T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

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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hds2388
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T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:26 pm

I was accepted to transfer to Penn. I have a 3.8x at a school ranked 50-70, and that puts me at 4th in my class.

I want to go into academia eventually. Given that I may not be on law review at my new school and this might handicap clerkship opportunities, are my odds of eventually getting into academia still much better from Penn vs my current school? I'm really happy where I am, but obviously my goal (dare I say dream) of academia trumps all. Advice?

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jawsthegreat
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby jawsthegreat » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:38 pm

Going to a school ranked 50-70 and wanting to do academia seems like a real good idea.

hds2388
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:42 pm

jawsthegreat wrote:Going to a school ranked 50-70 and wanting to do academia seems like a real good idea.


I didn't realize I wanted to do academia this badly until I got here. I take it you'd be of the opinion that I should transfer?

schooner
Posts: 374
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:43 pm

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hds2388
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:08 pm

Thanks for the great info!!!

hds2388
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:06 pm

anyone else have ideas?

ms2010
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby ms2010 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:51 pm

I mean... I'm at a school in the 50s and am pretty positive I'd go to Penn if accepted.

PeanutHead
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby PeanutHead » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:52 pm

hds2388 wrote:anyone else have ideas?


1. Pick 10 T50 law schools at random
2. See how many profs. at those schools went to non T14 Law schools
3. Mail your deposit in

This one is a no brainer if you want to teach someday

schooner
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby schooner » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:04 am

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ToTransferOrNot
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 am

Obligatory: The chances of anyone making it into academia is so slim that it renders transfering on that basis alone foolish. Not because it won't increase what are basically non-existent chances (it will) but because your chances remain so slim that it's a really bad thing to rest your hat on. This is like transfering to increase your chances of landing a feeder clerkship/SCOTUS (even transfering to increase CoA chances are risky, but I would put lawprof with the former - even riskier - category).

Look at what you'd have to overcome at your new school:

1.) You will need to end up at essentially the very top of your class (Penn is not an academic powerhouse, though they're not weak in the area; even top 10% "native" Penn students will have to work pretty hard, and being a transfer is something of a black mark). This is certainly not impossible as a transfer - I know more transfers who end up with honors than those who don't, and transfers end up being disproportionately represented in Coif at most schools - but it's certainly not guaranteed.

2.) You will need to publish, probably without the benefit of being on Law Review (sure, there is the 'note on,' but that is subject to the whims of a bunch of 3Ls who generally have no clue what they're talking about).

3.) Lacking Law Review is itself a black mark, both for the actual academic circuit itself (though it's not a death knell,) and for landing a strong CoA (which is itself almost a required credential for academia). There's no doubt that this can be overcome, but it's yet another obstacle.

4.) You throw into all of this that there are Harvard kids who miss the academia boat, and yeah.

Don't get me wrong, I advocate transfering for a lot of people (when you're getting into the Penn range, and your original school is a 50-70, it's really tough to turn down, particularly if you don't have a full ride + stipend at your original school). But I advocate it more for overall career prospects - mostly Biglaw selection - not academia.

schooner
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby schooner » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:37 pm

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Last edited by schooner on Sun May 03, 2015 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

hds2388
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:48 pm

I should clarify. Academia is merely a distant goal. My main goal right now is to shoot for some biglaw/clerkship action after I graduate. I will not be disappointed if I never make it into academia and end up doing long term biglaw/midlaw or government work. I simply have always had the aspiration to be a professor and I don't want to choose an option (be it staying or transferring) that will foreclose that permanently. I know how hard getting into academia is, and I know it will be an uphill battle. I am reassured by the fact that landing permanently anywhere on the road to academia (law firm/government are my hopes) would be a perfectly suitable alternative to me.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:55 pm

hds2388 wrote:I should clarify. Academia is merely a distant goal. My main goal right now is to shoot for some biglaw/clerkship action after I graduate. I will not be disappointed if I never make it into academia and end up doing long term biglaw/midlaw or government work. I simply have always had the aspiration to be a professor and I don't want to choose an option (be it staying or transferring) that will foreclose that permanently. I know how hard getting into academia is, and I know it will be an uphill battle. I am reassured by the fact that landing permanently anywhere on the road to academia (law firm/government are my hopes) would be a perfectly suitable alternative to me.


In that case, transfering is a no-brainer; enjoy Penn.

flcath
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Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby flcath » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:59 pm

I can see both sides of the OP's dilemma, and so I think a compromise would be the best thing here:

Transfer, but to a school that's in between your current school and Penn in the rankings. Perhaps a WUSTL or a Wake Forest.

hds2388
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: T14 transfer opportunity --- crazy to turn down?

Postby hds2388 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:05 pm

flcath wrote:I can see both sides of the OP's dilemma, and so I think a compromise would be the best thing here:

Transfer, but to a school that's in between your current school and Penn in the rankings. Perhaps a WUSTL or a Wake Forest.


I think you're right. It's the only real compromise option. UNC Chapel Hill here I come!




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