Michigan v. Penn

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

Where should I attend?

Michigan (163k)
69
58%
Penn (204k)
49
42%
 
Total votes: 118

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:35 pm

Okay, so here is what my cycle has come down to:

Michigan with in-state tuition + 67,500 scholarship -- $163,400 total debt at graduation
Penn with staggered need-based aid ($56,000 total) -- $204,200 total debt at graduation

I will not be retaking or reapplying. My GPA will prevent me from getting much more aid money, and I'm not testing the job market.

I'm not entirely sure the number for Penn is correct (this is using GULCs calculator, but Penn does some different things with loans where I would have about 8k subsidized per year, then the 20,500 of stafford, and the remainder Grad+). In addition to this, I graduate UG with about 30k debt and will being going K-JD. This makes by total at graduation about 240k for Penn and 198k at Michigan.

As for career goals, I'm born and raised in Michigan and would be fine with working in Detroit/Grand Rapids midlaw. My only issue with it is that it'd take longer to pay down loans, and I wouldn't necessarily mind working in a big market, paying down loans, then lateraling back in. I'd also very open to other markets (both short and long term), although I think NYC would be the lowest on my list (I realize this is the big advantage at Penn). To me, this paragraph is advantage Michigan (tell me if you disagree).

On the flip side, I believe that with that much debt, it might be wisest to give myself the best odds of paying it back. Playing the odds (BigLaw+a3 Clerkship placement) seems to add up to a huge advantage for Penn (77.1% vs. 51.8% according to LST). While I do believe that midlaw in Michigan would be a fine outcome, I have no idea how heavily I should factor this advantage at Michigan into my calculus. 16% of Michigan's class works in the state (obviously those aren't all good outcomes, but who knows how many of them are to be honest). Even if all 16% were legit, Penn would still give that 10% advantage.

As for living in the two cities, I've lived in A2 for four years during UG, have family nearby, and plenty of existing friends. I'll be visiting Philly for the first time this week, so the city is a big unknown at the moment. Hope to sort this one out near the end of the week, give the slight advantage to Michigan, but nonetheless, I think I'd be fine either place.

So I guess the questions are: is it worth taking the dive into the unknown + 40k additional debt for the better odds at Penn? Should Michigan's placement stats be that much of a concern for me, or does being a native give a decent safety net locally? Is Penn even an objectively better choice for someone like me, removing money from the calculus? TLS has been so helpful throughout the whole process, I'd appreciate everyone's input one last time this cycle!

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby 20141023 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:01 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

SportsFan
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby SportsFan » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:02 am

IMO you should visit Penn, see what you think of it, and also spend some more time thinking about where you want to work after graduation. I have no idea how easy/hard it is to get back to Detroit from Penn (though its certainly possible, especially with strong ties like you have), but I bet the grade requirements for getting Detroit jobs from Michigan are well known. I'd look into those, and see how high/low they are. If you need only need, say, medianish grades, Michigan would probably be a better choice. But if you'd need top 1/3 grades (which I doubt is actually the case, but just saying...), it probably wouldn't be worth it to go to Michigan for any placement advantage in Detroit.

I do agree a lot with the debt part, though. I'm looking at a total debt of ~$160k from Penn by the time I graduate, and my mindset when I was applying and looking at schools was along the lines of "go where I have the best chance of getting a job to pay off my debt" rather than hedging my bets and going somewhere cheaper. The downside of this biglaw placement advantage that Penn has (at least for you) is that a lot of it is because of good NYC placement (though "only" 40% of the c/o 2012 went there, and maybe the advantage is just self-selection, who knows!), especially for people at/slightly below median. And if you're not really open to NYC, then it's probably not worth the extra $40k to go to Penn. But, just IMO, its silly to go to law school ITE without considering NYC. Not that you have to make it your primary target during OCI (and if you manage top 1/3 grades, you'll open up DC, California, etc., but thats no sure thing, trust me!), but not bidding NYC is probably the biggest way people strikeout at OCI, from what I've read/heard. And when your options have COA of $160k and $200k, you pretty much need biglaw unless you're set on LRAP or something.

imjustjoking22
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:46 am

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:22 am

Purely anecdotal, but things are feeling pretty good here in Michigan job-wise. Seems to me like Mich reputation on TLS is hurting from a lot of transparency during rough times, but everyone I know here is working somewhere they wanted this summer, 2Ls have offers, 3Ls have jobs. I don't know why you'd choose Penn over Mich at that cost if you'd actually be interested in working in Michigan.

