Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

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

Michigan($30,000/year) vs. Harvard

Michigan ($30,000 per year)
32
20%
Harvard (full price)
129
80%
 
Total votes: 161

Chrysogonus
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Chrysogonus » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:07 am

So, I feel obligated to point out something about IBR that has been overlooked:Does your spouse have student loans? If not - or if he is able to pay them off in full, then his income is not considered when determining your IBR payment. As in you don't even have to tell them how much he makes. That is regardless of whether you file jointly. They state this quite clearly.

Inaccurate/outdated info guys, sorry

Still, can always file separately

Source: I was in this same situation for a couple years (until the wife started taking out loans for law school herself). We filed jointly. I signed up for IBR and told them my spouse had no student loans and did not provide her income. They approved it and I had an extremely low payment. I did that for a couple years.

On that note, gotta go with harvard. Michigan is an overrated school and I know several grads from there that have struggled in both PI and biglaw fields. Harvard is definitely going to give you a better shot at whatever you decide.
Last edited by Chrysogonus on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:11 am

Chrysogonus wrote:So, I feel obligated to point out something about IBR that has been overlooked:

Does your spouse have student loans? If not - or if he is able to pay them off in full, then his income is not considered when determining your IBR payment. As in you don't even have to tell them how much he makes. That is regardless of whether you file jointly. They state this quite clearly.


Source: I was in this same situation for a couple years (until the wife started taking out loans for law school herself). We filed jointly. I signed up for IBR and told them my spouse had no student loans and did not provide her income. They approved it and I had an extremely low payment. I did that for a couple years.


Is this the case regardless of enrollment in PSLF? If, say, I enroll in IBR and PSLF at graduation...start out as a fellow, then move on to PI and make 40k per year...and then 5 years later get offered a crazy non PSLF eligible job that I just can't turn down, what happens? Do I shift to the 20 year IBR plan? Am I penalized for being under PSLF for 5 years and then moving to normal IBR? What if I have kids and take a few months off?

[My husband has no debt. He was smart and went the tech route :-D]

Thanks!

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:16 am

ColbyBryant wrote:
NYstate wrote:Wait. I thought OP was commited to what she wanted to do?
just a fair warning, OP, as you avoided NYC in applying to schools. Most biglaw jobs are in New York. If you won't consider living in NYC you should write off biglaw as a goal. Yes, you can get biglaw in other markets but you have to bid/ interview NYC. If you won't live in NYC, then forget biglaw. I'm not exaggerating here. Biglaw is highly competitive and people strike out by not bidding on NYC firms. All t14 schools do is get you a screening interview with firms, there are no guarantees, even from Harvard, that you can chose your market.

If you want your original goal, go to Harvard and do PI and PSLF. I am willing to bet that Harvard will get you something that will qualify, somewhere in the US that is not NYC. I wouldn't say the same for Michigan.

Edit: no one is taking Tucker Max as a reason to do anything, right?


Very interesting. I had not really considered the NYC big law issue, largely because in researching law schools and options big law has always been a contingency plan. I do have fairly lofty goals, and Harvard clearly has the edge for getting me there. Unfortunately these lofty goals don't pay well. Short of getting a divorce, LIPP won't help much. My concern with PI/PSLF is that I would have to remain in a certain type of job for 10 years, 120 on time payments. Now I am planning my future 13 years ahead of time, yet still have not taken a law class. I have to repeat that as a relatively older applicant, all of my K-JD or K-MD friends changed their goals 5-10 times between orientation and graduation!

Thank you for your input, interesting points there.


You are looking at the choices most law students will face with respect to doing PI work. Harvard LIPP is to benefit people who will have even less income than you and your husband will.

If you don't want to take the risk of not having a qualifying job for 10 years and being able to make PAYE payments, then you probably should just not go to law school. I don't think you know much bout biglaw, correct me if I'm wrong, but it is an all consuming job in many places.

Is there another type of degree that might help you reach your goals?

Chrysogonus
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Chrysogonus » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:16 am

ColbyBryant wrote:
Chrysogonus wrote:So, I feel obligated to point out something about IBR that has been overlooked:

Does your spouse have student loans? If not - or if he is able to pay them off in full, then his income is not considered when determining your IBR payment. As in you don't even have to tell them how much he makes. That is regardless of whether you file jointly. They state this quite clearly.


