Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

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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PinkCow
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Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PinkCow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:34 am

Rising Cornell 2L accepted at Harvard. Hijacked another thread, but posters suggested that I make my own. I'm undecided. Most professors, alumni, etc. tell me Harvard cut and dry. Curious what current students/recent alumni think.

Relevant Factors:

-Slightly better than Top-10% at Cornell (probably closer to 10 than 5)
-Law Review at Cornell
-No LR at Harvard (wasn't really considering transferring before the deadline passed), but have opportunity to walk on to secondary journals (planning to pursue that)
-Basically sticker at Cornell, EFC of $0, parents have no $, so expecting significantly more at Harvard via need-based aid


***Interested in federal clerkship and litigation foremost, but flexible

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PaulKriske
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PaulKriske » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:36 am

obvious decision is obvious.

why are you thinking about staying at cornell?

pballer
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby pballer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:37 am

I certainly don't have the knowledge base necessary to give you good advice, but either way you're in an amazing position. Congrats and good luck.

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PinkCow
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PinkCow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:38 am

PaulKriske wrote:obvious decision is obvious.

why are you thinking about staying at cornell?


I thought that Law Review at Cornell + interest in litigation/clerkship might make it a harder argument against Cornell. Not so?

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fatduck
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby fatduck » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:48 am

if you/parents have no money, you're looking at $40k-50k from harvard over two years, right? and cornell is expensive as shit, iirc, so the COAs are probably comparable otherwise.

that's a lot of bucks, man. how badly do you want to clerk?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:54 am

Because you can walk-on to a secondary journal at Harvard & because you'll receive financial aid from Harvard & because it's Harvard, the better decision isn't obvious to me.

At Cornell: Top 10% plus law review & established relationships, but no scholarship. Seeking federal clerkships & litigation. In my view, the advantage to remaining at Cornell lies in the opportunity to finish in the top 5% which should be important for select clerkships. Additionally, good chance of becoming a law review editor at Cornell.

Either way, you're probably going to regret your decision in the short term.

P.S. Enjoy Harvard !

P.P.S. Graduting in the top 5% with law review & law review editor position from Cornell is better than graduating from Harvard Law with no law review but meaningful financial aid in light of your desire for federal clerkship followed by litigation.
Which option will get you to work harder over the next two years ? Will you be energized by attending Harvard ? Or are you determined to make law review editor & top 5% at Cornell ?

concurrent fork
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby concurrent fork » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:07 pm

PinkCow wrote:***Interested in federal clerkship and litigation foremost, but flexible

Transfers into HLS kill it at EIP, but clerkship results (at least for my class) were underwhelming. You might be better off at Cornell with LR if an Art III clerkship is your top priority.

EDIT: just saw your point about your EFC. If your parents don't make anything you'll probably get a ton of aid at HLS, which more than outweighs any possible clerkship risks IMO.
Last edited by concurrent fork on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sunynp
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby sunynp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:10 pm

Go to Harvard. You would be foolish to stay at Cornell.

srvyorgeneral
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby srvyorgeneral » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:11 pm

I'm in a very similar position at GULC (though journal competition results are not out yet so not sure about Law Review). I'm really on the fence, mostly because I feel like I could do more here in D.C. in line with my interests, and because I have good relationships with a few professors and am working on cultivating more for Art III clerkships. For me there's also no change in financial aid, so that's a neutral. At this point I'm disinclined to go to HLS, but still thinking hard about it.

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fatduck
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby fatduck » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:23 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
PinkCow wrote:***Interested in federal clerkship and litigation foremost, but flexible

Transfers into HLS kill it at EIP, but clerkship results (at least for my class) were underwhelming. You might be better off at Cornell with LR if an Art III clerkship is your top priority.

EDIT: just saw your point about your EFC. If your parents don't make anything you'll probably get a ton of aid at HLS, which more than outweighs any possible clerkship risks IMO.

just out of curiosity, is this a case of transferring significantly hurting people's clerkship chances, or just not helping as much as they thought? did people strike out on A3 clerkships that they would have been strong candidates for pre-transfer?

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Arbiter213
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:30 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
PinkCow wrote:***Interested in federal clerkship and litigation foremost, but flexible

Transfers into HLS kill it at EIP, but clerkship results (at least for my class) were underwhelming. You might be better off at Cornell with LR if an Art III clerkship is your top priority.

EDIT: just saw your point about your EFC. If your parents don't make anything you'll probably get a ton of aid at HLS, which more than outweighs any possible clerkship risks IMO.


Pretty sure OP is married so parental income doesn't factor in anyway.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby AllTheLawz » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:34 pm

Just an FYI.. with an EFC of $0.. expect $65-70k in need-based aid from H over 2 years. Harvard OCS is telling people to go bonkers on clerkships and ignore the "plan" (or whatever you call it) so it will probably by a hard road to an Art. III clerkship as a transfer. In addition, all secondary journals at HLS are "walk-on" so something lik 95%+ of each class has been on one and leadership positions have already been voted on.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:36 pm

In another thread, a poster wrote that the maximum financial aid offered by Harvard Law is a bit over $33,000 per year. Of course, most would be delighted to pay sticker for HLS.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:54 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Either way, you're probably going to regret your decision in the short term.


