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

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

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:40 pm

thesealocust wrote: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.


Er...

1.) You're shifting the goalposts. The % of the class placed into the NLJ250 IS a good proxy for biglaw placement. Michigan may be better for "boutique" firms, academia, clerkships, public interest, govt. etc. But no one--certainly not I--ever disputed that. My comments were restricted to "corporate law in SoCal."

2.) As has already been pointed out, this is 2009 data.

There are plenty of reasons to go to Michigan. It's clearly the better all-around school, and may well be the better choice for the OP. But, if OP's chief interest is biglaw in SoCal, USC with money is not to be dismissed lightly.
Last edited by Benevolent Despot on Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:46 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 4:45 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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NoleinNY
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Re: USC ($20k/yr) vs. Michigan (sticker)

Postby NoleinNY » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:53 pm

USC is a fantastic school and if all you want is LA, you could do worse.

That said, they're not giving you enough cash to make much of a difference: Wolverines!!

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

Postby dogmatic slumber » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:03 pm

NoleinNY wrote:USC is a fantastic school and if all you want is LA, you could do worse.

That said, they're not giving you enough cash to make much of a difference: Wolverines!!


I've heard the latter sentiment multiple times now...putting aside the potential COL disparity (a friend in LA might be willing to rent me a condo he owns for cheap, which would level the playing field), is there general agreement that $20k/year at USC isn't that special? I mean, it's not far from a half-tuition scholarship. Am I wrong to see the difference between $130-140k (USC) and say $190k (Michigan) in loans as significant?

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

Postby invisiblesun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:12 pm

dogmatic slumber wrote:
NoleinNY wrote:USC is a fantastic school and if all you want is LA, you could do worse.

That said, they're not giving you enough cash to make much of a difference: Wolverines!!


I've heard the latter sentiment multiple times now...putting aside the potential COL disparity (a friend in LA might be willing to rent me a condo he owns for cheap, which would level the playing field), is there general agreement that $20k/year at USC isn't that special? I mean, it's not far from a half-tuition scholarship. Am I wrong to see the difference between $130-140k (USC) and say $190k (Michigan) in loans as significant?


In a nutshell, it's not insignificant, but it doesn't make up for the difference between these schools.

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:14 pm

thesealocust wrote:1) No, you're not understanding the data. When choosing a school, you must consider its ABILITY to place you in your desired job, not the frequency with which it actually does so. The pool of students at Michigan who got big law, clerkships, prestigious PI, or government positions is much, much larger than that pool from USC. This is relevant because almost all of the people who took clerkships, etc. out of michigan COULD have had big firm jobs if they had so chosen. Looking only at the NLJ number makes the schools look closer together than they are. USC, for example, probably placed more people than yale in the NLJ, because double-digit proportions of Yale grads go on to clerkships. Is USC better at placing big law in so cal? Fuck no. The fact that at one point in time (which, per point two below, is quite dated) both schools sent a similar number of grads to large law firms DRAMATICALLY underestimates the placement difference. A student at the median at USC is up shit creek, where as (back in the good 'ol days) a student at the median (or even a good bit below) from Mich was very likely to get a six figure starting salary. That fact is largely concealed by the fact that Michigan grads have better choices than NLJ 250 jobs at a much higher degree of frequency than grads from USC.


You're presenting a problematic counterfactual, which we have no easy way of testing. You say that people who chose to take up clerkships, prestigious PI, etc. could have chosen biglaw instead. Yet, the number of biglaw positions available (presumably) would not have increased to accommodate their preference. Thus, it's possible that many of those were placed into biglaw from Michigan originally may not have gotten it. You're also neglecting to consider that at least some of those people may not have performed well in the biglaw interviewing process (due to temperament) despite having done adequately in the interviews for other positions.

Don't misconstrue this to mean that I think a Michigan grad does not have better options coming from what is, indisputably, a better school. But--once again--if OP wants biglaw, those additional options may be less valuable than $20k/year in his pocket.

thesealocust wrote:2) Sigh. The class of 2009 graduated law school as summer began in 2009. They summered at law firms in 2008. They received offers for those summer positions in Fall 2007. Since then, two more recruitment cycles have occurred: The class of 2010, which was recruited in Fall 2008, and the class of 2011, which was recruited in Fall 2009. The market has changed. Your data is old.


