Boalt or SLS?

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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readeatsleep
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:35 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby readeatsleep » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:14 pm

Why does transferring mean the student doesn't have 1L professor recommendations? Presumably, students who transfer will still have the recommendations of their 1L professors from their old school, and they did well enough to transfer so those recommendations are probably going to be pretty good. Not to mention their grades will be good from their 1L school, which judges will also see.

Also, a question for run26.2 - are you saying that a ph.d helps for clerking, even if the student goes from the j.d. program to a ph.d program? i am wondering, in other worse, if the preference for students when hiring clerks applies to ph.d students who went straight into their ph.d program after law school.

juzam_djinn
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby juzam_djinn » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:24 pm

readeatsleep wrote:Why does transferring mean the student doesn't have 1L professor recommendations? Presumably, students who transfer will still have the recommendations of their 1L professors from their old school, and they did well enough to transfer so those recommendations are probably going to be pretty good. Not to mention their grades will be good from their 1L school, which judges will also see.


doing well in 2 of your prof's classes is going to be way better than doing well in just 1 of them

run26.2
Posts: 896
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Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:26 pm

Generally, I would not seek a recommendation from a 1L professor post-transferring. In my experience, it is not likely that you have had enough contact for them to develop a solid understanding of who you are. 1L classes are not the place where that usually happens. However, after transferring, you will have 2 years to develop relationships at your new school. Some people will have had sufficient contact to get a quality rec from a 1L prof, though. Talk to the prof and ask if they feel like they have a good enough understanding of your abilities and career goals to write a good recommendation. If you have a good rapport with them, they will let you know. Most profs probably do not want to write negative or lukewarm recommendations; they should let you know if they can't write a good one for you.

As far as post-JD Ph.D., I am not really aware of too many people that do that. I would think the principle that Fed. Cir. judges would favor those types would be less strong in that sequence for two reasons. First, you will have been away from the law for 6 years or so. You would probably be a little rusty and less familiar with it coming back to it. Second, you are showing a little less commitment to a legal practice going in that direction than in the other. To me, that would convey to a judge that you had trouble getting a job in your field and were returning to law as a backup.

run26.2
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Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:27 pm

juzam_djinn wrote:
readeatsleep wrote:Why does transferring mean the student doesn't have 1L professor recommendations? Presumably, students who transfer will still have the recommendations of their 1L professors from their old school, and they did well enough to transfer so those recommendations are probably going to be pretty good. Not to mention their grades will be good from their 1L school, which judges will also see.


doing well in 2 of your prof's classes is going to be way better than doing well in just 1 of them

And getting to know them outside of class, in addition to doing well in 2 classes, is going to be even better than that.

Sav
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby Sav » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:35 pm

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Last edited by Sav on Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

juzam_djinn
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby juzam_djinn » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:40 pm

Sav wrote:
run26.2 wrote:To answer your question, I would think that top 10% @ Boalt > median at HLS, but top 20% vs. median at HLS is harder. I don't have enough familiarity with that situation to make a call. In terms of judges graduating from the respective law schools, they are tied: Dyk went to HLS, and Wallach went to Boalt.

I'm sure they all realize that HLS is a great school. But they also will recognize Berkeley as an awesome school. Many of these judges went to schools in DC, i.e. not with quite the same level of prestige as either of the schools you are talking about, so my sense is they probably are not focusing on getting clerks from HYS. My sense is that experience is a big plus. 1-2 years work experience and/or a Ph.D. is a huge plus. For people coming straight out, a stellar academic record is close to a requirement. At schools inside the lower T10, I think top 10% is going to be about what you will need to be competitive. If you have w/e or a Ph.D., that requirement will probably be relaxed. Hence, if I were in your shoes, I would stay at Berkeley and try to improve your class rank.
You are right. After reading your post I looked at the Fed Cir judges.They are not like the S Ct (only HYS)

Say, hypothetically, if I had an EE PhD, 4 yrs of w/e at Intel in semiconductors, and 4 granted patents. In this case, is it better to try to be median at HLS or top 20% at Boalt for SCOTUS or Fed Cir clerkship? I am ultimately aiming for SCOTUS clerkship but if being median at HLS takes me out of the running for that, then game over and I will stay at Boalt.


i think median at HLS absolutely takes you out of running for scotus no matter what other factors you have

that being said...why do you think you will drop all the way to median after being 10-20 at boalt? If you work hard you will probably stay around top 25%

run26.2
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Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:56 pm

Sav wrote:
run26.2 wrote:To answer your question, I would think that top 10% @ Boalt > median at HLS, but top 20% vs. median at HLS is harder. I don't have enough familiarity with that situation to make a call. In terms of judges graduating from the respective law schools, they are tied: Dyk went to HLS, and Wallach went to Boalt.

I'm sure they all realize that HLS is a great school. But they also will recognize Berkeley as an awesome school. Many of these judges went to schools in DC, i.e. not with quite the same level of prestige as either of the schools you are talking about, so my sense is they probably are not focusing on getting clerks from HYS. My sense is that experience is a big plus. 1-2 years work experience and/or a Ph.D. is a huge plus. For people coming straight out, a stellar academic record is close to a requirement. At schools inside the lower T10, I think top 10% is going to be about what you will need to be competitive. If you have w/e or a Ph.D., that requirement will probably be relaxed. Hence, if I were in your shoes, I would stay at Berkeley and try to improve your class rank.
You are right. After reading your post I looked at the Fed Cir judges.They are not like the S Ct (only HYS)

Say, hypothetically, if I had an EE PhD, 4 yrs of w/e at Intel in semiconductors, and 4 granted patents. In this case, is it better to try to be median at HLS or top 20% at Boalt for SCOTUS or Fed Cir clerkship? I am ultimately aiming for SCOTUS clerkship but if being median at HLS takes me out of the running for that, then game over and I will stay at Boalt.

