Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

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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Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:04 pm

I want to practice in DC, NYC, or Chicago. I'm originally from Boston and would be okay going back.

1. Not exactly sure what my rank is because cutoffs haven't been released yet, but i'm either low top 5% or high top 10% based on last year's Fall cut-offs. Will update once official cutoffs are released.
2. Got A+, A, and A- in my doctrinal classes. The A- was in a class with a traditionally flat curve and the exam itself was different than the other exams I took/will take as a 1L. It had a 1500 word limit for a 3-hour open-book exam and required us to cite cases.
3. Top 10% grades onto law review at WUSTL. There's no guarantee I stay in the top 5% or 10%, but it's likely that I'll stay in the top 10% after the Spring Semester since all 3 of my spring classes are classic issue-spotter exams that I generally do well on (See A and A+ from #1). If i transfer I'd likely forfeit being on LR at WUSTL.
4. CALI'd one of my Fall classes, professor went to UChicago and is willing to write me a letter on my behalf if i apply ED to UChi. (Not sure if "CALI" is universal..it means i got the highest grade in that class)
5. Full scholarship at WUSTL, but still borrowing COL, so will have 60k debt from WUSTL or 160k debt if i transfer
6. Interested in clerking but not enough to leave WUSTL for that reason alone. Want to go into BigLaw. I don't think I know enough to say with absolutely certainty whether i wanna do transactional or litigation. If i had to pick now I would say transactional.


There are some "soft" reasons why I want to stay. I like WUSTL, i have great friends here. I don't like St. Louis or the Midwest enough to stay here long-term, but i like it enough to suck it up for the remainder of law school if necessary. My main concerns are that the placement power of the school seems fairly limited to the Midwest, and as a result the alumni network is much weaker than HYSCCN in the major markets. So i'm trying to gauge if there are long-term benefits to be had from having a more prestigious J.D. and a stronger alumni network.

Less interested in Columbia or NYU just because the living costs in NYC and because both have massive class sizes, but wouldn't turn either down if they were the only options i had. I don't think it's likely that I get the grades for HYS after the Spring since it looks like you have to be one of the top 3-5 students to have a shot. I guess it could happen but i'm not going to make my decision on the hope that i have a shot at HYS, at least not until I have a better sense of my Spring classes.

As of right now i'm 51-49 against transferring because of the added debt. The two professors I've spoken to so far have said that there's no bad decision here but recommended that I transfer out. The junior associates I asked in NYC/Atlanta BigLaw are split on whether I should leave. Includes associates who borrowed sticker for HYSCCN and are at V5 as well as those who went to T20's on scholarship. There didn't seem to be any real pattern, half said to transfer, half said to stay. Planning on speaking with one more professor tomorrow.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.

jarofsoup
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to practice in DC, NYC, or Chicago. I'm originally from Boston and would be okay going back.

1. Not exactly sure what my rank is because cutoffs haven't been released yet, but i'm either low top 5% or high top 10% based on last year's Fall cut-offs. Will update once official cutoffs are released.
2. Got A+, A, and A- in my doctrinal classes. The A- was in a class with a traditionally flat curve and the exam itself was different than the other exams I took/will take as a 1L. Basically the exam had a 1500 word limit for a 3-hour open-book exam and required us to cite cases.
3. Top 10% grades onto law review at WUSTL. There's no guarantee I stay in the top 5% or 10%, but it's likely that I'll stay in the top 10% after the Spring Semester since all 3 of my spring classes are classic issue-spotter exams that I generally do well on (See A and A+ from #1). If i transfer I'd likely forfeit being on LR at WUSTL.
4. CALI'd one of my Fall classes, professor went to UChicago and is willing to write me a letter on my behalf if i apply ED to UChi
5. Full scholarship at WUSTL, but still borrowing COL, so will have 60k debt from WUSTL or 160k debt if i transfer
6. Interested in clerking but not enough to leave WUSTL for that reason alone. Want to go into BigLaw. I don't think I know enough to say with absolutely certainty whether i wanna do transactional or litigation. If i had to pick now I would say transactional.


There are some "soft" reasons why I want to stay. I like WUSTL, i have great friends here. I don't like St. Louis or the Midwest enough to stay here long-term, but i like it enough to suck it up for the remainder of law school if necessary. My main concerns are that the placement power of the school seems fairly limited to the Midwest, and as a result the alumni network is much weaker than HYSCCN in the major markets. So i'm trying to gauge there are long-term benefits to be had from having a more prestigious J.D. and a stronger alumni network.

