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Author Topic: Michigan versus UCLA???  (Read 2217 times)

LetsGetEm

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Michigan versus UCLA???
« on: April 18, 2007, 01:46:14 PM »
My dilemma:

I LOVE my life in Los Angeles. The weather, my friends, my boyfriend, and CALIFORNIA--in general--are all unbeatable! That said, I'm only luke-warm about UCLA Law. While I did REALLY like the fact that the students were more laid-back (the faculty too) and I LOVE that they have the Williams Institute...it just doesn't have the same kind of clerkship record as Michigan--or Michigan's impressive past. What would you do and why? :( 8)
W/L @:Columbia (fingers crossed)
In and Considering:UCLA and Michigan
Broke it Off with: Duke, Gtown, USC, GWU...(the list goes on...there's only one of me and not enough to go around)

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=ilippe3515

EEtoJD

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2007, 07:13:45 PM »
The students at Michigan seemed pretty laid back also. Plus, they are in different leagues. What do you want to do? If you're set on a clerkship, it's not even close. Also, it's not necessarily about their impressive past, but the fact that they are still ranked very highly by lawyers and judges.

However, if prestige and placement at top jobs/clerkships/academia isn't as important to you as location and QoL, you might consider UCLA.
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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EEtoJD

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 07:29:38 PM »
Los Angeles aint going anywhere.  Unless there's a massive earthquake.  And in that case, you'll be glad you weren't there.

Come to Michigan for 3 years, learn to enjoy the 4 seasons, and head back to LA when you're done.

Yeah, there are four, but they're not weighed equally.

Length of seasons in Ann Arbor = (5/12)Winter + (1/12)Spring + (3/12)Summer + (3/12)Fall

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Arbor#Climate

But it doesn't matter. Come to Michigan. We're awesome.

I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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EEtoJD

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2007, 07:30:06 PM »
I'm from socal too, and going to michigan, and scared shitless of the winter.  so come be scared with me, b/c the boys are right.  LA will still be there in three years and you will have had a different experience under your belt.  I am dying to be in DC, but I can wait 27 mos.  I've met a lot of the students going to UM and we are going to have an AMAZING class.

TITMFCR.
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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lawschool09

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 02:47:10 PM »
My $.02-

I'm a current 1L at UCLA.  I was deciding between UCLA, Michigan, and Penn...so I was somewhat in a similar position last year.  If you intend to practice in LA, then you can't go wrong with either school.  For some reason, Michigan has a better track record in LA than most of the T14 schools and I have a few friends who went to UMich and are practicing here now.  However, I do think that it is much easier to network in Los Angeles from UCLA- the firms come right to the law school and there are multiple firm events each week.  So, if you're looking for the great firm job in LA then as long as you get above a 3.0 or 3.3 at UCLA then you really have nothing to worry about.  It is also much easier as a UCLA student to go to the LA firms and feel out which firms you personally like during the year.  If you go to Michigan and you want to practice in LA, you'll most likely be rushed to do this during random weekends.  Also, if you want a gay UCLA alumni mentor who is currently at a big firm, career services can do that for you.   

As for clerkships, you're right that Mich has better placement.  This was definitely a concern of mine too because I'm considering academia in the future.  But, placement really doesnt matter very much if the professors at the law school are not accessible and you can't get good recommendations.  Our new Dean is also really big on improving the clerkship placement.  One of the things that I love about UCLA is that I have had 8 different professors and I have not disliked one of them.  Each professor knows me on a personal basis and most importantly genuinely cares about my interests and what I want to do.  I went to an Ivy undergrad and really the name means *&^% if you don't have professors who are willing to go to bat for you.  The number one factor that influenced my decision to go to UCLA was the accessibility of the faculty.  Although our research assistant program is somewhat competitive, if you can be one then its a great way to get to know a professor- I'll be doing this during the summer. 

I'm gay, at UCLA law, and I don't really think that there is a better place to be a gay law student (although I hear that Yale has tons...hehe).  We have the sexual orientation moot court, the sexual orientation journal, Outlaw, all of the programming during the year from the Williams Institute, tons of queer students, and most of the professors that I have had have integrate current queer and feminist issues into their syllabi.  An overwhelming majority of the professors are extremely liberal and are pretty much outspoken about that when they teach (which I love).  The gays here are not catty at all and are extremely motivated and friendly.  I've had multiple queer 2Ls and 3Ls who have been great student mentors. 

And, I'm not even going to lie, the weather is amazing in Los Angeles and the last thing that you are going to want during your 1L year is mountain climb to class in the snow.  I had that for four years in Boston during undergrad and it just sucked. 

