1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

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Wisconsin or Wait a year?

Wisconsin
0
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Wait a year
8
100%
 
Total votes: 8

mcleemz
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:36 pm

1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby mcleemz » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:22 am

10 years post-college, I recently (3 months ago) decided I want to go to law school, with the ultimate goal of working for the DOJ Civil Rights division. I've taken 30+ practice LSATs since my epiphany, and on the last dozen I've scored consistently between 169-173. I'm taking the real thing this Saturday, Feb 7, and I'm very confident my score will hold in that range.

My wife is a doctor, doing her residency at U of Wisconsin. She'll be done in June 2016, then will do a 2 year fellowship in Boston, New York, Bay Area, LA, or DC/Baltimore. So my plan is (was?) to go to Wisconsin Law, (ostensibly a T1), for the 1st year, then try to transfer to NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, or UCLA at the same time that she starts her fellowship. We're Wisconsin residents, so tuition is "only" ~$20K/year, and we'd both be done with all our schooling/training at the same time and ready to hit the job market and settle down. Moreover, I'm pretty confident that with my numbers, which are well above the average for Wisconsin, and my unusual background, I'd be able to attend the 1st year mostly, if not entirely, on scholarship. Also, their application isn't due until April 1, so in addition to accommodating our timeline perfectly, they allow for me to take the February LSAT. It all seems to work perfectly.

HOWEVER: the more I read about transferring, the more I'm thinking that, strictly looking at the possibility of admission to one of those schools, I would be better waiting a year and just applying as a 1st year student. It seems the transfer admission process is even more nebulous and numbers-driven than regular admissions, scholarships for transfers are all but unheard of, and Wisconsin does kind of suck. I mean, it's top 30, but I'm just not reading a lot of good things about it. There's also the worst case scenario is that I don't finish the 1st year in the top 5-10% and don't get accepted as a transfer anywhere, so I'll have essentially wasted a year. Graduating from Wisconsin is simply not an option, as it won't get me where I want to go, and we almost certainly won't be staying here past 2016.

So, here's my question: Do I go to Wisconsin for one year at a massively discounted rate and hope to transfer, or do I wait a year, save $, potentially get a better LSAT score if I somehow bomb this one, and apply to one of my top schools from scratch?

For reference, here are my "vitals" and my weird C.V.:

Let's assume my LSAT holds at 170+
3.77 GPA from UCLA undergrad
4 years as a professional chef, then
6 years as a web designer/developer
Currently volunteer with 2 community organizations and the local high school teaching underprivileged kids to cook
I will crush the personal statement and get great LORs from people with J.D.s

As a final note, I'm sure some of you will be tempted to tell me to use that year to think about whether I actually want to be a lawyer. Most of my lawyer friends have told me as much (or worse). I assure you that yes, I want to do this! Although I made the decision quickly, I did not make it hastily.

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Rigo
Posts: 11942
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:24 am

Don't go to a school with the intention of transferring.

Longtimecoming19
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:19 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:42 am

Absolutely do not go to any law school that you are not 100% comfortable graduating from. To transfer into your target schools, you will need to be in the top 1-2% of your class. There is a 98-99% chance you will fail to attain that ranking. If you want to go to a top school, apply to top schools; do whatever you need to do before applying to maximize your odds. Do not, under any circumstance, attend a school with the intention of transferring out, unless you would be completely satisfied graduating from that school.

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Rigo
Posts: 11942
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:45 am

With a 3.77 GPA, there's no reason why you can't go to a T14 so long as you get a good LSAT score (your PT range will definitely do the trick).

Also, DOJ jobs are extremely hard to get so don't bank on that.

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Ron Don Volante
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:26 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:48 am

This is not a good idea. Waiting to matriculate when you move with your wife is a much better plan. It's only one year.
Last edited by Ron Don Volante on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

mcleemz
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:36 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby mcleemz » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:59 am

Dirigo wrote:Also, DOJ jobs are extremely hard to get so don't bank on that.


Yeah, I'm not banking on it by any means--I know I have to go to a top school AND kick ass while I'm there to even think about it. But that's the dream, which I'm sure sounds pretty pie in the sky to seasoned posters here. I'm extremely fortunate in that, if none of it pans out and I did public service (which is also appealing), my wife has great career stability and would be able to offset my shabby earnings.

Well, I think given the clear, concise replies that my transfer plan is stupid, I'm going wait. The idea of saving $50k was very appealing, but I guess with debt relief for public service it wouldn't even matter that much? And now I can quit my soul-crushing job and get a lower-paying, soul-crushing job that will improve my odds for next year.

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Rigo
Posts: 11942
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: 1 yr @U Wisc. on the cheap & xfer? Or wait & shoot for T14

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:06 am

mcleemz wrote:Well, I think given the clear, concise replies that my transfer plan is stupid, I'm going wait. The idea of saving $50k was very appealing

Tbh, you'll quite possibly actually save money by waiting. A high LSAT score will get you a pretty solid scholarship.
Transfers generally pay sticker price for 2L and 3L. By waiting, you will have a shot at getting all three years at a hefty discount.




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