Less interested in Columbia or NYU just because the living costs in NYC and because both have massive class sizes, but wouldn't turn either down if they were the only options i had. I don't think it's likely that I get the grades for HYS after the Spring since it looks like you have to be one of the top 3-5 students to have a shot. I guess it could happen but i'm not going to make my decision on the hope that i have a shot at HYS, at least not until I have a better sense of my Spring classes.

As of right now i'm 51-49 against transferring because of the added debt. The two professors I've spoken to so far have said that there's no bad decision here but recommended that I transfer out. The junior associates I asked in NYC/Atlanta BigLaw are split on whether I should leave. Includes associates who borrowed sticker for HYSCCN and are not at V5 as well as those who went to T20's on scholarship. There didn't seem to be any real pattern, half said to transfer, half said to stay. Planning on speaking with one more professor tomorrow.


Getting into to Chicago would give you some access to other legal markets. You will make new friends. Its really a personal decision being top of your class at WUSTL will probably give you some good job prospects.

You should apply if you keep your grades up, but ED is a great option if your grades slip a little bit. I would also recommend EAing to GULC since it is nonbinding and you will probably easily get in. Its up to you whether you want to ED to Chicago or not. If I was in your position though, I would ED just to guarantee that I get into a top 14 school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:13 pm

jarofsoup wrote:
Getting into to Chicago would give you some access to other legal markets. You will make new friends. Its really a personal decision being top of your class at WUSTL will probably give you some good job prospects.

You should apply if you keep your grades up, but ED is a great option if your grades slip a little bit. I would also recommend EAing to GULC since it is nonbinding and you will probably easily get in. Its up to you whether you want to ED to Chicago or not. If I was in your position though, I would ED just to guarantee that I get into a top 14 school.


OP here. Yeah I mean if i miss out on HYS, i'd go to UChi over CLS and NYU anyway. So the issue is basically..do I wait to see if i can get HYS? and whether I should leave in the first place.

ETA: Typo in the OP, the junior associates who borrowed sticker from HYSCCN are at V5 firms, it originally said they weren't

jarofsoup
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:
Getting into to Chicago would give you some access to other legal markets. You will make new friends. Its really a personal decision being top of your class at WUSTL will probably give you some good job prospects.

You should apply if you keep your grades up, but ED is a great option if your grades slip a little bit. I would also recommend EAing to GULC since it is nonbinding and you will probably easily get in. Its up to you whether you want to ED to Chicago or not. If I was in your position though, I would ED just to guarantee that I get into a top 14 school.


OP here. Yeah I mean if i miss out on HYS, i'd go to UChi over CLS and NYU anyway. So the issue is basically..do I wait to see if i can get HYS? and whether I should leave in the first place.

ETA: Typo in the OP, the junior associates who borrowed sticker from HYSCCN are at V5 firms, it originally said they weren't



My grades dropped after first semester to about the top 20%, but I was still able to transfer. It all matters how risk adverse you are. If you for sure want to go to a top school ED to Chicago. If you are not 100% sure then wait and see how second semester turns out.

You can always EA to GULC to have that option open since it is non-binding.

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sublime
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby sublime » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:50 pm

..

BigZuck
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:54 pm

I think WUSTL's placement power on the coasts for people in the top 5-10% needs to be quantified somehow before you can make this choice.

Your goal in wanting to snag big law sounds kind of amorphous and, to me, sounds like "I just want a good, high paying job." And I don't mean that in a critical way, I'm pretty much right there with you. If "all" you want is a 160K job and don't care about Vwhatever and it looks like WUSTL could get you there (most likely in NY I would imagine) then I think you would be crazy to transfer.

If you really, really want to clerk or care about how small your V number is then paying more for UChicago makes sense.

*disclaimer- just a 1.5L that doesn't know what he's talking about.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby brotherdarkness » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:13 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bananasplit19
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby bananasplit19 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:18 pm

Dayum, purdy GPA; congrats. Like you and your profs suggest, doesn't seem to be a bad choice here. Rambling ruminations:

I think the above posters are right on with their opinions. Assuming you're in the cream-of-the-crop group and LR at WUSTL, you should have no problem snagging a BigLaw job in Chicago (and probably Boston since you have ties there). But if getting a top V5 firm (or whatever number you're targeting) is a priority, then who knows. I know that unlike UChi, those firms don't do OCI in the traditional sense here at NU. They just come into our career office, ask for the top 3 kids, and privately interview them. Maybe those firms do the same at WUSTL? Regardless, if you do care about going to a V5 firm, then UChi is the safer choice.