Source: I was in this same situation for a couple years (until the wife started taking out loans for law school herself). We filed jointly. I signed up for IBR and told them my spouse had no student loans and did not provide her income. They approved it and I had an extremely low payment. I did that for a couple years.


Is this the case regardless of enrollment in PSLF? If, say, I enroll in IBR and PSLF at graduation...start out as a fellow, then move on to PI and make 40k per year...and then 5 years later get offered a crazy non PSLF eligible job that I just can't turn down, what happens? Do I shift to the 20 year IBR plan? Am I penalized for being under PSLF for 5 years and then moving to normal IBR? What if I have kids and take a few months off?

[My husband has no debt. He was smart and went the tech route :-D]

Thanks!

PLSF and IBR go hand in hand. IBR is for any job depending on your income and loans. PLSF just means that the government will forgive your loans if you make 10 years of monthly loan payments while working a government/PI job.

So, likely you would be on IBR for 10 years and then PLSF would kick in if youve been working for gov/PI that whole time. If you move to a low paying job that doesnt qualify for PLSF there would be no "penalty" for IBR -- you would just have to stay on for longer.

Chrysogonus
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Chrysogonus » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:21 am

Ok, so scratch that about your spouse's income not counting. Looks like that may have changed since I was enrolled...

Anyway, there's still filing separately
Last edited by Chrysogonus on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:22 am

ColbyBryant wrote:
Chrysogonus wrote:So, I feel obligated to point out something about IBR that has been overlooked:

Does your spouse have student loans? If not - or if he is able to pay them off in full, then his income is not considered when determining your IBR payment. As in you don't even have to tell them how much he makes. That is regardless of whether you file jointly. They state this quite clearly.


Source: I was in this same situation for a couple years (until the wife started taking out loans for law school herself). We filed jointly. I signed up for IBR and told them my spouse had no student loans and did not provide her income. They approved it and I had an extremely low payment. I did that for a couple years.


Is this the case regardless of enrollment in PSLF? If, say, I enroll in IBR and PSLF at graduation...start out as a fellow, then move on to PI and make 40k per year...and then 5 years later get offered a crazy non PSLF eligible job that I just can't turn down, what happens? Do I shift to the 20 year IBR plan? Am I penalized for being under PSLF for 5 years and then moving to normal IBR? What if I have kids and take a few months off?

[My husband has no debt. He was smart and went the tech route :-D]

Thanks!


You really have to see IBR/PAYE as an entirely different program than PSLF. You can never lose PAYE status. The only question is whether you will be in a public service job for the required ten years to get your loans forgiven. If you aren't, you just stay on PAYE.

One caveat: did you have student loans before October 1, 2007? If so, then you can't get PAYE.

Note: IBR was the predecessor to PAYE. You will get PAYE, unless it updates again

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:42 am

NYstate wrote:
ColbyBryant wrote:
NYstate wrote:Wait. I thought OP was commited to what she wanted to do?
just a fair warning, OP, as you avoided NYC in applying to schools. Most biglaw jobs are in New York. If you won't consider living in NYC you should write off biglaw as a goal. Yes, you can get biglaw in other markets but you have to bid/ interview NYC. If you won't live in NYC, then forget biglaw. I'm not exaggerating here. Biglaw is highly competitive and people strike out by not bidding on NYC firms. All t14 schools do is get you a screening interview with firms, there are no guarantees, even from Harvard, that you can chose your market.

If you want your original goal, go to Harvard and do PI and PSLF. I am willing to bet that Harvard will get you something that will qualify, somewhere in the US that is not NYC. I wouldn't say the same for Michigan.

Edit: no one is taking Tucker Max as a reason to do anything, right?


Very interesting. I had not really considered the NYC big law issue, largely because in researching law schools and options big law has always been a contingency plan. I do have fairly lofty goals, and Harvard clearly has the edge for getting me there. Unfortunately these lofty goals don't pay well. Short of getting a divorce, LIPP won't help much. My concern with PI/PSLF is that I would have to remain in a certain type of job for 10 years, 120 on time payments. Now I am planning my future 13 years ahead of time, yet still have not taken a law class. I have to repeat that as a relatively older applicant, all of my K-JD or K-MD friends changed their goals 5-10 times between orientation and graduation!

