Michigan or Time Off

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Michigan or Time Off

Poll ended at Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:21 am

Michigan (sticker)
9
29%
Time Off (AmeriCorps)
8
26%
Time Off (Job)
14
45%
 
Total votes: 31

Brody
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:23 am

Michigan or Time Off

Postby Brody » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:21 am

Hello everyone,

I have been a light poster for quite a while on TLS, and now I am trying to make a decision for next year. Given the sound advice folks give, I wanted to get an opinion from you all.

Michigan was the highest ranked school that accepted me this cycle. It has long been my number one choice for a law school and I was ecstatic to get in, especially given my less-than-stellar numbers (3.76/167, non-URM). However, as you can imagine with those stats, I did not receive any scholarship assistance. I haven't tried negotiating yet, but I really don't have that much leverage (WL at Chicago, in at Cornell with no money). I absolutely love the law school and the city of Ann Arbor, and really couldn't see myself going to law school anywhere else.

So my question to you is: Should I attend Michigan at sticker, take time off to do AmeriCorps, or take time off and find a job and build up some savings?

Here is some more relevant information:

I am from Ohio and would like to ultimately practice in the Midwest, probably in a small to mid-sized market like Cleveland, Columbus, Ann Arbor, or Grand Rapids, as I have strong ties to both Ohio and Michigan. I have always been compelled to do Public Interest/Government, but recently have been thinking that I might aim for private practice (MidLaw or BigLaw) in one of the above markets to pay off debt. Right now, the most appealing prospect is shooting for a big law firm job in Grand Rapids, where my long-term girlfriend's family is from, working for a few years, and then transitioning into government work. If I did decide to go the PI/Govt route from the outset, Michigan's LRAP is quite generous. Still, paying $250,000+ for a law degree and a not-insignificant measure of uncertain employment prospects kind of terrifies me.

If I decided to take time off, I could either do AmeriCorps, and earn the (admittedly meager) education award to help pay off some debt, or I could get a job and try to save some money.

Bottom line: would I be making a mistake attending Michigan at sticker given my goals? If anyone knows anything about the prospects of the Michigan legal market, any insights are more than welcomed.

Thanks!

User avatar
WokeUpInACar
Posts: 5513
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:11 pm

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby WokeUpInACar » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:31 am

How many times have you taken the LSAT?

User avatar
untar614
Posts: 646
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:01 pm

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby untar614 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:33 am

How many times have u taken the LSAT? You're actually above Michigan's median GPA. Their median LSAT is 169 and 75th %ile is 170, so just a few more points on the LSAT could do you wonders. I personally wouldn't go at sticker. As for job vs Americorps, do you have a strong preference and is there a major difference in the money and the time it would give you to prep for LSAT?

Brody
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby Brody » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:37 am

Thanks for the responses!

I have taken the LSAT twice, once in June 2012 and the second this February. The second time I actually scored one point lower (166), so needless to say, I was kind of distraught. Especially since I was PT'ing around 170-172. Honestly I don't know what happened.

If I were to go the AmeriCorps route, I would probably have a decent amount of time to study (though I have exhausted all the materials). Really don't want to, but I also realize it might be the best decision. However, given that I went down a point on my retake, I'm led to believe that, under pressured testing conditions, I might have reached my LSAT-maximization point. The job would be more time intensive, but over twice the salary of the AmeriCorps gig.

Edit: more info on job vs. AmeriCorps

User avatar
WokeUpInACar
Posts: 5513
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:11 pm

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby WokeUpInACar » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:42 am

Brody wrote:Thanks for the responses!

I have taken the LSAT twice, once in June 2012 and the second this February. The second time I actually scored one point lower (166), so needless to say, I was kind of distraught. Especially since I was PT'ing around 170-172. Honestly I don't know what happened.

If I were to go the AmeriCorps route, I would probably have a decent amount of time to study (though I have exhausted all the materials). Really don't want to, but I also realize it might be the best decision. However, given that I went down a point on my retake, I'm led to believe that, under pressured testing conditions, I might have reached my LSAT-maximization point.

