Transfer to Top 20?

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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jamesm722
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Transfer to Top 20?

Postby jamesm722 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:55 pm

I just finished my first semester at a school ranked in the 80's. I had a terrible GPA undergrad because of many things but my LSAT was a 170 so I got stuck there. I just finished my first semester ranked in the top 10%. I want to transfer to a top 20.

I'm primarily looking at:
BU
GW
Georgetown (early action transfer)
Cornell
and maybe try Columbia

Do I have any shot if I'm inside to top 10% of my class? (also military medically disabled, if it even helps, idk)

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

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:33 am

Your current list of schools in confusing. However, it sounds like you might have a chance to transfer. The question remains whether or not it's worth it for you.

1) Where exactly are you in your class? Are you barely in the top 10%, or are you closer to 1-5%? If you're in the latter group, you have a shot at the lower 14, which is a far better transfer decision than the other schools you mention.

2) Where are you from and where do you want to live/work? Is your current school in that market? Conventional wisdom is that it's not really a good idea to transfer to a school outside the T14 just for the rankings because your job prospects may not improve unless you have a REAL CONNECTION to the transfer school/market.

3) Do you have $$$ at your school? Remember, transfers don't get money and the schools you list are expensive. I'd bet $150k+ in debt and no job sounds like a pretty good reason to stay put if you have money and little debt.

4) What do you want to do with your law degree? Right now you're pretty borderline for BigLaw whether you stay or leave, so just recognize that before you jump on the transfer bandwagon.

jamesm722
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby jamesm722 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:49 am

1. I'm at like 7%

2. I went to BU undergrad and have connections in Boston which is why it's an option even though it's not T14. I'm from Boston as well. I want to either work Boston or NY the most, but DC is a possibility.

3. I only have 15k/year grant at my school right now, so I'd likely end up costing 30k more if I transfer. I'm not really worried about that because I have financial means to back me up, worst case scenario. (although I'd rather not have any help from my parents, since I paid for undergrad by myself already). Especially if my job prospects can increase to an amount to justify 30k.

4. I am thinking either BigLaw or Government (I know, very different). The BigLaw salary is very appealing, but so is the "good" that comes from being a prosecutor. I eventually want to get into politics, where I worked as a chief of staff for a year. This is the main reason why I included DC schools.

My biggest connection is by far Boston. But unfortunately I do not have anything close to the grades for Harvard, leaving BU as the next best option.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:52 am

I got to BU currently and know a bunch of the 2L transfers and I only know one of them who has a job. So if you're hoping for a 2L SA ... I just don't know how much more likely that would be if you went to BU.

jamesm722
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby jamesm722 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 pm

cinephile wrote:I got to BU currently and know a bunch of the 2L transfers and I only know one of them who has a job. So if you're hoping for a 2L SA ... I just don't know how much more likely that would be if you went to BU.


Yeah, it's just a lot closer to home too. I also like the city in general and have a lot of connections through politics there. But, as you said, it might be a hard fit.

I have a lot to think about. My class curve is a 2.9 and I finished with a 3.45 so I figured I should at least try and see what happens. If nothing works then I'm still in good shape here I guess.

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

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:53 pm

If you just want to work in Boston, then BU/BC aren't bad options, but keep in mind that you probably won't get BigLaw. Although it might be better for you for networking/hometown connection-type reasons. I wouldn't bother with GW if I were you. I also think you're borderline for T14, and unless you get an exact rank that you could put on your resume, you're going to have trouble getting BigLaw from there too (since 3.45 is pretty low compared with schools where the top 10% cut-off is like 3.7).

jamesm722
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby jamesm722 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:32 pm

We do have exact ranks, given by the school for the past semester. They're on our transcripts, and resumes.

GPA isn't really a fair indicator when we have one of the lower scales around. A lot of schools scale to a B+ (3.3) so a 3.75 is +.45 above the median. This past semester, our mean was 2.92 so a 3.4 is +.5. It's a fairly equal ratio.

Why we have such a curve, it's because the school had a few bad years students not doing well on the bar so they cracked down on the curves. Top 25% is 3.2, mean is 2.9-3, and mandatory failure of 20% of the 1L class. Bunch of mandatory bar classes if you get below a 3.0 etc.

User avatar
20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby 20130312 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:27 am

jamesm722 wrote:mandatory failure of 20% of the 1L class

Damn, that's just cruel.

jamesm722
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: Transfer to Top 20?

Postby jamesm722 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:51 am

It is because the bar passage rate was in the low 70s the past 2 years. It was previously 10% but they decided to crack down and weed out those who they think would also lower the passage rate. Started the year with 250 and will finish with around 190-200




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