Michigan or Chicago for PI

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

UMich or UChicago?

University of Michigan
13
36%
University of Chicago
23
64%
 
Total votes: 36

dtownlove
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Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dtownlove » Fri May 11, 2012 2:09 pm

I'm wondering what people's opinions are about the pros and cons of doing PI at Chicago vs Michigan. I am currently deciding between both schools and am torn.

Chicago Pro/Con
Obviously, Chicago doesn't have a very strong PI focus, although they have just hired a new PI counselor who is supposed to be jump-starting that area. However, they have an excellent and crazy generous LRAP program (up to 80k salary per year, no strings attached). My total COA at graduation would be ~220k.

Michigan Pro/Con
Michigan has a great, well-established PI concentration and strong PI community, and also a program I am particularly interested in. Their LRAP, while good (no strings at GS-11 pay which is about 51k/year, and sliding scale of decreasing payments up to 80k), is not nearly as generous as Chicago's. My total COA at graduation would be ~160k.

FWIW, I don't really have any interest in biglaw, unless for some reason PI doesn't work out.

Thoughts?

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Cartman
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Cartman » Fri May 11, 2012 4:23 pm

C for LRAP.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dresden doll » Fri May 11, 2012 4:24 pm

Cartman wrote:C for LRAP.


This. Marry a biglawl lawyer, enjoy your lrap as if you were a single person. It's that good.

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BearState
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby BearState » Fri May 11, 2012 4:37 pm

Chicago is also more likely to give you a job of any kind.

Paul Campos
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Paul Campos » Fri May 11, 2012 4:39 pm

U of C's LRAP program is actually less generous than Michigan's, because you have to be working for a non-profit to be eligible. Michigan's program is purely income rather than nature of employment based.

And neither of these programs are actually very generous at all compared to traditional LRAP programs at top law schools. They only make your IBR payments up to the respective income caps. If the federal government eliminates IBR (hello President Romney) you will be left with massive debt and no loan assistance from either school.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby TaipeiMort » Fri May 11, 2012 4:40 pm

Chicago isn't weak on PI. It has three things going for it which Michigan doesn't (besides LRAP):

1. They have larger, better-funded clinics.
2. Their affiliate base of aid clinics is huge in the Chicagoland area.
3. They have a more needy local populace to work with in terms of socioeconomic issues and crime.

Also, I would never assume that I would be doing PI. Ifyou have second thoughts at Michigan, you have a much worse chance of landing a biglaw job.

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skers
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby skers » Fri May 11, 2012 5:05 pm

Paul Campos wrote:U of C's LRAP program is actually less generous than Michigan's, because you have to be working for a non-profit to be eligible. Michigan's program is purely income rather than nature of employment based.

And neither of these programs are actually very generous at all compared to traditional LRAP programs at top law schools. They only make your IBR payments up to the respective income caps. If the federal government eliminates IBR (hello President Romney) you will be left with massive debt and no loan assistance from either school.


Yeah, Campos is right. Go to Stanford instead. :roll:

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dresden doll » Fri May 11, 2012 10:53 pm

Paul Campos wrote:U of C's LRAP program is actually less generous than Michigan's, because you have to be working for a non-profit to be eligible. Michigan's program is purely income rather than nature of employment based.

And neither of these programs are actually very generous at all compared to traditional LRAP programs at top law schools. They only make your IBR payments up to the respective income caps. If the federal government eliminates IBR (hello President Romney) you will be left with massive debt and no loan assistance from either school.


Two things:

1) I've looked a little into the 'what if IBR gets repealed' scenario and the consensus across the board seems to be that, even if changes were made, feds would honor the terms that existed for a particular class when they took out their loans. There is absolutely no reason to predict that retroactive IBR changes will come about even if IBR itself gets cut.

2) OP only has these two options on the table right now, so I hardly think it's productive to talk about how inferior they are relative to HYS.

With that said, your point about limits in re: nature of the employment is fair. At UChi, you don't qualify unless you work for a tax-exempt organization. Since lack of restrictions is a pretty serious advantage, OP would be well advised to take it into account even if he/she is determined on PI.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Fri May 11, 2012 11:29 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Also, I would never assume that I would be doing PI. Ifyou have second thoughts at Michigan, you have a much worse chance of landing a biglaw job.

This is understated. I know a few people in our class who thought they were PI all the way... now they are prepping for their biglaw summer.

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Kirk
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Kirk » Sat May 12, 2012 12:43 am

If you have the goods to get into Chicago, why are you even considering Michigan?? PBV would be a much better choice, plus they would likely through in $$.

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Tanicius
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Tanicius » Sat May 12, 2012 1:36 am

1) I've looked a little into the 'what if IBR gets repealed' scenario and the consensus across the board seems to be that, even if changes were made, feds would honor the terms that existed for a particular class when they took out their loans.


What?? Seriously? This would be very, very awesome if it's true. Who did you hear this from?

bdubs
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby bdubs » Sat May 12, 2012 1:54 am

dresden doll wrote:With that said, your point about limits in re: nature of the employment is fair. At UChi, you don't qualify unless you work for a tax-exempt organization. Since lack of restrictions is a pretty serious advantage, OP would be well advised to take it into account even if he/she is determined on PI.


A program that only covered IBR that wasn't restricted to 501(c)(3) or government work wouldn't make sense given the current forgiveness scheme.

Unless OP has HYS as an option, the only career choices he or she will have that can possibly repay loans are PI/gov or biglaw.

