Transfer to H?

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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Transfer to H?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:38 am

Should I transfer to H?

- I was admitted to harvard as a transfer.
- I am around top 10% (probably a lil lower) at a lower T13.
- Don't know about LR.
- Don't really have great relationships with profs that I would be leaving behind, except the one that wrote my LOR.
- I do not have a significant scholarship (Think like 5k). I am going to see if my school will increase that now that I'm in at H.
- I understand Harvard does give generous fin aid, and I am over 29, so, based on research and conversations I've had with previous transfers, I should expect to see something decent . So, its entirely possible that harvard is cheaper, or equal cost if my school comes up with some money for me. (someone disabuse me of this if I am wrong)

I'm kinda leaning towards not transferring. I like my school and have friends, and just find it hard to imagine leaving right now. I applied on a whim and didn't expect to get in. That said, I want to be a litigator there is a big part of me that wants to push my career as far as I can take it, so I have no problem making the switch if it benefits my career in ways that are less likely at my school.

My longterm career goals are to clerk at some point and go into federal government (DOJ/AUSA/some agency). Alternatively, ending up at a Lit boutique after Biglaw is something I think I would like too.

My hope is that at OCI I could land an offer at a top DC firm doing litigation (not W&C, i know that's off the table). My secondary markets are Chicago/NYC, with a preference for Chicago (have good ties). My school places well into these three markets, but I would have trouble getting Covington/Wilmer/Hogan in D.C. given the callback data from my school.

Is there any reason to think that these DC firms would be easier from Harvard? What is the competition like at H for Kirkland/Sidley Chicago, or Chicago generally? If my school places well into these markets, will I look weird for transferring and then have to give some compelling explanation at OCI for the switch?

I know I will have to start over in the clerkship game and building prof relationships, but that is kinda the case right now anyways (i dont have 3 recs i can count on). But will H give me a leg up thereafter? What about going into fed gov after spending a few years at a firm and then maybe clerking; will Harvard help with that more than my current school? Lit boutiques easier after biglaw with harvard in my resume?

TL;DR - I am a top student at a great school. harvard may cost similar money. Right now I don't have reason to think that Harvard will get me a better job right out of law school, but will it pay benefits down the line in either private practice or to lateral to clerking and fed gov?

Thanks

runinthefront

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:45 am

I don't think you should count yourself out of W&C/Wilmer/Hogan/Covington/Kirkland/Quinn with your grades from any lower T13, especially if you end up on LR.

That being said, I would probably transfer in your shoes if your current school doesn't increase your scholarship to a very decent amount. If you'd get need-based at H, there's really no reason to incur more debt at your lower t13. Your friends will remain your friends if they're your friends. And you could always make new friends.

I can't really speak on whether it will be easier to go into fed gov or get a job post-clerkship from H or your school, though. Nor am I experienced enough to tell you whether transferring will pay benefits down the line.

Feel free to PM me if at Cornell.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

qswitchlasers

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby qswitchlasers » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:50 am

if cost is same or lower and you don't make LR, then i'd probably transfer unless you really like your friends.

btw congrats on the admission! i vaguely remember last year some TLS-ers bitching about how top 10% @ T-14 is no longer enough for harvard transfer admissions. imo, you're in a good and fortunate position. i'd take advantage of it if i were you.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:00 pm

Based on my fedgov experience (which obviously doesn't cover the whole fedgov), a top student from a lower T13 has just as good a shot at anything as a Harvard student. I think, just from what I've seen, that excellent grades at a very very good school put you in the running for anything, and also, unless you're aiming for a truly top feeder/SCOTUS, you will be in just as good a position to get a clerkship that will help you achieve your goals from your current school.

Now, like I said, I can't speak to the entire fedgov, so there may well be corners of it where a given hiring individual will always pick H over a "lesser" school. If we're talking things like the Office of the Solicitor General (as opposed to your average DOJ division) it might make a difference, but those are super unicorn jobs in any case. I also can't comment on your other goals, like elite litigation boutiques (though honestly: go to their web sites, look up their recently-hired associates, and see where they went to school).

