Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

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Is transferring down insane?

YES -- definitely stay at SLS
48
72%
No -- a transfer to Boalt is worth considering
19
28%
 
Total votes: 67

Anonymous User
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Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:28 pm

I'm currently a 1L at SLS, and I'm seriously considering applying to transfer to Berkeley. Though I love law school and I have an ideal public interest summer internship lined up in the Bay Area, I really hate SLS's conservative corporate culture. I just do not connect to my classmates at all and I don't feel that I have a lot of support here. I am worried about the fact that these people are my law school network, now and beyond. I had one Bay Area PI summer employer tell me straight-up they don't really hire from SLS -- they prefer to keep a "Berkeley feel." I don't blame them!

I was initially won over to choose SLS because of its ranking and clerkship rates (+ great fin aid), but I wonder if I made the wrong choice. Would it be insane to transfer, or should I suck it up? I'm not miserable and I could get through 2 more years, but I'm not sure it's worth it, or that it's even an advantage to be here for Bay Area PI.

If it's not insane to transfer: a) would I need to be top of my class? (I'm not, but I'm above median) and b) do transfers ever get scholarships?

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Tanicius
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Tanicius » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 pm

I am worried about the fact that these people are my law school network, now and beyond. I had one Bay Area PI summer employer tell me straight-up they don't really hire from SLS -- they prefer to keep a "Berkeley feel."


That's very bizarre. It should not be difficult to set yourself apart from the pack on this. It makes you a big fish in a small pond if you're one of only a few PI-minded people in your entire class.

As for this...

Though I love law school and I have an ideal public interest summer internship lined up in the Bay Area, I really hate SLS's conservative corporate culture. I just do not connect to my classmates at all and I don't feel that I have a lot of support here.


Sorry to disappoint, but that corporate culture is at every top school, Cal included.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:40 pm

Yeah that seems like a silly and amorphous reason to uproot your life and move somewhere else.

Frankly, most law schools are pretty similar. Berkeley may have a slightly different culture, but it will only be a matter of degree, and you're going to be surrounded by tons of biglaw and corporate focused people there too.

Surely you're not the only public interest person at Stanford. You need to do a better job of meeting people with your interests and adapt to the people with different interests. I don't see Cal being some magic cure all for your situation.

abl
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby abl » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:41 pm

Give SLS more of a chance (or talk with some 2Ls and 3Ls)--to the extent there's a corporate culture at SLS I am sure that it's very influenced by the 1L-OCI mess (that will almost certainly feel similar at Berkeley). My sense is that SLS has far less of a "corporate" culture than just about any other law school (including UCB) other than possibly Yale.

071816
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby 071816 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:42 pm

Yes.

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reasonable person
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby reasonable person » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:43 pm

Don't do drugs, kids.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:24 pm

abl wrote:Give SLS more of a chance (or talk with some 2Ls and 3Ls)--to the extent there's a corporate culture at SLS I am sure that it's very influenced by the 1L-OCI mess (that will almost certainly feel similar at Berkeley). My sense is that SLS has far less of a "corporate" culture than just about any other law school (including UCB) other than possibly Yale.


OP here.

I certainly recognize this possibility and have thought about it a lot. But in sharing stories with 1L friends at other law schools (definitely including, but not limited to, Boalt), other law students seem floored by my experiences, both with my classmates and with the administration. Everything is subjective so it's hard to say. I really feel (from my limited vantage-point) that SLS, and perhaps especially my graduating class, is a special case. PI goals aren't just the minority -- they are really looked down upon by others. Whereas at other schools (Boalt being the school I'm most familiar with and the best geographic choice for a transfer) I get the feeling it is much more embraced and supported.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:42 pm

Can you give some specific examples of these slights. It seems like something that is in your head.

The feeling that CSO isn't supportive enough of public interest students (or any non-big firm trajectory) is shared at almost all schools. Schools expend most of their efforts on private firms, and the OCI process makes it seem like that's all CSOs care about. That said, I highly doubt Stanford is screwing over its public interest folks. I'm interested to hear about your experiences.

I also think a lot of public interest-oriented students suffer from a complex where they feel disrespected by their big firm-bound peers while simultaneously feeling superior to them. Not saying this is you, but if you really feel like you can't relate to any of your classmates, the issue is probably you and not all of them.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:47 pm

romothesavior wrote:I also think a lot of public interest-oriented students suffer from a complex where they feel disrespected by their big firm-bound peers while simultaneously feeling superior to them.

