Michigan v. Penn

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

Where should I attend?

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

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dsn32
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:36 pm

Also, just playing devil's advocate to drive conversation/get further perspective. Not trying to argue/be an douche.

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Nelson
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:57 pm

dsn32 wrote:
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 > Starbucks Guy.

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

They are peer schools. Go to the one that's in the geographic region where you want to practice.

Revolver066
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Revolver066 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:00 pm

Nelson wrote:They are peer schools. Go to the one that's in the geographic region where you want to practice.


I agree, but I think this "peer school" stuff is a little weird, at least on TLS as a whole. Just look at the placement data, area you want to practice and go from there. No sense in trying to group schools.

keg411
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:10 pm

Revolver066 wrote:
Nelson wrote:They are peer schools. Go to the one that's in the geographic region where you want to practice.


I agree, but I think this "peer school" stuff is a little weird, at least on TLS as a whole. Just look at the placement data, area you want to practice and go from there. No sense in trying to group schools.


OP wants to practice in Michigan, then he/she should go to Michigan. There's a huge value in being able to talk to attorneys/intern or extern during the school year/becoming part of the legal community/etc. Picking Penn because of some hair splitting data seems ridiculous to me.

If OP was from the NYC/Philly area, I would tell him/her to try and negotiate with Penn as much as possible and go there instead of Michigan. But OP is from Michigan and wants to work in Michigan. Seems ridiculous to go to Penn to do that and lose out of the value of being part of the Michigan legal community, meet Michigan practitioners while in school/etc.

I'm a 3L. I've been through this whole thing. There is a HUGE value in going to school where you want to work; especially if it's not NYC/DC and the school is a T14.

Revolver066
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Revolver066 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:15 pm

keg411 wrote:
Revolver066 wrote:
Nelson wrote:They are peer schools. Go to the one that's in the geographic region where you want to practice.


I agree, but I think this "peer school" stuff is a little weird, at least on TLS as a whole. Just look at the placement data, area you want to practice and go from there. No sense in trying to group schools.


OP wants to practice in Michigan, then he/she should go to Michigan. There's a huge value in being able to talk to attorneys/intern or extern during the school year/becoming part of the legal community/etc. Picking Penn because of some hair splitting data seems ridiculous to me.

If OP was from the NYC/Philly area, I would tell him/her to try and negotiate with Penn as much as possible and go there instead of Michigan. But OP is from Michigan and wants to work in Michigan. Seems ridiculous to go to Penn to do that and lose out of the value of being part of the Michigan legal community, meet Michigan practitioners while in school/etc.

I'm a 3L. I've been through this whole thing. There is a HUGE value in going to school where you want to work; especially if it's not NYC/DC and the school is a T14.


Right. Which is why I'd pick Michigan..and why I put in "area you want to practice". That and the money thing.

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sinfiery
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:18 pm

It's funny because what people are discrediting as being important when picking Penn here is likely exactly the reason there is the biglaw employment difference between Penn and its peer schools.

michwolv
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby michwolv » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:47 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?


This is crazy. The amount of hate Michigan's been getting lately is completely unfounded. I'm a 3L here, and I'll just say you should take clowns like this with a grain of salt.

It is really not hard to get a good job from Michigan, despite what people on this stupid website say. Random posters make proclamations like "you have to be top-33% to have a fighting chance in California from Michigan" or "median is going to really struggle" while having no idea what the hell they are talking about. People at the very, very bottom of the class are finding high-paying firm jobs in secondary markets they have never even been to, or good DA fellowships in competitive markets. I have friends well-below median who have received offers from top Detroit firms and market-paying firms in California without ever having visited. A non-negligible number of below-median students receive Article III clerkships, even if not in their first-choice cities. Median students get jobs in DC, and just about ANYBODY can get a firm job in NYC if they are really set on it. Of course, if you are at the top of the class, you can do go do just about whatever the hell you want. Last year, Michigan placed more students in the mythical DOJ SLIP and Honors programs than any other school.

People so often fail to appreciate self-selection when looking at stats like the ones above. I know several people with very high grades who just didn't participate in OCI because that's just not what they want to do. They will be clerking in... STATE court next year because that's the track they need to take to get their dream jobs. That's several students on your unemployed chart. Many more are pursuing dual-degrees (significantly more than at peer schools, from the numbers I have seen), either in hopes of entering academia or a niche field or a different profession altogether. These students count as "not working" in the LST numbers above. The EIC of the law review decided they would rather work for a top consulting firm. That registers under "business" in the under-employed graph.

