Top 5% Advice

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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Top 5% Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:04 am

Hey guys, I need some advice.
Currently attend a school ranked 40-60 (with a full ride) and am going to end up in the top 5%. (Could be anywhere from top 1-3 people to top 5%, but being conservative). The school is not in a big market, but does have some reputable midlaw firms and satellite offices of biglaw firms.
I had no expectations of working in a larger firm given the school I attended, but with my grades it is a legitimate possibility. I feel it would be stupid to not entertain it, given the better exit opportunities I would have with a few years as a big law slave.
Is a transfer worth it? What would I have legit shot at, given second semester is similar to my first?
I have strong ties to this area. My gf and I recently bought a home here, so it would be real tough for me to move away while she stays here. Would a transfer to a higher ranked school help with a job here in my smaller market? Or do I keep at it here, get good grades/do law review and network?
Thanks in advance.

mvp99
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby mvp99 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:11 am

so what would be the benefit of transferring to some other place assuming there are no top ls in the area? Do you have a scholarship? if yes then transferring is a definite no

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:15 am

OP - yes, I have a full ride.

I'm just curious if a higher ranked school would have any additional utility beyond what my school would offer me. I would only be considering t14, if that were available to me.

TheNextAmendment
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby TheNextAmendment » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:17 am

Y and S are out.
Top 1-2% gets you HLS or CCN
Top 5-7% gets you into T14 territory

Anything worse than that won't get you into any school worth transferring. It sounds like you have some ties to the area and have already invested in your future there, so the decision will be tougher. Basing your decision solely on your job prospects, I recommend that you transfer out of your current school if you break the T6 or get into one of the T14 that is close to your current region (GULC excluded).

I disagree with mvp. If you can break the T6, then transferring is a no-brainer. Other T14 schools that let you participate in OCI are also worth consideration. My advice is contingent on biglaw aspirations only; if you want gov or "mid/small" law, then stay and graduate debt-free.

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sublime
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby sublime » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:23 am

..

TheNextAmendment
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby TheNextAmendment » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:29 am

sublime wrote:I feel like you could get into a lower T14 with lower grades than what thenextamendment posted. However, this is anecdtally based on median people at my t20 going to Michigan and other lower T14's. I assume there would be a higher cut off, but I can't imagine it being that much higher.


Yeah its possible, especially at GULC. It's hard to gauge how T14 would look at T40-60 as compared to T20. If you wanna break down the numbers yourself OP, go check out the 509 reports. They display last year's transfer data at each school. http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/ GULC had a median gpa of 3.67 for all transfers. That's probably right around Top 10-15% on average. What sublime and I are discussing is how much higher your gpa must be since you come from a lower ranked school. My guess is probably around a 3.7. Hope this helps. Good luck.
Last edited by TheNextAmendment on Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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runinthefront
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby runinthefront » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys, I need some advice.
Currently attend a school ranked 40-60 (with a full ride) and am going to end up in the top 5%. (Could be anywhere from top 1-3 people to top 5%, but being conservative). The school is not in a big market, but does have some reputable midlaw firms and satellite offices of biglaw firms.
I had no expectations of working in a larger firm given the school I attended, but with my grades it is a legitimate possibility. I feel it would be stupid to not entertain it, given the better exit opportunities I would have with a few years as a big law slave.
Is a transfer worth it? What would I have legit shot at, given second semester is similar to my first?
I have strong ties to this area. My gf and I recently bought a home here, so it would be real tough for me to move away while she stays here. Would a transfer to a higher ranked school help with a job here in my smaller market? Or do I keep at it here, get good grades/do law review and network?
Thanks in advance.

OP, you have a full ride, ties to the area, a wife and a home. You also went into law school comfortable with the idea of working midlaw/small law. It sounds like you're in a smaller market which you're comfortable with, and it always sounds like you want to stay there long-term. I don't think any T14 school at sticker will net you better returns than being at the Top 5% in your class where you are.

In my opinion, I wouldn't give up my full ride, great grades and awesome wife to move to a different area and pay sticker.

