UVA vs. UMich comparison?

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CGI Fridays
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UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby CGI Fridays » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:30 pm

NOT "which is better." Just want input on how they stack up on some areas. I searched for this topic, but couldn't find one with only these two. If it exists, please link.

Job Placement
I've read UVA owns DC, but also that DC's been a tough nut to crack lately. Anyone know how easy it is to get a job in NY? (I realize the stats don't help much 'cause most prolly opt to stay in the region, I'm hoping some folks can share anecdotals).

As for U Mich: NY & Chi mostly?

Do either have better pull with DOJ or federal positions in general (I'm hoping for enviro law).

Atmosphere

UVA: softball, drinking, relaxed etc. Are most folks straight outta UG? Does not shotgunning beers put you in a lame crowd?
Mich: heard it was relaxed as well, but that was on its profile. In threads I've read it's competitive. Read that most folks are straight outta UG... accurate?

Weather
Based on average temps, I gather UVA wins hard here. Is there anything I dunno about like oppressive summers or intense humidity?

Workload

I'm assuming both are insane, but is either less insane?
I've read that UVA has pass/fail legal writing. Wudabout U Mich?

Cost of Living
Read that UVA is pretty damn low. What about cheap real estate? Easier to find a cheap & live-able house in Charlottesville than in Ann Arbor?

Anything else you wanna add...
...

vicuna
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby vicuna » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:39 pm

CGI Fridays wrote:Mich: heard it was relaxed as well, but that was on its profile. In threads I've read it's competitive. Read that most folks are straight outta UG... accurate?


I can at least respond to this. At Michigan, like many of other top schools, roughly 70% of each incoming class has taken at least one year off after undergrad.

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kaftka juice
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby kaftka juice » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:43 pm

as someone who went to michigan and currently lives in virginia, i feel i can answer the weather question.
if you like hot, virginia wins. if you like four seasons and snow, michigan wins. i prefer michigan; winters are just not the same without sledding and snowball fights. also, having an entire summer of high 80-90 degrees is not my idea of fun. in michigan you will usually have about 7 days total of 90 degrees.

but really it just comes down to what you are used to. people in va freak out when it reaches the 40s/50s. i wear shorts.


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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:53 pm

UVA probably has some of the best weather in the top 14 along with Stanford, Duke, and Berkeley. I haven't experienced the winters yet, but obviously they are not (usually) going to come near the sort of winters you will experience in Michigan. As far as the heat, during the time that you will be here (as I assume most people leave during the summers) it won't be particularly hot. From what I've seen of the average temperatures during the summer it never gets that hot then either.

UVA's LRW is P/F. As far as the workload, if it wasn't for LRW I would go so far as to say that it's not even stressful. LRW is annoying as hell and tremendously adds to the workload/makes it difficult to keep up with your reading assignments in other classes.

Job wise these schools are twin siblings. I would pick between the two based off of soft factors and the money they offer you. I might change that answer a bit if you want to work in Chicago or the South and don't have any ties to those regions though (former should put extra weight on Michigan, latter on UVA).

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rayiner
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:56 pm

Based on anecdotal data, UVA has a leg up on Michigan jobs-wise. The pre-selected based OCI has made it so they have a bunch more employers.

irishman86
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby irishman86 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:57 pm

LRW is also pass/fail at Mich. We also get two retroactive pass/fails for non-1L courses, which takes the pressure off once you are a 2L and taking evidence/jurisdiction/admin/insert hard class.

I chose Mich over UVA and am headed to NYC this summer. Most of our grads head to NYC, Chicago, CA/DC.

I think the good thing about Mich is that we have a pure lottery system - I don't think my grades are that good but I landed callbacks at 50% of screening interviews because I am a decent interviewer. At UVA most of the interviews are preselect, so if you don't make the grades cutoff for firms you probably won't get an interview (aka below median or whatever cutoff). (I have friends who are slightly sub-median at UVA who only landed <5 screening interviews at OCI.)

But really, job prospects are probably a wash. You should look at scholarship money too.

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RVP11
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:15 pm

Even my slightly-sub-median friends managed 15-20 screening interviews at OGI.

UVA's hybrid OGI system is one of the best parts about the school. If you have top quarter grades you're virtually assured 25+ screening interviews if you place your bids right. The system concentrates screening interviews on the people who are in the best position to capitalize on them.

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rayiner
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:07 pm

RVP11 wrote:Even my slightly-sub-median friends managed 15-20 screening interviews at OGI.

UVA's hybrid OGI system is one of the best parts about the school. If you have top quarter grades you're virtually assured 25+ screening interviews if you place your bids right. The system concentrates screening interviews on the people who are in the best position to capitalize on them.


