Michigan vs GW

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Ti Malice
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby Ti Malice » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:04 pm

malcolm wrote:Is it really that clear cut? Do you not think GW's location might be a better place to develop a track toward a public interest career, and is it really irrational to think I won't be one of the 20% of graduates who has to rely on GW's school-funded program? These aren't rhetorical questions, I'm interested in your opinion.

malcolm wrote:So, in your opinion, this holds true for DC as well, even if GW affords much more opportunity for developing contacts in the public sector?

And again, thanks for chiming in everybody.


First off, none of the 20% who ended up in GW's $15/hour positions expected that they would end up there, and the vast majority of the other 20% that wound up with no JD-required job didn't expect they would be in that position either. I guarantee you that if you speak with the friends of these folks, you'll hear that many of them were very intelligent, diligent students that, for whatever reason, didn't have the peculiar knack for doing particularly well on law school exams.

Beyond that, you (and some other 0Ls on this thread) are vastly overrating the importance of GW's location. When the prestige gap is as wide as it is between Michigan and GW, prestige easily trumps location. I'd take Michigan over GULC as well, no matter what you wanted to do. You may be able to hit the Capitol with a rock from GULC, but grads from the entire rest of the T14 will have a placement advantage relative to students of the same rank at GULC. DC is the opposite of provincial. The most prestigious employers in DC -- whether federal gov't, BigLaw, or PI, and more than employers in any other location in the country -- are looking for students with the most prestigious pedigrees.

The way to develop the most meaningful contacts with DC employers is to work for one or more of them over your summers, and you definitely will have an easier time getting a good summer job from Michigan than you will from GW. Whatever schmoozing and networking you would do during the school year (when a GW student needs to be doing everything he/she can do to get the best possible grades) is not going to give you a special advantage for getting a job at the ACLU or the DOJ. The kind of jobs you're talking about are tougher to get than BigLaw and are even more prestige-focused.

The only way this becomes a real question, in my opinion, is if GW ponies up somewhere from $120K to full tuition. At equal cost, this is not even close to being a question.

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BitterSplitter
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby BitterSplitter » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:23 am

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Last edited by BitterSplitter on Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

malcolm
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby malcolm » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:35 am

Ti Malice wrote:
First off, none of the 20% who ended up in GW's $15/hour positions expected that they would end up there, and the vast majority of the other 20% that wound up with no JD-required job didn't expect they would be in that position either. I guarantee you that if you speak with the friends of these folks, you'll hear that many of them were very intelligent, diligent students that, for whatever reason, didn't have the peculiar knack for doing particularly well on law school exams.


Point taken. It is pretty tempting to believe that I won't be in the bottom 20%, but it's a gamble that becomes less risky at a better school.

Beyond that, you (and some other 0Ls on this thread) are vastly overrating the importance of GW's location. When the prestige gap is as wide as it is between Michigan and GW, prestige easily trumps location. I'd take Michigan over GULC as well, no matter what you wanted to do. You may be able to hit the Capitol with a rock from GULC, but grads from the entire rest of the T14 will have a placement advantage relative to students of the same rank at GULC. DC is the opposite of provincial. The most prestigious employers in DC -- whether federal gov't, BigLaw, or PI, and more than employers in any other location in the country -- are looking for students with the most prestigious pedigrees.


I'm not necessarily overrating it, I'm just not clear on its importance and want to push back on the idea that it doesn't mean much of anything. The prestige gap, the importance of DC, they're hard to quantify. The things you're saying, though, are things I've heard a lot so far. I suppose it makes sense that GW's PI and fed jobs might not be desirable ones, and I do know that the top NGOs tend to draw from top schools. Even Michigan is by no means a guarantee of a job with the ACLU, DOJ, HRW, Amnesty, and the like.

The way to develop the most meaningful contacts with DC employers is to work for one or more of them over your summers, and you definitely will have an easier time getting a good summer job from Michigan than you will from GW. Whatever schmoozing and networking you would do during the school year (when a GW student needs to be doing everything he/she can do to get the best possible grades) is not going to give you a special advantage for getting a job at the ACLU or the DOJ. The kind of jobs you're talking about are tougher to get than BigLaw and are even more prestige-focused.


So you're saying summer internship trumps school year externship? I know GW would put me at a severe disadvantage for summer gigs because of competition, but thought that 4 additional semester opportunities would more than offset it. Now, as you say, if grades take a hit because of during the year work, well, not a good thing. That's a major concern. Is there another reason you think contacts cultivated over summer are worth more than those I'd make at GW during the year, or is it just that there's a big tradeoff with doing the during the year?

The only way this becomes a real question, in my opinion, is if GW ponies up somewhere from $120K to full tuition. At equal cost, this is not even close to being a question.


So prestige gap and everything else considered, you think GW is worth it for $120k? That would be trading all the opportunity you describe for around $60k, which given Michigan's LRAP (or BigLaw potential) wouldn't seem to mean much. What do you think?

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hephaestus
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby hephaestus » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:50 am

BitterSplitter wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:This is not even a close question. No one in their right mind would pick GW in this situation.

So much this. You'd have to be severely egotistical to pick GW with the assumption you'll be one of the lucky few to have a great DC outcome.

Eva_Bates
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby Eva_Bates » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:40 pm

It sounds like your gut is telling you that you want to be in DC.

Went on a short tour at a somewhere-in-between (GW/UM) school this past week. A 3L (paid sticker, made it into BigLaw) told me something I thought was important: Listen to your gut.

I think you know that you want GW because of its location; you know what your goals are in life. This forum will mostly tell you to choose the higher-ranked school regardless of your personal situation. While sometimes true, I think this is a false limitation to place for your particular circumstances.

Yes, I'm a 0L. So maybe I don't know anything. But I do understand that you will carry this degree with you for the rest of your life.

