Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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MRider818
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Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby MRider818 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:56 pm

Hey Everyone,

I am a rising 2L at Southwestern's part time program and was recently accepted to Loyola's day program. Southwestern is currently offering me a scholarship of around $15K to stay. I was placed in the top 10% of my part time class and am very comfortable in SW, but of course Loyola is a better ranked school with a higher bar passage rate and significantly better employment opportunities after law school. I am really having a hard time coming to a conclusion on whether I should take the money and keep my rank at SW or transfer to a better school with no scholarship and no rank. Please advise me on what to do because I am starting to go crazy contemplating between the two. Thank you so much for your help.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:58 pm

You're not in all that great of a spot right now, but transferring to Loyola won't help and it might hurt. Plus, it's a lot more expensive. Stay.

MRider818
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby MRider818 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:33 pm

It's not much more expensive, but what do you mean by "it might hurt", what's the logic behind it? If we take the scholarship money out of the equation you still think that transferring to Loyola wouldn't make sense?

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zanda
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby zanda » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:49 pm

MRider818 wrote:It's not much more expensive, but what do you mean by "it might hurt", what's the logic behind it? If we take the scholarship money out of the equation you still think that transferring to Loyola wouldn't make sense?

Yes. Stay.

MRider818
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby MRider818 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:56 pm

zanda wrote:
MRider818 wrote:It's not much more expensive, but what do you mean by "it might hurt", what's the logic behind it? If we take the scholarship money out of the equation you still think that transferring to Loyola wouldn't make sense?

Yes. Stay.

Thanks for the recommendations, but what's the logic behind it. How can Loyola possibly be worse off than SW if we exclude the scholarships? It just doesn't make sense to me.

V811
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby V811 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:05 pm

Stay because the top at Southwestern will likely have better job prospects that the transfer student with no grades. You really should have applied higher, as I know people to transferred to T14s from Southwestern with top 10% status.

MRider818
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby MRider818 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:09 pm

V811 wrote:Stay because the top at Southwestern will likely have better job prospects that the transfer student with no grades. You really should have applied higher, as I know people to transferred to T14s from Southwestern with top 10% status.

But what about a transfer student who's in, let's say, top 20% at Loyola? Wouldn't you be ranked as a transfer student after your second year? And to answer your question I couldn't apply to UCLA or USC because I was part time at Southwestern and wasn't finished with all the required courses that T14s require.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby Danteshek » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:14 pm

PMed.

Norwood
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby Norwood » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:29 am

If you're planning to stay in LA then I'd stay at Southwestern. Southwestern places well in Los Angeles. Whatever gain you receive from going to Loyola will probably not justify paying 30k for. Will you be a full time student if you stay at SW next year? It's great that you were able to rank within the top 10%, but remember that was being in the part-time program. By transferring you'll be giving up that rank and will be thrown into a more difficult/unknown environment at Loyola. Also, I'm assuming you missed out on the first round of OCI at loyola, which is even more reason to stay.

There are benefits of transferring though. Loyola is hands down a better school. The school has better professors and it'll give you an opportunity at big law. But you have to figure out if that is worth giving up 30k and your rank. The big law opportunity that loyola offers may not even be a real opportunity if you end up tanking there.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:34 am

Transferring to Loyola will not give OP a chance at biglaw.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby Danteshek » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:14 am

Of course OP does not have a good chance at Biglaw straight out of law school. Not if he stays, and not if he goes. I transferred from SW to Loyola last year and it definitely the right decision for me. I am able to take a host of (tax) classes that are not offered at SW. I made law review and published an article on Dodd-Frank. I'm spending the next three weeks in DC and have interviews with two mid-sized firms already arranged (--LinkRemoved-- http://www.gelaw.com/). I am moving to DC next year to be with my fiancee, regardless of the job situation. You can find a good job from Loyola as a transfer, but it will requires a lot of legwork. In the long run, you will be much better off with a Loyola degree. At best, a Loyola degree will be a neutral factor on your resume. A SW degree is a strong negative.

random5483
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby random5483 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:03 am

A transfer to Loyola is unlikely to make big law. A Southwestern student who only manages to transfer to Loyola (ie. not top 5% of the class) is unlikely to make big law, but more likely to make big law than a Loyola transfer. If you don't make big law initially (or something comparable), you will most likely never make big law. Transferring with the intent of getting future big law or clerkship prospects is a bad idea. Big law is not completely out of the question (note the "unlikely" language).

Outside of big law, there are advantages to either decision. I don't think either choice is significantly better than the other. In your position I would stick to Southwestern to keep my debt to a minimum.

SoCow
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby SoCow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:12 pm

"Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????" is an appropriate title because "rank" is pretty much all that you'll be getting by going to Loyola. Some transfers do highly value this concept of rankings. I know some TTT students who have transferred to a McGeorge just so say they can say they go to a top 100. You, on the other hand, don't seem like that type of person. You seem to really like SW and you're comfortable there. It's not like you're making a geographical change either. Also, you're ranked in the top 10% and have a network established at your school already, which I don't think is worth giving up to go to Loyola.

