U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

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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TierForceOne

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U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby TierForceOne » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:37 pm

SMU to UT Law

I'm in top 33%, and not sure if within top 25% (We get % cutoffs next week). Not within top 15%.

Pretty excited because I was barely in top 50% after 1st semester.

I interned for a federal district judge this summer, interning for a state court judge 2nd summer session.



What are my chances? If LSAT matters, let me know. Don't want to give too much identifying info here though.
Last edited by TierForceOne on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

habeas2210

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby habeas2210 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:55 pm

Iffy. I know people who were rejected that were top 25%-30% from SMU, and they are making it more difficult to transfer in than last year. Best of luck though, never know if you don't try.

TierForceOne

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby TierForceOne » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:05 pm

So maybe some chance?

Also, do you think it's a good idea to transfer? I looked at the numbers and not many transfer out of SMU.

My goal is to be a federal clerk out of LS, and from what I understand, UT blows other Texas schools out of the water in this regard.

I was bummed when rejected by UT in late May before 1L year. I still want to be at the best school in Texas.

lavarman84

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:14 am

TierForceOne wrote:So maybe some chance?

Also, do you think it's a good idea to transfer? I looked at the numbers and not many transfer out of SMU.

My goal is to be a federal clerk out of LS, and from what I understand, UT blows other Texas schools out of the water in this regard.

I was bummed when rejected by UT in late May before 1L year. I still want to be at the best school in Texas.


Frankly, that's an unrealistic goal. If you want to go all out for it and are willing to take on the additional debt, yes, transferring will help you in that regard. That's because you'll get new grades at UT (although, you'll have to build up relationships with recommenders). Your current numbers just aren't going to suffice for a federal clerkship out of law school.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but you'll likely need to be top 5% at your current school to land a federal clerkship (considering your school's 2.6% federal clerkship percentage).

However, Texas's federal clerkship percentage is only 9.1%, so you'd need top grades at Texas too.

timmyd

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby timmyd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:18 am

Regarding Texas' clerkship rate, I don't think you need to be necessarily in the top 10% of the class to have a shot--at least you didn't when I was there. I would say top 15-20% to make it worth applying. I transferred to UT for the explicit purpose of obtaining an article 3 clerkship and was not disappointed. The clerkship department is top notch and I believe can help students on the cusp land interviews. You still need pretty good grades but not top 10% necessarily.

This is all kind of irrelevant here though because OP's grades take him firmly out of clerkship competition right now and, frankly, likely out of contention for a transfer to UT. OP, if you do get into UT, bust ass and get a high gpa that 2l year and apply throughout 3l year. Never taking your foot off the gas when in terms of grades is important for aspiring clerks--especially transfer students IMO.

TierForceOne

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby TierForceOne » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:19 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
TierForceOne wrote:So maybe some chance?

Also, do you think it's a good idea to transfer? I looked at the numbers and not many transfer out of SMU.

My goal is to be a federal clerk out of LS, and from what I understand, UT blows other Texas schools out of the water in this regard.

I was bummed when rejected by UT in late May before 1L year. I still want to be at the best school in Texas.


Frankly, that's an unrealistic goal. If you want to go all out for it and are willing to take on the additional debt, yes, transferring will help you in that regard. That's because you'll get new grades at UT (although, you'll have to build up relationships with recommenders). Your current numbers just aren't going to suffice for a federal clerkship out of law school.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but you'll likely need to be top 5% at your current school to land a federal clerkship (considering your school's 2.6% federal clerkship percentage).

However, Texas's federal clerkship percentage is only 9.1%, so you'd need top grades at Texas too.


A couple things--thanks for the honest feedback.

My family is paying for school, and they've OK'd me moving, so the extra debt isn't a factor. Thanks be to God.

I agree the odds are against me, but I wouldn't say it's unrealistic. I think after last semester, sitting just within the top 50 percentile, I think the odds were against me to bump someone out of the top quarter or top 1/3rd, but I worked hard and it happened.

Like you said, the 2.6% vs 9.1% is why I want to go to UT Austin.

Like you hinted at, the 9.1% number doesn't mean the top 9.1% gets a clerkship, then everyone else doesn't. Just that 9.1% of UT grads get clerkships. Would you be surprised if that was from the top quarter of UT students? I wouldn't. Maybe top 15-20%. Again, i get that the caliber of student is higher at UT but frankly I believe I'm UT Law caliber. This may seem like bogus, but I think I can up my game around higher caliber students. LSAT was right around their median, and honestly think that if I transferred in I would do well.

