T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

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.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only available to the creator of each thread. The anonymous posting feature is intended to permit the solicitation of anonymous advice regarding the transfer application process, chances of being accepted, etc. Unacceptable uses include: testing the feature, questions which are clearly fake or hypothetical in nature, harassing other users, etc. Posters should also read and understand the announcements posted at the top of the Transfers forum prior to using the anonymous feature.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:31 pm

So I am trying to figure out if there would be a benefit to transferring from a T1 (top 25) law school to T6.

Here's a little background:

I did really well first semester, GPA 4.00, should be 2nd in my class (top 1%). Two A+ and two As. I feel like I have a good idea of what I need to work on this semester and what I am going to keep the same in terms of studying. I know I can't guarantee a repeat performance for spring semester (have to be honest, I was shocked by how well I did!).

If I were to transfer, I am really only interested in YSH or U Chicago. YSH because...well, they are YSH. U of Chicago because of the location in proximity to where I need to be until law school ends. Nothing else makes sense for me. I have a good scholarship at my current school and imagine I could negotiate for more if I keep my grades up. But from what I understand, the prestige of T6 schools is just in another league.

Here's why I am considering transferring:
My dream school is Stanford, I was waitlisted during original applications. I would do just about anything to go there! I want a Big Law job and want to work in specific areas (DC, LA or Chicago, maybe San Fran). As of now, I have no real connections to those areas and have been told that it is tough to break into those markets without connections unless you are at one of the best schools (T14). Chicago would be convenient for me for the next two years. Yale, I don't even stand a chance, and Harvard....I feel like it's so far out of my league.

Here's why I am asking: is it better to stay at a T25 school and rack up less debt and be at the top of my class or get the prestige bump that goes with a T6 school? How likely is it that I would even get in? One of my biggest concerns is debt (I am a little older and have a family, so debt matters maybe more than prestige) but I also want the best opportunities for jobs and I feel like I am going to have to work extra hard to make those types of connections on my own at my current school.

Again, I know it'll be hard to repeat my performance, if I'm lucky enough to do so, I wanted some early advice so I can set my goals for this semester!

Thanks in advance :)

KidStuddi
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:35 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:04 am

Congrats on murdering your first year.

You're competitive from Yale on down and I dare say you're a lock to Chicago ED, but you probably shouldn't transfer away from a sizable scholarship unless you have academia ambitions. You can be pretty sure you won't get a cent from any school you transfer to. Going into more debt won't really get you anything except improved credibility for tenure track academic positions, and that won't be an option no matter where you attend unless you have or plan on getting a ph d.

I was in a similar position last year and I decided to stay at my T20 and keep the money. I was able to apply with credibility to all levels of firms in NYC, DC, CHI and LA and am very happy with my decision. I doubt I could have done better had I transferred, but if you PM I'll share how my cycle turned out.

User avatar
JO 14
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:01 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby JO 14 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:20 am

Those who make it to BL with less debt. . . wins. You are well on your way.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks for the advice!! That makes me feel better about the idea of staying. It seems like everyone is always so ready to transfer up, but it all seems to be about prestige. I DO think prestige matters, but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra $$ at this point in my life. But I can't deny I've always wanted that "wow" factor when people ask where you graduated from...I know, I know, really stupid reason. Just a nagging voice in the back of my head :)

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby quiver » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I DO think prestige matters, but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra $$ at this point in my life. But I can't deny I've always wanted that "wow" factor when people ask where you graduated from...I know, I know, really stupid reason. Just a nagging voice in the back of my head
This is completely understandable but you're getting a bit ahead of yourself at this point. The only question you have to ask now is whether you want to apply to Chicago ED. I would advise against that since you have a shot at YSH if you maintain your grades (see below). If you don't ED, and if you indeed maintain your grades, I suggest applying to YSH + Chicago and seeing where the chips fall; your decision may be made for you at that point.

All of that said, if you only want biglaw (and you don't have clerkship or academia aspirations) I don't think a transfer to YSH will be an enormous advantage over your current position. However, they may give enough need-based aid to make the costs of the transfer school equal to your current school anyway (in which case, might as well transfer). Chicago does not give need-based transfer aid so I don't think that would be worth the transfer if your only goal is biglaw (it would help but I don't think it would help enough to offset the extra cost).

