Law School Discussion

Transferring within the top tier?

Transferring within the top tier?
« on: July 08, 2004, 05:43:35 PM »
My law school is at the tail end of the top 20 first tier schools. 

I am roughly in what I believe to be the top 10% (my school doesn't rank, though a professor in one of my recommendations said I was top 5%), and have been accepted onto my school's Law Review.  I am having a real difficult time deciding what to do.

While my school has some small degree of national reach, obviously some firms hire almost exclusively from top 10 schools.  I very much wish to work in BigLaw, and dislike the prospect of being disadvantaged at achieving a dream law job as a result of my school.  At the same time, if I transfer I would most likely be giving up Law Review and a reasonable scholarship.  As a result of the scholarship, I would likely graduate from law school with less than $50k debt, but if I should transfer I would be over $100k in debt.  Presumably, I would be able to get a BigFirm job at $90-110k if I stay put, though it may not be in a firm or city of my choice.  Ironically, my UGRAD grades/LSAT would never have qualified me for Harvard, though I am applying there anyway. 

I suppose my question is as follows: I am applying to the following 6 schools.  Given what you know of my situation and goals, to which would you transfer were you in my shoes should I be accepted and to which would you apply?  My ideal firm job would probably be located in Chicago -- perhaps at Winston and Strawn or perhaps Skadden.

Anyway, the 6 schools are:
U of Chicago

Thoughts?  I'm also curious as to what anyone thinks are my chances in each of those schools.  Also, how much does the school from which one transfers matter when it comes to the admissions decision?


Re: Transferring within the top tier?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 07:32:00 AM »
I'm going to be interested to see the replies to the first part of your posting. I don't have any advice there.

With regard to schools, all six that you named would be excellent choices for Chicago firms. Assuming you got in all six, and given that you want to work in Chicago, I probably would lose Stanford, which is a great school but won't have as many alumni contacts in the midwest. Yale and Harvard will open any doors, as will Chicago and Michigan. Michigan has more firepower than Northwestern, even in Chicago.

With those six choices, though, you really can't go wrong. My advice would be the one that seems like the best place to spend the next two years of your life.