If I were you, I would weigh think long and hard about the possibility of getting into Harvard and would probably apply there, solely because I would likely qualify for max need-aid. But I would probably stay, honestly. I don't think it's worth it for you

ilikebaseball
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby ilikebaseball » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:32 am

I feel like it depends where you are OP. As previous poster stated, you've made a life attending the other school. It would take a hell of a lot to drive me from that.

mvp99
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby mvp99 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:36 am

TheNextAmendment wrote:Y and S are out.
Top 1-2% gets you HLS or CCN
Top 5-7% gets you into T14 territory

Anything worse than that won't get you into any school worth transferring. It sounds like you have some ties to the area and have already invested in your future there, so the decision will be tougher. Basing your decision solely on your job prospects, I recommend that you transfer out of your current school if you break the T6 or get into one of the T14 that is close to your current region (GULC excluded).

I disagree with mvp. If you can break the T6, then transferring is a no-brainer. Other T14 schools that let you participate in OCI are also worth consideration. My advice is contingent on biglaw aspirations only; if you want gov or "mid/small" law, then stay and graduate debt-free.


is it a no-brainer even if transferring out means losing his full ride? Maybe I'm too conservative but I personally wouldn't risk it

toothbrush
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby toothbrush » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:37 am

I'd stay. I can't see many reasons to try to transfer given your goals and current stability.

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fats provolone
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby fats provolone » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:39 am

it is not a "no brainer" that is fucking stupid

you are talking about like $100k for "huh maybe i want biglaw? who knows"

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runinthefront
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby runinthefront » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:42 am

dude once again people my disagree but I would only transfer out if you're at like... idk.. U.Richmond/George Mason/Washington and Lee and you got into UVA (or HYS), or Penn State and got into UPenn (or HYS). The rest of the schools ranked 40-60 seem to be in really small markets that don't have a dominant T14 school feeding students into the market, and you'd probably fare better at landing a job there at top 5% of your class than median or something from T14. It doesn't make sense to be #1 at FSU and transfer to Michigan when you're trying to work at Greenberg Traurig's Tallahassee office.
Last edited by runinthefront on Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

TheNextAmendment
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby TheNextAmendment » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:43 am

fats provolone wrote:it is not a "no brainer" that is fucking stupid

you are talking about like $100k for "huh maybe i want biglaw? who knows"


What a productive comment. I said transferring to a T6 is a no-brainer based solely on job prospects and assuming OP wants biglaw. Read.

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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:05 am

OP- gpa is currently a 3.92. Have one grade to be released, but even a B would land me comfortably within the top 5%.

I reviewed the disclosures -- thanks for the awesome resource.

Regarding Harvard: assuming in able to keep my gpa and be competitive for a transfer, do they offer need based aid to transfers? I'm not currently married, so I assume my gf's salary would be irrelevant, and I don't come from a family with money.

The more and more I think about it, the more I feel like it doesn't make sense. But there's also a part of me that says I'm an idiot and I should give myself the best possibility of a great career.

toothbrush
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby toothbrush » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP- gpa is currently a 3.92. Have one grade to be released, but even a B would land me comfortably within the top 5%.

I reviewed the disclosures -- thanks for the awesome resource.

Regarding Harvard: assuming in able to keep my gpa and be competitive for a transfer, do they offer need based aid to transfers? I'm not currently married, so I assume my gf's salary would be irrelevant, and I don't come from a family with money.

The more and more I think about it, the more I feel like it doesn't make sense. But there's also a part of me that says I'm an idiot and I should give myself the best possibility of a great career.

Yes their aid does apply to transfers.

There was a thread about a guy from FSU who got into HLS and had similar trouble deciding whether to chase the prestige of HLS or go forward on his intended path. I think he ended up staying at FSU fwiw.

Grats on the grades.

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fats provolone
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby fats provolone » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:12 am

TheNextAmendment wrote:
fats provolone wrote:it is not a "no brainer" that is fucking stupid

you are talking about like $100k for "huh maybe i want biglaw? who knows"


What a productive comment. I said transferring to a T6 is a no-brainer based solely on job prospects and assuming OP wants biglaw. Read.

(gives terrible advice based on unfounded assumption)

(tells you to READ)

TheNextAmendment
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby TheNextAmendment » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:46 pm

fats provolone wrote:
TheNextAmendment wrote:
fats provolone wrote:it is not a "no brainer" that is fucking stupid

you are talking about like $100k for "huh maybe i want biglaw? who knows"


What a productive comment. I said transferring to a T6 is a no-brainer based solely on job prospects and assuming OP wants biglaw. Read.

