USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

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Guide my sword

USC ($)
50
37%
Michigan (sticker)
85
63%
 
Total votes: 135

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dogmatic slumber
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USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:59 pm

Alright TLxperts. Hypothetically, if you were in at USC with a $20k/year scholarship and then Michigan called and offered to let you in off the waitlist at sticker, and the following were also the case...

(1) You've lived in LA, like it a lot, and want to practice in California
(2) You'll be taking on a fat pile of loans either way ($120-140k for USC, or [gulp] $190-200k for Michigan)
(3) You've got a scholarly bent and would like to maximize your options for clerking after graduating and eventually teaching someday, but
(4) Your primary goal in the short/medium-term is to work on the transactional side at a corporate firm that pays top dollar

...which way would you go, and why?

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vale1rd
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby vale1rd » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:01 pm

michigan. more portability. better law school.

schnoodle
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby schnoodle » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:02 pm

i wonder whether or not you'd piss away 20,000 living in l.a. versus ann arbor. go be a wolverine.

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holydonkey
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby holydonkey » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:03 pm

dogmatic slumber wrote:Alright TLxperts. Hypothetically, if you were in at USC with a $20k/year scholarship and then Michigan called and offered to let you in off the waitlist at sticker, and the following were also the case...

(1) You've lived in LA, like it a lot, and want to practice in California
(2) You'll be taking on a fat pile of loans either way ($120-140k for USC, or [gulp] $190-200k for Michigan)
(3) You've got a scholarly bent and would like to maximize your options for clerking after graduating and eventually teaching someday, but
(4) Your primary goal in the short/medium-term is to work on the transactional side at a corporate firm that pays top dollar


...which way would you go, and why?
Bolded = Michigan! And congrats on getting off the waitlist!

Northwestern2013ES
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Northwestern2013ES » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 pm

Have you spent very much time in Ann Arbor? It's hard for me to imagine anyone being happy in both Ann Arbor and LA (at least enough to live there for 3 years and succeed at law school). The two places are totally different in terms of climate, culture, politics. I would suggest you spend some time in Ann Arbor before you decide, if you know you like LA, USC may be the better bet.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:19 pm

Northwestern2013ES wrote:Have you spent very much time in Ann Arbor? It's hard for me to imagine anyone being happy in both Ann Arbor and LA (at least enough to live there for 3 years and succeed at law school). The two places are totally different in terms of climate, culture, politics. I would suggest you spend some time in Ann Arbor before you decide, if you know you like LA, USC may be the better bet.


I've never been to Ann Arbor, but I do have a history of enjoying college towns (my college was in one). I'd say location is not a big factor in my decision here. LA does get major climate points--a significant reason why I want to practice law in CA--but I grew up in the Northeast, so three more years of rain and snow won't kill me.

Two things that give me pause about Michigan are USC's perhaps surprisingly good (given its ranking) placement at NLJ250 firms and the in-state reputation of the Trojan Network or whatever they call it. Throw in $60k (cost of living could end up being comparable; a friend has told me he'll rent me his condo in LA for cheap) and maybe you've got a ballgame.

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thesealocust
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:23 pm

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Benevolent Despot
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:27 pm

It depends on where you want to live. I imagine that--in LA at least--Michigan would not give you too much of an edge over USC (given "Legion Lex" and all that). If you eventually want something on the East Coast or Midwest, go to Mich.

Have you tried negotiating with USC? The Michigan acceptance gives you leverage. Maybe you can up the scholarship.
Last edited by Benevolent Despot on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:31 pm

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Benevolent Despot
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:33 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Benevolent Despot wrote:It depends on where you want to live. I imagine that--in LA at least--Michigan would not give you too much of an edge over USC.


You would be wrong.


USC places very well in the LA market. Especially in corporate. It has a slight edge even on UCLA. The Trojan alumni network is like a mafia. Don't underestimate the value of nepotism in a bad economy.

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Hiei
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Hiei » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:34 pm

Benevolent Despot wrote:It depends on where you want to live. I imagine that--in LA at least--Michigan would not give you too much of an edge over USC. If you eventually want something on the East Coast or Midwest, go to Mich.

Have you tried negotiating with USC? The Michigan acceptance gives you leverage. Maybe you can up the scholarship.


Maybe somewhat surprisingly California is one of Michigan's strongest markets. Going to Michigan over USC ( with ties at least) for a job in LA is a very good idea.

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thesealocust
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:36 pm

edit n/m
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thesealocust
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:37 pm

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:40 pm

This is very helpful folks. Thanks.

paralegal
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby paralegal » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:43 pm

I work at a Vault 25 Biglaw firm in California with offices all over the US....

There are partners and associates here at this office from USC......and I just asked them your question....

....and they all yelled..."Michigan."

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Benevolent Despot
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:47 pm

According to this...

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

...Michigan placed 51% of its 2009 graduates into NLJ250 firms, whereas USC placed 41.3%.

Michigan has an edge, but those are national statistics. Like I said, in the LA market, this edge--if any--is probably smaller.

If OP's primary goal is to practice corporate law in SoCal, USC with money isn't a bad option.

If OP wants more portability, and perhaps to preserve other options (such as legal academia), then OP should go to Michigan.