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sd5289
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby sd5289 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:49 pm

romothesavior wrote:The feeling that CSO isn't supportive enough of public interest students (or any non-big firm trajectory) is shared at almost all schools. Schools expend most of their efforts on private firms, and the OCI process makes it seem like that's all CSOs care about. That said, I highly doubt Stanford is screwing over its public interest folks. I'm interested to hear about your experiences.


+1

I go to a school (East Coast) that has high placement #'s in both local PI and Gov't (and a decent PI/Gov't culture), and my CSO was exactly 0% helpful during my job search/interviewing process last semester. The market I'm going into has a very intense interviewing process (multiple "rounds"), and I was hired at the end of November. The only word I've gotten from my CSO was a random email last week asking if I was employed after graduation or still looking. Answer? "Yes, employed FTLT...no thanks to you."

Even though we have a pretty decent PI/Gov't culture, the vast majority of students are looking for firms and/or private practice. That's just how it goes in the law school grind.

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Nebby
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:50 pm

OP, the transfer does not make much sense from any objective criteria. Have you contacted SLS's Public Interest Coalition? It's a student group for public interest folks.

zombie mcavoy wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I also think a lot of public interest-oriented students suffer from a complex where they feel disrespected by their big firm-bound peers while simultaneously feeling superior to them. Not saying this is you, but if you really feel like you can't relate to any of your classmates, the issue is probably you and not all of them.


Also this.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby legends159 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:51 pm

Not unheard of - had a few classmates who transferred down from SLS. I think one went to Boalt too but it was because of location I believe - they didn't want to keep commuting from the east bay. Will they match your aid?

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Nebby
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:53 pm

legends159 wrote:Not unheard of - had a few classmates who transferred down from SLS. I think one went to Boalt too but it was because of location I believe - they didn't want to keep commuting from the east bay. Will they match your aid?

Not likely. Applying to transfer to any school tells admissions, "I'll gladly attend here w/o any financial aid."

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sd5289
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby sd5289 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:54 pm

CounselorNebby wrote:
legends159 wrote:Not unheard of - had a few classmates who transferred down from SLS. I think one went to Boalt too but it was because of location I believe - they didn't want to keep commuting from the east bay. Will they match your aid?

Not likely. Applying to transfer to any school tells admissions, "I'll gladly attend here w/o any financial aid."


But the vast majority of people transfer up rather than down.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Big Dog » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:56 pm

Boalt makes clear that transfers are full-pay; thank you very much for the contribution.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby whippersnappery » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
abl wrote:Give SLS more of a chance (or talk with some 2Ls and 3Ls)--to the extent there's a corporate culture at SLS I am sure that it's very influenced by the 1L-OCI mess (that will almost certainly feel similar at Berkeley). My sense is that SLS has far less of a "corporate" culture than just about any other law school (including UCB) other than possibly Yale.


OP here.

I certainly recognize this possibility and have thought about it a lot. But in sharing stories with 1L friends at other law schools (definitely including, but not limited to, Boalt), other law students seem floored by my experiences, both with my classmates and with the administration. Everything is subjective so it's hard to say. I really feel (from my limited vantage-point) that SLS, and perhaps especially my graduating class, is a special case. PI goals aren't just the minority -- they are really looked down upon by others. Whereas at other schools (Boalt being the school I'm most familiar with and the best geographic choice for a transfer) I get the feeling it is much more embraced and supported.


Perhaps it's your section? If you're in the section with all the JD/MBAs I can imagine there's more of a corporate focus, but I think most of the other ones have a big PI contingent. I think once you can take electives you're interested in next quarter, you might meet more PI people. I'm a 1L and have actually been really happy with how many PI people there are and how much support there is. I would try speaking with Anna or Titi at the Levin Center, and maybe reach out to faculty in your interest area. One thing that's helped me stay sane with all the doctrinal classes and not lose focus on PI is doing research in my interest area with one of the clinical faculty. I know that it's pretty common for them to take 1Ls. If that interests you, that might also be an option.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:58 pm

If you really do hate SLS, and if you already have a bunch of friends at Boalt and therefore have a specific reason to think that you would be happier there, and if you're 100% set on PI in the Bay Area, then, no, it's not totally crazy to transfer. But if any of the above isn't true, you really shouldn't transfer.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:Can you give some specific examples of these slights. It seems like something that is in your head.
I also think a lot of public interest-oriented students suffer from a complex where they feel disrespected by their big firm-bound peers while simultaneously feeling superior to them. Not saying this is you, but if you really feel like you can't relate to any of your classmates, the issue is probably you and not all of them.


