Law School Discussion

UMich v UPenn

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2006, 10:43:18 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.

The 800 v. 1200 student debate is important, but not for the "alumni base" reason. Rather, it speaks to the environment of the law school. A smaller school is more intimate in many ways, you get to know people better, and have more access to professors. A larger school has more viewpoints, more course offerings, and, like you said, a larger alumni base. It's not as if Penn gets screwed when it comes to alumni base because of its size - I'm interested in practicing in CA and could email or call alumni in any major city if I wanted.

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2006, 11:35:08 AM »
what about the workload - I've heard Penn had an unusually heay workload, even for a T10, even compared to Michigan

anyone care to comment?

Wow. Who told you that?! Penn has a system very similar to Stanford's where you take 4 classes and legal writing your first semester and have 2 electives as a result your spring semester. Other than the extra class, I can't say there's more work, and I have friends at UMich law. I have a final tomorrow and I have time enough to sit around on this board. I think the workload would be very similar at either or any T10 school.

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2006, 11:41:09 AM »
what about the workload - I've heard Penn had an unusually heay workload, even for a T10, even compared to Michigan

anyone care to comment?

Wow. Who told you that?! Penn has a system very similar to Stanford's where you take 4 classes and legal writing your first semester and have 2 electives as a result your spring semester. Other than the extra class, I can't say there's more work, and I have friends at UMich law. I have a final tomorrow and I have time enough to sit around on this board. I think the workload would be very similar at either or any T10 school.

hmm, i woudln't be surpised if the guy who told me that was kinda bsing.

however, i have indeed heard that about wharton from someone who went there, so maybe i just got confused between the two. meh.

Penn Law =/= Wharton, even though you have access to it. Penn Law =/= Penn UG, even though it's on the same campus. The workload is going to be the same wherever you go, I would guess.

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2006, 02:26:14 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2006, 03:32:46 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

I haven't participated in a clinic, although I'm helping out on the faculty appointments committee and helped interview some potential new faculty for a clinical program we have and the candidates were quite impressive. Anyways, Penn has a ton of clinics and, unlike most schools, you can do more than one and they are relatively easy to get, from what my 2L and 3L friends have told me. It's not a top 10 clinical program like Georgetown or UMich but the access you have to the clinics are pretty amazing.

ALSO, unlike most other schools, you can start working in clinics at Penn your first year. Although it won't be for credits, you get hours that go towards your pro-bono requirement. I'll have Cady post and tell you about her experience as she's in a clinic and only a 1L.

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2006, 03:35:07 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

I haven't participated in a clinic, although I'm helping out on the faculty appointments committee and helped interview some potential new faculty for a clinical program we have and the candidates were quite impressive. Anyways, Penn has a ton of clinics and, unlike most schools, you can do more than one and they are relatively easy to get, from what my 2L and 3L friends have told me. It's not a top 10 clinical program like Georgetown or UMich but the access you have to the clinics are pretty amazing.

ALSO, unlike most other schools, you can start working in clinics at Penn your first year. Although it won't be for credits, you get hours that go towards your pro-bono requirement. I'll have Cady post and tell you about her experience as she's in a clinic and only a 1L.

wow that does sound awesome because i know other schools limit you to one clinic for your time there (maybe i'm too much of a free spirit, but that feels so restrictive!)

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2006, 03:36:53 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

I haven't participated in a clinic, although I'm helping out on the faculty appointments committee and helped interview some potential new faculty for a clinical program we have and the candidates were quite impressive. Anyways, Penn has a ton of clinics and, unlike most schools, you can do more than one and they are relatively easy to get, from what my 2L and 3L friends have told me. It's not a top 10 clinical program like Georgetown or UMich but the access you have to the clinics are pretty amazing.

ALSO, unlike most other schools, you can start working in clinics at Penn your first year. Although it won't be for credits, you get hours that go towards your pro-bono requirement. I'll have Cady post and tell you about her experience as she's in a clinic and only a 1L.

wow that does sound awesome because i know other schools limit you to one clinic for your time there (maybe i'm too much of a free spirit, but that feels so restrictive!)

Not at Penn. I mean if you've already done a clinic they give preference to other people, but I know people who have done two and even three clinics here. And the fact that you can start right when you get to the law school is amazing. I only haven't done a clinic yet because I thought it would be too much my first semester, but then I joined a bunch of groups anyways. I'm only a 1L but I'm already on a moot court team, I'm an editor of a law journal, and I'm getting all these experiences most 1Ls don't. I love it here.

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2006, 03:51:28 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

One of the things I like most about Penn is the ability of 1L's to participate in student-run pro bono clinics from the first semester. I've had a great experience, with some client contact (meeting with teen girls at Planned Parenthood to draft petitions for judicial bypasses so they can get abortions), and some legal research experience as well. There are a bunch of different clinics, which give a lot of different opportunities to start working directly with clients or with lawyers on issues from the beginning.

As for the faculty-run clinics, I can't really speak much to those, although I've spent a lot of time looking at them and am very excited by the opportunities they present. I haven't done a lot of comparison, though.

wow that sounds awesome because one of the things that i want out of law is contact with people, not being locked away in an office drafting contracts or whatever?

i know i'm annoying, but i'm just very psyched about my recent penn acceptance! (a total surpise)

could you comment on some allusions that a large portion of the student body is very business-driven? or do you think there's a balance of a lot of different ambitions?

how do you like the cross-discplinary approach, do you get to experience much of it during your first sem as a 1L?

again, sorry for eating up your time, happy holidays!

