Law School Discussion

IF...I made law review at a tier 2 school, is it worth it to xfer to a Top10?


Someone mentioned this in the other thread, but wanted to make it its own separate thread because I feel it's so important (at least to me haha). 

Let's say I goto a Tier 2 school, say St. John's or Loyola University Chicago.  Let's say I'm ranked in the Top 5% and have a good shot at making the law review, etc...(my LSAT average is 165...high, 169, low, 161).  Would it be worth it to try to transfer to a Top 10 school like Columbia or NYU, or should I stay and make the law review here?  I just don't know how your academic record carries over, how much the grades from previous schools are taken into consideration as far as employment, etc...Please post your thoughts.  (There are all these hypotheticals because I am not actually in law school yet, but am accepted to go this Fall...I would just like to know this info ahead of time so I can have some dream/goal to strive for! =P)


I would like to know too. I am going to Ave Maria. I want to transfer after the second year to a Berkeley, Stanford, or some other top ten school.
I wonder what can I expect?
Will my 2nd tier first year hurt my chances?
with a 4.0?

Get into a top ten anyway you can.  Getting in the top 5% isn't as easy at a second tier as everyone thinks.  My evidence for that statement is that at my 2nd tier school at least 70% of the class thought they would end up at the top of the class.  However, you're LSAT scores are probably a good predictor of your success.

Everybody is different I guess, BUT I'm convinced top 10 is the way to go.  I was lured to a 2nd tier by a big scholarship.  A couple of my professors were good, one was average, and the rest sucked.  Bad teachers.  Didn't give a crap about the students.  Plus, the students think they are smart just because they aren't at Cooley -- but believe them, most of them couldn't cut it at a top college let alone a top law school.  I finished at the top of the class and am more than happy to give up my "free" education and pay full price at a top 10.

Good Luck!!


I'd have to agree that you should do whatever you can to get into the top 10 schools.

Hell, I'm at a school in the the top 20, made law review, am in the top 10% of my class, and am myself trying to transfer into the top 3.


I got into a top 10, but I applied at the deadline and got no money, so I went with a full ride to a tier 2.  I'm very happy, as my professors are very intelligent.  The student body seems to be less-than-mature, but I accept that as it only helps me with the curve.

I had considered transferring at first, but was talked out of it by lawyers telling me class rank is more important than school, and that transferring was a bad idea, as you are starting new and losing the important contacts you need in November of your second year.


There are advantages to graduating from a top school, but also a lot of pressure I think.  It depends on what your goals are.  A strong regional school with a good alumni base in your intended job market is going to offer a lot of oppurtunities to its students as well.

I am on law review at a tier three which is well respected in the region.  Some of my profs are incredible, some are not, but I am very happy with the atomosphere.  I would not even consider giving up my spot on law review to transfer up.  Plus there is a huge risk of losing ground.  I'm in the top 5 percent where I am, but at a top school I might just be one of the pack.
Rank and law review seem to be the thing for the firms.  I have a summer associateship at a national firm for this summer- so my job prospects have not been hurt.
Plus, like Mosquito Control said, there are the connections.  My classmates are really a good group of people and I have made excellent friends.  Plus my professors and deans all know my name and I'll have plently of people to ask for references.  Overall I'm very comfortable and having a good time. 
However, if you are going to go to a school in a place other than where you'd like to practice, then transfering is a good options.  Smaller schools like mine loose prestige the further away from them you go.


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I think the main difference between the T2-4 schools and top 10 schools lies in the post-graduate placement opportunities.  As a general rule, a person who graduates dead last from say, Columbia, has much better placement chances in BigLaw than someone who graduates first at Cooley.  The law profession, fairly or not, is one that is elitist and unforgiving.  If you are at a low-ranked school, you have to bust your ass to have a shot, whereas minimum effort equals greater rewards when your degree has the name of a top 10 school printed on it.  That is not to say that, across the board, top 10 schools are far superior in terms of education -- they may or may not be; that's an area of great dispute -- but it is generally true that they are at least regarded as being superior by practitioners who will be making your hiring decisions.