Eh. It reduces the chance of someone with good grades getting unlucky at the expense of reducing the chance of someone with bad grades from getting lucky.

IMHO I'd rather the extra 5-10 interviews go to someone with lower grades who might eek out an offer than someone with good grades that can't convert 15 screening interviews into an offer.

Bumi
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby Bumi » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:34 pm

kaftka juice wrote:if you like four seasons and snow, michigan wins

...

in michigan you will usually have about 7 days total of 90 degrees.


So, Michigan has three seasons. 7 days total of 90 degrees isn't summer. Also, you realize that Charlottesville is a bit cooler than other parts of Virginia, right?

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kaftka juice
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby kaftka juice » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:43 pm

Bumi wrote:
kaftka juice wrote:if you like four seasons and snow, michigan wins

...

in michigan you will usually have about 7 days total of 90 degrees.


So, Michigan has three seasons. 7 days total of 90 degrees isn't summer. Also, you realize that Charlottesville is a bit cooler than other parts of Virginia, right?


no, michigan has summer. 90 degree weather everyday is sufficient but not necessary for summer. i prefer my summers in the 70s/80s with a nice breeze. of course i understand if you're used to a 90 degree summer it is much more bearable. i'm just saying if you're not used to it (like me), it can be a shock to the system.

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JG Hall
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby JG Hall » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:20 pm

BruceWayne wrote:UVA probably has some of the best weather in the top 14 along with Stanford, Duke, and Berkeley.

It's really offensive to California to suggest that Charlottesville is similar in weather. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0yCyMBdB4

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:33 pm

JG Hall wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:UVA probably has some of the best weather in the top 14 along with Stanford, Duke, and Berkeley.

It's really offensive to California to suggest that Charlottesville is similar in weather. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0yCyMBdB4


:lol: Last year was an aberration (or so I've been told)!

RVP11 wrote:Even my slightly-sub-median friends managed 15-20 screening interviews at OGI.

UVA's hybrid OGI system is one of the best parts about the school. If you have top quarter grades you're virtually assured 25+ screening interviews if you place your bids right. The system concentrates screening interviews on the people who are in the best position to capitalize on them.


Eh I have to agree with the Rayner poster on this one. What if you don't have great grades but you have stuff on your resume that makes you stand out, and or you are a great interviewer? We have no shot to capitalize on that at UVA, while the pure lottery schools like Michigan give their students who are great at selling themselves a chance. Firms probably do like our system more, because it's better for them not us. The way that rayner summed it up is perfect. Our system makes sure the people who would have already been fine are fine, at the cost of further screwing those who were already in trouble.

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vamedic03
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:58 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
JG Hall wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:UVA probably has some of the best weather in the top 14 along with Stanford, Duke, and Berkeley.

It's really offensive to California to suggest that Charlottesville is similar in weather. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0yCyMBdB4


:lol: Last year was an aberration (or so I've been told)!

RVP11 wrote:Even my slightly-sub-median friends managed 15-20 screening interviews at OGI.

UVA's hybrid OGI system is one of the best parts about the school. If you have top quarter grades you're virtually assured 25+ screening interviews if you place your bids right. The system concentrates screening interviews on the people who are in the best position to capitalize on them.


Eh I have to agree with the Rayner poster on this one. What if you don't have great grades but you have stuff on your resume that makes you stand out, and or you are a great interviewer? We have no shot to capitalize on that at UVA, while the pure lottery schools like Michigan give their students who are great at selling themselves a chance. Firms probably do like our system more, because it's better for them not us. The way that rayner summed it up is perfect. Our system makes sure the people who would have already been fine are fine, at the cost of further screwing those who were already in trouble.


Having actually gone through UVA's OGI and seen how the system works, I have to disagree with several of your statements.

1) "stuff on resume that stands out" - every employer that you bid on gets both your Resume and your grade report. If there is stuff that stands out on your resume, the employer gets to take it into account.

2) "students who are great at selling themselves" - UVA's system is a hybrid - you will most likely get some lottery selections and you can use those as an opportunity to sell yourself. Further, most firms will grant special requests - so if you ask the firm and try to sell yourself to them, they can give you an interview even if you weren't otherwise granted one.

3) Career services works with both employers and students to help them select/bid realistically. Firms will turn down bids from people with stellar credentials if its clear that people are just bidding on them as a safety. Likewise, career services will help students bid realistically.

