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Author Topic: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago  (Read 2987 times)

deathcabfan

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Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« on: April 04, 2007, 01:31:10 PM »
So it has come down to these two choices.  I chose to defer and work for Americorps for a year.  If I choose Mich I will be starting in May 08, Chicago would be Sept. 08.  I really loved Mich when I visited and I've yet to visit Chicago.  My main concerns in picking Mich over Chicago are opportunities I would be losing by going to Mich.  Is Chicago really that much of a better school? (30k worth?)  Another thing I have to keep in mind is if I went to Mich I could graduate six months earlier and thus start making money earlier.  I really liked AA but I also like Chicago so that doesn't really factor into my choice.  After I graduate I want to work at a firm in either California (sf/sv), Colorado, or DC.  Could I do this from either school? (say if I finish at the median).  I don't have any plans to clerk but I could see myself doing it if the opportunity presented itself.  I know there are a lot of current Mich and Chicago students on this board so any help would be appreciated, thanks.   

deathcabfan

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2007, 04:20:22 PM »
Bump (trying to keep this on the first page  ;) )

Hank Rearden

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2007, 04:45:17 PM »
Are you coming to the ASW in Chicago?  From what I've heard jobs in DC and CA are much easier to get from median at Chicago compared to Michigan, but I'm sure you would be fine either way. 
CLS '10

The appropriateness of Perpetua would probably depend on the tone of the writing.  When I used it, I (half playfully) thought the extra space made the words sort of resonate.

deathcabfan

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 04:48:59 PM »
I'm not sure if I can come to the ASW since I'm not accepted for the Fall.  I guess I should ask.  I know that Chicago is much better for clerkships and academia but I haven't been able to find any concrete info if that is true for firm jobs.

Hank Rearden

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 04:54:03 PM »
There are many studies about what % class goes to what ranking of firm.  I don't have links, but I've seen them over on xoxo from time to time.  Chicago usually does better than Michigan. 
CLS '10

The appropriateness of Perpetua would probably depend on the tone of the writing.  When I used it, I (half playfully) thought the extra space made the words sort of resonate.

deathcabfan

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 05:41:23 PM »
What would you do hank if you were in my position? 

Hank Rearden

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 05:44:40 PM »
Well I'm likely going to Chicago and didn't even apply to Michigan, so that should let you know what I think about the decision.

I had many reasons for not applying to Michigan, but the main one was that I was pretty sure I would be accepted at Virginia, and I would have rather gone to Virginia over Michigan (simply bc of Virginia's reputation).  Fortunately I got into Chicago, which all along I would prefer to Virginia (and therefore by default Michigan). 
CLS '10

The appropriateness of Perpetua would probably depend on the tone of the writing.  When I used it, I (half playfully) thought the extra space made the words sort of resonate.

deathcabfan

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 06:02:09 PM »
I was just going to say that Hank has a bias against Michigan :P

I'm in a similar situation, but with 20K from Chicago and waiting on Michigan finaid.  Right now, it's just impressions that I'm going off of - I may have more helpful insights after Chicago ASW.

I loved Mich when I went to their ASW and think I would be very happy there.  I've heard some not so great things about Chicago but I've also heard these things repudiated by current Chicago students.  Part of me just wants to go with my gut and accept the Michigan deferral, I'm just worried I'll be sacrificing opportunities by not going to Chicago.

deathcabfan

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 06:23:59 PM »
Same here.

Do you know what type of law you want to or might want to practice?  From what I hear, Chicago's LRAP program, despite improvements, still isn't that great, which would be a consideration if you're looking at public interest.  In my case, I want to do a JD/MBA, and both have great business schools.  I also want to do international business law, and Michigan places a much greater emphasis on international law than Chicago does, which gives Michigan a slight edge in my mind (not enough that I wouldn't go to Chicago if I went to ASW and clicked with the place, but enough that, given all other factors to be equal or near equal, it could be a deciding factor in favor of Michigan).  Chicago places better with clerkships and academia, but I don't think choosing a school based on the chance that you'll be in the top 10-15% at the end of three years is a good decision. 

I spoke with my pre-law advisor yesterday too, and his opinion was similar to that of everyone else I've spoken with, which is that you're going to an amazing school regardless of which one you choose.  If Chicago has a slightly better placement rate in firm jobs, etc., I don't think it's as big a difference as to preclude you from going to Michigan if you want to - it seems like at this level, we're talking fine distinctions, not major ones. 

And yeah, the summer start at Michigan is a major draw, which I considered taking - the ability to graduate a semester early (or take that extra semester and do an externship, or pursue a joint degree and still finish a bit earlier) seems great. 

I think you should definitely ask and see about attending the Chicago ASW - in the end, it's probably going to come down to your gut impressions, and where you'll think you'll be happiest (and most productive) for three years. 

I really hope I'll be able to visit Chicago, I think that's the best way to tell if a school is for you.  As far as what law I'd like to go into; I'm thinking about working on the corporate side of things (specifically start ups and venture capital work).  I've also thought about doing an MBA, I probably won't decide though until during my first year of LS.  It seems that everyone who goes to Mich loves it, especially speaking with the summer starters.  I think that you're right in saying the differences b/n the schools are minor.  Although money isn't a huge concern, that's an added benefit of Mich. 

nowitzski

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Re: Michigan (10k/yr) v. Chicago
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 06:25:25 PM »

Well, I think they are two very different experiences.  To answer your 50% question - you'll be in very good shape from UM and UChi.  UChi will place somewhat better, but not drastically so (unless we're talking clerkships).  The real difference is in atmosphere:

Umich:
1.8 x larger class size
University Atmosphere
Interdisciplinary strengths
less competitive - friendly students
Cheaper Cost of Living
marginally better weather, but more space
Reputation is very strong. - higher than USNWR rankings...

UChi:
Small class
City atmosphere
Law & Economics
Very strong tradition of rigorous standards
Excellent teaching, clerkships
Regardless of USNWR, UChi has an amazing reputation as one of the very best (esp. outside of NY)

If you throw out clerkship/academia considerations, which you seem to have decided against, these schools become very very close re: your choices.  IT basically comes down to comfort level.  Where would you be most comfortable/happy for three years?  You can do biglaw, and can place at any of these markets from the 50%ile.  

I was in a similar position between NYU and UMich, and decided on UMich for a few reasons which are less applicable to you, but a few that may apply: It saved money for small loss in prestige.  The law quad was amazing.  I really liked the cooperative vibe. Also, I realized that I'd be spending several years of my life in a large legal market, and that three years in A2 sounded like a great experience before I set out to DC or LA.  

This decision is between two great schools, each with advantages and disadvantages, but in your situation, neither is a clear-cut superior choice over the other.  When the choice is this close, I recommend going to visit, then going with your gut.  What feels right, etc..?

Congrats on your situation though, it really is a win-win.