The hiring matrix is different for SCOTUS clerks. The background you describe is useful on the Federal Circuit because it demonstrates that you can acquire (or already have) an in-depth understanding of complex technologies. The SCOTUS does not deal with patent cases as frequently, and therefore, have less of a need for someone like the person you describe.

Activities like those described will help marginally, but won't have the same effect as they would in the hiring process for the Federal Circuit. SCOTUS clerkships usually go to individuals with outstanding legal (e.g., feeder clerkship, Bristow Fellowship) and legal-academic (e.g., first in your class, EIC of law review, summa cum laude) achievements.

Top 10-20% at Berkeley is probably not going to cut it for a SCOTUS clerkship, though top 1% would probably put you in the running. Btw - only 1 person, AFAIK, has ever gone FC->SCOTUS. It is a rare occurrence.

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

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:58 pm

Sav wrote:Say, hypothetically, if I had an EE PhD, 4 yrs of w/e at Intel in semiconductors, and 4 granted patents. In this case, is it better to try to be median at HLS or top 20% at Boalt for SCOTUS or Fed Cir clerkship? I am ultimately aiming for SCOTUS clerkship but if being median at HLS takes me out of the running for that, then game over and I will stay at Boalt.


You need to read up on SCOTUS clerkships, you sound very naive. Probabilistically speaking, your first B+ (or whatever grade took you out of the top 3-5%) probably took you out of the running for the SCOTUS. If you manage to pull your grades up, and land a clerkship with a strong feeder judge, perhaps you have an outside chance. If you graduate at around 20% you have virtually no shot. Transferring anywhere is going to pretty much eliminate you, unless you manage to write on. Law review matters to judges. Why would they take you over the HYS law review students applying too?

Sav wrote:It's because I got a partner and kids. I can make them move once from Boalt to, say, Boston in Aug 2013, but not more than that. Kids will be in school in summer 2014.
I'm only collecting opinions and advice on this forum so I can decide. I'm not jumping to any decisions.


I'm not sure how you reconcile not wanting to move around, but you're dead set on gunning for the SCOTUS? You know that's going to require multiple moves, right?

Sav
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby Sav » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:55 pm

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Last edited by Sav on Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

juzam_djinn
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby juzam_djinn » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:09 am

Sav wrote:Thanks so much, guys, this is really helpful. I am not "dead set on gunning for" anything, just collecting info. And yes, I took your advice and read up on SCOTUS clerkships. You are right in all the above info. Good to know this stuff.
I decided not to apply to HLS but may try for Fed Cir from Boalt. Anyway, after my 1L summer and externship next year, lets see how I do and how my plans evolve. Thanks again.

Any advice on a transfer to SLS or would that not be worth it either? I know its not worth it for BigLaw but for, say, ND Cal externships and 9th Cir clerkships?


i'd guess a transfer could be worth it, but would be risky

1. Your ranking might drop at SLS (probably not by much, but potentially by a lot)
2. You forego recs w/ boalt faculty; even if you do get them for recs, they could be stronger if you stayed and took more classes w/ those profs

However, if you transfer and do just as well and also get lucky in forming new relationships, Stanford could help
Again, it's risky, you won't know for sure if you can get good recs

i think most people would agree w/ me that it's probably not worth it to transfer when you're top 10% at a t10 to HYS, unless it's to yale for academia or it's for a personal reason

run26.2
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: Boalt or SLS?

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:07 am

Sav wrote:Thanks so much, guys, this is really helpful. I am not "dead set on gunning for" anything, just collecting info. And yes, I took your advice and read up on SCOTUS clerkships. You are right in all the above info. Good to know this stuff.
I decided not to apply to HLS but may try for Fed Cir from Boalt. Anyway, after my 1L summer and externship next year, lets see how I do and how my plans evolve. Thanks again.

Any advice on a transfer to SLS or would that not be worth it either? I know its not worth it for BigLaw but for, say, ND Cal externships and 9th Cir clerkships?

There are many considerations here. First, SLS is VERY hard to transfer into. They only take 20 or so a year. Usually, people are very near the top of their classes: I heard #1 or #2 from someone I know who transferred there from a school in the 20-30 range, but I also think someone was accepted that was top 5% form Wisconsin, IIRC, so maybe they make a few exceptions.

Pros:
If you transfer, your Berkeley grades would matter for OCI. However, at Penn at least, you could still get Latins as a transfer. This means that even if you were only top 15%, you would have the opportunity to graduate summa/magna, etc. from SLS. You should check into this (I'm too lazy to do it now), but this could help clerkship chances. Also, the clerkship hiring goes deeper into the class at Stanford.

Cons:
It is very hard to write on to SLS's LR as a transfer from what I recall. Nevertheless, I think you just join the other journals.

I would apply and then decide later.




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