Transfer to Yale?

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 Yale?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:59 pm

I am currently ~1% (after only a few grades lol) at a mid to upper t14 that is not known for sending people into academia. My goal is to become a professor working in contracts/property/admin. Is it worth trying to transfer to Yale for this goal?
As for personal considerations, I plan on clerking and not pursuing a PhD. I am also a member of FedSoc although my political views do not falls easily in the right/left dichotomy.

lavarman84

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by lavarman84 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently ~1% (after only a few grades lol) at a mid to upper t14 that is not known for sending people into academia. My goal is to become a professor working in contracts/property/admin. Is it worth trying to transfer to Yale for this goal?
As for personal considerations, I plan on clerking and not pursuing a PhD. I am also a member of FedSoc although my political views do not falls easily in the right/left dichotomy.
What's your scholarship situation like? And has your school approach you about clerking (or have you approached influential people at the school)? One would think with your grades and the FedSoc network, you'd be in a great position to clerk for a conservative feeder. If that's a possibility, I think a shot at SCOTUS would do more for you than a bump in prestige at Yale. But I admit I don't know a lot of academia.

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:55 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently ~1% (after only a few grades lol) at a mid to upper t14 that is not known for sending people into academia. My goal is to become a professor working in contracts/property/admin. Is it worth trying to transfer to Yale for this goal?
As for personal considerations, I plan on clerking and not pursuing a PhD. I am also a member of FedSoc although my political views do not falls easily in the right/left dichotomy.
What's your scholarship situation like? And has your school approach you about clerking (or have you approached influential people at the school)? One would think with your grades and the FedSoc network, you'd be in a great position to clerk for a conservative feeder. If that's a possibility, I think a shot at SCOTUS would do more for you than a bump in prestige at Yale. But I admit I don't know a lot of academia.
OP here. Scholarship position is not too relevant. Similar price between my school and Yale. My school's clerkship office has not approached me about clerking, but I had a rather prominent conservative professor last semester and he has offered to help me out. However, I worry that if I do not land a feeder this year and end up with a good but not fantastic clerkship next year, I won't have done enough to set myself apart from other people. I understand I am in a good spot now, but from what I have heard the academic market is shockingly competitive.
To add more personal stuff I do like where I am now, however, Yale has been my dream school and I think I would fit in there as well.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by QContinuum » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:00 pm

lavarman84 wrote:What's your scholarship situation like? And has your school approach you about clerking (or have you approached influential people at the school)? One would think with your grades and the FedSoc network, you'd be in a great position to clerk for a conservative feeder. If that's a possibility, I think a shot at SCOTUS would do more for you than a bump in prestige at Yale. But I admit I don't know a lot of academia.
I agree with lavarman's advice above. Yale's primary advantage over a T6/T13 in the academic market is, you still have a shot from median at Yale (though still very difficult and not at all guaranteed), but you're more or less shut out from median at a "lower" T13. A top T13 student has every bit as good a shot as any Yalie.

Now, as a 0L, obviously that makes Yale a no-brainer, since there's no way any 0L can count on being a top T13 student. But now you're already a top T13 student. I think you should stay put. Rather than start all over again from square one at Yale, where you'd start off as "just another Yalie," you can and should leverage the stuffing out of your top student status at your T13.
Anonymous User wrote:I had a rather prominent conservative professor last semester and he has offered to help me out.
I mean, that right there is your golden ticket to a conservative feeder clerkship. You had a prominent professor come to you. Even at YLS, you'd need to schmooze and impress a prominent professor to land a feeder clerkship. You aren't going to magically slide into a feeder clerkship just by virtue of being a Yale Law student.
Anonymous User wrote:However, I worry that if I do not land a feeder this year and end up with a good but not fantastic clerkship next year, I won't have done enough to set myself apart from other people. I understand I am in a good spot now, but from what I have heard the academic market is shockingly competitive.
It is, indeed, shockingly competitive. Are you prepared to move literally anywhere in the country to teach? Even if it's Moscow, ID, 300 miles north of Boise; Athens, GA, 75 miles east of Atlanta; Akron, OH, 40 miles south of Cleveland? (These are actual places where some of my superstar friends landed faculty positions.) Are you excited to join the faculty of a T3/T4 law school that you may not previously even have heard of - say you're at NYU Law now, would you be proud to teach at the New York Law School? I've known many superstars who tried, and failed, to land teaching positions; a smaller number who succeeded; and a single one who landed a T13 professorship, and that person had a Ph.D. and a compelling research agenda integrating law and their Ph.D. field. Another one secured a position at a low T1 law school. The rest of the success stories all landed at T3/T4 law schools (and counted themselves very lucky for their success).

What it comes down to is a few things. Luck uber alles. Grades. Law Review membership. A CoA clerkship. A T13 J.D. But most importantly, a compelling research agenda, backed by multiple published articles. Even though law professors earn their salaries by teaching, law professors are hired for their research prowess.

Traditionally, academic-minded J.D.s amass the requisite research experience by doing a VAP and/or fellowship at a top law school. There's also, in recent years, an intriguing new program at YLS - the Ph.D. in Law, which basically is a "fellowship plus" - it's a more structured form of a fellowship, with specific research/writing requirements, but there's also some coursework, and of course you get a Ph.D. out of the whole thing. The Ph.D. in Law is unlikely to hold as much value as a "traditional" Ph.D. in another field, but hey, if you're gonna put in at least 2 years as a VAP/fellow anyway, why not put in 3 years and get a Ph.D. from YLS?

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:05 pm

If you can transfer and it's financially do-able, I'd do it.

One semester of grades doesn't tell you a ton about where you'll be, grade-wise, by 3L. There are more 1Ls than you think in your situation -- this is the natural result of schools having to go P/F. If you can turn 2 As and an A+ (or whatever you have), into YLS, that's a fantastic outcome.

