Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

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Micdiddy
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Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:29 pm

Finally it's my time to make one of these!

Unless UChi, Penn or NYU wake up with some astonishing late-game offer, my cycle has come down to this. Northwestern offered me 40k/yr. last week, and I was able to successfully use that to get Mich to raise their offer from 18k to 30k. NU has no stips, Mich needs a 2.0.

My goal after graduation from either of these schools is to find a 100+ attorney firm in San Francisco in order to move back to Cali asap and pay off debts (with a little something left over). If Cali is not happening, I would be content finding Big Law in Chicago (then a third resort NY) and then try to transfer that work experience back to Cali within a few years. If I have the grades for a Judicial Clerkship, I doubt I could pass up the chance (I am a bit of a prestige whore).

At the moment, even though NU's scholly is 30k more total, I think the total COA will be roughly equal. NU has a higher tuition of about 2k, and LST estimates its "indirect expenses" to be about 8k more. I can be frugal in either one of these cities and bring those estimates down, but the gap between them will likely remain the same.

If COA is truly equal (correct me I'm wrong!), NU still places better into Big Law, though according to the newest LST report that previous gap that made NU a slam-dunk decision over Mich with 2011 numbers (53% vs. 34%) has narrowed significantly for 2012 (49% vs. 43%). This is likely due to normal variance and looking at the last couple years, instead of the most recent, I have reason to believe NU will continue to place better into Big Law. However, by that same token Michigan has traditionally been a stronger school overall and in case my preferences change during school towards PI/Gov work, Michigan has a much, much stronger foothold there.

Other factors: My wife and 80lb dog are coming with, and in AA we can find a house with a yard for the same price as an apt. in Chi. However, I have family in Chi and could use a good free meal now and then.
My wife will likely have an easier time finding work in Chi. ETA: She if a graphic designer and will likely telecommute either way, but if for some reason jobs aren't flowing and she needs to say "f' it we need $$$" and goes into retail, service job, etc. Chi would def offer a greater opportunity, and will have more in-house graphic designer jobs to boot.
I got a fantastic "vibe" from Mich and liked their personal attention and relaxed environment. By no means did I get a negative vibe from NU, but do see how their reputation is a bit more stuffy-shirt. Talking to people who currently attend though I've got the sense everyone there is pretty cool and mature.
Lastly, NU has NO STIPS! That's pretty cool. I don't think keeping a 2.0 would be hard for me, but the piece of mind of no stips is nice.

Anyway, I have a decent sense of which one I am taking, just wanted to see if my ideas and reasons line up with that beautiful hivemind I've come to trust so much.
Last edited by Micdiddy on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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teiswei
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby teiswei » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:31 pm

Retake, ED CCN! ;)

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:35 pm

Don't worry about the stips at UM. Seriously this is a personal preference that only you and your wife can make. If I were in your position I would boil it down to whether you wanted more living space for your family/dog or you wanted an easier time for your wife to find a job. I'd probably value the latter more highly but maybe it wouldn't be that hard for your wife to get a job in A2.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:42 pm

I would think Northwestern wins out for two reasons:

1. I would imagine that if your wife is in a professional field, then it would be a hell of a lot easier for her to find satisfying work in Chicago than AA.

2. I think Northwestern and Michigan are a wash for California, so the fact that Chicago is your secondary market also gives an advantage to Northwestern.

This being said, if your like the environment of Michigan better and your wife is totally cool with Ann Arbor (as opposed to Chicago), then Michigan isn't a bad choice either.
Last edited by Doorkeeper on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm

bk1 wrote:Don't worry about the stips at UM. Seriously this is a personal preference that only you and your wife can make. If I were in your position I would boil it down to whether you wanted more living space for your family/dog or you wanted an easier time for your wife to find a job. I'd probably value the latter more highly but maybe it wouldn't be that hard for your wife to get a job in A2.

I agree with this completely. I also think Northwestern may also give you a bit of a better shot at staying in Chicago, and I doubt it will be much less competitive, if at all, for California. But I think they are so similar that one can only speculate how their placement may differ.

