Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

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Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Michigan (sticker)
135
49%
Vanderbilt (half tuition)
143
51%
 
Total votes: 278

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holydonkey
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Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby holydonkey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:50 am

Since Vandy seems to have given out crazy money this year, it seems like a lot of folks are trying to make this decision (myself included). And since there doesn't seem to be a thread this year on this specific topic (just vandy$$ v. michigan), I thought I'd make one.

Michigan is the stronger school, but Vandy seems to be thriving in a crappy economy (only school to increase number of grads placed in NLJ250 and overall employment stats are strong). Michigan places better in clerkships, academia, and biglaw, but it's not a huge difference. Does half tuition at Vandy (70k) beat full sticker at Michigan (140k)?

This is meant to be a general comparison, but if you need more details for a decision, for me:
-Would like to work in the DC market
-Do not want to work in NYC or Boston
-Job and debt is primary concern, but might be interested in academia later in life
Last edited by holydonkey on Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby doinmybest » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:56 am

I am in a similar postion. I hope someone can help us make an informed decision.

shanejamin
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby shanejamin » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:59 am

I am too, only replace Vandy with Texas. All of the Vandy/Texas fighting on TLS notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure they're roughly equal.

vyelps
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby vyelps » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:14 am

I was in the exact same position last year and chose to go to Michigan. I have NOT regretted that decision since. The way I look at it is this- if you are at the median, what school offers the better post-law school opportunities? I can tell you that in every instance the answer is Michigan. I love everything about Vandy. The only problem was that Michigan is the better law school and has a better national reach. Vandy will most likely give you the same quality education that I am receiving here (honestly, in terms of legal education, I dont think there is much difference in the top 15-20 schools.) Regardless, employers value the Michigan brand. Moreover, if you are interested in academia, working in California or Chicago, or clerkships, Michigan is the way to go. If working in DC is your primary objective, I don't think Vandy is at all a disadvantage.

Overall, they are both great schools. I just think Michigan offers more opportunities for those at the median or above than does Vanderbilt. (Also, I'm heavily biased).

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cardinalandgold
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby cardinalandgold » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:31 am

I am facing this decision as well (it seems a lot of us this cycle are!). As of now, I am leaning towards Michigan, mainly because I am looking to maximize my chances at BigLaw. My only hesitation is the potential debt at full sticker, especially in light of Vandy's generous offer and slightly lower BigLaw placement. Definitely a scary proposition ITE, and a difficult choice to make!

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bfinlayson
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby bfinlayson » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:36 am

I'm in the same boat.... I need some reassurance that Michigan is the right choice, because the thought of that much debt makes me reach for the nearest paper bag. :shock:

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:37 am

I'm have trouble seeing how people are really voting Michigan over Vanderbilt.

The schools, for the class of 2009, were interchangeable for Big Law possibilities.

It's commonly thrown around on these threads that IL, NY, and CA markets were hit worse than GA.

It wouldn't be surprising if Vanderbilt> Michigan for big law for the classes of 2010/2011.

I really don't understand.

I assume people perceive that there is a difference because one is "ranked higher."

OP, visit both - but Vanderbilt seems to be the logical choice here. There is no need to go another $60,000+ (tuition difference) in debt for no proven additional chances.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:39 am

OP, when were you accepted to UMich? THey may still send you a scholly if it was within the past three weeks. I have the same Vandy Scholly but 45K at UMich.

mr.undroppable
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby mr.undroppable » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:53 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:It wouldn't be surprising if Vanderbilt> Michigan for big law for the classes of 2010/2011.


Nothing beats wild speculation. A large portion of the people at Michigan could have gotten money at Vandy and choose not to go (just like how people turn down money at Michigan to go to CCN, I am not trolling for Michigan). Realize there is a wide range of quality between biglaw firms and people do not generally lateral up unless they are bringing something unique to the table. How many Vandy grads are at Cravath? Sullivan Cromwell? Davis Polk? etc. I realize the same could be said comparing Michigan to Columbia or NYU, I am just making a point that a job is not necessarily the best job depending on what you want to do with your career and just looking at an aggregate percentage of how many people go into biglaw really doesn't even begin to tell you the whole story about what your options will be.

That said, you should visit both and go to whichever school you feel like you could dominate. Being at the top of your class at either school is going to be necessary if you are shooting for any of the competitive firms/clerkships/DOJ spots. Definitely a personal choice and you should absolutely try to leverage the $ at Vandy to get some from Michigan.

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Bronte
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby Bronte » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:03 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I'm have trouble seeing how people are really voting Michigan over Vanderbilt. The schools, for the class of 2009, were interchangeable for Big Law possibilities. It's commonly thrown around on these threads that IL, NY, and CA markets were hit worse than GA. It wouldn't be surprising if Vanderbilt> Michigan for big law for the classes of 2010/2011.

I really don't understand. I assume people perceive that there is a difference because one is "ranked higher." OP, visit both - but Vanderbilt seems to be the logical choice here. There is no need to go another $60,000+ (tuition difference) in debt for no proven additional chances.


FTFY dude, c'mon.

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby holydonkey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:45 pm

Sauer Grapes wrote:OP, when were you accepted to UMich? THey may still send you a scholly if it was within the past three weeks. I have the same Vandy Scholly but 45K at UMich.


Just about 3 weeks exactly. Boy, would that help Michigan in this equation.

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UFMatt
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby UFMatt » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:52 pm

Without a scholarship, I think that you would be crazy to attend Michigan, especially in this economy.

