T20 to H/Y?

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.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only available to the creator of each thread. The anonymous posting feature is intended to permit the solicitation of anonymous advice regarding the transfer application process, chances of being accepted, etc. Unacceptable uses include: testing the feature, questions which are clearly fake or hypothetical in nature, harassing other users, etc. Posters should also read and understand the announcements posted at the top of the Transfers forum prior to using the anonymous feature.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 350603
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

T20 to H/Y?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:44 pm

I'm top 10% at a T20 [3.9]. My school dominates our regional market, which is also the area I want to establish my career in. I have a Big Law SA position in the region too. I have a scholarship [about 25% off sticker price]. Reasonably content at my current school, but considering a H/Y transfer application.

- Improves odds of getting top tier appellate clerkship (?) [honestly my biggest motivating factor]
- Prestige factor [down the line intangible career benefits?]
- Opens possibility of academic career

- Could lessen odds of getting clerkship [weaker recommender relationships, starting from scratch - I've heard mixed things here]
- Little to no chance to do law review [could also impact appellate clerkship opportunities]
- Significantly larger debt burden [probably at least $80k over where I'm at now]
- I already have a Big Law SA job in the market I want to work in, and would have a JD from the top school in our area, so why tinker?
- All my friends/family/professional network are where I live now

Also worried about getting in but not being perceived as a "real" H/Y grad because of transferring, and being dinged for that in future OCI/clerkship opportunities.


Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:28 pm

Re: T20 to H/Y?

Post by HLSorSLSHopeful » Fri May 01, 2020 2:20 am

Hi OP! I was in a very similar position to you last year (Top 5% at T20, Big Law SA after 1L in market I wanted to work in), submitted apps to H/S and got into HLS. Had a lot of the same thoughts and concerns as you (scholarships, clerkships, prestige, etc.). Ultimately decided to stay at my current school. Overall, I think either decision is justifiable in your position, and I would be happy to discuss with you further if you'd like! Here's a couple thoughts to bring up if you're interested:
-School clerkship offices will likely rally behind their students to get clerkships. In fact, letting the school know you're thinking about transferring and staying could make the school work extra hard to keep you and give you leverage for recommendations from high ranking professors/special clerkship counseling/recommendations and/or introductions from the dean/etc. I've landed a CoA in the 9th Circuit for immediately after graduation based on this assistance (even without being on law review).
-You can likely negotiate an increase in your scholly for your performance as incentive for the school to keep you.
-Prestige factor is real and I won't lie - my HLS acceptance is in a frame at home. But it feels a lot better knowing I'm avoiding an extra $100/150k of debt - especially with how the economy is tanking now.
-Don't have much to add on the academia track because that wasn't important to me, you'd probably get much more out of YLS if that was something that was really important to you, but depending on the T20 you're at, there are likely a few standout professors you can get in touch with to really develop that. Also be aware that a 3.9 may not be enough for YLS transfer [but it should be enough for HLS] - I had a 4.1 and was dinged by SLS last year so it's a bit of a coin flip.

Like I said - feel free to PM if you'd like to discuss further. I know exactly what's going through your mind and know that either decision you make, you will have lots of awesome options ahead of you!


Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:39 am

Re: T20 to H/Y?

Post by omgomghi » Sat May 02, 2020 5:28 pm

I made the transfer from a lower T14 to H two years ago. You’re thinking in all the right ways. I probably wouldn’t have transferred if I wasn’t actually getting more $ at H than at my old school. Whether your clerkship prospects will be improved is hard to know and probably depends on how you do 2L (if you transfer to H; if Y it doesn’t matter as much). Your grades are *probably* good enough to transfer to H, but it’s hard to say in the best of times and COVID makes everything less predictable. I’d say unlikely at Y.

One thing to note: HLR has its write-on competition before transfer students are accepted. If you’re seriously considering transferring, and you can swing it, it might well be worth registering for the competition given your stated goals. Registration deadline is coming up.

Finally, don’t fear the transfer stigma. You’re a real H/Y student once you arrive. Transfers have done and continue to do really well, and all the natives know that.

Happy to talk over PM if I can be helpful. Good luck!


Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: T20 to H/Y?

Post by almondbutter » Sat May 02, 2020 6:12 pm

omgomghi wrote:
One thing to note: HLR has its write-on competition before transfer students are accepted. If you’re seriously considering transferring, and you can swing it, it might well be worth registering for the competition given your stated goals. Registration deadline is coming up.
Second everything said above but H now offers a write-on for 3L transfers during the summer. Transfers can participate in the write-on competition after 2L year along with all the 1L's.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!

Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Transfers”