User avatar
ManoftheHour
Posts: 3402
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:03 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:29 am

This thread gives me hope. Good luck with your decision. We have the same GPA, so I hope to be in this situation next year. If it were me, I'd go with Penn. I'd be okay with paying sticker at Penn.

Big Dog
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Big Dog » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:37 am

undergrad debt plus primary interest in Michigan to practice leans toward Michigan. A 20% better chance at NYC just is not worth the extra cost for someone who doesn't want to be there, IMO.

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:09 am

I appreciate the input thus far! At Michigan's ASW, a lot of the local associates present said that Michigan is the only school they don't have grade cutoffs for, and that ties are extremely important. I'd like to hear the other side of the coin from Penn students who want to go back to their individual secondary markets to see how big of an advantage this is. Honestly, I just can't see a Detroit firm wanting to grab a UMich student originally from NYC who is "settling" on Detroit over a Penn student from the state who actually wants Detroit, but maybe I'm wrong. Regardless, Michigan holds the advantage based on the facts I've been able to gather thus far.

I probably should think about if I could see myself in NYC/Philly post-grad too. Those are two places I hadn't thought about too much, but definitely become options if at Penn, much more so than at Michigan. Doesn't seem Penn gives any advantage in DC or California, two markets I know I'd like outside of Detroit/GR.

gnuwheels
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby gnuwheels » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:36 am

imjustjoking22 wrote:Purely anecdotal, but things are feeling pretty good here in Michigan job-wise. Seems to me like Mich reputation on TLS is hurting from a lot of transparency during rough times, but everyone I know here is working somewhere they wanted this summer, 2Ls have offers, 3Ls have jobs.

I disagree. Purely anecdotal as well, but I'm at mich and have friends at other schools in the T10 and things seem MUCH better at other schools. I feel like at michigan it's like, you talk to a 3L, 'have a job?' and if they say 'yea' you're like 'phew'. Whereas at other T10s it seems more like 'what firm are you working at this summer?' Unfortunately I think the TLS rep is pretty fair.

BUT, OP wants to work in michigan? Clear choice. If however you think there's even a chance you'd rather go to a different market, go to Penn.

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:37 am

gnuwheels wrote:
imjustjoking22 wrote:Purely anecdotal, but things are feeling pretty good here in Michigan job-wise. Seems to me like Mich reputation on TLS is hurting from a lot of transparency during rough times, but everyone I know here is working somewhere they wanted this summer, 2Ls have offers, 3Ls have jobs.

I disagree. Purely anecdotal as well, but I'm at mich and have friends at other schools in the T10 and things seem MUCH better at other schools. I feel like at michigan it's like, you talk to a 3L, 'have a job?' and if they say 'yea' you're like 'phew'. Whereas at other T10s it seems more like 'what firm are you working at this summer?' Unfortunately I think the TLS rep is pretty fair.

BUT, OP wants to work in michigan? Clear choice. If however you think there's even a chance you'd rather go to a different market, go to Penn.


Are there enough in-state kids roaming around at Michigan for you to be able to tell a difference between their job prospects and someone elses? And by job prospects, I mean Detroit/GR midlaw, any biglaw, or an a3 clerkship.... do those kids have better luck on the whole?

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:54 am

If you want to work in Michigan, and have no interest in NYC biglaw, then Michigan is the obvious choice here.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:27 pm

Michigan all day.

