"Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

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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Decide my fate

Stay at Wake
3
23%
Apply to UChicago's ED program
6
46%
Try to transfer, but don't apply ED to UChicago
4
31%
 
Total votes: 13

User avatar
AT9
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 6:00 pm

"Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby AT9 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:29 pm

I know it’s a bit early, and I still want to talk to some professors and attorneys, but I’ve been wrestling with this in my head the past couple of weeks and want to at least have a general plan moving forward. I’m really only considering Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, Penn, UVA, and Duke.

Within top 5% at Wake Forest (ranked between 3-10); will probably emerge with $40K-$50K in debt, transferring to T14 would put be in about $140K-$150K in the hole; have strong ties to the Southeast as a region and the Upper Midwest, though the only major cities I have direct ties to are Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Antonio (obviously not huge legal markets); married, but wife’s job isn’t one she intends to keep long-term and it could be fairly easily replaced elsewhere; want to work in real estate/land-use/zoning—would consider a clerkship or academia further down the line, but I’m not dying to do either.

With both our families in the Southeast, my goal in coming to Wake was to graduate with manageable debt, get the best grades I could and get the best job I could in NC or the surrounding region. We like where we live and would be content staying here long-term, but we’re not so in love with it that we HAVE to be here long-term. Transferring didn’t even cross my mind until I got my grades back and realized that top schools actually take transfers, and now I’m wondering if transferring may be better long-term for my career. I am open to practicing just about anywhere, but long-term I prefer somewhere in the Southeast, Midwest, or Texas (so I’m not really considering Berkeley or Stanford, for instance).

I’m also considering UChicago’s ED program. Since they base their acceptance primarily on first semester’s grades, it seems this would be my best shot at a top 5 or maybe top 10 school (otherwise I risk dropping out of the top 10%, in which case my transfer and good job odds go down). My wife and I would also have MUCH longer to get things in order, search for her new job, etc. Trying to work that all out in a few weeks otherwise seems horrible. Though Chicago biglaw hasn’t been a personal goal or anything, I think it may give me a good shot in just about any city or region where I have ties, and I may have NYC/Chicago biglaw as a “backup” if I don’t get Minneapolis, Atlanta, Texas markets, etc. The negative being if I do equally well, I give up a shot at Harvard or other schools that may be a better fit for me (UVA/Duke?).

TL;DR: Should I stay, apply UChicago ED, or apply to regular decision elsewhere and keep my options open?

Thanks!

User avatar
Nebby
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby Nebby » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:41 pm

Apply RD.

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AreJay711
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:03 pm

AT9 wrote:[T]he only major cities I have direct ties to are Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Antonio (obviously not huge legal markets)



I'm not sure about the transfer question. I'd probably apply ED to Chicago as a way to limit the risk of falling grades next semester and making it clear you were interested in the Midwest.

But this opens up all of Texas to you. I worked in Houston two summers and that created enough ties for Austin. San Antonio is better for Austin and Dallas and Houston just care about which of those two you prefer.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:17 pm

What kind of law firm do you want to work in?
What kind of law do you want to practice?
With grades like that from a T1 you are going to have a job (unless there is something very weird about your personality)
Academia shouldn't really be a consideration bc even from HYS it is hard to get
For each school check how transfers have done, because transfers underperform at some schools
Congrats on the great grades

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AT9
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Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby AT9 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:44 pm

CounselorNebby wrote:Apply RD.


Any particular reason why?

AreJay711 wrote:
I'm not sure about the transfer question. I'd probably apply ED to Chicago as a way to limit the risk of falling grades next semester and making it clear you were interested in the Midwest.

But this opens up all of Texas to you. I worked in Houston two summers and that created enough ties for Austin. San Antonio is better for Austin and Dallas and Houston just care about which of those two you prefer.


That's kind of the way I'm leaning right now to minimize the risk and open doors outside of the immediate area, but it's not an easy decision. Do you happen to know if any UChicago grads have success getting in places like Atlanta or Charlotte? I've heard they do well in Texas. I went to undergrad in Minneapolis (along with having friends/family nearby) so I'm hoping I'd have a good shot there from Chicago/Harvard/etc.

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:What kind of law firm do you want to work in?
What kind of law do you want to practice?
With grades like that from a T1 you are going to have a job (unless there is something very weird about your personality)
Academia shouldn't really be a consideration bc even from HYS it is hard to get
For each school check how transfers have done, because transfers underperform at some schools
Congrats on the great grades


Before choosing a law school, I didn't think I wanted biglaw because long hours/unrealistic to expect it from most non T-14's. But as I get more into the employment search, it's like you either get high grades + biglaw/regional biglaw or network to death and hope for the best with a smaller employer. And I've been hearing more that small law people often work just as sucky hours, so taking the less risky path through biglaw for better pay seems more and more enticing, at least short term. I want to practice some version of real estate and/or land-use/zoning law. And thank you!

jduluoz54
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:00 pm

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby jduluoz54 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:59 pm

PM me. Wake 2L who chose to stay. SA in Dallas for upcoming summer. Can also put you in touch with someone who transfered to UChicago last year.

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MagicMike80
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:29 pm

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby MagicMike80 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:30 pm

Do you only want to go to Chicago because it is ED? With top 5% numbers at a T1 you should blanket the t10.

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:39 pm

OP you should apply to the T10 because you will be competitive
If you don't have a full ride from your school you can always ask for more $
It sounds like you are at least open to big law
Given your school/position you will be competitive for big law if you keep your grades up
If you want COA clerkship, DOJ type of jobs you will have a better chance if you transfer
If you want a firm that only hires from prestigious law schools (Cravath/SullCrom etc.) you will want to transfer
If you want big law not in NYC and not in the market of your school that would be a reason to transfer
If you get in to HYS the transfer option is more appealing because the brand name is so good
Keep in mind that almost everyone with six figures of debt (even those working in big law) would trade their degree for a T1 degree to get rid of the debt

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AT9
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Re: "Tier 1" (low debt) or T10

Postby AT9 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:02 pm

MagicMike80 wrote:Do you only want to go to Chicago because it is ED? With top 5% numbers at a T1 you should blanket the t10.


ED is the main benefit because (1) if I decide I'd like to transfer, it's the safest bet for getting a top 5 school (I don't risk as much if my grades aren't so hot this Spring) and (2) ED's hear back in May so you have a couple months to get stuff together and move, not a couple weeks.

That, plus it's relatively close to family in the upper midwest and southeast. As for the city or school itself, I would probably take HYS over Chicago regardless and I don't value it more than most of the other T10.

But as Huntz mentioned, not being stuck with six figure debt would be nice. Most of the reason I chose Wake over Vandy to begin with. Chicago ED vs. apply RD is kind of the debate within the debate whether to even apply. I'm leaning towards applying just to see what happens, but the ED option is still tempting.




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