Thank you for your input, interesting points there.


You are looking at the choices most law students will face with respect to doing PI work. Harvard LIPP is to benefit people who will have even less income than you and your husband will.

If you don't want to take the risk of not having a qualifying job for 10 years and being able to make PAYE payments, then you probably should just not go to law school. I don't think you know much bout biglaw, correct me if I'm wrong, but it is an all consuming job in many places.

Is there another type of degree that might help you reach your goals?


Unfortunately, no, there is no other degree that will let me reach my goals. This has been a long winding decision. You are absolutely right that I do not know much about big law from an OCI/law student standpoint. I do, however, have many friends who are currently in big law jobs. I have no intent to pursue big law long term.

And I also agree that, all things considered, I probably do not deserve LIPP. Though entering law school will put me in huge economic hardship, I won't be in as bad of a position as single graduates who took out full loans. It still stinks.

So..to be clear...Harvard will give me a marginally better chance of achieving PI or less traditional law goals, but with crushing debt that might force me into a job that I hate for a while.

Funny thing is, I am still very happy about both options! (H and M). It is good to know exactly what I am getting myself into before making the decision, but I am confident that I can make the best of either situation.

I do not have any loans from before October 2007. Right now I am debt free! And it feels so good... :cry:

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yeslekkkk
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby yeslekkkk » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:16 am

Sure you can justify Harvard all you want, but at the end of the day, it probably would feel a lot better without $115,000 more on your back. Michigan is a great school and will still open up opportunities for you (at a much lower cost). Have you visited both campuses? Does one feel better? I vote for Michigan... BUT I think you're the only person who is going to be able to answer which choice is better for you.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:54 am

Wow.. this really degraded with a lot of sketchy advice. Truth is that these options are close enough that no degree of guidance is going to help you. It all comes down to you sitting down with your husband, planning your future and making some investment/salary allocation/career choices.

Honestly, as an older student (though you didn't say how much older) you should have been able to recognize this as a personal/family decision pretty quickly. If you didn't, you should really question whether you want to make this decision now or if you should wait to figure your life out a bit.

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:44 am

AllTheLawz wrote:Wow.. this really degraded with a lot of sketchy advice. Truth is that these options are close enough that no degree of guidance is going to help you. It all comes down to you sitting down with your husband, planning your future and making some investment/salary allocation/career choices.

Honestly, as an older student (though you didn't say how much older) you should have been able to recognize this as a personal/family decision pretty quickly. If you didn't, you should really question whether you want to make this decision now or if you should wait to figure your life out a bit.


I'm not sure what you feel is sketchy. OP started by saying one thing about wanting a very specific job. Now she is saying that she would be ok with biglaw. But she wouldn't even apply to schools in New York, which I feel was a mistake, because her family refused to live there. She is worried about debt so she doesn't want to rely on PSLF, but I guess, wants to repay all her debt from biglaw first, which takes her away from her initial objective.

I don't think Michigan is that solid for placing into biglaw and she will have to consider living in the city that she avoided even applying to because her family opposed it. Can Michigan get her a PI job for PSLF?

I understand that OP is debt averse. More people should be debt averse. Biglaw just to repay loans wears people down and makes them miserable.

I'm surprised that OP ended up with only these two options myself. She wont get more money fromMichigan and won't get need based aid from Harvard.

Maybe you could clarify what you mean by sketchy advice instead of lecturing OP about how she should know how to make a decision. She has said repeatedly she will talk it over with her husband.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby cotiger » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:22 am

NYstate wrote:Can Michigan get her a PI job for PSLF?


Um, yeah. Michigan places lots of people into PSLF jobs. Averaging 16.5% LTFT PI/Gov over the last three years, versus 12.2% at Harvard. That's not to say that Harvard isn't still better at it, but it's totally a thing that Michigan does and does well. Also, note that that high percentage is not coming from sketchy school-funded jobs a la UVA -- only 0.4% of students had school-funded jobs over the last three years.