Take advice from others. BUT - Learn to trust your own judgement. I think you should choose GW. But yes, ask for more money than what you got: make it clear you are choosing them, if they make it financially worthwhile. Then work hard, and good luck!

catlawl
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby catlawl » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:54 pm

Michigan is undoubtedly the best choice. With that debt load, you need BigLaw or their LRAP program.

Do not, at this point, consider obtaining DC employment. It is the most difficult job market in the country. If you have top 10% grades at the end of 1L, you may consider your DC prospects at that time.

Ti Malice
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:08 pm

malcolm wrote:I suppose it makes sense that GW's PI and fed jobs might not be desirable ones, and I do know that the top NGOs tend to draw from top schools. Even Michigan is by no means a guarantee of a job with the ACLU, DOJ, HRW, Amnesty, and the like.


Very true. These jobs are very hard to land even for YHS grads. Odds are strongly against you anywhere, but they're still much better at Michigan than at GW.

malcolm wrote:So you're saying summer internship trumps school year externship? I know GW would put me at a severe disadvantage for summer gigs because of competition, but thought that 4 additional semester opportunities would more than offset it. Now, as you say, if grades take a hit because of during the year work, well, not a good thing. That's a major concern. Is there another reason you think contacts cultivated over summer are worth more than those I'd make at GW during the year, or is it just that there's a big tradeoff with doing the during the year?


I really don't want to give that much attention to externships, honestly. American (also in DC) has a ton of externship opportunities, and they have horrifically bad job placement rates -- worse than many fourth-tier schools. No doubt the most sought-after agencies and organizations in DC love the free school-year labor, and these DC law schools are thrilled to tout these programs as insuperable advantages for their students, but these agencies and organizations are ultimately going to hire top students from the top schools.

A summer internship is full-time work. Externships over four semesters won't be. Anyway, you could do a full-semester, 12-credit externship in DC from Michigan.

But, again, the main takeaway is that these externship opportunities are not going to translate to an advantage for you from GW when you're applying for the most sought-after PI/fed gov't jobs. If that were the case, then GULC wouldn't be the worst T14.

malcolm wrote:So prestige gap and everything else considered, you think GW is worth it for $120k? That would be trading all the opportunity you describe for around $60k, which given Michigan's LRAP (or BigLaw potential) wouldn't seem to mean much. What do you think?


My bad. I had somehow switched from thinking roughly equal COA at both to thinking that both options were at sticker, so I retract my comment. I think this only becomes a debate if GW offers you a full scholarship -- which I'm not sure they even do.

Ti Malice
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:17 pm

Eva_Bates wrote:It sounds like your gut is telling you that you want to be in DC.

Went on a short tour at a somewhere-in-between (GW/UM) school this past week. A 3L (paid sticker, made it into BigLaw) told me something I thought was important: Listen to your gut.

I think you know that you want GW because of its location; you know what your goals are in life. This forum will mostly tell you to choose the higher-ranked school regardless of your personal situation. While sometimes true, I think this is a false limitation to place for your particular circumstances.

Yes, I'm a 0L. So maybe I don't know anything. But I do understand that you will carry this degree with you for the rest of your life.

Take advice from others. BUT - Learn to trust your own judgement. I think you should choose GW. But yes, ask for more money than what you got: make it clear you are choosing them, if they make it financially worthwhile. Then work hard, and good luck!


This is boomer talk.

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sinfiery
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby sinfiery » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:07 pm

Eva_Bates wrote:Listen to your gut.

No, this is idiotic.


Eva_Bates wrote:Learn to trust your own judgement.

Yes, please do this.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby DoveBodyWash » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:23 pm

COA in D.C. is VERY expensive....So from a cost-value perspective: Michigan

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DaRascal
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby DaRascal » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:26 pm

I'm a 0L but I'd say MICHIGAN for sure!! It's like choosing between salami and filet mignon!

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lawschoolwoohoo
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby lawschoolwoohoo » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:36 am

DaRascal wrote:I'm a 0L but I'd say MICHIGAN for sure!! It's like choosing between salami and filet mignon!


Best analogy ever. It's like okay, yeah sometimes you're really in the mood for salami, and it's sure tasty and everything, but it sure isn't filet mignon. And you'll hate yourself later if you pass on filet mignon...and now I'm hungry haha

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hephaestus
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby hephaestus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:46 am

The OPs rationale is emblematic of how GW got to be egregiously over-ranked in the first place.

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annet
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby annet » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:03 pm

GW undergrad here. Living in DC is fun as hell until you graduate and can't afford to live in the city any more. Then you either stack 4 to an apartment or move out to the burbs. If you're lucky and could find an elusive DC job.

GW is a nice school and I enjoyed going there. But they're also really, really good salespeople.

Just reading the title of your post I couldn't figure out how this was even a question. Try to filter out all of the "DC is amazing!" stuff. DC will still be a great place to live in 3 years and Michigan will probably give you a better shot at a job that will help you afford to move there. Go to Michigan.

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DorianGray89
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Re: Michigan vs GW

Postby DorianGray89 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:14 pm

I used to be one of those people that didnt care about rankings, just wanted to go to a place I liked and felt comfortable, and while this is important, and you should take into consideration between peer schools (GW and Michigan are not peer schools), ranking is very important. After having gone through OCI, I am SOOO glad I go to a T14 school as opposed to not. I have a lot of friends in schools like GW, and I hear stories about how people at their schools are having really hard time finding jobs, both in big law and govt. Go to Michigan for 3 years, and then go to DC afterwards. I get you want to be in DC, I love DC too, but dont rush it, you'll get there eventually. After hearing horror stories from nonT14 schools, and even from some T14 schools, all i can tell you is to GO TO MICHIGAN.




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