at UT. The logistics of transferring vary by school, but usually you have the same opportunities as regular students, although you'll be at a disadvantage because you have to do everything rushed.

Right now I recommend just focus on your studies, do the write on, apply to Harvard and CLS (why no Yale? They dominate clerkships) over the summer and see what happens. With those grades, I think you will be able to realize your dream either way. Congrats.




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