Zeephyr wrote:I have learned two things thus far. (1) My class rank calculus can be tossed out the window, (2) my spouse's opinon matters a lot (believe me, I already knew this )
As far as my spouse is concerned, uprooting after 3 years of law school is not a problem. Outside of college, sp. has never lived in one place for more than six months (that includes childhood). It is getting sp. to agree to live in one place for more than a couple of years that is the difficulty. That is why, on the whole, law school is much more of a cost/benefit issue for us than preference issue - we want to be able to have options quickly after law school. So getting a high paying position that pays off debt is important, but having less debt is almost equally important. The sooner we don't have to worry about law school debt the better.
Thanks for the advice about mid-size firms; that is an option I have not explored all that much.
As a pure cost-benefit analysis in which the "cost" is your debt load upon graduation and the "benefit" is your chance of landing biglaw, GULC with 100k of debt is the hands-down winner over Michigan with 167k. For the class of 2010, Michigan placed 42% in NLJ250 firms while GULC placed 37%. So does paying an extra 67k for that additional 5% chance at biglaw seem worth it to you? It sure doesn't to me.
Also think about how much debt you would realistically be able to pay down each year even if you did land biglaw. My guess would be 30-40k. So by that figure, it would take you two years of biglaw to get your Michigan debt down to what your GULC debt would have been at graduation (100k). Then you consider that most biglaw associates only last 3 to 5 years, and the case for Michigan over GULC becomes nearly irrational.
Yes, there's some holes in my argument, but the bottom line is that Michigan is not worth 67k more than GULC for biglaw placement power. Unless you have some compelling reason to be in Ann Arbor for the next three years (which it doesn't sound like you do), then come on down to GULC and catch some Hoyas games with me!