Transfer Student Seeking Advice

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
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Anonymous User
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Transfer Student Seeking Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:47 am

2L at T14 on a secondary journal. Transferred from a TTT after being Top 1%.

Did not get a biglaw offer through OCI, but I did get a SA with a medium sized firm that is well respected within a secondary market. However, my goal is biglaw litigation in a major market. I am exploring the idea of doing a district court clerkship after law school and then trying for biglaw again. I am geographically flexible and willing to live in just about any state.

1.] Assuming I apply during the summer after 2L year, what sort of grades would I need to be competitive? Top 25%? Top 10%? Past threads on TLS suggest that transfers need to do significantly better than traditional T14'ers because their 1L grades are from a lower tier school. Of course, coming from a TTT makes it even worse for me.

2.] Will my poor undergraduate grades severely hinder my chances? By poor, I mean I had a 2.5. My instinct is that I'm pretty much out with any judge who asks for it. But do most judges really ask for it?

3.] Assuming I have a shot, am I better off loading up on classes next semester or doing a district court externship? I am worried that even if I get good grades, it won't mean much with only a small number of graded units. On the other hand, I feel the connection with the judge and potential writing sample will be extremely valuable when I apply next year.

4.] Am I better off applying after a year or so working at a law firm? If I work at a medium sized law firm instead of biglaw after school, do I still have a shot?

Apologies for the stampede of questions. Thank you in advance to any gracious enough to offer their advice.

Anonymous User
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Re: Transfer Student Seeking Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14 on a secondary journal. Transferred from a TTT after being Top 1%.

Did not get a biglaw offer through OCI, but I did get a SA with a medium sized firm that is well respected within a secondary market. However, my goal is biglaw litigation in a major market. I am exploring the idea of doing a district court clerkship after law school and then trying for biglaw again. I am geographically flexible and willing to live in just about any state.

1.] Assuming I apply during the summer after 2L year, what sort of grades would I need to be competitive? Top 25%? Top 10%? Past threads on TLS suggest that transfers need to do significantly better than traditional T14'ers because their 1L grades are from a lower tier school. Of course, coming from a TTT makes it even worse for me.

2.] Will my poor undergraduate grades severely hinder my chances? By poor, I mean I had a 2.5. My instinct is that I'm pretty much out with any judge who asks for it. But do most judges really ask for it?

3.] Assuming I have a shot, am I better off loading up on classes next semester or doing a district court externship? I am worried that even if I get good grades, it won't mean much with only a small number of graded units. On the other hand, I feel the connection with the judge and potential writing sample will be extremely valuable when I apply next year.

4.] Am I better off applying after a year or so working at a law firm? If I work at a medium sized law firm instead of biglaw after school, do I still have a shot?

Apologies for the stampede of questions. Thank you in advance to any gracious enough to offer their advice.


FWIW, I was a transfer student and am now doing my second clerkship. Your GPA starts over when you transfer, so if you crush it 2L year (think 3.8 or better), you will be set. If you only do ok, you will probably be better off applying after a year of post-graduate work. I only did ok my 2L year so I waited till I had firm experience under my belt and that seemed to make the process much easier. Externing will probably look good on your resume as well, as will being geographically flexible. As far as undergraduate grades, I wouldn't bother mentioning them. Also - make sure you take some classes with professors that you can build a relationship with and get a good LOR from, and also ones who will make calls on your behalf. This will be one of the most important things for you.

FascinatedWanderer
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Re: Transfer Student Seeking Advice

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Also keep in mind that if you're a 2L now, many district courts will already be hiring for a term when you've been working for a year.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Transfer Student Seeking Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14 on a secondary journal. Transferred from a TTT after being Top 1%.

Did not get a biglaw offer through OCI, but I did get a SA with a medium sized firm that is well respected within a secondary market. However, my goal is biglaw litigation in a major market. I am exploring the idea of doing a district court clerkship after law school and then trying for biglaw again. I am geographically flexible and willing to live in just about any state.

1.] Assuming I apply during the summer after 2L year, what sort of grades would I need to be competitive? Top 25%? Top 10%? Past threads on TLS suggest that transfers need to do significantly better than traditional T14'ers because their 1L grades are from a lower tier school. Of course, coming from a TTT makes it even worse for me.

2.] Will my poor undergraduate grades severely hinder my chances? By poor, I mean I had a 2.5. My instinct is that I'm pretty much out with any judge who asks for it. But do most judges really ask for it?

3.] Assuming I have a shot, am I better off loading up on classes next semester or doing a district court externship? I am worried that even if I get good grades, it won't mean much with only a small number of graded units. On the other hand, I feel the connection with the judge and potential writing sample will be extremely valuable when I apply next year.

4.] Am I better off applying after a year or so working at a law firm? If I work at a medium sized law firm instead of biglaw after school, do I still have a shot?

Apologies for the stampede of questions. Thank you in advance to any gracious enough to offer their advice.


FWIW, I was a transfer student and am now doing my second clerkship. Your GPA starts over when you transfer, so if you crush it 2L year (think 3.8 or better), you will be set. If you only do ok, you will probably be better off applying after a year of post-graduate work. I only did ok my 2L year so I waited till I had firm experience under my belt and that seemed to make the process much easier. Externing will probably look good on your resume as well, as will being geographically flexible. As far as undergraduate grades, I wouldn't bother mentioning them. Also - make sure you take some classes with professors that you can build a relationship with and get a good LOR from, and also ones who will make calls on your behalf. This will be one of the most important things for you.


Thank you so much for your advice. Were you on law review during law school? Did you work at a big law firm after graduating (trying to gauge if this is an important factor to judges)? Also, I assume you didn't tell your employer that you planned to clerk after working a year with them. When did you start applying, when did you tell your firm, and how did your firm take it?




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