Either way, OP should try to negotiate.
Last edited by Benevolent Despot on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grizz
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:48 pm

I'm not big into recommending schools at sticker outside of the T6, but $20k is not enough to sweeten the pot, especially with tuition hikes. Michigan.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:53 pm

paralegal wrote:I work at a Vault 25 Biglaw firm in California with offices all over the US....

There are partners and associates here at this office from USC......and I just asked them your question....

....and they all yelled..."Michigan."



That is awesome. Thanks for the research. :)

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invisiblesun
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby invisiblesun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:04 pm

I have to echo some of the sentiments above. 20k is not nearly enough to offset the gulf between these two schools. Michigan's reputation in the legal world is only a small notch below Chicago's, and UMich is T10 in "per capita" rankings for placement in "elite" law firms, academia, and SCOTUS clerkships (according to the Leiter rankings). USC does not crack the top 20 of any of these lists. In my mind, it's Michigan, no question.

...not to mention the law school is also effing gorgeous:
Image

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thesealocust
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:31 pm

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:35 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Benevolent Despot wrote:According to this...

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

...Michigan placed 51% of its 2009 graduates into NLJ250 firms, whereas USC placed 41.3%.

Michigan has an edge, but those are national statistics. Like I said, in the LA market, this edge--if any--is probably smaller.

If OP's primary goal is to practice corporate law in SoCal, USC with money isn't a bad option.

If OP wants more portability, and perhaps to preserve other options (such as legal academia), then OP should go to Michigan.

Either way, OP should try to negotiate.


Horrible stats to cite.

1) Placing x% in the NLJ 250 is very different from placement power. At Michigan larger #s of grads are going to small boutique law firms, prestigious public interest or federal government positions, and clerkships than USC (none of which are NLJ 250) and even within the NLJ 250 the Mich grads will by and large be heading to more prestigious firms.

2) Those stats are OLLLLDDDD. They represent boom-time hiring which occurred in the fall of 2007. The market is much worse, and has hit schools like USC much harder than Mich.


I'll buy (1), but (2) is wrong -- these are the 2009 numbers. In '07 I believe USC was up near 50%.

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bk1
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:41 pm

dogmatic slumber wrote:I'll buy (1), but (2) is wrong -- these are the 2009 numbers. In '07 I believe USC was up near 50%.


He's saying that those who graduated and got hired in 2009 (as represented by the NLJ250 chart) got their jobs due to an offer being extended from the summer associate positions they secured when they interviewed during OCI at their school during the fall of 2007 (the beginning of their 2L year).

EDIT: Point being that firms often based their decision to pick up these people (those on the 2009 NLJ250 chart) prior to ITE.
Last edited by bk1 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d34d9823
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby d34d9823 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:43 pm

holydonkey wrote:
dogmatic slumber wrote:Alright TLxperts. Hypothetically, if you were in at USC with a $20k/year scholarship and then Michigan called and offered to let you in off the waitlist at sticker, and the following were also the case...

(1) You've lived in LA, like it a lot, and want to practice in California
(2) You'll be taking on a fat pile of loans either way ($120-140k for USC, or [gulp] $190-200k for Michigan)
(3) You've got a scholarly bent and would like to maximize your options for clerking after graduating and eventually teaching someday, but
(4) Your primary goal in the short/medium-term is to work on the transactional side at a corporate firm that pays top dollar


...which way would you go, and why?
Bolded = Michigan! And congrats on getting off the waitlist!

Edited for stupidity
Last edited by d34d9823 on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:43 pm

bk1 wrote:
dogmatic slumber wrote:I'll buy (1), but (2) is wrong -- these are the 2009 numbers. In '07 I believe USC was up near 50%.


He's saying that those who graduated and got hired in 2009 (as represented by the NLJ250 chart) got their jobs due to an offer being extend from the summer associate positions they secured when they interviewed during OCI at their school during the fall of 2007 (the beginning of their 2L year).


Ah, yes. Got it. In that case, point definitely taken.

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verdandi
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby verdandi » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:53 pm

Full disclosure: I currently attend Michigan, and I unabashedly, unreservedly, and audaciously recommend you do, too, if you can.

But other than the fact that I love it, and almost everyone else who goes here loves it, which suggests you might love it, too: I am getting the impression that the poor economy has encouraged top firms to look only at top-ranked schools, and MAYBE some top regionals, rather that looking only at top students at a range of schools. I don't have any hard numbers to back that up; just the general impression of a rising 2L going into OCI (but that's gotta mean more than a 0L armed with outdated stats, right? heheh). But what this would mean would be that:
1) To place into the top LA firms from USC, you'll have to really perform well (top 5-10%). That is hardly a given, no matter how ready you think you are for law school.
2) USC's portability outside of California will be significantly more limited than in a better economy.
3) Michigan's advantage vis-a-vis USC may be larger now than it would have been in 2007, no matter where you want to go.


Furthermore, the cost of living is significantly lower in AA compared to LA, so that $20k might really not be as significant as you think. Add in the fact you may be more likely to get a plum summer associate job somewhere (i.e., not necessarily in LA) @ Michigan than USC increases the Michigan advantage money-wise. I know that much debt is scary, but if you are going in $100K+ for either option, I think Michigan is the better long-term investment. Best of luck, and feel free to PM me if you questions about Michigan.




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