Advice Needed: Emory vs GW Transfer

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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Advice Needed: Emory vs GW Transfer

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:22 pm

I am transferring from a low TT (80-90) school and was accepted into Emory Law in late June. I was waitlisted at some higher ranked schools (GULC, UT), but I was accepted into Emory in time to bid for OCI, so I was and still am pretty set on that. I got 4 screeners for Emory OCI and 4 more at Emory's New York off-campus program. Note I am set on transferring regardless so I don't need any input about considering a return to my current school.

Today, I was accepted into GW. The school said OCI bidding deadlines have passed, but there are a "smaller number of positions still available." Given that OCI has passed at GW, would I be crazy to consider GW at this point? I know I probably am, but I have a nagging impulse to get a wider opinion on this. I know they are very comparable schools in most rankings with only a little degree portability, but I've gotten the sense GW carries slightly more national recognition and slightly better employment prospects (or am I wrong?).

More information:

-Geography: I'm not permanently tied anywhere, and spent my 1L year at a school in the midwest. I was an Emory undergrad, but I only have weak ties to Atlanta at this point. I don't really favor practicing in Atlanta compared to D.C. Not considering costs, I'd actually slightly prefer D.C. Considering COL, it's a wash.

-Career Goals: Not a big law or bust type. It would be nice, but I'd be fine with a medium sized firm.

-Transfer culture: Both schools traditionally have large transfer classes, but does anyone have a sense (anecdotal or otherwise) about which school is generally more welcoming to transfer students? Integrating with the school's student body is very important to me, probably more than others.

I understand OCIs are the key here, which should probably make this a no brainer. I guess part of me is seeking something new compared to my undergraduate experience, even though I liked Emory. Finally, all other things equal, do you think one school is considered better in the legal community, or are they about as similar as the rankings and LST indicate? Remember I have no strong geographic preference, which should be taken to mean I value more (however little) degree portability.

Thank you guys so much for any thoughts and advice!! I know others on TLS are considering transferring to schools ranked 20-30, so feel free to chime in as well!


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Re: Advice Needed: Emory vs GW Transfer

Postby bongcha » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:42 am

Honestly, depends on where you want to practice.
I'm in the same boat. Do I stay where I have always been, or venture out?

GW has its appeal being in D.C., and from what I hear, Emory is more or less limited regionally.

Additionally, I think because you're transferring, you're paying out of pocket right? What hurts more or are they more or less the same (probably the latter).

What will your social life be like?
What school has more prestige?

Good luck in deciding!

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Re: Advice Needed: Emory vs GW Transfer

Postby unsweetened » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:39 pm

From my experience, unless you are in the top 20% at either school, OCI is not likely to have a positive yield. Sure you will get plenty of 20 min screeners, but if you're not part the core group that gets recycled through all the OCI slots, chances of success are pretty slim. IMO, making sure you go to school where you want to practice is way more important than OCI. Going to school where you want to practice will get you better access to openings in the market through school job postings, alumni, and clinical stuff. You'll also be geographically closer for interviews.
Law schools put a whole lot of emphasis on OCIs because it's good for their prestige and AB509 numbers, but it's probably not as important for you.

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