NU vs Michigan vs Texas

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

Where should I go?

Northwestern ($75K scholarship, COA ~$144K)
14
35%
Michigan ($45K scholarship, COA ~$150K)
19
48%
Texas ($76.5K scholarship, COA $107K)
7
18%
 
Total votes: 40

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src42
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NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby src42 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Since everyone else is doing it...

I finally have all my scholarship info and I'm ready to start making some decisions. I've been accepted at Northwestern with a $75K scholarship (total COA ~$144K), Michigan with $45K (COA ~$150K) and Texas with in-state tuition and $28,500 (COA $107K). I have a bit of savings and hopefully my COA will be about $40-$50K lower than those estimates.

Career goals: BigLaw for a while, then government or non-profit work down the line. No real geographic preference, but I don't really want NYC. I'm from Texas originally, and I don't hate it, but there are other places I like better. My grandma is lobbying hard for TX. :) I haven't spent much time in Chicago but I liked what I saw. Haven't visited Ann Arbor yet.

Career interests: renewable energy law and policy, tax, anti-trust. A clerkship would be cool, but definitely not my primary reason for going to law school.

Michigan seems like the obvious choice, and I'm really excited about it, but there is one fairly significant complicating factor:
My SO is really worried about getting a job in Ann Arbor. She has a great resume and I'm sure she'd be able to find something, but she is worried about having a weird three-year "gap" on her resume and then having a hard time finding a new job when we move after law school. I totally get this and if I were in her shoes I'd be worried too. I wouldn't mind Chicago or Austin if it's better for her, but I do prefer Michigan.

I guess I'd like some advice on whether career opportunities coming from NU are really significantly worse than from Michigan. If my only real goal is BigLaw, are they about the same? Also, if anyone at Michigan with a SO could comment on his/her job search, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone!

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camelcrema
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby camelcrema » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:09 pm

What field is your SO in?

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src42
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby src42 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:15 pm

camelcrema wrote:What field is your SO in?

She works for the federal government in an administrative/managerial role and she has worked at a large Fortune 100 company in gov't affairs. She's most worried about taking a significantly worse position.

ATR
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby ATR » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:18 pm

I have identical offers at Michigan and Texas and similar career goals (although I was held at NW and don't have an SO to worry about), so some of the posts in my thread may be of use to you. I believe Michigan does a little better than Northwestern for biglaw, but I'm pretty sure the margin's not too significant.
Last edited by ATR on Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:21 pm

src42 wrote:Since everyone else is doing it...

I finally have all my scholarship info and I'm ready to start making some decisions. I've been accepted at Northwestern with a $75K scholarship (total COA ~$144K), Michigan with $45K (COA ~$150K) and Texas with in-state tuition and $28,500 (COA $107K). I have a bit of savings and hopefully my COA will be about $40-$50K lower than those estimates.

Career goals: BigLaw for a while, then government or non-profit work down the line. No real geographic preference, but I don't really want NYC. I'm from Texas originally, and I don't hate it, but there are other places I like better. My grandma is lobbying hard for TX. :) I haven't spent much time in Chicago but I liked what I saw. Haven't visited Ann Arbor yet.

Career interests: renewable energy law and policy, tax, anti-trust. A clerkship would be cool, but definitely not my primary reason for going to law school.

Michigan seems like the obvious choice, and I'm really excited about it, but there is one fairly significant complicating factor:
My SO is really worried about getting a job in Ann Arbor. She has a great resume and I'm sure she'd be able to find something, but she is worried about having a weird three-year "gap" on her resume and then having a hard time finding a new job when we move after law school. I totally get this and if I were in her shoes I'd be worried too. I wouldn't mind Chicago or Austin if it's better for her, but I do prefer Michigan.

I guess I'd like some advice on whether career opportunities coming from NU are really significantly worse than from Michigan. If my only real goal is BigLaw, are they about the same? Also, if anyone at Michigan with a SO could comment on his/her job search, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone!


NU is definitely as good as Michigan for big law. It might even be better. It beats Michigan in NLJ250 % every year. This year they are effectively tied though. Michigan will be slightly better for California, worse for Chicago, and tied for NYC.

I'd go for either Texas or Northwestern. But you probably can't make a wrong choice here. All three are tied. If it wasn't for your wife I'd tell you to pick whichever campus you liked better.

