Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

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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Regionality
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Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:14 pm

Hey Folks--

Here's my story: Did my 1L year at Wisconsin. Did very well (top 5%). Successfully transferred to Berkeley where I'm doing quite well. Willing to answer good, thoughtful, unique-to-me questions for people interested in my story and the transfer process/decision making.

I also have a friend who transferred to Stanford who I'm sure will be willing to jump in. He was equally ranked as me at Wisconsin and we went through this process together. We have a lot of interesting stories and insight and as soon as he discovers this thread I'm sure he'll wanna help out too.

Hope everyone's first semester went well as the grades start trickling in!

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Transferthrowaway » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:18 pm

Not meaning to hijack, but I'll jump in as well and answer any questions. T-35 to Chicago transfer.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:22 pm

Transferthrowaway wrote:Not meaning to hijack, but I'll jump in as well and answer any questions. T-35 to Chicago transfer.


the more the merrier!

target
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby target » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:22 am

Why did you transfer, especially to Berkeley since with your grade, UChicago would be within reach? Any awesome stories beside grades that you think helped you with the transfer process?

I have personal reasons that I would want to transfer back to NorCal schools next year. Do you know if Berkeley cares at all about transferee's personal reasons? Or do they just want grades?

Thanks.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:40 am

target wrote:Why did you transfer, especially to Berkeley since with your grade, UChicago would be within reach? Any awesome stories beside grades that you think helped you with the transfer process?

I have personal reasons that I would want to transfer back to NorCal schools next year. Do you know if Berkeley cares at all about transferee's personal reasons? Or do they just want grades?

Thanks.


In a sense I actually chose Berkeley over Chicago. I was planning on applying to Chicago, but Berkeley makes their Transfer decisions pretty early compared to others (they take unofficial transcripts and will make decisions based on these, and then wait for corroboration later). As soon as I got into Berkeley I abandoned all applications except Stanford. I am from the Bay Area and wanted to be either back home or in DC (I had gotten into Georgetown earlier but decided Berkeley was a better option).

Berkeley cares that you have personal ties to California, but I don't know if they care about personal stories of trials and tribulations...for example my friend that got into Stanford got rejected from Berkeley most likely because he had no ties to CA (whereas I was born and raised in SF).

I don't think I have any particularly interesting personal stories except that my 1L summer job was pretty interesting (pretty cool federal government job in DC).

For the most part schools seem to only care about the combination of school rank and class rank. However there is also an element of randomness to the process (my friend from the same school with literally the same class rank got rejected from Berkeley and accepted to Stanford while the inverse happened to me...after I was on the defacto waitlist at Stanford for a while...only rejected a few days before classes started!)

However, I am a much better match for Berkeley and I know I'm happier here...I'll see if my friend chimes in to say his piece on Stanford.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:41 am

.

target
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby target » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:46 am

That sounds fair. Thanks. Hope your friend will chime in at some point.

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Supremo Skelator
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Supremo Skelator » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:54 am

I am interested in your background and how you managed to achieve the top 5%.

What do you think you did differently that the other students didn't do?

Did you have work experience prior to law school? Did you do any 0L prep?

Also, why did you go to Wisconsin in the first place? Why not somewhere in CA?

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:07 am

Supremo Skelator wrote:I am interested in your background and how you managed to achieve the top 5%.

What do you think you did differently that the other students didn't do?

Did you have work experience prior to law school? Did you do any 0L prep?

Also, why did you go to Wisconsin in the first place? Why not somewhere in CA?


I'll answer in reverse order:

I did my undergrad in Chicago and had been living there, so going to Madison was a logical place for me to go. After I did well at Wisconsin I started allowing myself to think about my ideal location and decided DC or the Bay Area would be ideal.

I had worked in Chicago for a year doing something not related to law at all...so I don't think that had any bearing on why I did well in school...

Honestly I didn't work harder than my peers. There were some people who worked way harder than me and did far worse. I certainly worked hard and spent a lot of time studying, but not obsessively and certainly not to the point of diminishing returns.

