I would transfer to MSU.
Your friend should have applied to more schools. Class rank and 1L gpa are everything in the transfer process, it has nothing to do pre-law stats. How much is the scholarship at Cooley for ? As far as the law review/moot court thing at Cooley, do these classes mean your are automatically on LR or moot court afterwards? Or do they mean that you have to THEN write on/compete after you take the classes? MSU is known for it's sports teams but that's not the same as being known for it's law school. MSU doesn't have good job prospects outside of MI and the midwest either. Cooley isn't that respected in MI. Law review at Cooley might push her ahead of some other candidates for jobs in the midwest but I wouldn't think it would be a lock for anything b/c the economy is so bad in MI and the midwest right now. To top it off, top 22% is good, but really not that impressive to a lot of employers who are inundated with a ton of apps for what little positions are available. Don't forget we're talking Cooley here.Your "friend" is in a really tough spot here. I don't think transferring to MSU would be a good idea unless the scholarship she has at Cooley is very small.Here's what I would do:1) See if there is a way to take a 1 year leave of absence from Cooley, then apply for transfer status at several other schools well in advance of the deadline. She'll have to call several schools and ask if they would go for this. Where does your friend have residency? If she has residency in a state that has a decent in-state law school(s), she needs to find out if she would be competitive for admission there. During her time off from school she should get a legal job of some sort, even if that means working as a paralegal or working in retail and doing an unpaid internship on the side.2) Visit at another school during her final year of law school. This might be difficult. I do not know what Cooley's policy on visiting students is and she'd have to apply to visit. It isn't that hard to get accepted as a visiting student SOMEWHERE, the problem is always trying to coordinate it with your "home" law school. The goal should be to visit her third year at a reputable law school in an area of the country where the economy isn't as bad as in the midwest, where she could try to network for a post-grad job. A downside is that she would have to pay full sticker price for her third year. If Cooley does agree to it, she'd have to find some way to do her law review duties off site (assuming she gets on and Cooley allows that). Moot court would be out.
So the question is, would you stay at Cooley with LR, Moot Court, and a 25% scholarship, or would you jump ship to MSU and have none of that?
Quote from: Ninja1 on August 03, 2009, 11:39:38 PMMSU easily.http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/composite.pdfI don't see how the NLJ placement stats (or the employment stats in general, excluding academic attrition and transfers) support choosing MSU. MSU's 3% NLJ placement, compared to Cooley's 0%, doesn't justify the transfer, IMO. Quote from: marsius on August 03, 2009, 08:12:46 PMSo the question is, would you stay at Cooley with LR, Moot Court, and a 25% scholarship, or would you jump ship to MSU and have none of that?Cooley. I think the $20K less debt, law review, and moot court turn the table on the lower reputation. And this isn't even considering the unknown possibilities, all of which are unlikely at MSU: higher class rank due to transfers, law review editorial board, publishing note/comment, moot court board, high placement at moot court tournament, good references/letters from 1L professors, social networks gained through moot court / law review / 1L year. Job prospects from both schools will not be great. MSU's marginally better employment prospects don't justify the jump, in my opinion. At least with law review and moot court at Cooley, your friend has some credibility. She'll be a nobody at MSU. Better to be a big fish in a small pond rather than just another fish in a slightly larger pond. If your friend was transferring to some random tier 2 or tier 1 school, the move would probably be worth it. But I don't see the move being worth $20K, law review, and moot court.
The latest things I've learned: MSU doesn't allow transfer students to earn latin honors at graduation and, if her interpretation of the student handbook is correct, they don't allow transfer students to graduate with regular honors either (I'm iffier on whether this interpretation is correct). They also don't give transfer students an official rank (something about only allowing them to have an unofficial "comparison" ranking. Not sure if it would go on a transcript or not).