So, I'm contemplating transferring to UVA, UMich, or Duke. I'm a 1L at a school in Virginia right now and obviously going to UVA would be the easiest logistically. My only hang-up, however, is that UVA doesn't do any kind of latin honors (that I'm aware of) and transfers aren't eligible for Order of the Coif. I've done quite well as a 1L without too much effort and a big part of me wants to transfer to a school where I can really apply myself and (possibly) have the honors to show for it. As far as I know, transfers are eligible for latin honors/OC at both UMich and Duke. All three schools allow transfers to try and write-on to LR. I'll also say that I like the lay-prestige factor of Duke. Duke would be the easier move of the two, but Mich is ranked higher. Granted, I'm not sure there's really that much of a difference in job prospects between the three anyway. I'm also interested in doing a federal clerkship (District or COA if possible-yes I know they are extremely tough to get) before working for a large or medium sized firm (100+ and not one in NYC...). I realize grades, school name, and journal experience are big factors in clerkships. At my current school (A T30 school), I'm already ranked high and will likely get on to LR. Prof LOR's would obviously be easier at my current school as well.
Given my career goals and other motivations, what are the pros and cons of each option? (Stay, UVA, UMich, Duke). Is there anything I'm not considering? Would I be crazy to choose Duke over UVA and Mich?
As a side question, will crappy UG grades hurt my chances for a fed clerkship? (~3.0, psych)
I imagine it would be the easiest to get a federal clerkship out of Michigan, however I bet you would have a good shot coming out of UVA as well. At Michigan and UVA (I believe), you can write onto LR as a transfer, so I think the increase in school prestige would be worth the gamble of whether you make LR at your transfer school as opposed to the sure bet you have at your T30. Finally, the lack of latin honors, in my opinion, are far less important. I think class rank would be exponentially more important to jobs and clerkships. A lot of schools probably have all sorts of variations on latin honor, so they may be relatively meaningless (unless you graduate Magna from Harvard). Again, I'm not terribly sure about any of this!
As for the UG grades, I don't think that should matter at all. my guess.