Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Transfer to T10 or stay at T2/3?

Hi guys. I just received an acceptance to a T10. I currently lolstudent06/30/18
Will you be able to participate in T10s OCI as a transfer? snowday7506/30/18
Full sticker is pretty high. For people of modest means (es jeffm06/30/18
Yes, I'll be able to do OCI. I'm definitely of modest means lolstudent06/30/18
Yes, if HYSCCNMVP. No, if some other school rated as "Top snowday7506/30/18
A. Congratulations. B. I think it comes down to which is cacrimdefense06/30/18
I'm not claiming there is some correct, formulaic answer any jeffm06/30/18
Nobody's going to figure out who you are-so which T10 school toooldtocare06/30/18
Berkeley is the school, although I'm waiting on the Harvard lolstudent06/30/18
I would not go to Berkeley for sticker. snowday7506/30/18
Looks like tuition is going to run you $150k, and if you can jeffm06/30/18
Personally, yes for HYS, maybe for CCN (especially if your c pisces21306/30/18
both look like lousy options to be honest whiteguyinchina07/01/18
Ultimately it depends on what you want to do. If you want t hairypalms07/01/18
I graduated from Penn Law 15 years ago, worked BIGLAW for a napoleone07/02/18
Let’s run the numbers. If you get biglaw in nyc, you wearyattorney07/02/18
If you're transferring then you do not have to pay the full dandydan07/02/18
I’d use your admission there to get a better deal from you underemployedlawyer07/02/18
Update: I’m going to accept at Harvard. I believe I’ll g lolstudent07/09/18
congrats!! pisces21307/10/18
You very well may; congratulations; no one who actually want wolfman07/09/18
Nice! Good luck! jeffm07/09/18
Congrats. The general view of this board, supported by finan ternarydaemon07/10/18
Though HSY do not typically offer anything other than need b thirdtierlaw07/10/18
Congrats on the move. Hopefully you get a decent discount. wutwutwut07/10/18
Harvard, yes. Berkeley, no. Maybe full sticker at B shuiz07/10/18

lolstudent (Jun 30, 2018 - 1:24 pm)

Hi guys. I just received an acceptance to a T10. I currently attend a school on the cutoff of T2/T3 in a secondary market. I'm not sure I want to stay in this city, my hometown, forever. I'm receiving nearly a full ride at my school, and would likely be paying sticker or close to it at the T10. Is it worth transferring? Am I just going to end up with a similar job with way more student loan debt?

Thank you,

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snowday75 (Jun 30, 2018 - 1:45 pm)

Will you be able to participate in T10s OCI as a transfer?

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jeffm (Jun 30, 2018 - 2:03 pm)

Full sticker is pretty high. For people of modest means (especially borrowers), that's like putting all your eggs in one basket. Once you make that decision, you can change your mind, but you still have to pay the price, and it's pretty hefty.

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lolstudent (Jun 30, 2018 - 2:22 pm)

Yes, I'll be able to do OCI. I'm definitely of modest means (immigrant, poor parents, etc.). I may be able to land a mid/big law gig from my school, but it's a gamble because only 5% or so get biglaw.

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snowday75 (Jun 30, 2018 - 2:27 pm)

Yes, if HYSCCNMVP.

No, if some other school rated as "Top 10."


Two people from my bottom rate rural law school were accepted to better schools: one Univ of Wisc-Madison, the other Northwestern. Neither are rated close to Top 10. Both are doing infinitely better than everyone in our class barring the top two STUDENTS in our class. Both of them were top 20% but not "elite" students at my barnyard quality law school.

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cacrimdefense (Jun 30, 2018 - 3:12 pm)

A. Congratulations.

B. I think it comes down to which is more important to you, lack of debt or working in biglaw.
If one seriously outweighs the other in your mind, you have your answer.

That being said, if your T10 is Yale, Stanford or Harvard, I'd find that school quite difficult to pass on, the others not as much. With HYS on your resume, you're simply putting yourself in a different league than most attorney job seekers. Perception is huge, and the names included in that trio of schools carry considerable weight (that will benefit you for the rest of your life), in my experience.

