What would you do?

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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Choose.

Stay where you are
8
25%
Columbia ONLY if you can do EIP
15
47%
Columbia regardless
9
28%
 
Total votes: 32

Anonymous User
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What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:02 pm

My transfer cycle is just about over. However, I am just waiting on one last school, Columbia. If I were to be accepted, I would need to respond pretty much immediately at this point. I want big law and I'm also interested in clerking. Here's my situation:

Currently in the top 5% at a lower TT. Likely within the top three students, but the 5% mark is the highest cutoff provided by my school and we do not rank. I managed to write on to our flagship law review and also secured an offer from our most notable internal moot court competition. My school historically places about 5% into big law, as it competes with a handful of other regionals for a limited number of spots in a secondary market. There are about thirty firms coming to OCI. I bid on all of them and will hear back next week about which ones selected me for a screener. The top few students have been highly successful in previous years with securing clerkships on our state Supreme Court (one of the more highly regarded state supreme courts) and some have even managed to pull an Art III clerkship somehow. I am on a full scholarship, but am taking out loans for cost of living. I anticipate having to take out ~20K for the next two years.

Columbia is obviously Columbia. The price would be sticker. That's a painful pill to swallow, but I would be okay with it. However, the tough part for me is that EIP is getting increasingly close. It starts on August 8th. Given my goals, do you think it's a good idea to transfer to Columbia?

Additionally, would you still say it's a good idea if I were accepted but was not able to participate in Columbia's EIP (a real possibility at this point)? Does anyone know how students fare at Columbia's Fall OCI? I'm sure that the EIP is where most students get their 2L SA positions, so this would be an incredibly difficult decision for me. Especially since picking up and moving to NYC would be a huge hassle with only a week or so notice. Any advice or knowledge from current or former Columbia students would be extremely appreciated.

tl;dr: Top 5% TT full scholly considering a transfer to Columbia with extremely short notice and possibly no EIP

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bowser
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Re: What would you do?

Postby bowser » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:28 pm

If u want biglaw DO NOT transfer if it means u miss OCI.

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:30 pm

bowser wrote:If u want biglaw DO NOT transfer if it means u miss OCI.

Would still be able to do the Fall OCI, just missing out on the EIP.

timbs4339
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Re: What would you do?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:00 pm

You should be mass mailing like crazy. Don't limit yourself only to the 30 firms that come to OCI. Mass mail New York and any market where you can come up with any sort of ties.

If you can do it as soon as possible, maybe send out a few dozen applications at firms that don't come to OCI. If you get some bites, then you'll know your school is not holding you back.

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:05 pm

Yeah, I have mass mailed maybe a couple dozen firms at this point? In the markets surrounding my school. Was planning on blanketing NYC soon as well. Anyway, bottom line so far is my local market appears totally screwed this year. Lots of firms just aren't hiring or have shut down their SA programs altogether. No bites yet.

Appreciate the advice timbs.

imchuckbass58
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Re: What would you do?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:38 pm

What region is your school in?

The consensus seems to be that transfers are viewed as top 5% (or whatever percent) at their old school, assuming firms are familiar with the old school. So the primary benefit of transferring to Columbia is access to a much larger number of EIP employers. It would also give you a boost for clerking, since many judges only hire from 5-6 schools (CLS is often one).

If you can't participate in EIP, pretty much any benefit of transferring is nullified. In fact, it might hurt you since you'll probably do better at your original school's OCI than from mass mailing as a transfer. Do not count on Columbia Fall OCI. All the action is during EIP - Fall OCI is a joke.

shock259
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Re: What would you do?

Postby shock259 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bowser wrote:If u want biglaw DO NOT transfer if it means u miss OCI.

Would still be able to do the Fall OCI, just missing out on the EIP.


EIP is OCI at Columbia. "OCI" does exist, and I think it is at some point in September, but it is a joke. All of the firms come to EIP, and all of the hiring is done at EIP. If you miss that boat, there's no point in transferring.

To me, the Columbia vs TT argument will rest on what kind of biglaw placement your TT has. If the top few students have a good chance of landing biglaw SA gigs, then it might be worth it to stay. If you stay and miss the biglaw boat, you should be competitive to clerk (assuming you keep your grades up).

However, if your TT places poorly in biglaw (IE most midwestern TTs), then you should probably transfer. Taking on a huge amount of additional debt sucks, but you'll be basically guaranteed a biglaw job if you transfer. Assuming you can do EIP. So you'll pay off that debt quickly.

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:07 am

Thanks, really appreciate the advice from the current CLS students. I had a gut feeling that "Fall OCI" wouldn't be worth the transfer.

Would prefer not to give my school or even region since a lot of people here (and on TLS) know my current situation. As I had said though, about 5% of the class typically gets big law, and I'm definitely within the 5% mark grades-wise. I have decent pre-LS work experience that should give me a leg up as well.

