POLL!!! Transferring law schools - advice please

jasminesadejasminesade Alum Member
edited June 2019 in Law School Admissions 249 karma

Hey all! I have a friend who is in the process of transferring law schools and could use some advice from the 7sage community. Anything would help, here it is:

Hello, I was accepted at UCLA and Northwestern as a transfer; i.e., I will be paying sticker at both, but if I go to UCLA I will not have to take out any loans (savings). I will have to take out loans for the last year at Northwestern (80k).

If, ideally, I want to work in SoCal BigLaw, what would be the smarter course of action: attending UCLA or Northwestern?

After performing a basic cost-benefit analysis, I am leaning towards UCLA, on the theory that the benefit of attending Northwestern (ending up at median and still getting BigLaw) has largely disappeared, while the benefit of attending UCLA (attending school and networking in my target market) is still in play. Further, the cost of attending UCLA (the risk of ending up at median and doing poorly at OCI for that reason) has already dissipated, while the cost of attending Northwestern (taking out loans for the last year) is still in play.

Given my SoCal focus and above-median grades (top 25% at BC/BU), I don't see much of a benefit to attending Northwestern, other than the added prestige of being in the T14 as opposed to the T20. Are there factors I'm missing here?

Said another way, will I see any meaningful boost in SoCal employment prospects by going to Northwestern, or will my top 1/4 GPA at BC/BU be sufficient at UCLA for my OCI process to be similar as between both schools (if I am targeting SoCal biglaw). I am thinking that at this point my OCI process will be the same at both schools and that it will really come down to my interviewing skills. If so, I don't see a point to take out loans to attend Northwestern.

Thanks for your responses! I’ve attached a poll below as well.

Northwestern or UCLA
  1. Which one for SoCal big law?24 votes
    1. Northwestern
    2. UCLA
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