Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

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

Where should I go?

Michigan: cost of attendance ~ $151,000
65
62%
UCLA: cost of attendance ~ $83,000
27
26%
Vanderbilt: cost of attendance ~ $122,000
5
5%
Texas: cost of attendance ~ $107,000
8
8%
 
Total votes: 105

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drylo
Posts: 291
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Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby drylo » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:28 pm

dooood wrote:
drylo wrote:Well, you said that. I know that you said that. But like I said earlier, I wasn't asking you, because frankly, I can read the TLS forums too. I was asking somebody else who has at least some experiential knowledge (although to be honest, Flight seems to be more interested in getting offended than in having an honest discussion).

Edited to add: Also, depending on the interpretation of what you said above, I don't necessarily disagree. I think that in most markets, employers will basically give your GPA a bump for being at Michigan vis-a-vis Vandy/Texas/UCLA. In a sense, I suppose that would make it "easier" to get a job. But my point is that that has nothing to do with geographic mobility, per se. That is the whole reason that I asked Flight what he/she meant by "geographic mobility" in the earlier post. And then you were so kind as to give me your opinion on the matter, etc., and the rest is history.


It's good you acknowledged the GPA bump aspect - I think that's what has been the real point of contention that people are dancing around. But I think that the GPA point is really inextricable from the geographical point. For example, ceteris paribus, Seattle-born-and-raised Michigan student with class rank of X will be considered by Seattle firms, whereas Seattle-born-and-raised Vandy student at X rank in his class will not (no one could say where X is).

If this same student from Vandy had better grades, he could definitely break into the Seattle market, but there's going to be a point at which, if the student is below that point, it won't be possible for him to go to Seattle. This point may not be median, but it will be higher in the class than it would for a Michigan student. Given the substantial possibility that the average person will not be in the top half of his class, it's wise to go to a school where you know firms will dig deeper (because it does make a geographical difference at the cusps).


I think the GPA aspect is really what we are talking about--which is why I pushed back against the "geographic mobility" idea. It's hard to come up with any absolute rule, but it is fair to say that in the mix of information available to them about different candidates, most employers (although certainly not all) will essentially forgive a slightly lower GPA the higher up the rankings the school is. I also think that for most firms, there are a ton of other variables in each candidate's "file," though. And I'm not convinced that there is any way to truly measure how significant this "GPA bump" is, but either way, this perceived cushion is the biggest difference in "placement power" between Michigan and Vandy.

TL; DR: The difference between these schools is not so much opening different doors, but opening them ever so slightly wider. The question is about how much to pay for that--coupled with other personal factors, which I think are very important as well.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
Posts: 271
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Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:32 pm

dooood wrote:
Rory1987 wrote:Just remember that Michigan isn't a sure thing for BigLaw. I believe in the most recent NLJ 250 numbers released last month that something like 41% of Michigan kids got something -- 35% of UCLA kids got the golden ticket so the difference between the two schools isn't as huge as one may think.


But then of course that's largely due to self-selection, as evidenced by three things:
(1) Michigan's superior clerkship/PI placement
(2) The 41% figure you quoted is only from NLJ250 firms. As shown above and in other threads ad nauseam, Michigan students can and do elect to practice in smaller secondary markets where NLJ250 firms are scarce. E.g., I know a girl on LR who chose to work for a non-NLJ 250 firm that happens to be very prestigious in her market.
(3) In any event, the most indisputable evidence of Michigan's ability to place in top firms is where firms ranked it in the most recent U.S. News poll (#4).



There are almost no firms that are prestigious that are not NLJ250. Most people consider NLJ250 to be OVERinclusive as a listing of BigLaw/Prestigious firms. Most people actually use AMLaw100 (objective) or Vault 100 (subjective). If a firm doesn't make NLJ250, it is either a specialized boutique (even the top boutiques make NLJ250) or a small firm no one has ever heard of.

User avatar
drylo
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby drylo » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:37 pm

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:
dooood wrote:
Rory1987 wrote:Just remember that Michigan isn't a sure thing for BigLaw. I believe in the most recent NLJ 250 numbers released last month that something like 41% of Michigan kids got something -- 35% of UCLA kids got the golden ticket so the difference between the two schools isn't as huge as one may think.


But then of course that's largely due to self-selection, as evidenced by three things:
(1) Michigan's superior clerkship/PI placement
(2) The 41% figure you quoted is only from NLJ250 firms. As shown above and in other threads ad nauseam, Michigan students can and do elect to practice in smaller secondary markets where NLJ250 firms are scarce. E.g., I know a girl on LR who chose to work for a non-NLJ 250 firm that happens to be very prestigious in her market.
(3) In any event, the most indisputable evidence of Michigan's ability to place in top firms is where firms ranked it in the most recent U.S. News poll (#4).



There are almost no firms that are prestigious that are not NLJ250. Most people consider NLJ250 to be OVERinclusive as a listing of BigLaw/Prestigious firms. Most people actually use AMLaw100 (objective) or Vault 100 (subjective). If a firm doesn't make NLJ250, it is either a specialized boutique (even the top boutiques make NLJ250) or a small firm no one has ever heard of.