I concede that a clerkship from SMU is unrealistic, and that's why I want to transfer.

I'll have letters of rec from federal judges and I won't get into details, but a clerks in very very high courts. (my district court clerk is moving up)

I know it doesn't all depend on letters of rec, but from what I've seen high grades will get you in the door, but oftentimes you land clerkshps from LOR from clerks. Circuit courts work almost exclusively like that since they get 3,000+ apps. I'm also willing to work in any state, in any district. I'll be on a plane to the Idaho District if that District Court gave me a position.

Anyway thanks for the advice, and I agree that the odds are against me at SMU, but I don't think the odds are as low as you think for someone in my position.
Last edited by TierForceOne on Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.

TierForceOne

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby TierForceOne » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:24 pm

timmyd wrote:Regarding Texas' clerkship rate, I don't think you need to be necessarily in the top 10% of the class to have a shot--at least you didn't when I was there. I would say top 15-20% to make it worth applying. I transferred to UT for the explicit purpose of obtaining an article 3 clerkship and was not disappointed. The clerkship department is top notch and I believe can help students on the cusp land interviews. You still need pretty good grades but not top 10% necessarily.

This is all kind of irrelevant here though because OP's grades take him firmly out of clerkship competition right now and, frankly, likely out of contention for a transfer to UT. OP, if you do get into UT, bust ass and get a high gpa that 2l year and apply throughout 3l year. Never taking your foot off the gas when in terms of grades is important for aspiring clerks--especially transfer students IMO.


Thank you so much Timmy D! I believe I'll be in Top quarter or just outside it at SMU. I also think I'd be able to move up from there, but I realize it would take top 5-10% to have a chance from SMU, so I'd need to step it up a lot.

I know grades are the number one factor but I think letters of rec from federal judge, and clerks will give me that extra bump.

I'm going to look into the transfer process, I won't make a decision til I get percentiles next week.

Thanks again for the helpful feedback, I've heard so many good things about the UT Law clerkship program.

GrandJury

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby GrandJury » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:23 pm

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Last edited by GrandJury on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lavarman84

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:25 pm

TierForceOne wrote:A couple things--thanks for the honest feedback.

My family is paying for school, and they've OK'd me moving, so the extra debt isn't a factor. Thanks be to God.

I agree the odds are against me, but I wouldn't say it's unrealistic. I think after last semester, sitting just within the top 50 percentile, I think the odds were against me to bump someone out of the top quarter or top 1/3rd, but I worked hard and it happened.

Like you said, the 2.6% vs 9.1% is why I want to go to UT Austin.

Like you hinted at, the 9.1% number doesn't mean the top 9.1% gets a clerkship, then everyone else doesn't. Just that 9.1% of UT grads get clerkships. Would you be surprised if that was from the top quarter of UT students? I wouldn't. Maybe top 15-20%. Again, i get that the caliber of student is higher at UT but frankly I believe I'm UT Law caliber. This may seem like bogus, but I think I can up my game around higher caliber students. LSAT was right around their median, and honestly think that if I transferred in I would do well.

I concede that a clerkship from SMU is unrealistic, and that's why I want to transfer.

I'll have letters of rec from federal judges and I won't get into details, but a clerks in very very high courts. (my district court clerk is moving up)

I know it doesn't all depend on letters of rec, but from what I've seen high grades will get you in the door, but oftentimes you land clerkshps from LOR from clerks. Circuit courts work almost exclusively like that since they get 3,000+ apps. I'm also willing to work in any state, in any district. I'll be on a plane to the Idaho District if that District Court gave me a position.

Anyway thanks for the advice, and I agree that the odds are against me at SMU, but I don't think the odds are as low as you think for someone in my position.


As I said, if you're intent on the federal clerkship, you should transfer. Starting anew at Texas will put you in a better position than you're in now. However, you'll still need strong grades from Texas (as Timmy said, top 15% to 20% at minimum, likely). You'll also need to line up recommenders. All in all, it'll be tough for you to start applying before next summer.

That is what makes you clerkship goal unrealistic. You need grades, recommenders, and openings. Now, if you get the grades, you might be able to get a federal clerkship at some point. It's just going to be hard to line one up for immediately after graduation. It's not impossible, but it will be difficult.

If you transfer to Texas, you'll have a better chance at it.(if you get in) As for recs, they help, but they're not going to get your application pulled unless you have the credentials. Now, your application might get pulled if the federal judges and clerk(s) are willing to make calls on your behalf, but that entails more than a LOR.(or in the clerks' cases, a willingness to enthusiastically recommend you to their judges)

However, you have to keep in mind that other judges might inquire as to why the federal judges recommending you did not choose to hire you.

