Now that you finished your first year do you plan to stay or transfer out? And when you say network with the dean....do you mean just walking into his office and making your presence known?
Hey JDhopeful... Congrats on your decision to apply to law school. I did my first year at UDM (2006-2007) and for the most part enjoyed my experience. This was mostly because of the students and a few faculty. Of course, there were typical 4th tier law school problems, and the biggest gripe about UDM is the high tuition and the facilities which are in poor condition. Some of the professors are excellent. I can say that while Professor Moore was not popular (Torts), he was an excellent professor with genuine concern about each law student's learning experience. If you didn't do the work, however, he had no mercy. His grades were tough, and he loves Socratic. I also enjoyed the ALTA program, which was challenging and beneficial to me. However, the variance in the grading system was questionable. There are some boobs for professors too. This is unfortunate. Someone in my entering class did the joint degree program and I hear it is excellent. It has higher standards for admission than the regular JD program, and I think if you can handle the workload, do it. This will be beneficial to your career once you enter the profession in a few years.Detroit does not offer that much despite it being a city. However, there are a few gems you can find if you look hard enough. The rent is definitely cheap. as is the cost of living. There are also a few nice places to study, have coffee, go for a drink and enjoy good eats in the suburbs like Ferndale and Royal Oak. The downtown area of Detroit has come a long way, and you can find a few great places to hang out there as well. Of course, the city is dead during the weekends and evenings. Maybe with a new mayor, things will come along further. Employment prospects there are poor. If you can, do your best to transfer out. Students seem to have good luck transferring out to Chicago or Cincinnati. A few of my buddies went to Chicago and Case Western Reserve. But if you get stuck there, that's fine. Make the best of it and take advantage of all bar prep courses and consider moving out of the state. My opinion, of course. I live in California and I am glad to be back in California. But given your interest in the joint program, it sounds like you'll want to stay up there? Not sure. Anyway, good luck. Prepare to do nothing but law school. And the grading curve there is ridiculous. (2.7 - 2.9) It is tough to get good grades. The majority of students will get a C+ at the end of their 1L year, and then some will get a B-. I worked my ass off and barely got a 3.30 in ALTA - and it was my favorite course, but I'll never want to relive that again. And a 3.30 is not a B+ at UD Mercy as it is for many schools - it's considered a straight B. Anyway, good luck! You'll only be a 1L once, so make your decision wisely.