Vanderbilt places extremely well and offers just as much, if not more, lay prestige than Michigan. If DC is your target, then Vanderbilt would be a good choice. If academia is a goal, Michigan won't give you much of a boost. Just look at recent new faculty hires. After Yale and Harvard, the number plummets to 2 or 3 from the other T20 schools.

If Michigan throws $45k your way, then everything changes of course.

irishman86
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby irishman86 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:55 pm

Most people who go to Michigan (or pretty much any other Top 10) could have gotten a half a scholarship at Vanderbilt, so I presume most who have the numbers would choose the top 10 school. A Vandy 2L said that this most recent OCI, Vandy was hit really hard (and it wasn't reflected in the statistics recently released since those stats were from OCI 2007), but nobody knows what the stats are. I didn't even apply to non top 14 schools because I want mobility, so you know my choice.

irishman86
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby irishman86 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:58 pm

UFMatt wrote: If academia is a goal, Michigan won't give you much of a boost. Just look at recent new faculty hires. After Yale and Harvard, the number plummets to 2 or 3 from the other T20 schools.



http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/2 ... eport.html

Michigan and Boalt were tied for 3rd (after Harvard and Yale) in academia placement, with 11 new hires for the year of 2009. I'm pretty sure Vanderbilt placed 0 people. It's not a huge advantage since you still need top notch grades, but your "information" is wrong.

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby holydonkey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:03 pm

Sauer Grapes wrote:OP, when were you accepted to UMich? THey may still send you a scholly if it was within the past three weeks. I have the same Vandy Scholly but 45K at UMich.


Hey Sauer or anyone else that got money at Michigan, in your mail and money section did your scholarship mailing appear in the mailing list or did you just get it in the mail/email? Don't think I'll get anything, but it'd be great to know what to look for.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby thickfreakness » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:11 pm

If getting a job and minimizing debt are you primary concerns, then I think Vanderbilt is a very attractive choice. Breaking into the DC market is tough, and I think you'd be better served to gun for that market with 70k less debt. Also, since your preferred back up markets are ATL or California, you'd be well served at Vanderbilt, which has excellent placement in Atlanta and decent portability to California. Michigan's placement is definitely stronger in CA and probably DC too, but I'm not sure if the odds of getting a better DC job from Michigan over Vanderbilt are good enough to justify the extra debt.

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jonas
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby jonas » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:32 pm

-Would like to work in the DC market
[...]
-Job and debt is primary concern, but might be interested in academia later in life

For these two reasons, Michigan.

Its connections to DC are deep and strong. You'll want those connections when you're trying to break in to the DC market.

Michigan's track record in producing law professors is also much stronger than Vanderbilt's.

You might want to consider clerkship placement stats, too, particularly if you're interested in teaching someday. Michigan does a significantly better job placing its graduates in federal clerkships.

I can post links for all these claims, but you also shouldn't have much trouble verifying them with Google.

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby holydonkey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:23 pm

jonas wrote:
Would like to work in the DC market...

For these two reasons, Michigan. Its connections to DC are deep and strong. You'll want those connections when you're trying to break in to the DC market....I can post links for all these claims, but you also shouldn't have much trouble verifying them with Google.

I know the stats for the rest of your points and agree, but is Michigan really that much stronger in the DC market? Both Vandy and Michigan seem to place about 10% of their class in DC, although Michigan's class size is twice as big. I prefer Vandy's other markets (Atlanta, secondary markets) to Michigan's (NYC, Chicago, California), but if Michigan is really much stronger than Vandy in DC, that's pretty important.

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jonas
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby jonas » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:36 pm

It's not just the percentage of grads each school places in DC; it's the type of jobs those grads find. Check out the rosters of elite DC firms like Williams & Connolly, WilmerHale, Jenner & Block, Arnold & Porter, Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russel, etc., and you'll find that Michigan is better represented than Vanderbilt.

I'm pretty sure the same is true for elite government and nonprofit jobs in DC, although that's harder to verify.

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jcunni5
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby jcunni5 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:48 pm

Go michigan vandy did well for 2009 but for 2010 and 2011 i think michigan's placement will own vandy's and all non-t14's plus don't most of vandy's big law offers come from NYC where the OP doesnt want to work? on the other vandy does have great placement in the south if you want atlanta

i just feel like once you factor in COL half tuition is not that great of a deal from vandy

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby beesknees » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:01 pm

.
Last edited by beesknees on Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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roxj
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby roxj » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:07 am

I'm facing this same choice too, with schollys of 72k from Vandy and 30k from Mich. With this money from Mich, should I be considering Vandy at all? I know 30k doesn't break the bank but room and board at Mich is only 10,800.

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby beesknees » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:14 am

/
Last edited by beesknees on Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

jnorsky
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby jnorsky » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:07 am

visit michigan before you make the decision, its really freaking nice. You feel prestigious just standing in the quad.

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby holydonkey » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:11 am

jnorsky wrote:visit michigan before you make the decision, its really freaking nice. You feel prestigious just standing in the quad.


Sure this is true, and will be visiting next weekend, but not a huge factor in my decision making process. I'll be in a law school for 3 years, I need a job for the rest of my life (even if lottery win). In order of importance I rank prestige and campus pretty low if taken on their own and not as a part of another factor.

1. Job (firm or government, at which my position description is that of a lawyer) - 35%
2. Income of said job - 15%
3. Debt coming out - 15%
4. Ability of wife to get a job while I'm in school - 15%
5. Location of job - 8%
6. Stress in law school - 4%
7. Faculty - 3%
8. Student body - 2%
9. Chance at teaching - 2%
10. Location of law school - .7%
11. Some sense of "prestige" having attended that school - .3%

I'm willing to be somewhat of a prestige whore and say prestige will figure into my decision at about .3%




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