Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

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 transfer?

Yes - go to Northwestern
No - stay at CU Boulder
Total votes: 26

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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby shock259 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:12 pm

Here's me in a nutshell. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible. I am attending CU Boulder right now and I finished 1l in the top 8%. My school does a write on with a small boost for the top 10%. I'd give myself a 50/50 shot of getting on the flagship journal.

Ties/markets: I am thinking the only passable ties I have are in CO, DC, and maybe WA. I grew up in CO. I went to undergrad in DC and lived there for another year after. I visit my grandparents annually in WA and have lived there for a few months.

That said, I (think I) would be happy in Chicago. All of my friends love it and I like big cities. I also think DC, WA, or CO would be great to live in. I'd be a little less thrilled for NYC because of the cost of living, but I think I would be happy there too.

Career goals: I've been on the JAG path for the last couple of years. I'm in a JAG internship this summer. I've just started warming up to the firm route since doing my transfer apps (and realized that the schools I would be transferring to actually have decent OCI/biglaw prospects). At CU, less than 5% of the grades get NLJ250 jobs, so biglaw wasn't really an option. This reinforced my desire to do JAG.

All that said, I now want to give OCI/biglaw a serious shot. If both things somehow go my way, I'll have to choose between a biglaw offer and a JAG offer. And that isn't a bad place to be at all. More likely, I'll end up with one or the other and take it and run.

From speaking with some Northwestern transfers from last year, transfers seem to do pretty well at OCI. About how an average NU student will do. Striking out is a real possibility though. I'm going to work on my interviewing skills. I would say I am above average, but I'm not a knockout.

Debt: I'm extremely lucky in that I will graduate with no debt regardless of which school I attend due to some money in the family. That said, I am very concsious of the enormous jump in tuition that would result from transferring, so I don't want to just do it blindly for the "prestige" or other vague concepts.

Work experience: I have 1 year of W/E as a paralegal in DC. It was a medium-sized boutique firm (about 50 attorneys). I got to do quite a bit, so I should have some stuff to sell in my interviews.

My thoughts on transferring:
1) Transferring to NU will greatly improve my biglaw/2L SA prospects. Undisputable fact
2) Transferring to NU will probably not make a difference in my JAG prospects. JAGs like high GPAs, but they don't care much about the applicant's school. The worst case scenario is if transfer, my GPA gets wiped, and I end up at median at NU. But even then, I don't think this would put me in THAT much worse of a position. I'll still have a JAG summer internship under my belt and some serious selling points (extra curriculars, etc).
3) I'm extraordinarily fortunate in that I can think of tuition as a mostly secondary concern.
4) Even if I strike out at NU's OCI, I think I will be in a better position when I start mass mailing than I would be at my previous school.
5) Social part will suck. I get along really well with literally everyone in the world, but I don't make friends that easily. Fortunately Chicago is a big place, so I'm sure I could get by.

What's the word, TLS?

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Re: Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:22 pm

Transfer to Northwestern. Very different atmospheres. Big city, lots of engineers & more intense. Since you don't know whether or not you've made law review, although likely due to your class rank, deposit at Northwestern.

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Re: Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby shock259 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:28 pm

Pretty much the results I expected. Haha. Oh well. Needed the affirmation.

One other thing is that I am currently negotiating with CU about an increased scholarship. However, as noted above, tuition is a mostly secondary concern. I just don't want to be reckless about it.

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Re: Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby ben2587 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:46 pm

Lifetime Chicago native here. This city has something for everyone. I haven't met a single person who has come here and not enjoyed it. Northwestern, like UChicago law grads are looked with a sense of awe and hold a very high level of prestige in this city. The Northwestern campus in the city is a beautiful urban pocket in a ritzy area just north of the loop. I am confident you will fall in love with it. You will be at a slight disadvantage as a transfer, but it will only be a marginal one. Since money isnt really a problem there is nothing else that should hold you back.


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Re: Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:59 pm

Voted transfer. Your only likely option to biglaw is in transferring. As schools go, NU is a friendly place on the whole so I'm sure you'll make some friends. You'll get another crack at the write on. Even if you have to hustle for your SA gig in the fall, you'd likely be doing that anyways at CU.

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Re: Should I xfer? T40 to Northwestern

Postby opX » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:25 pm

ben2587 wrote:


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