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

Postby holydonkey » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:37 am

So something else to think about in terms of the cost. I just ran $140,000 versus $70,000 in the finaid.com loan repayment calculator as, at least in my situation, I probably won't need to take out COL loans. Finaid says the $140k loan will work out to be $192,335.20 if paid at $1,611.12 a month over 10 years. The $70k loan can be paid back at pretty much the same rate, $1,669.75 a month, in 4 years for a total of $80,147.97. So Michigan would cost $112,000 more in the long run and require a longer repayment schedule.

Of course, having a job with more debt > have no job/low paying job with less debt. So this doesn't answer the question, just something else to consider.

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

Postby Sauer Grapes » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:39 am

holydonkey wrote:
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%

That list is freakishly close to what my list would be. The only thing is that I have an advantage when it comes to a certain type of job, so I'm a little less stressed about the job market since I have a fall back if necessary.

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

Postby holydonkey » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:38 pm

Not sure if this has been posted somewhere else on TLS (probably), but I just found it and am finding it pretty useful when comparing schools. The data is a little dated, 2008-2009, but it basically gives you a list of all the major firms, info about them, and which schools they hired from. So if you're leaning one way or another and have specific firms in mind, this might better help you see if you have a chance at them from a T18 or regional school or if you had better go to a T13. If you've got a shot from Vandy/Texas/UCLA, why pass up the cash? If don't have a shot, maybe it's worth paying sticker.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/law/2008-09_ ... _Guide.pdf

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

Postby holydonkey » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:05 pm

more info on 2010 Vandy 2L hiring from old thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=81274

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parker09
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby parker09 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:52 am

Hey, holydonkey, where are you leaning now? I know it's been a few days since this thread was last updated - any updates in your thought process?

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

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:35 am

parker09 wrote:Hey, holydonkey, where are you leaning now? I know it's been a few days since this thread was last updated - any updates in your thought process?

Ugh. Good question. On the bright side, I really think I have narrowed it down to Michigan v. Vanderbilt. Before I was considering some other options as well (GW,Notre Dame,WUSTL,Emory,Cornell,etc), but now I'm 100% certain this is my choice.

Since posting I have had the chance to visit Michigan for the ASW, but I haven't been to Vanderbilt yet. I'm going to Vandy's day/weekend a week from Thursday and my thoughts might change after visiting.

Visiting Michigan made me appreciate the school a lot more. It really seems like there are a ton of resources and a great alumni network. The economy also seemed less dire - every 3L or graduate I talked to had decent to amazing jobs (even when they were at/below median). Thankfully, I had the opportunity to run into a few non-ASW weekend students on the street and ask questions as well. Their answers were a little less filtered, but even a grad I found that had been deferred a year seemed happy with his choice and will be starting at a good firm in Chicago this spring. And I talked to 6 or 7 1Ls at the dinners each night, and most of them seemed to have found firm employment even for 1L summer! Of course, it seemed like many of the students at Michigan had a ton of connections outside the school as well (relatives/previous jobs in law). My family is kind of blue collar so not sure I would have the same options here.

On the whole, the other prospective students at Michigan were interesting and fun to talk to. I was a little bit worried at first because the first two admits I met at the weekend were total, um, mean descriptive words. Thankfully, after this somewhat negative start, every other person I met was great. Everyone was so smart - very intimidating (in a good way).

On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of Ann Arbor. Don't get me wrong, I like the people (so nice) and there seems like there's a lot to do there, I just don't really like college towns/the climate. I'm also still concerned about my wife finding a job. People were very honest about finding a job in Michigan and the outlook is not so hot. She may be interested in doing a grad program she really likes if we go though, so this may still work in another way if the job doesn't work out (of course this means more debt, but a happy wife - and I'd always choose a happy wife in this scenario :D )

The debt still boggles my mind. I really can't comprehend it. We'd like to have a kid in 3 or 4 years (we're both between 27-29) and it scares me to think about doing this with 150k in debt. And again, if you can get the same job from Vandy, should you take out 80-90k more in loans to go to Michigan?

