Should I leave behind a scholarship

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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hotboy24
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Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby hotboy24 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:00 am

I have a full-tuition scholarship at a small T4 school in Ohio. I was accepted at GW as a transfer. After law school, I would like to as a federal clerk or with a big law firm, but I don't want to take on the debt. Any advice out there? Would transferring to GW be worth the debt?

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beach_terror
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby beach_terror » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:09 am

hotboy24 wrote:I have a full-tuition scholarship at a small T4 school in Ohio. I was accepted at GW as a transfer. After law school, I would like to as a federal clerk or with a big law firm, but I don't want to take on the debt. Any advice out there? Would transferring to GW be worth the debt?

Has your T4 ever placed someone in an Art. III clerkship? What's your current rank at the T4?

hotboy24
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby hotboy24 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:37 am

Top 10% at my current school and not sure about the clerkship. Won't ever be on law review at current school because I missed the deadline.

maf70
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby maf70 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:43 am

...
Last edited by maf70 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kwais
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby kwais » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:45 am

0L disclaimer: Sounds like your goals are statistically unlikely at either place. I would think that Fed Clerk is not going to happen and that big law will be tough but maybe more likely in a secondary market from the top of a T4 than from the middle of GW. For this reason and the danger of taking on 120k at GW, maybe you should stay.

D.Wilde
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby D.Wilde » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:59 pm

kwais wrote:0L disclaimer


This was the only accurate part of the previous post.

After chatting with various recent graduates who have secured clerkships and others who haven't, it seems that Fed. Clerkships seriously look at your school more than your ties to an area or your ranking at a local, non-national law school. Furthermore, you'll probably have access to significantly more biglaw interviews as a transfer at GW than at a T4 in Ohio. More interviews means a higher chance of securing a job. Furthermore, many firms actually like transfers, because they have demonstrated both academic success and initiative. As I've said in other threads, the HLS transfers this year did significantly better at OCI than the "regular" 2Ls.

I vote transfer.

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starchinkilt
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby starchinkilt » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:03 pm

D.Wilde wrote:
kwais wrote:0L disclaimer


This was the only accurate part of the previous post.

After chatting with various recent graduates who have secured clerkships and others who haven't, it seems that Fed. Clerkships seriously look at your school more than your ties to an area or your ranking at a local, non-national law school. Furthermore, you'll probably have access to significantly more biglaw interviews as a transfer at GW than at a T4 in Ohio. More interviews means a higher chance of securing a job. Furthermore, many firms actually like transfers, because they have demonstrated both academic success and initiative. As I've said in other threads, the HLS transfers this year did significantly better at OCI than the "regular" 2Ls.

I vote transfer.


+1

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VinceIrons
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby VinceIrons » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:25 pm

starchinkilt wrote:
D.Wilde wrote:
kwais wrote:0L disclaimer


This was the only accurate part of the previous post.

After chatting with various recent graduates who have secured clerkships and others who haven't, it seems that Fed. Clerkships seriously look at your school more than your ties to an area or your ranking at a local, non-national law school. Furthermore, you'll probably have access to significantly more biglaw interviews as a transfer at GW than at a T4 in Ohio. More interviews means a higher chance of securing a job. Furthermore, many firms actually like transfers, because they have demonstrated both academic success and initiative. As I've said in other threads, the HLS transfers this year did significantly better at OCI than the "regular" 2Ls.

I vote transfer.


+1


+2

Taking on debt certainly sucks, but think about the end goal: a better job that pays more than what you'd be able to get from your current school. I'm certainly no expert, but I'd imagine you'd have a much better chance at BigLaw if you went to GW than if you stay at your TTTT.

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Wholigan
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby Wholigan » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:33 pm

I am going to go against the flow here and say not to transfer and take on $100k in extra debt for the small chance at biglaw or an Art. III clerkship as a GW transfer. There is a GW transfer from last year (Rising 3L now) who has posted on the boards here, saying that except for IP transfers (so disregard this advice if you are IP) he doesn't know of anyone from his transfer class who got a biglaw SA. While your chances are admittedly small at your current school, any marginal increase is not worth $100k, IMO.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:37 pm

Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.

09042014
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:54 pm

Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:57 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.


credited

biglaw/Art III clerkships from GWU are such longshots anyway, why spend the $$$? go buy some lottery tickets, bro

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:58 pm

Agree that staying at your current law school with no debt is the safer choice. Try to get into or stay in the top 5% of your class as it will get you a lot of interviews outside of the typical opportunities afforded tier 4 students.

P.S. Forget the lottery tickets; buy resume supplies instead. Good luck !

D.Wilde
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby D.Wilde » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:01 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.


credited

biglaw/Art III clerkships from GWU are such longshots anyway, why spend the $$$? go buy some lottery tickets, bro


It isn't just for a "murky 'better shot' at a clerkship." I think people really undervalue the long-term career implications of transferring. Yes, your first job matters a lot, but throughout your career every single employer to whom you will ever apply will want to know where you went to law school. For the rest of your life, do you want to say: "I went to [TTTT that no one's ever heard of]" or "I got my JD at GW?" If you're ok with the former, then by all means stay. However, if you'd rather tell all future employers and clients that you went to a damn fine school that most have heard of in the nation's capital, then transfer. Hell, if nothing else, GW has way better government employment prospects, and there's always public interest loan forgiveness programs and Income-Based Repayment to help with the increased debt if you go into public interest work.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:10 pm

D.Wilde wrote:Yes, your first job matters a lot, but throughout your career every single employer to whom you will ever apply will want to know where you went to law school.


Which do you think employers care more about: your previous legal jobs post-LS or which law school you went to?

