Law School Discussion

UMich v UPenn

UMich v UPenn
« on: December 19, 2006, 12:23:09 PM »
any thoughts? which schools better for clerkships? Biglaw prospects?

thanks for the feedback

'tiki

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2006, 07:51:19 PM »
I would like to know the answer for this one too. Government/policy prospects?

Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2006, 08:52:20 PM »
While close in the rankings, these schools have very different atmospheres. Penn is more business focused. They tend to attract students with different career goals, it seems, and placement differences are likely largely due to self selection. That said, Penn places a higher percentage of its class in top Biglaw positions, and significantly more Michigan grads get top clerkships. The differences in placement in these areas are not subtle between these two schools. If your primary interest is Biglaw, I think Penn puts you in a better position. Clerkships, Michigan.
Can't speak for gov work, really, but I suspect more Michigan grads go that route.

ananse

Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2006, 09:06:28 PM »
tag  ;)

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 09:35:41 PM »
I mean, you can't go wrong with either school.. though you should be concerned about job prospects, of course, Michigan and Penn have very similar placement numbers and while probably through self-selection Penn does better at BIGLAW and UMich does better at clerkships/academia, I have not once felt that going to Penn would be a burden to either clerkships or academia and I also feel like UMich students don't feel like UMich is a burden to BIGLAW.

That said, this decision should largely be personal and should be based on your own preferance, not someone else's. Penn is a city school, Michigan not so much. Michigan is a medium-large sized school, Penn is a smaller one. Penn is private and Michigan is public (not sure if this makes as much of a difference in law school as it does undergrad, though). In college sports, Michigan certainly wins, as the Ivy League has pretty lame football/basketball programs.. but, to counter that, it is kind of cool being in the Ivy League. Both schools allow you to take 4 classes outside of the law school and get credit for them. Michigan has one elective their spring semester 1L year and Penn has two. Penn has a much smaller student/faculty ratio, but Michigan offers more courses. Uhm. I'm trying to say what else I know, but I'm getting tired. In any event, the decision should be based on what you are looking for not what the board tells you. Explore each school on your own and decide for yourself.

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2006, 10:16:50 PM »
location where you want to practice would be a factor as well....as I imagine...

UPenn - incredibly strong in the I-90 corridor (NY/MA/DC)

Mich- strong in Chicago, NYC, Midwest (i think this is an incomplete picture of Mich employment coverage, please feel free to add)

The thing about this is that, although you are right about these schools placing better in their home region, this, once again, is largely due to self-selection. I want to work in California when I graduate and don't think I'm going to have a problem landing a job from Penn. Also, I know someone at Michigan who wants to work in NYC or DC and he doesn't think he'll have a problem either. Anecdotally, I have 2L and 3L friends going to work in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, DC, NYC, etc. All over the place. I wouldn't worry too much about that in comparing the two schools. While it is true more California firms recruit on Michigan's campus, Michigan also has more students and, besides that, Penn also has seperate fairs run in SF, LA, and San Diego for 2L students to interview at there. So, in the end, you can probably interview at the same firms from either school.

Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2006, 09:11:10 AM »
thanks for the helpful responses. certainly the decision will rest on my own research and impressions of the respective schools but its always good to get some input from others. i have an additional question though regarding clerkships, what is the benefit of doing a clerkship, say at the federal court level? and are they typically done during the summer while still in school or after graduating for a full year. i'm pretty much in the dark regarding these issues so if any current law students or just folks that know could help me out or know of any helpful resources i'd appreciate it.

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 10:42:23 AM »
thanks for the helpful responses. certainly the decision will rest on my own research and impressions of the respective schools but its always good to get some input from others. i have an additional question though regarding clerkships, what is the benefit of doing a clerkship, say at the federal court level? and are they typically done during the summer while still in school or after graduating for a full year. i'm pretty much in the dark regarding these issues so if any current law students or just folks that know could help me out or know of any helpful resources i'd appreciate it.

Some people do them after law school because it is an incredible experience and can help future litigators get a sense of what they need to do to be great lawyers (they train under judges). A lot of people at Penn clerk (15%-20%) and most at the federal level. Though I'm shooting for a firm job this summer, career services said that most people who want them here during their first summer get a federal clerkship. I'm sure the same is true at UMich.

Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2006, 10:23:40 PM »
bump

Denny Crane

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2006, 09:17:13 AM »
Coming from either school you'll have great prospects in most regions of the country and in most areas (biglaw, clerkships, etc). 

What you might want to consider are the alumni bases for both schools, namely, where they're concentrated.  Yes, you can get a job in, say, Chicago coming from Penn, but Mich will have a bigger alumni base from which to draw connections.  Penn, on the other hand may have a bigger alumni base in NYC.  Keep in mind Penn has under 800 students total (including JD, LLM, JSD, etc), while Michigan has just under 1,200.  This may also play a role in your decision making, primarily for the alumni base issue. 

But like the consensus here seems to be, you can't go wrong with either.