Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

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

Which school (Please read the post before voting!)

Toronto (105k debt)
8
20%
Michigan (87k debt)
28
70%
Duke (107k debt) - JD/M.Phil
4
10%
 
Total votes: 40

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sach1282
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Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby sach1282 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:42 pm

At this point, it looks like I will be choosing between Toronto, Duke, and Michigan. I may have other options, but I'll deal with that if it happens (check http://lawschoolnumbers.com/sach1282).

First off, take the debt figures at face value. I have financial help and those are the final numbers.
There is also the possibility that something might come through and lower all these debt figures by ~20k.

So here's some info about me:
1) I do not want biglaw. The hours are insane, I want nothing to do with it.
2) I want a clerkship. I know I'll have to have top grades to do this, but I want to clerk more than anything else.
3) My hometown is a small city with an average legal market (Buffalo, NY)
4) Academia is attractive, though I know chances are slim.

Here's what I have thought of so far for pros and cons:

Toronto:
+Access to a much healthier Canadian legal market and culture (including lower billable expectations, free heath care, and lower taxes)
+I am completely in love with the city
+Can practice in NY, MA and CA, as well as Canada

-Lower salary (~95k is market)
-Relatively large debt compared to the salary, due to the fact I am ineligible for financial aid as an international applicant


Michigan:
+Summer Start - the social situation, earlier start date, as well as the ability to choose electives earlier is very enticing
+Lowest debt of all 3
+Fantastic LRAP
+Mini-seminars
+The ability to represent clients in court as part of clinicals after just 1L

-Nothing significant

Duke:
+MA in Philosophy in just 3 years + summer start!
+The aforementioned summer start (same reasons as Michigan)
+Prefer NC weather

-Higher debt load due to the joint degree
Last edited by sach1282 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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No13baby
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby No13baby » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:34 pm

Michigan, due to the decreased debt and slightly higher (but still quite small) shot at academia/clerkships.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Duke if you want to turn the M.Phil into a PhD at Duke. A JD/PhD applicant is much more attractive in the legal academia market right now than just a JD.

Otherwise, Michigan. It's the better school, has better clerkship #s (to my knowledge), and has better faculty.

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bk1
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby bk1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:43 pm

I don't understand this:
sach1282 wrote:Toronto:
-Lower salary (~95k is market)
-Relatively large debt compared to the salary, due to the fact I am ineligible for financial aid as an international applicant

You don't want biglaw, so it's not like you're going to get a 6 figure salary anywhere. If you are not okay with US law firm hours, but are okay with Canadian law firm hours, I think you should go to Toronto. It seems like you want to make a decent salary but not work above average hours.

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sach1282
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby sach1282 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:50 pm

@bk1:
You're about right with your hours observation. Based on NALP data, billable expectations at market paying Canadian firms can be as low as 1400, with an average of around 1600-1700.

@Doorkeeper & No13baby:
I am considering continuing to a PhD, but want to see how much I like the MA first.
Also, based on the data here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150004, Duke actually has a higher A3% than Michigan (11.45% average vs 12.35% average).

Edit: Also just found this http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... s-rankings
Duke, again, has a higher A3% than Michigan.
Last edited by sach1282 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

n.britt
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby n.britt » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:35 pm

I'm in a similar situation - I'm trying to decide between a T10 U.S. school (UPenn, NYU) and a Canadian school (would probably be U of T, but I'd have to wait another year as I applied to no Canadian schools this cycle). I would prefer to practice in the U.S., but the state of the economy scares me, as does my status as a non-citizen. Any advice would be much appreciated!

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thelawyler
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby thelawyler » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:14 am

I couldn't tell you anything about the Canadian legal market, but that seems to be the good choice unless chances of gainful employment at Toronto are not comparable to your US options.

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Perdevise
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby Perdevise » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:56 am

sach1282 wrote:@bk1:
You're about right with your hours observation. Based on NALP data, billable expectations at market paying Canadian firms can be as low as 1400, with an average of around 1600-1700.


Wow. I wonder why more Americans don't try for Canadian firms.

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sach1282
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby sach1282 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:59 am

Perdevise wrote:Wow. I wonder why more Americans don't try for Canadian firms.


Because Canada is extremely restrictive about allowing foreign attorneys to practice in Canada.

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20130312
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby 20130312 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:04 pm

sach1282 wrote:
Perdevise wrote:Wow. I wonder why more Americans don't try for Canadian firms.


Because Canada is extremely restrictive about allowing foreign attorneys to practice in Canada.


Unless they have a Canadian degree, right?

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sach1282
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Re: Another school choosing poll (Toronto, Duke, Michigan) - !

Postby sach1282 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:05 pm

Yeah, that's what I meant. I should have said "foreign educated".




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