Also, yeah, that 2.0 GPA stipulation is meaningless. If you have a C average at a T14 school you have no business staying in law school. That's gotta be like absolute rock bottom of the class.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:44 pm

You know you've got first world problems when your dog is a factor while choosing between fancy law schools to attend.

Enjoy NU bro

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untar614
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:45 pm

bk1 wrote:Don't worry about the stips at UM. Seriously this is a personal preference that only you and your wife can make. If I were in your position I would boil it down to whether you wanted more living space for your family/dog or you wanted an easier time for your wife to find a job. I'd probably value the latter more highly but maybe it wouldn't be that hard for your wife to get a job in A2.

Agreed.

What kind of work does your wife do? If it's academic-related stuff, then AA shouldn't be bad. If it's something you don't need a degree for, that's likely gonna be taken up by all the college students and recent grads who havent moved on yet. Never been there, but my friends at UMich say AA is mostly a college town.

Have you looked at places out in the burbs of Chicago? There might be a decent house out there, though it'd probably make ur commute kinda long while at Michigan you could probably get the same house closer (why couldn't NW keep their law school up in Evanston? woulda made things so much easier).

but yeah, what bk said.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:50 pm

BigZuck wrote:You know you've got first world problems when your dog is a factor while choosing between fancy law schools to attend.

Enjoy NU bro


haha! This is funny.

Doorkeeper wrote:I would think Northwestern wins out for two reasons:

1. I would imagine that if your wife is in a professional field, then it would be a hell of a lot easier for her to find satisfying work in Chicago than AA.

2. I think Northwestern and Michigan are a wash for California, so the fact that Chicago is your secondary market also gives an advantage to Northwestern.

This being said, if your like the environment of Michigan better and your wife is totally cool with Ann Arbor (as opposed to Chicago), then Michigan isn't a bad choice either.


My wife is a graphic designer and though there is a 50%+ chance any job she finds will be telecommuting, having a broader array of in-house options open is important.
She's fickle about which place she likes better. She thinks AA is beautiful and she is worried Chi will be too much like L.A. (which we both hated living in). I've told it's nothing like that, and she's come around to seeing a lot of great things about Chi, as long as we avoid the southern part basically.
If literally everything else was equal, and which city we would enjoy being in was the only concern, I think Mich would win out, but just barely. Good thing to keep in mind though.

bk1 wrote:Don't worry about the stips at UM. Seriously this is a personal preference that only you and your wife can make. If I were in your position I would boil it down to whether you wanted more living space for your family/dog or you wanted an easier time for your wife to find a job. I'd probably value the latter more highly but maybe it wouldn't be that hard for your wife to get a job in A2.


I'd be perfectly happy with this conclusion. I just wanted to make sure there was nothing I'm missing, or some flaw in my reasoning.

teiswei wrote:Retake, ED CCN! ;)


NEVER!

dissonance1848
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:53 pm

I don't see how people here can say its a toss up. Saving 30k and getting better job prospects of at least 5-10 percentage points (biglaw) should carry more weight, I think. Take NU, seriously.
Last edited by dissonance1848 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:54 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:I don't see how people here can say its a toss up. Saving 30k and getting better job prospects of at least 10-15% (biglaw) should carry more weight, I think. Take NU, seriously.


How is he saving 30K?

dissonance1848
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:56 pm

I thought it said he was getting 40k/yr in aid from NU vs. 30k/yr. at Michigan. for roughly 30k saved over three years. Did I missread the OP?

Yes, I will grant the caveat of COA adjustments....
Last edited by dissonance1848 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:59 pm

NU

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untar614
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:01 pm

BigZuck wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:I don't see how people here can say its a toss up. Saving 30k and getting better job prospects of at least 10-15% (biglaw) should carry more weight, I think. Take NU, seriously.


How is he saving 30K?