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:37 pm

All the folks that voted for Michigan mind giving reasons beside the "would work in Mich" and "prefer not to work in NYC" ones (not calling out above poster at all, those are just the two best, most substantive reasons to pick UMich that have been discussed)? It seems Michigan is running away with the poll, but the posters in support of Penn have given some interesting food for thought that hasn't been addressed by the Michigan crowd (and largely is the reason I'm even considering Penn in the first place). Would like to hear from any devil's advocates to the opinion I should go to Penn.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:40 pm

U Detroit with a full ride

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:48 pm

dsn32 wrote:All the folks that voted for Michigan mind giving reasons beside the "would work in Mich" and "prefer not to work in NYC" ones (not calling out above poster at all, those are just the two best, most substantive reasons to pick UMich that have been discussed)? It seems Michigan is running away with the poll, but the posters in support of Penn have given some interesting food for thought that hasn't been addressed by the Michigan crowd (and largely is the reason I'm even considering Penn in the first place). Would like to hear from any devil's advocates to the opinion I should go to Penn.

There's absolutely no reason to go to Penn for $40k more considering that you already have UG debt and you're not interested in NYC biglaw.

What other type of considerations do you want? Both are great schools. The difference is where they place you, geographically speaking. Penn gives you a +20% chance at biglaw, but it's almost all from its better placement in NYC. Also 11% more people at Mich do PI. There's only a 10% difference in total placement.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:14 pm

I'd say take the money even if you wanted NYC biglaw and weren't from Michigan. The difference between Michigan and Penn isn't worth 40-50k.

SportsFan
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby SportsFan » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:27 pm

keg411 wrote:I'd say take the money even if you wanted NYC biglaw and weren't from Michigan. The difference between Michigan and Penn isn't worth 40-50k.

Eh. Maybe if the total COA was something like 40k vs. 80k. But at 160k vs. 200k, OP is gonna need biglaw to pay off the debt anyway. If you don't think these images show a difference worth 40k-50k, fair enough, but I think theres a very legitimate argument that if OP seriously considers working in NYC as a fallback option, Penn is a better option.

Image

Image

User avatar
sinfiery
Posts: 3308
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 am

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:38 pm

Those graphs are a great conservative baseline to begin your analysis but they are just that. The beginning of the analysis, not the end. OPs main goal is categorized as an underemployed/unemployed outcome in said graphs. That alone should point you to taking some skepticism towards the way that data is presented for this particular case.

I agree with the Michigan sentiments if your career goals are important to you. If they are something that you aren't committed to and just what you feel as of today, Penn may be the better choice.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:35 pm

Here's the thing about these firm placement stats: marginal distinctions mean very little. Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school? Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?

I just simply don't see any basis at all to think that the same student at Michigan and at Penn would have substantially different outcomes.

The place where this doesn't apply is where there are local considerations. I'm sure Penn places better into Philly than Michigan. And, most importantly for your purposes, I'm sure Michigan places better into Michigan than Penn. And it's also cheaper. So, the real question is, why wouldn't you go to Michigan?

gnuwheels
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby gnuwheels » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:54 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school?


Yes.

dixiecupdrinking wrote: Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?


Maybe because after decades of hiring they've realized that the Penn graduates they hire are consistently better?

Revolver066
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Revolver066 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:59 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Here's the thing about these firm placement stats: marginal distinctions mean very little. Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school? Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?

I just simply don't see any basis at all to think that the same student at Michigan and at Penn would have substantially different outcomes.

The place where this doesn't apply is where there are local considerations. I'm sure Penn places better into Philly than Michigan. And, most importantly for your purposes, I'm sure Michigan places better into Michigan than Penn. And it's also cheaper. So, the real question is, why wouldn't you go to Michigan?


Do you think an NYU kid or a Penn kid would have substantially different outcomes? Or a Penn kid and a Chicago kid? And if so, why?
I think there's a lot of uncertainty about this stuff but at the end of the day ill take the actual outcomes over random TLS musings everyday.
FTR I think Penn is better at placing kids than Mich, but in this case I think Michigan is the better choice.

