UPDATED: Help Me Choose (BC w/105k vs. Michigan at sticker)

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

Where Should I Go?

BC (105k)
35
70%
Michigan (Sticker)
15
30%
 
Total votes: 50

Husky07
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UPDATED: Help Me Choose (BC w/105k vs. Michigan at sticker)

Postby Husky07 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:21 pm

Hello everyone,

I thought I'd pick your brains now that we're getting closer to decision time. I've learned quite a bit about the application process through this website, so I'd value any input people are willing to offer.

Here's the background: I have a pretty good government job which is related to law. I've always had an interest in law school and working with lawyers has pushed me over the edge in deciding to attend. A law degree would allow me to move up within my agency, but I'm also interested in opening up new opportunities. My primary interest is in government, but I obviously wouldn't mind having Big Law as a possibility. I would also be interested in learning more about international law, ADR, and academia, though my initial understanding is that these careers can be very narrow or difficult to attain.

Money is certainly a consideration for me and I'm rather debt averse. I've been admitted to part-time programs at Fordham and GW, which would help me with the cost. However, I'm concerned that this would lower my performance and lessen my experience. I'm interested in practicing in Boston, NYC, or Albany if I have a good opportunity. I've gotten some scholarship money, but have yet to negotiate.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to demonstrate why this is a tough call. You can see my options and information within my profile. I'd especially love to hear from current students and those already in the field.

Thanks very much for any advice you can offer!!
Last edited by Husky07 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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dingbat
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:00 am

If you can find/keep meaningful employment and that means graduating debt-free, go part-time.
GW and Fordham are both good schools - but since you said you'd rather work in New York, you should go to Fordham.

People generally say go to either T14, or the school that gives the best scholarship, but it should really be "go where you can graduate with the least amount of debt" - which is probably the part-time programs.

As for lowering your performance, that depends on you as a person (after working a full day, will you have enough energy to study? If your days run from 7am to 11pm without any personal time, will you go nuts? Can you keep that up for 4+ years?)

I don't know about GW, but Fordham allows you to switch to the daytime program after your first year, so if it really is getting to be too much, you can do that.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:10 am

Take the cash at BU/BC, then hop back into your own field if your shot at Boston Biglaw doesn't pan out.

Husky07
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Husky07 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:25 am

Thanks to those who've chimed in as well as those who've voted. I know it's a small sample, but I see more votes for BU than BC. Is there a real difference other than slight ranking and location? I'm open to both, but I have a slight Catholic and family alum bias toward BC.

I'm also seeing lots of Michigan votes, which doesn't surprise me too much. Do you all feel it's greater prestige comes into play more often with NYC/DC positions? In other words, would money, regional preference, and ties to Boston level the playing field a bit?

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stillwater
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby stillwater » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:47 am

Husky07 wrote:Thanks to those who've chimed in as well as those who've voted. I know it's a small sample, but I see more votes for BU than BC. Is there a real difference other than slight ranking and location? I'm open to both, but I have a slight Catholic and family alum bias toward BC.

I'm also seeing lots of Michigan votes, which doesn't surprise me too much. Do you all feel it's greater prestige comes into play more often with NYC/DC positions? In other words, would money, regional preference, and ties to Boston level the playing field a bit?


I think the BU/BC disparity is probably a product of most people, inevitably so, being from outside the New England area. In NE, BC is king (reputation-wise even if placement is a bit of a wash), while BU seems to get more attention outside New England for whatever reason.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:54 am

stillwater wrote:
Husky07 wrote:Thanks to those who've chimed in as well as those who've voted. I know it's a small sample, but I see more votes for BU than BC. Is there a real difference other than slight ranking and location? I'm open to both, but I have a slight Catholic and family alum bias toward BC.

I'm also seeing lots of Michigan votes, which doesn't surprise me too much. Do you all feel it's greater prestige comes into play more often with NYC/DC positions? In other words, would money, regional preference, and ties to Boston level the playing field a bit?


I think the BU/BC disparity is probably a product of most people, inevitably so, being from outside the New England area. In NE, BC is king (reputation-wise even if placement is a bit of a wash), while BU seems to get more attention outside New England for whatever reason.

This overstates things. They're peer schools - as price is equal, OP should choose which one he feels more comfortable at (assuming you don't decided to roll the dice at Michigan).

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sach1282
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby sach1282 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:56 am

BC/BU should be one poll option.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:03 am

sach1282 wrote:BC/BU should be one poll option.


This. We can only vote for one. I voted BU because it's in Boston and BC kinda isn't, but that's a fairly shallow distinction.

