Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

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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proudgunner

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Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:40 pm

So, I made another post recently, but I have a question specifically regarding the transfer process.

I go to a mid-T2 school that places well in its region. It is a very insulated legal community with lots of big law firms in the city, and we are the only close law school. I am in the top ten percent with a 3.76, one CALI, and a summer federal clerkship. I am almost certain next summer I will have a big law SA position if I stayed there.

What are the odds of getting a big law SA elsewhere? I know with transferring, you have to think of the long run, but I was just curious, thanks! OR, what are even the odds of me being able to get a job at the city where I left?

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UVA2B

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:55 pm

I'm a little confused, but I think I understand what you're saying.

First, you have a summer internship, not a clerkship. You have an unpaid position with a judge at a district or even appellate court. It's not good or bad, but it's fairly common for 1L summer if you get to have a typical summer internship experience.

Second, I'm really curious about your assured position of a big law SA right now. You have solid credentials that would normally qualify you for most secondary market placement, but when you frame it as a very insulated legal community, that potentially cuts against your argument because you have no idea what the market will look like when hiring happens either in the fall or January, depending on what market you're actually talking about. And being certain about anything right now is pretty optimistic with regards to hiring.

Assuming you actually do have reasonably assured chances of a Biglaw SA in your market, how do you actually expect people to give you chances in other nondescript markets? If you're competitive for LA Biglaw from Loyola, are you asking if you have a shot at NYC or SF? If you're at Seattle, are you really asking anyone to guess how likely you can get a job in Denver? What are you specifically asking, and please ask yourself if anyone could actually intelligently answer that question.

Edit: I just realized I read in the secondary market part. If you're talking about NYC, expect that your school only/extremely primarily places in/around NYC.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:11 am

Thanks for your kind comment. I will address each of your paragraphs.

#1. I get what you're saying. I've heard critiques of calling it a clerkship. However, I see so many people call it a "clerkship." Is it wrong, then, to call it a clerkship on a resume? I see so many other people call it a clerkship and nobody bats an eye at them. (However, if it is something that will make people in high academia admissions scoff at, then I'll change it.)

#2. So, where I am from, our school has a huge local legacy and because of its school pride, each firm will take several people from where I am at. That is why I am so confident.

#3. "Assuming you actually do have reasonably assured chances of a Biglaw SA in your market, how do you actually expect people to give you chances in other nondescript markets? If you're competitive for LA Biglaw from Loyola, are you asking if you have a shot at NYC or SF?" Same reason for #2. It is a rather "small" city where I am going, so where I am at now, it would be much easier to get a job here than somewhere else.

I think my problem was that I made my question way too complicated. Long story short -- How do transfers place in summer associate positions?

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:39 am

Don’t call a summer student position with a judge a clerkship. A clerkship is a post-grad full-time position. If other students are calling their internships “clerkships,” they’re wrong. I, personally, don’t normally see people call summer student positions clerkships, so I’d be curious where you’re seeing that and how many “so many people” actually are. Under ordinary circumstances (as opposed to somewhere like here, where people are usually asking for advice), if I did see that, I wouldn’t say anything, but internally I would definitely roll my eyes. (It’s also not going to convince anyone that the experience is more significant if you call it a clerkship than if you call it an internship.)

The common wisdom is that during OCI, transfers are treated largely as if they’re still at their first school. Doing OCI at a T14 does get you in front of more firms, which is always better, but if the firm you’re applying with wouldn’t hire from your 1L school, they probably won’t hire you as a transfer.

However, that’s at least in large part because when you do OCI as a transfer, you don’t have any grades from your new school. This year, it seems likely that OCI will get pushed back, which might change things if it’s pushed back to after fall grades come in.

Students who go away to the T14 are often welcomed back to their hometowns with open arms. If you start locally and transfer, though, I suspect you may have a harder time convincing alums of your original school and/or other locals that you do want to be there as opposed to the fancy place you left them for. I’m speculating, but I think transferring gives the impression you didn’t like the local school more so than going somewhere else from the start. But this will be less the case from graduation on, because at that point you can drop the first school from your resume so it won’t be so obvious.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:00 am

Thanks, nixy! It is discouraging to hear that it might be harder to get a SA as a transfer (at least in the same market of a school that I transfer to), but I guess the whole point of transferring is, like I said, long-term goals.

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nixy

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:27 am

Just so I’m clear, I’m not sure it’s really *harder* as a transfer at OCI, so much as it’s not as much of a boost as some people expect. You will almost certainly have more firms participating in OCI than at your 1L school. Firms that would hire you out of OCI at your old school almost certainly still will, and there may be firms who haven’t historically recruited at your old school (due to difference in markets or whatever) who will consider you when they see you. But a firm that recruits in the market of your old school, say, but didn’t actually recruit at your old school, will probably not be interested in you as a transfer - but they wouldn’t have been interested in you as a non-transfer, either. Plenty of transfers do perfectly well at OCI, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not necessarily a given that you’ll have the same opportunities at your new school as a non-transfer.