No. The data is recent -- or more precisely, it's as recent as it is possible to be. Sure, they summered in 2008, but they were hired in 2009. Do firms HAVE to hire associates to whom they previously promised positions? If not, then the data does reflect changing economic conditions. No rational firm would hire someone for whom there is no work, and thereby diminish their profit margin, just for the fuck of it.

You can speculate that future data will make USC less attractive, but that's what you're doing: speculating.

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

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:22 pm

I'd go to Mich, tell USC to piss off, practice on the east coast, and never look back.

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

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:32 pm

verdandi wrote: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 is nonexistent, even 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.



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

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:38 pm

thesealocust wrote:2) Sigh. The class of 2009 graduated law school as summer began in 2009. They summered at law firms in 2008. They received offers for those summer positions in Fall 2007. Since then, two more recruitment cycles have occurred: The class of 2010, which was recruited in Fall 2008, and the class of 2011, which was recruited in Fall 2009. The market has changed. Your data is old.


Yeah but the recession hit lower ranked schools harder than top schools which makes the differences even more pronounced.

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

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:50 pm

nm
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:37 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 6:51 pm

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:40 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 7:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:Recently (pre-crash) Columbia (where I have data) placed over 90% of its class into 2L summer big firm positions, and offer rates for summers topped 90-95% at most big firms. And yet Columbia never topped ~70% NLJ 250 placement. Why? Because people who could (and did) get big law took other jobs afterward. While less dramatic in execution, the trend is similar across the T14: prior to the crash enormous numbers of students did a summer stint with big law and chose to work elsewhere afterward. Clerkships are the perfect example because most people finish their clerkship and return to an NLJ 250 firm (to collect the huge bonus).

And you misconstrue my argument: I'm not saying OP will have more options (though it's true) - I'm saying that a bottom third student pre-crash at Michigan could swing a big firm job that may have taken top third to get from USC (pre-crash). That is a huge difference masked by the way data is reported, and it's very important to consider given how hard it is to predict / control law school performance.


You're not accounting for the fact that people who took other jobs (i.e. clerkships) would displace some of the people who took the jobs in biglaw that the former previously didn't want. While it is true that people who took clerkships before going into biglaw are not reflected in these statistics, many of those people (from previous years) were also in the job market at the same time the people reflected in these statistics were being hired.

Basically, the hypothetical is meaningless. Who cares about the world where everyone at Michigan chooses biglaw, because we don't live in that world. Michigan will open up possibilities that are unavailable to those graduating from USC, but OP has to value those possibilities for them to be worthwhile.

Although OP may able to be ranked lower in a pool of student body that is, on average, stronger, OP must weigh that against the corresponding chance of getting biglaw at USC (factoring, of course, the lower tuition, the lower % who get it, and the likelihood that the cutoff will be higher).

In a nutshell: how does the OP value the difference in probability of falling in the range that gets biglaw at Michigan vs. falling in that same range at USC? If this difference in value exceeds 60k, Michigan is the way to go.
Last edited by Benevolent Despot on Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:27 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 7:27 pm

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

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:28 pm

dogmatic slumber wrote:
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.


We call it the Trojan Family, and let me tell you-- it's a serious force with which to reckon. That said, I'm a Trojan (UG), loyal to the school to the death, and there's still no question that you want Michigan, especially with your "scholarly bent" or whatever you said.

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

Postby d34d9823 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:35 pm

MusicNutMeggie wrote:We call it the Trojan Family

Funny, I thought the point of Trojans was to prevent families.

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Your post makes no sense. I'm done here -.-


Suppose OP wants to get the SAME biglaw job in SoCal, whether he goes to Mich or USC.

Class rank is not random, but treat it as if it is. If the cutoff for biglaw at USC is top 30%, and the cutoff at Mich is top 50%, then either way, OP has at least a 30% shot at biglaw.

So, the advantage of Mich is a 20% increased chance at biglaw (.5-.3).

If OP values that difference in chances by MORE THAN $60k (which is the cost of obtaining it, by forgoing USC's scholarship and admission offer) then he/she should go to Michigan.

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

Postby invisiblesun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:55 pm

Benevolent Despot wrote:
thesealocust wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Your post makes no sense. I'm done here -.-


Suppose OP wants to get the SAME biglaw job in SoCal, whether he goes to Mich or USC.

