Transfer or be in top of class?

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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Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:23 pm

After fall semester, I'm just outside the top 5% at a T1 school. I have a 2/3 scholly. I didn't have to take out any student loans this year because I have some savings. I estimate that I'll have $40,000 in debt after I graduate from said T1 school. If I perform similarly this semester, do you think it would be worth it to transfer? I'm thinking I'd apply to Berkeley, Stanford, and UCLA.

My skepticism: Is sticker for two years at any of those schools worth it?

Would graduating at the top of the class at a T1 school with $40,000 of debt make more sense?

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:25 pm

Do you want to work in the region your current school is in?

Anonymous User
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:26 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:Do you want to work in the region your current school is in?


OP here. Not the exact region, but it's close enough.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby MarkfromWI » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:28 pm

What are your career goals?

timmyd
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby timmyd » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:41 pm

This is easy. Only transfer if its Berkeley or HYSCCN in my opinion. I include B because it seems you want to be in California. Otherwise, I would probably just say T10. I don't think you gain anything with UCLA and, arguably, the lower T14.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby AReasonableMan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:45 pm

if theyre not from ca they probanly have to transfer to get ca regardless of grades (learned this the hard way.)

timmyd
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby timmyd » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:50 pm

Also, there is something to be said, not so much from a career development standpoint as from an egotistical standpoint, about being a rockstar at your law school. Being top 5% at a T1 will get you law review, the admire of your classmates (or disdain), and your school doing everything it can to make sure you have a good outcome or its employment numbers. I think transferring is still the better call in terms of overall career trajectory. Sure, you will likely get big law from where you are, but other "brass rings" of the profession become much more attainable from a T6 school, such as clerkships, possible academia, whatever...either way don't rest on you laurels because that gpa is highly malleable at this point.

UFlaw99
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby UFlaw99 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:16 pm

Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...

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BVest
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby BVest » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:36 pm

UFlaw99 wrote:Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...


Ignore this.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby AReasonableMan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:42 pm

UFlaw99 wrote:Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...
if they try the same the grades wont change. big law hiring is all on 1 year of grades. keeping the gpa will always be a necessary condition for clerking even if s/he transferred.

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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:38 am

AReasonableMan wrote:if theyre not from ca they probanly have to transfer to get ca regardless of grades (learned this the hard way.)


OP here. I am from CA. I would like to work in CA. Hence why I would apply to the schools I listed. Yeah, I don't think UCLA is really worth it.

I am interested in a judicial clerkship. Part of me wants to strive for bigger and better things. The other part says you're doing well; don't f*** with it.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby AReasonableMan » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:if theyre not from ca they probanly have to transfer to get ca regardless of grades (learned this the hard way.)


OP here. I am from CA. I would like to work in CA. Hence why I would apply to the schools I listed. Yeah, I don't think UCLA is really worth it.

I am interested in a judicial clerkship. Part of me wants to strive for bigger and better things. The other part says you're doing well; don't f*** with it.

Yeah, I mean there's no scenario in which you're "safe". A good clerkship is still under a 50/50 proposition assuming you keep your current grades. There is a non-negligible long term value in transferring, but I'm not sure if it offsets the cost.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby MarkfromWI » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:38 am

Maybe I'm a bit biased because I transferred myself but I think transferring is worth it, especially if you are going to go after those "bigger and better things." When you're applying for biglaw, clerkships, etc. you're still going to have your great grades from a solid school backing you up but also the added bonus of a T14 name on your resume. You also know how to play the game; your class rank probably won't be that far off of what it is at your current school. You probably aren't going to sink to the bottom of the class at the new school just because you moved up a few spots on USNWR.

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Nebby
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Nebby » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:43 pm

Apply to Berkeley and Stanford.

Longtimecoming19
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:47 pm

BVest wrote:
UFlaw99 wrote:Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...


Ignore this.


Ignore this.

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BVest
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby BVest » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:52 pm

Longtimecoming19 wrote:
BVest wrote:
UFlaw99 wrote:Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...


Ignore this.


Ignore this.


I assume you're saying ignore my advice that he should ignore UFlaw99, the rising 2L who hasn't been through the transfer process yet. If so, how, exactly, do you think that transferring changes this cat's calculus for locking down biglaw or clerkship? Coming from a T1, biglaw is going to size him up based on his 1L grades and school. And any bump he gets in seeking a clerkship is offset by the increased difficulty in getting LORs and the fact that he'll absolutely have to wait until spring of 2L before he can drop any apps because judges will insist on seeing grades from his new school.

sandwhich
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby sandwhich » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:48 am

BVest wrote:
Longtimecoming19 wrote:
BVest wrote:
UFlaw99 wrote:Transfer because your GPA could go down in the remaining 2 years and then you would have a lower chance of getting a Big Law job, clerkship, etc...