However, at NU, your wife can find a job, and if she likes it, and you like the city you can get a big law job in Chicago without forcing her to move again in three years. Making her move twice in three years is asking a lot.

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homestyle28
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:23 pm

src42 wrote:
camelcrema wrote:What field is your SO in?

She works for the federal government in an administrative/managerial role and she has worked at a large Fortune 100 company in gov't affairs. She's most worried about taking a significantly worse position.


I've lived in a handful of college towns similar to Ann Arbor, in my experience finding a job there is all about who you know, so do you have connections in MI to help SO? If not, I'd lean towards NU b/c of Chicago. I suspect your overall LS experience and success will depend on overall happiness, which (if you're like me) will depend a fair bit on SO's happiness, which likely depends on SO's job satisfaction.

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Patriot1208
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:42 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
src42 wrote:
camelcrema wrote:What field is your SO in?

She works for the federal government in an administrative/managerial role and she has worked at a large Fortune 100 company in gov't affairs. She's most worried about taking a significantly worse position.


I've lived in a handful of college towns similar to Ann Arbor, in my experience finding a job there is all about who you know, so do you have connections in MI to help SO? If not, I'd lean towards NU b/c of Chicago. I suspect your overall LS experience and success will depend on overall happiness, which (if you're like me) will depend a fair bit on SO's happiness, which likely depends on SO's job satisfaction.

Go to NU, it will be the best out of the three to find your SO a decent job.

splitmuch
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby splitmuch » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:44 pm

Either Mich or UT because I'm on hold at NW

TheStrand
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby TheStrand » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:53 pm

It would probably be easiest for her if you did Chicago or Austin. What grade is she? If she continues to work for the government, agencies will usually match grades. There's a federal hiring freeze for DOJ, but USAJobs has an administrator position open:

http://jobview.usajobs.gov/GetJob.aspx? ... %3a03%3a00

It's only a 7, but USAR might do matching or at least be able to bump her up to the highest GS-7 step. Additionally, she will get a small competitive advantage because she's a fed employee, and her TSP, sick leave and annual will be transferable. If she already has Secret clearance that might help her as well. I don't know what other experience she has, but there are also a few other jobs in the 9 or 11 range that might fit within her field too.

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src42
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby src42 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:11 pm

Desert Fox wrote:NU is definitely as good as Michigan for big law. It might even be better. It beats Michigan in NLJ250 % every year. This year they are effectively tied though. Michigan will be slightly better for California, worse for Chicago, and tied for NYC.

I'd go for either Texas or Northwestern. But you probably can't make a wrong choice here. All three are tied. If it wasn't for your wife I'd tell you to pick whichever campus you liked better.

However, at NU, your wife can find a job, and if she likes it, and you like the city you can get a big law job in Chicago without forcing her to move again in three years. Making her move twice in three years is asking a lot.

Thanks for this. I think I may just let her choose. I'm sure I'll be happy at any one of the three.
homestyle28 wrote:I've lived in a handful of college towns similar to Ann Arbor, in my experience finding a job there is all about who you know, so do you have connections in MI to help SO? If not, I'd lean towards NU b/c of Chicago. I suspect your overall LS experience and success will depend on overall happiness, which (if you're like me) will depend a fair bit on SO's happiness, which likely depends on SO's job satisfaction.

We have some ties to Ann Arbor, and she has lots of Detroit ties. We'll probably work these contacts hard before I have to send deposits in April. I definitely want her to be happy, for my own happiness as well as hers. :)
TheStrand wrote:It would probably be easiest for her if you did Chicago or Austin. What grade is she? If she continues to work for the government, agencies will usually match grades. There's a federal hiring freeze for DOJ, but USAJobs has an administrator position open:

http://jobview.usajobs.gov/GetJob.aspx? ... %3a03%3a00

It's only a 7, but USAR might do matching or at least be able to bump her up to the highest GS-7 step. Additionally, she will get a small competitive advantage because she's a fed employee, and her TSP, sick leave and annual will be transferable. If she already has Secret clearance that might help her as well. I don't know what other experience she has, but there are also a few other jobs in the 9 or 11 range that might fit within her field too.