10k/ year difference in scholarship. But Michigan's tuition is about 2k/yr cheaper, so it's more like 24k. It also assumes he'd be spending the same on CoL at either place, which may not be true.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby shifty_eyed » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:26 pm

NU and it's not even close IMO 8)

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:31 pm

shifty_eyed wrote:NU and it's not even close IMO 8)


I would be more persuaded if I knew a certain someone would be joining me there :mrgreen:

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homestyle28
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:38 pm

My guess is that you'll find far more students in a comparable life spot to you and your wife at NU. Off the top of my head I know 3-4 married couples who are from Cali and either want to head back or want to go back. You can find decent size apts within a short distance from school if you want to remain socially plugged into school. You can also find houses for rent in Evanston, where there is a shuttle between campuses.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:06 pm

These schools will end up costing you roughly the same amount. You would not save money going to NU -- People quoting the scholarship delta are ignoring Tuition and CoL differences. TLS also has this bizarre giddyfuck obsession with NU because they admittedly out-employ their ranking and produce more corporate fops, but Michigan still has stronger reputation, better profs, much better LRAP, ect. I do think NU is better for clinics, though.

If you hated LA because it was crowded and huge and had a lot of crime, Chicago will be a fsr more similar experience than the AA college town.

I suppose I vote Michigan although its close for your interests unless you specifically want San Fran BigLaw, which has been leaning NU based on the recent data.

Edit: then again I agree with what another poster said re living and your wife. I guess I was swayed by her not liking cities. I would go with NU because I would prefer the city night life but this is not a professional consideration

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untar614
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:45 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Edit: then again I agree with what another poster said re living and your wife. I guess I was swayed by her not liking cities. I would go with NU because I would prefer the city night life but this is not a professional consideration

Yeah, if we were just talking location, that's why I'd take Chicago over AA easily. I've been living in a college town the past 6 years, and I'm definitely getting sick of it. Need a real city with some more people with at least some taste of the real world.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:52 pm

jbagelboy wrote:These schools will end up costing you roughly the same amount. You would not save money going to NU -- People quoting the scholarship delta are ignoring Tuition and CoL differences. TLS also has this bizarre giddyfuck obsession with NU because they admittedly out-employ their ranking and produce more corporate fops, but Michigan still has stronger reputation, better profs, much better LRAP, ect. I do think NU is better for clinics, though.

If you hated LA because it was crowded and huge and had a lot of crime, Chicago will be a fsr more similar experience than the AA college town.

I suppose I vote Michigan although its close for your interests unless you specifically want San Fran BigLaw, which has been leaning NU based on the recent data.

Edit: then again I agree with what another poster said re living and your wife. I guess I was swayed by her not liking cities. I would go with NU because I would prefer the city night life but this is not a professional consideration


What does "stronger reputation" even mean and why does it matter? And why do better profs matter? How are you quantifying all this? And does any of this translate into getting a job or anything tangible at all?

Agreed on the better LRAP but that doesn't seem to apply to the OP.

Based on the metrics that matter (to me at least) NU is hands down the better school and is a no brainer at equal cost.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Paul Campos » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:39 pm

The great thing about TLS is that there are plenty of 0Ls who will let you know which T-14 has "better profs."

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:29 pm

I would say most people in this thread have confirmed my initial reaction, but upon further reflection it is a closer call than I originally thought. If cost of attendance estimates are actually equal, then I do think it's basically a 50/50 toss up and should come down to me and my wife's personal preferences. Even though NU places better into Big Law, I can't imagine having a hugely difficult time getting where I want to go from Michigan, and the newest employment statistics basically confirm that.
I sent NU an email asking to re-evaluate their offer, and honestly I know I am already over-performing my numbers there, but based strictly on how threatening they believe Michigan to be they may actually increase the offer, even if it's just a couple thousand. Any increase from them would probably be the nail in the coffin for Mich, but until then I can put my deposit down for NU and have until the 30th to decide for Mich.

Thanks for the input guys!

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby sinfiery » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:35 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
2. I think Northwestern and Michigan are a wash for California, so the fact that Chicago is your secondary market also gives an advantage to Northwestern.

This is a great point. Not that the difference overtakes your families personal preference in QOL but if both areas are dead even, this is why I would take NU if I were you.