Like, I agree with the above poster(s) that SCOTUS is better than YLS, but you're not a SCOTUS candidate yet: You just got 3 great grades first semester of law school at a mid-T14. It's also not an either-or proposition ... in fact, transferring to Yale would probably *help* your SCOTUS chances.

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:22 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:If you can transfer and it's financially do-able, I'd do it.

One semester of grades doesn't tell you a ton about where you'll be, grade-wise, by 3L. There are more 1Ls than you think in your situation -- this is the natural result of schools having to go P/F. If you can turn 2 As and an A+ (or whatever you have), into YLS, that's a fantastic outcome.

Like, I agree with the above poster(s) that SCOTUS is better than YLS, but you're not a SCOTUS candidate yet: You just got 3 great grades first semester of law school at a mid-T14. It's also not an either-or proposition ... in fact, transferring to Yale would probably *help* your SCOTUS chances.
OP here.

For those of us who have actually finished more than one semester of law school, how indicative are first semester grades of future grades? I am thinking the less correlation the more I should take advantage and try to transfer. Overall, I feel good about my ability to get good grades going forward since I test well and am competitive enough where studying an absurd amount doesn't bother me. However, I imagine a lot of people are int his boat.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by QContinuum » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

For those of us who have actually finished more than one semester of law school, how indicative are first semester grades of future grades? I am thinking the less correlation the more I should take advantage and try to transfer. Overall, I feel good about my ability to get good grades going forward since I test well and am competitive enough where studying an absurd amount doesn't bother me. However, I imagine a lot of people are int his boat.
I think it's pretty predictive. It takes more than hard work to get to the top 1% - it also takes natural talent at law school exams. If you were able to pull it off once, across multiple courses/professors, I think safe to say you can keep pulling it off.

Qtc

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by Qtc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:05 pm

If you want to be a professor, there is no substitute for Yale. Its network, prestige, grooming, access to opportunities, size etc. It is also well-known to favor Yale students. It has an edge over every other school if academia is your goal.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:If you can transfer and it's financially do-able, I'd do it.

One semester of grades doesn't tell you a ton about where you'll be, grade-wise, by 3L. There are more 1Ls than you think in your situation -- this is the natural result of schools having to go P/F. If you can turn 2 As and an A+ (or whatever you have), into YLS, that's a fantastic outcome.

Like, I agree with the above poster(s) that SCOTUS is better than YLS, but you're not a SCOTUS candidate yet: You just got 3 great grades first semester of law school at a mid-T14. It's also not an either-or proposition ... in fact, transferring to Yale would probably *help* your SCOTUS chances.
OP here.

For those of us who have actually finished more than one semester of law school, how indicative are first semester grades of future grades? I am thinking the less correlation the more I should take advantage and try to transfer. Overall, I feel good about my ability to get good grades going forward since I test well and am competitive enough where studying an absurd amount doesn't bother me. However, I imagine a lot of people are int his boat.
Right, this is what I'm getting it. I agree with QC that the signal is like, pretty good; I'm confident you'll be top quarter or so in your class if you keep working hard, probably better. But I don't think you can just plan on SCOTUS or w/e. Number of my friends had a fantastic first or second semester 1L, like yours, and not both. It happens. (They all ended up in great situations to be clear, you should feel good about your performance and decision to go to law school etc)

Given that, if I were you, wanted to clerk, be a professor, etc, and YLS offered me a chance to transfer, I'd consider that a fantastic opportunity. Putting aside the brand and professorship advantages, just for quality of life: Studying as hard as you did just sucks. Yale will give you the same, if not better, clerkship opportunities you'd get as a top student at a mid-T14, just for being a student at Yale. You'll have time to RA, read a lot of law prof papers, meet people, etc -- assuming you get in, which I feel like you should.

Obviously there are financial considerations, but if you're financially flexible transferring seems like a "no downside, tons of upside" situation.

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:11 pm

OP here.

Do you think it would be odd/rude to ask my professors their opinions on this? Most of them went to Yale and would have good insight. However, I'm a bit tentative about coming off as ungrateful and harming my relationship with them if I end up staying. These would be the same professors I will be asking for clerkship recs (and potentially transfer recs) which feels awkward as well.

nixy

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:27 pm

As long as they seem like reasonable human beings you have a decent relationship with, I would definitely talk to your profs about this. They can advise you specifically about Yale, about becoming a prof, and how much they think the former is related to the latter. Some profs can get defensive about their own schools, but I think that's not very likely for Yale grads at a mid- to upper-T14, who are going to understand and sympathize with what you're trying to do. I think generally T14s aren't as worried about transfers out as lower-ranked schools, because far fewer students do transfer out, and there isn't really a concern about losing all their top students (and hurting their bar passage rates).

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by trebekismyhero » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:42 pm

Back when I was a student and considering transferring I asked a couple professors and they gave me very honest helpful feedback. Also, generally agree with everything QContinuum has said. If you're top of your class at MVPB lets say, you're going to have a better shot than even a median Yale student. Also, you could probably get some scholarship money from your law school since they would want to keep you so that way the price between Yale and your school wouldn't be the same.

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Re: Transfer to Yale?

Post by Qtc » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Do you think it would be odd/rude to ask my professors their opinions on this? Most of them went to Yale and would have good insight. However, I'm a bit tentative about coming off as ungrateful and harming my relationship with them if I end up staying. These would be the same professors I will be asking for clerkship recs (and potentially transfer recs) which feels awkward as well.
If they went to Yale, they will be able to tell you first hand why going to Yale is such a huge advantage for the academy. If your goals are clear, this seems like an obvious choice.

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