4) The system helps to align firms with the students that are likely to hire. Look, people aren't very good at bidding - 2L's and 3L's who have seen the bid data that career services have sent out and its pretty clear that people aren't necessarily bidding realistically. Some V10/V20 firms were getting 200+ bids - this means that 100+ people aren't bidding realistically. If it was a pure lottery selection, then people who don't have a chance in hell can fill up all the interview slots - making that day a waste of time for both the firm and the students. Interviewers can tell you that lottery systems can be very frustrating - the firm pays several hundred dollars to come and interview, and, their schedule is filled with people that regardless of how much they like, their hiring committee won't let them come back. For a lot of places, no matter how much the interviewer likes someone, they still have to bring them before a hiring committee.

5) The thing about preselect is this - even if you have fewer screening interviewers that a peer at another school has, you have already made it through a round of selection. In other words, when you sit down in that screening interview, you know that the firm has some interest in you.

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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby bradley » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:18 pm

Delete.
Last edited by bradley on Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vamedic03
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:13 pm

bradley wrote:If you want an Article III clerkship, go to UVA (they place much better). I think it's because of their grade inflation - most judges and clerks don't realize that Michigan has a pretty tough curve, even for upper-level classes. For example, for SCOTUS clerkships, you probably need above a 4.0. Only 2-3 Michigan students end up with that every year; at UVA, it's more like 6-7. I think that's why UVA places so well at SCOTUS.


ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. Typically the highest GPA at UVA is between a 3.9 and a 3.95. A+'s are only given on a discretionary basis, and, typically, at most a total of 4-5 people in the entire class will have ever received even a single A+.

Further, UVA has a strict B+ curve for all classes.

irishman86
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby irishman86 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:20 pm

bradley wrote:If you want an Article III clerkship, go to UVA (they place much better). I think it's because of their grade inflation - most judges and clerks don't realize that Michigan has a pretty tough curve, even for upper-level classes. For example, for SCOTUS clerkships, you probably need above a 4.0. Only 2-3 Michigan students end up with that every year; at UVA, it's more like 6-7. I think that's why UVA places so well at SCOTUS.


Where did you get this data? Mich does have a harsher curve, but historical Article III clerkship placement is about the same.

Class of 2007:
Michigan: 13.9%
Virginia: 12.4%

Class of 2008:
Michigan: 9%
Virginia: 11.8%

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=116941

This is the most recent data we have. If someone else can post the data for the Classes of 2009 or 2010, it'd be appreciated.

Also, it's almost impossible to land a SCOTUS clerkship, so that shouldn't even factor into a person's decision when choosing among law schools outside of Yale.

(However, I know Michigan's Class of 2010 has at least one person clerking for SCOTUS. This particular individual was finishing a JD/PhD in 2010 and I think is heading to SCOTUS straight from law school without clerking for COA, which is unusual and very impressive.)

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vamedic03
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:06 pm

irishman86 wrote:
bradley wrote:If you want an Article III clerkship, go to UVA (they place much better). I think it's because of their grade inflation - most judges and clerks don't realize that Michigan has a pretty tough curve, even for upper-level classes. For example, for SCOTUS clerkships, you probably need above a 4.0. Only 2-3 Michigan students end up with that every year; at UVA, it's more like 6-7. I think that's why UVA places so well at SCOTUS.


Where did you get this data? Mich does have a harsher curve, but historical Article III clerkship placement is about the same.

Class of 2007:
Michigan: 13.9%
Virginia: 12.4%

Class of 2008:
Michigan: 9%
Virginia: 11.8%

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=116941

This is the most recent data we have. If someone else can post the data for the Classes of 2009 or 2010, it'd be appreciated.

Also, it's almost impossible to land a SCOTUS clerkship, so that shouldn't even factor into a person's decision when choosing among law schools outside of Yale.

(However, I know Michigan's Class of 2010 has at least one person clerking for SCOTUS. This particular individual was finishing a JD/PhD in 2010 and I think is heading to SCOTUS straight from law school without clerking for COA, which is unusual and very impressive.)


Likewise, its exceedingly difficult to land a COA clerkship, and your odds from any of MVP will be fairly similar. More importantly, one shouldn't pick schools based on the .5% difference in COA placement rates because that won't be an option for 95% of the class.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:48 pm

irishman86 wrote:LRW is also pass/fail at Mich. We also get two retroactive pass/fails for non-1L courses...

But I'm assuming some students never utilize those two retroactive pass/fails, & this would convey uber consistency & thus desirability during interviews?

Any clue what percentage of the class uses none/one/both?

Can a UVA student chirp in regarding whether there's a similar policy for you?

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vamedic03
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:16 pm

CGI Fridays wrote:
irishman86 wrote:LRW is also pass/fail at Mich. We also get two retroactive pass/fails for non-1L courses...

But I'm assuming some students never utilize those two retroactive pass/fails, & this would convey uber consistency & thus desirability during interviews?

Any clue what percentage of the class uses none/one/both?

Can a UVA student chirp in regarding whether there's a similar policy for you?


