Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What should I do?

Stay put
13
62%
Only transfer if I magically get HYS
6
29%
Try to ED at UChicago
0
No votes
Transfer up to T14 if at all possible
2
10%
 
Total votes: 21

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AT9
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Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby AT9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:11 am

I posed this question in the transfer section earlier this year and got some helpful advice, but I haven't come any closer to a decision and I thought I might get some more perspective here (mods, I apologize if this isn't allowed because it's a duplicate or whatever - please lock if so).

The original transfer thread is here if you want details: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=242679&view=viewpoll

Short story: 1L currently in top 5% at Wake and will likely graduate with around $40k-$60k in debt (depending on if I get an SA, if my spouse gets a better job, etc.). Ties of varying degrees to several regions, and will be working in Raleigh as an intern for a federal judge this summer. No pre-existing ties to NC, just the south generally. I'd love to attend a T14, or especially T5 school, but the debt is terrifying (probably upwards of $150/160k at graduation depending on multiple factors). Only seriously considering Harvard, Chicago, Columbia, and Duke.

I don't really want to work true biglaw (mainly because of the horror stories I've heard about the lifestyle), but I realize it's probably the "easiest" path to a good, long-term job. I'm leaning towards staying here, but not very strongly.

Would you stay or transfer?

KM2016
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby KM2016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:28 am

If you stay top 5% at Wake Forest, you'll have a good shot at Biglaw. Why transfer and pay sticker at HYS for the same outcome, when you could graduate from Wake with only $40-60k in debt?

Don't be a prestige whore.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:46 am

isnt top 5% good enough to get biglaw?

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LawsRUs
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby LawsRUs » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:53 am

If I were in your shoes, I would stay. I don't like debt, so it might be a personal thing.

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Calvin Murphy
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby Calvin Murphy » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:54 am

I think that a lot of posters would argue that the easiest path to a good, long-term job is the one with the least amount of debt at graduation. Many people who work biglaw wouldn't consider it to be a "good" job, given the work/life balance...and the attrition rate is quite high.

I'm not saying that you should avoid biglaw at all costs...but when you consider the above in light of the fact that transferring won't significantly alter your attractiveness to firms (they'll look at you as a WF student in the X %ile), you should stay. The one benefit I think that transfers can reap is the ability to land screeners with a larger # of firms...but I know nothing about WF's OCI (nor HCCD, really). Assuming that WF is a pre-select system (or even a mix of pre-select/lottery), top 5% will get you plenty of interviews. Dook would only give you an advantage if you were insistent on interviewing with firms in locations that don't recruit from WF but do recruit at D.

BigZuck
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:57 am

Where do you want to work (specifically, you must have some sort of preference)?

What is the untrue big law you're shooting for? Does it exist and is it attainable, either from where you are now or from a T14?

I enjoyed your anti-NYU trolling btw, T6 (and worse) schools need to be kept in their place IMO and we should all do our part to ensure that that happens.

I'm kinda leaning towards saying "Stay" but I feel like we need more info

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AT9
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby AT9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:15 am

KM2016 wrote:If you stay top 5% at Wake Forest, you'll have a good shot at Biglaw. Why transfer and pay sticker at HYS for the same outcome, when you could graduate from Wake with only $40-60k in debt?

Don't be a prestige whore.
Mack.Hambleton wrote:isnt top 5% good enough to get biglaw?


Top 5/10% is certainly enough to make you competitive and get your pick of screeners, but landing a job (biglaw or not) through OCI is far from guaranteed regardless of grades. There just aren't many firms dying to scoop up Wake kids (which I knew coming in, but I didn't even know top schools other than GULC took transfers until like 3 months ago). The main advantage is the below:

Calvin Murphy wrote:The one benefit I think that transfers can reap is the ability to land screeners with a larger # of firms...but I know nothing about WF's OCI (nor HCCD, really). Assuming that WF is a pre-select system (or even a mix of pre-select/lottery), top 5% will get you plenty of interviews. Dook would only give you an advantage if you were insistent on interviewing with firms in locations that don't recruit from WF but do recruit at D.


I know biglaw or any job isn't guaranteed out of any school, but from my experience talking with transfers at these schools, it seems like it's fairly ease to get general biglaw as a transfer. Getting a job at Wake, or I assume most other "tier 1" schools, is more of a toss-up even with good grades.

BigZuck wrote:Where do you want to work (specifically, you must have some sort of preference)?


I'd like to stay in NC if possible. I've moved around my entire life and I'm ready to not do that. So Winston/Greensboro, the Triangle, and Charlotte are where I'll be targeting the most. If not, then the other states/cities where I have ties (there are like 10 of them, but none are big legal markets).

BigZuck wrote:What is the untrue big law you're shooting for? Does it exist and is it attainable, either from where you are now or from a T14?


I should have said national vs. regional/local big/midlaw. In my experience, it seems like the people working in some local firm of 75-150 people hate their lives less than those working for a 500+ mega firm in NYC or something. Perhaps that isn't true, but it's what I'm shooting for. The problem is that those jobs, while they do exist and are possible from Wake, are harder to get than "standard" biglaw from a T14. The reason I'm considering transferring is that at least for me, biglaw anywhere with big debt > scrambling for any job with not-as-big debt (even though I'm pretty debt-averse).

BigZuck wrote:I enjoyed your anti-NYU trolling btw, T6 (and worse) schools need to be kept in their place IMO and we should all do our part to ensure that that happens.


I do what I can.

One more thing: Idk how needy you have to be to get need-based aid at HYS, but I assume I'd certainly be in the running.

BigZuck
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:17 am

If you really want to stay in NC I would think you should probably stay at Wake or maybe transfer to Duke. But if you went to Harvard or something you might be shooting yourself in the foot there (while obviously increasing NYC big law chances).

I think it really depends on how badly you want to snag some Vwhatever firm in NYC or if you really, really wanted to get in front of, like, Chicago firms (if you went to UChi for example). But the types of firms you say you want are probably going to really want top of the class kids at local schools, which is you (assuming grades stay strong).

I don't know, I'm not a transfer and don't know much about the process so grain of salt

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AT9
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Re: Choosing a Law School Part II: Transfer or Stay

Postby AT9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:25 pm

Thanks for everyone's input.

Funny how much this poll differs from the one in the transfer section - almost a mirror image.

Zuck: I like NC, but don't love it so much that I have to be here. It's more that my wife and I have started a new life in NC and it would just suck to pick up and move it again. If I transfer, I would apply in NC but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't get back. But yeah, it's those local and regional firms I'm hoping for, and with the lower debt, it's why I'm leaning towards staying. That seems to be the consensus here too.

YS are pipe dreams but H is at least possible as a transfer...guess I'll apply and make the decision if I get in.




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