Should I leave my Chicago TT?

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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Transfer or Stay?

Transfer to Notre Dame
14
48%
Stay at Current TT (Depaul/Loyola/Kent)
15
52%
 
Total votes: 29

Rocketman20
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:34 am

Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby Rocketman20 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:16 am

Hey all,

I was recently accepted as a transfer to the University of Notre Dame, a school I've always dreamed of attending.

I'm currently at a TT in Chicago (Depaul, Loyola, Kent), where I am top 7% of my class, on Law Review, CALI winner, and have a decent summer job in a small firm, where I have the option to continue working during the upcoming school year should I decide to stay in Chicago.

I want to live and work in Chicago upon graduation, and my ultimate goal is Chicago BigLaw (although I would have no issue starting off at a medium sized firm). My sticker-price tuition at ND would be financed mostly through loans. I am getting a small, 10K scholarship from my current institution, and they are unwilling to increase my current financial award, no matter what. According to my estimations, I will incur ~50K more debt (plus interest) over the next 2 years by transferring.

Basically, my dilemma is: Is it worth giving up my high class rank, scholarship (albeit small), LR, etc. to transfer to Notre Dame, where I will incur more debt, not be on LR, and have no guarantees of finishing high in my class or obtaining a job in Chicago? It has always been a dream of mine to attend ND, but I'm also realistic in regards to the crappy market situation. I would like to finish up at the institution that will place me in the best position to deal with manageable debt, but also give me a fighting chance to accomplish my career goals.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:35 am

Did you apply to any top 14 law schools as a transfer applicant ? If so, what are the results ?

Rocketman20
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby Rocketman20 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:10 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Did you apply to any top 14 law schools as a transfer applicant ? If so, what are the results ?


Yes, denied at U of C, as expected (just wanted to throw in an app and see if I would hit the lottery), and still waiting on NW. Obviously NW would be a no-brainer if I get in. Not holding my breath though.

helfer snooterbagon
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:50 pm

For what it is worth, I was in a pretty similar situation at the end of my 1L year at one of the Chicago T2s. (Top 5%, LR, No CALI though, working in-house). Biggest difference was that I had a full scholarship though - did not attempt to transfer. Overall, I am happy with the decision. I graduated in 2011, #3 in my class, no debt with a job I really enjoy. However, my decision would have been substantially different if I was not on full scholarship.

I think you stand a good chance at Northwestern. My year we had a number of people with lower stats than you get into both Chicago and Northwestern. Perhaps transferring has gotten tougher? I agree that NW is a no-brainer. Notre Dame is a harder decision.

User avatar
donniedarko
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:54 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby donniedarko » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:56 pm

Looks like ND places roughly between 17-20% in NLJ250 type firms (based off of lawschooltransparency.) If your cost of attendance is going to be about the same at both schools you might be slightly better off at ND than at one of the local four. You will be giving up LR (which isn't cool, but you can always try to write on.) From what I know, based on the type of school you are transferring out of, the biglaw employment stats are going to be a lot closer to 5%. There are other factors you have to weigh as well: do you really like where you live, do you have great connections at your current TT that will enable you to get your foot in the door at some of these firms (lets be honest, a big reason for transferring is getting that foot in the door through OCI; TT's just can't do that very well), do you have substantial debt, did your current TT offer to bump up your scholly numbers, etc. etc. Hope this helps a bit. This choice is never easy.

Also: I have no idea how transfers do at ND. That it something you probably want to look into. I'm sure there are TLS'ers out here who were making this choice a year or two ago that might be able to help out.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:02 pm

I hope that you are admitted to Northwestern.

Notre Dame's reputation is very strong in the Upper Midwest & in the Northeast US. Emotionally speaking, ND is tough to turn down--especially if you are Catholic. Nevertheless, $10,000 per year, law review, a chance to become a law review editor & a reasonable shot at graduating in the top 5% suggest that you shouls stay. Northwestern, however, is a different story in a different league.

P.S. My impression is that you are very comfortable & quite successful at your current law school with a law firm connection. Ask the lawyers at your firm what they think that you should do.

User avatar
donniedarko
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:54 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby donniedarko » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask the lawyers at your firm what they think that you should do.


Good idea

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pinkcamellia
Posts: 959
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:59 pm

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby pinkcamellia » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:07 pm

Stay. ND is not worth the extra 50k, especially since you're in your target market.

Rocketman20
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby Rocketman20 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:39 pm

Thanks everyone for the solid advice. Very tough decision.

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TTRansfer
Posts: 3796
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:08 am

Re: Should I leave my Chicago TT?

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:44 pm

At least use the acceptance as leverage to try and get a (better?) scholarship.




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