To Transfer or Not

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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Anonymous User
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To Transfer or Not

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:17 am

To start I am at a TTTT in the northeast on a partial scholarship.

Recently was admitted to the "honors program" and to law review at my school.

Was also recently admitted as a transfer to at least one school which is T2 with a 50% scholarship. This school places much better regionally in the state/area I want to work at after graduation.

Overall considering tuition, both scholarships, and the COL of being closer to home the T2 would be about even/perhaps slightly less.

That being said since I have applied to at least one other school that might be even lower tuition wise I am stuck wondering if the jump from a TTTT w/ law review and being top 15-20% of the class to a T2 with great regional ties is worth it.

I have connections to at least one job lined up for after graduation so my main goal is to attain the best degree possible with the lowest amount of debt racked up. Moving to the T2 would perhaps give me a shot at some better job prospects that I would not have at the TTTT, and with the safety of a job lined up after grad I am thinking it may be worth the move. The other side is that perhaps my best job prospects are actually at my current school with law review. etc. The new T2 school has invited me to tryout for their journals again, but of course nothing is set in stone.

Thoughts?

kyle010723
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby kyle010723 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:50 pm

My question is if you are LR and "honor program," why transfer to T2 instead of a T1?

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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:12 pm

OP here

didn't think I had the grades/ability to make such a jump, plus the highest ranked schools in the area I want to practice are T2

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Great Satchmo
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:14 pm

What is the difference in cost between staying and leaving? Also, if you are considering the transfer at all seriously, it behooves you to go to your current school and ask for an increase in scholarship.

If you have a job lined-up and are happy with that, and the job provides some long-term job security and training (i.e., you can count on gaining substantial experience and career development so that you will only need to rely on that for future jobs, rather than a degree from school 'X'), then what you need to focus on is debt-reduction.

I am guessing no one needs to tell you, but a T4 and a T2 both provide pretty shitty job prospects for graduates. A T2 graduate isn't going to be a sought-after commodity in this legal market absent being tip-top of the class as well as other qualitative factors. So I would caution you against looking at it that way. Further, I have to say that "placement" and "T2" aren't exactly terms that go together. I transferred from a T1 up and I have to say that "placement" from my T1 (a very well-respected regional school which used to do really well before the economy tanked) was anything but placement unless you were top 15%; anything else and you are on your own.

I think this comes down to cost. The T2 degree isn't going to bat for you in this market and is not going to be worth much more in tuition dollars than your T4.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go to my school and tell them you'd love to stay but there is no way for you to make that decision without an increase in scholarship (full). If I could secure more money, I'd then stay and attempt to do everything in my power to be the top of the class, law review, moot court, involved in the legal community, working with employers as an extern/clerk, and whatever else you can do to be "the" student from the T4 that does something.

I think transferring is worth it for people making it to the T14 from mid-low T1's and below because OCI and the later ability to get your foot in the door via a resume with the top school on it. When you remove the OCI factor (and it is removed for a T2 - the percentage of students getting jobs through OCI at those schools are minuscule and you won't even have stepped foot in a classroom/gotten a grade from the T2 before OCI anyway.


TL;DR - go with the lowest-cost option and if you stay at the T4 do everything in your power to differentiate yourself from every single student at that school because the chances are all but a few won't get employed in any reasonable legal position.

kyle010723
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby kyle010723 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:17 pm

I dont know if any transfer app is still open as of now, but if any of them are, T1's employment prospect is usually much better, at least try to get into your state's flagship school. I honestly cannot recommend you to transfer to a T2. But if you say CoA and everything is about the same if not lower than where you are at, I would say try to negotiate more money from your current school.

But really, check to see if your state flagship school still has the transfer app open, and if so, send in an app.

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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:What is the difference in cost between staying and leaving? Also, if you are considering the transfer at all seriously, it behooves you to go to your current school and ask for an increase in scholarship.

If you have a job lined-up and are happy with that, and the job provides some long-term job security and training (i.e., you can count on gaining substantial experience and career development so that you will only need to rely on that for future jobs, rather than a degree from school 'X'), then what you need to focus on is debt-reduction.

I am guessing no one needs to tell you, but a T4 and a T2 both provide pretty shitty job prospects for graduates. A T2 graduate isn't going to be a sought-after commodity in this legal market absent being tip-top of the class as well as other qualitative factors. So I would caution you against looking at it that way. Further, I have to say that "placement" and "T2" aren't exactly terms that go together. I transferred from a T1 up and I have to say that "placement" from my T1 (a very well-respected regional school which used to do really well before the economy tanked) was anything but placement unless you were top 15%; anything else and you are on your own.

I think this comes down to cost. The T2 degree isn't going to bat for you in this market and is not going to be worth much more in tuition dollars than your T4.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go to my school and tell them you'd love to stay but there is no way for you to make that decision without an increase in scholarship (full). If I could secure more money, I'd then stay and attempt to do everything in my power to be the top of the class, law review, moot court, involved in the legal community, working with employers as an extern/clerk, and whatever else you can do to be "the" student from the T4 that does something.