NavyLaw
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby NavyLaw » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:13 am

I was in a similar boat in debating between part time DC programs while staying with my Fed job and going full time elsewhere...I'm staying in DC. I'd have to agree with your first responder to stay debt averse. Don't just look at scholarship money because with your current job you also need to factor in losing your potential income for three years. Going to school with a full time job won't be easy, but as a Fed I think its pretty do-able (granted I won't be starting until next year so I could be totally off). From what I've heard employers really do look favorably on someone who has gone that route, even if you may not get some of the extra-curricular experience. Also, if you want to stay with the Government its much easier to transfer from your agency than come in from the outside.
Last edited by NavyLaw on Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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20130312
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby 20130312 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:16 am

Michigan has a great LRAP, and BC/BU on that huge scholly would also allow you to pursue opportunities outside biglaw easily. I think your choices can be narrowed down to these three schools pretty quickly. Given that you mentioned being open to biglaw and academia, I'm leaning towards Michigan. But I don't think there's a bad choice out of those three schools. You should visit them all and see what "fits" for you.

83947368
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby 83947368 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:03 pm

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby keg411 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:46 pm

Either BU/BC or Michigan. GW and Fordham at Sticker should be thrown out immediately and you should withdraw from both schools. If you're going to pay sticker, you do it at the Top 10.

I'd lean Michigan because I go here, so I'm biased. But you will likely have options in all three of your desired markets if you come here, plus the LRAP is amazing (covers all legal jobs, not just public sector).

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romothesavior
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby romothesavior » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:49 pm

Definitely toss out GW/Fordham. It comes down to BU/BC vs. Michigan.

I'd lean Michigan here, unless you can get BU/BC to up the dollar amount.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:Definitely toss out GW/Fordham. It comes down to BU/BC vs. Michigan.

I'd lean Michigan here, unless you can get BU/BC to up the dollar amount.

this. I think i you have a guaranteed job after graduation, BU/BC remains strong, but if it's unsure, the likelihood of getting a good job is a bit higher at Mich

Husky07
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Husky07 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:02 pm

Adm.Doppleganger wrote:Where's your job? Do you have geographical preferences? Do you think the office you work for would consider hiring you full time after you graduate? Is that office in DC or NYC so you could work there while going to school?

I think generally the above poster is completely right. I'd lean to Michigan as it would give you more options but since you are debt adverse BU/BC scholarships give you quite a bargain.


My job is in NYC. I could potentially get a transfer to DC. If I stayed on during school I could more easily move into upper management, though I wouldn't be practicing in the conventional sense. Our top management primarily consists of attorneys. If I left I wouldn't have a guarantee, but would have decent contacts in addition to the past experience. My long-term preference would be Boston or Albany, but I'm ok with NYC.

Also, I edited the poll as suggested above. It looks like this reset the vote. Thanks again everyone!

Husky07
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Husky07 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:Definitely toss out GW/Fordham. It comes down to BU/BC vs. Michigan.

I'd lean Michigan here, unless you can get BU/BC to up the dollar amount.


Do you think I could negotiate with Fordham or GW for some money? Does that change the equation? I'm thinking scholarship, plus money, experience, and contacts due to working makes PT attractive. I'm just worried about lowering my work/study product, stress, and you know, having no life.

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romothesavior
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby romothesavior » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:26 pm

Husky07 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Definitely toss out GW/Fordham. It comes down to BU/BC vs. Michigan.

I'd lean Michigan here, unless you can get BU/BC to up the dollar amount.


Do you think I could negotiate with Fordham or GW for some money? Does that change the equation? I'm thinking scholarship, plus money, experience, and contacts due to working makes PT attractive. I'm just worried about lowering my work/study product, stress, and you know, having no life.

No, it doesn't really change it for me. Michigan is many times better than the other schools that you are looking at. The difference between Michigan and a T20 like BU/BC/GW/Fordham is worth well over 100k, which is why BU/BC are at least in the conversation and GW/Fordham are not. It would take a ton of money from GW/Fordham to make them worth it.

I understand your concerns, but I think going FT will be a fine experience. You'll probably have a better social life, and have more free time. And if you do find yourself looking for a little something extra, you can join organizations (law review, moot court, etc.) or get a part-time job 2L and 3L year to make some dough.

Husky07
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Husky07 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:48 pm

Bump. Any more thoughts or votes? Right now it's split right down the middle. I am leaning away from GW and Fordham as things stand, but I could be swayed back with a decent scholarship, especially at Fordham. If I could make that work, even for one year, I'd be putting away a good chunk of change during school. I feel like this lowers my overall risk and hedges my bets by staying on my job. And I'm not miserable at work by any means. I actually like it, but I don't see myself happy in my current position long term.

BU/BC is a homecoming which I could probably fund debt free, so it's pretty safe and high QOL choice. I'd lose a good bit of potential earnings and deplete my savings, but I could see it working for me.

Michigan was one of several hail marys that I threw up and I'm still euphoric from getting in. The thought of going and the potential opportunities are very exciting. People speak very highly of it, which is quite persuasive. My worries are money and location. I wonder if going deep into debt and completely starting over will make it just as stressful as going PT. These are particularly tough risks for a guy like me whose a bit older ( turning 28 in Sept.). And I worry that the debt will necessitate biglaw more than keeping it an option. I'm not a gambler by nature as you could probably tell.

