Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

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

Which should I choose?

Poll ended at Sat May 07, 2011 2:26 pm

Penn (sticker)
26
37%
Michigan ($10,000/year merit aid)
44
63%
 
Total votes: 70

mycousinvinny56
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Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby mycousinvinny56 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:26 pm

I am currently choosing between Penn at sticker price and UMich with $10,000/year merit aid. I want to ultimately work in NYC in a private firm at least for the first few years out of law school. I'd also like to do a judicial clerkship. As for the type of law, my interests are not strong enough for me to select one over the other for their specialties. The Mich scholarship is alluring, but it is not enough to unquestionably push me toward choosing Mich. I visited both schools and as for the "feel" component, I could frankly see myself attending either. They're very similar in terms of soft factors--both are well-known for their collegiality and for professor accessibility, etc. Likewise, Mich touts itself on having a nice communal culture with its Lawyers' Club and its insular quad, but at the same time Penn has a smaller class. COA is cheaper at Mich, but not by much. With respect to clerkship placement Penn and Mich seem relatively equal. The most important distinction--although I am not sure how important it really is--is that while Mich places people in a greater diversity of markets, Penn seems to have stronger connections with East Coast BigLaw. I am leaning in the direction of selecting Penn for its superior East Coast BigLaw recruiting, but I am not sure if abandoning a scholarship is a good idea when the career prospects of each school differ marginally. In sum, I am pretty lost. Any thoughts?

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ahduth
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby ahduth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Sure. Take the Michigan scholarship, then pay me the 30 grand when get out of law school if it's not worth that much to you.

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AreJay711
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:17 pm

I don't think Michigan is any weaker at placing people in NYC (they send the plurality there) it just sends more people to a variety of markets. They hype it up at there being less competition because of that but it also means that there is less of an alumni network in NYC. I don't know if that matters as your career develops because you'd like to thing it your work product that matters after you've been practicing for a few years but it might. Still, with less debt and without a strong feeling one way or the other as far as fit, I think you should take Michigan especially since the col seems way inflated from my estimates (I'll be a summer starter so I already am getting everything squared away). I wouldn't want to save money by living in a shadier part Philadelphia if I was going to Penn.

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Moxie
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby Moxie » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:24 pm

Penn may be marginally better at NYC Biglaw placement, but Michigan's lower COA and scholarship are definitely important considerations.

Personally, I'd recommend you pick whatever school you're more excited about, but when in doubt, Michigan will be about $40k lower in total cost, so might as well go there.

TLSNYC
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby TLSNYC » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Penn is definitely better than Michigan for biglaw in NYC, not by a huge amount, per se, but enough that the edge is not necessarily irrelevant. Penn has higher NLJ250 placement by fairly large margins 3/4 past years. Also, Penn does better among more prestigious firms (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html).

If you were more interested in PI/gov't, I could see how Michigan might make more sense since it offers more institutional support for that kind of stuff.

FWIW, I think 30k is a good chunk of change and these schools are close enough that you might just want to follow the money.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:50 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Penn is definitely better than Michigan for biglaw in NYC, not by a huge amount, per se, but enough that the edge is not necessarily irrelevant. Penn has higher NLJ250 placement by fairly large margins 3/4 past years. Also, Penn does better among more prestigious firms (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html).

If you were more interested in PI/gov't, I could see how Michigan might make more sense since it offers more institutional support for that kind of stuff.

FWIW, I think 30k is a good chunk of change and these schools are close enough that you might just want to follow the money.

Ran here. Rayiner and I discussed this throughout this thread, but this post (and the ones just below it) relate to more recent data: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=138482&p=3645700&hilit=+penn+michigan#p3645700.

dooood
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby dooood » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:53 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Penn is definitely better than Michigan for biglaw in NYC, not by a huge amount, per se, but enough that the edge is not necessarily irrelevant. Penn has higher NLJ250 placement by fairly large margins 3/4 past years. Also, Penn does better among more prestigious firms (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html).

If you were more interested in PI/gov't, I could see how Michigan might make more sense since it offers more institutional support for that kind of stuff.

FWIW, I think 30k is a good chunk of change and these schools are close enough that you might just want to follow the money.

That link is credited, but it's mostly explained by self-selection: Mich students tend to disperse geographically more than any other school, and most legal markets in this country don't have V25 offices. Bottom line, though, is that you should not be worried about your ability to get NYC biglaw from Michigan. While Mich graduates tend to scatter around the country more than grads of other top schools, NYC is still its largest market. NYC firms love Mich, and the same firms come to both schools. In the latest US News rankings by law firm hiring partners (very NY-centric), Mich ranked #4 and Penn #13, so you can use rankings and stats to argue this ad infinitum. It's basically a wash, so I vote to take the money and run.

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absolutazn87
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby absolutazn87 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:55 pm

I had a similar choice: Penn at 40k vs Mich at 67k and I chose Penn. But my reasons were more specific - I liked the clinics at Penn and I wanted to get the Wharton certificate. If you're not drawn to anything specific at either school, I would take the money and run. If you genuinely prefer Penn, 30k isn't that much.

random924
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby random924 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:05 pm

It sounds like for any of the concrete factors that are important to you the two schools are pretty equally tied. I would recommend getting a feel for where you will be a happier person for the next 3 years of your life. FWIW, I grew up in Michigan and lived in AA for three summers, and I don't think you could go wrong with U of M. It's beautiful and AA is actually a pretty great place to be. Good luck!

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meno22
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby meno22 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:17 pm

I had the exact same decision. And FYI, by my calculations UM (with the 30k) ends up being almost 50k less than Penn @ sticker.

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king3780
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Re: Penn (Sticker) vs. Michigan (Scholarship)

Postby king3780 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:36 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Both are great schools, and both will give you solid options in NYC and for clerkships. But IMO you'd be nuts to turn down Michigan here. The $40-50k COA difference may not seem like a lot now, but I guarantee you it will when you start making those loan payments.

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