I think transferring is worth it for people making it to the T14 from mid-low T1's and below because OCI and the later ability to get your foot in the door via a resume with the top school on it. When you remove the OCI factor (and it is removed for a T2 - the percentage of students getting jobs through OCI at those schools are minuscule and you won't even have stepped foot in a classroom/gotten a grade from the T2 before OCI anyway.


TL;DR - go with the lowest-cost option and if you stay at the T4 do everything in your power to differentiate yourself from every single student at that school because the chances are all but a few won't get employed in any reasonable legal position.


Thanks, the tuition would be basically identical, trouble is that cost of living in my current school is huge, while the cost if I were to go back home would be subtantially smaller.

Also the two T2 schools I have applied to are the 2 best schools in my home market so that is why I believe the switch would be worth it. For sure no one at my market has heard of my TTTT nor does it have any prospects of employment so while the T2 degree may be shitty, it will at the very least be less shitty in my target market than my TTTT degree.

It really boiled down to how much less does a TTTT degree suck coupled with law review and other honors.

jkay
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby jkay » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:56 pm

This is easy.

Transfer to the place you want to end up.

Screw LR and "honors" at a school no one has heard of. If the T2 you are thinking of is truly the best in the market, then its rank is entirely irrelevant.

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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:04 pm

jkay wrote:This is easy.

Transfer to the place you want to end up.

Screw LR and "honors" at a school no one has heard of. If the T2 you are thinking of is truly the best in the market, then its rank is entirely irrelevant.


Thanks, this is where I was at with my desicion, I know where I don't want to be (at my current TTTT that no one has heard of) and I have at least 2 schools which are better where I always wanted to go.

Even if the upgrade is only marginal, at least when I tell people the school I go to they will know what I am talking about. I currently intern and work in my target market at a court and law firm and am embarassed to tell people where I go because they all have to act like they've heard of it. FWIW many of the lawyers, clerks, judges etc have gone to the two schools I am applying to transfer to so once I got in with a scholarship it seemed like a no brainer. A few days later I was invited to LR at my current school and began to second guess myself, thinking the "prestige" of LR might be worth staying for.

I guess LR at a TTTT is like the tree falling in the woods, if no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:18 pm

If the cost is the same, I'd say transfer, especially if it's in the place where you want to work. However, if you can save substantial money by getting the school to go to a full scholarship (maybe even with a stipend?) then stay. The reality is that either of these schools, by themselves, are not going to get you employment - so minimize the debt service you're going to have to pay.

That being said, I do think there is something to be the #1-5 top students at a school with all the bells and whistles. If you feel like you can recruit the help of faculty who will go to bat for you in getting things, maybe worth staying assuming the cost is less than the T2.


I think the biggest thing here is the job you mentioned having lined-up. If it's legit and a sure thing, a job you'd be able to and want to stick with for a few years, then minimizing your debt is probably a foremost concern. If the job is not something that will give you an experience and resume platform to jump-off from after a few years, then I'd consider the transfer.

I just wouldn't have any illusions that a T2 has good placement, much less can "place" anyone but the top portion of students. If it's a bigger market, then people from everywhere are going to try to get in and you're going to be squeezed out. If it's a small market, there aren't jobs to go around in the first place and only the top get it. No matter where you go, you have to stand out from the class. If you're median at a T2, chances are you're screwed (as is the case for median at a T4).

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Great Satchmo
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote: A few days later I was invited to LR at my current school and began to second guess myself, thinking the "prestige" of LR might be worth staying for.

I guess LR at a TTTT is like the tree falling in the woods, if no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


For your purposes, law review at a T4 or a T2 is going to be a checkbox that should really be checked. Very few, if any, employers will see law review from most of those level schools and think "wow". My guess is, more often than not, they'll use it as a way to cull-out applicants, such as "applicants should be in top X% of class and be on law review and moot court", for example. So basically, the way I understand it, it'll get you in the door or keep you in the resume pile, but it won't get you the job.

Take this all with a grain of salt. Although I did the job search in a competitive market from a lower T1 for a period of time, I wasn't in your shoes, so a lot of this is just semi-educated conjecture.

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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:28 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: A few days later I was invited to LR at my current school and began to second guess myself, thinking the "prestige" of LR might be worth staying for.

I guess LR at a TTTT is like the tree falling in the woods, if no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


For your purposes, law review at a T4 or a T2 is going to be a checkbox that should really be checked. Very few, if any, employers will see law review from most of those level schools and think "wow". My guess is, more often than not, they'll use it as a way to cull-out applicants, such as "applicants should be in top X% of class and be on law review and moot court", for example. So basically, the way I understand it, it'll get you in the door or keep you in the resume pile, but it won't get you the job.

Take this all with a grain of salt. Although I did the job search in a competitive market from a lower T1 for a period of time, I wasn't in your shoes, so a lot of this is just semi-educated conjecture.