I think that the greatest thing about UCLA law is that I haven't met a student who hates the school.  The people are not competitive, are extremely smart, laid back, supportive, and enjoy being there.  I expected to hate law school because I wasnt fond of my undergrad experience.  I'm sure that you will meet a lot of students who like UMich and you will probably hear this from tons of people trying to persuade you into going to a particular school, but I think that there is something particular about UCLA that makes it a warmer environment than other law schools. 

Although, Michigan has an impressive past, I think will have an impressive future.  It is the youngest law school out of the top 20 national schools, and I have no doubt that the law school is going to do nothing but improve.

Anyways, I'm not sure if you have met with any current students at UCLA, but I would be happy to answer any more questions that you have. 







 

EEtoJD

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 03:29:09 PM »
However, I do think that it is much easier to network in Los Angeles from UCLA- the firms come right to the law school and there are multiple firm events each week.

Pretty much every firm does OCI at Michigan. There aren't multiple firm events each week, though...

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placement really doesnt matter very much if the professors at the law school are not accessible and you can't get good recommendations.

I hope you're not suggesting that the professors at Michigan aren't accessible. They are probably the most accessible out of all the T14 (and beyond) because they rarely consult or have side jobs. From my understanding (we'll see if it holds true when I get there), they are very accessible.

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Our new Dean is also really big on improving the clerkship placement.

That's great, but those things take time. There's not much he can do to change a judge's mind. There's just no denying that Michigan beats UCLA. However, it's by a pretty narrow margin. Take this site with a grain of salt, but take a look anyway:

http://lawclerkaddict.blogspot.com/

If you want the true numbers, contact each school. They'll give them to you.

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I'm gay, at UCLA law, and I don't really think that there is a better place to be a gay law student (although I hear that Yale has tons...hehe).  We have the sexual orientation moot court, the sexual orientation journal, Outlaw, all of the programming during the year from the Williams Institute, tons of queer students, and most of the professors that I have had have integrate current queer and feminist issues into their syllabi.

Hopefully someone else from Mich will chime in here, but Mich has lots of this stuff and tons of gay students and organizations. It sounds like you might have them beat, though.

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An overwhelming majority of the professors are extremely liberal and are pretty much outspoken about that when they teach (which I love).  The gays here are not catty at all and are extremely motivated and friendly.  I've had multiple queer 2Ls and 3Ls who have been great student mentors.

I'm of the opinion that you should be seeking out views that are different from your own in law school. I think you should be involved in this stuff, but you're describing a pretty insular experience.   

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And, I'm not even going to lie, the weather is amazing in Los Angeles and the last thing that you are going to want during your 1L year is mountain climb to class in the snow.  I had that for four years in Boston during undergrad and it just sucked.

Point: UCLA. :) 

Quote
I think that the greatest thing about UCLA law is that I haven't met a student who hates the school.  The people are not competitive, are extremely smart, laid back, supportive, and enjoy being there.  I expected to hate law school because I wasnt fond of my undergrad experience.  I'm sure that you will meet a lot of students who like UMich and you will probably hear this from tons of people trying to persuade you into going to a particular school, but I think that there is something particular about UCLA that makes it a warmer environment than other law schools.

I don't know how people can make these claims unless they've attended multiple law schools. All you can really say is that UCLA is a certain way. I hear Michigan is the same way. 

Quote
Although, Michigan has an impressive past, I think will have an impressive future.  It is the youngest law school out of the top 20 national schools, and I have no doubt that the law school is going to do nothing but improve.

Within the next three years? UCLA is a great school and I'm sure you'll have an impressive future, but why do you think so? (I'm curious.) I can tell you that Michigan does great at recruiting the best new talent in professors. Again, just look at the numbers. They have more young (i.e., tenure-track but not tenured) faculty from Yale and Harvard than any other school (six from Yale, four from Harvard, see http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2006job_teaching.shtml)
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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LBJFan

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 04:37:38 PM »
3L @ UCLA

I dont hate it. Dont love it either.

Passed on Penn for UCLA, cant say I regret it totally. I got an excellent education.

One thing I wanted to point out though is there IS something to be said for being close to friends, family or boyfriends. SURE you'll make friends at law school but (being from Cleveland) it sucks a lot to be thousands of miles away from people you know and love.

That being said, 2 of my professors from first year are leaving UCLA for better deals. One of them is a nationally respected big shot in real estate and property law (plus he was one of the top paid professors at all of UCLA) and hes leaving for PEPPERDINE. smh...While ucla has a ton of great professors, Im afraid certain budgetary contraints may continue to keep the fees skyrocketing and you never know who will bolt for better money.

I am also admittedly bitter that when I first started looking at UCLA in 2001 (didnt actually go until 2004) it was 11K. Six years later and incoming students are looking at 28K+ next year. 150% increase in 6 years? = me being bitter. I passed on Penn primarily for financial reasons and those reasons are not as reasonable now.

