BU, Chicago, or Wait?

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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Should I stay at BU, accept at Chicago, or wait for Columbia?

Go to Chicago
16
46%
Wait til the end of the week and ask Columbia for a decision
11
31%
Let the Chicago deadline pass in hopes of Columbia
1
3%
Stay at BU
7
20%
 
Total votes: 35

smiley
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby smiley » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:22 pm

thanks everyone for your thoughts. columbia is definitely a game changer for me. this is the one school i love enough that if i don't get a job in boston, it'll be ok. as one of you suggested, i've emailed partners at boston firms, explained that i was torn between wanting to be at a better school while still wanting to work in boston, and most said that the prestige would be more likely to get me a good look in their opinions. that's definitely encouraging, but my love affair is the biggest factor here :)

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:27 pm

bk1 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:i understand you're leaving boston from a boston feeder school, but can't you say, "As much as I loved my 1L year in BU, I did have a fear I would not be sitting at this interview today if I stayed, and I would rather have had gainful employment in New York where I could save up enough to return to Boston someday than struggle in Boston."?


Is this a joke?


Dear god I hope so. Though I hear people in Boston love it when subtly you trash their city and lavish praise on New York.

He should wear a Jeter jersey to the interview, in case they don't get the message.

smiley
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby smiley » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:30 pm

she :) and i haaaaaaaate the yankees.

Headybrah
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby Headybrah » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:34 pm

I guess my main point was - If you are 100% boston - go for it. But a transfer helps in a number of ways
1) you strike out at OCI (unlikely)
2) You dont get an offer and/or you loose your job
3) have any interest in expanding your geographic region for where you are willing to work...

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:58 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:I suspect Boston firms wouldn't look down on a Chicago degree. I just can't see a hiring partner telling you well you shouldn't have transfered to one of the best schools in the nation. As long as you have a good answer for the question of why you transfered you'll be fine. There are a ton of Chicago people working for the most prestigous firms in Boston. If you're really worried I'd write one of the partners at Ropes (or another prestigous Boston firm) who went to Chicago and ask them the question you asked on the board. I bet you no one would hold U of C against you.

This is true for someone who went to Chicago for 1L. But for someone who was in Boston, at a Boston feeder school, then bailed for a different city? It's a tough, tough sell. You could say, you wanted to experience the educational opportunities of Chicago, but the skepticism will be pretty high.

I guess it depends on how strong OPs ties are to Boston. If she can make a strong pitch for wanting to stay in Boston (grew up there, family is there, hates the Yankees, etc.) it might work to say the reason for heading to Chicago was the education, which is admittedly one of the few schools that might work for. But even so, it's a hard sell to a fairly insular market, and if OP's ties are weak, then it might be impossible. I've got pretty strong ties, and this was the main reason I didn't apply to CCN.

Obviously, going to Chicago is going to open more doors in more cities. But that's exactly why people from Boston will be skeptical.


I just don't believe this. The program I am in gives us opportunities to meet hiring partners every week and they all say go to the best school you can go to. I told them I want to work in Chicago but I got into Harvard and of course they told me go to Harvard because it will open more doors than say Northwestern. If I went to NW for my first year and had a chance to transfer to Harvard I would do it in a heartbeat and I bet I could still get Chicago probably easier. BU and Chicago are not peers or even close to peers Chicago has way better opportunities in every sector including clerking, in-house and big law. OP please don't listen to the people in this thread or even me for that matter write someone at a law firm. You'd be surprised at how friendly most of them are and they'd answer your questions and I'd bet dollars to donuts they'd say a Chicago degree will not hurt you in your Boston job search. BTW, where is everybody else who voted for Chicago? Nobody else is backing up their vote.

Edit: The only way I could see this is if BU was free and UC was sticker but both are sticker. OP go to Chicago, make great connections, get a great job, profit.


I'm sorry, but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Going to HLS as a 1L instead of Northwestern is a no-brainer even if you want Chicago. Very different situation than what OP's facing.


I'm sorry but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Transferring from NW to Harvard is similar to transferring from BU to Chicago. I understand you're a mod on TLS but I talked to countless HIRING PARTNERS this summer and theey all agreed with my point of view. That's why I told the OP not to listen to you guys but to email partners in Boston and guess what? I was right. Your point of view makes no sense. He isn't giving up LR or a big Scholly to go to Chicago. The financial aid at Chicago probably would work in his favor making the school cheaper. This was an easy question and now that the OP has Columbia it's even easier. OP in 2yrs when you get an offer from a great Boston firm let us know how much they looked down on your transfer to a top 4 school because law firms hate when their associates come from big name law schools :roll: .

flexityflex86
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:01 pm

well, if you left Fordham to go to Harvard, I think firms would understand.

granted BU is a bit better than Fordham and Harvard a bit better than Columbia, but the point is still there.

Also going to a top 4 will boost OP's odds of making partner.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:13 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:well, if you left Fordham to go to Harvard, I think firms would understand.

granted BU is a bit better than Fordham and Harvard a bit better than Columbia, but the point is still there.