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jeffm (Jun 30, 2018 - 4:57 pm)

I'm not claiming there is some correct, formulaic answer anyone can give, but I am saying be cautious about going into large debt to practice in a profession where you have no experience.

cacrimdefense has it right when he says, "I think it comes down to which is more important to you, lack of debt or working in biglaw. If one seriously outweighs the other in your mind, you have your answer."

This is so true, but any experienced attorney will tell you that as a law student, there is no way you can answer this question. Nobody can answer it for you, either.

First, as you already know, landing the big gig with a degree from T10 is still against the odds. Even if you succeed despite the odds, you have no experience to know whether you will like arduous working conditions and for that matter, you don't even know whether you will even like a career in law. The only way people find out is by doing it. You have no clue what the future will be in either of these respects.

You might even find out that 5+ years into your career, you come to hate the practice of law altogether and/or just aren't a very good rain-maker when it comes to generating your own business. This is very common; just read the posts and pay attention. There are jdu members who are solos and who aren't too satisfied with law as a career, and these include people who are solo by choice because the firm life was even worse for them.

Debt severely limits your choices. It's not so easy to walk away from a high-paying job that's killing you when you have bills to pay. Cocolawyer will tell you. He tried to save his soul by leaving his firm to go work for the government. It didn't last long. He needs the money, and so he went back to the soul-crusher. And this all assumes you even have the option. Even when the option isn't available, the debt will still be there - month-after-month-after-month.

Just remember that going solo is often the only reasonably available alternative to being an associate or partner at a firm, and that you could go to any law school for that. It's much easier to make your career moves at your own pace if you aren't straddled with debt. T10, of course, is undeniably a good first impression.

Good luck. I realize it's a hard decision.

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toooldtocare (Jun 30, 2018 - 5:27 pm)

Nobody's going to figure out who you are-so which T10 school are you talking about? You'll get some very pointed advice from this forum upon disclosure of that information.

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lolstudent (Jun 30, 2018 - 7:59 pm)

Berkeley is the school, although I'm waiting on the Harvard Hail Mary.

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snowday75 (Jun 30, 2018 - 8:29 pm)

I would not go to Berkeley for sticker.

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jeffm (Jun 30, 2018 - 8:30 pm)

Looks like tuition is going to run you $150k, and if you can live on another $50k, maybe the whole affair runs you $200k. Wow!

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pisces213 (Jun 30, 2018 - 8:02 pm)

Personally, yes for HYS, maybe for CCN (especially if your current town doesn't have big law), no for the rest, although for the public schools you may be able to get in-state tuition for your 3rd year, softening the blow (or your current state may have in-state tuition reciprocity, which would make it even less painful).

Though my anecdotal experience has been that if you are good enough to transfer, you're likely good enough to get the same opportunities staying at your current school, especially in the city/market that the school is located in.

EDIT: If it's Berkeley, well, you're not only looking at sticker but likely a significant increase in cost of living as well. But, depending on where your parents are from, it may open up doors back there, especially if you speak their language.

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whiteguyinchina (Jul 1, 2018 - 12:58 am)

both look like lousy options to be honest

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hairypalms (Jul 1, 2018 - 9:16 am)

Ultimately it depends on what you want to do. If you want to work in BigLaw, then your chances would certainly increase by attending UC-Berk. If you want to be a criminal lawyer, then I see no incentive to transferring.

Personally, I would likely stick it out where you are PROVIDED that you are confident you will be able to keep your scholarship.

