Realistic Transfer Options?

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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asandler1519

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Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by asandler1519 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:01 pm

Hi all,

I'm at a school ranked 45-50 and my first semester GPA was 3.92 (we are p/f for the spring semester). I'm hoping to get some insight on what options I may have and how to potentially make a transfer application stand out? I'm not exactly sure what kind of law I want to do but I'm interested in the judiciary (clerking) and maybe academia. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. Hope everyone is well and safe.

zg43

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by zg43 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:07 pm

I'd only shoot for YSH for academia. Given your grades, anything else would land you the same opportunities you currently have (or worse, potentially), plus it would cost you any scholarship you may have.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:14 pm

Yale and Stanford are the only schools I'd call a true "long shot" with your numbers, although for Stanford it would help if your school was in the same region. Harvard's not a sure thing for anyone (except maybe CCN with great grades), but you have a shot. You'll likely get into at least one of CCN. Chicago and Columbia probably edge NYU for your goals. Note that certain lower t14 schools are very receptive to transfers (NU, Georgetown) while others rarely take transfers (UVA, Duke, sorta Cornell). Also note that you'd be stuck paying sticker wherever you land, so assuming you have a scholarship at your just-barely-T1, it's probably only worth it to transfer to the top 6 schools. Heads up also: transfers tend to fare just okay for clerkship purposes, and true school-snob judges will likely consider you an applicant from your old school instead of one from your new school.

asandler1519

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by asandler1519 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:11 am

Thank you guys for the feedback! One more question. Should I wait until after my final exams over to ask teachers for recs? Or is it okay to do it now? It feels like it would be awkward to ask before the class is over but I also could be overthinking it.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:59 am

You're only slightly overthinking it, but also I would ask the profs who gave you the best grades last semester, because the ink is already dry.

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QContinuum

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by QContinuum » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:48 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:Heads up also: transfers tend to fare just okay for clerkship purposes, and true school-snob judges will likely consider you an applicant from your old school instead of one from your new school.
Just to slightly caveat the above, transfers especially can improve their clerkship prospects by applying later. If you apply, say, as a Chicago grad who's a junior lit associate at PW, "true school-snob judges" may still care that you didn't spend 1L at Chicago, but many more won't care about that nugget of ancient history. In contrast, the earlier you apply, the more your 1L school may hold you back.

Likewise, at OCI, transfers tend to fare worse than "natives" with the same GPA, but that's because at that point, employers are looking solely at 1L grades, and transfers won't have any grades yet at their new school. But by the time it comes to lateral some years after graduation, no one will care that the transfer didn't spend 1L at the school they graduated from.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Realistic Transfer Options?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:59 pm

QContinuum wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:Heads up also: transfers tend to fare just okay for clerkship purposes, and true school-snob judges will likely consider you an applicant from your old school instead of one from your new school.
Just to slightly caveat the above, transfers especially can improve their clerkship prospects by applying later. If you apply, say, as a Chicago grad who's a junior lit associate at PW, "true school-snob judges" may still care that you didn't spend 1L at Chicago, but many more won't care about that nugget of ancient history. In contrast, the earlier you apply, the more your 1L school may hold you back.

Likewise, at OCI, transfers tend to fare worse than "natives" with the same GPA, but that's because at that point, employers are looking solely at 1L grades, and transfers won't have any grades yet at their new school. But by the time it comes to lateral some years after graduation, no one will care that the transfer didn't spend 1L at the school they graduated from.
As a transfer myself, agree 100% with this added clarification.

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