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.
1. Like I said, big firms hire almost
exclusively through OCI. Through my experience (somewhat limited, I suppose) it is very unlikely for someone to get a well paying (and by well paying I mean 100,000+) job not through OCI.
2. You say "nobody bills 3,000 hours a year." Are you kidding me? This is billing less than 60 hours a week. Billing 60 hours a week is billing approx 8.5 hours a day (assuming you work weekends). This is very possible. Some lawyers out in 12 hours a day. With 12 hour work days you can surely bill 8.5 hours a day. Of course this means no life, almost whatsoever, but it also means mucho dinero. To say nobody bills 3,000 a year is a ridiculous over-generalization. Ask any associate at any big firm. I know people who have billed this many hours. They are not happy people. I even know of small firms where associates bill over 3000 hours (Baker Daniels in Indy, for example). Some firms have huge incentive programs for billing this many hours. Bonus packages for billing 2500 hours are VERY common. What makes you think 500 hours more (approx 9.5 billable more a week) is out of the question.
3. I was speaking more to BigLaw. It is likely that you will get something through OCI, but I was refuting the statement that "T14 people are guaranteed BigLaw jobs paying 170-190." This is not true. This is not true because base salaries don't start out this high. Check Nalp. Seach by salary. There is one firm listed that pays 155,000, a handful that pay 150,000.
4. Again, I'm not talking about "top ten law students." Of course the top ten law students can get BigLaw jobs. Again, I was responding to the guy who said a T14 is guaranteed a BigLaw job regardless of class rank. There are quite a few students, including myself, that secured jobs at Vault top 20 firms. We were all top of our class. All of us. The BigLaw firms (Sidley Austin, Kirkland & Ellis, Sheaman & Sterling, Jones Day, Jenner Block, etc, etc,) only took the top students. These firms would never take students from the bottom of the class. Check out these firms' websites. Even the associates from HYS, etc have honors, journal experience, etc.
BTW, good luck in England. I have a lot of family there; I envy you. Bring your wellies and your brolly though;)