Michigan is a great school, and whatever you decide you want to do, it will give you a great shot at getting there. Penn is a great school also, and you shouldn't read this to take anything away from them. My friends there have very good things to say. But apart from the top three schools (and Columbia and NYU for New York City biglaw only), Michigan will give you as good a chance as ANY place else to get the career you want.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:57 pm

I don't know if I see this so clearly because I think being 200K in debt when all is said and done, including undergrad but not interest, to go to Mich is a bad choice, regardless of whether you are targeting Michigan firms. As an aside, even if you target Mich firms, you will probably still interview with big firms in other cities as backups, likely including NYC firms bc it is the safest market. Basically since you'd rather have a job somewhere, you will end up targeting NYC to some extent no matter where you go unless you get stellar grades and can write your own ticket. Like someone else said, it is unwise to go more than 100K in debt for law school, hoping to pay it back with big law, if you refuse to consider living in NYC....doesn't mean you will end up there but ex ante you don't know how you will do in school.

Then the question is whether Penn with, what, 300K? in debt is better. (Wow, can't believe we have crossed the 300K line...ridiculous. Read John Kramer's 1987 article about how tuition was too high and it would corrupt law students bc they'd be so focused on getting high-paying jobs, written at a time when average private school tuition was the equivalent of 16K in 2012 dollars). I don't know. Penn clocking in at 77% BL/A3 is substantially better than Mich at 52%....basically Penn gives you nearly a 50% better chance of landing BL/A3. From my perspective, the best thing about the Penn numbers is that it is numerically certain that firms reach into the bottom half, even apparently the bottom quarter, of the class, which is relieving as a 1L. Because the curve causes so many students to be bunched within + or - .15 or so of median, this means that if you don't completely screw up your 1L grades and at least land in the lower end of the big bunch, you still have a good shot at getting a market-paying job. Firms probably also hire from below median from Mich but it is apparently not at the same rate for whatever reason (self-selection into PI may explain some of it). One other thing to note that I wonder about is that Mich has a more difficult curve. I think their median is around 3.17 for 1Ls whereas other T14s seem to be around 3.3. I wonder if this puts Mich kids at a disadvantage if interviewers are being careless. Interviewers are supposed to look at class rank but T14 schools often obscure this by not telling people their ranks and telling them not to put GPA/rank on your resume.

Anyway, I guess I would lean toward saying you have a few options:
1) deposit at both and then sign up to retake in June to see if you can get more scholarship money from either or both with a higher LSAT
2) take your Mich offer to Penn and try to squeeze some $ out of them and then take the Penn offer back to Mich, etc and try to get total debt at Mich down to 150K, including undergrad (personally I wouldn't pay more than maybe $120K for Mich but $150K is in the ballpark while $200K is way too high)
3) after negotiating, go to Penn but only if NYC big law would be acceptable to you
4) work for a few years and pay down your undergrad debt and reapply

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dsn32
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 pm

sinfiery wrote:It's funny because what people are discrediting as being important when picking Penn here is likely exactly the reason there is the biglaw employment difference between Penn and its peer schools.


Are we talking NYC self-selection here? I get that it's getting somewhat heated between people in this thread (my bad?), but it doesn't help me much as the OP when someone comments something so vague.

michwolv wrote:It is really not hard to get a good job from Michigan, despite what people on this stupid website say. Random posters make proclamations like "you have to be top-33% to have a fighting chance in California from Michigan" or "median is going to really struggle" while having no idea what the hell they are talking about. People at the very, very bottom of the class are finding high-paying firm jobs in secondary markets they have never even been to, or good DA fellowships in competitive markets. I have friends well-below median who have received offers from top Detroit firms and market-paying firms in California without ever having visited. A non-negligible number of below-median students receive Article III clerkships, even if not in their first-choice cities. Median students get jobs in DC, and just about ANYBODY can get a firm job in NYC if they are really set on it. Of course, if you are at the top of the class, you can do go do just about whatever the hell you want. Last year, Michigan placed more students in the mythical DOJ SLIP and Honors programs than any other school.

People so often fail to appreciate self-selection when looking at stats like the ones above. I know several people with very high grades who just didn't participate in OCI because that's just not what they want to do. They will be clerking in... STATE court next year because that's the track they need to take to get their dream jobs. That's several students on your unemployed chart. Many more are pursuing dual-degrees (significantly more than at peer schools, from the numbers I have seen), either in hopes of entering academia or a niche field or a different profession altogether. These students count as "not working" in the LST numbers above. The EIC of the law review decided they would rather work for a top consulting firm. That registers under "business" in the under-employed graph.