And this isn't to say that transferring to H wouldn't be the right choice in the end. I just don't think you're ruling yourself out of fedgov jobs if you stay where you are.

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby preppingaway » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:26 pm

Rising 2L at H. Don't know a ton about outcomes for transfer students specifically, but I have very similar post-grad interests.

My 2 cents: I think this is a close call, but given your desire to clerk and interest in top DC firms/lit boutiques, I think H gives you a substantial enough advantage to warrant transferring. Some things to consider:

-The alumni network is supposedly quite helpful for DOJ/AUSA-type jobs down the line and the name will probably be a not-insubstantial advantage if you want to lateral to a lit boutique later on

-Not sure I'd agree that W&C is necessarily off the table (unless there is some transfer-specific factor I'm not aware of that would impact your chances). A long-shot, sure. But not impossible.

-I obviously haven't gone through OCI yet, but my sense is that you would have a reasonably good shot at top DC lit firms with your grades coming from a T13 (incld. Cov/Wilmer/Hogan, ect). DC is a tough market, but H places well. How much easier it will be from H than your current school depends on which school you're currently at.

-Conventional wisdom on Chicago biglaw is that it's one of the easiest markets to break into from H. Assuming ties (or a decent "why Chicago" narrative) you should have your pick of the litter.

Feel free to PM with any questions! And, congrats :)

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koval

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby koval » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:52 pm

Congrats on your acceptance!

I think that I would lean towards transferring. However, I want to pushback against some of the responses in this thread concerning 1L friends. I think that you'll probably become less close with your 1L friends if you transfer, and will probably lose some of them entirely. It's just the nature of friends in my opinion. Most people aren't great at keeping in contact. You're also likely going to find it harder to make friends at Harvard than it was for you to make friends at your 1L school. People have their friend groups already. You're going to have to make a large effort to get into those groups based on what I saw from people that transferred into my school as 2Ls. This isn't to say that transferring isn't the correct choice (I think it is), but I don't think that people are correct when they say that you're going to keep all of your 1L friends if you transfer.

Again, not a deal killer. Just make sure to go to as many mixers at Harvard as you can at the beginning and you'll be fine.

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:24 pm

OP here. Thanks for the input everyone. I think I'll lean towards transferring if my school doesn't give me a generous offer to say.

texas1100

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby texas1100 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:07 pm

Are you single/married?

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:11 pm

texas1100 wrote:Are you single/married?


single. this decision only effects me

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby texas1100 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:14 pm

D.C. Would be easier to land from H, But those firms are tough obv. Chicago should be easy for you from H. I know plenty with mediocre grades at those Chicago firms from H. I would go with your original gut about more money otherwise do it. You'd also be surprised at how solid the HLS DC network is once you're in it

ETA: fed clerk ships aren't hard to land if you're geographically flexible. Even if you aren't, not that difficult. Most that don't do it from HLS wanted corp

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Mullens

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Mullens » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:16 pm

I disagree with everyone who seems to think you'll do better at OCI at Harvard. I think that's wrong. In fact, I think it is far more likely that you do worse at OCI than you would have if you stayed at your T13.

Firms are not going to treat you differently because you are now at Harvard's OCI than at your T13. It will not provide any sort of boost if those firms also attend your OCI They will have the same standards for you as if you were at your school's OCI so there's no benefit there. It doesn't matter that Kirkland/Sidley will hire from Harvard down to median or that it's easier for Harvard 1Ls to get to DC. That doesn't apply to you. You didn't go to Harvard for 1L.