If I'm going to be honest about why I think I did better I think I would have to just say that my brain is wired to succeed on law school exams. I spotted the issues instinctively and made the applicable arguments on-point. Oddly enough I never made my own outlines (well I did once but that's cause I couldnt find a good one!)...I'd find a good outline and study from that one and make it my own. This doesn't work for many people, but it did for me.

Sometimes I'm still in shock as to how well I did and am doing. There is certainly an element of innate talent and luck that plays into all of this. If there is one thing I'd say it's that it is important to actively participate and engage in the course material. Those that stay quiet, refuse to converse/debate/discuss the topics, are incapable of articulating the subject matter and are just too timid are, in my opinion, more likely destined to not succeed. This by NO means means you have to be a gunner in the class-- this type of engagement can just as easily take place in private conversations between friends/study groups. I'm just saying that one needs to be able to articulate the concepts verbally in order to be sure you're getting it right.

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Tanicius
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Tanicius » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:17 am

Regionality wrote:Hey Folks--

Here's my story: Did my 1L year at Wisconsin. Did very well (top 5%). Successfully transferred to Berkeley where I'm doing quite well. Willing to answer good, thoughtful, unique-to-me questions for people interested in my story and the transfer process/decision making.

I also have a friend who transferred to Stanford who I'm sure will be willing to jump in. He was equally ranked as me at Wisconsin and we went through this process together. We have a lot of interesting stories and insight and as soon as he discovers this thread I'm sure he'll wanna help out too.

Hope everyone's first semester went well as the grades start trickling in!



Outed. :)

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:20 am

Tanicius wrote:
Regionality wrote:Hey Folks--

Here's my story: Did my 1L year at Wisconsin. Did very well (top 5%). Successfully transferred to Berkeley where I'm doing quite well. Willing to answer good, thoughtful, unique-to-me questions for people interested in my story and the transfer process/decision making.

I also have a friend who transferred to Stanford who I'm sure will be willing to jump in. He was equally ranked as me at Wisconsin and we went through this process together. We have a lot of interesting stories and insight and as soon as he discovers this thread I'm sure he'll wanna help out too.

Hope everyone's first semester went well as the grades start trickling in!



Outed. :)


Haha i've never tried to stay anonymous.

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Indifferent
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Indifferent » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:22 am

I was top 10% at a T50, decided not to transfer to a T10, willing to answer questions if anyone is interested.

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ilovesf
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Thanks :) I'm in the top 6% at Hastings. Do you have any friends that transferred from Hastings to Berkeley? How is the law school community there? Have you made a lot of friends there? Do you find that the school is harder than your old school? I'm thinking of transferring, but I'm worried that a better school will be a lot more difficult, even though I guess that most people here say that isn't necessarily true.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:16 pm

ilovesf wrote:Thanks :) I'm in the top 6% at Hastings. Do you have any friends that transferred from Hastings to Berkeley? How is the law school community there? Have you made a lot of friends there? Do you find that the school is harder than your old school? I'm thinking of transferring, but I'm worried that a better school will be a lot more difficult, even though I guess that most people here say that isn't necessarily true.


Congrats on the grades so far and keep at it-- try to break that top 5% threshold if you can!

There are one or two transfers from Hastings this year. My understanding is that each year admissions chooses one bay area school to utterly screw over and accept many transfers from (this year it was USF)...so we have a bunch of transfers from USF and only a few from Davis and Hastings. Next year it might be Hastings' turn! They do this so they only piss off one neighbor every 3 years. Interesting strategy...

The community here is exceptionally impressive. The average student is much more engaged and masterful of the material, but everyone is (relatively speaking) more laid back with regard to their school work. The school work is not any more difficult than previously and the professors are, in my opinion, no more and no less interesting/qualified/engaging than at Wisconsin. The work load is comparable I would say as well.

I don't think Berkeley will be "harder" except that obviously the curve will be more difficult to beat as everyone here is a rockstar. With that in mind so far I've done very well...I will most likely be dropping in my rank compared to Wisconsin but I should still rank well. Obviously I don't know for sure as I only have one semester under my belt and I don't want to go broadcasting my grades to the world.