Paul Campos
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Paul Campos » Sat May 12, 2012 7:50 am

bdubs wrote:
dresden doll wrote:With that said, your point about limits in re: nature of the employment is fair. At UChi, you don't qualify unless you work for a tax-exempt organization. Since lack of restrictions is a pretty serious advantage, OP would be well advised to take it into account even if he/she is determined on PI.


A program that only covered IBR that wasn't restricted to 501(c)(3) or government work wouldn't make sense given the current forgiveness scheme.



That in fact is Michigan's current program -- it applies to private employers as well as public ones. It is a significant advantage, given that very large numbers of T-14 graduates, including Chicago graduates, will find themselves in low paying private law jobs within a few years of graduation, if not immediately.

The idea that IBR benefits won't be eliminated for those already "enjoying" them requires an extremely optimistic perspective on the American political process.

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skers
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby skers » Sat May 12, 2012 11:20 am

Paul Campos wrote:
bdubs wrote:
dresden doll wrote:With that said, your point about limits in re: nature of the employment is fair. At UChi, you don't qualify unless you work for a tax-exempt organization. Since lack of restrictions is a pretty serious advantage, OP would be well advised to take it into account even if he/she is determined on PI.


A program that only covered IBR that wasn't restricted to 501(c)(3) or government work wouldn't make sense given the current forgiveness scheme.



That in fact is Michigan's current program -- it applies to private employers as well as public ones. It is a significant advantage, given that very large numbers of T-14 graduates, including Chicago graduates, will find themselves in low paying private law jobs within a few years of graduation, if not immediately.

The idea that IBR benefits won't be eliminated for those already "enjoying" them requires an extremely optimistic perspective on the American political process.


It's not an advantage when you consider the tax bomb.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dresden doll » Sat May 12, 2012 11:32 am

Paul Campos wrote:The idea that IBR benefits won't be eliminated for those already "enjoying" them requires an extremely optimistic perspective on the American political process.


Why? There were IBR changes w/r/t med students as the result of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. All were made forward-looking so that they'll kick in from the class of 2014 onwards.

I don't see how it's 'extremely optimistic' to predict that IBR isn't going anywhere given that there's been zero indication that that will in fact happen. The mere possibility that Romney might get elected hardly suffices.

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2014
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby 2014 » Sat May 12, 2012 12:20 pm

I can buy that a new administration could repeal IBR, but what exactly do they expect graduates to do then?

If one's monthly loan payment is more than their discretionary income, they will inevitably go into default nearly instantly. Since we don't really do the debtor's prison thing anymore, you would imagine that the government would just start garnishing wages, which would happen at a given percent of discretionary income, exactly how IBR works now.

Obviously the whole problem is that grad school is too expensive, too easy to get into, takes too many people, and student loans are too easy to get, but pulling the plug on IBR will take probably a decade or more to actually filter down to change what actually needs to be changed.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dresden doll » Sat May 12, 2012 12:34 pm

2014 wrote:I can buy that a new administration could repeal IBR, but what exactly do they expect graduates to do then?

If one's monthly loan payment is more than their discretionary income, they will inevitably go into default nearly instantly. Since we don't really do the debtor's prison thing anymore, you would imagine that the government would just start garnishing wages, which would happen at a given percent of discretionary income, exactly how IBR works now.

Obviously the whole problem is that grad school is too expensive, too easy to get into, takes too many people, and student loans are too easy to get, but pulling the plug on IBR will take probably a decade or more to actually filter down to change what actually needs to be changed.


+1

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat May 12, 2012 12:36 pm

I think that in the event IBR is retroactively cancelled, these schools would help out their grads. They had LRAPs prior to IBR and there's no reason to think they wouldn't reinstate similar programs if IBR were phased out. In the meantime, linking LRAP to IBR allows schools to provide much more generous benefits than they used to under traditional LRAPs. Though Mr. Campos' cynicism is generally well-founded, I am not with him on this one.

I also agree with 2014 that the economics of IBR actually probably make sense to the government both as lender and as an entity with an interest in the economy being strong. It basically gives student borrowers a bizzaro Chapter 13 option, which seems like a good compromise in the debate over whether student loans should be nondischargeable.

Paul Campos
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby Paul Campos » Sat May 12, 2012 1:20 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
I also agree with 2014 that the economics of IBR actually probably make sense to the government both as lender and as an entity with an interest in the economy being strong. It basically gives student borrowers a bizzaro Chapter 13 option, which seems like a good compromise in the debate over whether student loans should be nondischargeable.


That could well be right, but OTOH higher education in general and law schools in particular are standing very much on the low moral ground here -- charging about three times as much as an unsubsidized market would bear, profiting 100% of the rents, and expecting indentured grads and taxpayers to pick up collectively 100% of the tab. That's not a position I would want to defend in the court of public opinion.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan or Chicago for PI

Postby dresden doll » Sat May 12, 2012 2:45 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
I also agree with 2014 that the economics of IBR actually probably make sense to the government both as lender and as an entity with an interest in the economy being strong. It basically gives student borrowers a bizzaro Chapter 13 option, which seems like a good compromise in the debate over whether student loans should be nondischargeable.


That could well be right, but OTOH higher education in general and law schools in particular are standing very much on the low moral ground here -- charging about three times as much as an unsubsidized market would bear, profiting 100% of the rents, and expecting indentured grads and taxpayers to pick up collectively 100% of the tab. That's not a position I would want to defend in the court of public opinion.


Well, right, but IBR is there for the students primarily. I don't really see how punishing grads in order to stick it to lawl schools is any more defensible in the court of public opinion.




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