Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

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Toughquestions
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Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby Toughquestions » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:57 pm

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Last edited by Toughquestions on Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:04 am

No, it's not worth it.

The value of a degree quickly erodes the years after you have it. Thus, if you get the same first job from CCN that you could have gotten from the T25, you experienced no real benefit.

However, some T25's are better than others. Even within the T20-T25 range. I would transfer if I was at IUB but would not if I was at Notre Dame/BC/BU/GW/Etc.

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thexfactor
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby thexfactor » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:06 am

Im not sure about the "intangible benefits." I guess people think you are smarter and there might be indirect benefits?

Transferring to a better school can help you start out higher in the totem pole. Instead of working in midlaw, you might be able to get biglaw.

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nativedelta
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby nativedelta » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:27 am

I started out at Catholic (T2 ranked 79 this year, but ranked 89 when we transferred in 2009). Most of my close friends and I transferred.

I went to George Mason at half the price.
2 of my friends ended up at GW. One was top 6%. The other was top 12%. Both gave up their substantial scholarships at Catholic to attend GW at sticker price.

The top 12% friend graduated in GW's top 15% last month. The top 6% friend was in GW's top 35%.

Both are unemployed, as am I.

The lesson is if transferring saves you half what you would have spent on your law education, consider it. If not, consider the prospect of being as much or more in debt with equally terrible job prospects.

On a personal note, I did not like George Mason. And the things I ended up not liking about it are not things I could have discovered until I got there. Most of my fellow transfer students (who hailed from law schools all over the country) shared my opinion. While Mason had substantially more area judges and practitioners teaching as adjunct professors, I paid a heavy price in peace of mind and schedule control to transfer. The larger network did nothing for my job prospects post-graduation.

If GMU's tuition had not been so much cheaper, I would openly say transferring was a mistake, but if I have to be unemployed, at least I can be unemployed with tens of thousands of dollars less in student loans hanging over my head.

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Vronsky
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby Vronsky » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:53 am

nativedelta wrote:I started out at Catholic (T2 ranked 79 this year, but ranked 89 when we transferred in 2009). Most of my close friends and I transferred.
I went to George Mason at half the price.
2 of my friends ended up at GW. One was top 6%. The other was top 12%. Both gave up their substantial scholarships at Catholic to attend GW at sticker price.
The top 12% friend graduated in GW's top 15% last month. The top 6% friend was in GW's top 35%.
Both are unemployed, as am I.
The lesson is if transferring saves you half what you would have spent on your law education, consider it. If not, consider the prospect of being as much or more in debt with equally terrible job prospects.
On a personal note, I did not like George Mason. And the things I ended up not liking about it are not things I could have discovered until I got there. Most of my fellow transfer students (who hailed from law schools all over the country) shared my opinion. While Mason had substantially more area judges and practitioners teaching as adjunct professors, I paid a heavy price in peace of mind and schedule control to transfer. The larger network did nothing for my job prospects post-graduation.

If GMU's tuition had not been so much cheaper, I would openly say transferring was a mistake, but if I have to be unemployed, at least I can be unemployed with tens of thousands of dollars less in student loans hanging over my head.


This is a unique circumstance. (1) it actually saved you money, where in the typical case a student gives up scholarship to pay sticker. (2) you went from a T2 to a barely T1. In the relevance calculus, that qualifies as a "barely worth it," especially if you gave up LR where you were. (3) GMU is only the 4th or 5th best law school in VA.

All in all that makes this situation substantially different than a top student at lower T25-30/T1/T2 who is aiming at T10. That student is going to (1) acquire more debt in exchange for a better chance at a BigLaw position that will allow him/her to pay the debt; (2) make a substantial jump; (3) attend a school that is the best or among the best in it's market.

OP - When you talk about lay prestige, do you mean among lay people, or the ability to get you laid? In the second case, i would think that only a handful of schools would actually help get you laid, namely HYS and MAYBE Columbia. NYU? UPenn? NU? really? i doubt it.

I also believe that transferring may give you a shot at a V20 firm, whereas at your current school you might be aiming for V100. That may have an effect on your second job, such as the quality of the company if you go in-house, or the quality of your network if you open your own practice. Alumni networks might help if the transferee court school has a stronger presence in the market - consider the number of people from CLS/NYU in NYC who you might actually want to offer you a job down the line, versus the number of people from, say, Emory. that's assuming that such a person would be preferential for fellow alumni, which I think plays a small role.

Of course your career prospects will be in determined by the quality of your work and you won't solely ride the coat-tails of your shiny diploma, but that's the same as in law school. Just getting into a T25 school won't get you a job; obviously you have to have a solid GPA + LR. So having the T10 diploma won't help in your second job if you work product sucks, but if your work product is equal, the diploma may open some new doors.

There are also personal considerations, such as the desire to compete with smarter students. I doubt the quality of professors is significant.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:44 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:No, it's not worth it.

The value of a degree quickly erodes the years after you have it. Thus, if you get the same first job from CCN that you could have gotten from the T25, you experienced no real benefit.

I think this is true in general, but for HLS I think you have to recognize an exception. I'm not willing to give details, but I've seen several instances of how valuable it can be to have HLS on your resume even years out of law school. In fact it's valuable for things outside of job-hunting. It's a way to be able to reach out to HLS alumni (for advice, help, or other things) and speak to them despite having no other connection to them whatsoever.

Toughquestions
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby Toughquestions » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:14 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:No, it's not worth it.

The value of a degree quickly erodes the years after you have it. Thus, if you get the same first job from CCN that you could have gotten from the T25, you experienced no real benefit.

I think this is true in general, but for HLS I think you have to recognize an exception. I'm not willing to give details, but I've seen several instances of how valuable it can be to have HLS on your resume even years out of law school. In fact it's valuable for things outside of job-hunting. It's a way to be able to reach out to HLS alumni (for advice, help, or other things) and speak to them despite having no other connection to them whatsoever.

This is precisely the sort of thing I was referring to. When combined with access to need-based aid, HYS would be a relatively easy decision. The tougher question is whether Columbia or Chicago offer enough of that kind of boost to justify the cost.

saladfiend
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Re: Intangible/long-term benefits of transferring?

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:45 pm

"In doing the "to transfer or not" calculus, it can be relatively easy to quantify the bump in short term benefits like biglaw prospects, clerkship chances, and looking down the road a bit, a shot at academia."

Umm...I'm not sure those things are even easy to quantify depending on the schools.




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