I like the advice to check them all out and see what "fits." Its gonna be a busy month I guess. In the meantime, don't hesitate to keep the thoughts and votes coming! They are much appreciated.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:13 pm

I'd lean BU/BC over Michigan because of the huge scholly, although I'm surprised Michigan didn't offer you anything based on your numbers and URM status. Either way, there are 2 right answers and 2 wrong answers in your poll and it's clear which is which.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:22 pm

If you weren't interested in Biglaw, but rather intended to stay with your current career path, I'd think working your way through a PT program would make a lot of sense. I'm not sure I'd want to pay full price for GW or Fordham, however. You'd have to do the costs/benefits analysis for yourself, though.

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romothesavior
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby romothesavior » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:03 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:I'd lean BU/BC over Michigan because of the huge scholly, although I'm surprised Michigan didn't offer you anything based on your numbers and URM status. Either way, there are 2 right answers and 2 wrong answers in your poll and it's clear which is which.

Michigan seems worth an extra 100k to me, but to each their own.

It does seem like BU/BC get way more love than their T20 peers. If this were almost any other T20 school, the poll would be heavily in favor of Michigan. I've seen plenty of GW/ND/WUSTL/UIUC with a full ride vs. Michigan sticker and it usually winds up in Michigan's favor. I get that BU/BC have a bit better placement than some of their peers but we're talking about 100k and its about split.

keg411
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby keg411 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:53 am

romothesavior wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:I'd lean BU/BC over Michigan because of the huge scholly, although I'm surprised Michigan didn't offer you anything based on your numbers and URM status. Either way, there are 2 right answers and 2 wrong answers in your poll and it's clear which is which.

Michigan seems worth an extra 100k to me, but to each their own.

It does seem like BU/BC get way more love than their T20 peers. If this were almost any other T20 school, the poll would be heavily in favor of Michigan. I've seen plenty of GW/ND/WUSTL/UIUC with a full ride vs. Michigan sticker and it usually winds up in Michigan's favor. I get that BU/BC have a bit better placement than some of their peers but we're talking about 100k and its about split.


I think it's the fact that OP is actually from the Boston area (I'm guessing CT from the username) that makes the difference. I can (almost) always understand when someone wants to go "home". I'd still pick Michigan, though... he can get a Boston/DC/NYC job out of Michigan with those types of ties, and it will likely be better than the type of job he would get out of BU/BC.

rad lulz
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby rad lulz » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:10 am

With a 10 yr IBR agency job as a backup, I'd Mich.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:26 am

romothesavior wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:I'd lean BU/BC over Michigan because of the huge scholly, although I'm surprised Michigan didn't offer you anything based on your numbers and URM status. Either way, there are 2 right answers and 2 wrong answers in your poll and it's clear which is which.

Michigan seems worth an extra 100k to me, but to each their own.

It does seem like BU/BC get way more love than their T20 peers. If this were almost any other T20 school, the poll would be heavily in favor of Michigan. I've seen plenty of GW/ND/WUSTL/UIUC with a full ride vs. Michigan sticker and it usually winds up in Michigan's favor. I get that BU/BC have a bit better placement than some of their peers but we're talking about 100k and its about split.


That's a good point. I know at least at BU the scholarships are guaranteed for all 3 years and the tuition is lower than most T14 schools (about 41K for this year), so that's only 18K of debt from tuition. Michigan on the other hand would run him about 150K in tuition debt, but there is of course the COL in Boston so it probably comes out to somewhere around 120K difference. Just an estimate though, like I said both choices are very good and I personally would show Michigan your scholarships and see if they make a small offer.

Husky07
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Re: Help Me Choose

Postby Husky07 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:56 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:I'd lean BU/BC over Michigan because of the huge scholly, although I'm surprised Michigan didn't offer you anything based on your numbers and URM status. Either way, there are 2 right answers and 2 wrong answers in your poll and it's clear which is which.

Michigan seems worth an extra 100k to me, but to each their own.

It does seem like BU/BC get way more love than their T20 peers. If this were almost any other T20 school, the poll would be heavily in favor of Michigan. I've seen plenty of GW/ND/WUSTL/UIUC with a full ride vs. Michigan sticker and it usually winds up in Michigan's favor. I get that BU/BC have a bit better placement than some of their peers but we're talking about 100k and its about split.


That's a good point. I know at least at BU the scholarships are guaranteed for all 3 years and the tuition is lower than most T14 schools (about 41K for this year), so that's only 18K of debt from tuition. Michigan on the other hand would run him about 150K in tuition debt, but there is of course the COL in Boston so it probably comes out to somewhere around 120K difference. Just an estimate though, like I said both choices are very good and I personally would show Michigan your scholarships and see if they make a small offer.


Yeah, I'm thinking that I'll start to negotiate soon. I also need to see if any need-based money comes my way. I'll update the poll if I get any new info. I'm at least glad to see that others are split on this one. That gives me confidence that my personal choice won't be terribly foolish, at least according to conventional wisdom.




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