Michigan's underemployment (unemployed + ST + PT) over the last three years is 9.1%. Harvard's is 5.3%. Again, Harvard is better, but Michigan is still unlikely to leave you totally SOL. Also of note: if she is very unfortunate and ends up being one of those 5% at Harvard, she's going to have a ton of fun starting to pay back that $30k/year. If she's part of the 9% at Michigan, she's in a significantly less bad situation.
Last edited by cotiger on Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jk148706
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby jk148706 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:34 am

cotiger wrote:
NYstate wrote:Can Michigan get her a PI job for PSLF?


Um, yeah. Michigan places lots of people into PSLF jobs. Averaging 16.5% LTFT PI/Gov over the last three years, versus 12.2% at Harvard. That's not to say that Harvard isn't still better at it, but it's totally a thing that Michigan does and does well. Also, note that that high percentage is not coming from sketchy school-funded jobs a la UVA -- only 0.4% of students had school-funded jobs over the last three years.

Michigan's underemployment (unemployed + ST + PT) over the last three years is 9.1%. Harvard's is 5.3%. Again, Harvard is better, but Michigan is still unlikely to leave you totally SOL. Also of note, if she is very unfortunate and ends up being one of those 5% at Harvard, she's going to have a ton of fun starting to pay back that $30k/year. If she's part of the 9% at Michigan, she's in a significantly less bad situation.


You know, I initially voted H, but Cotiger is making a lit of sense in many of these posts.

Don't think OP would be wrong to go to H though

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:48 am

I meant the PI job that OP originally wanted. Those PI figures do not distinguish among job types, and as far as I know there is no info breaking down PI jobs by school in terms of size or type of not for profit organization. There may be something about federal, state and county employees but I don't remember. My understanding is that Harvard gets people into more of the top level government jobs, like OP wanted, even if only 5 or so people get those jobs.

PI jobs are difficult to get from any school because there just aren't many of them.

I no longer understand OPs goals. I did notice on LST that the largest employer of Michigan is New York, which is something OP is going it have to address.

Good luck OP. I hope you figure this out. It is nice to see someone who is actually daunted by the huge amount of money law schools charge.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby cotiger » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:42 am

NYstate wrote:I meant the PI job that OP originally wanted. Those PI figures do not distinguish among job types, and as far as I know there is no info breaking down PI jobs by school in terms of size or type of not for profit organization. There may be something about federal, state and county employees but I don't remember. My understanding is that Harvard gets people into more of the top level government jobs, like OP wanted, even if only 5 or so people get those jobs.

PI jobs are difficult to get from any school because there just aren't many of them.

I no longer understand OPs goals. I did notice on LST that the largest employer of Michigan is New York, which is something OP is going it have to address.

Good luck OP. I hope you figure this out. It is nice to see someone who is actually daunted by the huge amount of money law schools charge.


To be fair, NY is also Harvard's top destination, with an even higher proportion heading there. Both of those are just a function of a plurality going into biglaw.

Honestly, I'm nt super clear on OP's goals, either. If it's ACLU or bust, then yeah Harvard gives her a better shot, but that's unlikely, and you're right that it probably doesn't make sense to go to law school at all. The bigger desire I'm hearing is just generally non-biglaw with a preference for super-prestigious PI, which I think the greatly reduced debt load of Michigan is a better bet than the small chance of prestigious PI at Harvard.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:56 am

NYstate wrote:
AllTheLawz wrote:Wow.. this really degraded with a lot of sketchy advice. Truth is that these options are close enough that no degree of guidance is going to help you. It all comes down to you sitting down with your husband, planning your future and making some investment/salary allocation/career choices.

Honestly, as an older student (though you didn't say how much older) you should have been able to recognize this as a personal/family decision pretty quickly. If you didn't, you should really question whether you want to make this decision now or if you should wait to figure your life out a bit.


I'm not sure what you feel is sketchy. OP started by saying one thing about wanting a very specific job. Now she is saying that she would be ok with biglaw. But she wouldn't even apply to schools in New York, which I feel was a mistake, because her family refused to live there. She is worried about debt so she doesn't want to rely on PSLF, but I guess, wants to repay all her debt from biglaw first, which takes her away from her initial objective.