Your geographic openness will help. I wish you luck. If you put in the work, you might be able to land something. I'm just being realistic with you, my friend. At my T1, it's tough for people outside of the top 5-10 students (period) to land federal clerkships. At SMU, it's going to be really tough for your application to get out of the pile. At Texas, it will be easier, but connections will probably be the most important thing for you.

But again, I think the toughest part of your goal is wanting to clerk immediately after graduation. Like I said, I wish you luck, and I hope you pull it off.

timmyd

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby timmyd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:17 pm

You might want to consider other clerkships as stepping stones (magistrate clerkships, for example, or Texas Court of Criminal Appeals). But even these might be a bit out of your range right now from SMU. Look, does someone with similar credentials to you have a chance to clerk at the federal level? Sure. I friend of mine and fellow transfer from a tttt school snagged one straight out of law school with median grades from UT. He had a very unique story though. It happens, but you can't bank on it.

I think the best course is put out a transfer app to UT. If you get in, focus on developing relationships with faculty, getting a job through oci or mm, and absolutely destroying 2L year. For clerking purposes, in my opinion, the latter focus is the most important.

It will also help if you are geographically flexible. If you get very strong grades at UT, some of those flyover clerkships become less of a pipe dream. That's the approach I took. I transferred from a ttt in the top 6% and busted my ass to make good grades at UT. I finished a bit outside the top 10%. But I had at least a 3.9 in three out of my four semesters there (I fucked up in one class and it will forever haunt me). I got a federal district clerkship in a noncompetitive district--well, relatively non-competive for a federal clerkship anyways. It can be done. But you are not there yet. Keep working and see what you can accomplish. And if you don't get into UT, the same advice still applies, but I think it will be much more difficult.

lavarman84

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:53 pm

I totally agree with Timmy. If you get into Texas, run with it. It's not impossible, but it is a tall task. I can say that I saw quite a few D. Ct. clerkships open over the summer and early in my 3L year for immediately after graduation. I was able to secure a handful of interviews and landed a clerkship with a D. Ct. in Texas (I went to a law school out of state).

Thus, it will be possible if you have a strong 2L at UT and have everything you need to apply in time for the summer before 3L for you to land a clerkship immediately after graduation. It's just not easy at that point because the pool of job openings has shrunk so much, and at that point, a lot of judges want post-law school experience. Geographic flexibility will help you there if you have the credentials to get your application pulled out of the pile.

If your recommenders and connections are willing to enthusiastically recommend you to judges who they know well, that will also help. You just need to get your application pulled out of the pile. From there, it's almost all personality and fit from the interview. As Timmy pointed out, a magistrate or state clerkship may also give you a shot if you're willing to wait a year.

TierForceOne

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Re: U of Texas Law Transfer 2017

Postby TierForceOne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:28 pm

timmyd wrote:You might want to consider other clerkships as stepping stones (magistrate clerkships, for example, or Texas Court of Criminal Appeals). But even these might be a bit out of your range right now from SMU. Look, does someone with similar credentials to you have a chance to clerk at the federal level? Sure. I friend of mine and fellow transfer from a tttt school snagged one straight out of law school with median grades from UT. He had a very unique story though. It happens, but you can't bank on it.

I think the best course is put out a transfer app to UT. If you get in, focus on developing relationships with faculty, getting a job through oci or mm, and absolutely destroying 2L year. For clerking purposes, in my opinion, the latter focus is the most important.

It will also help if you are geographically flexible. If you get very strong grades at UT, some of those flyover clerkships become less of a pipe dream. That's the approach I took. I transferred from a ttt in the top 6% and busted my ass to make good grades at UT. I finished a bit outside the top 10%. But I had at least a 3.9 in three out of my four semesters there (I fucked up in one class and it will forever haunt me). I got a federal district clerkship in a noncompetitive district--well, relatively non-competive for a federal clerkship anyways. It can be done. But you are not there yet. Keep working and see what you can accomplish. And if you don't get into UT, the same advice still applies, but I think it will be much more difficult.


Timmy I wonder if I know this person you are referring to. The guy I'm thinking of has a very unique story and transferred to UT. But don't want to speculate, nor do I want to say names.

Thank you Timmy, tonight at midnight is the transfer deadline to UT, and I met the deadline. If I get in and matriculate, I'm going to bust ass. Cheers friend.



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