Cubyfan21
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:46 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Cubyfan21 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:04 pm

How do you figure more than 110K of debt after Michigan (not counting UG loans)? If you have family nearby stay with them. if you are getting 20k+ a year to go to Michigan, you should not come out with over a 110K in debt.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:14 pm

gnuwheels wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school?


Yes.

dixiecupdrinking wrote: Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?


Maybe because after decades of hiring they've realized that the Penn graduates they hire are consistently better?

Maybe, but that seems asinine.
Revolver066 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Here's the thing about these firm placement stats: marginal distinctions mean very little. Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school? Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?

I just simply don't see any basis at all to think that the same student at Michigan and at Penn would have substantially different outcomes.

The place where this doesn't apply is where there are local considerations. I'm sure Penn places better into Philly than Michigan. And, most importantly for your purposes, I'm sure Michigan places better into Michigan than Penn. And it's also cheaper. So, the real question is, why wouldn't you go to Michigan?


Do you think an NYU kid or a Penn kid would have substantially different outcomes? Or a Penn kid and a Chicago kid? And if so, why?

No, I don't, really.

User avatar
Nelson
Posts: 2061
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:43 am

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:20 pm

It doesn't make sense for someone who wants to practice in MI to go to Penn over Michigan if the prices are comparable.

User avatar
Gunnar Stahl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:28 pm

Yeah, go to Michigan.

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:35 pm

sinfiery wrote:Those graphs are a great conservative baseline to begin your analysis but they are just that. The beginning of the analysis, not the end. OPs main goal is categorized as an underemployed/unemployed outcome in said graphs. That alone should point you to taking some skepticism towards the way that data is presented for this particular case.


Not entirely true. The firms in Michigan where UMich places are between 120-250 lawyers, so they are counted as part of LST's "biglaw" distinction, not separate.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Here's the thing about these firm placement stats: marginal distinctions mean very little. Why do you think that Penn would place better than Michigan? Because firms think it's a better school? Why on earth would they think that when they have been hiring from both schools for decades, and when both schools admit equally qualified students?

I just simply don't see any basis at all to think that the same student at Michigan and at Penn would have substantially different outcomes.

The place where this doesn't apply is where there are local considerations. I'm sure Penn places better into Philly than Michigan. And, most importantly for your purposes, I'm sure Michigan places better into Michigan than Penn. And it's also cheaper. So, the real question is, why wouldn't you go to Michigan?


The point of this thread is to end up agreeing/disagreeing with your last paragraph (aka: choosing a school). The discussion is whether your assessment in the first paragraph is correct. Agreed fully that UMich/UPenn are peers. But the stats say otherwise. I'm trying to figure out if there is factual information to say that these stats are misleading/not as applicable to my case, making Michigan the hands-down choice.

Cubyfan21 wrote:How do you figure more than 110K of debt after Michigan (not counting UG loans)? If you have family nearby stay with them. if you are getting 20k+ a year to go to Michigan, you should not come out with over a 110K in debt.


Tuition hasn't risen from last year's $48,250 figure (will in July, likely to near what I estimated to be a round $50k). Assuming no further rises (not likely), I'd pay 82.5k in tuition over 3 years. However, the cost/benefit of the commute (aka study time during 1L), distance from social life, and utter inconvenience of camping out at the school all day in the event of large gaps in a schedule makes the extra 49.5k worth it to live on-campus. I think all of those factors would be enough of an inconvenience to effect study habits negatively.

Nelson wrote:It doesn't make sense for someone who wants to practice in MI to go to Penn over Michigan if the prices are comparable.


The other fear is that these jobs are not readily available in a shrinking Michigan market. I understand that Michigan is the best option to work in Michigan. I'm trying to decide if getting a job in the state is unlikely enough that I should hedge my bets with Penn's better placement.

So basically my preferences would be MI MidLaw (> or =) Any BigLaw or Clerkship > Starkbucks Guy.

I could live with any outcome that avoids being the Starbucks guy. Lol.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 1 guest