Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

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mileslibertatis
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Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:27 pm

I'm at a school that's ranked around the 50s. We are on a quarter system so I have two sets of grades, both of which are entirely populated by As, including the high grade in two classes. I can't be sure at this point, but I believe I am first in my class. My career goals (dreams?) include academia and/or the judiciary (Judge McConnell comes to mind).

Of course I want to know my chances at HYS and CCN. I am also interested in what would be an appropriate "safety" school. Region is kind of low in terms of my priorities.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:31 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:I'm at a school that's ranked around the 50s. We are on a quarter system so I have two sets of grades, both of which are entirely populated by As, including the high grade in two classes. I can't be sure at this point, but I believe I am first in my class. My career goals (dreams?) include academia and/or the judiciary (Judge McConnell comes to mind).

Of course I want to know my chances at HYS and CCN. I am also interested in what would be an appropriate "safety" school. Region is kind of low in terms of my priorities.


You should have EDed to Chicago. Obviously if you are actually first in your class when app time rolls around, blanket the t10--you'll get in somewhere. If you fall under top 5%, I'd drop HYS out of that and add 11-14, though I'm not confident that making the jump from a T50 to less than CCN is worth it for most people.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:36 pm

It would probably be worth it to me, since graduating from here could limit me to this region. [Edit: Also, my school is not T50, it is in the 50s.]

But it isn't too late to ED at Chicago. Is it ridiculous to not want to forgo the chance of getting in at HYS?

Also, is WUSTL an appropriate safety school, or would UT basically be a lock?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:49 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:It would probably be worth it to me, since graduating from here could limit me to this region. [Edit: Also, my school is not T50, it is in the 50s.]

But it isn't too late to ED at Chicago. Is it ridiculous to not want to forgo the chance of getting in at HYS?

Also, is WUSTL an appropriate safety school, or would UT basically be a lock?


Unless WUSTL has improved its national placement dramatically since I was looking at this stuff more carefully, giving up #1 at your school isn't worth going there. UT is odd because it is Texas-student-centric, so I'll let someone else opine there.

I would say that you're taking a pretty large risk hoping for HYS and bypassing Chicago ED in the process. "In the 50s" is an outside chance at Harvard and an even lower shot at YS, and your grades could drop. (Admittedly though, thinking on it, I don't know if Chicago will accept an application based on one quarter's worth of grades - you'd have to look into that.)

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:56 pm

Well, we have two quarters of grades, so actually 2/3rds of the first year. Is it reasonably certain to get in at one of the top 10 so that I don't need to have a 15ish UT/Vanderbilt type "safety"?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:58 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:Well, we have two quarters of grades, so actually 2/3rds of the first year. Is it reasonably certain to get in at one of the top 10 so that I don't need to have a 15ish UT/Vanderbilt type "safety"?


I just question whether a school like Vanderbilt is going to give you sufficiently national placement to justify giving up #1. You obviously aren't going to hurt yourself by applying more broadly (including 11-14, of course)--the money involved isn't particularly significant.

concurrent fork
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:06 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:If you fall under top 5%, I'd drop HYS out of that and add 11-14, though I'm not confident that making the jump from a T50 to less than CCN is worth it for most people.

This. For someone with top grades at a good regional school, the value of transferring starts to decline outside of the T6, and then really falls off a cliff outside of the T10 or so. I wouldn't even consider UT/Vandy, and I started to twitch when you mentioned WUSTL.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:11 pm

WUSTL is officially off the list now. I was considering them because of the nonbinding EA that would give me at least one school in my pocket in April. But I agree with what has been said here about the rest.

Left on our list are most of the schools in the T14, plus UT. My wife likes Texas and moving to Austin would be kind of a low impact move for us. But I am still open to whether it is worthwhile to go from #1 at a 50ish school to starting over at a T20.

I'm gathering here that the concept of a "safety" transfer is inoperative because at the point a school becomes a sure bet, it also becomes no longer worthwhile.

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Vronsky
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby Vronsky » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:13 pm

Just apply 1-6.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:15 pm

I think we will apply to about 8 of the T10, and maybe UT (for reasons above). I'm a little scared to ONLY apply to HYS/CCN...

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Vronsky
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby Vronsky » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:52 pm

What's your deal with Texas? Unless you are from there or really want to work there, it's not worth it. I'm pretty sure they only accept a few transfer and give significant preference to in-staters. You could get into Columbia and not get into Texas.

If you want a safety, look at Penn or Mich. It's not worth it to give up #1, LR, potential EIC, and presumably scholarship unless you are going T10. WUSTL, UT, and Vandy are WAY in your rearview mirror at this point.

YSHCCN(PM) or bust. No other school is going to give u a leg up on academia or judiciary.