I got this vibe too during ASW.... its admittedly the reason I'm leaning heavily toward Michigan and will be turning down Duke this week despite loving Durham. While I'm definitely considering the stats (hence considering Penn), I definitely think Michigan offers me superior placement to every school I've withdrawn from thus far (i.e.: Lower T14 sans Berkeley).

somewhatwayward wrote:Anyway, I guess I would lean toward saying you have a few options:
1) deposit at both and then sign up to retake in June to see if you can get more scholarship money from either or both with a higher LSAT
2) take your Mich offer to Penn and try to squeeze some $ out of them and then take the Penn offer back to Mich, etc and try to get total debt at Mich down to 150K, including undergrad (personally I wouldn't pay more than maybe $120K for Mich but $150K is in the ballpark while $200K is way too high)
3) after negotiating, go to Penn but only if NYC big law would be acceptable to you
4) work for a few years and pay down your undergrad debt and reapply


I appreciate this advice, although you didn't really read the thread, because my debt load will be much closer to 150k at Michigan then 200k (especially if 2L SA). I would argue that being debt-averse to a fault (i.e.: taking a low-paying job to hack away at 30k in loans, just to take a similar amount in the future) is a poor strategy when a much higher salary is likely at the end of the tunnel. But that's just a difference in opinion, and I really don't feel a need to explain that one away.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Rahviveh » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:34 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?


Maybe firms see them the same, but Penn's smaller class size makes their students more valuable?

Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.

Since it sounds like big law is more important than being in Michigan, its a tough choice. At this point you just have to figure out if Penn's worth that extra $X per month (and how confident you are that there is indeed a difference). The Mich students ITT have not posted more than anecdotes so far. One thing you can try is getting summer data from Mich OCS to see how many got offers last year.

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dsn32
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:52 pm

ChampagnePapi 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?


Maybe firms see them the same, but Penn's smaller class size makes their students more valuable?

Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.

Since it sounds like big law is more important than being in Michigan, its a tough choice. At this point you just have to figure out if Penn's worth that extra $X per month (and how confident you are that there is indeed a difference). The Mich students ITT have not posted more than anecdotes so far. One thing you can try is getting summer data from Mich OCS to see how many got offers last year.


I'm not passing over $$$ at all. Look at this year's cycle on LSN. Need a 175+ in my GPA range for enough money to make UVA less expensive for me than UMich. Duke only goes up to 90k for a non-URM in my GPA range (which with In-state at UMich and higher CoL estimate in Durham makes it a wash with my current offer). No one with less than a 3.9 at Penn has as good of an offer listed as I do. Being that I doubt I'll get in at Berkeley and am not willing to attend NU, Cornell, or GULC over Michigan.... no reason exists to retake unless HYS CCN becomes in play. TBH though, I'd attend Penn or Mich with my current offer over any of CCN at sticker.

EDIT: So basically all I'd have to play for is hoping to get UMich to bump me up to 90k (from the current 67.5k) by retaking. Being that getting a job would all but assuredly force me to relinquish my In-state status + waiting a year increases the total cost of attending, there isn't a reason to wait for UMich either.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Rahviveh » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:01 pm

dsn32 wrote:
ChampagnePapi 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?


Maybe firms see them the same, but Penn's smaller class size makes their students more valuable?

Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.

Since it sounds like big law is more important than being in Michigan, its a tough choice. At this point you just have to figure out if Penn's worth that extra $X per month (and how confident you are that there is indeed a difference). The Mich students ITT have not posted more than anecdotes so far. One thing you can try is getting summer data from Mich OCS to see how many got offers last year.


I'm not passing over $$$ at all. Look at this year's cycle on LSN. Need a 175+ in my GPA range for enough money to make UVA less expensive for me than UMich. Duke only goes up to 90k for a non-URM in my GPA range (which with In-state at UMich and higher CoL estimate in Durham makes it a wash with my current offer). No one with less than a 3.9 at Penn has as good of an offer listed as I do. Being that I doubt I'll get in at Berkeley and am not willing to attend NU, Cornell, or GULC over Michigan.... no reason exists to retake unless HYS CCN becomes in play. TBH though, I'd attend Penn or Mich with my current offer over any of CCN at sticker.

EDIT: So basically all I'd have to play for is hoping to get UMich to bump me up to 90k (from the current 67.5k) by retaking. Being that getting a job would all but assuredly force me to relinquish my In-state status + waiting a year increases the total cost of attending, there isn't a reason to wait for UMich either.