Class rank is not random, but treat it as if it is. If the cutoff for biglaw at USC is top 30%, and the cutoff at Mich is top 50%, then either way, OP has at least a 30% shot at biglaw.

So, the advantage of Mich is a 20% increased chance at biglaw (.5-.3).

If OP values that difference in chances by MORE THAN $60k (which is the cost of obtaining it, by forgoing USC's scholarship and admission offer) then he/she should go to Michigan.


Your argument basically ignores OP's long-term goal to leave the door open for academia and clerkships, for which post-Michigan prospects are fairly strong and post-USC prospects are measly at best. Unless at this point the argument isn't about OP's situation anymore...

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:09 pm

invisiblesun wrote:Your argument basically ignores OP's long-term goal to leave the door open for academia and clerkships, for which post-Michigan prospects are fairly strong and post-USC prospects are measly at best. Unless at this point the argument isn't about OP's situation anymore...


What I've said from the beginning has been predicated on getting biglaw in SoCal. If OP wants other options, such as academia, or biglaw somewhere else, he/she should go to Mich.

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

Postby invisiblesun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:17 pm

Benevolent Despot wrote:
invisiblesun wrote:Your argument basically ignores OP's long-term goal to leave the door open for academia and clerkships, for which post-Michigan prospects are fairly strong and post-USC prospects are measly at best. Unless at this point the argument isn't about OP's situation anymore...


What I've said from the beginning has been predicated on getting biglaw in SoCal. If OP wants other options, such as academia, or biglaw somewhere else, he/she should go to Mich.


Fair enough- I just don't see why he would sacrifice a major long term goal to save 60K in low-interest loans.

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:20 pm

invisiblesun wrote:Fair enough- I just don't see why he would sacrifice a major long term goal to save 60K in low-interest loans.


Maybe it's not a major goal. Maybe, even when you consider BOTH the possibility of different career paths, AND the greater chance of getting biglaw, it's not worth 60k. It's possible. USC has a lot of local prestige (esp. lay prestige) in SoCal if that's where one wants to end up.

If I were the OP, I'd try to extort more money out of USC using the Mich acceptance, and THEN make a decision.

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

Postby im_blue » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:45 pm

Benevolent Despot wrote:
thesealocust wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Your post makes no sense. I'm done here -.-

Class rank is not random, but treat it as if it is. If the cutoff for biglaw at USC is top 30%, and the cutoff at Mich is top 50%, then either way, OP has at least a 30% shot at biglaw.

So, the advantage of Mich is a 20% increased chance at biglaw (.5-.3).


Except I would argue that the cutoffs are top 10-15% at USC vs top 40-50% at Michigan ITE, which gives the Michigan graduate about 3-4 times the probability of biglaw.

Even assuming your numbers are correct, biglaw from Michigan is 67% more likely than from USC.

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

Postby Benevolent Despot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:07 pm

im_blue wrote:
Benevolent Despot wrote:
thesealocust wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Your post makes no sense. I'm done here -.-

Class rank is not random, but treat it as if it is. If the cutoff for biglaw at USC is top 30%, and the cutoff at Mich is top 50%, then either way, OP has at least a 30% shot at biglaw.

So, the advantage of Mich is a 20% increased chance at biglaw (.5-.3).


Except I would argue that the cutoffs are top 10-15% at USC vs top 40-50% at Michigan ITE, which gives the Michigan graduate about 3-4 times the probability of biglaw.

Even assuming your numbers are correct, biglaw from Michigan is 67% more likely than from USC.


You're talking odds (relative %), I was refering to absolute % chances.

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

Postby thewolfandpeter » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:14 pm

michigan. is this decision even close?

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

Postby Angelica Pickles » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:45 am

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


This. I know a CalWestern grad who had a full ride and managed to graduate with $100k in loans just from Cali living expenses. If you're only getting $20k then definitely go with Michigan.

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

Postby lebroniousjames » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:53 am

In a nutshell: how does the OP value the difference in probability of falling in the range that gets biglaw at Michigan vs. falling in that same range at USC? If this difference in value exceeds 60k, Michigan is the way to go.[/quote]


you slighted your avatar/user name's full potential for irony




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