3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

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Anonymous User
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3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:01 am

Hi, and thank you for your input in advance. I did well for my first semester; probably in the top couple percent in my class at a T30-40 school. I was considering applying to schools in the top 14, but it occurs to me that I may be able to secure some of my biglaw ambitions if I am able to keep up the good academic performance and possibly negotiate a higher scholarship by only leveraging a transfer. I know that schools seldom offer big money to transferees, so I'd be looking at lots more debt were I to transfer.

What additional opportunities could I open up by transferring to top 14, possibly even HYS? What factors would be relevant to choosing whether and where to transfer?

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drmguy
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby drmguy » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know that schools seldom don't offer big money to transferees

FTFY

Right now you need to be concentrating on repeating your first semester performance.

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TTRansfer
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:20 am

Well, there's risk and reward with waiting for 2nd semester grades.

First, congrats on your grades. Great work.

Second, it's going to be extremely hard to duplicate. A lot of people fall a bit and a lot of people raise a bit. It all depends -- as you know, law school is extremely random at times.

JMO -- your best bet would be to at least EA to Georgetown (you are a near shoe-in). Pay the fee when you get in and keep it on the backburner as a way to either use it as leverage or as a guaranteed acceptance into the T14. If you think you could do Chicago, also shoot them over an ED app (however, Chicago is binding and you are probably a longer shot for ED there).

Those are the only two early options as far as I know that would make sense for you other than staying put.

It's always tough to transfer, but there will be more opportunities at the better schools. It's a risk/reward scenario.

MinEMorris
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby MinEMorris » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:42 am

Really, you will have lots of opportunity to mull over, research, and prepare for the possibility of transferring after you finish this next semester. Absolutely, your 100% focus should be on a repeat performance this semester. People demolishing 1L first semester and plummeting second semester is a much, much more common story than you would think. Performing at the same level you have been may not even be enough, you should approach the semester like you just got median pwned. If you want something ambitious to focus on outside of school, your time would be better spent securing a 1L SA right now.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks for the advice all. I'm definitely gonna hit it harder this semester: earlier outlining, more supplementing, earlier practice testing, and more sensitivity to the content and manner of expression that each professor wants in an exam.

And I definitely need to be focusing on getting something for the summer; I've neglected this entirely over winter break. I'm somewhat intimidated by the process. I don't really know what should be conveyed in a cover letter, how to express sincere interest when I'm not quite sure what area I want to go into etc. I've only had some experience with minimum wage jobs, and don't really know what to expect in more professional settings.

I guess I wanted to make this thread for some advice on what advantages a transferee to t14 would have over one who stayed at the t30 (U of Illinois).

*edited for ambiguity regarding law school
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby keg411 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:02 pm

FWIW, don't totally burn out this semester either. Since you know what works for you, keep doing what you're doing. The idea that "most people go down" second semester isn't true at all... there's just more of a chance of getting an outlier grade (like a B+ or a B) because of a class you don't "get" or a professor you don't click with (whereas a few others may have gotten that grade first semester).

If you're really that overstressed and don't want to work in IA (or wherever U Iowa places), then throw an ED app to Chicago and hope you get in; because they're not going to rescind your acceptance if you get the above B/B+.

JessNovember
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby JessNovember » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:57 pm

keg411 wrote:FWIW, don't totally burn out this semester either. Since you know what works for you, keep doing what you're doing. The idea that "most people go down" second semester isn't true at all... there's just more of a chance of getting an outlier grade (like a B+ or a B) because of a class you don't "get" or a professor you don't click with (whereas a few others may have gotten that grade first semester).

If you're really that overstressed and don't want to work in IA (or wherever U Iowa places), then throw an ED app to Chicago and hope you get in; because they're not going to rescind your acceptance if you get the above B/B+.


If you like the idea of Chicago throw an ED app. They seem to have expanded the ED process and admit more people that way.

BTW they're not going to rescind your acceptance if you get C.

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jrf12886
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby jrf12886 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Work hard this semester so you can maximize chances fo repeating. Consider applying ED since they only look at your Fall grades. Congrats on a good semester, and good luck. PM me if you have questions. I transferred from T40 --> T14

MinEMorris
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby MinEMorris » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Sorry if I came off a little severe, I just have seen a couple of people who started out in the top 1-3% and ended around the top ~15-20% and felt really crushed by it. In many ways I think those people are much more haunted and harmed by their end results than those who had no real reason to believe that they could've been at the top of the class and enjoyed the opportunities that come with it.

