Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

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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leila
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby leila » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:38 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to determine if it's worth it to transfer from a T2 in Philly (Temple, Villanova, Rutgers-Camden) to Penn when I want to work in Delaware or Philly. I'm top 2%, LR and on a 2/3 scholarship. On Penn's website it says transfer students are ineligible for need-based aid meaning my degree would be a lot more expensive. Would it be worth it to transfer?

Thanks!

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CaptainCrunch
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby CaptainCrunch » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:37 pm

I would. But I know nothing.

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Wholigan
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby Wholigan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:37 pm

I am more or less in the same boat as you. I didn't find out about LR yet, so we probably don't go to the same school, and I only have about 1/2 scholarship. So really, you're probably in a better boat at this point. I have an application in at Penn, and have thought about this too. Did you apply yet? I would say it depends on what other career goals you have. If you mainly just want biglaw in Philly/DE, you can probably get it already, so you have to ask yourself what you are gaining for the extra cost. You will almost certainly have to pay sticker at Penn.

lawgod
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby lawgod » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:39 pm

Tell us this: Precisely how many students in your current school got the kind of job you are interested in last year? Is it a real possibility?

leila
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby leila » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:24 pm

Wholigan wrote:I am more or less in the same boat as you. I didn't find out about LR yet, so we probably don't go to the same school, and I only have about 1/2 scholarship. So really, you're probably in a better boat at this point. I have an application in at Penn, and have thought about this too. Did you apply yet? I would say it depends on what other career goals you have. If you mainly just want biglaw in Philly/DE, you can probably get it already, so you have to ask yourself what you are gaining for the extra cost. You will almost certainly have to pay sticker at Penn.


Thanks for your response!

I haven't applied yet. I finished the application and personal statement but I'm hesitant to ask for letters of recommendation without being sure transferring is in my best interest. One of the professors I'm closest to is the Dean of Academics at my school so I'm especially hesitant about asking him but I realize the deadline is coming up soon.

I do have a few letters from my initial applications, one of which is from a prestigious employer but I'm guessing it will look bad if I don't get letters from law school professors.

My biggest worry with my current school is that I might want to be a professor in the future and I'm concerned that such a goal would be much more difficult coming out of a T2. However, I have no interest in ever leaving the Philly/ Delaware area.

I'm also waiting to hear back about more scholarship money from my current school.

Good luck with your application!

leila
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby leila » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:28 pm

lawgod wrote:Tell us this: Precisely how many students in your current school got the kind of job you are interested in last year? Is it a real possibility?


That's a good question. I know of several rising 3Ls who are SAs in firms where I would like to work. Every firm I am interested in is interviewing at our OCIs and they all have many graduates from my school on staff. However, I don't know precisely how many students have received offers in recent years.

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traehekat
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby traehekat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:51 pm

leila wrote:
lawgod wrote:Tell us this: Precisely how many students in your current school got the kind of job you are interested in last year? Is it a real possibility?


That's a good question. I know of several rising 3Ls who are SAs in firms where I would like to work. Every firm I am interested in is interviewing at our OCIs and they all have many graduates from my school on staff. However, I don't know precisely how many students have received offers in recent years.


I would seriously consider staying. If you already have the firms you are interested in coming to your school you are probably golden. As far as the academia aspirations, you may actually hurt them by potentially foregoing law review, which in itself would diminish your chances at becoming a professor, and also diminish your clerkship chances, which would have the same effect. This may all be a bit attenuated, but ultimately I don't think there is a big enough bump to warrant giving up so much, especially since you don't seem terribly sure about going down that road. The only that is certain is the increased debt, so you have to really think hard about the guaranteed money you are leaving on the table for just an increased shot at something.

keg411
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:42 am

You can always apply just to see what happens. But it sounds like you're in a really good position at your current school since you already have LR and are paying basically nothing.

D.Wilde
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Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby D.Wilde » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:34 am

Personally, I usually vote in favor of transferring if you attend a T2. The way I see it, while you may currently believe that you want to work in DE/Philly, there is absolutely no guarantee that this will remain true 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now. The value of a degree from a prestigious law school definitely lasts past your first job. This is why most legal employers post where their attorneys went to law school on their websites. While it definitely sounds like you're in a good spot to get the kind of summer gig you currently see yourself accepting, there is no certainty that your preferences and life situation won't change down the line, and if/when they do, you'll be glad to have a school like Penn on your resume.

