Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$) - Now with extra confusion!!

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Mich vs. Chicago

Mich (full tuition with one-time $7.5K stipend)
51
44%
Chicago ($90K)
38
33%
BoalTTT ($135k)
26
23%
 
Total votes: 115

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Emma.
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Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$) - Now with extra confusion!!

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:19 pm

So instead of trying to thread-jack someone else's thread (sorry washingtonian :oops: ) I'm creating one of my very own. I know I'm incredibly lucky to have this dilemma, but I'm really stuck and looking for advice. Not sure what I want to do in the long term but I'd love to clerk straight out of school.

- CoL is probably going to be much the same at both schools.

- My SO will be moving with me and looking to work for the next 3 years whereever we go. SO has a somewhat irrational hatred of Ann Arbor (says thinking of A2 gives a "sense of impending doom"). SO is fine with Chicago, and job opportunities are definitely better there. Chi is closer to SO's family, which is important.

- I'm somewhat older and grew up poor, which both add up to a strong adversion to debt. The 65-70K difference in debt on graduation would end up being well over 100K paid off over 10 years.

- I really loved the facilities at Chicago but liked the law school at Mich a lot as well. Both seem to pride themselves on accessibility of profs.

- I really have no idea about this one, but I have a sense that "Darrow Scholar" on resume might outweigh some of the prestige difference between the schools?
Last edited by Emma. on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby lakerfanimal » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:26 pm

It looks like your aversion to debt vs. SO's affinity for Chicago in this situation is what will settle this for you. I'd personally go Chicago in this situation because obviously I'm just a 0L but Chicago's small class size is very appealing and overall the school seems like a better school. It sounds like you're impartial towards either school at this point so I think you should go to chicago since your debt won't be huge especially if you go into big-law and your SO wants to be in Chicago.

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existenz
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby existenz » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Obviously you can't go wrong, and will be graduating with less debt that probably 95% of law students either way.

What line of work is your SO in? Could he find a job in Ann Arbor if he tried? Also, what are your specific career goals?

Also, I'd dispute the assertion that CoL will be the same at both schools. Living in Chicago is more expensive than Ann Arbor.

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Emma.
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:39 pm

existenz wrote:Obviously you can't go wrong, and will be graduating with less debt that probably 95% of law students either way.

What line of work is your SO in? Could he find a job in Ann Arbor if he tried? Also, what are your specific career goals?

Also, I'd dispute the assertion that CoL will be the same at both schools. Living in Chicago is more expensive than Ann Arbor.


Thanks for the replies everyone.

SO is a new grad in nursing. There are most likely jobs in both places but ITE hospitals have cut way back on new grad programs. SO really wants to work in the emergency department, which is sonewhat harder to find jobs than general floor nursing.

My career goals are pretty up in the air. Could go in a lot of directions. Academia is attractive though, and I feel like I'm getting to old (32) to be slaving 80 hour weeks as a junior associate in biglaw.

A2 apartments and restaurants were surprisingly steep when we visited. Seems that the places we'd be looking at run around $1600-2200 in either place for a 2brm. What do you see as the increased costs of Chi?

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existenz
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby existenz » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:51 pm

emrose wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone.

SO is a new grad in nursing. There are most likely jobs in both places but ITE hospitals have cut way back on new grad programs. SO really wants to work in the emergency department, which is sonewhat harder to find jobs than general floor nursing.

My career goals are pretty up in the air. Could go in a lot of directions. Academia is attractive though, and I feel like I'm getting to old (32) to be slaving 80 hour weeks as a junior associate in biglaw.

A2 apartments and restaurants were surprisingly steep when we visited. Seems that the places we'd be looking at run around $1600-2200 in either place for a 2brm. What do you see as the increased costs of Chi?

Wow, you must be looking at much nicer apartments than the ones I've seen. Just a quick look at craigslist shows a ton of 2br apartments under $1300 near the law quad. If you end up paying $1800/month in Ann Arbor for an apt, then yes, the CoL would not be any cheaper.

Both Michigan and Chicago place well in academia. Your SO would definitely have an easier time finding emergency room work in Chicago, though he could also commute to Detroit and find plenty of work there.

I recommend Michigan since you don't like the idea of biglaw, which would be the easiest way to make up for the debt difference. But you need to decide this with your SO since you want him to be happy as well.

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Emma.
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:56 pm

Yeah, it is going to be tough weighing up my debt aversion and the prestige of the Darrow against SO's strong aversion to A2..