My decision just rests on when CLS gets back to me. If I hear from them this week, sign me up. But anything later than that and I'm going to decline. Way too much stress at that point. Sound like a good plan?

imchuckbass58
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Re: What would you do?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:My decision just rests on when CLS gets back to me. If I hear from them this week, sign me up. But anything later than that and I'm going to decline. Way too much stress at that point. Sound like a good plan?


Sounds right. FYI, CLS reserves EIP spots for transfers that are admitted after the normal bid deadline. I'm not sure if there's some cutoff as to when these are no longer available, but it's conceivable that if you hear this week or even early next, you could still participate in EIP (in which case, I definitely think it's worth transferring).

shock259
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Re: What would you do?

Postby shock259 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:29 pm

~5% biglaw placement is hard. I feel when it is that low, some of the people are from the tippy top of the class but many are also ones with good connections. Anecdote, but at my T1 last year, only a handful of kids got SA positions. Those that did were either the top couple of students, or they were top 1/4 or so with serious connections (dad is a DA, etc). So if you are within the top 5% and 5% places into biglaw, there's still probably a decent chance you'll strike out. Not to be all gloomy, but just to add some more thoughts into your decision.

Good luck. I hope Columbia gets back to you soon.

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reasonable_man
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Re: What would you do?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Did you apply anywhere but Columbia?

biglaw99
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Re: What would you do?

Postby biglaw99 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:12 am

Columbia regardless FTW

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:15 am

reasonable_man wrote:Did you apply anywhere but Columbia?

I did, but none of them are available options at this point. Just going to leave it at that, again due to outing concerns.

shock259 wrote:~5% biglaw placement is hard. I feel when it is that low, some of the people are from the tippy top of the class but many are also ones with good connections. Anecdote, but at my T1 last year, only a handful of kids got SA positions. Those that did were either the top couple of students, or they were top 1/4 or so with serious connections (dad is a DA, etc). So if you are within the top 5% and 5% places into biglaw, there's still probably a decent chance you'll strike out. Not to be all gloomy, but just to add some more thoughts into your decision.

Good luck. I hope Columbia gets back to you soon.

I'm absolutely prepared to strike out at OCI and have been mass mailing like a fiend recently to combat that possibility. Not because I lack confidence in my abilities or whatever, but just because hardly anyone from my school gets their job through OCI.

biglaw99 wrote:Columbia regardless FTW

150k of debt pulls me in the other direction, but just curious as to why this has so many votes?

biglaw99
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Re: What would you do?

Postby biglaw99 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:24 am

Based on my subjective experience in the NYC market, Columbia is untouchable compared to these other schools. Debt certainly matters, but if I didn't have any ties to employment I would pursue the best school option.

biglaw99 wrote:Columbia regardless FTW

150k of debt pulls me in the other direction, but just curious as to why this has so many votes?

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:28 am

biglaw99 wrote:Based on my subjective experience in the NYC market, Columbia is untouchable compared to these other schools. Debt certainly matters, but if I didn't have any ties to employment I would pursue the best school option.

I don't disagree at all, but wouldn't the lack of EIP be extremely concerning to you? Having to go out on a limb and rely solely on mass mail doesn't sound like a good time.

biglaw99
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Re: What would you do?

Postby biglaw99 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:49 am

If you went to Columbia, you would be surprised at how much luck you would have in the market. I think based on the fact you achieved admission to Columbia, you will be successful either way. I am just giving you my opinion and I am probably one of the very few with poor grades and a 1L SA. I've also had interviews at Cooley and Latham & Watkins. Never underestimate how far your ambition and motivation can take you. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous User wrote:
biglaw99 wrote:Based on my subjective experience in the NYC market, Columbia is untouchable compared to these other schools. Debt certainly matters, but if I didn't have any ties to employment I would pursue the best school option.

I don't disagree at all, but wouldn't the lack of EIP be extremely concerning to you? Having to go out on a limb and rely solely on mass mail doesn't sound like a good time.

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Wholigan
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Wholigan » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:57 pm

I am pretty sure I know what school you go to. Do you have ties to the region your school mostly places into, other than going to law school there? If you do, you should be safe in getting an SA if you are one of the top five students, even if hiring is down in that market.

If you don't want NY or the top transactional work that NY firms offer, I don't know that transferring is going to give you a huge boost in chances of just getting a job. Even for a clerkship, my guess is that CLS transfers don't do much better than top 3-5 students from the TT. CLS would increase your geographical reach for potential clerkships, but it would also probably be contingent on having a high GPA at your new school after you start from scratch, and finding good recommenders during 2L year. I would say it's probably worth giving more consideration to the transfer if you don't have ties to your school's market.

Anonymous User
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:39 pm

PM'd you, thanks for the advice.




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