Also going to a top 4 will boost OP's odds of making partner.


exactly.

flexityflex86
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:16 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:i understand you're leaving boston from a boston feeder school, but can't you say, "As much as I loved my 1L year in BU, I did have a fear I would not be sitting at this interview today if I stayed, and I would rather have had gainful employment in New York where I could save up enough to return to Boston someday than struggle in Boston."?


Is this a joke?


Dear god I hope so. Though I hear people in Boston love it when subtly you trash their city and lavish praise on New York.

He should wear a Jeter jersey to the interview, in case they don't get the message.

do you really think baseball influences the selection of associate candidates or is this an attempt at a moderately funny but helplessly corny joke?

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Helmholtz
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:34 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:I'm sorry but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Transferring from NW to Harvard is similar to transferring from BU to Chicago. I understand you're a mod on TLS but I talked to countless HIRING PARTNERS this summer and theey all agreed with my point of view. That's why I told the OP not to listen to you guys but to email partners in Boston and guess what? I was right. Your point of view makes no sense. He isn't giving up LR or a big Scholly to go to Chicago. The financial aid at Chicago probably would work in his favor making the school cheaper. This was an easy question and now that the OP has Columbia it's even easier. OP in 2yrs when you get an offer from a great Boston firm let us know how much they looked down on your transfer to a top 4 school because law firms hate when their associates come from big name law schools :roll: .


I was going to thoughtfully respond, but I'm undecided on whether you're a clueless 0L (protip: saying you've talked to HIRING PARTNERS about whether you should go to Northwestern or Harvard and this qualifying you for other expert advice is just going to make people laugh at you) or a weird troll ("top 4 school"? lolololol). Anyway, this is why 0Ls are discouraged from the transfers forum.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:37 am

flexityflex86 wrote:do you really think baseball influences the selection of associate candidates or is this an attempt at a moderately funny but helplessly corny joke?

Of course not, it was a moderately funny but helplessly corny way of saying I think connections to a city influences the selection of associate candidates. I was agreeing with the above posters that if you want to work in Boston, you have to convince the firms that you want to stay in Boston, not work in Boston for a year or so then lateral to NYC. I think that leaving Boston for New York makes it harder for someone at a Boston firm to believe you when you say that you want to be in Boston, analogous, though obviously not as fatal, to wearing a Jeter jersey. (Pinstriped suits, I think, might still be ok for the interview, but be careful.)

It was, of course, also a moderately funny but helplessly corny joke.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:42 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote: I talked to countless HIRING PARTNERS this summer and theey all agreed with my point of view.

Have you talked to them about 1L law school decisions, or specifically about transferring from a school in an insular market to a school that feeds into other markets and trying to get back to the insular market? No one disagrees about the first scenario, I think we're just dubious of the second. They're very different.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:31 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:

I'm sorry but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Transferring from NW to Harvard is similar to transferring from BU to Chicago. I understand you're a mod on TLS but I talked to countless HIRING PARTNERS this summer and theey all agreed with my point of view. That's why I told the OP not to listen to you guys but to email partners in Boston and guess what? I was right. Your point of view makes no sense. He isn't giving up LR or a big Scholly to go to Chicago. The financial aid at Chicago probably would work in his favor making the school cheaper. This was an easy question and now that the OP has Columbia it's even easier. OP in 2yrs when you get an offer from a great Boston firm let us know how much they looked down on your transfer to a top 4 school because law firms hate when their associates come from big name law schools :roll: .


The bolded alone makes me know for a fact that you have no freaking idea what you're talking about.

alumniguy
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Re: BU, Chicago, or Wait?

Postby alumniguy » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:34 am

What about the significant extra costs that Columbia will require? I imagine it is around $20k more per year (if we include living expenses). For OP, I don't think this is a bad decision for a couple of reasons though. First, OP is at the very least interested in academia. This will likely require a clerkship and Columbia is a far better school to find a clerkship than BU. Second, while it is highly unlikely that OP would not have found *a* biglaw Boston job, it is impossible to tell if it would be at Ropes or Wilmer (two highly regarded national firms) or somewhere like Goodwin or Nixon Peabody (certainly well regarded, but nearly as well perceived as the previous two). Whereas at Columbia, it is likely that OP will be very competitive for several V10s. If OP strikes out with Boston firms at OCI, then the second choice should be summering at NYC firm that has a Boston office and attempt to secure a placement in the Boston office before starting at the firm. This is certainly a plausible route back to Boston.

And a couple of other points. Completely agree with those who have said that NW->Harvard is NOT the same as BU->Columbia. Columbia is a great school, but it is not Harvard. Moreover, Boston is incredibly insular and while the hiring partners may say that OP will still get a good look if transferred to Columbia, I still imagine some questions about why the move, especially if OP has little to no ties to Boston? OP needs to have a compelling answer OTHER THAN IT OPENS UP MORE DOORS. That is not TCR here.

And no, it is not easier to become a partner if you attend a "Top 4" school. Most firms are meritocracies these days. Firms care about work product, social skills and ability to bring in profits. Most partners are from top schools because back in the day that they were hired, almost all associates came from the top schools. There weren't as many "biglaw" firms back then and the true biglaw firms didn't hire from non-top schools. Biglaw hiring has changed tremendously since the days when current partners were hired.




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