LOL

concurrent fork
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby concurrent fork » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:57 pm

fatduck wrote:just out of curiosity, is this a case of transferring significantly hurting people's clerkship chances, or just not helping as much as they thought? did people strike out on A3 clerkships that they would have been strong candidates for pre-transfer?

Hard to say. I don't know which rankings at which schools typically land Art III clerkships (I didn't go through the process myself), so my observation is just based on comparing results to the class at large. IIRC the Art III placement rate among the transfer class was slightly worse than the class at large, compared with 100% success rate at EIP which is better than the class at large. I have heard from others that it was a particularly tough cycle due to more judges going off plan, so maybe that explains it.

Arbiter213 wrote:Pretty sure OP is married so parental income doesn't factor in anyway.

Doesn't matter. Pretty sure they will still look at parental income if under 29.

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rayiner
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:32 pm

sunynp wrote:Go to Harvard. You would be foolish to stay at Cornell.


HLS isn't magic sauce.

Being top of the class at HLS does open up opportunities that being top of the class at Cornell does not. Top lit boutiques and places like W&C, Munger, Susman, etc, are much more tenable from top 10% at HLS than top 10% at Cornell.

BUT: OP isn't top 10% at HLS. He's top 10% at Cornell and one of ~50 transfers into HLS. These firms aren't going to treat him much if at all differently than if he was at Cornell. He'll get CSM/S&C/etc for sure, but he would get those firms anyway. When it comes to clerking, top 10% at HLS is in a much better position for competitive clerkships, etc. But most of HLR will be ahead of OP in line for these jobs. E.g. D.C. Circuit hasn't hired someone not on LR for years.

Money is definitely a reason to transfer, and this thread is kind of useless without knowing whether OP is looking at $5k or $50k.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:53 pm

I would think transferring would be the best option, given that Cornell isn't giving you any scholarship money to stay. I feel like this is a decision as to whether you want to be a big fish in one pond, or an average sized fish in a slightly more prestigious pond. I feel like you probably won't be hard up for a job after graduation either way.

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rayiner
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Ohiobumpkin wrote:I would think transferring would be the best option, given that Cornell isn't giving you any scholarship money to stay. I feel like this is a decision as to whether you want to be a big fish in one pond, or an average sized fish in a slightly more prestigious pond. I feel like you probably won't be hard up for a job after graduation either way.


It should be noted that we're not talking Y/S, where average-sized fish are getting federal clerkships.

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PinkCow
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PinkCow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:07 pm

Some clarifying points:

1. Over 2 years, I will probably save about $50,00 by going to Harvard.

2. I really like Cornell. Financial Aid is a stick in the mud, but I am happy with everything else. I like Ithaca, Cornell's small size, the fact that I know almost everybody in my class. Also, I made some really fantastic friends 1L year, and I expect to keep those friendships if I stayed at Cornell. It will obviously be more difficult from Cambridge. Also, I have pretty strong relationships with a couple professors from 1L.

I know most of point 2 isn't really relevant, but it probably is the main thing tying me down.

pballer
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby pballer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:10 pm

.
Last edited by pballer on Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:10 pm

PinkCow wrote:Some clarifying points:

1. Over 2 years, I will probably save about $50,00 by going to Harvard.


Doesn't HLS reduce your financial aid if you get a 2L SA? Are you accounting for that?

Also: strong friend relationships and professor relationships is not a small thing. Getting professors willing to go to bat for you by making calls, etc, is just how the clerkship game is played these days.

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fatduck
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby fatduck » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:11 pm

rayiner wrote:
PinkCow wrote:Some clarifying points:

1. Over 2 years, I will probably save about $50,00 by going to Harvard.


Doesn't HLS reduce your financial aid if you get a 2L SA? Are you accounting for that?

the max finaid award is somewhere around $35k/yr. they'll knock about $15k/yr off that for a biglaw SA, so $50k is probably a fair guess.

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PinkCow
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PinkCow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:12 pm

rayiner wrote:
PinkCow wrote:Some clarifying points:

1. Over 2 years, I will probably save about $50,00 by going to Harvard.


Doesn't HLS reduce your financial aid if you get a 2L SA? Are you accounting for that?


Nope, hadn't considered it. So ~30K + whatever I get 3L year - $10K/yr (Cornell)

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Cade McNown
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby Cade McNown » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:21 pm

Why don't you leverage the Harvard acceptance against Cornell for more $cholly? With desire to clerk, and costs the same, I would stay at Cornell, b/c there is evidence that transfers struggle to land clerkships compared to similarly ranked students at their old schools.

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PinkCow
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Re: Discussion: Stay at Cornell or Transfer to Harvard

Postby PinkCow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Cade McNown wrote:Why don't you leverage the Harvard acceptance against Cornell for more $cholly? With desire to clerk, and costs the same, I would stay at Cornell, b/c there is evidence that transfers struggle to land clerkships compared to similarly ranked students at their old schools.


Yeah I tried that. Got the reply today. It was more or less "thanks but no thanks." I get it, but still super lame, especially with their recent fancy $25 million donation




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