Towelie

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2006, 04:10:23 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

One of the things I like most about Penn is the ability of 1L's to participate in student-run pro bono clinics from the first semester. I've had a great experience, with some client contact (meeting with teen girls at Planned Parenthood to draft petitions for judicial bypasses so they can get abortions), and some legal research experience as well. There are a bunch of different clinics, which give a lot of different opportunities to start working directly with clients or with lawyers on issues from the beginning.

As for the faculty-run clinics, I can't really speak much to those, although I've spent a lot of time looking at them and am very excited by the opportunities they present. I haven't done a lot of comparison, though.

wow that sounds awesome because one of the things that i want out of law is contact with people, not being locked away in an office drafting contracts or whatever?

i know i'm annoying, but i'm just very psyched about my recent penn acceptance! (a total surpise)

could you comment on some allusions that a large portion of the student body is very business-driven? or do you think there's a balance of a lot of different ambitions?

how do you like the cross-discplinary approach, do you get to experience much of it during your first sem as a 1L?

again, sorry for eating up your time, happy holidays!

As far as the cross-disciplinary approach, I have gotten to experience it just in my first semester and it is likely going to continue throughout my tenure here. Two of my professors had PhD's (my torts professor has a PhD in Philosophy and my contracts professor has a PhD in Economics), so I got the Philosophical and Economic viewpoints in both of those classes. Also, my crim law professor next year has a PhD and is an expert in law and psychiatry and my Administrative Law professor has a PhD in Political Science and just spent 12 years as a professor at the Kennedy School of Government before moving to Penn Law. Next semester I am taking a Law and Chinese history class, which is another cross-disciplinary class. Oh yeah, AND the law journal I am on is a cross-disciplinary journal, so I've gotten some experience that way too.

Also, though I had no intention of it when I got to school, I think I am going to get a JD/Master's in Bioethics. My undergrad background is Economics, but I am interested in studying the ethical debate between controlling the public health and regulating drugs. I have already found a professor to sponser my research and the goal of the joint-degree is to get published in a cross-disciplinary law journal, so I'm pretty excited. There are so many opportunities here to get involved in cross-disciplinary research, it's fantastic.

As far as being business driven, I mean, most people who go to T10 law schools want to work in a big firm when they graduate, and this is certainly true at Penn. But everyone has academic interests outside of that and also many people here want to clerk or go into government. There's also a relatively strong public interest contingent, but a lot them died out when they saw what success the 2Ls had at OCI at the beginning of the year and they realized how much they'd have to give up. Still, a lot of people do go into public interest and there's a public interest scholars program which basically guarantees at least some people will be going straight into PI right after law school. Congrats on getting in!

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Re: UMich v UPenn
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2006, 07:02:38 PM »
i agree. that dude was a bozo anyways.

How about the clinical program at Penn? How do you think they stack up to the other top schools' clinical programs? (personally thats one of the major criterions for picking law schools, practice makes perfect right?)

One of the things I like most about Penn is the ability of 1L's to participate in student-run pro bono clinics from the first semester. I've had a great experience, with some client contact (meeting with teen girls at Planned Parenthood to draft petitions for judicial bypasses so they can get abortions), and some legal research experience as well. There are a bunch of different clinics, which give a lot of different opportunities to start working directly with clients or with lawyers on issues from the beginning.

As for the faculty-run clinics, I can't really speak much to those, although I've spent a lot of time looking at them and am very excited by the opportunities they present. I haven't done a lot of comparison, though.

wow that sounds awesome because one of the things that i want out of law is contact with people, not being locked away in an office drafting contracts or whatever?

i know i'm annoying, but i'm just very psyched about my recent penn acceptance! (a total surpise)

could you comment on some allusions that a large portion of the student body is very business-driven? or do you think there's a balance of a lot of different ambitions?

how do you like the cross-discplinary approach, do you get to experience much of it during your first sem as a 1L?

again, sorry for eating up your time, happy holidays!

As far as the cross-disciplinary approach, I have gotten to experience it just in my first semester and it is likely going to continue throughout my tenure here. Two of my professors had PhD's (my torts professor has a PhD in Philosophy and my contracts professor has a PhD in Economics), so I got the Philosophical and Economic viewpoints in both of those classes. Also, my crim law professor next year has a PhD and is an expert in law and psychiatry and my Administrative Law professor has a PhD in Political Science and just spent 12 years as a professor at the Kennedy School of Government before moving to Penn Law. Next semester I am taking a Law and Chinese history class, which is another cross-disciplinary class. Oh yeah, AND the law journal I am on is a cross-disciplinary journal, so I've gotten some experience that way too.

Also, though I had no intention of it when I got to school, I think I am going to get a JD/Master's in Bioethics. My undergrad background is Economics, but I am interested in studying the ethical debate between controlling the public health and regulating drugs. I have already found a professor to sponser my research and the goal of the joint-degree is to get published in a cross-disciplinary law journal, so I'm pretty excited. There are so many opportunities here to get involved in cross-disciplinary research, it's fantastic.

As far as being business driven, I mean, most people who go to T10 law schools want to work in a big firm when they graduate, and this is certainly true at Penn. But everyone has academic interests outside of that and also many people here want to clerk or go into government. There's also a relatively strong public interest contingent, but a lot them died out when they saw what success the 2Ls had at OCI at the beginning of the year and they realized how much they'd have to give up. Still, a lot of people do go into public interest and there's a public interest scholars program which basically guarantees at least some people will be going straight into PI right after law school. Congrats on getting in!

Thanks Towelie and Cady for all of your useful information!

Towelie - good luck with the JD/MA path! that sounds kick-ass and i'm happy that Penn is working out for both of you!

-pookie