Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

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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Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:36 pm

Hello TLS. The thought of transferring up from Texas has been in the back of my mind since last semester, and as I'm approaching the end of the semester, I'm hoping to decide affirmatively whether to try it or not. Here's my situation:

1) I'm an AA URM at Texas probably sitting around the top 33% of my class. I'm hoping that a strong second semester might boost me up to top 25%. If I were to do the same or worse as I did last semester, I would almost definitely not apply to transfer. My scholarship covers about 55% of tuition, and I pay in-state. Nevertheless, I am not in a position where I would be unable to handle the financial burden of sticker at HYSC (Columbia, not applying to Chicago because of binding transfer).

2) I'm pretty happy at Texas Law; no real complaints of any sort. I'm aiming for BigLaw here (no strong preference between Houston/Austin/Dallas), though I am very open to DC and somewhat open to California and New York. I have strong ties to Houston, some ties to DC, and almost none to either CA or NY (though a few of my in-laws live in CA).

3) My main reasons for applying to transfer are as follows: 1) negotiation for more money from Texas (yes, I am being a bit greedy here), 2) stronger clerkship possibilities at HYSC, 3) ability to access other legal markets beside Texas 4) significantly more opportunity to practice in policy and international transactions practice areas 5) prestige (yes, I am a sucker for big names)

So here's what I'd like you guys' help with:

1) How much more available are clerkship opportunities at HYSC than Texas? Is there a website that covers this that I'm missing? If there is a significant difference in accessing strong clerkships between Texas and the rest?

2) I know of some of the obvious drawbacks of transferring, like very limited, if any, scholarship aid, having to quickly move and find housing, coming in fresh to school you weren't at for 1L year, etc, but what are some of the more hidden/less obvious drawbacks of transferring. I've been told that transfers are disadvantaged at OCI, yet what I've read here indicates that this isn't true. Any thoughts on this?

3) General pros/cons you think might be appropriate to consider. And if I have not been clear here or have left something out, please let me know and I'll try to address it asap.

Thanks in advance for all your help/advice.

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BVest
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby BVest » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:34 pm

You're really talking about H or Columbia here. Yale and Stanford aren't happening from your position in the class (they don't happen for most people in better positions either). As far as your chances at H and C, they've apparently dipped down as far as top 25% in T20s before, but it doesn't appear to be terrifically common. Conventional wisdom is that your URM status does nothing to affect your admission numbers for transfer, but CW can be wrong; just don't count on that.

As far as clerkships go, someone more familiar with how Harvard and Columbia transfers do with clerkships, but I doubt you'd do yourself much of favor in transferring. Here are the federal clerkship rates for the three schools:

Harvard 17%
Columbia 4.8% (No doubt there's a good bit of self selection in this low number)
Texas 9%

Texas places another 2% in SSC clerkships, and I'm sure Harvard and maybe Columbia do to, but I have no information about that.

For biglaw, at top 1/3 to top 1/4 and not being picky between Houston/Dallas (or even Austin, though it's tougher and you don't want to waste bids on it if you're happy with Houston/Dallas), you're should be sitting pretty. And unlike transfer applications, biglaw is an area where diversity should be of benefit to you. The biglaw numbers (including fed clerkships are):

Harvard 71%
Columbia 78%
Texas 42%

Some of the additional drawbacks are not having a natural base of friends (i.e. your section and, even more so, your small section) at your new school, and relevant to your inquiries, not having a prior relationship with professors from whom you'll need to find some LOR for clerkship applications. Then there are some judges who will want to see one or two semesters of grades from you at your new school before they consider your application, but that's probably a negligible drawback as you're not in a position to compete for the clerkships that would take you just off 1L grades alone.

From a financial standpoint, I don't see at all how transferring would make sense for you. You're currently paying $36k annual COA all in. If you transfer you'd be paying $82-83k annual COA. That's $95-100k hit for what's likely not even a marginal increase in potential outcomes.

Best of luck.

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Nebby
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby Nebby » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:35 pm

I think the hardest part will be getting accepted. Top 25% from TX won't get you into HYSC. :(

Anonymous User
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:44 pm

Appreciate the detailed breakdown BVest. I understand my chances aren't great even at top 25%, but I'm not trying to get caught up in that right now. If I were to get top 25%, I'd want to at least apply.

The numbers you provided are very useful; the clerkship numbers in particular are ones I've been trying to find for some time. Seeing Columbia down at 4.8% makes me a bit less inclined to apply there, even if the number is at least partially accounted for by self-selection.

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BVest
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby BVest » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The numbers you provided are very useful; the clerkship numbers in particular are ones I've been trying to find for some time. Seeing Columbia down at 4.8% makes me a bit less inclined to apply there, even if the number is at least partially accounted for by self-selection.

I wouldn't worry too much about that. Much of that self-selection is Columbia's heavy transactional tilt.

Ken Kesey
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby Ken Kesey » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:23 pm

Hello, another fellow Texas 1L here.

From what I understand, if you want to do a clerkship transferring really isn't going to help you. The best way to get a Federal clerkship would be to get on the Texas Law Review. (pretty much 0 chance of making law review at a school you transfer to). Even Texas Federal judges are going to like Texas grads

Columbia is at 4.8% entirely because of self-selection. People go to Columbia if they have purely Big Law interests.


Transferring won't really hurt you for OCI, you might even get to do two OCI's. One at the old school and one at the new school.

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rpupkin
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:30 pm

Ken Kesey wrote:Columbia is at 4.8% entirely because of self-selection. People go to Columbia if they have purely Big Law interests.

Well. Self-selection might explain some of it, but I think a bigger factor is that CLS is located in a desirable circuit/district (2nd Circuit/SDNY) and its graduates have to compete with HYS grads for those sought-after clerkships. Also, plenty of people with "purely big law interests" do clerkships. Big law is the most common destination after a clerkship.

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Nebby
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Re: Texas 1L Considering Transferring to HYSC. Pros/Cons?

Postby Nebby » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:34 pm

CLS grads also only apply to a select few districts. Anyone willing to apply outside the preFtigious districts or circuits can get them.




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