(I’m speculating, but I think one of the reasons why a lot of top schools prefer to take transfers from within the geographic market is that they know a top student from a local school will do well in that market where a transplant might not. For ex, a top Fordham or Cardozo student will probably have decent opportunities in NYC because the NYC firms already generally hire top students from those schools. A top Fordham/Cardozo student might not do as well transferring to U Chicago, where local employers aren’t super familiar with grads from those schools, whereas as a top UIUC student might have the opposite experience - be more successful with Chicago employers, who are familiar with/recruit at the school, than with NYC firms who don’t generally recruit at UIUC. So Chicago might be more willing to take the UIUC transfer
than Columbia would.) (this is a little overstated because NYC is the easiest market to crack without ties, but hopefully the example makes sense.)

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:00 am

No, I totally get it! Thanks! Maybe I am selling myself short? I think the problem is that I didn't get a SA this year, so I am just not giving myself the credit! The problem is that it is hard to tell because there are no T14 schools around here. Actually, the closest T1 school is 2 hours away. Closest school other than that is like T20... So I don't know how I would place at some of the bigger-city firms? I guess a better question, that has been asked an excruciating amount of times, is where would a T2 Top ten 10% CALI 3.76 federal judicial intern* fit in the OCI process if his school were located in NYC or Chicago.

(I guess also the fact that our school is the best law school in the 150 mile or so radius is a good reason to stay!!!) I will actually admit that I love my school so much. I really do. But, I come from a very uneducated family and impoverished area, so the idea of going to somewhere in the T14 would mean so much to me, my family, and my small hometown community.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:07 am

proudgunner wrote:I think the problem is that I didn't get a SA this year, so I am just not giving myself the credit!
1L SAs are extremely difficult to get, even if you perform well at a top school. It's not at all surprising that you didn't get one.

In terms of location for SA positions: You should have a shot anywhere you have ties or in NYC (which will hire from anywhere). So if you transfer to a T13, the location of that school won't matter as much as your ties. You seem to be stuck with a regional mindset because your current school is regional, which makes sense. But the whole point of going to a top school is that you aren't tied to that school's region.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:43 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
proudgunner wrote:I think the problem is that I didn't get a SA this year, so I am just not giving myself the credit!
1L SAs are extremely difficult to get, even if you perform well at a top school. It's not at all surprising that you didn't get one.

In terms of location for SA positions: You should have a shot anywhere you have ties or in NYC (which will hire from anywhere). So if you transfer to a T13, the location of that school won't matter as much as your ties. You seem to be stuck with a regional mindset because your current school is regional, which makes sense. But the whole point of going to a top school is that you aren't tied to that school's region.
When you say "anywhere you have ties," are you considering if I transferred to say Michigan, that I "have ties" in Ann Arbor?

Also, I have been noticing now that people are saying T13 instead of T14. Why? Georgetown was on my list to transfer, but it seems like that school gets discounted a ton. Thanks for your reply!

Also -- maybe a harder question to answer is, it sounds like the NY market and applying to NYU and Columbia, as well as bidding for NY firms, would really serve me well. Is there anything particular that NY firms look for or anything that would help someone get a 2L SA there?

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nixy

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:53 am

Excellent grades from a school they’ve hired from before.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:56 am

I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:01 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.
Actually, I would love to work in the city where I am now. But like I said, I come from no law background and a very poor area so going as high as I can would mean a lot to myself as well as my family and community. I love law, and as my prof told me, your school name will be with you your whole life, so I want to make sure that I have all the best options I can.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:07 am

proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.
Actually, I would love to work in the city where I am now. But like I said, I come from no law background and a very poor area so going as high as I can would mean a lot to myself as well as my family and community. I love law, and as my prof told me, your school name will be with you your whole life, so I want to make sure that I have all the best options I can.
In that case, I would consider looking at each of the big firms in Cincinnati and seeing where each of the lawyers went to law school. If you start to see a pattern---say, that many or most came from Chicago T14s or midwest T20s---I'd weigh that in favor of transferring; in that same vein, if like 70%+ of the lawyers went to University of Cincinnati School of Law, I would probably weigh that in favor of staying there.

