Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

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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sparkytrainer
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:37 pm

ghostoftraynor wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:I wouldn't underestimate clerkships. I know plenty of people who landed great jobs off of them. Sometimes it may take double clerking, but big law tends to love clerks--they tend to make better associates out of the gate than law students.

Also, I don't know what you are calling "generously described as midlaw," but 3L OCI is a very real thing, and plenty of people get great biglaw jobs out of it after having very non-biglaw 2L gigs.

Of course, recruiting season has PLENTY of time left, so I think your best bet is to continue putting one foot forward. Do a mock interview with a friend you trust (to give you honest feedback). Again, plenty of time to right the ship. I just mentioned the foregoing because life doesn't end at OCI. I've never heard of taking a year off to transfer and do OCI over. Theoretically plausible, but would take some "con-artist" ability.


Have you seen 3L oci right now? Its a bloodbath.


It's going to vary every year, but even in an off year, I suspect it has a higher success rate than people who drop out, sit out a year, and then try to transfer. Certainly not a bird in hand, but OP also has other options available (as mentioned).


This isn't an off year. Last year was bad, this year is incredibly bad. I know 30+ kids at my mid t13 who summered at v50s or up and out of us 30, 1 has gotten a single callback. In total. I've heard similar things elsewhere. The only place hiring 3Ls right now is Quinn.

Anonymous User
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Re: Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:43 pm

NoDayButToday wrote:4 thoughts:

2. That said, I don't think it sounds like you've bombed OCI at all. You have callbacks! Prepare and practice for those interviews. Do an honest debrief with yourself of the interviews that did not go well, and don't repeat those mistakes. Put all you can into landing a position at one of those firms! Plenty of people go to other firms besides where they summered, or lateral to another firm after a year or two of practice. If you are dead-set, 100% committed to biglaw or bust, don't be disheartened if you're not ending up at the firm you want to be long-term right away.

3. FWIW before I transferred to NYU, I got my Boston biglaw summer associate position mass-mailing. It was the firm I wanted to work for. I did not participate in OCI at either my 1L school (a school ranked similarly to Fordham where I was top 10% first semester, top 20% by end of 1L), nor did I participate in EIW at NYU when I transferred. OCI does not have to be the most important part of law school. If the callbacks don't go well, I agree with folks who say to mass-mail and seek clerkships. I also wouldn't underestimate the experience you could get in medium-sized or even small/boutique law firms.

4. You shouldn't just transfer for OCI. You have to have other compelling reasons--for yourself and your enjoyment of your remaining two years of law school. Transferring is not easy. The first semester you arrive and all the returning students already have their tight-knit cliques, but you don't know anyone and you have to make new friends. I found 2L fall as a transfer student very lonely and isolating. I transferred because NYU is strong in the area in which I wanted to specialize--I spent two years immersing in my field specialization and not only did I gain strong foundations/experience in my field, but the community came, too. It made for a satisfying and enriching two years. When I talked to others who transferred about how happy they were with their decision to transfer, only a few people were unhappy/dissatisfied. But the common thread among those few who were was that they came only for OCI/EIW. I would only transfer if you plan to make the most of the full two year experience. You'd be paying way too much money and spending way too much time to be only focused on the first month or so of it.

Edit: Re: #2, sorry just realized you did already have the callbacks. Wishing you the best with the last one to hear from and if it doesn't work out, don't lose heart. I stand by the rest of my advice.


Re 1: I actually do have some health issues that might require surgery. They're not usually the kind that require extended time off but they would make a convenient and semi-valid excuse.

Re 2: Got rejected on the first callback. The second firm only extends one offer and my interview was two weeks ago. If I was going to get an offer, it almost certainly would have happened by now. I'm thinking about sending them a followup just so that I don't end up withdrawing or doing a masters and then getting the offer when it's too late to get back in. It's not a firm I'd care to work for but beggars can't be choosers and all that.

Re 3: I've had one bite with mass-mailing and that landed me a screener during OCIs. I've been doing this but career services was pretty candid about almost nobody actually landing anything from a big firm at this point. I have two weeks before I have to make a decision about withdrawing or not so I'll be doing a lot of this and followups with the firms I already mailed. Unfortunately the numbers are very grim for this.

For the clerkships, I worry about getting pigeonholed into doing litigation or similar work. My interests are solely transactional. I'd be miserable doing much else. After talking with a lot of people, I've had people shocked I went into law instead of consulting or something along those lines.

For the midsized firms and small firms, I worry about three things. I don't see myself ever being able to pay back loans on those kinds of salaries. Second, I worry that the kind of work I'd enjoy doing isn't readily available at most of these firms. Third, I think that that would really cut off growth potential. My cousin (GC at F500 company, hasn't been any help tbh) says she only hires in house counsel from big firm castoffs. So unless I can work up the ranks it cuts off my ideal long-term career goal.

Re 4: To be honest, I'd be miserable being one of the people not going to a big firm, especially when so many of my friends ended up there. My social circle at Fordham isn't the greatest as it is. I don't think I'd lose a heck of a lot from moving to a new school. And, at this point, I'm leaning towards taking a year off doing a masters program or something, then trying OCIs again.

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Re: Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:46 pm

ghostoftraynor wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:I wouldn't underestimate clerkships. I know plenty of people who landed great jobs off of them. Sometimes it may take double clerking, but big law tends to love clerks--they tend to make better associates out of the gate than law students.