(gives terrible advice based on unfounded assumption)

(tells you to READ)


I'm genuinely curious why you think its bad advice. For example, assume he goes to UConn Law and wants biglaw. Marriage, ties, etc. aside, you would tell him to stay at UConn? Therefore, Top 5% at UConn > T6 + 140k of debt? Idk. The risk of striking out at UConn OCI is still very possible. I wouldn't take the risk.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:51 pm

ilikebaseball wrote:I feel like it depends where you are OP. As previous poster stated, you've made a life attending the other school. It would take a hell of a lot to drive me from that.

forum not for 0Ls

SFSpartan
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby SFSpartan » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:02 pm

Like Sublime, I disagree with NextAmendment's characterization here. Last year, kids from the top 5% at my school (ranked 50-60, and not that difficult to ascertain based on post history) got H, S, and Columbia. Kids in the top 10% mostly went to B, though a couple went to other T-14's such as NU. Top 15% to Top 1/3 got UCLA/USC. Basic point here is that top 5% opens up some pretty good transfer options.

As far as wanting to jettison your full ride, I think it really depends on the market you want to work in, and how well your school places into Biglaw. Look at how similar students in your position ended up in previous years, and let that be your guide in deciding whether to stay or go.

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Nebby
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Nebby » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:39 pm

OP. If you maintain top 5%, then you'll very, very likely get into NYU, ChiLS, CLS, and HLS.

Do with that what you will.

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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:55 pm

I was in your shoes, and did not transfer from my school in the 60s. Graduated #2 in my class, and have no debt. I have a pretty good job, but have been told by head hunters that I am out purely based on my school. I recommend transferring

sflyr2016
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:14 pm

If I am not mistaken, Nebby went to a school in your range and transferred into CLS and is happy with that decision (I hate to speak for someone else but its what I've gained from previous posts). I was in a similar position too but decided to stay and am very happy with the way things worked out. I, like you, wanted to work in a market that my regional school placed into. Had I wanted to go into any other market, transferring would undoubtedly been the right decision. I think the biggest factor to consider is your marriage. With your grades, I am sure you will get a job. Whether or not you want that job to pay more, be in a bigger city, and have more prestigious degree/job while adding more debt and uprooting from a comfortable position is something you and your wife need to be on the same page about. In any event, people get cocky/lazy/overly-confident after their first semesters and drop off. Just a reminder that both semesters count equally (unless you decide to apply for a transfer to Chicago or GULC early) so I would be more focused on keeping your grades up.

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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:51 am

OP here.

Thanks a lot for all your advice. At this point, focusing on maintaining grades. It is likely that I would only consider H, and possibly CCN. H is obviously the toughest, but the idea of any aid whatsoever is huge to me. I feel like I would apply and see what happens. It doesn't seem right to not at least do that - even if I ultimately choose not to attend.

It's hard, though, given everything I've done in the past few years to set up shop in the location I'm currently at. I would feel like a huge asshole to then ask my girlfriend (together forever, will ultimately get married) to either move, or sit tight while I bounce for 2 years - not really, but essentially. I also like graduating with no law school debt.

On the other hand, having a degree from H is pretty BA, and will open up a lot of doors for me after graduation and down the road.

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Cicero76
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby Cicero76 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks a lot for all your advice. At this point, focusing on maintaining grades. It is likely that I would only consider H, and possibly CCN. H is obviously the toughest, but the idea of any aid whatsoever is huge to me. I feel like I would apply and see what happens. It doesn't seem right to not at least do that - even if I ultimately choose not to attend.

It's hard, though, given everything I've done in the past few years to set up shop in the location I'm currently at. I would feel like a huge asshole to then ask my girlfriend (together forever, will ultimately get married) to either move, or sit tight while I bounce for 2 years - not really, but essentially. I also like graduating with no law school debt.

On the other hand, having a degree from H is pretty BA, and will open up a lot of doors for me after graduation and down the road.



The girlfriend, especially such a long-term one, should probably understand the lifelong implications of having Harvard instead of your current school, particularly if it isn't going to add hugely to your debt load. Give her a chance.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Top 5% Advice

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:33 am

I wrote a blog on this a few years ago:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistake-2-shangri-law/

One thing I didn't mention in the blog, however, is that the school your graduate from is going to likely help with client development in how prestigious it is. Bottom line, this is a very individual decision made for idiosyncratic reasons which likely only you know.




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