I know this is completely impossible to predict but I also wondered if I'd have a better chance of making Law Review (which seems a pretty huge factor in clerkship placement) at Mich. Seems that the ubernerds at Chicago might be more competetive in that regard?

Edit: I think as you start looking at the nicer apartments in A2 the inverntory gets really small and costs go way up. SO is not keen to live in student housing, we've been living in really nice places the last few years and don't really want to downgrade. SO is happy to pay more for a nicer place.

byunbee
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby byunbee » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:21 pm

Full disclosure, I am a Michigan 0L.

In terms of raw numbers, Chicago and Michigan are pretty close in terms of producing law professors, but due to Chicago's smaller class size, I think it comes out way ahead. Of course, neither are ANYWHERE CLOSE to Yale.

I would be interested to hear some current law school students' take on this question. If you aren't really interested in biglaw, and more interested in clerkships and academia, I would prefer the significantly smaller debt burden. Sure, academia is more likely at Chicago, but you would likely have to be at the very top of your class, and probably earn a ph.d. in another field, for this to be a possibility at either school.

edit: Wrong about academia last 2-3 years, appears that the numbers are a lot closer between Michigan and Chicago
Last edited by byunbee on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GeePee
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby GeePee » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:29 pm

Emrose, to be honest I think this is a wash for you personally. That said, your wife seems like she'd be happier in Chicago and might even land a better-paying job to boot (which would alleviate at least some of the loan concern).

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Shaggier1
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:46 pm

Hey Em. Is it safe to assume that you have created this thread because Berkeley didn't match? If so, I am sorry, surprised and genuinely disappointed. I was looking forward to being classmates.

Regardless, you have two great options here, as you know. On the one hand, I lean towards Chi because of opportunities for your SO and also because I feel that Chicago is on the rise while Mich is slipping a bit (though I admit this is a pretty subjective judgement--felt the same way before the rankings were released). My gut says Chi would give you the leg up in academia.

On the other hand, a full-ride is a full ride. And given that, though not in the top-5, Michigan is still a world-class institution and if you distinguish yourself I have no doubt you could launch a wonderful teaching career from Ann Arbor, it seems like it might be the best choice.

Either way, you're a smart guy with a supportive SO. I am confident you guys will make the right choice.

washingtonian
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby washingtonian » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:50 pm

hey shaggier, want to weigh in on my thread? ;)

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=115563&view=viewpoll


sorry em! (we are even) :)

tamlyric
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby tamlyric » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:51 pm

Guess what I voted for? :P

<3, -TL

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby holydonkey » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:58 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:Chicago is on the rise while Mich is slipping a bit (though I admit this is a pretty subjective judgement)
duh, obviously. 9 out of 10 jackasses agree with this unfounded assertion.

tamlyric
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby tamlyric » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:01 pm

holydonkey wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:Chicago is on the rise while Mich is slipping a bit (though I admit this is a pretty subjective judgement)
duh, obviously. 9 out of 10 [strike]jackasses[/strike] misguided do-gooderz agree with this unfounded assertion.


+1 with minor correction. :wink:

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Shlonster
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Shlonster » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:07 pm

I'm biased as well, as I'll be heading to Mich, so please, for my sake, and all the other 0L's head to Chicago. Enjoy the quarter system.

Really I commented just to say that unless SO=wife, I wouldn't make a huge decision like this based on it (you obviously know more about that than I do, just throwing it out there), and that I have a pretty well respected doctor friend here and when I asked her about the economy in AA she pretty much described it as "the university and the hospital". Which makes me feel like job prospects for your SO might not be that bad there.

Good luck to you, I'm extremely jealous.

tamlyric
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby tamlyric » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:21 pm

Hey Emrose,

If we hold cost and career constant across both schools, where would you prefer to go? And why would you prefer one school over the other under these circumstances?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:27 pm

If you feel that at age 32 you are too old to be slaving away as a junior associate in a BigLaw work environment, then I am not sure that you are going to enjoy the University of Chicago Law School.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby soullesswonder » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:33 pm

Shlonster wrote:I'm biased as well, as I'll be heading to Mich, so please, for my sake, and all the other 0L's head to Chicago. Enjoy the quarter system.

Really I commented just to say that unless SO=wife, I wouldn't make a huge decision like this based on it (you obviously know more about that than I do, just throwing it out there), and that I have a pretty well respected doctor friend here and when I asked her about the economy in AA she pretty much described it as "the university and the hospital". Which makes me feel like job prospects for your SO might not be that bad there.

Good luck to you, I'm extremely jealous.