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. There was a lawyer in town who had a Cornell JD/MBA. He was a partner at a firm full of Tier4 grads (the managing partner at his firm went to Capital or something like that; maybe one of the other attorneys went to Ohio State; I don't remember). How many clients do you think he got because of his shiny T14 degree? Probably not many. People didn't give a shit where he went to school. The busiest lawyers in town were from local T4s.

There is an argument that you will have more connections going to a better school, but come on, we're talking about GWU here, not Yale, Stanford, or UChicago.

I fail to see how the benefits of transferring to GWU merit the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on going there.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:13 pm

GW is not a good enough school to justify taking out an extra $130k in debt.

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kwais
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby kwais » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:14 pm

D.Wilde wrote:
kwais wrote:0L disclaimer


This was the only accurate part of the previous post.

After chatting with various recent graduates who have secured clerkships and others who haven't, it seems that Fed. Clerkships seriously look at your school more than your ties to an area or your ranking at a local, non-national law school. Furthermore, you'll probably have access to significantly more biglaw interviews as a transfer at GW than at a T4 in Ohio. More interviews means a higher chance of securing a job. Furthermore, many firms actually like transfers, because they have demonstrated both academic success and initiative. As I've said in other threads, the HLS transfers this year did significantly better at OCI than the "regular" 2Ls.

I vote transfer.


First of all, I called myself out so no need for you to do it. Second, you just compared Harvard to GW, making you a douche who gives bad advice.

$$$$$$
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby $$$$$$ » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:37 pm

Gotta say, if you definitely want to be involved in a legal career for a while, then you should transfer. GW isnt the door opener that T10 schools are, but it is a great school and is very well respected. Your career will have many more opportunities thrown its way with a GW JD than a T4 degree, and if you are looking into Big Law and Art 3 clerkships, you must be an ambitious person. If you are unsure/dont really see yourself being a lawyer for more than a few years, then stay where you are at.

Dont make your decision based on what people on this site say. The info here is useful to a degree, but it can also be extremely poor at times, and when deciding an issue like this, it is best to really weigh what you want out of your career v. the debt you are willing to take on.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby UCLAtransfer » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:06 pm

If you transfer to GW, you will not get a biglaw job or an AIII clerkship.

Your previous school will still matter for OCI and clerkship hiring, and top 10% at a T4 in Ohio is just not going to help you get anything if biglaw and federal clerkships are your reasons to transfer.

If you can resign yourself to the fact that neither biglaw nor a federal clerkship are going to happen for you from either school, what are your career goals w/r/t where you want to work, and what type of work do you want to do (i.e., still civil litigation even if it isn't for a big firm)?

Those factors should be what you are considering here.

If you stay: little to no debt due to full ride will give you options/flexibility and time to find something that you like in the area that your school places into without the stress of $100,000+ in debt/almost $2k a month in payments hanging over your head, and top 10% will help you get some of the best jobs available to grads from your law school. This becomes especially true if you are okay with working in Ohio, but know that unless you can work there for a while and then leverage connections to move elsewhere, you will likely be limited to practicing in the area(s) where your school typically places students.

If you go: you will have a decent shot at finding a job in DC/east coast/maybe even mid-atlantic/northeast (but likely not biglaw-see above). You will have a more respected degree which could give you more options down the line than the T4. As for the downsides, you will end up with $100,000+ in student loans which can be incredibly crushing, and very stressful/risky if you have trouble with the job search. With that kind of debt, you will have much less flexibility and may have to take a job that pays even if you don't like it just to start paying back those $2,000 loan payments that start showing up six months after you graduate.

boilerplated
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby boilerplated » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:44 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.


Yep. It's not what you want to hear, but in this climate you should be making pragmatic decisions, not aspirational ones. Evaluate the most likely outcome for each option and weigh it against the debt, rather than agonizing over which one might get you closer to the pie. GW is not an elite school; it won't guarantee you a shot at anything, and it's one of the priciest schools in the country. A full scholarship that you're sure you can keep with top 10% standing is quite enviable right now.

flcath
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby flcath » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:17 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.

Yeah, but when someone posts unrealistic goals, we should substitute more realistic goals for them.

E.g., "Hey guys, should I choose a 75% scholarship at Vanderbilt, or a full-ride at Northern California Golden Gate Bridge Law School? I want academia."

We wouldn't say "neither school will get you academia, so stay where the money's at" we'd say "you're an idiot, but you should go to Vandy."

09042014
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:10 pm

flcath wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Stay where you are, but be prepared to work in Ohio small- or mid-law for the foreseeable future and beyond, with virtually no chance of a fed clerkship, but at least with minimal debt.


Losing a full scholarship for a murky "better shot" at a clerkship isn't worth it.

Yeah, but when someone posts unrealistic goals, we should substitute more realistic goals for them.

E.g., "Hey guys, should I choose a 75% scholarship at Vanderbilt, or a full-ride at Northern California Golden Gate Bridge Law School? I want academia."

We wouldn't say "neither school will get you academia, so stay where the money's at" we'd say "you're an idiot, but you should go to Vandy."


Yea but does a T4 transfer to GW get a job ITE. I kinda doubt. ITE it's T13 or TTT.

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KingMenes
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby KingMenes » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:09 pm

Does one always lose 1L scholarships when they transfer from one law school to the next?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:11 pm

KingMenes wrote:Does one always lose 1L scholarships when they transfer from one law school to the next?


yes

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Should I leave behind a scholarship

Postby UCLAtransfer » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:31 pm

KingMenes wrote:Does one always lose 1L scholarships when they transfer from one law school to the next?


Are you asking, for example, if someone went to school A for 1L and then transferred to school B, if school A would continue to give you scholarship money for the next two years even if you are no longer attending?

This can't be what you're asking.




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