Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Taking UMich over Columbia???  (Read 4103 times)

nowitzski

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2006, 12:57:05 PM »
Excellent post!  Thanks!

I guess I have no choice but to attend both. 

Towelie

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1195
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2006, 01:07:00 PM »
Demingh,

Does Columbia allow you to calculate GPA? I know Michigan does and NYU doesn't.
Penn Law '09

StudentUVA

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2879
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2006, 01:10:55 PM »
Personally i'd look into how much money Michigan is offering me. If it's half tuition or even full darrow scholorship, then i'd probably pick Michigan. Columbia is pricey.

saabaru

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2006, 09:56:18 PM »
I would like to point out that the post-JD prospects between Columbia and Michigan are exaggerated on this thread:

1. Academia is a goal

Let's be honest. The great majority of new law school hires are Yale and Harvard graduates. Look at the Leiter rankings--there's virtually no difference in academia opportunities between CLS and Michigan. If you really want to go into academia, go to either school and consider applying for an LLM program in three years time.

2. Biglaw is a goal
3. Government is a goal

You will have no trouble getting a Biglaw or government job at either school. I'm not sure there is a discernible difference between a "V5" firm and a "V50" firm--and in any case, I don't think that which law school you attend will be decisive to that end. With regard to a government position, I think that good grades and a demonstrated commitment to public interest will also be the deciding factor, not the UMich/CLS distinction.

With regard to the most prestigious government or Biglaw jobs--well, if school prestige is the predominant factor considered, then you will lose out to a YLS student anyway. Fortunately, that is not only the case.

4. The midwest is a geographic priority

If this is so, I'm not sure I can see how you would enjoy spending three years in Morningside Heights.


i'll be at columbia. any more questions?

Sure.  If I remember, you are from the midwest, do you plan on returning?  Do you think there is a placement difference in the midwest?  I have heard Colum. is overly competitive, do you agree/have you heard this also?  Where are you planning to live?  Morningside? 


I went to visit the Columbia campus, and was not that impressed with the law school architecture, however my biggest concern was that food/groceries/bars etc..were expensive, combined with rent,etc..I guess my goals are: Top 100 biglaw, or Tier 1/high 2 academia, or solid semi-prestigous public sector.  So when I factor in the $20k extra to live three years in NYC, as well as the $20k or so scholarship I would lose, I am worried the extra $40k is not really worth it.  What do you think of all this?  How does it contrast to your goals?

thanks!




Towelie

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1195
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2006, 10:08:36 PM »
I would like to point out that the post-JD prospects between Columbia and Michigan are exaggerated on this thread:

1. Academia is a goal

Let's be honest. The great majority of new law school hires are Yale and Harvard graduates. Look at the Leiter rankings--there's virtually no difference in academia opportunities between CLS and Michigan. If you really want to go into academia, go to either school and consider applying for an LLM program in three years time.

2. Biglaw is a goal
3. Government is a goal

You will have no trouble getting a Biglaw or government job at either school. I'm not sure there is a discernible difference between a "V5" firm and a "V50" firm--and in any case, I don't think that which law school you attend will be decisive to that end. With regard to a government position, I think that good grades and a demonstrated commitment to public interest will also be the deciding factor, not the UMich/CLS distinction.

With regard to the most prestigious government or Biglaw jobs--well, if school prestige is the predominant factor considered, then you will lose out to a YLS student anyway. Fortunately, that is not only the case.

4. The midwest is a geographic priority

If this is so, I'm not sure I can see how you would enjoy spending three years in Morningside Heights.


i'll be at columbia. any more questions?

Sure.  If I remember, you are from the midwest, do you plan on returning?  Do you think there is a placement difference in the midwest?  I have heard Colum. is overly competitive, do you agree/have you heard this also?  Where are you planning to live?  Morningside? 


I went to visit the Columbia campus, and was not that impressed with the law school architecture, however my biggest concern was that food/groceries/bars etc..were expensive, combined with rent,etc..I guess my goals are: Top 100 biglaw, or Tier 1/high 2 academia, or solid semi-prestigous public sector.  So when I factor in the $20k extra to live three years in NYC, as well as the $20k or so scholarship I would lose, I am worried the extra $40k is not really worth it.  What do you think of all this?  How does it contrast to your goals?

thanks!