That being said, if Penn has a July 1 deadline like most schools, it is entirely too late to apply if you haven't even asked profs for letters of recommendation yet. When schools say they want your complete application by July 1, this usually means that they want everything by July 1, including LORs which will likely need to be submitted through LSAC, which adds more time to the process.

leila
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby leila » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:56 am

D.Wilde wrote:Personally, I usually vote in favor of transferring if you attend a T2. The way I see it, while you may currently believe that you want to work in DE/Philly, there is absolutely no guarantee that this will remain true 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now. The value of a degree from a prestigious law school definitely lasts past your first job. This is why most legal employers post where their attorneys went to law school on their websites. While it definitely sounds like you're in a good spot to get the kind of summer gig you currently see yourself accepting, there is no certainty that your preferences and life situation won't change down the line, and if/when they do, you'll be glad to have a school like Penn on your resume.

That being said, if Penn has a July 1 deadline like most schools, it is entirely too late to apply if you haven't even asked profs for letters of recommendation yet. When schools say they want your complete application by July 1, this usually means that they want everything by July 1, including LORs which will likely need to be submitted through LSAC, which adds more time to the process.


Penn's completion deadline is July 15th. I realize that even with a few extra weeks it's late to be asking for LORs but I've already had professors agree to be references which might make it easier to ask. I'm just hesitant to damage any of my relationships with professors if I decide I don't want to transfer.

Everything you're saying is exactly what I'm worried about. I'm especially worried because I won't know how not transferring will hurt me until it's too late to transfer. However, I also calculated that if I don't get any additional money from my school, going to Penn will cost me an additional $70,000 before interest which I really don't want to pay if I can get the same job from my current school. If I do get more money from my school, it will cost my an additional $90,000.

D.Wilde
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:03 am

Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby D.Wilde » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:23 am

leila wrote:
D.Wilde wrote:Personally, I usually vote in favor of transferring if you attend a T2. The way I see it, while you may currently believe that you want to work in DE/Philly, there is absolutely no guarantee that this will remain true 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now. The value of a degree from a prestigious law school definitely lasts past your first job. This is why most legal employers post where their attorneys went to law school on their websites. While it definitely sounds like you're in a good spot to get the kind of summer gig you currently see yourself accepting, there is no certainty that your preferences and life situation won't change down the line, and if/when they do, you'll be glad to have a school like Penn on your resume.

That being said, if Penn has a July 1 deadline like most schools, it is entirely too late to apply if you haven't even asked profs for letters of recommendation yet. When schools say they want your complete application by July 1, this usually means that they want everything by July 1, including LORs which will likely need to be submitted through LSAC, which adds more time to the process.


Penn's completion deadline is July 15th. I realize that even with a few extra weeks it's late to be asking for LORs but I've already had professors agree to be references which might make it easier to ask. I'm just hesitant to damage any of my relationships with professors if I decide I don't want to transfer.

Everything you're saying is exactly what I'm worried about. I'm especially worried because I won't know how not transferring will hurt me until it's too late to transfer. However, I also calculated that if I don't get any additional money from my school, going to Penn will cost me an additional $70,000 before interest which I really don't want to pay if I can get the same job from my current school. If I do get more money from my school, it will cost my an additional $90,000.


These are reasonable things to worry about, and I was in a very similar situation. I faced an additional $70,000 worth of pre-interest debt to transfer, and I was 95% certain I would receive an offer from my top choice firm even if I stayed. When I was considering my choices, I spoke with a number of attorneys I'd met through previous work and mentoring relationships, and every single one of them emphatically said that I should suck up the debt and transfer. The debt will eventually get paid off (and it won't take all that long if you're making $160K and living relatively frugally). The degree will follow you for the rest of your career.

verabl85
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:06 pm

Re: Should I transfer from a T2 in Philly to Penn?

Postby verabl85 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:32 pm

I've heard of people applying to transfer up just to try to squeeze more money out of their current school. Might that be an acceptable pretext on which to ask your profs for LORs? If so, why not ask for the LORs, apply, and kick the can down the road for a month until you hear back from Penn? At that point, if admitted, you can try to squeeze a full ride out of your current school or just bail. (BTW I'm in the transfer process myself now, and am facing a similar T2->T14 decision).




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