Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

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

What Should I Do?

Irvine. Graduate debt free
50
31%
Michigan. Graduate with 50-100 k of debt
91
56%
Don't go to Law School
21
13%
 
Total votes: 162

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:28 pm

Alright, I am 26, live in LA, and have been debating on law school for the last two years. For the peanut gallery:

I was accepted to Michigan with no chance of scholarship
I was accepted to Irvine with $40k/year

I have savings to graduate Irvine with no debt ($ to spare) and Michigan debt would be in the $50-$100k range depending on how things shake out. This is based on my total COA, not just tuition.

I currenlty work for an investment management firm. The pay is on par or exceeds the top law firms first year associate salary. My life is miserable. While on assignment abroad, I came close to having a heart attack after working till 3 am for three weeks straight without sleep while being screamed at for much of this time (and no, I am not some obese cheetoh addicted gym fearing slob who needs two seats on an airplane, purely stress induced according to the doctors). I will not be promoted to the next level, and I will have to find a different firm to work for by the end of this year.

My decision to go to law school is not a reaction to this experience, and I do admit I despise what I do, but stems from a desire to work with people (as opposed to spreadhseets), the ability to if done correctly, hang one's shingle and strike out on one's own, and a longstanding interest in being a lawyer.

The decision to go to law school is to not end up at a big law firm (i dont need that lifestyle again, and if I do want it, I ll stay put in my current profession). I want to either practice with my Dad (family law), or do something like Personal Injury/Social Security/Suing Insurance Companies etc... I know this is not glamorous, but for me the impact on the layman is tangible and what has been termed as shit law, can be potentially be lucrative, if done right. I also am fully cognizant that the state of the legal job market is dismal--and going to law school might be the biggest financial mistake of my life. I also have questions on shifts in legal practice and the economy in general that may have a negative impact on the profession in the years to come

Leaning towards Irvine/not going, but before committing three years of my life or forgoing the opportunity of going to law school, I would appreciate your advice. Another option is simply not to go to law school and figure out a way to do something different / switch firms and pray that I finally get a life unattached to the blackberry on weekends or 2 am phone calls.

jackbauer10
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby jackbauer10 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:34 pm

FWIW, Michigan at sticker will be 150-200k worth of debt. . . .

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby rickgrimes69 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:38 pm

Michigan isn't worth sticker IMO, but your total debt load would be low enough to make it acceptable. However, if your plan from the start is to hang a shingle (a plan I would strongly recommend against), you don't need a T14 degree, you need capital. Save your money and go to UCI.

Or, don't go to law school because California is a shitty legal market and UCI is completely unproven thus far.

K Rock
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby K Rock » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:42 pm

jackbauer10 wrote:FWIW, Michigan at sticker will be 150-200k worth of debt. . . .


First of all, Michigan at sticker would end up more than that without any kind of assistance. Second of all, I assume OP has some kind of savings he could tap into since he said the figure he gave was total COA.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby PRgradBYU » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:21 am

Don't let Dr. Dre see this thread...

But if OP does indeed have a fat savings account, by all means go to Michigan.

Rdubs
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby Rdubs » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:44 am

Michigan is phenomenal (I go there), but from what I hear Irvine is going to be breaking into the rankings at a pretty decent spot and has a stellar faculty as well. I don't think you could go wrong, but having little to no debt and a degree from a solid but not t-14 school might outweigh coming to Michigan (plus the weather might be a bit of an adjustment and certainly much colder than Irvine). That said, M-Law is a very relaxed atmosphere and you may flourish in a non-heart-attack-inducing environment. Visit both schools if you can.

005618502
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 005618502 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:56 am

Michigan for sure, UCI would be like throwing away a great opportunity. I think you would be crazy to turn down a T14 to go to a school like UCI. Michigan at 50-100k in debt is a great place to be, coupled with your WE, you should be fine. Did you not get money from USC or UCLA? (Both of those schools would be a much better bet than UCI, even if it cost you more)

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:07 am

Where is Dr. Dre?!?! He's getting sloppy. Oh well, I'll fill in for him.

OP, DON'T GO to TTTT YU SEEEE EEYYYYEEEEE.

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dr123
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby dr123 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:08 am

What about UCLA/USC?

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:11 am

Full sticker at SC, dinged at UCLA. It is down to these two for me based on where i stand with the others.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:12 am

I went to Penn for undergrad, can handle cold weather (albeit Michigan cold will be a new thing for me).

And yes, very comfortable savings for all in COA.

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dr123
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby dr123 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:13 am

Negoatiate w/ USC dood

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99.9luft
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:13 am

UCI. current reasoning: who wants to be in debt + unsure if law school is really for him/her as you might if you go to Michigan. Dropping out with debt or even getting a JD and regretting it with debt could be more miserable than your current job, i think.

Meanwhile,

Are you sure in which state/city you want to practice law?

Have you done enough research (like shadowing a variety of attorneys, going to LS classes, etc.) on whether you will like being a lawyer after you go (and say, graduate debt free)?