It's probably easier to get a selective Chicago firm from Columbia than Michigan, which is large part due to many more UMich students applying to that same firm than Columbia students. I was swayed out of UCLA because I thought it would be harder to get a job in LA or SD coming from UCLA than Penn (rankings mattered more at UCLA). UMich sends a ton of people to Chicago. Columbia doesn't.
Penn Law '09

queencruella

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 4213
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2006, 10:35:55 PM »
The key with academia is more than just going to a great school. Law schools don't hire people straight out of LS anymore, they want experience, and impressive experience at that. Most new law professors graduate at or very near the top of their class and have significant work experience before starting their careers as professors- e.g. supreme court clerkships or clerkships with the federal appellate feeder judges, DOJ honors program, or other similarly prestigious positions. For that reason, I think it's better to pick the school that's going to make you happier, because there's just no way you can perform at the level needed unless you feel comfortable in the environment.

As for taking jobs in the Midwest- I don't think there's a clear winner there because there are probably plenty of firms with lots of Michigan alumni that love to hire Michigan grads, while there are probably fewer firms that have Columbia grads.

2elandbored

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2006, 10:39:11 PM »
It's probably easier to get a selective Chicago firm from Columbia than Michigan, which is large part due to many more UMich students applying to that same firm than Columbia students. I was swayed out of UCLA because I thought it would be harder to get a job in LA or SD coming from UCLA than Penn (rankings mattered more at UCLA). UMich sends a ton of people to Chicago. Columbia doesn't.

UCLA-Penn is the difference between a top 10 school and a non-t14; that hardly compares to the difference to what might be considered numbers 6 and 7.

I don't believe it's true that it's easier to get a biglaw job in the midwest coming from Columbia rather than Michigan because of geographic diversity.  I've never seen any evidence to support this theory.  Firms aren't trying to fill quotas ("oh, we've already got 2 Michigan students, let's get a student from New York!"), they're trying to get the best applicants.  Assuming an equal GPA/class rank from each law school, it should be equally easy to get the job from either school, unless (a) prestige is a real factor or (b) having more alumni pulling for you (presumably favoring the in-region school) is a factor.

What's going to make the biggest difference, by far, coming from these schools is academic performance.  If you want to be in the midwest and will be happier in Ann Arbor, I suspect you'll do better at Michigan.  I don't believe the numerically superior student body at Columbia will actually affect performance (I think the differences in GPA and LSAT at that level are negligible--although you're free to disagree).

I think you're right and wrong.  If you think you'd be happier at Michigan, then Michigan is a better choice.  On the other hand, you will not be able to find empircal data conclusively showing Columbia will outplace Michigan in Chicago, but I think it does.  It is true, as a general statement, that firms want diversity in schools.  Michigan grads are a dime a dozen in Chicago.  That doesn't meant they don't do well, but firms know exactly the cutoffs for Michigan students.  They know what they got last year, and they will get the same this year.  There is less of a certainty, in the firms eyes, with a Columbia grad.  A firm, again as a general rule, will give more leniency to a Columbia grad for this reason.

The differences in LSAT are not really negligible (Columbia's is pretty damn impressive like a 169/175), and typically the students at Columbia have come from more diverse/interesting backgrounds...this is a self-selective thing.  Not that Michigan is bad in this area, just that you don't beat Columbia due to its location and quality of education. 

goosenesque

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1211
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2006, 10:51:01 PM »
This thread is ridiculous.

Come on people, rankings are not everything.  If this were a Mich. v. Columbia thread, then we would have something to argue about, but the OP was simply asking if it is would be reasonable to take one school, ranked a mere 4 spots lower, over another. 

To answer his question - no, it would not be unwise to take UMich. over Columbia.

nowitzski

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2006, 10:58:44 PM »


To answer his question - no, it would not be unwise to take UMich. over Columbia.

For the record, I have nothing against Morningside.  I even like the General Grant Memorial, random as it is.  I think I am going with Michigan, and I will probably go for a JD/MA.  Thanks for the comments, especially demingh.

ě

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 4603
  • non sequitur
    • View Profile
Re: Taking UMich over Columbia???
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2006, 10:06:00 AM »
Good luck at whichever school you end up in, and I do feel you'd make the right decision about Mich, but only you can know that for sure. I doubt you would regret either decision.