OP here.
You know, I'm willing to assume I have a complex and it's all in my head, or at least to acknowledge that as a real possibility. But I'm not sure it's relevant to the question I'm asking. This is my experience (even if it's irrational) and I think just having a larger and more established community of PI-bound students, plus more express institutional support, would make a world of difference for me.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Can you give some specific examples of these slights. It seems like something that is in your head.
I also think a lot of public interest-oriented students suffer from a complex where they feel disrespected by their big firm-bound peers while simultaneously feeling superior to them. Not saying this is you, but if you really feel like you can't relate to any of your classmates, the issue is probably you and not all of them.


OP here.
You know, I'm willing to assume I have a complex and it's all in my head, or at least to acknowledge that as a real possibility. But I'm not sure it's relevant to the question I'm asking. This is my experience (even if it's irrational) and I think just having a larger and more established community of PI-bound students, plus more express institutional support, would make a world of difference for me.

The decision is not rational, and as long as you admit it then you're free to transfer. With regard to employment, though, SLS certainly opens many doors. Do you have an idea what you want to practice; what are you doing 1L summer? What is SLS's LRAP? I assume it's pretty good.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby sd5289 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:14 pm

CounselorNebby wrote:The decision is not rational, and as long as you admit it then you're free to transfer. With regard to employment, though, SLS certainly opens many doors. Do you have an idea what you want to practice; what are you doing 1L summer? What is SLS's LRAP? I assume it's pretty good.


And how is it compared to Boalt's? The PSLF program is great and all, but there's been chatter for a while about limiting the amount forgiven, cutting the program, etc.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.
You know, I'm willing to assume I have a complex and it's all in my head, or at least to acknowledge that as a real possibility. But I'm not sure it's relevant to the question I'm asking. This is my experience (even if it's irrational) and I think just having a larger and more established community of PI-bound students, plus more express institutional support, would make a world of difference for me.

Of course whether your problems are real or merely perceived has a lot to do with whether it's rational to transfer.

It also has a lot to do with whether transferring will actually cure any of these perceived problems. Again, if the issues you're voicing are pretty much universal at all law schools (and they are), then transferring won't do you a whole lot of good.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby koalacity » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently a 1L at SLS, and I'm seriously considering applying to transfer to Berkeley. Though I love law school and I have an ideal public interest summer internship lined up in the Bay Area, I really hate SLS's conservative corporate culture. I just do not connect to my classmates at all and I don't feel that I have a lot of support here. I am worried about the fact that these people are my law school network, now and beyond. I had one Bay Area PI summer employer tell me straight-up they don't really hire from SLS -- they prefer to keep a "Berkeley feel." I don't blame them!

I was initially won over to choose SLS because of its ranking and clerkship rates (+ great fin aid), but I wonder if I made the wrong choice. Would it be insane to transfer, or should I suck it up? I'm not miserable and I could get through 2 more years, but I'm not sure it's worth it, or that it's even an advantage to be here for Bay Area PI.

If it's not insane to transfer: a) would I need to be top of my class? (I'm not, but I'm above median) and b) do transfers ever get scholarships?

There are lots of things I don't like about SLS, but I think the PI community here is actually pretty strong. I think this would be a big mistake, particularly if you have a good aid package at SLS.

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DCNTUA
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby DCNTUA » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:32 pm

It might be different if your reason was something that a move to Berk would fix.

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Nebby
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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby Nebby » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:36 pm

sd5289 wrote:
CounselorNebby wrote:The decision is not rational, and as long as you admit it then you're free to transfer. With regard to employment, though, SLS certainly opens many doors. Do you have an idea what you want to practice; what are you doing 1L summer? What is SLS's LRAP? I assume it's pretty good.


And how is it compared to Boalt's? The PSLF program is great and all, but there's been chatter for a while about limiting the amount forgiven, cutting the program, etc.


You're free to plan your future on the speculation of congressional action. If it makes you feel better about your employment decisions, then more power to you. Not super relevant to OP though.

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Re: Is it crazy to transfer down? SLS -> Boalt.

Postby UnicornHunter » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:44 pm

CounselorNebby wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
CounselorNebby wrote:The decision is not rational, and as long as you admit it then you're free to transfer. With regard to employment, though, SLS certainly opens many doors. Do you have an idea what you want to practice; what are you doing 1L summer? What is SLS's LRAP? I assume it's pretty good.


And how is it compared to Boalt's? The PSLF program is great and all, but there's been chatter for a while about limiting the amount forgiven, cutting the program, etc.


You're free to plan your future on the speculation of congressional action. If it makes you feel better about your employment decisions, then more power to you. Not super relevant to OP though.


I don't know, it's not totally crazy to compare the two LRAPs if OP wants to do PI 4 lyfe.




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