I would go with Ave as well Corbabe. Your scholarship money brings it down to the cost of UDM. I also feel that they are on the rise plus I've read that their facilities are REALLY nice. I'm sure living and working in Ann Arbor is 10x better than Detroit.
P.S. I'm still pulling for you when it comes to Duq.
A school's facilities have very little to do with the quality of education one will receive, or the type of job options one will have post-graduation.
As for Ann Arbor vs. Detroit, the two cities are less than an hour away from each other. If someone was so inclined, they could commute from Ann Arbor to attend school in Detroit.
Most of the large legal employers in Michigan are in Detroit. Ann Arbor has satellite offices and smaller firms, and solo practices. Going to UDM would not limit anyone to working solely in Detroit. UDM has *many* alumni across the state of Michigan.
Detroit also has many suburbs, which include some of the most affluent areas in the country.
As for Ave's Bar Passage, it is excellent. Part of the reason for that may be their small class size-especially the first couple of classes and the fact that they require many more mandatory courses than most law schools. Yes, these are the courses on the bar. Ave also does not have an evening program like UDM...I wouldn't be suprised if the bar passage rates are lower for working adults who attend law school part-time and work full-time, hence bringing down the overall passage rate.
As for the difficulty of gaining admission to Ave Maria, they accept 67% of their applicants. Only Cooley has a higher acceptance rate. 67% doesn't sound too selective to me. Ave's Lsat scores (25/75 percentile) are 150-160...they have such a broad range because they accept so many students, and they can buy higher scoring students with scholarship money. Why do they accept so many people, even though they have such as small class (less than 150 entering students)? Probably because many accepted students choose not to attend. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/directory/dir-law/brief/glanc_03188_brief.php
I wouldn't underestimate the impact that such as small alumni base will have on your job prospects, particularly if you are not one of the top students in your class. I wonder how many Ave graduates had to sell their school to prospective employers because they hadn't heard of it. Just because Ave does a good job with recruiting and advertising to law school applicants does not mean the people who will be hiring you(in most cases, older lawyers who graduated from law school before Ave existed) hold the school in high esteem.
Notice that only one large law firm from Detroit recruits at Ave Maria. Only two Nalp employers total interview at Ave Maria, according to their website. I hope that is a mistake, for the sake of their students. Compare that with 19 Nalp employers at UDM, including most of the largest law firms in Detroit. Now, I know not everyone wants to work at a big firm, and only top students from most schools will be able to, but this *might* give you a rough idea of what the legal community in your school's region thinks of the school.http://www.nalpdirectory.com/
Now, I'm not trying to attack Ave Maria or it's students. I just thought I should give a different perspective than some of the posters on this topic.
Corbabe, good luck with your decision, wherever you choose to go.