You have scratched the surface with your research. Typically, you will not get a scholarship if you transfer, your law school GPA does not go with you. How you can you finance your second and third year while not your first? Like 90 percent of us must take out loans to some extent. As to getting a letter in good standing from the dean: usually the registrars office handles that, not the dean personally, so you will not need to have an awkward conversation there. You will need to have an awkward conversation with at least one prof, however, for a recommendation.If you are in the top 10 percent your chances at a top 20 seat are pretty decent. Look at GULC or another school friendly to transfers.You cannot do law review your first year or moot court. Furthermore, if you transfer you cannot do it your second year either- you will not have a GPA.Oh, and you realize that to transfer at all you need 30 credits (one full year), at least at all the schools I have seen, might be ABA rules. Good luck.
In all honesty if you will be disappointed if you don't transfer it might be best not to go. The odds are you won't be in the top 10% it is no insult to you, but everybody in law school is SMART. No matter where you go 100% of students think they will be in the top 10%. You can do the math and see how that will play out. The odds are that if you go to that school that is where you are going to stay. It is not impossible to transfer, but you have a 10% chance of doing it and that is not very good. Even if you do transfer you will lose all the relationships you made first year etc and as I understand it would almost be impossible to be on moot court, law review, etc at the school you transfer into. I could be wrong about that though. Honestly, the rankings are pretty B.S. really look at the formula they use to determine schools and you will see that it makes no sense. You will see a private company took it upon themselves to make an unregulated regulation system that law school applicants take very seriously. However, the reality is once you get outside of the top 25 or so nobody cares about the rankings it is all about location. Everybody knows Harvard is a good law school, but nobody will really care about the difference between University of Maine and Lewis & Clark. They are both fine schools Maine is respected in Maine and Lewis & Clark is respected in Oregon. I just want to conclude by saying law school is hard whether you go to Cooley or Harvard you will learn the same thing and be in competition with very smart and motivated people. The odds of you being in the top 10% and transferring are very low and it is really something you should consider before going to the school, if your heart is absolutely set on transferring. Good Luck to you.
You should have the desire to be number 1 without question. One thing to be wary about transferring is to not get to caught up in rankings, a few of my friends transferred from GGU a Tier 4 to Santa Clara or USF tier 2 schools and are not to happy with their decision at all. This is because, they moved from the 127th best school to the 87th or something, but they lost between 40 and 70 thousand dollars worth of scholarship money. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF are not going to make that much of a difference in employment. We have Stanford, Berkeley, and Hastings right here and the difference between GGU, Santa Clara, and USF is not that great when dealing with jobs. Santa Clara or USF might offer somewhat of a leg up, but not a 70,000 with 8% interest leg up. The reality is GGU, Santa Clara, or USF are not going to result in employers chasing you down. When you are dealing with 88, 72, and 121 it's not much of a difference. Now had some of those people transferred into Stanford or Berkley it would be a different and they would have probably been a lot more satisfied with their decision.In all honesty the rankings are pretty bogus. If you look at the formula you will see only 12% of the formula is objective the remaining 88% is purely subjective based on U.S. News opinion, which is a private company and the ABA and LSAC specifically say to ignore it. Obviously, there are elite schools that will open doors and you and me both knew what those schools were when we were 5 years old. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and schools of that Elk are ELITE and will open doors a tier 2, 3, or 4 will not. However, I would recommend not transferring from a tier 4 to a tier 2 everyone I know that has done that has been disappointed. I am sure there are exceptions, but that is the consensus of the people I have talked to.I am only in my first of law school so I might be talking out of my ass, but that is just my own experience. However, I know I will not transfer to Santa Clara or USF based on what I have heard from people that have transferred from GGU to those schools have told me about their experience.