Right now I'm just making pro and con lists in my head over and over.

I'm hoping the choice will be clear one way or another after visiting Vanderbilt. Of course, any thoughts/suggestions/advice from anyone is still welcome as well.
Last edited by holydonkey on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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parker09
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby parker09 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:15 am

holydonkey wrote: And again, if you can get the same job from Vandy, why take out 80-90k more in loans to go to Michigan?


Haha, I agree there... except the question is, CAN you get the same job from Vandy?

I wish I could help you with solid info, but I won't be able to visit any schools... so hearing about Mich from you is of great use to me. I've made lists and spreadsheets and pretty much still waver every day between these two (and a couple other places, so at least you've narrowed your list down!).

Anyway - thanks for the thorough response! Let us (me) know how the Vandy visit goes :) and hope that it's useful for you!

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

Postby cardinalandgold » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:23 am

I am facing the same exact situation as you, holydonkey, and have also narrowed it down to Michigan or Vandy. Me and the fiancee will be visiting Michigan on Friday, and then I will be heading to Vandy's ASW the next week (hope to see you there!). I am also hoping that after visiting both schools I'll know which school is the better fit for me.

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

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:50 am

parker09 wrote:
holydonkey wrote: And again, if you can get the same job from Vandy, why take out 80-90k more in loans to go to Michigan?

Haha, I agree there... except the question is, CAN you get the same job from Vandy?

Basically this thread (and my decision) condensed into a single sentence. :)

Good luck in your decision making process too!

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

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:52 am

cardinalandgold wrote:I am facing the same exact situation as you, holydonkey, and have also narrowed it down to Michigan or Vandy. Me and the fiancee will be visiting Michigan on Friday, and then I will be heading to Vandy's ASW the next week (hope to see you there!). I am also hoping that after visiting both schools I'll know which school is the better fit for me.

Have fun in Michigan! Hope it stays warm for you. Make sure to check out Zigerman's deli and cupcake station for some amazing food. See you in Nashville and let me know what you decide!

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

Postby beesknees » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:00 am

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Last edited by beesknees on Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby holydonkey » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:16 am

beesknees wrote:Hey Holy Donkey, just found this old thread and am in a similar pickle after visiting Michigan.

After my visit, I felt better about the debt being worth it. But the fit seemed off. Initially had a rough start with some [strike]d-bag[/strike] [insert nicer synonym] people/professor. Then after that, people were nice, friendly and down-to-earth generally (except one student I talked to about finding a balance between LS and life and not getting completely sucked into the whole law school mind-warp and forget about all other things in life that are important to you. He sincerely said something to the effect of "oh, why wouldn't you want to be brain washed?") I might have just envisoned a utopia from all of the Michigan culture hype, but the people seemed like people at any other law school (not a bad thing, just the hype made me expect something more, I guess).

But I wasn't blown away. The law quad was a lot smaller than I anticipated (again, maybe because I had built up this epic image of Michigan in my mind) And I love the south. Ann Arbor is somewhat cute, but Michigan still kind of depressed me (grey and friggin cold for most of the school year). If anything, I had trouble sleeping at night more during my visit than before.

So I'm visiting Vandy for their last ASD. Hopefully I will strongly love or hate it because that could wind up being a huge deciding factor. Could you post your impressions of Vandy after you visit next weekend? I'm curious to see what someone else thinks after visiting both.

Will do! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your visit. Sounds pretty familiar and it's great to get the perspective of someone else making this decision.

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

Postby beesknees » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:45 am

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Last edited by beesknees on Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby fortissimo » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:58 am

beesknees wrote:Ann Arbor is somewhat cute, but Michigan still kind of depressed me (grey and friggin cold for most of the school year).


