Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

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Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:23 pm

I am a student at a top tier law school (in the 40's), and received a 4.0 the first semester. I'm pretty sure I want to transfer, but don't know if I should do the early decision at Chicago, or wait to see my next semester grades to try and apply to HYS or C. I am perfectly happy going to any of those schools, however, the highest ranking schools are most appealing.

Questions:

1) Would you recommend transferring?
2) Early decision at Chi or wait?
3) What are the best things I can be doing to make my application more competitive?

acr

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby acr » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a student at a top tier law school (in the 40's), and received a 4.0 the first semester. I'm pretty sure I want to transfer, but don't know if I should do the early decision at Chicago, or wait to see my next semester grades to try and apply to HYS or C. I am perfectly happy going to any of those schools, however, the highest ranking schools are most appealing.

Questions:

1) Would you recommend transferring?
2) Early decision at Chi or wait?
3) What are the best things I can be doing to make my application more competitive?


I recommend that you stop chasing prestige and stop paying attention to meaningless US News ranking distinctions.

But to answer your questions...

(1) It depends. If you maintain your 4.0 GPA through the end of this semester, then I assume that you will be in the top 5 or so students in your class. Not top 5%, top 5 students. If that's the case, then you will likely have the same (if not better) opportunities from your current "top tier" school that you would have at HYS or C. You also want to think about the debt outcomes. If you're currently on a full scholarship, and if you maintain your GPA through this semester, then I see little value in transferring. However, if you're not receiving any money from your current school or not receiving significant money, then the debt outcome is a wash and it makes more sense to transfer.

At the end of the day, there isn't enough information to completely answer the broad question "Would you recommend transferring" because (1) we can't be sure of your exact employment opportunities post-1L because you only have half of your 1L GPA; (2) you haven't provided any information about your career goals (clerkship, location, practice area, etc); and (3) you haven't provided any financial information (current scholarship, prior debt load, etc.).

Whatever you decide, it will be a tradeoff between your debt-aversion, employment outcomes, desire for "prestige," and personal career preferences. No one here can make that recommendation for you because it's a personal decision based off preferences. All we can do is give you the variables and information to make the correct decision yourself.

(2) Regardless of the answer to your first question, I recommend holding off on applying to Chicago ED with one caveat. If you are dead set on practicing in Chicago, and if you are dead set that Chicago is your top choice school, and if you're not confident in your ability to maintain the same performance as last semester, then ED'ing Chicago starts to make more sense. With your 4.0, I'm very confident that you would get accepted to Chicago ED. In other words, ED'ing to Chicago is a safe bet because it "hedges" a potentially poor second semester grade wise. But the downside is that applying ED to Chicago and getting accepted eliminates you from contention for HYS, and you seem to want the prestige. Even if you have a "bad" or "mediocre" semester per se, you'll still have a high cumulative GPA and Chicago will likely be in the running for regular decision admission regardless. If it were me, I would wait and see how I perform this semester and evaluate from there.

(3) Maintain your GPA. That's the best thing you can do. I also recommend doing what you can to develop and foster stronger relationships with your profs from last semester. Talk to them about whether they need help with side research over the summer, come to them for advice, review your exams if you haven't, etc. No one can really quantify it but I think that having one (or two) solid transfer LOR's in your back pocket goes a long way. I think transferring is becoming more competitive, so anything you can do at the margins will help. Anecdotally, my friends who have transferred credit their LOR's with helping them "outperform" their expected transfer outcome.

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:42 pm

I recommend that you stop chasing prestige and stop paying attention to meaningless US News ranking distinctions.

But to answer your questions...

(1) It depends. If you maintain your 4.0 GPA through the end of this semester, then I assume that you will be in the top 5 or so students in your class. Not top 5%, top 5 students. If that's the case, then you will likely have the same (if not better) opportunities from your current "top tier" school that you would have at HYS or C. You also want to think about the debt outcomes. If you're currently on a full scholarship, and if you maintain your GPA through this semester, then I see little value in transferring. However, if you're not receiving any money from your current school or not receiving significant money, then the debt outcome is a wash and it makes more sense to transfer.



--Sorry, I didn't give much lead into my situation. I will no longer have my initial scholarship (60%) at the start of next year. There would possibly be money available if I work for the school. And as for opportunities, my school doesn't really place well at big law firms (previous #1's can't get into big law). My school places well at the large firms in our city, but they are still mid-to-small firms in comparison. I also haven't found my career team all that helpful. No real insight or connections into the cities I want to practice in.

As for chasing prestige, I'm not sure where I eventually want to practice or what it is exactly that I want to do, so it is mainly just to keep as many doors open as possible. However, when I start to narrow my decisions, I'm sure my top choices for schools will shift.

NoDayButToday

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:06 pm

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Last edited by NoDayButToday on Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:54 pm

If admitted to a T-5, then transfer.

I don't think that this is a close call since you're losing your 60% scholarship & want biglaw outside of your law school's geographic placement area.