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby keg411 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:42 pm

What is your T25's track-record for BigLaw jobs? Not all T25's are created equally and some are way more market-restricted than others. But if you want to live in your school's target market, then no reason at all to leave (and I'd think you could even have success in other markets during a mass mail campaign with your kind of grades).

I don't think it could hurt to apply to S if you repeat your performance, but it sounds like you're in a pretty good place if you stay, especially considering that you have $$$.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2951
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:41 pm

I don't know why everyone always says transferring up is good for clerkships. This might be true if you go to a TTTT, but if you have a 4.0 at a T25, you're gonna be able to get a clerkship. In fact your chances probably decrease if you transfer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:56 am

keg411 wrote:What is your T25's track-record for BigLaw jobs? Not all T25's are created equally and some are way more market-restricted than others. But if you want to live in your school's target market, then no reason at all to leave (and I'd think you could even have success in other markets during a mass mail campaign with your kind of grades).

I don't think it could hurt to apply to S if you repeat your performance, but it sounds like you're in a pretty good place if you stay, especially considering that you have $$$.

Not sure how I find out about my school's statistics w/Big Law, I know where to look for employment statistics but it doesn't give specifics on Big Law. I know that people do get "big law" but I know that term varies by which city you are in. I don't have a full ride at my school, only at half tuition, so while I can't complain too much, I'm still paying more than I would like for school at this point.

I also have no aspirations to stay in my school's market. That is one of the things I am concerned about b/c I have heard how hard it is to "break" into certain markets (DC, Chicago, LA, San Fran) if your school is not in that market. I do not want to go to NYC, but I am looking at the other 4 I listed.

I also am considering a clerkship, I don't know that much about them, but went to an information session two weeks ago. It sounds amazing.

I am conflicted, but I think I'll focus on keeping my grades up. Although I think U-Chicago would be great, I don't want to be bound by an ED acceptance, so I'd have to apply through their normal transfer application.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:59 am

quiver wrote:All of that said, if you only want biglaw (and you don't have clerkship or academia aspirations) I don't think a transfer to YSH will be an enormous advantage over your current position. However, they may give enough need-based aid to make the costs of the transfer school equal to your current school anyway (in which case, might as well transfer). Chicago does not give need-based transfer aid so I don't think that would be worth the transfer if your only goal is biglaw (it would help but I don't think it would help enough to offset the extra cost).

Do YSH give need based transfer aid? I wasn't even hoping for that, I just assumed I'd pay sticker price (well lots of loans). Like I just posted above, I do have some clerkship interest and I've always seen myself as someone who would like to eventually end up in academia, although I don't want to start out there. That's always been in the back of my mind though. My initial career goals are clerkship (possibly) and Big Law.

I'm a little concerned about Big Law--how do you figure out which firms are good (just look at Vault 100??)? Do some firms ignore you even if you go to a T25 school, even if you have great grades? I know certain firms simply don't do OCIs at my school so I'm not sure if I would even have a chance at them if they don't recruit at my school. I figure all firms want a chance to get YSH students (assumption on my part).

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: T1 school, 4.00 GPA, is transferring worth it?

Postby keg411 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 pm

1) YHS give need-based aid to everyone. So some people can actually save $$$.

2) If you really want to clerk, you might be better off staying at your school, doing LR, etc. Usually the local district judges will take top tier students at the local schools. Plus, when you transfer, you risk the chance of not getting the grades for a clerkship (this happened to me; my grades are decidedly mediocre at my new school, although some people do really really well -- but it's much less of a "sure thing").

3) Figuring out firms is different from looking at the V100 (especially since you're not looking at NYC). If you want some advice that I've picked up over the last couple of years, feel free to PM me. Best thing you can work on right now in terms of getting a firm job for your 2L summer (or even this summer -- you might want to consider applying to firms in your HOME STATE or home market) is to PRACTICE INTERVIEWING.




Return to “Transfers”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.