**Shrug**

Like I always say at the end of these type of posts...go where you'll be happiest. Extraneous things (such as family, weather, environment, random roomates etc) CAN and often WILL affect your performance no matter how much you think it wont.

lawschool09

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 05:12:09 PM »
Hold up!

I think that UMich is an excellent school and it's great to see that you are so enthusiastic about it!  I'm sure that you'll enjoy it!  I did not turn down UMich because I disliked the school or because I thought that the educational opportunities were lacking.  I simply liked UCLA way more and I have no regrets about my decision.  I chose UCLA because I knew that I would be happiest here and could perform better where the atmosphere is laid back, the people are chill yet still smart, and where I was out of the cold.  At the end of the day, mere percentages about the school don't matter if you are going to a school where you personally cannot perform.  You are not getting a clerkship with straight Bs from UCLA or UMich.  It sounds like you personally felt like you could perform best at UMich, which is amazing!  Many people aren't so fortunate to feel so strongly about a school before attending. 

Of course every firm does OCI at Michigan, but that wasn't my point.  If you go to either Mich or UCLA, you will have no problem getting a job if you are above a 3.0.  For the most competitive firms, you need over a 3.6 or so.  You're job prospects are great from either school and you can make $160K walking right out if you choose to do so.  However, if you attend UCLA, you have a geographic advantage both in terms of regional favoritism and the fact that you have the opportunity to visit the LA offices, speak with the lawyers, and you don't have to be rushed b/c you have to fly back to school at the end of the weekend. 

My law school experience is also far from insular- i'm part of many different communities at the law school.  HOWEVER, I did choose UCLA because I want to produce queer scholarship and work in GLBT legal organizations when I'm done with firm life- so "queerness" is not a random viewpoint that I want to be exposed to but actually is strongly connected to my career aspirations.  But, as a student, it is also important for me to be part of a strong queer community at law school.  If this isn't your priority and you would find this insular, thats your preference, but that may not be the case for other potential law students.

Also, I obviously haven't attended multiple law schools but I do have friends who are alums and are currently attending many law schools (including UMich) so my comments are not being pulled from my ass.   :P

This is my last post on this thread- good luck at law school next year!

EEtoJD

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 07:44:00 PM »
Hold up!

Wait a minute... :P

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I did not turn down UMich because I disliked the school or because I thought that the educational opportunities were lacking.

Who said you did?

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I simply liked UCLA way more and I have no regrets about my decision.  I chose UCLA because I knew that I would be happiest here and could perform better where the atmosphere is laid back, the people are chill yet still smart,

Again, are you suggesting that the atmosphere isn't laid back and that the people aren't chill yet still smart at Michigan? Since your decision was between Michigan and UCLA (and Penn), and you make it sound like this was a deciding factor, then that's what it sounds like. I am pretty certain that the students are the same way at Michigan.

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and where I was out of the cold.
 

Again, granted. But using weather as the deciding factor is a mistake. You can tough it out for three years if you like the school enough. In your case, you clearly liked UCLA, so you made the right decision. It's a very personal decision in the end.

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At the end of the day, mere percentages about the school don't matter if you are going to a school where you personally cannot perform.  You are not getting a clerkship with straight Bs from UCLA or UMich.  It sounds like you personally felt like you could perform best at UMich, which is amazing!  Many people aren't so fortunate to feel so strongly about a school before attending.

I agree with all of the above (except for my performance -- I have no idea how I'll do, except my best. This is an important point -- no one does.)

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Of course every firm does OCI at Michigan, but that wasn't my point.  If you go to either Mich or UCLA, you will have no problem getting a job if you are above a 3.0.  For the most competitive firms, you need over a 3.6 or so.

Not true. I've heard of many examples where people with lower grades but with great interviewing skills, good backgrounds, or whatever, got "top" (V25) jobs from Michigan. It's because they don't allow prescreening. Does UCLA, BTW?

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You're job prospects are great from either school and you can make $160K walking right out if you choose to do so.  However, if you attend UCLA, you have a geographic advantage both in terms of regional favoritism and the fact that you have the opportunity to visit the LA offices, speak with the lawyers, and you don't have to be rushed b/c you have to fly back to school at the end of the weekend.

If OP wants to practice in LA, then UCLA certainly has a regional advantage. Some of this is self-selection, though. I'm not sure I agree with your "visit the firm" mentality, though. Exactly what will that show you? They're not gonna let you hang around while you watch the typical day of a lawyer, are they? You can look at their offices, but that's superficial. Also, do they just let you walk in and chat with their lawyers? "Hi, I'm a 1L at UCLA, and I was wondering if you could tell me about your firm and your job? Go ahead and speak candidly, I'm sure the firm won't mind..."

