Remnantofisrael wrote:right, but if I feel like I SHOULD be at a T-14 with my abilities and whatnot, doesn't going to a Loyola put me in a position where I SHOULD be in the top 20%? I mean, nothing is a sure thing, but come on.
No. Generally, success in law school is not that neatly predictable. LSAT and GPA combined can correlate well in the aggregate
to law school performance and bar passage, but correlation does not guarantee individual success at all. It's not a strong correlation, which means there are lots of people who manage to do poorly despite high LSAT/GPA and vice versa. Not only that, but most if not all people at a school, no matter what school you go to, will be trying their hardest to make the top of the class, especially ITE. And while some of them will have weakness where you have strengths going in (maybe they'll have lower LSAT scores), they could also have strengths where you have weaknesses (high GPAs, WE that gave them better insight into legal thinking, the ability to study 18 hours per day for weeks at a time without going crazy) that give them advantages you're not anticipating.
Maybe you should be at a T14, but once you're at the T14 you could end up being one of the people who struggles more than the rest. The same thing would happen at a lower-ranked school, because it's largely the same material. A high LSAT or having WE doesn't guarantee you'll be one of the people who gets everything they need to, and there's a lot you have to get to make top 20% or better anywhere, whether it's Loyola or Northwestern you're talking about.
This is the biggest mistake people going to law school make: Going in, you should never assume how well you'll do in advance
. Always assume that 100% of the people at a law school are going to want to do well and might have what it takes. If what they need is top 20%, then 80% of them will be disappointed. If what they need is top 10%, then 90% of them will be disappointed. And to transfer up from a place like Loyola Chicago to T14, you'd need top 10% or better. And you should assume that everyone else in the class has the same shot at that as you do, because until you actually have grades, you have no way of knowing for sure who in your class has what it takes to be in that 10%.
So you should treat that plan as having a 90% or greater chance of failure, because you have no way of proving you'd be in that top 10% or even anywhere near that until after you've started law school and earned your first semester grades... and by then it's too late, and if you're wrong, you're stuck at a low-tier school with terrible grades and little chance of finding legal employment, and despite whatever scholarship money you get, you'll still be taking out tens of thousands in loans for COL expenses and whatever tuition your scholarship doesn't cover.
Do you really want to gamble like that?