Satchmo thanks for all the advice. Going into my TTTT the goal was to always do well and apply to transfer up to these schools with the hope I would get it. After getting a scholarship to one of the schools, the decision to transfer seemed like a no-brainer, then after being invited to LR I was back at square one.

Luckily for me I have some contacts in the area I want to work at that I can reach out to for advice regarding LR at my TTTT vs transferring with a degree from either of the 2 other schools.

After speaking with the EIC of the school I am looking to transfer into, LR as a transfer is basically non-existent. Although a separate write-on is held for transfers, he told me generally no transfers make it onto LR. He did mention the secondary journals might be more open to having transfers so there is that.

Basically I don't want to walk away from LR if it is going to be a huge boost to my resume, but the question is will it boost it enough to overcome my TTTT degree.

In the end I think I have to see what my current school would be doing by way of bumping up my current scholarship, once I have all the cards on the table I would be better able to make an informed decision and it seems like staying at my TTTT with a huge scholly, LR, honors, top of the class ,etc. might just outweigh my transfer schools.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: A few days later I was invited to LR at my current school and began to second guess myself, thinking the "prestige" of LR might be worth staying for.

I guess LR at a TTTT is like the tree falling in the woods, if no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


For your purposes, law review at a T4 or a T2 is going to be a checkbox that should really be checked. Very few, if any, employers will see law review from most of those level schools and think "wow". My guess is, more often than not, they'll use it as a way to cull-out applicants, such as "applicants should be in top X% of class and be on law review and moot court", for example. So basically, the way I understand it, it'll get you in the door or keep you in the resume pile, but it won't get you the job.

Take this all with a grain of salt. Although I did the job search in a competitive market from a lower T1 for a period of time, I wasn't in your shoes, so a lot of this is just semi-educated conjecture.


Satchmo thanks for all the advice. Going into my TTTT the goal was to always do well and apply to transfer up to these schools with the hope I would get it. After getting a scholarship to one of the schools, the decision to transfer seemed like a no-brainer, then after being invited to LR I was back at square one.

Luckily for me I have some contacts in the area I want to work at that I can reach out to for advice regarding LR at my TTTT vs transferring with a degree from either of the 2 other schools.

After speaking with the EIC of the school I am looking to transfer into, LR as a transfer is basically non-existent. Although a separate write-on is held for transfers, he told me generally no transfers make it onto LR. He did mention the secondary journals might be more open to having transfers so there is that.

Basically I don't want to walk away from LR if it is going to be a huge boost to my resume, but the question is will it boost it enough to overcome my TTTT degree.

In the end I think I have to see what my current school would be doing by way of bumping up my current scholarship, once I have all the cards on the table I would be better able to make an informed decision and it seems like staying at my TTTT with a huge scholly, LR, honors, top of the class ,etc. might just outweigh my transfer schools.



My sense is that the key to employment out of these level of schools are to be the "special snowflake". I can't imagine that law review at a T4 school will make you that, but I think in association with moot court participation and awards, publication, involvement, experience, and other accolades will set you apart as one of the few students from that school that employers will consider. I mean, being in the top few students at a school will be attractive.

Either place you're at you need to stand out. The unfortunate reality for many (and even the majority, depending on the school - check out lawschooltransparency.com) is that they won't find a legal job. Further, the data bears-out that the jobs that people do get are likely not to be highly compensated.

With an eye to those realities of life, I certainly would be very weary about the amount of debt I was going to incur. I don't think any increase in employability gained at a T2, which may not be very much, is worth dealing with much more debt. Once you graduate the monthly payments become very real and the uncertainty of the legal market for many can be a big problem. Having more latitude in choice due to lower debt might be a pretty big upside.

Best of luck with your decision!

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soccerfreak
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby soccerfreak » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:28 pm

jkay wrote:This is easy.

Transfer to the place you want to end up.

Screw LR and "honors" at a school no one has heard of. If the T2 you are thinking of is truly the best in the market, then its rank is entirely irrelevant.

This. If a T2 is the best school in the area you want to be, and it would be cheaper/same...go with the better school. In ruralish areas, the local T2 name can mean quite a lot.

Harbar1125
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Re: To Transfer or Not

Postby Harbar1125 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:53 pm

Hello,

I am a rising 2L at Cardozo. I have 3.611 which puts me on Law Review and in top 10%. I currently have a half-tuition scholarship and I have been offered admission to Northwestern. I am from Chicago so the idea of coming back home is appealing. However, I do not know if I want to work in NY or Chi. I know that my goal is to do BigLaw, and probably in NYC. But I also know that if I stay I am limiting myself to that region, whereas, Northwestern would certainly open up my options. I am concerned with my career potential in NYC coming out of Northwestern vs. staying at Cardozo where I am in top 10%. Also, I do not know how much my student debt should play a factor. I already have significant debt, so losing my partial scholarship would hurt, but I just don't have much of a concept of how much it would hurt since I will be six figures in debt either way. Should I transfer? Please help!




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