UVA does not do this. All classes are graded with the exception of LRW (and 1 cr seminar in ethical values and 1 cr negotiations institute).

irishman86
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby irishman86 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:48 pm

CGI Fridays wrote:
irishman86 wrote:LRW is also pass/fail at Mich. We also get two retroactive pass/fails for non-1L courses...

But I'm assuming some students never utilize those two retroactive pass/fails, & this would convey uber consistency & thus desirability during interviews?

Any clue what percentage of the class uses none/one/both?

Can a UVA student chirp in regarding whether there's a similar policy for you?


In the past students could take something like up to 5/6 classes pass/fail and still graduate with honors. I think a lot took advantage of it. For the classes of 2012 onward, they reduced it to 2 classes of 8 units or fewer, but with the advantage of being able to retroactive pass/fail. (Meaning you can see what your grade is first.) I think the vast majority of students take advantage of the pass/fail system. Additionally, clinics can be taken for pass/fail credit (most clinics require you to take it for at least partial pass/fail credit) and some people take graduate courses pass/fail outside of the law school. You can take clinics and non-law graduate classes pass/fail without having it count towards the 2 pass/fail limit. A lot of students I know take MBA courses in Ross business school.

Also, I personally don't think firms really care. (Maybe judges care when hiring clerks.) But I just finished OCI, and honestly don't think most firm recruiters pore over transcripts like everyone thinks they do - they mainly just look at cumulative GPA.
Last edited by irishman86 on Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:02 am, edited 6 times in total.

irishman86
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby irishman86 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:51 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
irishman86 wrote:
bradley wrote:If you want an Article III clerkship, go to UVA (they place much better). I think it's because of their grade inflation - most judges and clerks don't realize that Michigan has a pretty tough curve, even for upper-level classes. For example, for SCOTUS clerkships, you probably need above a 4.0. Only 2-3 Michigan students end up with that every year; at UVA, it's more like 6-7. I think that's why UVA places so well at SCOTUS.


Where did you get this data? Mich does have a harsher curve, but historical Article III clerkship placement is about the same.

Class of 2007:
Michigan: 13.9%
Virginia: 12.4%

Class of 2008:
Michigan: 9%
Virginia: 11.8%

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=116941

This is the most recent data we have. If someone else can post the data for the Classes of 2009 or 2010, it'd be appreciated.

Also, it's almost impossible to land a SCOTUS clerkship, so that shouldn't even factor into a person's decision when choosing among law schools outside of Yale.

(However, I know Michigan's Class of 2010 has at least one person clerking for SCOTUS. This particular individual was finishing a JD/PhD in 2010 and I think is heading to SCOTUS straight from law school without clerking for COA, which is unusual and very impressive.)


Likewise, its exceedingly difficult to land a COA clerkship, and your odds from any of MVP will be fairly similar. More importantly, one shouldn't pick schools based on the .5% difference in COA placement rates because that won't be an option for 95% of the class.


I totally agree with this. And I'm positive clerkships have gotten even more competitive since 2007/2008 because firm hiring has gone down. (For example, the judge I worked for this past summer said that he had a record number of applications last year.) Deciding what school to attend based on clerkship placement (outside of YHS) is a bad idea.

I'd take a hard look at scholarship money, given that UVA and Mich have very similar job prospects.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby CGI Fridays » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:36 pm

im_blue wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=113802
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=101763
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=129256


Hey I really appreciate the links. I was about to post on the second one (PI), but I can't:

Notice wrote: Can not post a reply to this topic at the moment because we are archiving topics that have not been replied to in a while.


Sooo, I'll post it here I suppose.

I know that Fed jobs are extremely difficult to land, & it's been stated in this thread that UVA & Mich are about equal there, but do either place better for Federal Enviro Law jobs? I know there probably aren't stats on this... thought I'd ask just in case.

Also there was a post that UVA was improving it's LRAP, which is a huge factor for me. Any word on that?

lawschoolman1
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby lawschoolman1 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:44 pm

Interesting topic. Does anyone know how UVA places at Federal Agencies such as the SEC and CFTC(Commodity Futures Trading Commission)? I'm interested in these two agencies and figure UVA would be a good school to go to and network for these positions.

irishman86
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Re: UVA vs. UMich comparison?

Postby irishman86 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:01 am

lawschoolman1 wrote:Interesting topic. Does anyone know how UVA places at Federal Agencies such as the SEC and CFTC(Commodity Futures Trading Commission)? I'm interested in these two agencies and figure UVA would be a good school to go to and network for these positions.


Networking is mainly a myth.

If you want a 2L position with the SEC, you will need good grades. If you want a permanent job, you will most likely need to get good grades, work biglaw, then lateral.




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