I'm not disagreeing that UCLA provides a regional advantage in LA. But you won't have much trouble getting an LA job from Michigan, either. 

Quote
My law school experience is also far from insular- i'm part of many different communities at the law school.  HOWEVER, I did choose UCLA because I want to produce queer scholarship and work in GLBT legal organizations when I'm done with firm life- so "queerness" is not a random viewpoint that I want to be exposed to but actually is strongly connected to my career aspirations.  But, as a student, it is also important for me to be part of a strong queer community at law school.  If this isn't your priority and you would find this insular, thats your preference, but that may not be the case for other potential law students.

That's fine. But you were making it sound like you were pursuing a singular experience, one which I personally disagree with. Just my opinion.

Quote
Also, I obviously haven't attended multiple law schools but I do have friends who are alums and are currently attending many law schools (including UMich) so my comments are not being pulled from my ass.   :P

This is my last post on this thread- good luck at law school next year!

Do your friends who attend Michigan say that it's not supportive, not "laid back", and that they don't enjoy being there? If you'll grace the thread with one last post, I'd really like to know these things.

There's one important question that no one has asked the (absent?) OP: Have you visited both schools? You have visit both (esp. Michigan for you) before you make your decision. If you haven't visited, I'll bet that this will help greatly.
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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LetsGetEm

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Re: Michigan versus UCLA???
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 12:46:33 PM »
My $.02-

I'm a current 1L at UCLA.  I was deciding between UCLA, Michigan, and Penn...so I was somewhat in a similar position last year.  If you intend to practice in LA, then you can't go wrong with either school.  For some reason, Michigan has a better track record in LA than most of the T14 schools and I have a few friends who went to UMich and are practicing here now.  However, I do think that it is much easier to network in Los Angeles from UCLA- the firms come right to the law school and there are multiple firm events each week.  So, if you're looking for the great firm job in LA then as long as you get above a 3.0 or 3.3 at UCLA then you really have nothing to worry about.  It is also much easier as a UCLA student to go to the LA firms and feel out which firms you personally like during the year.  If you go to Michigan and you want to practice in LA, you'll most likely be rushed to do this during random weekends.  Also, if you want a gay UCLA alumni mentor who is currently at a big firm, career services can do that for you.   

As for clerkships, you're right that Mich has better placement.  This was definitely a concern of mine too because I'm considering academia in the future.  But, placement really doesnt matter very much if the professors at the law school are not accessible and you can't get good recommendations.  Our new Dean is also really big on improving the clerkship placement.  One of the things that I love about UCLA is that I have had 8 different professors and I have not disliked one of them.  Each professor knows me on a personal basis and most importantly genuinely cares about my interests and what I want to do.  I went to an Ivy undergrad and really the name means sh*t if you don't have professors who are willing to go to bat for you.  The number one factor that influenced my decision to go to UCLA was the accessibility of the faculty.  Although our research assistant program is somewhat competitive, if you can be one then its a great way to get to know a professor- I'll be doing this during the summer. 

I'm gay, at UCLA law, and I don't really think that there is a better place to be a gay law student (although I hear that Yale has tons...hehe).  We have the sexual orientation moot court, the sexual orientation journal, Outlaw, all of the programming during the year from the Williams Institute, tons of queer students, and most of the professors that I have had have integrate current queer and feminist issues into their syllabi.  An overwhelming majority of the professors are extremely liberal and are pretty much outspoken about that when they teach (which I love).  The gays here are not catty at all and are extremely motivated and friendly.  I've had multiple queer 2Ls and 3Ls who have been great student mentors. 

And, I'm not even going to lie, the weather is amazing in Los Angeles and the last thing that you are going to want during your 1L year is mountain climb to class in the snow.  I had that for four years in Boston during undergrad and it just sucked. 

I think that the greatest thing about UCLA law is that I haven't met a student who hates the school.  The people are not competitive, are extremely smart, laid back, supportive, and enjoy being there.  I expected to hate law school because I wasnt fond of my undergrad experience.  I'm sure that you will meet a lot of students who like UMich and you will probably hear this from tons of people trying to persuade you into going to a particular school, but I think that there is something particular about UCLA that makes it a warmer environment than other law schools. 

Although, Michigan has an impressive past, I think will have an impressive future.  It is the youngest law school out of the top 20 national schools, and I have no doubt that the law school is going to do nothing but improve.

Anyways, I'm not sure if you have met with any current students at UCLA, but I would be happy to answer any more questions that you have. 







 

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR THAT! I'd love to talk with you about this (especially since we're relatively close in geographical location--given I go to UCLA undergrad right now)
W/L @:Columbia (fingers crossed)
In and Considering:UCLA and Michigan
Broke it Off with: Duke, Gtown, USC, GWU...(the list goes on...there's only one of me and not enough to go around)

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=ilippe3515