I think she's 11. This is certainly an option in Chicago or Austin. She could probably transfer to a different position at the same agency in a regional office.

I think I'm going to pick NU, but ughhh Michigan seems so fun. Quick: someone tell me good things about Northwestern!

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Patriot1208
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

src42 wrote:I think I'm going to pick NU, but ughhh Michigan seems so fun. Quick: someone tell me good things about Northwestern!

loose women

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src42
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby src42 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:27 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
src42 wrote:I think I'm going to pick NU, but ughhh Michigan seems so fun. Quick: someone tell me good things about Northwestern!

loose women

Helpful. Decision made.

09042014
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:28 pm

src42 wrote:
I think I'm going to pick NU, but ughhh Michigan seems so fun. Quick: someone tell me good things about Northwestern!


We don't live in dorms, we have very few annoying 22 year olds, and everyone is nice. It's more young urban professional compared to creepy olds on the college campus.

I had fun at NU ASW last year, are you going?

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homestyle28
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:34 pm

This is obligatory anytime anyone posts a considering Mich thread:

Ann Arbor is a whore.

HTH.

09042014
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:35 pm

homestyle28 wrote:This is obligatory anytime anyone posts a considering Mich thread:

Ann Arbor is a whore.

HTH.


Muck Fichigan.

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src42
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby src42 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:37 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
src42 wrote:
I think I'm going to pick NU, but ughhh Michigan seems so fun. Quick: someone tell me good things about Northwestern!


We don't live in dorms, we have very few annoying 22 year olds, and everyone is nice. It's more young urban professional compared to creepy olds on the college campus.

I had fun at NU ASW last year, are you going?

I do like the grown-up law school thing. I visited the campus in November but didn't really see much. I liked it and I liked the city in general. I may come to ASW but I haven't decided yet. I'm full of indecision.

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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby dooood » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:56 pm

-
Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Patriot1208
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:00 pm

dooood wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:This is obligatory anytime anyone posts a considering Mich thread:

Ann Arbor is a whore.

HTH.


Muck Fichigan.

Hold a grudge much?

Humorless asshole much?

dooood
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby dooood » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:04 pm

Humorless asshole much?[/quote]
I've just seen him bashing Michigan everywhere on this site. How is that being an asshole?

09042014
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:34 pm

dooood wrote:Humorless asshole much?

I've just seen him bashing Michigan everywhere on this site. How is that being an asshole?[/quote]

Much Fichigan is a Big 10 thing. I went to Illinois for undergrad and they are rivals; we are fooling around. It's not serious.

The only anti michigan trolling you'll see me doing is when people think MV are better then DNC just because of USnews. They aren't. They are all peer schools.

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Borhas
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby Borhas » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:37 pm

strange to see M w/ a big lead when OP said he likes Chicago, and COA is about equal

FWIW I say UT unless you think you'll actually end up working for the gov't, then I say NW

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jcunni5
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby jcunni5 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:39 pm

you shouldn't be worried about having fun at NU, Chicago's north side has an awesome bar scene (clark and division, Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville) + better jobs options for your SO = win

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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby sarahh » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:46 pm

My husband being able to find a job in Michigan is one of my biggest concerns, and at ASW I talked to practically everyone about it. A summary:

- It could take a few months to find a job.
- You need to be open to commuting.
- The pay is low. You may be making in the high 20s or low 30s. (This is low compared to the salaries where we are.)
- The university can be a good option, but the hiring process is very slow there.

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AreJay711
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Re: NU vs Michigan vs Texas

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Borhas wrote:strange to see M w/ a big lead when OP said he likes Chicago, and COA is about equal

FWIW I say UT unless you think you'll actually end up working for the gov't, then I say NW


Yeah, I won't Michigan troll on this one. OP, I think either NW or Texas is the correct choice. You will most likely be able to take a NW degree back to Texas and it will definitely make things easier for your SO, especially in government employment. Also, I'm not sure how much easier $750 a month would be to pay than $1000 (30 year repayment plan) -- if you could pay one, you could pay the other so I'd lean to NW.

One thing I would look at is LRAPs at different schools. It is something I really like about Michigan because it covers private sector employment instead of just public interest. IDK how the programs at NW and Texas compare but chances are your SO's employment prospects are more important for your finances anyway.




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