I’m currently a 1L at a Tier 1 in Texas. I am thinking about transferring to a higher-ranked law school. My only reason for transferring would be to ensure that I would even have a chance of getting looked at for a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship. Is it worth it?
Right now I’m at the second-best school in Texas (may not be saying too much), and if I do well, job prospects will still look good. I just want a shot at fulfilling a dream and need advice. The schools I am thinking about transferring to are University of Texas, Georgetown, Yale, Harvard (last two are big dreams with little hope).
Transferring schools is always tricky. My instinct is: Unless you get into Harvard or Yale, stay put, get awesome grades, graduate number one and become Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. But even then, the odds of getting that Supreme Court clerkship are remote. As for Georgetown and UT, they’re good schools—and both boast past Supreme Court clerks—but it’s not like going there is some sort of Supreme guaranty. Neither is going to Harvard or Yale, for that matter. You’d have to be in the top 5% and be an Law Review editor.
Since it’s tough to get on Law Review—much less become an editor—as a transfer student, you might want to take this into consideration. Then again, if you get into Harvard or Yale, just go. You probably won’t become a Supreme Court clerk, but so what?
Bottom line: Transfer because you want to transfer—because you’re unhappy at your current school or because you get into someplace you think you’ll like better—not because you think one school gives you a better chance at a Supreme Court clerkship. No one has ever succeeded because he went to Harvard, or failed because he went to a Tier 2 Law School, so try not to get too caught up in the whole “Where I go to school” thing. Dangerous game.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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