You may have to end up in NYC for biglaw from Mich and that dog is 80 fricken pounds.

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby NYstate » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:03 pm

Paul Campos wrote:The great thing about TLS is that there are plenty of 0Ls who will let you know which T-14 has "better profs."


Ouch. Prof Camps coming from a Michigan alum that is harsh..

That said, OP you should go to Northwestern. You should look at which school will help you the most in a worst-case scenario. I think Northwestern will help you get a job at graduation somewhere, more than Michigan would.

Do not be fooled by the 2012 job stats. There is no way to know what those stats will be in 2 years. Every report says biglaw wil hold steady or decrease. The market is unstable. I would assume that 2012 is the best case scenario. If hiring improves, that will only benefit you.

You need to maximize your chances of employment.

Just curious, what is the total COA for each after scholarship? How much can your wife contribute? Will you be owing about $150,000? If so , you need biglaw

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:00 pm

NYstate wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:The great thing about TLS is that there are plenty of 0Ls who will let you know which T-14 has "better profs."


Ouch. Prof Camps coming from a Michigan alum that is harsh..

That said, OP you should go to Northwestern. You should look at which school will help you the most in a worst-case scenario. I think Northwestern will help you get a job at graduation somewhere, more than Michigan would.

Do not be fooled by the 2012 job stats. There is no way to know what those stats will be in 2 years. Every report says biglaw wil hold steady or decrease. The market is unstable. I would assume that 2012 is the best case scenario. If hiring improves, that will only benefit you.

You need to maximize your chances of employment.

Just curious, what is the total COA for each after scholarship? How much can your wife contribute? Will you be owing about $150,000? If so , you need biglaw


Using LST estimates COA is practically exactly the same since what NU's scholly adds the "indirect expenses" and higher tuition just take away. Using some hand-dandy calculations MRizza provided me (in exchange for a cold, frosty payment to be given at a later date), my COA for NU is about exactly 150k. I have no reason Mich should be any different since I will be taking out the same total loans, just applying the money more toward tuition than other expenses.
If I am able to pay ~48k and year toward this debt, according to said calculations it should be paid off by the end of year 4 with a total expense paid of ~176k.

Is this Big Law or bust? I understand Big Law is what would allow me to actually pay that 48k/yr. But what if I pay 25 or 30k per year at a ~100k salary gig? Hmm...

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Re: Northwestern (40k/yr) vs. Michigan (30k/yr)

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:28 pm

Micdiddy wrote:
NYstate wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:The great thing about TLS is that there are plenty of 0Ls who will let you know which T-14 has "better profs."


Ouch. Prof Camps coming from a Michigan alum that is harsh..

That said, OP you should go to Northwestern. You should look at which school will help you the most in a worst-case scenario. I think Northwestern will help you get a job at graduation somewhere, more than Michigan would.

Do not be fooled by the 2012 job stats. There is no way to know what those stats will be in 2 years. Every report says biglaw wil hold steady or decrease. The market is unstable. I would assume that 2012 is the best case scenario. If hiring improves, that will only benefit you.

You need to maximize your chances of employment.

Just curious, what is the total COA for each after scholarship? How much can your wife contribute? Will you be owing about $150,000? If so , you need biglaw


Using LST estimates COA is practically exactly the same since what NU's scholly adds the "indirect expenses" and higher tuition just take away. Using some hand-dandy calculations MRizza provided me (in exchange for a cold, frosty payment to be given at a later date), my COA for NU is about exactly 150k. I have no reason Mich should be any different since I will be taking out the same total loans, just applying the money more toward tuition than other expenses.
If I am able to pay ~48k and year toward this debt, according to said calculations it should be paid off by the end of year 4 with a total expense paid of ~176k.

Is this Big Law or bust? I understand Big Law is what would allow me to actually pay that 48k/yr. But what if I pay 25 or 30k per year at a ~100k salary gig? Hmm...


how many 100k salary gigs are there? looking at the data i've seen, salary distributions seem largely bimodal.




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