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:17 am

99.9luft wrote:UCI. current reasoning: who wants to be in debt + unsure if law school is really for him/her as you might if you go to Michigan. Dropping out with debt or even getting a JD and regretting it with debt could be more miserable than your current job, i think.

Meanwhile,

Are you sure in which state/city you want to practice law?

Have you done enough research (like shadowing a variety of attorneys, going to LS classes, etc.) on whether you will like being a lawyer after you go (and say, graduate debt free)?


need to do more of this. Sat in on classes at Irvine. was meh. I have worked with enough lawyers to effectively rule out transactional/corporate work for me.

And i would like to practice in either Southern California or Arizona

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99.9luft
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:25 am

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:
99.9luft wrote:UCI. current reasoning: who wants to be in debt + unsure if law school is really for him/her as you might if you go to Michigan. Dropping out with debt or even getting a JD and regretting it with debt could be more miserable than your current job, i think.

Meanwhile,

Are you sure in which state/city you want to practice law?

Have you done enough research (like shadowing a variety of attorneys, going to LS classes, etc.) on whether you will like being a lawyer after you go (and say, graduate debt free)?


need to do more of this. Sat in on classes at Irvine. was meh. I have worked with enough lawyers to effectively rule out transactional/corporate work for me.

And i would like to practice in either Southern California or Arizona


Well, the SoCal factor swings it even more towards UCI, even though Michigan is a kick-ass school. CA is the 4th most popular destination, with 9% of M grads heading there: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=michigan

I am sure you've looked at LST, a great resource.

So based on what you said, do you wanna do non-biglaw litigation? PI? why did you say shitlaw in the OP?

ETA: frankly, i don't know much about Michigan placement in SoCal (let alone Arizona), so let someone else correct/add to this.

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dr123
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby dr123 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:27 am

Screw UCI, negotiate with USC. Tell em about the Michigan acceptance and UCI full-ride and see if they throw you some cash.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:30 am

Yes, I think there will continue to be a market for personal injury type work, and personally find it fascinating--product liability, medical malpractice etc... I think its tangible, makes an impact. From a comp perspective, in the long run, if done right, it is probably more lucrative than being an associate, non equity partner at a big law firm. I dont find it to be shitty, but just putting it into context for the big law centric community here can digest.

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99.9luft
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:38 am

dr123 wrote:Screw UCI, negotiate with USC. Tell em about the Michigan acceptance and UCI full-ride and see if they throw you some cash.


USC would be great for the OP with significant $$$. Plus, the OP doesn't want biglaw, which is why ppl go to USC frequently.

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99.9luft
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:44 am

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:Yes, I think there will continue to be a market for personal injury type work, and personally find it fascinating--product liability, medical malpractice etc... I think its tangible, makes an impact. From a comp perspective, in the long run, if done right, it is probably more lucrative than being an associate, non equity partner at a big law firm. I dont find it to be shitty, but just putting it into context for the big law centric community here can digest.


when you visited UCI, have you looked into their public interest program/pro-bono work? 1Ls participate in clinics, which goes to your personal interaction (instead of corporate paperwork) point. I understand why sitting in on a lecture could be "meh"; are you considering going to UCI's/Michigan's ASWs? I would say check them out, maybe you will love/hate the Michigan vibe, who knows. Also, like the previous poster said, try to negotiate with USC. Going to USC at sticker is dumber than going to Michigan at sticker, esp if you wanna do non-biglaw law.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:46 am

Don't go to TTTT uci. Not Worth your time.

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99.9luft
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:49 am

Dr. Dre wrote:Don't go to TTTT uci. Not Worth your time.


:lol:

hahaha bro you've become too predictable, time for a new spiel.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:52 am

i am either going for close to free to UCI, or paying up to go to Michigan. too debt adverse for anything in between.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:53 am

I'd choose sticker at Michigan. But it is still not the best choice. The best choice is retake.

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Solistus
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby Solistus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:58 am

I wouldn't consider UCI. The 'risk' of graduating T14 with ~$100k debt pales in comparison to the risk of UCI's completely unproven reputation, untested career services office, and non-existent alumni network in my eyes. This is not a time to hedge your bets and enter the law job market with a bargain degree, at least not when you have a better option on the table.

If you're sure you want to go to law school, Michigan is worth the debt IMO. If you're not, then a JD from UCI isn't likely to open enough doors for you to be worth the considerable time commitment. You're gonna be depleting your savings either way, yes?

edit: after re-reading your OP, my advice is probably not to go. You don't have a low-risk, high-reward option on the table, and you're unsure if law school is even for you, so entering an extremely competitive job market with either a degree of dubious value or substantial debt seems like a recipe for unhappiness in three years.
Last edited by Solistus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Michigan (sticker) vs. Irvine (basically free) or Don't Go

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:59 am

Dr. Dre wrote:Don't go to TTTT uci. Not Worth your time.


There's the Dre we all know and love. About damn time.




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