I think the Arrow thread stickied on this forum has a "why transfer" section that, if I recall correctly, pretty much sums up the advantages and disadvantages. There's a lot of contention about virtually revery reason you might transfer, but one of the undisputed ones is simply that you will get a lot more exposure in terms of employment opportunities at a new school. My guess is that they don't consider you any better of a student simply because you transferred (though some argue it demonstrates initiative), but the fact is, the variety and level of employers that interview on a campus like Harvard is going to be much higher than on a campus like UoI. Sure, you can mass mail, make phone calls, etc. to get in contact with those employers even if you're at UofI, but firms get bombarded with these sorts of inquiries and in many ways they're already automatically meeting face to face with a lot of comparable students to you who transferred to schools they interview at so they don't have a significant incentive to go out of their way to arrange a meeting with you.

Prestige, faculty, etc. are also of course incentives for a lot of people. Your school lasts on your resume for life, and it can have weight. There are some stories on here of employers that get 3000 applications for one position, and start just by filtering out all of the applicants that aren't from a T6 school because they have the luxury of setting the bar that high at the start. There are also rumors that some firms like to have their Attorney lists read only T14. I'm deeply skeptical of a lot of these stories, but they are out there.

There are also clear disadvantages to transferring. For one thing, you really attenuate the relationships that you've developed with professors, administrators, fellow students, etc. over the past year. Also, top students at schools like yours usually transfer, so being the one that sticks around usually has some perks. Your career services office will probably go out of its way to land you whatever opportunities it can, and you'll be the hottest research assistant on campus. If you want to do something like a clerkship, it can also arguably help, since your professors have fewer opportunities to write such recommendations and you're truly one of the best candidates the school has to offer (which is doubtful at any school you transfer to).

As far as what school to transfer to, I think the general MO is to transfer to the highest ranked school you can get into that has ties to the geographic location you're most interested in practicing in. If you have a particular practice area or something that you're interested in and the school specializes in, that's also something to consider.

As far as applying to 1L position, you currently have a 1L SA type GPA, so you might want to look into landing a firm gig. It's paid, gives you a good sense of what firm life is like, and it gives you the major security of (probably) having an offer to return for 2L summer. Your career services office/google should have a crap ton of information on applying for 1L SAs. Of course, if you have something else that you're really interested in, I would encourage you to strongly consider that as well.

Don't be worried about the fact that you really dont know squat about different practice areas so you don't really know what to say. Everybody knows you're a 1L and expects 1) for you to not really have any idea of what you want to do, and 2) that if you do have some strong idea of what you want to do, you actually probably don't understand what that legal practice is like so you're in some ways full of shit. You can read online the differences between transaction and litigation work, or different areas of public interest, and then just spin some half decent reason based on your background or the courses you're currently taking as to why it interests you. Keep in mind that most summer programs at a firm, for example, require you to rotate around different departments and see what they do/it's all about. Again, everybody knows you're a 1L with only one semester under your belt, the bar is set very, very low in terms of what they expect you to know, including about your interests in law.

Good luck and congrats again on your GPA

shock259
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby shock259 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:26 pm

It's too early to plan for this and we're missing a lot of data.

Step 1: stay motivated and smash 2nd semester
Step 2: if you keep doing well, throw out applications to most of the T14
Step 3: wait
Step 4: if admitted to some schools, make a thread here and we can consider the pros/cons. Make sure to include geographic area preferences, cost differences, what you want to do when you graduate, etc.

Also, as was stated above, you'll never get scholarship $ as a transfer. Yay full tuition!

Anonymous User
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:36 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I realize I should definitely keep up the hard work and beware that I might not do as well next semester: grades are hard to predict. I'm gonna work on getting some law job for the summer as well. Btw, U of Illinois was the school I was referring to- sorry for the ambiguity.

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jbiresq
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby jbiresq » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:45 pm

I know a couple of people who did really well at U of I and are now working at top firms in Chicago. It seemed like a common outcome for people at the top of the class. However, if you're risk averse you could transfer to UChicago (assuming you get in of course,) negating the need to kill it 2nd semester. With that you could probably still end up at a BigLaw firm in Chicago but would be taking on a lot more debt.

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TTRansfer
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Re: 3.89 at 30-40 school, considering transferring

Postby TTRansfer » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:07 pm

I still say Chicago and Georgetown are great schools to throw apps to right now.

Georgetown is non-binding and would at least give you a seat at a T14 school.

Chicago is binding, but will place you in an elite law school.




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