Law School Discussion

Staying v. Leaving

Staying v. Leaving
« on: July 31, 2006, 02:33:11 PM »
I'm top 5% & on law review at a school ranked in the low 80s & have been accepted to a top 20 school who allows you to write-on to law review in the fall.  Any advice on which way to go?  Thanks in advance for your input.

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 02:52:59 PM »
Go! Go! 

Ronald Hyatt

  • ****
  • 294
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 02:56:54 PM »
leave

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 03:25:00 PM »
by go, I meant leave. ;)

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 03:52:21 PM »
like all answers in law school: "it depends".  i don't know where you go, but if that school is in the same locale you want to practice and the other school is far away, maybe staying is a sane option.

i think you're potential move is also predicated on your current level of happiness at your school.  if you are really happy, then i would be more cautious.

personally, i hated my school and didn't want to practice there.  i transfered.

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 05:52:16 PM »
i just transfered. It was a tough decision, being well-versed in the transfer dilemmna I would advise to "go" to make a long story short.

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 11:51:31 PM »
Out of curiousity, would your advice remain the same if I couldn't write-on?

Ronald Hyatt

  • ****
  • 294
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2006, 09:16:51 AM »
Low ranked T2 plus law review is still much less impressive than T20 with no law review.

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 09:45:32 AM »
My advice would be the same even if you couldnt write on. I gave up LR at a t4 to transfer to a school in the low 60's.  The problem is that as soon as an employer sees a not-so-good law school on your transcript they probably wont even keep reading long enough to see that you were on LR.

Re: Staying v. Leaving
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 10:52:01 AM »
A lot of people will tell you to go, but the big thing you have to think about is your options.  If you want to work at a big law firm, it seems that most of those opportunities are doled out during 2L OCI.  If you can't make the cut there, you won't be able to land that job (initially).

If you go to a top-20, you're going to be competing against kids who have journals, moot courts and grades.  I'm in the top 3rd of my class at a top-20, on a journal (was also selected for a moot court), and I can't even get big firm interviews through our OCI program.  I've won legal writing awards, have a great summer job, and loads of extra cirrculars.  Not to scare you, but you might not do so hot either.

And for all those who say OCI doesn't matter -- I'm calling you out.  It does.  I've phoned more than 20 firms in DC over the past few days.  I sent them all cover letters and resumes as a "write in" candidate.  They told me they only look at write-ins if they don't fill up through OCI.  Considering that many visit more than 25 schools, and see more than 18 candidates in a day, I don't think I'll be hearing many positive things about screening interviews.

Your OCI at your current school will treat you much more favorably.  If you're personable, and can find a firm you want to work at through your current school, then don't go.  Leave for the academic reasons (professor who researches/lectures on an obscure subject matter).  Leave for the personal reasons (Grandma is sick; spouse got a new job).  Don't leave for the prestige.  It's an empty chase.