:?: It was sunny from August until end of December. It didn't really snow at all before winter break near the end of December. It only legit snowed in February. Yes, it was gray during the first ASW but it's been pretty sunny since you guys left, except for today. We've had a lot of upper 50s and lower 60s so far in March.

If you have only been here once for a period of 1 day, how can you even know remotely enough to comment on the weather about what it's like during "most of the school year"?

Anyway, next weekend, during the second ASW they are holding the Ann Arbor film festival. You guys should check it out if you are in AA.
Last edited by fortissimo on Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby cardinalandgold » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:15 am

On the plane back from my visit to Michigan. Overall, I was very impressed by the school. The weather was also amazing during my visit. I will add a more detailed post about my visit once I get home (typing on the iPod touch takes forever). I can really see myself at Mich, and with the prospect of full sticker now a reality, I don't know whether to be happy or scared! :mrgreen:

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

Postby holydonkey » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:40 pm

cardinalandgold wrote:I will add a more detailed post about my visit once I get home (typing on the iPod touch takes forever).
Please do!
cardinalandgold wrote:I can really see myself at Mich, and with the prospect of full sticker now a reality, I don't know whether to be happy or scared!
Both! :) :(

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

Postby beesknees » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:44 pm

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

Postby beesknees » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:49 pm

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

Postby holydonkey » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:40 pm

So just finished up the Vanderbilt weekend and will post fuller details later, but some initial thoughts:

First the good things about Vandy. Nashville > Ann Arbor in every conceivable way. The location of the school is great. The city is beautiful and there are a ton of restaurants/music venues/parks. Everything about the law school is kind of self contained - where Michigan has the library/reading room then the lawyer's club then the other hall and the new building across the street. Everything, including the library, is in the same (big) building at Vandy. The city isn't super public transportation friendly, but you can walk most places around the school. The 1-3Ls were very friendly. The law building is very modern and I enjoyed the classes we sat in more than the classes at Michigan (but maybe that's just because I like Criminal Law and Contracts more than Constitutional Law and Torts).

Ok, so now the downside. There is a clear difference in employment prospects from Vandy unless everyone at Michigan was full of bull. Where Michigan has a number of full-time employees devoted to placing students in federal clerkships, Vandy has a professor that has a full-time teaching job who advises about clerkships on the side. He seems like he does an amazing job, but the placement stats for Article III clerkships are pretty different (much lower). And Vandy seemed to really talk up the fact that they had a new employee that was devoted to placing people in state clerkships. Not exactly the same thing as federal. Not ripping on Vandy's effort, which is obvious, just the outcome.

The international law prof everyone mentions seemed really cool and has had some success in placing people in a ton of international law orgs. I also didn't know how large the number of students specializing in transactional law was - the prof in charge of the concentration said about 40% of the total student body!

I talked to a few 3Ls that had yet to find employment. And some that had and were going to work in positions that didn't pay too hot (40-60k). Maybe I just ran into different kids at Michigan, but it didn't seem like anyone was in that boat.

Also, although Vandy's trying to develop a program to pay graduates for public interest work in the year after graduation which is great, the school doesn't have much of an LRAP compared to Michigan and doesn't seem to be developing one.

So...basically I could totally see myself happy at Vandy, but I still have a bunch of reservations. I'm kind of leaning Michigan now, but I might (and often do) change my mind.

I still have a lot to think about, but now I know I'll be going to a great school no matter the decision.

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parker09
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby parker09 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:07 pm

thanks for the initial thoughts, holydonkey! you hit a lot of important points for me (employment, clerkships, and PI/LRAP) and brought up some stuff i hadn't even thought to think about (like # of staff devoted to clerkships), so that was really useful.

vandy still sounds like a wonderfully happy place, but i have to keep reminding myself that it's only three years and that "happiness factor" should be a little lower on my list of priorities than jobs, etc...

keep me (us) updated on how your thinking's going, and of course if you think of anything else to add about your visit!