Regardless of which school you go to, they'll tell you to shoot for the local market and wherever you have ties, and that you shouldn't necessarily try to overreach into too many markets; after all, you're only going to end up accepting one firm anyway, so target narrowly. So while you'd have a much easier shot getting the ear of a DC office if you're at UChi, it shouldn't play a large role in your decision-making unless you really prefer DC over Chicago/NY/Boston. And I have to think most Chicago/NY/Boston firms won't close the door on any LR-types from WUSTL anyway (barring those V5 firms).

$100k of additional debt is a lot more reasonable than what it could be going from full-ride to full-sticker. Not too shabby, especially since you're going BigLaw.

You'll have no problem making new friends at UChi, but a lot of the attorneys I know say that their closest friends are the ones that suffered through the 1L trenches with them.

Compared to the Cards, Chicago's baseball teams are uniformly turrble. Not saying that it should play a role in your decision. But it should play a role in your decision.

If I had to vote one way or another, I'd say stick it out in WUSTL. But again, can't go wrong either way.

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wiz
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby wiz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:29 pm

I second everything brotherdarkness just said. Except I am not happy to answer your specific questions because I'm lazy.

Srsly though, I think the only circumstance for which giving up a full ride from your school might possibly make sense is if you get into YSH. Even then, you'd have to take on a substantial amount of debt for a comparatively minor boost in biglaw chances (and a major boost in clerkship prospects).

If you're absolutely set on transferring, though, then I think EDing UChi makes the most sense. This option seems defensible if you're Chicago biglaw or bust. There's no guarantee that you'll make the grades to be in the top 1-2% at the end of next semester, and after YSH, Chicago is probs your next best bet. But from what I've heard, Chicago's ED doesn't give you much of a boost over RD anyway. I know a few people who didn't get into UChi when they applied early decision and later ended up getting into HS.

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby NYstate » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:34 pm

I would say transfer but that is only because of the big law prestige whoring that permeates everything. If you can get the job you want from WUSTL, then stay and save your money. How certain are you that WUSTL will get you into the firms you want?

I know that bidding is a big part of the process. Don't be overconfident because Chicago is a tough market. Bid NYC too esp. If you want transactional.

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:40 pm

NYstate wrote:I would say transfer but that is only because of the big law prestige whoring that permeates everything. If you can get the job you want from WUSTL, then stay and save your money. How certain are you that WUSTL will get you into the firms you want?

I know that bidding is a big part of the process. Don't be overconfident because Chicago is a tough market. Bid NYC too esp. If you want transactional.


OP here. The "problem" isn't that i won't get a job from WUSTL. I'll get offers from WUSTL's OCI or off-campus interviewing programs. The problem is selection. It seems like a top 10% 2L will get 1-2 offers from NYC, another 1-2 from Chicago, and maybe 1 from D.C. or something. The spread isn't always like that depending on ties and bidding, but it seems like a "what you get is what you get" situation. There's not a lot of options. So yes i could probably land an offer or 2 from NYC firms, but i'd be restricted to those offers. If i wanted to practice in NYC, i'd have to pick one of those two firms.

So the issue isn't necessarily about Vault prestige...it's that i'd like to have the chance to pick a firm because i want to be at that firm/do that kind of work. As opposed to "oh well i want to be in NYC, and this firm is my only option."

So i'm not necessarily worried about the first job. I'm worried about the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th job. Will a more prestigious J.D. and a stronger alumni network open more doors for me after my first job? Or will a WUSTL J.D. hold me back?

Again, i'm not dead-set on transferring, but i do want to explore the option

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wiz
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby wiz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:45 pm

Are you willing to pay $100k for the potential to have more offers to choose from?

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby shifty_eyed » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:46 pm

Is ED Chi binding? If so, I definitely wouldn't apply. You are basically big law "secure" with those grades from what I gather, AND I wouldn't want to lose my shot at HYS. If not, I don't think an application would hurt so you know your options.

(If you were interested in clerking, I think the decision would be easier since WUSTL has relatively weak clerkship placement. Then again, are HYSC transfers at any disadvantage at HYSC when it comes to obtaining clerkships? IDK.)

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:50 pm

wiz wrote:Are you willing to pay $100k for the potential to have more offers to choose from?

Yes if the new degree opens more doors throughout my career or if having more offers leads to being at firm that is a better fit where I will perform better.