You contradicted yourself. Yeah it would take a 175+ score but you ARE passing over money. And those other schools you named could give you offers that can be used as leverage, even if you don't want to attend those places. And HCCN definitely comes into play with a 3.6/175+

Again I'm not saying you should retake, but to act like youre being held back by a 3.6 is not correct

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Nelson
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:05 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.


I'm not passing over $$$ at all. Look at this year's cycle on LSN. Need a 175+ in my GPA range for enough money to make UVA less expensive for me than UMich. Duke only goes up to 90k for a non-URM in my GPA range (which with In-state at UMich and higher CoL estimate in Durham makes it a wash with my current offer). No one with less than a 3.9 at Penn has as good of an offer listed as I do. Being that I doubt I'll get in at Berkeley and am not willing to attend NU, Cornell, or GULC over Michigan.... no reason exists to retake unless HYS CCN becomes in play. TBH though, I'd attend Penn or Mich with my current offer over any of CCN at sticker.

EDIT: So basically all I'd have to play for is hoping to get UMich to bump me up to 90k (from the current 67.5k) by retaking. Being that getting a job would all but assuredly force me to relinquish my In-state status + waiting a year increases the total cost of attending, there isn't a reason to wait for UMich either.

You contradicted yourself. Yeah it would take a 175+ score but you ARE passing over money. And those other schools you named could give you offers that can be used as leverage, even if you don't want to attend those places. And HCCN definitely comes into play with a 3.6/175+

Again I'm not saying you should retake, but to act like youre being held back by a 3.6 is not correct

Retaking to a 175+ is a total crapshoot. A 3.6 does not ever give a realistic shot at Harvard or decent money at CCN, even with 175+. He's not getting a better offer from Penn than he has now that's for sure, maybe the more splitter friendly lower T14s. OP is right, he's not passing over much.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Rahviveh » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:08 pm

Nelson wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.


I'm not passing over $$$ at all. Look at this year's cycle on LSN. Need a 175+ in my GPA range for enough money to make UVA less expensive for me than UMich. Duke only goes up to 90k for a non-URM in my GPA range (which with In-state at UMich and higher CoL estimate in Durham makes it a wash with my current offer). No one with less than a 3.9 at Penn has as good of an offer listed as I do. Being that I doubt I'll get in at Berkeley and am not willing to attend NU, Cornell, or GULC over Michigan.... no reason exists to retake unless HYS CCN becomes in play. TBH though, I'd attend Penn or Mich with my current offer over any of CCN at sticker.

EDIT: So basically all I'd have to play for is hoping to get UMich to bump me up to 90k (from the current 67.5k) by retaking. Being that getting a job would all but assuredly force me to relinquish my In-state status + waiting a year increases the total cost of attending, there isn't a reason to wait for UMich either.

You contradicted yourself. Yeah it would take a 175+ score but you ARE passing over money. And those other schools you named could give you offers that can be used as leverage, even if you don't want to attend those places. And HCCN definitely comes into play with a 3.6/175+

Again I'm not saying you should retake, but to act like youre being held back by a 3.6 is not correct

Retaking to a 175+ is a total crapshoot. A 3.6 does not ever give a realistic shot at Harvard or decent money at CCN, even with 175+. He's not getting a better offer from Penn than he has now that's for sure, maybe the more splitter friendly lower T14s. OP is right, he's not passing over much.

OK I agree with that. If he's set on Penn it doesn't make much sense to retake.

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dsn32
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:12 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
ChampagnePapi 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?


Maybe firms see them the same, but Penn's smaller class size makes their students more valuable?

Anyways, OP a 3.6 isnt that low and its incorrect to assume a higher LSAT score won't earn you more scholarship money. I'm not saying you should retake - I don't know your background. But be aware you are indeed passing over big money by not retaking.

Since it sounds like big law is more important than being in Michigan, its a tough choice. At this point you just have to figure out if Penn's worth that extra $X per month (and how confident you are that there is indeed a difference). The Mich students ITT have not posted more than anecdotes so far. One thing you can try is getting summer data from Mich OCS to see how many got offers last year.


