Here's my take. I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year. You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome. However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra.
Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool. I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class. So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.
Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.
I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms.
Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.
this is a very misleading post.
1) biglaw does most, but NOT ALL of its hiring through oci. write-ins, minority job fairs, etc. are all effective ways of getting a biglaw job.
2) no one, i repeat, NO ONE bills 3,000+ hrs a year. not even in nyc.
3) yes, it happens that people at top schools don't land jobs through oci. that happens exceptionally infrequently and they are usually able to secure well-paying positions later in the year.
4) market salaries are well over $100k in just about any major market. top 10 law students, unless they are socially retarded, usually have no trouble getting these jobs, regardless of class rank. many of my friends who made all "Passes" in their first year are now at top 20 firms in SF, NYC, DC, and LA.