Loyola is hands down the better school, but the marginal benefit you'll be receiving, in your particular situation, by transferring isn't worth it. You can't take 15k lightly. If you go to loyola you'll have to pay 15k (per year??) more and interest on top of that just so you can say you went to a better school. Again, if you can't live with that TTT stigma than maybe transferring is the right thing for you. However, if you're happy at SW than I think you should stay.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby Danteshek » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:26 pm

The answer is going to depend on whom you ask. Law students (mostly those at lower ranked schools) and other young people will tell you to stay. Experienced lawyers will generally tell you to transfer. That was my experience.

MRider818
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby MRider818 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:37 pm

Danteshek wrote:The answer is going to depend on whom you ask. Law students (mostly those at lower ranked schools) and other young people will tell you to stay. Experienced lawyers will generally tell you to transfer. That was my experience.

Is there a big difference, competition wise, at Loyola from SW? Did your grades drop at Loyola? Do you really not regret for one second for transferring to Loyola? I don't know man I've talked to some experienced attorneys as well and I got the idea that SW and Loyola are pretty much in the same boat together. From what I understood they bundle SW and Loyola together, UCLA and USC together, and Berkeley and Stanford together here in Cali.

random5483
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby random5483 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:46 pm

MRider818 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:The answer is going to depend on whom you ask. Law students (mostly those at lower ranked schools) and other young people will tell you to stay. Experienced lawyers will generally tell you to transfer. That was my experience.

Is there a big difference, competition wise, at Loyola from SW? Did your grades drop at Loyola? Do you really not regret for one second for transferring to Loyola? I don't know man I've talked to some experienced attorneys as well and I got the idea that SW and Loyola are pretty much in the same boat together. From what I understood they bundle SW and Loyola together, UCLA and USC together, and Berkeley and Stanford together here in Cali.



Loyola is better than SW. However, Loyola is not better than SW+15k+strong grades+professor contacts+law review (if you made it). You might have a shot at law review at Loyola, but you cannot bank on it. If this were first year admissions, Loyola would be a no brainer. The thing is, this is transfer applications. Transfer students have several disadvantages. Plus, here, you will likely miss out on Loyola's OCI as well.

From a prestige standpoint, a Loyola degree will always look better (but anyone who thinks a Loyola degree is prestigious is nuts). However, if you want to be best able to pay off your debts with minimal risk, stay where you are. Neither school is going to give you big law options (assuming you did well but not very well since the SW students who land big law usually are top 5% of their class and would likely have transferred to UCLA or better). Why take on more debt now? The four places where a degrees prestige matter the most (clerkships, big law, some federal jobs like DoJ, and academia) are not going to happen from either school.

With that said, there is no "right" answer. Transferring almost always involves more risk for a chance of better rewards. Here, a transfer to Loyola does the same thing, it amplifies you risk and possible reward. The problem is you have all the risks of a transfer, with a very marginal potential reward.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby Danteshek » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:03 pm

Loyola is a lot more competitive. My GPA went from 3.43 at SW (top 20%) to 3.33 at Loyola (top 50%). That may be partially due to the considerable amount of time I spent doing work for Law Review and writing my article for publication. Being on Law Review added considerably to my experience at Loyola (I had also written onto LR at SW).

Loyola's strengths dovetailed with my interests. Loyola has several full time faculty members in with really strong credentials in business and/or tax (e.g. Aprill; Pratt; Berdejo; Guttentag; Kowal; Warren; Maynard; Seto; Lazaroff; Sliskovich). That doesn't include a stellar bench of adjuncts. Loyola offers 10-15 tax electives each semester, thanks in part to the LLM program. Loyola also offers 5 sections of Business Planning each year (a critical class for any business law student) more than any local law school. Courses in Securities Regulation, Antitrust, M&A are offered every semester. Southwestern's business and tax faculty is abysmal, even more so now that Professor Sobel (tax prof) has retired. The only good business law professor at Southwestern is Michael Dorff.

I do not regret transferring for one second. My publication, which is already creating job opportunities for me, would never have been possible had I remained at Southwestern. As the result of my paper, I will be working for a very successful lawyer whistleblower attorney here in LA who went to Southwestern. Even he said transferring was the right decision. I will be going with him to the Taxpayers Against Fraud conference in DC in September in part so he can introduce me to the right people in the field.

I am moving to DC next year to be with my fiancee. I cannot imagine having to make that move with a Southwestern degree.

To address the prior poster, I think the "reward" of going to Loyola is a better education. You may or may not care about that.

whatdoyouthink
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Re: Southwestern ($$$) or Loyola (rank)????

Postby whatdoyouthink » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:53 pm

I'd stay at SW. You have a nice scholly and they do comparably in LA. If you are top 10% at either school you have a shot at biglaw. If you're not, then you won't have much of a shot. LLS may be ranked higher but that's not going to give you a better chance at a biglaw job. We're not talking UCLA or USC here. Both SW and LLS are regional schools and mostly place in LA and the surrounding few counties.
SW is much nicer, you have a lot of things going for you there, and if you transfer to LLS you will lose your grades.
As for a "better education," I think the two are comparable.
Stay at SW and continue to be a superstar.




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