IIRC, emrose is married. If you like the idea of academia and you want to clerk straight out of school, I think Chicago is the better option. Yeah, the debt difference is significant (Karla Vargas's confidence on Wedneday aside), but it should be manageable. It sounded like Chicago had a really good support system for aspiring academics and I think the value of being with such notable faculty is a huge bonus.

You didn't mention this in your OP, but I know you were concerned about being "the old guy" at the LS. I don't think that's going to be a problem for you, but if you're concerned about this Hyde Park seemed like a great community for young artists, academics, and professionals. You'd definitely have more opportunities to meet people outside the law school if you wanted an alternative to the Green Room scene.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:40 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
Chicago is on the rise while Mich is slipping a bit (though I admit this is a pretty subjective judgement)

duh, obviously. 9 out of 10 jackasses agree with this unfounded assertion.


I didn't exactly hide the fact that it was a baseless claim. Just a feeling of mine that I was sharing.

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black celebration
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby black celebration » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Have you calculated the total cost difference between the schools, when everything is taken into account? I'm curious how much you'd be "paying" extra to go to Chicago. Given you situation, I'm leaning towards recommending that. If your SO can find well-paying work, then it's not quite as much of a big deal to take "only" 90k from Chicago.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby AngryAvocado » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:
Chicago is on the rise while Mich is slipping a bit (though I admit this is a pretty subjective judgement)

duh, obviously. 9 out of 10 jackasses agree with this unfounded assertion.


I didn't exactly hide the fact that it was a baseless claim. Just a feeling of mine that I was sharing.


I don't think the Chicago "on the rise" part is baseless, especially since the new Dean, Michael Schill, is a hotshot. The guy is dead serious about boosting fundraising (which was lacking), building a respectable PI program (perhaps the school's only weakness in terms of placement), and recruiting top-notch faculty (just look at all the poaching he did at UCLA). I definitely got the impression that he's there to breathe some much-needed new life into the system at Chicago, and I think they picked the right guy for the job.

Anyhow, I'll quit my trolling now. :wink:

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Shaggier1
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:38 pm

I don't think the Chicago "on the rise" part is baseless


I meant baseless only in the sense that I made the claim without supporting it. Probably a poor choice of words

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Emma.
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:Hey Em. Is it safe to assume that you have created this thread because Berkeley didn't match? If so, I am sorry, surprised and genuinely disappointed. I was looking forward to being classmates.



Haha, I actually haven't heard from Boalt. They promised to let me know by Wed next week so we'll see, but once Friday gets here if I haven't heard from them I'll be withdrawing and moving on with my life.

This reminds me I still need to mail your t-shirt (sorry!!). I'll be home from Chi today, will send it next week.

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Fancy Pants
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Fancy Pants » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:29 pm

Image

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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby im_blue » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:36 pm

So you'd be paying about 52k total for Chicago's tuition (44k/yr + 4% annual increases) and -7.5k for Michigan. I'd say Chicago is definitely worth the 60k difference, especially with your SO's job/family situation and aversion to AA.

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Emma.
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Re: Michigan ($$$) vs. Chicago ($$)

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:47 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If you feel that at age 32 you are too old to be slaving away as a junior associate in a BigLaw work environment, then I am not sure that you are going to enjoy the University of Chicago Law School.


Well, I'm preparing myself for 3 years of pretty intense work at LS wherever I go, I'm just not sure that I'm up for another 5 years of the same (or worse, since I anticipate at least some of my work at school will be interesting and engaging, whereas document review? not so much) once school is over.

soullesswonder wrote:
IIRC, emrose is married. If you like the idea of academia and you want to clerk straight out of school, I think Chicago is the better option. Yeah, the debt difference is significant (Karla Vargas's confidence on Wedneday aside), but it should be manageable. It sounded like Chicago had a really good support system for aspiring academics and I think the value of being with such notable faculty is a huge bonus.

You didn't mention this in your OP, but I know you were concerned about being "the old guy" at the LS. I don't think that's going to be a problem for you, but if you're concerned about this Hyde Park seemed like a great community for young artists, academics, and professionals. You'd definitely have more opportunities to meet people outside the law school if you wanted an alternative to the Green Room scene.


Thanks soullesswonder. I actually think Mich has really been working on their support system for academia a lot in the past few years, but I don't doubt that Chi's reputation and faculty might make it a stronger choice with academia in mind. I'm not sure that I'd live in Hyde Park, but it does seem like Chicago has a huge community of young professionals and others around my age.

What did you think of ASD by the way? Set on Chi?

Thanks everyone for the kind words!




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