Arrow - since you're around, I'd like to try your brain a bit on these matters. I've obviously read what you're written and found it helpful, but I would like an informed opinion on my circumstances (as well as can be done by someone with limited knowledge of me).
I'm currently 3.67 (top 10%, probably more like top 7%) at one of UH/SMU.
I am from the east coast, though I come from a small hometown in a state with no legal market. Accordingly, going "home" is not something I'm interested in. I do have family on the east coast and a long-term SO on the east coast, so getting back there in some capacity is appealing. The flip side of that is that I do like where I am to some extent. It's not the best city in the world, but the legal market is strong and the opportunities are generally very good for someone in my position out of this school. I could stomach putting down roots here, but it's not my favorite idea.
The bulk of my business and legal contacts, though, are in NYC. I know a few boutique firm owners and 2 BigLaw hiring partners very well. I am working in the city this summer doing a quasi-legal internship with a sports entity. My "go get it" dream is to one day use BigLaw exit options to transition into something in sports, but as anyone who has seen my posts knows, I understand the difficulties associated with that unlikely path. Still, I have a strong family connection with one pro owner and a couple more solid connections.
Money: I pay sticker at my current school, which is biting. I have no idea if my school would pay to keep me from transferring, but it's something I've thought about. Price isn't so much of a concern for me because it feels like I'll be paying generally the same amount no matter where I am. I do like the idea of having LRAP to fall back on, though, in case something happens and I don't land a BigLaw job.
I have had good success here in making solid connections with highly influential professors. Those are valuable connections and I'm not quite sure how much value to give them. I'm attempting to weigh all of these factors against one another, but that's obviously a very difficult process. My ultimate concern has to do with immediate job prospects. Top 10% here is no "guarantee" but I would feel comfortable going into OCI with my interviewing skills and grades to back it up. I'd be wary of transferring to a Georgetown, for instance, as I'm not sure how much of a boost I'd get in the transfer process. The long-term value of a prestigious name, though it shouldn't matter, will matter a great deal to some of the people who I will be counting on down the road. This is especially true of my "go get it" dream, as they simply don't know anything other than attending the best.
So, from where you sit, what's your advice (either general or specific)?
I'll say that I view my "would you go" odds at the following:
NYU/Columbia (what rank would make this possible?) - 100%
Gtown - 75%
Rest of the top-14 - ? - It would depend upon the school.