I'm not passing over $$$ at all. Look at this year's cycle on LSN. Need a 175+ in my GPA range for enough money to make UVA less expensive for me than UMich. Duke only goes up to 90k for a non-URM in my GPA range (which with In-state at UMich and higher CoL estimate in Durham makes it a wash with my current offer). No one with less than a 3.9 at Penn has as good of an offer listed as I do. Being that I doubt I'll get in at Berkeley and am not willing to attend NU, Cornell, or GULC over Michigan.... no reason exists to retake unless HYS CCN becomes in play. TBH though, I'd attend Penn or Mich with my current offer over any of CCN at sticker.

EDIT: So basically all I'd have to play for is hoping to get UMich to bump me up to 90k (from the current 67.5k) by retaking. Being that getting a job would all but assuredly force me to relinquish my In-state status + waiting a year increases the total cost of attending, there isn't a reason to wait for UMich either.

You contradicted yourself. Yeah it would take a 175+ score but you ARE passing over money. And those other schools you named could give you offers that can be used as leverage, even if you don't want to attend those places. And HCCN definitely comes into play with a 3.6/175+

Again I'm not saying you should retake, but to act like youre being held back by a 3.6 is not correct


I personally don't believe I could get a 175+ based on how inconsistent I was in PTs and the fact that 170 was the highest I ever scored. Some would say that means there is plenty of room for improvement... I tend to think I maxed out, or at least maxed out close to my ceiling.

Also, you're basically saying I should put life on hold, retake (hoping that turns into a better score), re-apply, hope UVA is generous enough to give me $$$ (detailed how the others haven't/won't) as opposed to not jumping through those hoops for something that is maybe 5% likely to happen.

Also, being that GULC and Cornell low-balled me initially and I had to beg to even get them to compete with other offers, I think retaking wouldn't really help there. I also think being a UMich UG hurt at some of these schools... every one I've visited has asked about UMich (have you gotten in? why would you leave? etc.). I truly believe these schools did not think that I would seriously consider attending, and made their FinAid offers accordingly.

I guess my point is that "retake" is not a one-size fits all piece of advice like a lot of people on here make it out to be. I've done extensive research and considered it. The cost-benefit doesn't add up.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:27 pm

dsn32 wrote: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.


I mean, I get that but you have to understand it's really unlikely there are stats or factual information that can confirm the extent to which any of these factors are in play. Penn places more people in biglaw; it also is an east coast school and draws different people with different preferences as to geography and, maybe, types of jobs. Having been through the law school hiring process, it's my impression that law firms are highly unlikely to make the kind of granular distinctions between schools that people on TLS make. There's some local hiring bias, in that if you want to work in Michigan but go to Penn, Michigan law firms are likely to a) not come to Penn at all or b) wonder why you would go to Penn if you wanted to work in Michigan and count that against you. And vice versa. I don't think anyone is going to be able to tell you exactly what the distinction in placement ability is because it's impossible to isolate. What you do know is Michigan is cheaper and you'd like to stay in Michigan, so unless I'm misreading something, that is why I think you should go to Michigan. It ought to be the default for you, unless something can justify going elsewhere, and Penn simply isn't sufficiently stronger to go there.

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dsn32
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:33 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
dsn32 wrote: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.


I mean, I get that but you have to understand it's really unlikely there are stats or factual information that can confirm the extent to which any of these factors are in play. Penn places more people in biglaw; it also is an east coast school and draws different people with different preferences as to geography and, maybe, types of jobs. Having been through the law school hiring process, it's my impression that law firms are highly unlikely to make the kind of granular distinctions between schools that people on TLS make. There's some local hiring bias, in that if you want to work in Michigan but go to Penn, Michigan law firms are likely to a) not come to Penn at all or b) wonder why you would go to Penn if you wanted to work in Michigan and count that against you. And vice versa. I don't think anyone is going to be able to tell you exactly what the distinction in placement ability is because it's impossible to isolate. What you do know is Michigan is cheaper and you'd like to stay in Michigan, so unless I'm misreading something, that is why I think you should go to Michigan. It ought to be the default for you, unless something can justify going elsewhere, and Penn simply isn't sufficiently stronger to go there.


I appreciate the distinction. Michigan has been the default all along (anonymity be damned!)... but I do feel like I need to give my next best option its due diligence to avoid making a lazy choice. That's all I'm trying to do....

imjustjoking22
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby imjustjoking22 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:38 pm

Anyone saying that paying 300k for Penn over paying 200k for Michigan is the "wise financial decision" is crazy.

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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby ast123 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:59 pm

dsn, I faced virtually the same decision as you this year. I'm from SE Michigan, went to UG @ UMich, love Ann Arbor, etc., etc.