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proudgunner

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:09 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:
proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.
Actually, I would love to work in the city where I am now. But like I said, I come from no law background and a very poor area so going as high as I can would mean a lot to myself as well as my family and community. I love law, and as my prof told me, your school name will be with you your whole life, so I want to make sure that I have all the best options I can.
In that case, I would consider looking at each of the big firms in Cincinnati and seeing where each of the lawyers went to law school. If you start to see a pattern---say, that many or most came from Chicago T14s or midwest T20s---I'd weigh that in favor of transferring; in that same vein, if like 70%+ of the lawyers went to University of Cincinnati School of Law, I would probably weigh that in favor of staying there.
Yeah, they mostly all went to UC. But on the other hand, I don't know how they would react to someone from a T14. Mainly because there is no real reason for someone to move there from a T14.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:26 am

proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:
proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.
Actually, I would love to work in the city where I am now. But like I said, I come from no law background and a very poor area so going as high as I can would mean a lot to myself as well as my family and community. I love law, and as my prof told me, your school name will be with you your whole life, so I want to make sure that I have all the best options I can.
In that case, I would consider looking at each of the big firms in Cincinnati and seeing where each of the lawyers went to law school. If you start to see a pattern---say, that many or most came from Chicago T14s or midwest T20s---I'd weigh that in favor of transferring; in that same vein, if like 70%+ of the lawyers went to University of Cincinnati School of Law, I would probably weigh that in favor of staying there.
Yeah, they mostly all went to UC. But on the other hand, I don't know how they would react to someone from a T14. Mainly because there is no real reason for someone to move there from a T14.
Well, I'd apply and see what happens. UChicago, NW, Michigan may be worth it if you want to clerk or consider a long shot at academia, but staying put probably won't hurt your chances at Cincinnati biglaw.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by proudgunner » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:32 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:
proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:
proudgunner wrote:
decimalsanddollars wrote:I commented on your transfer-chances thread, so I'll keep my advice here brief:

If you want to work in the city where you are now, stay put. If you want to work elsewhere, transfer to a school that places there (ideally, a T14 in the target city). If you're not picky about location but want to maximize options or biglaw chances, transfer to the highest-ranked school you can and gun for NYC or another major market if you have ties. Stop calling it a clerkship, and chill out just a little bit. You're gonna be fine.
Actually, I would love to work in the city where I am now. But like I said, I come from no law background and a very poor area so going as high as I can would mean a lot to myself as well as my family and community. I love law, and as my prof told me, your school name will be with you your whole life, so I want to make sure that I have all the best options I can.
In that case, I would consider looking at each of the big firms in Cincinnati and seeing where each of the lawyers went to law school. If you start to see a pattern---say, that many or most came from Chicago T14s or midwest T20s---I'd weigh that in favor of transferring; in that same vein, if like 70%+ of the lawyers went to University of Cincinnati School of Law, I would probably weigh that in favor of staying there.
Yeah, they mostly all went to UC. But on the other hand, I don't know how they would react to someone from a T14. Mainly because there is no real reason for someone to move there from a T14.
Well, I'd apply and see what happens. UChicago, NW, Michigan may be worth it if you want to clerk or consider a long shot at academia, but staying put probably won't hurt your chances at Cincinnati biglaw.

Absolutely. That's what my prof said. He said I owe it to myself to at least apply and see where I stand. If I end up staying here, then PERFECT! But I also wanna go as high as I can and give these three years my all.

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Re: Transfer Summer 2L Summer Associate

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:43 am

I attended law school in a small/insular but desirable market. There were two local law schools, neither T14. The big firms in the market hire plenty of local law grads, although usually only the top 10-20% of the class (some people who started at smaller firms have made their way to big firms since gradutation). The big firms also love to hire locals who went away to T14s and came back; they're just probably a smaller group population-wise, because a lot of locals are happy to go to the local schools (undergrad or grad) and don't get caught up in the minutiae of school rankings/prestige (partly a cultural thing and partly there isn't the same concentration of schools competing for attention as there is some parts of the country like the northeast).

That said, T14 people without ties often struggle to break into the market - just because it's small and there aren't that many biglaw positions. I also think an alum from a local school might look askance at someone who started local, transferred to the T14, and then came back. They might not, but it can happen. I don't know that it would actively hurt you - they might just wonder whether you really want to work in that market or if you're actually looking to move on. (How much this matters would probably depend on how strong a candidate you are otherwise.)

Your prof is right that your school name will be with you for the rest of your life, but the value of the school name does kind of depend on what you want to do and where. I've worked in small markets my whole career and no one blinks an eye at local grads - they're well respected and their position/reputation in the community is commensurate with what they've accomplished. The same is true for T14 grads (having gone to Harvard won't really help you if people don't think you're good at your job). If you really do want to stay in Cincinnati, graduating at the top of the local school is a pretty good position - you don't need to pay a lot more and go away for 2 years to get a fancy name on your diploma just for the sake of the fancy name.

However, if you do think you might want to go elsewhere - like go to NYC to work biglaw, and then maybe go from NYC to somewhere else in the country - a more national name is going to matter more. So I think it depends on what your goals really are. If you want to work where you are, and are thinking of transferring purely for some intangible prestige/brass ring, I'm not sure it's necessary. (I also can't remember if you'd be giving up any scholarship.) But chances are good it wouldn't *hurt* you - it just might end up with you following a different path.

(Also - where did your prof go to law school?)

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