As for friends, I think this is the biggest sacrifice/challenge in transferring. 1L year is an incredibly formative year...students go through hell together, they take the same classes, they bond/fight/compete/gossip/learn together and this creates strong friendship (as well as, I'm sure, much animosity amongst some). Coming in as a transfer means you will need to work hard to make new "pure bread" (ie. non transfer) friends. Join moot court, journals, student groups, etc to best insert yourself into social groups. It's still a challenge but after a semester I definitely have friends. Luckily I'm from SF so I have my family and hometown friends just across the bridge. I will say one thing about USF/Hastings transfers: Many of them decide to stay in SF and commute...I personally think this disconnects them from the social life and complexities of the law school and can create a major handicap to integration. On the flip side I competely understand why people would want to keep their SF lives, so it's just a trade off someone will need to be willing to make.

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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:51 pm

Thanks a lot for the insight! I'm living in SF now, and I'd definitely stay here if I transferred. I'm from here, so I have some non LS friends and stuff and all of my family lives here. Can you get on LR as a transfer student?

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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby LawMan20 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:51 pm

Were your personal statement and LORs anything special?

I ranked #1 in my class this year, and I want to transfer, but I don't think I'll have a stellar personal statement or any stellar LORs.

I guess I'm just curious if it's pretty much ALL grades, or if the rest of the app is scrutinized, as well.

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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby tennisking88 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:57 pm

Can you talk a little about how you did so well at Wisconsin? How you studied, etc?

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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:03 pm

LawMan20 wrote:Were your personal statement and LORs anything special?

I ranked #1 in my class this year, and I want to transfer, but I don't think I'll have a stellar personal statement or any stellar LORs.

I guess I'm just curious if it's pretty much ALL grades, or if the rest of the app is scrutinized, as well.


It's very grade/class rank and school dependent, but not entirely. Anecdotally, the #3 at my 1L school who ended up at H was cut from S before I was (I, like Regionality, was held until that last wave right before school). This may have been because one of my recommenders is a Stanford alumnus.

EDIT: Grammar.
Last edited by Transferthrowaway on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Regionality wrote:Hey Folks--

Here's my story: Did my 1L year at Wisconsin. Did very well (top 5%). Successfully transferred to Berkeley where I'm doing quite well. Willing to answer good, thoughtful, unique-to-me questions for people interested in my story and the transfer process/decision making.

I also have a friend who transferred to Stanford who I'm sure will be willing to jump in. He was equally ranked as me at Wisconsin and we went through this process together. We have a lot of interesting stories and insight and as soon as he discovers this thread I'm sure he'll wanna help out too.

Hope everyone's first semester went well as the grades start trickling in!


How did you do at OCI? Do you think transferring helped or hurt?

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:21 pm

LawMan20 wrote:Were your personal statement and LORs anything special?

I ranked #1 in my class this year, and I want to transfer, but I don't think I'll have a stellar personal statement or any stellar LORs.

I guess I'm just curious if it's pretty much ALL grades, or if the rest of the app is scrutinized, as well.


I wrote my personal statement in an hour, and it basically said "Hi, this is who I am. I want to transfer. I grew up in the Bay Area. This is what I'm doing this summer. I think you'll like me."

Getting LORs is also just about double checking that you aren't a total screw up in class and that there's a professor who will say you're legit. I was lucky though in that I had totally supportive recommenders who understood that transferring is a personal decision and not to be knocked and certainly not a judgment on Wisconsin (except to admit the obvious career opportunities that are different, which aren't a secret)

You're #1 after your first semester at a school ranked what? That makes a big difference.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:23 pm

tennisking88 wrote:Can you talk a little about how you did so well at Wisconsin? How you studied, etc?


I really don't know how to answer this...I did what everyone says to do: Do the reading, think about the concepts, have study groups if they're useful, engage in the classroom, take some practice tests (only did this the first semester).

