Transfering from a T20-30

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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Should I think about transferring or just retake?

Transfer
1
13%
Retake
7
88%
 
Total votes: 8

YouDraggedMeHere

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Transfering from a T20-30

Postby YouDraggedMeHere » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:07 am

I was accepted to BU, BC, Vandy, and GW but not at my number 1 and 2 schools - Georgetown and Cornell. I am deciding whether I should go to one of the schools I was accepted to and then seek to transfer (ofc I would be fine if I didn't transfer and just ended up graduating) or if I should retake the LSAT (I've taken it 3 times in total- Yikes!). What percentile of the class would I need to get in to get into Cornell/Georgetown from a T20-T30 and how would taking the LSAT for a fourth time look in regards to getting in to Georgetown/Cornell? Thank you.

cavalier1138

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:57 am

You should not matriculate to a school you would not be happy graduating from.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby QContinuum » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:36 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:You should not matriculate to a school you would not be happy graduating from.

The above is TCR. Do not, under any circumstances, matriculate to a law school under the belief that you'd be able to transfer "up" after 1L. The odds are very heavily stacked against you. It's far, far easier (and lower risk, and higher returns too) to buckle down and improve your LSAT score instead.

Schools won't care how many times you've taken the LSAT. They will only care what your highest score is. (Unless you've taken the LSAT like ten or twenty times, but you're nowhere near that eyeball-popping territory.)

YouDraggedMeHere

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby YouDraggedMeHere » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:01 am

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You should not matriculate to a school you would not be happy graduating from.

The above is TCR. Do not, under any circumstances, matriculate to a law school under the belief that you'd be able to transfer "up" after 1L. The odds are very heavily stacked against you. It's far, far easier (and lower risk, and higher returns too) to buckle down and improve your LSAT score instead.

Schools won't care how many times you've taken the LSAT. They will only care what your highest score is. (Unless you've taken the LSAT like ten or twenty times, but you're nowhere near that eyeball-popping territory.)



I fully understand that and I am happy to graduate at BU just a bit disappointed that I didn't get in to Cornell/Georgetown and wondered about the possibilities. My issues with retaking the LSAT is although I'm somewhat confident that if I retook I could raise my score a few points, my UGPA is a 3.4 which is probably what barred me from getting into the T14. LSN and other stats sites show that raising LSAT score doesn't matter a whole lot (if at all) with my GPA and so I really only have the option of matriculating. Overall I think I'm just gonna go to BU try my best and see what comes of it but would like to know your take on this regarding this extra information. Thanks!

cavalier1138

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:56 am

What is your current LSAT?

A 3.4 isn't great, but it certainly isn't a bar to the T13.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby QContinuum » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:16 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:What is your current LSAT?

A 3.4 isn't great, but it certainly isn't a bar to the T13.

cavalier is correct. A 3.4 will almost certainly foreclose an applicant from getting into YSH (absent URM status or gangbuster softs), but the remainder of the T13 should be within reach given a high enough LSAT score. A 3.4 isn't a great GPA, but it's still very respectable.

Check out the data below. A LSAT as "low" (relatively speaking, for the T13) as a 171 would give a non-URM 3.4 applicant a very good chance of getting into at least one "lower" T13, and an almost assured shot (with good money!) at the T20:
Image

YouDraggedMeHere

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby YouDraggedMeHere » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:32 pm

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What is your current LSAT?

A 3.4 isn't great, but it certainly isn't a bar to the T13.

cavalier is correct. A 3.4 will almost certainly foreclose an applicant from getting into YSH (absent URM status or gangbuster softs), but the remainder of the T13 should be within reach given a high enough LSAT score. A 3.4 isn't a great GPA, but it's still very respectable.



LSAT is 170 so what do you think my options are. In the past I have been able to raise my score by 7 points, and I believe I could get that up to 174 or so. I scored perfectly on the LG section and I'm fairly confident I could repeat that and I underperformed on the other sections so I think it's def. possible to raise my score. With that, do you think I would stand a significantly better chance (only at Cornell/Georgetown - I'm not looking for higher than that really) or that the increase in acceptance chance wouldn't be worth the delay. I do like BU a lot and this cycle my main objective was to get in there so this isn't a do or die kinda thing, just want to know all the possibilities. Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it.