No if prestige doesn't matter after you start working

Essentially i'm willing to pay the extra 100k if i think it's an investment that'll pay off long-term...But I recognize that part of having long-term prospects is surviving the short-term. If the added debt is just going to completely screw me in the short-term to the point where my career would be in ruins then no, i wouldn't pay for it.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wiz
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby wiz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:51 pm

shifty_eyed wrote:Is ED Chi binding? If so, I definitely wouldn't apply. You are basically big law "secure" with those grades from what I gather, AND I wouldn't want to lose my shot at HYS. If not, I don't think an application would hurt so you know your options.

(If you were interested in clerking, I think the decision would be easier since WUSTL has relatively weak clerkship placement. Then again, are HYSC transfers at any disadvantage at HYSC when it comes to obtaining clerkships? IDK.)


(I think they're only disadvantaged insofar as having a year less to establish relationships with professors. Maybe. But I guess that could be something to consider since judges are basically already hiring clerks for the 2019 cycle atm. That said, HYS still kills everything for clerkship placement.)

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hoos89
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby hoos89 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:56 pm

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Last edited by hoos89 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

NYstate
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby NYstate » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:01 pm

It is possible to mass mail firms and get hired outside of OCI. But I am not familiar with that process.

Yes, prestige will matter all your career if you stay in big law, in_house transactional. Prestige makes big law people and clients feel secure. But I can't begin to predict how much debt that is worth. I'm staunchly anti-debt.

You should be more concerned with your first job. That is crucial in where you end up next.

Just my opinion. You should get input from Romo and the WUSTL grads.

Edit: your second job is going to primarily depend on the work you did at your first job. Big law is prestige obsessed though. I think this is a tough call when you are trying to plan so far into.the future. There are too many variables involved in the course of a career. I would focus on what is in front of you now and go from there.
Last edited by NYstate on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wiz
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby wiz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
wiz wrote:Are you willing to pay $100k for the potential to have more offers to choose from?

Yes if the new degree opens more doors throughout my career or if having more offers leads to being at firm that is a better fit where I will perform better.

No if prestige doesn't matter after you start working

Essentially i'm willing to pay the extra 100k if i think it's an investment that'll pay off long-term...But I recognize that part of having long-term prospects is surviving the short-term. If the added debt is just going to completely screw me in the short-term to the point where my career would be in ruins then no, i wouldn't pay for it.


I can't say for certain that the new degree will or will not open more doors throughout your career. My impression, however, is that the work you do as an attorney and the book of business you establish (lol) will be far more important than the name of the school on your diploma. As for better fit, you presumably have a better chance of getting an offer at a firm where you hit it off with the lawyers. Having more options from which to choose won't necessitate a strong(er) fit because (1) you only meet a very small fraction of the firm's attorneys during the interview process, (2) the people who interview you probably won't be the same people you end up working with, and (3) even if they are the people you end up working with, you have no idea how nice/douchey they'll be during crunchtime after having spent 20 minutes exchanging pleasantries with them.

From what I understand, the prestige of a firm might matter when looking to lateral, and transferring could better your chances of ending up at a low V firm. But I don't think it's worth paying 100k for a small bump in exit options. If you cop a full time offer and are good at your job, then you should be fine (staying or lateraling) until you burn out or get pushed out the door. With the legal industry as volatile as it is, planning where you'll be 5-10 years down the road is pretty difficult.

A big part of surviving short-term is minimizing your debt and paying off as much debt as possible as quickly as possible. That, I think, is what will give you the greatest career flexibility.

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Jsa725 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:11 pm

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby brotherdarkness » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:22 pm

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goldeneye
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby goldeneye » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:26 pm

Top 10% and decent interviewing skills should get you several callbacks from the DC or NY interview programs. PM me if you have more questions.

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby Nelson » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:32 pm

Don't transfer only for better firm options. If you really want to clerk, transferring is worth it if you don't have a strong connection with an influential clerkship prof at your current school. If your professor connections at your current school don't have the horsepower to make calls to judges, transfer and network hard with professors at your new school. If you really want to clerk and decide to transfer, line up your entire 2L fall schedule around building relationships with clerkship heavy hitters.

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wiz
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby wiz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:39 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:From discussions with 2Ls at other schools, I'm well aware that transfer students are looked down upon.


I've heard this is a particularly big problem in Chicago-based schools.

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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby brotherdarkness » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:40 pm

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jarofsoup
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Re: Stay at WUSTL or ED to UChicago or RD elsewhere?

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:42 am

brotherdarkness wrote:
wiz wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:From discussions with 2Ls at other schools, I'm well aware that transfer students are looked down upon.


I've heard this is a particularly big problem in Chicago-based schools.


:lol:


People do not like transfers b/c you come to school as a 2L and you gun like a 1L.




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