There are definitely a lot of desirable firms that are prestigious in their markets that are not big enough to be NLJ 250. Nashville has a couple NLJ 250 firms, but there are a handful 20-40 lawyer firms that enjoy similar or better reputations and are very desirable jobs for people at the top of Vandy's classes.

dooood
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:45 am

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby dooood » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:44 pm

-
Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ATR
Posts: 1119
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Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby ATR » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:18 pm

Really good information in recent posts; glad the thread got brought back to life!

User avatar
FlightoftheEarls
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:29 pm

drylo wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
pereira6 wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:I don't know why you made it personal, as his point is completely valid. But if you want to be a dick about it, that's fine, so let me be clear - being at Michigan, I got offers in NYC, SF (quite possibly the hardest market during 2010's OCI, maybe even above DC), and Arizona, all through OCI. You want to talk about keeping options open, please try to get offers in all of those markets through OCI at Vandy, UCLA, or Texas, and let me know how it works out for you.


What salary range were your offers, and where in your class are you at Michigan?

PM'd with more information, but the firms all paid market, and both SF/NYC are well-known Vault firms. I'd rather not discuss GPA on here since I have plenty of friends on these boards; GPA was fine, but not spectacular by any stretch. This thread isn't about me - I only posted that anecdote because I don't appreciate that level of unnecessary condescension from somebody who hasn't even been through the OCI process.


Just read this post--must have glanced over it earlier. I don't appreciate that level of condescension from someone assuming that I haven't been through OCI--for no apparent reason. (For future reference, there is a button at the bottom of all of my posts that says "profile"--try it out sometime.) At this point, the thought that you would call somebody out for being condescending is laughable.

Also couldn't help but notice that you still haven't answered my question. You didn't hesitate to jump on me for telling the 0Ls that I wasn't asking them the question, but you scuttled away without ever actually addressing it. Believe it or not, I actually wasn't trying to be hostile toward you at all, but don't let my questions disturb that chip on your shoulder.

1.) My apologies for the delay in responding - I am a student after all, and the brief break I took earlier to check TLS while trying to finish my Sec Reg reading wasn't enough time to adequately respond to your question, but I'm definitely happy to do so now.

2.) I don't know why, but when I hastily clicked on your profile I could have sworn it said c/o 2013. Clearly it doesn't, so that was definitely my mistake. I'm sorry for the embarrassingly incorrect response on my part - seriously, that was my bad.

drylo wrote:
In case you would like to address answer my question, I will repost my position:

drylo wrote:Every school [in this thread] can send people to the major markets. But the secondary markets seem to depend way more on who you are and what your background is, than where you went to law school. Do you disagree with that?


I agree that every school in this thread can send people to the major markets, although the class rank necessary will vary based on the school and market.

I also agree with the secondary market statement, but I would personally caution that it can be beneficial for the specific firms to be familiar with students from a particular school, as firms that come to OCI will more frequently be. For example, I believe the firm in the secondary market in which I was offered only recruited at the local schools, Chicago, Harvard, and Michigan (an odd mix, yes, and it was because they had a number of partners from the schools). While firms recruiting through OCI are certainly not necessary to get back to distant secondary markets if you have strong ties, it still helps to have that initial contact. People are definitely hired through resume drops on occasion, but in the current hiring market I think having that initial interview and a demonstrated "product" in the form of previous hires may prove increasingly beneficial.

User avatar
joeljohnson
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Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby joeljohnson » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:35 pm

OP, what are your numbers?

Trequartista
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:26 am

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby Trequartista » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:05 am

joeljohnson wrote:OP, what are your numbers?


+1

ATR
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:18 pm

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby ATR » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:07 am

nael wrote:
joeljohnson wrote:OP, what are your numbers?


+1

PM'd both of you.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:54 am

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:
There are almost no firms that are prestigious that are not NLJ250. Most people consider NLJ250 to be OVERinclusive as a listing of BigLaw/Prestigious firms. Most people actually use AMLaw100 (objective) or Vault 100 (subjective). If a firm doesn't make NLJ250, it is either a specialized boutique (even the top boutiques make NLJ250) or a small firm no one has ever heard of.


Bolded comments don't make any sense. Aren't boutique mostly all under 100? Aren't there a ton of very prestigious boutique firms under 174 lawyers?

In talking about firms in Texas, Susman Godfrey (lit boutique) is about as prestigious as you can get and they have 89 attorneys. (With attorneys like this guy: http://www.susmangodfrey.com/?id=272 .)

TheFactor
Posts: 789
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby TheFactor » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:35 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:In talking about firms in Texas, Susman Godfrey (lit boutique) is about as prestigious as you can get and they have 89 attorneys. (With attorneys like this guy: http://www.susmangodfrey.com/?id=272 .)

tough life

User avatar
omninode
Posts: 405
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Texas?

Postby omninode » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:18 am

TheFactor wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:In talking about firms in Texas, Susman Godfrey (lit boutique) is about as prestigious as you can get and they have 89 attorneys. (With attorneys like this guy: http://www.susmangodfrey.com/?id=272 .)

tough life



Sad, really. After all he has accomplished, he still has to live with the name Shackelford.




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