YouDraggedMeHere

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby YouDraggedMeHere » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:36 pm

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What is your current LSAT?

A 3.4 isn't great, but it certainly isn't a bar to the T13.

cavalier is correct. A 3.4 will almost certainly foreclose an applicant from getting into YSH (absent URM status or gangbuster softs), but the remainder of the T13 should be within reach given a high enough LSAT score. A 3.4 isn't a great GPA, but it's still very respectable.

Check out the data below. A LSAT as "low" (relatively speaking, for the T13) as a 171 would give a non-URM 3.4 applicant a very good chance of getting into at least one "lower" T13, and an almost assured shot (with good money!) at the T20:


Also, forgot to include this before, but the 3.4 doesn't tell the whole picture. I don't know how much admissions officers really give a shit about this, but I did explain in my essay that my last two years in college was a 3.7x with no grade below a 3.7 but my first year was god awful. Do you think that lends more leniency to the 3.4 or no?

Npret

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby Npret » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:49 pm

YouDraggedMeHere wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What is your current LSAT?

A 3.4 isn't great, but it certainly isn't a bar to the T13.

cavalier is correct. A 3.4 will almost certainly foreclose an applicant from getting into YSH (absent URM status or gangbuster softs), but the remainder of the T13 should be within reach given a high enough LSAT score. A 3.4 isn't a great GPA, but it's still very respectable.

Check out the data below. A LSAT as "low" (relatively speaking, for the T13) as a 171 would give a non-URM 3.4 applicant a very good chance of getting into at least one "lower" T13, and an almost assured shot (with good money!) at the T20:


Also, forgot to include this before, but the 3.4 doesn't tell the whole picture. I don't know how much admissions officers really give a shit about this, but I did explain in my essay that my last two years in college was a 3.7x with no grade below a 3.7 but my first year was god awful. Do you think that lends more leniency to the 3.4 or no?

I think no it doesn’t matter that you improved, but I’m a cynic. It possibly matters at the margins if your LSAT is high enough.

cavalier1138

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:21 pm

YouDraggedMeHere wrote:only at Cornell/Georgetown - I'm not looking for higher than that really


Well, that was a bad decision. Your chances with your current numbers are higher at splitter-friendly schools like Northwestern and UVA. If you can actually improve to a 174, you have a good chance at Columbia or NYU.

The upwards trend in your GPA doesn't matter. Just your actual GPA and LSAT. But you should have much better options if you expand your horizons beyond Cornell and Georgetown.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby QContinuum » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:03 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
YouDraggedMeHere wrote:only at Cornell/Georgetown - I'm not looking for higher than that really


Well, that was a bad decision. Your chances with your current numbers are higher at splitter-friendly schools like Northwestern and UVA. If you can actually improve to a 174, you have a good chance at Columbia or NYU.

The upwards trend in your GPA doesn't matter. Just your actual GPA and LSAT. But you should have much better options if you expand your horizons beyond Cornell and Georgetown.

NYU, Penn, Michigan, UVA, Duke, and NW, to be precise. Berkeley and Cornell tend to be more snobbish about GPA, as reflected in the data in my previous post. With a 29-50% chance at getting in to any one of those schools, OP would be extremely likely to get into at least one total out of the six.

I actually think it's not too late even now to send in apps - presumably OP already has LORs and PS written and ready to go. OP could theoretically get applications in within the next 24 hours.

Npret

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby Npret » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:26 am

^^^^
Send in more apps OP. Increase your admission chances.
Good luck!

Anony1234

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby Anony1234 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:58 pm

YouDraggedMeHere wrote:I was accepted to BU, BC, Vandy, and GW but not at my number 1 and 2 schools - Georgetown and Cornell. I am deciding whether I should go to one of the schools I was accepted to and then seek to transfer (ofc I would be fine if I didn't transfer and just ended up graduating) or if I should retake the LSAT (I've taken it 3 times in total- Yikes!). What percentile of the class would I need to get in to get into Cornell/Georgetown from a T20-T30 and how would taking the LSAT for a fourth time look in regards to getting in to Georgetown/Cornell? Thank you.


