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Author Topic: Why Michigan?  (Read 1500 times)

chastened aspirations

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Why Michigan?
« on: April 19, 2007, 02:24:52 PM »
For those of you who have decided on Michigan, what was your deciding factor? Putting aside the weather, location and football team, what aspects of Michigan's law school stand out from the UPenns, Virginias and Berkeleys of the world?

'tiki

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 02:34:23 PM »
I visited all four of those schools and ended up choosing Penn. I'd rank the four of them based on my experiences while visiting in the following order.

1. Penn
1.5. Mich
2. Boalt
3. UVA

I think Michigan really provides a very friendly environment, has great (if not amazing) opportunities, and is very student oriented. I also thought that of all my school visits Michigan had by far the most accesible faculty that really cared about students.

That said, I will do my little Penn promo and say that Penn has an equally as friendly/collegial environment, a very tight knit community but within a real city with much more going on around it.

So yea between all those schools it comes down to personal preference, any specifics?

flyaway

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 02:55:18 PM »
Off the top of my head, why Michigan?

- Had a lot of really great interactions at the ASW with faculty and current students
- Love the architectural beauty of the school
- Love that the university has so much to offer (though all of the schools you mentioned have lots of highly ranked departments)
- Good emphasis on international law, with more programs being added
- Extremely strong and loyal alumni base
- Confident that I will have a great academic experience

In short, Michigan has absolutely everything I could ask for in a law school.  When it comes down to such strong and similarly ranked schools as Penn/Mich/Boalt/Virginia, it's like choosing an ice cream flavor.  There's no real argument that's going to be able to win it for someone else.  If I want chocolate, you can't convince me to have strawberry instead.  Maybe I tried some of the strawberry, and it's delicious too, but it's just not going to be my favorite.

Michigan Law Class of 2010

chastened aspirations

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 02:58:07 PM »
Well, from albeit limited information, it seems to me that the other schools to which I'm applying each stand out from the rest in at least one particular way. For instance, UPenn is known for its cross-disciplinary program (allows students to count up to four classes at Wharton towards one's law degree), Chicago offers top clerkship placement opportunities as well as a Law and Economics perspective, NYU and Columbia are great for NYC Biglaw placement, Virginia has solid appellate clinical programs and is known for its more laid-back atmosphere, etc.

Is there any specific area in which Michigan outshines the others, particularly with regard to academics and/or career opportunities?

flyaway

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 03:03:36 PM »
I think Michigan has an extremely strong interdisciplinary focus as well, with many very highly ranked departments at the university.  It also tends to have students go all over rather than to one particular city or region, so I think it's a very versatile place to go, in terms of placement.  Michigan has a great reputation in legal markets all over the country.  It's also got a very "collegial" environment, in terms of the student body and even staff interactions.
Michigan Law Class of 2010

Jolie Was Here

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 03:08:40 PM »
Michigan is also interdisciplinary in another important sense: our faculty has (IIRC) more cross-appointments than at any other top school.  They all seem to have advanced degrees in other fields beyond the law, including econ, philosophy, classics, Chinese literature, women's studies, and on and on.   
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

EEtoJD

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 03:20:07 PM »
A bunch of reasons, but my deciding factors were:

1) Clerkship/academia placement. Better than every place I got into (also better than all the schools OP listed... but not CLS and Chicago).
2) Ease of financial aid. The only school that makes it easy to show you're independent if you're under 30.
3) Collegial atmosphere.
4) Reputation.
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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nowitzski

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 05:29:31 PM »
Other random things:

1. legal writing is taught by actual professors.
2. One of the best international law libraries in the world (people from other countries come to study their own laws at UMich)
3. Center for Refugee and Asylum law - really awesome program
4. Self contained law quad, university feel (as opposed to schools in the city)
5. Huge 5 billion dollar endowment and huge alumni base (although each of these others has this as well)
6. First major school to admit a woman, second to graduate an African American. - strong tradition
7. Consistantly great school for over 100 years. 
8. Reputation for congeniality (it's not going to be like The Paper Chase)
9. While we've lost academic talent to other schools, we always recruit the very best young scholars, which I think adds to the quality of interaction and the energy at the school. 

LeavingNewYork

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 07:33:21 PM »
Tagged because I've been unable to sleep this month while trying to decide between Michigan, Penn, and UVA... :-\

Keep up the Michigan boosting, please!
Empire State (Attending): MICHIGAN 2010!! Go Blue!

Funky Cold Hrdina

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Re: Why Michigan?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 04:40:19 AM »
Is this a cheap attempt to get your already decided peers to write your Why Mich essay for you? If so, I'd say you've done one hell of a job. Way to be forward thinking  ;)