I think for this thread I'd be more helpful answer transfer questions more so than how to succeed in law school questions though. I don't have a good answer as to how I did well because I absolutely did not work harder than anyone else and I didn't have any special tricks up my sleeve. Sorry :-/ I'd be happy to answer any more specific questions you had though.

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Regionality
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Regionality » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:25 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Regionality wrote:Hey Folks--

Here's my story: Did my 1L year at Wisconsin. Did very well (top 5%). Successfully transferred to Berkeley where I'm doing quite well. Willing to answer good, thoughtful, unique-to-me questions for people interested in my story and the transfer process/decision making.

I also have a friend who transferred to Stanford who I'm sure will be willing to jump in. He was equally ranked as me at Wisconsin and we went through this process together. We have a lot of interesting stories and insight and as soon as he discovers this thread I'm sure he'll wanna help out too.

Hope everyone's first semester went well as the grades start trickling in!


How did you do at OCI? Do you think transferring helped or hurt?


I had always been targeting government, and transferring helped A LOT for me to get my summer job. I got exactly what I wanted and it would not have happened had I not transferred! I don't want big law right now...

LawMan20
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby LawMan20 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:07 pm

Regionality wrote:
LawMan20 wrote:Were your personal statement and LORs anything special?

I ranked #1 in my class this year, and I want to transfer, but I don't think I'll have a stellar personal statement or any stellar LORs.

I guess I'm just curious if it's pretty much ALL grades, or if the rest of the app is scrutinized, as well.


I wrote my personal statement in an hour, and it basically said "Hi, this is who I am. I want to transfer. I grew up in the Bay Area. This is what I'm doing this summer. I think you'll like me."

Getting LORs is also just about double checking that you aren't a total screw up in class and that there's a professor who will say you're legit. I was lucky though in that I had totally supportive recommenders who understood that transferring is a personal decision and not to be knocked and certainly not a judgment on Wisconsin (except to admit the obvious career opportunities that are different, which aren't a secret)

You're #1 after your first semester at a school ranked what? That makes a big difference.


#1 at a T25

That aside, I'm guessing my PS will be at least as good at yours.

We're your profs just exceptionally receptive to your LOR requests? Or did you develop relationships with them over the semester? Or somewhere in between?

Thanks.
Last edited by LawMan20 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:10 pm

LawMan20 wrote:
Regionality wrote:
LawMan20 wrote:Were your personal statement and LORs anything special?

I ranked #1 in my class this year, and I want to transfer, but I don't think I'll have a stellar personal statement or any stellar LORs.

I guess I'm just curious if it's pretty much ALL grades, or if the rest of the app is scrutinized, as well.


I wrote my personal statement in an hour, and it basically said "Hi, this is who I am. I want to transfer. I grew up in the Bay Area. This is what I'm doing this summer. I think you'll like me."

Getting LORs is also just about double checking that you aren't a total screw up in class and that there's a professor who will say you're legit. I was lucky though in that I had totally supportive recommenders who understood that transferring is a personal decision and not to be knocked and certainly not a judgment on Wisconsin (except to admit the obvious career opportunities that are different, which aren't a secret)

You're #1 after your first semester at a school ranked what? That makes a big difference.


Eh, ugh. I'm awful at the sarcastic stuff, especially online. I'm not sure if you're asking because you know what my class rank is due to my previous thread... or what...?

That aside, I'm guessing my PS will be at least as good at yours.

We're your profs just exceptionally receptive to your LOR requests? Or did you develop relationships with them over the semester? Or somewhere in between?

Thanks.


He was asking the USNWR rank of your school, dawg. #1 at a T20 has different transfer prospects than #1 at a T80.

LawMan20
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Re: Transferred from Wisconsin to Berkeley- Taking Questions

Postby LawMan20 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:11 pm

Transferthrowaway wrote:He was asking the USNWR rank of your school, dawg. #1 at a T20 has different transfer prospects than #1 at a T80.



Figured that all out and edited. Thanks.




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