I would first decide where you want to practice. If you want to practice in DC, then GW with money (if given enough) makes more sense then G'town without money. If NYC, Vandy with money (if given enough) might make more sense than Cornell without money. Alternatively, if you like Boston, then go to BU or BC over either G'town or Cornell regardless of money. I wouldn't obsess too much over the rankings or T14 status. I would focus on the money and region above all else. I would also decide now if you want to do BigLaw or not, and how important this is for you. People too often don't ask themselves that basic question. Although you take risks wherever you go, that should inform your decision. You should never go to Cornell or G'town at sticker if you aren't entirely sure you want to do BigLaw. Those schools, and that debt, won't make sense unless you're committed to BigLaw, and even then I would caution against playing those odds even if better than where you've already gotten in.

I come from a wholly anecdotal perspective of a practicing junior attorney in DC. I don't know of many Cornell grads practicing here. I assume they're all in NYC. I would guess alumni connections at GWU would serve you better, if you do well enough, than Cornell degree. I also know plenty of unemployed G'town grads. To be honest, based only on my limited experience, I see Cornell and G'town as still regional schools despite their rankings. I fully expect for someone to jump in and explain all the reasons why I'm wrong, but that's my two cents.

I also wouldn't retake the LSAT. You'll need a big jump to make a difference at this point, and I doubt you'll make an appreciable jump at this point at a 170 if you've already taken three times and raised your score 8 points. You've likely hit your near highest score. I actually think some schools do consider how many times you took the test and each of your scores.

QContinuum

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby QContinuum » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:13 pm

Anony1234 wrote:I would first decide where you want to practice. If you want to practice in DC, then GW with money (if given enough) makes more sense then G'town without money. If NYC, Vandy with money (if given enough) might make more sense than Cornell without money. Alternatively, if you like Boston, then go to BU or BC over either G'town or Cornell regardless of money. I wouldn't obsess too much over the rankings or T14 status. I would focus on the money and region above all else. I would also decide now if you want to do BigLaw or not, and how important this is for you. People too often don't ask themselves that basic question. Although you take risks wherever you go, that should inform your decision. You should never go to Cornell or G'town at sticker if you aren't entirely sure you want to do BigLaw. Those schools, and that debt, won't make sense unless you're committed to BigLaw, and even then I would caution against playing those odds even if better than where you've already gotten in.

I come from a wholly anecdotal perspective of a practicing junior attorney in DC. I don't know of many Cornell grads practicing here. I assume they're all in NYC. I would guess alumni connections at GWU would serve you better, if you do well enough, than Cornell degree. I also know plenty of unemployed G'town grads. To be honest, based only on my limited experience, I see Cornell and G'town as still regional schools despite their rankings. I fully expect for someone to jump in and explain all the reasons why I'm wrong, but that's my two cents.

I also wouldn't retake the LSAT. You'll need a big jump to make a difference at this point, and I doubt you'll make an appreciable jump at this point at a 170 if you've already taken three times and raised your score 8 points. You've likely hit your near highest score. I actually think some schools do consider how many times you took the test and each of your scores.

  • Georgetown places more in line with the traditional T20 than the T13. Vandy has a higher BigLaw placement rate than Georgetown. So certainly Vandy with $ would be TCR over Georgetown at sticker. Even at the same price, Vandy would be TCR over Georgetown.
  • Cornell, however, still places significantly more strongly than the T20, including Georgetown and Vandy. Cornell's BigLaw placement rate is 77%, as compared to 59% for Georgetown (an almost 20% gap) or 67% for Vandy (still a 10% gap). And Vandy's the strongest-placing T20 (with Georgetown being the second strongest T20). So there is still a real gap between even the bottom of the T13 (Cornell) and the T20, especially if you move beyond Georgetown and Vandy. UT's BigLaw placement is only 44%, and UCLA's is similar at 40%. WUSTL is at 49%. The difference between T13 and non-T13 is being effectively assured of landing BigLaw if you want it (T13) and being at real risk of not being able to get BigLaw (non-T13).
  • And this is only looking at the T20. If you look beyond the T20, the BigLaw placement rate plunges further. For example, GWU's BigLaw placement rate is only 32%. IMO it's downright reckless to advise OP - or any 0L - that "alumni connections at GWU would serve you better ... than Cornell degree." Even if OP were to do extremely well in law school (let's say top 10%), I'd wager that top 10% at Cornell would take OP much further than top 10% at GWU (let's not forget Cornell also has its own alumni network - GWU isn't unique in having an alumni network).
  • The gap between a 77%+ placement rate (T13) and a 32% placement rate (GWU) is yuge and should not be underestimated. I'm as debt-averse as any TLSer but I would seriously not recommend that anyone take GWU over a T13 - even if it were GWU with a full ride vs. T13 at sticker.
  • BU and BC are particularly strong T1 schools, but even still, their BigLaw placement rate is only 42%. Again, I wouldn't advise anyone to trade a 77%+ placement rate for a 42% placement rate.
  • I don't think looking at the D.C. BigLaw market is illustrative of a law school's overall BigLaw placement ability. D.C. BigLaw is the single hardest market to get, and certainly I agree that the median Cornell grad probably won't land D.C. BigLaw. But then, a GWU grad with the same grades also certainly wouldn't land D.C. BigLaw. Median T6 grads struggle to land D.C. BigLaw.