I realllly don't believe this exists. 2-3 more points would almost certainly save you >60k in debt at graduation, so I would definitely suggest retaking. I'd probably try to find a job and build up some savings, but if you think you'd enjoy Americorps, that would be fine also. Most people around here who have been through this process suggest working for at least a couple years between UG and law school, and it could save you TONS of money.

User avatar
untar614
Posts: 646
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:01 pm

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby untar614 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:49 am

Brody wrote:Thanks for the responses!

I have taken the LSAT twice, once in June 2012 and the second this February. The second time I actually scored one point lower (166), so needless to say, I was kind of distraught. Especially since I was PT'ing around 170-172. Honestly I don't know what happened.

If I were to go the AmeriCorps route, I would probably have a decent amount of time to study (though I have exhausted all the materials). Really don't want to, but I also realize it might be the best decision. However, given that I went down a point on my retake, I'm led to believe that, under pressured testing conditions , I might have reached my LSAT-maximization point. The job would be more time intensive, but over twice the salary of the AmeriCorps gig.

Edit: more info on job vs. AmeriCorps


Here might lie the key. Maybe you don't need to improve the content portion so much as being able to handle the stress on the testing scenario. See if you can find ways to work on this to fully realize your potential on the actual test. Just hitting a 171 would likely net you some nice scholarship money.

Brody
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby Brody » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:52 am

WokeUpInACar wrote:
Brody wrote:Thanks for the responses!

I have taken the LSAT twice, once in June 2012 and the second this February. The second time I actually scored one point lower (166), so needless to say, I was kind of distraught. Especially since I was PT'ing around 170-172. Honestly I don't know what happened.

If I were to go the AmeriCorps route, I would probably have a decent amount of time to study (though I have exhausted all the materials). Really don't want to, but I also realize it might be the best decision. However, given that I went down a point on my retake, I'm led to believe that, under pressured testing conditions, I might have reached my LSAT-maximization point.

I realllly don't believe this exists. 2-3 more points would almost certainly save you >60k in debt at graduation, so I would definitely suggest retaking. I'd probably try to find a job and build up some savings, but if you think you'd enjoy Americorps, that would be fine also. Most people around here who have been through this process suggest working for at least a couple years between UG and law school, and it could save you TONS of money.


I was always skeptical of the LSAT-maximization thing, too, and I will readily submit that there was probably something about my study habits or other factor that caused me to score lower. Until I figure out what that problem was, though, I'm wary of retaking from fear of scoring even lower than 166/167. Like untar says, maybe I just need to practice under more stressful conditions (busy McDonald's, Barnes & Nobles). I am fairly debt-averse, like most folks on TLS, so I am leaning toward taking at least a year off, possibly longer.

guinness1547
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby guinness1547 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:10 pm

The job doesn't sound like it's phenomenal pay, so I suggest doing AmeriCorps for a year(I did) and using your extra time to study for the LSAT and take it again.


Edit: If you're K-JD taking a year to work is my advice anyway, even if you do no LSAT studying.

Brody
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby Brody » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:41 pm

I would be K-JD if I went to Michigan next year, by the way. The pay for the job would be around $30k/year. For comparison's sake, the AmeriCorps position would be around $12k, with a $5,550 educational award for future loan repayment.

What sort of AmeriCorps program did you do, guinness? Did you enjoy the experience?

guinness1547
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Michigan or Time Off

Postby guinness1547 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:23 pm

Brody wrote:I would be K-JD if I went to Michigan next year, by the way. The pay for the job would be around $30k/year. For comparison's sake, the AmeriCorps position would be around $12k, with a $5,550 educational award for future loan repayment.

What sort of AmeriCorps program did you do, guinness? Did you enjoy the experience?



During tax season I did taxes for low income people, and during the offseason I was part of(ran it) a non-profit that fixed houses for people. I loved the experience and getting away from school for a while. Like I said, I'd recommend taking a year off no matter what it is that you do.




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