I think there's a reasonable argument that there is harm to transferring at OCI. At your T13, you are a big fish in a smaller pond. There are simply fewer kids at your school who are competitive for DC firms. That means that some kids who interview at the DC firms are not going to get a callback solely based on grades. There are fewer such candidates at Harvard, where the DC firms that will hire deeper into Harvard's class. While it seems like this might not matter because firms will just callback everyone qualified, not all firms follow that policy. Based on my school's OCI data, some firms callback the same number of students from my school every year. That means there is a set number of callbacks available and your competition for those callbacks matters. At Harvard, the competition will be greater and you will be looked at differently.

Another wrinkle in this is that many firms send school alumni to interview at OCI. At Harvard, you are likely to interview with only Harvard alumni who have an interest in hiring Harvard students. You will lack that connection that everyone else will have. To them, you are not a Harvard student. You are a transfer who attended a different law school. This also can cut against you on callbacks if you interview with someone from your T13 school. They might not like the fact you left to go to Harvard. Conversely, at your T13 OCI, it's more likely that there are alumni from your T13 who want to hire the top students from their school and will push to get you a callback.

FWIW, as an anecdote, I know a few kids who transferred from my T13 to HYS and they seemed to struggle at OCI compared to if they would have stayed.

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:27 pm

Mullens wrote:I disagree with everyone who seems to think you'll do better at OCI at Harvard. I think that's wrong. In fact, I think it is far more likely that you do worse at OCI than you would have if you stayed at your T13.


I don't disagree with this.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bmlnsm

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Bmlnsm » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:37 pm

I agree with Mullens. In your situation it's best to stay put and rely on your T13 alumni to push to take you.

runinthefront

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:39 pm

Bmlnsm wrote:I agree with Mullens. In your situation it's best to stay put and rely on your T13 alumni to push to take you.

You're going to say this absent knowing whether OP will get a scholarship increase? H need-based aid may be substantial.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:20 pm

Mullens wrote:
I think there's a reasonable argument that there is harm to transferring at OCI.

FWIW, as an anecdote, I know a few kids who transferred from my T13 to HYS and they seemed to struggle at OCI compared to if they would have stayed.



OP here. this is my fear. I think that if I am able to get a scholarship increase from my school, then I have a very clear idea of the value of staying ($, alumni, familiarity). On the other hand, the value of transferring is completely speculative and has certain costs (start over, gonna have to live in one of those terrible-seeming dorms, not really identified with either school by employers) and a potentially very serious cost of winding up in a worse position after OCI. The only certain benefit to transferring seems like the longterm value of harvard on my resume, but I'm not sure what that amounts to or how vastly it differs from sticking around my school.

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Mullens

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Mullens » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:01 pm

runinthefront wrote:
Bmlnsm wrote:I agree with Mullens. In your situation it's best to stay put and rely on your T13 alumni to push to take you.

You're going to say this absent knowing whether OP will get a scholarship increase? H need-based aid may be substantial.


Yeah if anything this is just a factor to consider. I would still endorse transferring if Harvard is cheaper.

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Dcc617

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby Dcc617 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:05 pm

Mullens wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Bmlnsm wrote:I agree with Mullens. In your situation it's best to stay put and rely on your T13 alumni to push to take you.

You're going to say this absent knowing whether OP will get a scholarship increase? H need-based aid may be substantial.


Yeah if anything this is just a factor to consider. I would still endorse transferring if Harvard is cheaper.


It's a no brainer if Harvard is cheaper. I think his OCI results would be similar so why pay more for the last two years of law school?

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quiver

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Re: Transfer to H?

Postby quiver » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:33 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
Mullens wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Bmlnsm wrote:I agree with Mullens. In your situation it's best to stay put and rely on your T13 alumni to push to take you.

You're going to say this absent knowing whether OP will get a scholarship increase? H need-based aid may be substantial.


Yeah if anything this is just a factor to consider. I would still endorse transferring if Harvard is cheaper.


It's a no brainer if Harvard is cheaper. I think his OCI results would be similar so why pay more for the last two years of law school?
Agreed.



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