Assuming that you are currently at student at WFU, W&L, George Mason, Maryland, or Utah, then transfer. Even Colorado, which has been known to give one year scholarships/declining scholarships due to gaining resident status, transfer.

Obviously, your best prospects are Chicago, Columbia, then Harvard since Yale & Stanford are small. To go from any law school ranked in the 40s to Chicago, Columbia or Harvard is an easy decision made much easier by the loss of your one year scholarship.

candidlatke

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby candidlatke » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:02 pm

going to U-Chi would not lock you for Chicago by any means; it's a fantastic school with actual national reach.

i would echo what everyone has said so far, ED U-Chi would probably be the safest option and if you think you can gun for #1, you probably have a shot at Harvard. that being said, if you go on the transfer megathread, yale is probably out and stanford is probably out unless you're at hastings and #1 while harvard remains in reach-ish provided you stay in the top like 2%. if you are in a position to transfer though, your current school will also probably offer you a lot of money to stay so it's not without any opportunity cost

NoDayButToday

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:13 pm

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Last edited by NoDayButToday on Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HonestAdvice

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby HonestAdvice » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:29 pm

Without money you should transfer.

I wouldn't do ED, because you may be able to get into one of the big 3. Even if you were median, the cumulative prob still puts you in the 10%. You are clearly skilled at the exams, and it's very unlikely you'll do bad enough to make ED worthwhile. If this were an athletic pursuit, you can blow out a knee. Unless you suffer some kind of head trauma or suddenly get Parkinson's you should be good.

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Joscellin

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Joscellin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:40 am

I was in a similar position last year and decided to roll the dice and not ED Chicago. That said, I actually like ED Chicago in your case.

Given that you're losing your scholly, then the #1 best reason to not transfer (loss of scholarship) is out the window. At that point, it's about maximizing the school you get into (especially if pursuing biglaw/clerkships/fedgov).

In your position, the decision to ED Chicago or not is entirely about risk tolerance. You're probably a close-to-sure thing to get it if you apply, but doing so gives up the chance to try for HYS (or Columbia). Yale basically doesn't take anyone below the T14 anyway, so it's really about weighing:

a) Sure thing at Chicago
vs
b) Slim shot at Harvard or Stanford with a good shot at Columbia or Chicago-- but a very real possibility that a disappointing spring semester could drop you out of HYSCCN altogether.

If you were weighing a full ride and/or you weren't certain you wanted to transfer, that changes this calculus. But without money keeping you there... I'd take the sure thing.

Redfactor

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Redfactor » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:53 am

Bird in the hand....

I think Chicago is a great outcome here. I would cash in now, but ymmv.

Jwood

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Jwood » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:34 pm

I had a 4.0 GPA my first semester from a school ranked around 40 and early decisioned to Chicago. Best decision I ever made. I knew the outcomes from UChi compared to my prior t40 would be astronomically better and knew the difference from UChi to Harvard would be relatively minor in comparison. I was risk adverse and would have done it again. UChi was an incredible school that allowed me to reach my goals. Feel free to PM me if you want.

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CheddarArachnid

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby CheddarArachnid » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:28 pm

I was close to a 4.0 Top 2% at my T40... did not get in ED. Maintained applied to HSCCN, got dinged at H/S got into CCN. Just a word of warning, no GPA = a sure thing.

foregetaboutdre

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:48 pm

Another reason to ED Chicago is the time table you have if you do a "normal" transfer.

I did an internship in a city 2.5 hours away from my old LS (same state), home was a different state, and the LS I am now at is in a different state. I had to:

1. Find an apartment
2. Continue doing a decent job at my internship
3. Prepare for OCI
4. Move all my things from my old apt
5. Move out of my sublet apt
6. Change my car title, voter reg, ID, etc...
7. Move in to new apartment at new LS.

I lived in three states in the span of one year that year lol.

Not that it was unreasonable for me to do these things in July, but you had to move quick. Getting a decision early would aid you with this.

Unless you REALLY REALLY want H/S, Chi looks nice...

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Joscellin

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Joscellin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:03 pm

Question for people who transferred to Chicago:

Do the ED transfer decisions come out in time for you to do write on?

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CheddarArachnid

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby CheddarArachnid » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:51 pm

Joscellin wrote:Question for people who transferred to Chicago:

Do the ED transfer decisions come out in time for you to do write on?


Yes.You hear back in early/mid May. You can still write on if you apply regular decision too, but you will not know if you have been accepted yet.

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Joscellin

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Re: Top Tier school (4.0) to T5?

Postby Joscellin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:59 pm

CheddarArachnid wrote:
Joscellin wrote:Question for people who transferred to Chicago:

Do the ED transfer decisions come out in time for you to do write on?


Yes.You hear back in early/mid May. You can still write on if you apply regular decision too, but you will not know if you have been accepted yet.


Yeah, that was the distinction I was trying to figure out. Harvard, for example, you have to write on before you know. :(



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