Also, I don't know what you are calling "generously described as midlaw," but 3L OCI is a very real thing, and plenty of people get great biglaw jobs out of it after having very non-biglaw 2L gigs.

Of course, recruiting season has PLENTY of time left, so I think your best bet is to continue putting one foot forward. Do a mock interview with a friend you trust (to give you honest feedback). Again, plenty of time to right the ship. I just mentioned the foregoing because life doesn't end at OCI. I've never heard of taking a year off to transfer and do OCI over. Theoretically plausible, but would take some "con-artist" ability.


Have you seen 3L oci right now? Its a bloodbath.


It's going to vary every year, but even in an off year, I suspect it has a higher success rate than people who drop out, sit out a year, and then try to transfer. Certainly not a bird in hand, but OP also has other options available (as mentioned).


I've talked to career services and at this point, almost nobody at my school gets biglaw after 2L OCI (single digits I think). There has been some success with people who take time off to do an MBA then come back. Not sure about people who just take the year off but the counselor was telling me it's all up to how I sell the time off.

ghostoftraynor
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:43 pm

Re: Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

Postby ghostoftraynor » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:22 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:I wouldn't underestimate clerkships. I know plenty of people who landed great jobs off of them. Sometimes it may take double clerking, but big law tends to love clerks--they tend to make better associates out of the gate than law students.

Also, I don't know what you are calling "generously described as midlaw," but 3L OCI is a very real thing, and plenty of people get great biglaw jobs out of it after having very non-biglaw 2L gigs.

Of course, recruiting season has PLENTY of time left, so I think your best bet is to continue putting one foot forward. Do a mock interview with a friend you trust (to give you honest feedback). Again, plenty of time to right the ship. I just mentioned the foregoing because life doesn't end at OCI. I've never heard of taking a year off to transfer and do OCI over. Theoretically plausible, but would take some "con-artist" ability.


Have you seen 3L oci right now? Its a bloodbath.


It's going to vary every year, but even in an off year, I suspect it has a higher success rate than people who drop out, sit out a year, and then try to transfer. Certainly not a bird in hand, but OP also has other options available (as mentioned).


This isn't an off year. Last year was bad, this year is incredibly bad. I know 30+ kids at my mid t13 who summered at v50s or up and out of us 30, 1 has gotten a single callback. In total. I've heard similar things elsewhere. The only place hiring 3Ls right now is Quinn.


Hmm maybe my year was a fluke. I knew several people who managed it. Even if 3L OCI is a complete no go, still think a top 10% person should try to clerk (even if its middle district middle of nowhere, you can use one clerkship to move onto a better clerkship. I know my firm loves to hire clerks and I'm sure its not an outlier).

" There has been some success with people who take time off to do an MBA then come back. Not sure about people who just take the year off"

A lot of extra debt for a still risky position. Most people are out of big law in a few years anyway. I wouldn't do anything drastic to try to achieve it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 302587
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Taking a year off to transfer and get another shot at OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:24 pm

ghostoftraynor wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
ghostoftraynor wrote:I wouldn't underestimate clerkships. I know plenty of people who landed great jobs off of them. Sometimes it may take double clerking, but big law tends to love clerks--they tend to make better associates out of the gate than law students.

Also, I don't know what you are calling "generously described as midlaw," but 3L OCI is a very real thing, and plenty of people get great biglaw jobs out of it after having very non-biglaw 2L gigs.

Of course, recruiting season has PLENTY of time left, so I think your best bet is to continue putting one foot forward. Do a mock interview with a friend you trust (to give you honest feedback). Again, plenty of time to right the ship. I just mentioned the foregoing because life doesn't end at OCI. I've never heard of taking a year off to transfer and do OCI over. Theoretically plausible, but would take some "con-artist" ability.


Have you seen 3L oci right now? Its a bloodbath.


It's going to vary every year, but even in an off year, I suspect it has a higher success rate than people who drop out, sit out a year, and then try to transfer. Certainly not a bird in hand, but OP also has other options available (as mentioned).


This isn't an off year. Last year was bad, this year is incredibly bad. I know 30+ kids at my mid t13 who summered at v50s or up and out of us 30, 1 has gotten a single callback. In total. I've heard similar things elsewhere. The only place hiring 3Ls right now is Quinn.


Hmm maybe my year was a fluke. I knew several people who managed it. Even if 3L OCI is a complete no go, still think a top 10% person should try to clerk (even if its middle district middle of nowhere, you can use one clerkship to move onto a better clerkship. I know my firm loves to hire clerks and I'm sure its not an outlier).

" There has been some success with people who take time off to do an MBA then come back. Not sure about people who just take the year off"

A lot of extra debt for a still risky position. Most people are out of big law in a few years anyway. I wouldn't do anything drastic to try to achieve it.


I don't think 3L OCI is prominent in my school. Only a handful of people get big law outside of 2L OCI and it's usually via unconventional means.

Regarding the clerkship, I've never heard of anybody doing a clerkship and going into biglaw to do transactional work. I only hear about them getting recruited to do litigation. Getting stuck doing litigation kind of a deal breaker for me.

My long-term goal is going in house somewhere after big law. An M.B.A. might be useful wth that. I haven't heard of many people doing that from smaller firms which is my concern.




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