I don't think Michigan is that solid for placing into biglaw and she will have to consider living in the city that she avoided even applying to because her family opposed it. Can Michigan get her a PI job for PSLF?

I understand that OP is debt averse. More people should be debt averse. Biglaw just to repay loans wears people down and makes them miserable.

I'm surprised that OP ended up with only these two options myself. She wont get more money fromMichigan and won't get need based aid from Harvard.

Maybe you could clarify what you mean by sketchy advice instead of lecturing OP about how she should know how to make a decision. She has said repeatedly she will talk it over with her husband.


Not one comment in particular, but all those comments painting Harvard as a slam dunk. I made the choice between the Darrow/other T-10 full-rides and Harvard with significant aid (came out to ~80k total over all three years) and even that wasn't a slam dunk once I actually went through the reasoning and did the math.

Truth is, if you really want PI then the correlation between school rank and placement for any given individual is actually pretty weak within the T-14. Many of the people in this thread don't seem to know all that much about how PI hiring works. This is because there are a ton of non-academic variables that come into play at this level. Demonstrated interest (during and before law school) and recommendations alone probably have an effect larger than the difference between H and Michigan. Every single person I know, regardless of law school, that successfully got a big-time fellowship had significant PI or teaching experience during, and usually before, law school. Very few of them did a big law SA and the ones that did and then successfully switched back to PI had some kind of rockstar distinction (e.g. Social Sector experience at McKinsey, Policy job at the White House, started a successful non-profit, maxed out clinic opportunities plus ran student groups, etc.)

In addition, in all but a few cases you are going to need a fellowship in addition to a placement. For fellowships that don't come with placements, the correlation between placement and the prestigiousness of the fellowship isn't as high as you think. There are a good amount of Skadden fellows in placements they weren't initially thrilled about. Again, a ton of variables that have nothing to do with school rank or grades go into placement.

I also hesitate to give OP a strong recommendation after seeing her describe her goals as clerkship or prestigious PI. People who are 100% set on PI usually describe their interest in terms of impact or issue. PI takes enormous passion to be successful and not everyone who thinks they have it actually does. Based on my experience, people with just a generalized interest in PI, or only a weak interest in a specific topic combined with no prior experience, don't often do well. OP may have very good reasons for not being specific about goals/interest areas and, if so, I apologize for putting that in question without context.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:25 am

Thanks for all of the the responses. I have responded to a few of them below :-D!

yeslekkkk wrote:Sure you can justify Harvard all you want, but at the end of the day, it probably would feel a lot better without $115,000 more on your back. Michigan is a great school and will still open up opportunities for you (at a much lower cost). Have you visited both campuses? Does one feel better? I vote for Michigan... BUT I think you're the only person who is going to be able to answer which choice is better for you.


We love both cities and have ties to both cities. It is one of the reasons that we are so set on just these two schools. Also NYstate mentioned that she/he was surprised these are our only choices. Sure we could try to squeeze money out of NU or Duke, but realistically AA is a great place and they do particularly well in the public sector compared to some peers. Outperforming numbers + powerful softs = these are our choices!

AllTheLawz wrote:Wow.. this really degraded with a lot of sketchy advice. Truth is that these options are close enough that no degree of guidance is going to help you. It all comes down to you sitting down with your husband, planning your future and making some investment/salary allocation/career choices.
Honestly, as an older student (though you didn't say how much older) you should have been able to recognize this as a personal/family decision pretty quickly. If you didn't, you should really question whether you want to make this decision now or if you should wait to figure your life out a bit.


You are right, this is a personal/family decision. However, I will say that the guidance from this forum is certainly helping. Just one example- we had miscalculated the total amount of debt we would have from each school, and we also learned about interest rates being strangely at 6-8% even though the finaid government website clearly states 5.41 and 6.41%. At the very least this has been a great way to lay all of our thoughts out to anonymous and helpful people who understand the options.