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

Postby beesknees » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:23 pm

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Go State
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Vanderbilt (half tuition)

Postby Go State » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:03 am

holydonkey wrote:Also, although Vandy's trying to develop a program to pay graduates for public interest work in the year after graduation which is great, the school doesn't have much of an LRAP compared to Michigan and doesn't seem to be developing one.


Have you checked out Michigan's LRAP program? It covers all full time law related jobs so I really don't think debt should be your primary concern with whether you want to attend Michigan or Vandy. I really don't know much about Vandy but if you want biglaw you're odds have to be better here. If you want to work at a lower paid private employer your odds still have to be better here in terms of finding precisely what you want, and that's a viable possibility with LRAP. I think this really should come down to what school you would rather be at. If you really want to be at Michigan don't let the debt stop you. Also, keep in mind an extra $70K across 10 years really isn't that big of a deal when you factor in the fact that your degree follows you around for the rest of your career.

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

Postby holydonkey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:16 am

beesknees wrote:Thanks Donkey for your post! Seems like your thoughts about Vandy's employment prospects, clerkship opportunities, etc confirmed my suspicions. I still have to wait to see Vandy for myself, but I think I'm leaning Michigan right now. Even though Nashville is cooler than Ann Arbor (I've been to Nashville before), but that's not that important compared to employment prospects.
Make sure you guys get a little more clarity on the clerkships when you go to Vandy. My picture of it may be a bit off.

Some people on the Vandy boards were claiming Article III clerkship placement at Vandy was around 14% this year. If that's true, somehow Vandy jumped from around 8% to 14% in a year, which is pretty crazy and puts them around the same percentage as Michigan (unless Michigan also went up).
observationalist wrote:Total % of the Class of 2010 with at least one Art III clerkship: 14%

This puts us above where Penn was last year for total Art III clerkships, and they typically graduate 30 or so more than Vandy does. This was also during a more competitive year. Prof (Mike) Bressman is doing an excellent job running the clerkship program and we are very glad to see he and Prof (Lisa) Bressman are staying in Nashville for the time being.
Last year Michigan placed about 14% and Vandy placed about 8% - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513 so something seems strange about these numbers unless Vandy is really just kicking butt this year. Maybe what's considered Article III varies? I think at Michigan ASW, the clerkship totals had gone up to around 20% this year, but I could be misremembering. Maybe all the top schools are placing more because fewer top kids can get firm positions. Wish this was clearer.

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

Postby holydonkey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:40 am

Go State wrote:
holydonkey wrote:Also, although Vandy's trying to develop a program to pay graduates for public interest work in the year after graduation which is great, the school doesn't have much of an LRAP compared to Michigan and doesn't seem to be developing one.
Have you checked out Michigan's LRAP program? It covers all full time law related jobs so I really don't think debt should be your primary concern with whether you want to attend Michigan or Vandy. I really don't know much about Vandy but if you want biglaw you're odds have to be better here. If you want to work at a lower paid private employer your odds still have to be better here in terms of finding precisely what you want, and that's a viable possibility with LRAP. I think this really should come down to what school you would rather be at. If you really want to be at Michigan don't let the debt stop you. Also, keep in mind an extra $70K across 10 years really isn't that big of a deal when you factor in the fact that your degree follows you around for the rest of your career.
Yeah, the LRAP is main reason I can still consider Michigan in this scenerio. It's quite the safety net. 10 years is a pretty long time, but it does offer a great back up plan if you strike out at OCI, don't have connections, and end up at a small firm or government making $50-70k a year. And you're right, if I do end up with a $120-160k gig, the debt is a much smaller deal. Large part of the reason I'm leaning Michigan.

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

Postby cutiewiddlebebe » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:25 pm

Facing similar decision. Have not yet visited Michigan. Heading to Nashville tomorrow. Will post impressions upon my return.




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