ETA - sorry just saw your comments about wife and texas. was wondering why you kept saying "we." In that case, it might be worth a shot, and may give u a chance to be a judge in texas someday, but i dont know that its much better than your current situation. Where is your school now?

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:48 am

Yeah, let's just say I am at a Texas school right now. I don't want to be the d-bag flaunting an attempt to transfer. I LIKE my school and think it is an excellent lawyer training ground, and all the other disclaimers.

My wife likes Texas and it would be a relatively easy move for us, so it seems like a kind of low-impact jump from 50s to top 20. But you are right about law review and the rest.

My anxiety with your advice is this: isn't it conceivable I'd be rejected from all 8 of those schools?

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Vronsky
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby Vronsky » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:28 am

If you remain number one, then no, that is not possible. Unless you have some kind of criminal record or the like.

Given your stated career goals I'll try to give some more specific advice:

-if you want work in academia, you need to go YSH. C/C are also in the picture, but in any case it is a very difficult road to land a job in academia. Yale if you can swing it, which you have a shot if you remain number one. if not, its probably not worth the app fee.

the long and short of this is that both texas and your current school are on the outside looking in. I don't know that texas gives you any better of a chance. You're best option among the two would be to stay at your school, be on LR, be EIC, and get published (which you will have to do a lot of, so better to start now.)

-if you want to work in the judiciary, i'm not as sure about this but i'll try to give some advice. if you want to work in texas, you're probably going to have to come up through the state prosecutor's office. going to UT will be a boost. you will probably have to lay down roots in a community and develop connections with the local government.

i don't think the prestige of your law school is the determining factor in that career path. there were many judges where i worked in upstate NY from law schools like Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, etc. I'm sure there are many state judges in houston from random ass schools. UT, SMU, LSU, etc. etc.

-if you want to be an Art. III judge, i dunno, go to USAO and start making friends with senators or something.

In sum, if you want to be in academia, you need to aim as high as you can. You can safely apply only to YSHCC and UT. If you want to go the DA->Judge route, you're probably better off picking the place you want to live and sticking there - which might be the case for staying at your school, or taking a more serious look at UT.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:04 am

Thanks for the attention to my concerns. I am still a little hesitant to accept that I can safely limit my apps to only the top 6, but that is only my own insecurity talking. Is it important that my undergrad GPA was mediocre and I was rejected from every top 25 school during my first go-round? My LSAT is 168. I know the importance of these things is greatly diminished, but many schools at least pay lip service to the "would have been accepted as a 1L" deal.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:07 am

Uh when I say every top 25 school, I obviously mean every one to which I applied. Typing from my phone... I am being less careful in my posts.

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quiver
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby quiver » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:10 am

mileslibertatis wrote:Thanks for the attention to my concerns. I am still a little hesitant to accept that I can safely limit my apps to only the top 6, but that is only my own insecurity talking. Is it important that my undergrad GPA was mediocre and I was rejected from every top 25 school during my first go-round? My LSAT is 168. I know the importance of these things is greatly diminished, but many schools at least pay lip service to the "would have been accepted as a 1L" deal.
I agree with pretty much everything that has been said here so far. If you're insecure about applying to just the T6 then apply to the whole T10 or T14, nobody is saying that's a bad idea. What people are saying is that, for your goals, transferring to a school outside the T6 may or may not be worth it. Academia is very tough to get even starting at YSH (let alone transferring in) and academia placement declines dramatically from the YSH tier to the CCN tier (although Chicago apparently does relatively decently). I'm not sure how many people here can give you advice about becoming a judge but, from what I've gathered, it's a lot about connections on both the state and federal level. If you're thinking of an Article III judgeship, my educated guess is that a federal clerkship is almost necessary for such a position and therefore you'll probably want to consider this when looking at transfer schools.

Oh and I don't think undergrad stats matter at all for the vast majority of schools. I have pretty shitty undergrad stats (with no softs) and I transferred from T2 to CCN. I don't really know how it factors in at the YSH level but my intuition says that it helps only at the margins.

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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:59 am

mileslibertatis wrote:Thanks for the attention to my concerns. I am still a little hesitant to accept that I can safely limit my apps to only the top 6, but that is only my own insecurity talking. Is it important that my undergrad GPA was mediocre and I was rejected from every top 25 school during my first go-round? My LSAT is 168. I know the importance of these things is greatly diminished, but many schools at least pay lip service to the "would have been accepted as a 1L" deal.


1) Your undergrad stats don't matter for transferring. I didn't even get into a T1 my first go round. The "take you as a 1L may be BS".

2) GULC is probably the closest thing you would have to a "safety", but transfers are weird and if you want to stay in TX, you're probably better off keeping your rank.