My husband and I have been talking about this decision for 3 years. When to apply, what schools to shoot for, and what we would do if it came down to $$ vs rank. Ever since my admission to Harvard we have been talking about almost nothing else. We never expected that I would get in to Harvard (dream school) or get money from a T10 like Michigan (realistic dream school). Calling family and friends who have been through it before, researching loans, etc etc. In fact most of these posts we are writing together, just making sure that we are not overlooking any important details. But maybe it is just a way to cope with all of the stress as we figure this out. :?

NYstate wrote:I no longer understand OPs goals. I did notice on LST that the largest employer of Michigan is New York, which is something OP is going it have to address. Good luck OP. I hope you figure this out. It is nice to see someone who is actually daunted by the huge amount of money law schools charge.

cotiger wrote:Honestly, I'm nt super clear on OP's goals, either. If it's ACLU or bust, then yeah Harvard gives her a better shot, but that's unlikely, and you're right that it probably doesn't make sense to go to law school at all. The bigger desire I'm hearing is just generally non-biglaw with a preference for super-prestigious PI, which I think the greatly reduced debt load of Michigan is a better bet than the small chance of prestigious PI at Harvard.


You are right, I have not been very transparent about my goals. To be honest I have a fairly specific dream job, and there are a variety of paths to get there. And it is incredibly difficult to achieve. It is the reason that Harvard, though illogical and expensive, is still in consideration.

I am not, however, "this prestigious dream job" or bust. Over the past many years through my work I have encountered dozens of JD required professions that I would absolutely love to attain. Most of these, of course, are in the public interest. And again, to cite back to my OP, most of these PI jobs are with small organizations who cannot afford to train new grads. This is why my "goal" is to clerk and get a PI fellowship. It is my impression that anybody looking for long term PI work should be aiming for post-grad funding.

There are also a small number of big law jobs that I would be excited to work in for a few years, if only to gain experience in a specific field of law. The first example that comes to mind (though there are many) is health law. These firms seem like a great way to be trained in the structure of our healthcare system, which in the end may make one more employable by organizations that help people understand their rights and navigate the system. The same can be said about employment law. This is not my ideal path, but if I were to find myself lining up for OCI, I would certainly be pushing for specific fields.

Can anybody speak more to this? Is this a naive pre-law pipe dream? All of my post-grad law friends seem to think that our plan is reasonable, but then again they all graduated top of their class and had no problem finding work.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:30 am

AllTheLawz wrote:I also hesitate to give OP a strong recommendation after seeing her describe her goals as clerkship or prestigious PI. People who are 100% set on PI usually describe their interest in terms of impact or issue. PI takes enormous passion to be successful and not everyone who thinks they have it actually does. Based on my experience, people with just a generalized interest in PI, or only a weak interest in a specific topic combined with no prior experience, don't often do well. OP may have very good reasons for not being specific about goals/interest areas and, if so, I apologize for putting that in question without context.


I will quote just this part of your post, but yours is really spot on. For the purposes of this forum I was fairly vague about my goals, trying to get a sense of where the thoughts were. As this is my first time ever posting, I did not expect this to develop into a 100+ post 100+ vote, incredibly helpful conversation!!! So I thank everybody for that. Please see my above post for my reasons for mentioning Clerkship and PI fellowship.

I have 5 years of non-profit work experience that is related to the general PI field that I am interested in. Harvard's clinics, alumni network, and venture fund gets me so excited that my heart races whenever I think about it. The debt gets me so flustered that I haven't slept well since I got accepted. Neither has my husband. We just can't decide.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:42 am

Does Michigan have post-grad funded fellowships? That is a huge thing to consider.

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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:44 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Does Michigan have post-grad funded fellowships? That is a huge thing to consider.


It looks like they do have a couple. One is for sure reserved for michigan PI grads. Nothing like Harvard's though, which is very impressive especially with the new venture fund.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:52 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Does Michigan have post-grad funded fellowships? That is a huge thing to consider.


It looks like they do have a couple. One is for sure reserved for michigan PI grads. Nothing like Harvard's though, which is very impressive especially with the new venture fund.


That is actually a huge concern, unless MI has some that aren't publicized.

CTT
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby CTT » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:43 pm

Couple of things to add. I can't speak to the public interest fellowship issues. I just don't know.

But, several posts back a couple of people said things that are just flat wrong.

