Yes, I am talking about the DE campus. I was thinking say I end up going there and manage to get in the top 15% of my class or so... would it be worth transferring or do you think I would actually be able to get a job making 80k+ a year? I am somewhat interested in BigLaw or a clerkship so I don't know if Widener should even be in my options...any thoughts?
I know much more about the Harrisburg campus than the DE campus, but I'll give you my take.
Even if you weren't set on "biglaw," I'd think twice about going to Widener. The first thing a firm sees on your resume is your school. In a competitive market like Philly, where it is ranked behind UPenn, Temple, and Villanova, that's strike one against you. Strike 2 against you is the fact that many other grads from top-notch schools will be looking for jobs in Philly.
"Biglaw" and clerkships are highly competitive. You need every advantage you can get. But decent jobs in general are also hard to land.
You also need to remember that most people are gunning for the top 15%, especially at a lower-ranked school. Most of those people are going to be disappointed, and statistically you probably will be one of them. You need to be realistic.
However, you're realistically stuck with schools like Widener most likely unless your Feb. score is significantly better. That means you're probably going to be paying (I'm guessing based on the Harrisburg campus price) 25 grand or so in tuition alone per year.
So let's add on a very conservative estimate of 5 grand per year for housing and food. You owe $90,000, and the opportunity cost of not being able to work.
What do you think the median salary from Widener is? I'd say 40-50 grand, although I could be mistaken.
(I do NOT have stats to back this up. However, I go to a T50 and our median is around 60 grand for private practice. My guess is that theirs is lower, with all due respect.)
I think you need to ask yourself if the Feb. LSAT score doesn't pan out: is it really worth 90 grand of debt combined with the opp. costs that were lost to most likely earn 40-50 grand starting?
And obviously none of us can answer that for you. For some, it's a good decision. For many, though, I'd say it's a mistake. (And I think the stats showing the depression of many lawyers lends credibility to my assertion.)
This is just my 2 cents. I wish you the best of luck!