California is expensive, the bar is difficult to pass and there are many attorneys and law schools. Some people are drawn to the allure of California; I am not one of them. Many people are leaving California now as it is just ridiculously expensive. The question is whether UCal-Berk has weight outside of California. I believe it does, but certainly not to the extent that a HYS would. Like I said, the idea of potentially having NO debt out of law school and possibly limited career upside has more appeal to me. Could you land a better job out of UCal-Berk? Probably, but keep in mind that those jobs are often not long lasting. You could get a good job and be out on the street in 2 years and still have 200K in school loans. The safer bet is to get your education with no debt. You could even volunteer and get experience, which could be parlayed into better (paying) positions later. You won't be able to do that when you're $200K in the hole. Staying where you are is the safer bet IMO, again provided you can retain your scholarship.

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napoleone (Jul 2, 2018 - 1:34 am)

I graduated from Penn Law 15 years ago, worked BIGLAW for a few years, then started my own practice where I have stayed for a decade. I think you should think very carefully before borrowing the money. I borrowed $125K 15 years ago and I am on the cusp of paying off some of my loans, but mine were at 3% interest. I believe current students are getting unsubsidized loans at 7% rates. I'm going to sound sexist here, but I might take the risk if I were a man, but not if I were a woman. A woman with all this debt will have no choice but to work for substantially all of her life.

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wearyattorney (Jul 2, 2018 - 2:21 am)

Let’s run the numbers.

If you get biglaw in nyc, you’ll make 190k a year, which means you are “rich.” After taxes, you will clear about 100k. Now, let’s do your loans. Let’s say you graduate with 200k of loans. That’s another 24-30k a year (very conservative). You are now at 70k. You have to pay big city rent. That is another 35k a year (extremely conservative).

So... you’ll be betting 35k a year after basic expenses and taxes. If you last a few years in big law, maybe you pay off the debt and you are back to square one.

Good luck. (This isn’t a profession any longer. It’s a trap for suckers, overachievers, or the naive, or it’s a place for the children of the rich to obtain some prestige and do what rich people do.)

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dandydan (Jul 2, 2018 - 12:08 pm)

If you're transferring then you do not have to pay the full three year price. What's more, you're putting yourself in a better position to succeed at the T10. The question is what do you want to do? Do you want to work a few years in biglaw and then move in house at a fancy bank or real estate company? Or do you want to work at a small place in your hometown? You might be overqualified. Note, however, that a T10 is no guarantee of a good job but it definitely can potentially open more doors than a school ranked 98th where most people will just do doc review because some dude told them that they are hopeless.

If you're unsure, go to the T10 and see where it takes you. While not a guarantee and there are risks, you can at least get away from the "life is over" attitude where you are right now.

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underemployedlawyer (Jul 2, 2018 - 2:28 pm)

I’d use your admission there to get a better deal from your current school to see if you’ll stay.

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lolstudent (Jul 9, 2018 - 10:22 pm)

Update: I’m going to accept at Harvard. I believe I’ll get some need based aid because I’m poor and old enough to not have my parents’ income factor in.

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pisces213 (Jul 10, 2018 - 12:13 am)

congrats!!

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wolfman (Jul 9, 2018 - 10:53 pm)

You very well may; congratulations; no one who actually wants to be
a lawyer can turn down HLS.

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jeffm (Jul 9, 2018 - 11:02 pm)

Nice! Good luck!

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ternarydaemon (Jul 10, 2018 - 2:10 pm)

Congrats. The general view of this board, supported by financial and professional evidence, is that Harvard, Yale and Stanford are worth it even at full ride. Just be careful on your debt, but then again you can enter IBR or other program even if you don't go big law and end up in some startup or not-for-profit making 120k after graduation.

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thirdtierlaw (Jul 10, 2018 - 4:28 pm)

Though HSY do not typically offer anything other than need based aid, all three have substantial repayment assistance if a person isn't making enough to pay back their loans. So even if you take a job at a nonprofit making $60k a year the loans won't be an issue.

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wutwutwut (Jul 10, 2018 - 6:01 pm)

Congrats on the move. Hopefully you get a decent discount. Come back from time to time and let us know how it's working out.

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shuiz (Jul 10, 2018 - 7:54 pm)

Harvard, yes.

Berkeley, no.

Maybe full sticker at Berkeley 10 or 15 years ago, but I wouldn’t now.

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