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Messages - Studybug

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Thank you so much for your thoughtful response!
Just to clarify, the reason I'm mulling this over now, is because if I EVEN apply to transfer, Southwestern disqualifies me from Law Review and Law Journal, even I decide to stay, or don't get in to the schools I want. And as of now, I'm automatically eligible. And yes, I could suck it up and move to Berkeley if I got in- it's a great great school, but I would be paying double what I do now for rent. But if I got in, I could find a way to make it happen.
One more factor I'm considering is the fact that I don't want a huge firm, meat grinder, 100 hour week, suck out your soul job. I know these kind of employers want people only from the best schools, but what about the smaller firms? I haven't been able to lock down an answer from anyone on that.
But thank you so much for responding.. my nerves are a mess!

I'm on a full ride at Southwestern and ranked second in my class. To transfer to UCLA, USC or Berkeley would cost 80k for the remaining two years.
UCLA, USC and Berkeley are all top 9-18 schools with a 90% bar passage rate, while Southwestern is at a mere 50%. Job prospects are also going to be much better. However, after transferring I am likely to be closer to the middle of the class, after competing with the top notch kids at a premium school.
 Because my class rank is so high at Southwestern, (provided I can maintain it for two more  years), is it worth it to transfer and pay the money (I may be able to avoid taking out student loans, via a loan from my parents- but it's still going to cost) in the hopes of getting that higher paying job, or will I do just as well having come from a third tier school, but at the top of it?
Another consideration: I have not yet applied to transfer to these schools, but any student who applies to transfer from Southwestern is forbidden from being on Law Review, even if they're not accepted to the new school- so I need to decide if I'll go if accepted before I apply.
Another (small) consideration is happiness for the remaining two years. I'm currently in a part time evening program, with people a little closer to my age (I'm 30), and I'm a night owl. I take 9 hours a semester, and don't have the grind of studying for 5 finals twice a year. I also wait tables to  pay my rent and I love my job, and if I transferred and took on a full load  I'd most likely have to quit (and take on that additional financial burden.)
I would be switching to a full time program but graduating in the same amount of time, an early morning trek to school, with people likely much younger than me, and a menacing finals load. I can suck it up for the remaining two years (I've made it this far, haven't I?) but it's just a small factor to consider.
So, to sum it up: Full ride top of the class third tier school, or 80k, middle of the class, but a top school?
If anyone has any insight as to my conundrum, I'd be eternally grateful.

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