First, on the issue of Michigan and NYC. NYC is the most popular market for firm work. More Michigan students go to law firms in NYC than anywhere else. Michigan is be no means just a midwest school. Typically, more student are going to large law firms in California than in Detroit.

Second, it was suggested that if you want to do Biglaw, you have to be willing to live in NYC. That's simply not true. Chicago, D.C., Boston, L.A., and San Francisco firms frequently pay the same as New York and offer a lower cost of living.

One other thing. I agree that what should drive your decision, especially when you're bringing someone else along, is where you're going to be the most comfortable. The $90,000 is a nice incentive, especially when you factor in Cambridge living on top of that. But Boston has some amenities that Ann Arbor doesn't and the weather is a little better. On the other hand, everything will be twice as expensive. Visit both schools.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:51 pm

CTT wrote:First, on the issue of Michigan and NYC. NYC is the most popular market for firm work. More Michigan students go to law firms in NYC than anywhere else. Michigan is be no means just a midwest school. Typically, more student are going to large law firms in California than in Detroit.

Second, it was suggested that if you want to do Biglaw, you have to be willing to live in NYC. That's simply not true. Chicago, D.C., Boston, L.A., and San Francisco firms frequently pay the same as New York and offer a lower cost of living.

Read these two statements in combination. Do you see any problems?

CTT
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby CTT » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:16 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
CTT wrote:First, on the issue of Michigan and NYC. NYC is the most popular market for firm work. More Michigan students go to law firms in NYC than anywhere else. Michigan is be no means just a midwest school. Typically, more student are going to large law firms in California than in Detroit.

Second, it was suggested that if you want to do Biglaw, you have to be willing to live in NYC. That's simply not true. Chicago, D.C., Boston, L.A., and San Francisco firms frequently pay the same as New York and offer a lower cost of living.

Read these two statements in combination. Do you see any problems?


No. Approximately a third of biglaw Michigan students are in NYC. That means nearly two thirds are elsewhere. There is no contradiction between saying New York is not all of BigLaw and saying you can definitely find a job there as an M Law grad. Note the bit about California firms in the first part. The point is NYC is a big part of BigLaw, and Michigan sends a lot of grads there, but there are lots of other places to go. People in Manhattan have this absurd belief that they live in the only place in the world that has any real business going on. Actually, when you factor in cost of living, you make quite a bit more at Kirkland than at Cravath.

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:25 am

CTT wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
CTT wrote:First, on the issue of Michigan and NYC. NYC is the most popular market for firm work. More Michigan students go to law firms in NYC than anywhere else. Michigan is be no means just a midwest school. Typically, more student are going to large law firms in California than in Detroit.

Second, it was suggested that if you want to do Biglaw, you have to be willing to live in NYC. That's simply not true. Chicago, D.C., Boston, L.A., and San Francisco firms frequently pay the same as New York and offer a lower cost of living.

Read these two statements in combination. Do you see any problems?


No. Approximately a third of biglaw Michigan students are in NYC. That means nearly two thirds are elsewhere. There is no contradiction between saying New York is not all of BigLaw and saying you can definitely find a job there as an M Law grad. Note the bit about California firms in the first part. The point is NYC is a big part of BigLaw, and Michigan sends a lot of grads there, but there are lots of other places to go. People in Manhattan have this absurd belief that they live in the only place in the world that has any real business going on. Actually, when you factor in cost of living, you make quite a bit more at Kirkland than at Cravath.


You missed my point. People who don't bid New York can end up striking out. I never said there aren't other markets. If she ignores New York, she will be making her job search infinitely harder and may not get anything, even from Harvard. If she absolutely will never live in NYC, she needs to know she is cutting herself off from the largest market that takes a huge number of the total S As available (maybe 1/2?). Firms in N.Y. have single classes that are larger than some entire markets. Don't underestimate the need to include NYC as a place to work.

Just compare class sizes of NYC firms with Chicago firms. You will see what I mean. You can't risk having to rely on big law if you write off all NYC jobs.

I didn't mention anything about salary. I'm talking about getting a job at all. People who refuse to bid NYC can completely strike out.

SparkyZZZ
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby SparkyZZZ » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:32 am

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