Law School Discussion

Debt and Michigan

Debt and Michigan
« on: April 14, 2006, 10:23:55 AM »
I have been lucky enough to get accepted at Michigan, which has been far and away my first choice since this whole process started. 

Michigan is also easily the "best" school which I have been accepted. 

I am not sure what type of law I want to practice or where. 

Having said all of this, I am wondering how much debt it is worth going into to go to Michigan?  Should I go there at any cost, will I be able to pay it back?

I would love any response, even if it is just conjecture. 

Thanks in advance.


Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 10:33:21 AM »
If it is your only top 14 (I'd also include Texas, UCLA, and USC into this) I think it's worth going in debt for the full tuition + COL. Realize you will make about $35,000 the summer between your 2L and 3L and maybe the summer between your 1L and 2L if you are lucky.


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Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 10:35:59 AM »
Give us a better idea of what the other schools are


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Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 11:10:32 AM »

I am in this exact same situation.  I am really debating on whether or not I want to go into so much debt to go to Michigan.  I already have about 65K in debt from undergrad and grad school and will need lots more to be able to attend Michigan.  And the thought of being locked into a BIGLAW job for x years after law school working 80 hours a week just doesn't seem appealing to me.

I'm like you, I'm not sure want I want to do after law school and I think in a way not having so much debt gives you more options in terms of being able to take lower paying (and perhaps more satisfying) jobs straight after law school.

This is my opinion.. what do other people think??

Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 11:11:25 AM »
Notre Dame
Minnesota/Wisconsin with instate.

Like I said, far and away the best school I got into.

And I would also have to do summer start to go to Michigan.

Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 11:43:06 AM »
I'm facing a similar decision, but my situation is much different.  My choices are Michigan w/ almost no $ or part-time at Fordham while working at a firm and possibly getting tuition reimbursement.  I love Michigan, but the thought of that much debt scares me.  Right now I'm leaning towards Fordham not so much because of the money issue, but because of the experience I would be gaining during those four years.  I think in your situation Michigan is clearly better since you have no idea what you want to do upon graduation.  A Michigan degree would open up so many more opportunities. In the end it depends on what your goals are, and if you don't have any specific ones, why take a risk by closing off opportunities? Also, if you don't think Biglaw is for you, then go with the lower ranked school, but Michigan supposedly has a good LRAP.  Bottom line, when in doubt, go with the bigger name.

Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 11:52:32 AM »
First of all, I would like to thank everybody for the wonderful advice, it has been extremly helpful.

Right now I am leaning towards Michigan no matter how much it costs, I just dont think I can turn down this great of an oppertunity.

I would love to hear any other advice people have one way or the other.

Karl Pilkington

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Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 12:02:09 PM »
Since you're not sure what kind of law you want to practice or where you want to go, you should go to Michigan. It has great placement all over the country in all sorts of positions, from biglaw to public interest and everything in between. It is a lot of debt, but if you go into biglaw it won't be a huge problem, and if you want to do PI, Michigan does have a good LRAP. If you think you'll use the LRAP, however, you should check out all the fine print here:

If you've gotten into another T14 with a significant scholarship, you could consider that. Otherwise, I'd go to Michigan.

Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 12:26:09 PM »
Does anybody have any idea how much doing the summer start adds to a debt load?

And do employers look down upon summer starters compared to other wolverines?

Re: Debt and Michigan
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 12:45:20 PM »
base, were you accepted off the waitlist?
congrats!  you should definitely go to michigan at whatever cost.  youll have SO MANY more opportunities coming from michigan, including opportunities to pay back that debt easily (all the easier if you stay midwest and work in, say, chicago where COL is pretty low).