Ignore this.


Ignore this.


And any bump he gets in seeking a clerkship is offset by the increased difficulty in getting LORs and the fact that he'll absolutely have to wait until spring of 2L before he can drop any apps because judges will insist on seeing grades from his new school.


I don't think this advice is wrong out rite , but there are a couple factors that qualify your advice. 1) depending on where he's coming from, if the judge would've hired him as a clerk based on 1L performance at that school, than his transfer grades are inconsequential (unless the judge has some predisposition against hiring transfers for some reason). 2) plenty* of judges don't look at clerk apps until they've have at least 3 semesters of grades anyway, transfer or not.

*thats what I've heard from the clerks of the judges I'll be interning for, which is consistent with the advice of my CDO

Bottom line: in some cases transfer may hurt your clerk opportunities, but with some judges it won't matter. It's equally possible that some with some judges it could improve your odds (better school, shows initiative, may be where the judge went etc.)

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BVest
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby BVest » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:46 am

sandwhich wrote:1) depending on where he's coming from, if the judge would've hired him as a clerk based on 1L performance at that school, than his transfer grades are inconsequential (unless the judge has some predisposition against hiring transfers for some reason). 2) plenty* of judges don't look at clerk apps until they've have at least 3 semesters of grades anyway, transfer or not.

*thats what I've heard from the clerks of the judges I'll be interning for, which is consistent with the advice of my CDO

Bottom line: in some cases transfer may hurt your clerk opportunities, but with some judges it won't matter. It's equally possible that some with some judges it could improve your odds (better school, shows initiative, may be where the judge went etc.)


I don't really get your qualifications. 1) If the judge would have hired him from his transfer school, then there's no reason to transfer and pay sticker elsewhere. 2) While true, this has been a moving target with the failure of the plan.

Better school can help with some judges; I don't know that I'd ever view transferring from a T1 up as "showing initiative" though. As far as transferring to where the judge went, that kind of depends on the judge, doesn't it; at the same time, though, don't forget that OP would be transferring away from where other judges went.

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rpupkin
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:After fall semester, I'm just outside the top 5% at a T1 school. I have a 2/3 scholly. I didn't have to take out any student loans this year because I have some savings. I estimate that I'll have $40,000 in debt after I graduate from said T1 school. If I perform similarly this semester, do you think it would be worth it to transfer? I'm thinking I'd apply to Berkeley, Stanford, and UCLA.

My skepticism: Is sticker for two years at any of those schools worth it?

Would graduating at the top of the class at a T1 school with $40,000 of debt make more sense?

I know you're paranoid about anonymity, but it really depends on where your current school is and where you want to work. You're anonymous; why don't you just say the school? Do you think that "top 5% and looking to transfer" somehow identifies you? Almost everyone in the top 25% at your current school is thinking about whether they should transfer. You're one of dozens.

Anyway, if you're top 5% at Hastings/Davis, and if you want to work in the Bay Area, then I'd probably stay. But if your T1 is out-of-state, or if you really want geographic flexibility in your job search, then it might be worth transferring to Berkeley or Stanford.

sandwhich
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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby sandwhich » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:16 am

BVest wrote:
sandwhich wrote:1) depending on where he's coming from, if the judge would've hired him as a clerk based on 1L performance at that school, than his transfer grades are inconsequential (unless the judge has some predisposition against hiring transfers for some reason). 2) plenty* of judges don't look at clerk apps until they've have at least 3 semesters of grades anyway, transfer or not.

*thats what I've heard from the clerks of the judges I'll be interning for, which is consistent with the advice of my CDO

Bottom line: in some cases transfer may hurt your clerk opportunities, but with some judges it won't matter. It's equally possible that some with some judges it could improve your odds (better school, shows initiative, may be where the judge went etc.)


I don't really get your qualifications. 1) If the judge would have hired him from his transfer school, then there's no reason to transfer and pay sticker elsewhere. 2) While true, this has been a moving target with the failure of the plan.

Better school can help with some judges; I don't know that I'd ever view transferring from a T1 up as "showing initiative" though. As far as transferring to where the judge went, that kind of depends on the judge, doesn't it; at the same time, though, don't forget that OP would be transferring away from where other judges went.


Fair enough but I guess it comes down to where in T1 op is transferring from. T40 to T6 can have long term benefits that wouldn't be available from the T40 regardless of whether you clerk after both. Maybe he'll have batter odds at a circuit clerk also.

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Re: Transfer or be in top of class?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:46 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the good thoughts. You all have given me some thoughts. Regardless, I need to do well this semester whether transferring or staying. I'll worry about it once I finish this semester!




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