I got the same amount as you from Michigan, and it came down to Michigan vs. Columbia w/ about 55k in aid. Factoring in CoL at both places, Columbia was still about 70k more expensive at least when it was all said and done (and I agree with a prior poster, how did you figure 160k @ Michigan with instate? I figure more like 110k).

It really is going to come down with what you want. I picked Michigan based on the fact that I think my lifestyle will be much more tenable at a Michigan midlaw firm than in NYC Big Law. Sure, Columbia would have probably been the choice if I was dead set on making the big balla bucks, but attrition rates over there aren't nearly what they are like in Michigan firms, and hours are much longer. Plus Michigan w/ 105k base pay for a first year associate probably beats the buying power of an associate making 160k in NYC anyway.

Its funny--I told people when I visited Columbia my options and one faculty member from the Midwest basically told me I'd be silly not to go to Michigan. She wishes she had the opportunity to go to a top school while being close to home; she liked NYC, but there's still no place like home for some people. (Plus, I've had great times when I've visited the law school in A2.)

The decision I made was also helped by the fact that I think the negative reputation Michigan gets on this site doesn't match reality when you account for the fact that there's a bunch more people from Michigan going to market-paying secondary gigs than from "peer" east coast schools with a large feeder market like NYC and the fact that there's a bigger PI focus at Michigan than at some other schools. You can get a job.

Hope this helps, see you in the fall if you end up choosing Michigan. :)

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby BuckinghamB » Sat May 11, 2013 10:14 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.


I agree that the placement numbers from Michigan the last few years are concerning, but I really think that only tells a small part of the story. It seems like the best indicator of how Mich fares compared to peer schools would be how deep into the class firms are recruiting, and from looking at some of the average GPAs from various OCI firms, there are plenty that are around median, and a significant amount below median, too.

Granted, some of the data is from pre-2008 so maybe it really is different now (it would be nice to get only the post-2009 data). It would also be nice to know exactly how many students at Mich truly could have gotten good firm jobs but went the PI route (there are tons of staunch PI people that I've met -- I know, anecdotal evidence, etc.) The problem is that we don't know exactly the extent to which firms dig below median at peer schools. I've spoken to several people (who are in touch with current recruiting practices at their firms) at length about how they view Mich compared to peer schools, and every one of them said the mid/lower T14 are viewed on the same footing. Yes, it's only anecdotal, but I still think it suggests that while Mich might be sliding a bit, the "OMG Mich is so TTT it's going to be irrelevant in 20 years" argument is laughable.

Full disclosure: I go to Mich

TL;DR -- OP, at equal price, Penn might be the one to go with (especially if you want NYC), but I think $40K makes Mich the better choice, especially since you have strong MI ties.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat May 11, 2013 10:39 am

Penn.

With your ties to Michigan, attending Penn won't put you at a disadvantage when exploring options in Michigan. In addition, Penn places you in a much better position than Michigan if you land at median or below. Hell, the bottom 20% mark at Penn does not appear to be a terrible place to be, however, slightly below median at Michigan appears to be a terrible place to be.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat May 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Penn.

With your ties to Michigan, attending Penn won't put you at a disadvantage when exploring options in Michigan. In addition, Penn places you in a much better position than Michigan if you land at median or below. Hell, the bottom 20% mark at Penn does not appear to be a terrible place to be, however, slightly below median at Michigan appears to be a terrible place to be.

(Weird Penn troll who doesn't even go there.)

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Lavitz
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby Lavitz » Sat May 11, 2013 2:39 pm

You guys realize the OP decided on Penn on April 30th, right?

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby BigZuck » Sat May 11, 2013 4:44 pm

Lavitz wrote:You guys realize the OP decided on Penn on April 30th, right?


Was thinking the same thing as I read through the thread. But considering half of them don't even know that it's now the T12 after Michigan was kicked out I don't expect them to be in touch with reality.

j/k Michigan totally isn't slipping and its placement power is just as strong as its "peers"

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untar614
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Re: Michigan v. Penn

Postby untar614 » Sat May 11, 2013 4:54 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Lavitz wrote:You guys realize the OP decided on Penn on April 30th, right?


Was thinking the same thing as I read through the thread. But considering half of them don't even know that it's now the T12 after Michigan was kicked out I don't expect them to be in touch with reality.

j/k Michigan totally isn't slipping and its placement power is just as strong as its "peers"

Lol. love the anti-Mich trolling, but they still maintained biglaw+fedclerk over 50% for the time being, so it's still T13 (even though Mich should be number 13). GTown gets kicked out though for having a sub-50 biglaw+fedclerk %




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