3) It is VERY VERY hard to get into YHS from a T2. If you really want to transfer, the schools you should primarily focus on are Columbia, NYU, Penn, and Michigan. Berkeley seemed to only take people with CA ties and UVA only takes people with VA residency for the most part (I've heard similar for Duke and NC ties). I think in your case (if you're really #1) that Harvard and Chicago would be worth the applications, but nothing is guaranteed. Cornell isn't worth it because you want TX and they don't let people do OCI. You'll probably get GULC, and it might be the closest thing you have to a "safety" but I don't know how worth it it is in your case. NW is worth the application if you have WE and think you'd like the environment (which it sounds like you do, since you're married).

4) If your school is in TX and you want to stay in TX, it's just better to stay put than go to GULC or try to transfer to some "safety". While schools like Vandy/UT might be good for a native student, it's different when you transfer. However, you will have plenty of TX opportunities at any T10/14 OCI.

5) Talk to your wife. If she doesn't want to leave TX, then just stay put at your school. You will have perfectly fine opportunities at your school for TX jobs. There is no reason to give up rank/LR/$$$ and chase prestige if you're just going back to where you came from forever. Normally, I'd say applying to UT isn't terrible in that situation -- but they basically take 0 transfers unless you have a reason to be in Austin.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:21 am

If you are ranked among the top few students in your class, then Harvard is possible. Harvard gives need based financial aid grants.

If you are ranked #1 or #2 or #3 in your class, then a federal judicial clerkship is likely. Law review is a certainty at your current school with a significant editorial board position likely. Are you receiving a full tuition & fees scholarship from your current law school ?

As #1 or #2 in your class, you should apply to:

1) Harvard
2) Columbia
3) Chicago
4) NYU
5) Michigan
6) Northwestern
7) Penn

Yale & Stanford are longshots due to their small class sizes, but worth an applcation.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks again for all the input. I don't necessarily want to be in Texas. My wife and I are both from the Mid-Atlantic originally. She chose to come to Texas; I was stationed at Fort Hood and met here while there. So I definitely want the portability of a school that isn't my current school.

As for the financial situation, I am using the GI Bill to pay for law school, so that really makes it a non-issue. Which is nice.

keg411
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:55 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:Thanks again for all the input. I don't necessarily want to be in Texas. My wife and I are both from the Mid-Atlantic originally. She chose to come to Texas; I was stationed at Fort Hood and met here while there. So I definitely want the portability of a school that isn't my current school.

As for the financial situation, I am using the GI Bill to pay for law school, so that really makes it a non-issue. Which is nice.


If you're using the GI bill, you should strongly consider state schools like MVB (even though they're lower-ranked), since it would make everything free.

mileslibertatis
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby mileslibertatis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:21 pm

There are a lot of top schools that are fully covered, and I am willing to incur some debt to get what I want. But we did cross off a few schools because of the out of pocket cost.

Also, Michigan is out because the thought of living in Michigan makes me very sad.

keg411
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:05 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:There are a lot of top schools that are fully covered, and I am willing to incur some debt to get what I want. But we did cross off a few schools because of the out of pocket cost.

Also, Michigan is out because the thought of living in Michigan makes me very sad.


:lol:, yeah, it's kind of sucky at times. The only reason I suggested Michigan is because I know someone on the GI bill who chose Michigan over a bunch of other possible transfer schools solely because it was free. (Also, because I go here).

But I would consider not paring it down based on stuff like that unless you would rather stay at your old school because transferring CAN be a crap shoot, and while I think it sounds like you have fantastic credentials, you're not guaranteed to get in anywhere.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby TJISMYHERO » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:30 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:I'm at a school that's ranked around the 50s. We are on a quarter system


mileslibertatis wrote:Yeah, let's just say I am at a Texas school right now. I don't want to be the d-bag flaunting an attempt to transfer. I LIKE my school and think it is an excellent lawyer training ground, and all the other disclaimers.


I think you've already outed your school.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:06 am

What? Waco rocks bro..

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Wholigan
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Re: Top student at 50s ranked school transfer to T10

Postby Wholigan » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:29 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If you are ranked #1 or #2 or #3 in your class, then a federal judicial clerkship is likely. Law review is a certainty at your current school with a significant editorial board position likely. Are you receiving a full tuition & fees scholarship from your current law school ?


I would dispute the accuracy of this advice. First of all, not all schools reserve slots for grade-ons on law review. I know about the lack of certainty there first-hand. Although at least OP will probably know whether s/he is giving up LR before deciding to transfer. Secondly, I am not aware of schools which select E-Board positions by grades. Once on law review, I would think your chances of a board spot are about the same as everyone else who made the cut who wants such a position. Lastly, federal judges don't hire the same way firms do. I wouldn't call an A3 clerkship "likely" just because you are in the top 3 after one semester at an upper T2. Also - the grades that will be looked at for the clerkship will be most likely four semesters, not just one.




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