Law School Discussion

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Poll

Which would you choose?

University of Michigan (18k/Year)
University of Virginia (24k/Year)

Author Topic: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)  (Read 4627 times)

Matthew

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UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« on: April 18, 2008, 06:24:14 AM »
So I've finally narrowed my decision to two schools and am looking for any input.  Basically, I'd like to be a criminal prosecutor and eventually a judge, if possible.  I'm not adverse to working BIGLAW for a few years to pay down debts but, while I don't want to be impoverished, I'm not doing this for the money.  That being said, I mostly see choosing a law school as weighing probable debt against career prospects.  I have no regional, class size, or pretty much any preference except that on-campus housing is a plus, but not a huge one.

Michigan has offered me 18k/year and Virginia 24k/year, each with the accompanying $20,500 in Stafford loans.  I have to admit that the fact that I'd barely have to get private loans at Virginia is very attractive.  I really want to go to Michigan, but I can't really rationalize that desire except in that it has on campus housing and is basically characterized on this board as the gay mecca of law schools.  Michigan's loan forgiveness program seems somewhat more generous, but I'd have less money to be forgiven at Virginia.  With deposits due on the 30th, I'm really not sure what to do.  Any input is appreciated.
Cycle finally finished!

170/3.82
Accepted: Michigan($$), UCLA, Virginia($$), Duke($$), Georgetown, Vanderbilt($$$), Notre Dame($$$), William & Mary($$$)
Deferred: Northwestern
Waitlisted: Penn ($$)
Rejected: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Chicago

Ender Wiggin

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 07:37:02 AM »
So I've finally narrowed my decision to two schools and am looking for any input.  Basically, I'd like to be a criminal prosecutor and eventually a judge, if possible.  I'm not adverse to working BIGLAW for a few years to pay down debts but, while I don't want to be impoverished, I'm not doing this for the money.  That being said, I mostly see choosing a law school as weighing probable debt against career prospects.  I have no regional, class size, or pretty much any preference except that on-campus housing is a plus, but not a huge one.

Michigan has offered me 18k/year and Virginia 24k/year, each with the accompanying $20,500 in Stafford loans.  I have to admit that the fact that I'd barely have to get private loans at Virginia is very attractive.  I really want to go to Michigan, but I can't really rationalize that desire except in that it has on campus housing and is basically characterized on this board as the gay mecca of law schools.  Michigan's loan forgiveness program seems somewhat more generous, but I'd have less money to be forgiven at Virginia.  With deposits due on the 30th, I'm really not sure what to do.  Any input is appreciated.


Have you visited Ann Arbor?  To be honest, I really don't know much about Virginia's location, but I think your assessment of the environment at Michigan is pretty accurate.  I won't even attempt to distinguish between the two schools as far as job prospects go, because from all accounts they are too similar to really draw many distinctions.  I wouldn't even let the money enter the argument--I just don't think it's enough of a difference to really matter.  $18k is not a pittance, but it's certainly worth going to a place where you would be more comfortable (if, in fact, that would be the case). 

Though it's not much to judge by, I've always enjoyed your posts, and I would certainly love to see you at Michigan this year.  Good luck in making your decision!

LSN


Michigan Law Class of 2011

t L

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 08:00:55 AM »
I really want to go to Michigan, but I can't really rationalize that desire except in that it has on campus housing and is basically characterized on this board as the gay mecca of law schools.


I think this is key.  You seem like you would be much happier at UMich, and I honestly think you will.  It's worth the $18,000. 

Prestige-wise, career-wise, etc. They are basically the same school.  They differ in culture.  I think UVA is going to be less tolerant, and if you've never lived in the "south", that could take some serious getting used to.


Seriously.  Come to Michigan.  That's where you really want to be and $18,000 shouldn't stop you.
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pete.

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 12:04:52 PM »
I wouldn't let fears of intolerance sway you. though it's geographical location is somewhat conspicuous and winters mild, you will find that uva has little in common with the south.

i live in charlottesville and went to uva undergrad.

AmericanGunner

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 12:16:24 PM »
Both schools are good choices. Having lived in DC (UVa's backyard) and in Ann Arbor (working there now), I can tell you it's all about where you'd feel comfortable. Ann Arbor is your typical BigTen college town - liberal, full of restaurants, a few hippies, and lots of silent grad students. The law quad is something to behold - it looks a bit like Hogwarts, with gothic details carved into the limestone, and one of the most impressive libraries I've seen.

Charlottesville, from what I'm told and have seen, is very genteel, but not unwelcoming, as some have been led to believe. The entire campus is a UNESCO world heritage site, so it looks good. And since UVa is a flagship campus, it has all the amenities you'd expect. Also, since it's southern, there will be fewer hippies. The main difference between Charlottesville and Ann Arbor is that one is very obviously northern, and one is very obviously southern. Charlottesville stays mild in the winter, but can get hot and humid in the summer. Winter in Ann Arbor can be brutal - I moved here in March of this year, and it was still snowing up until two weeks ago.

Have you had a chance to visit both places? Also, check out all the online pictures of the places as you can.
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t L

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2008, 12:28:39 PM »
you will find that uva has little in common with the south.

lies.
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Matthew

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 12:35:56 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone!

I'm in Hawaii, so I haven't gotten to visit either school,  so I really appreciate all the info.
Cycle finally finished!

170/3.82
Accepted: Michigan($$), UCLA, Virginia($$), Duke($$), Georgetown, Vanderbilt($$$), Notre Dame($$$), William & Mary($$$)
Deferred: Northwestern
Waitlisted: Penn ($$)
Rejected: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Chicago

SteelersandGators

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 03:14:16 PM »
  I really want to go to Michigan

Sounds like we have a winner. Enjoy Ann Arbor!
UVA Law Class of 2011

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 04:27:05 PM »
Go to Mich.

FWIW, I'm not gay, however, having visited both last year, if I were gay, I'd rather be gay at Mich.
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Re: UMich(18k/year) v UVa (24k/year)
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 07:01:05 PM »
I was in a similar situation, though both offers were a bit smaller.  I immediately disregarded academics and job prospects, as I don't believe there's a significant difference.  I was left with cost, region, environment, and whatever other minor intangibles came up.  I never actually made a decision, as my SO was accepted to a Masters program an hour from Ann Arbor, making it a no-brainer.

I don't think that paying an extra $18k for an environment in which you'll be happier is a bad decision.  It might take a little longer to pay off, but three years is a good deal of time to spend in a place, especially if you're unhappy.  That said, I'm not sure you wouldn't enjoy UVA.  I feel like it gets a bad rap just because it's in the South.  The whole "intolerant" bit seems to stem from this; I have a hard time believing that too many highly intelligent, highly educated UVA students will exhibit prejudicial behaviors.  Maybe I'm being naive (as a straight white male who hasn't visited).  But it's one of the nation's premier institutions of higher education, around which the city of Charlottesville is concentrated.  I have to believe that there are a lot of open-minded people around.  There must be a LGBT group there; perhaps get in contact with a couple current students who are involved?

I don't know about "gay mecca", but I've spent a reasonable amount of time in Ann Arbor and it's a very open and liberal place; I can't imagine many problems resulting from one's sexuality.  From your posts you seem like a good guy; I'd be glad to have you join us and I'm sure you'd fit right in.  Seems to me that Michigan is your safe choice, because I think you'd enjoy it.  UVA seems to be a risk/reward option; it might be difficult to discredit some of the negative hearsay without a visit, but if you did attend and enjoy it, you'd be up $18,000.  My thoughts on the matter for what they're worth.