Anony1234

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Re: Transfering from a T20-30

Postby Anony1234 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:36 pm

  • Georgetown places more in line with the traditional T20 than the T13. Vandy has a higher BigLaw placement rate than Georgetown. So certainly Vandy with $ would be TCR over Georgetown at sticker. Even at the same price, Vandy would be TCR over Georgetown.
  • Cornell, however, still places significantly more strongly than the T20, including Georgetown and Vandy. Cornell's BigLaw placement rate is 77%, as compared to 59% for Georgetown (an almost 20% gap) or 67% for Vandy (still a 10% gap). And Vandy's the strongest-placing T20 (with Georgetown being the second strongest T20). So there is still a real gap between even the bottom of the T13 (Cornell) and the T20, especially if you move beyond Georgetown and Vandy. UT's BigLaw placement is only 44%, and UCLA's is similar at 40%. WUSTL is at 49%. The difference between T13 and non-T13 is being effectively assured of landing BigLaw if you want it (T13) and being at real risk of not being able to get BigLaw (non-T13).
  • And this is only looking at the T20. If you look beyond the T20, the BigLaw placement rate plunges further. For example, GWU's BigLaw placement rate is only 32%. IMO it's downright reckless to advise OP - or any 0L - that "alumni connections at GWU would serve you better ... than Cornell degree." Even if OP were to do extremely well in law school (let's say top 10%), I'd wager that top 10% at Cornell would take OP much further than top 10% at GWU (let's not forget Cornell also has its own alumni network - GWU isn't unique in having an alumni network).
  • The gap between a 77%+ placement rate (T13) and a 32% placement rate (GWU) is yuge and should not be underestimated. I'm as debt-averse as any TLSer but I would seriously not recommend that anyone take GWU over a T13 - even if it were GWU with a full ride vs. T13 at sticker.
  • BU and BC are particularly strong T1 schools, but even still, their BigLaw placement rate is only 42%. Again, I wouldn't advise anyone to trade a 77%+ placement rate for a 42% placement rate.
  • I don't think looking at the D.C. BigLaw market is illustrative of a law school's overall BigLaw placement ability. D.C. BigLaw is the single hardest market to get, and certainly I agree that the median Cornell grad probably won't land D.C. BigLaw. But then, a GWU grad with the same grades also certainly wouldn't land D.C. BigLaw. Median T6 grads struggle to land D.C. BigLaw.
[/quote]

I think we agree more than we disagree on this. My post wasn't clear enough. I just wanted to highlight that the OP should consider (1) where he/she wants to practice and (2) whether he/she wants to pursue BigLaw. I think, in the range of schools listed, those are the first questions that I would ask myself.

With respect to GWU alumni base, as compared to Cornell, I meant that strictly for DC and if you do well enough at GWU. If the OP wants to do BigLaw, and is happy with practicing in NYC, then Cornell even at sticker is the clear choice. I was in the general range of schools (although did not attend any of the above) but knew that I strongly wanted to practice in DC and was unsure about BigLaw. I was also on the older side and extremely debt adverse. I went to a school that places well enough into DC at a very affordable price.

From my experience, I think people make bad decisions when they haven't first asked themselves where they want to practice and how happy they are about BigLaw. Things worked out for me on the job and I graduated without debt even after I graduated at median. I was lucky but also played the odds based on the answers to those questions.



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