Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

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

Which School?

Michigan
29
41%
Georgetown
7
10%
Cornell
12
17%
Vanderbilt
5
7%
Retake and Reapply
18
25%
 
Total votes: 71

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:34 pm

OfThriceandTen wrote:
cotiger wrote:
CTT wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
You have no idea what I know. And I can guarantee you I know more about the SF market than you do. Going to Michigan expecting to end up in SF with no ties is just foolish.

Why do Michigan students always jump in on these threads? Despite their numerous anecdotes, the actual numbers don't lie: Michigan's placement power has plummeted in recent years. That's a fact.


Michigan sends a lower percent of the class to law firms with more than 100 lawyers than many comparable law schools. You are making a logical error in concluding that a school that places a larger emphasis on public interest and government work and also sends a higher proportion of students into those areas is necessarily worse for BigLaw. It appears that while we may not know what you know, you don't know what you don't know.


While I have no direct knowledge of Michigan's placement, I don't think PI/Gov emphasis can explain the entire placement gap. Taking all PI/Gov grads out of the equation, Michigan placed an average of 61% of the rest their classes in biglaw/fedclerk over the last three years. This is the second lowest of the T14 besides GULC (Duke 66.2 > NU 63.5 > Michigan 61 > GULC 53.2). The most comparably PI/Gov-focused school, Berkeley, comes in at 68.4%.


What. You basically said you don't think the PI/Gov emphasis can explain the gap, and proceed to "prove" that by taking all of the PI/Gov jobs out of your equation?


Yeah. Of the non-PI/Gov people, still a relatively low percentage get biglaw/clerkship. For instance if school A has 5% PI people and 70% get biglaw, then 74% of non-PI get BL/FC (70/95). If school B has 25% PI and 60% get BL/FC, then that's actually a more impressive BL/FC showing bc 80% of non-PI people got it (60/75). The point is, even using this correction Michigan struggles in BL/FC relative to other T14.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:36 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
OfThriceandTen wrote:What. You basically said you don't think the PI/Gov emphasis can explain the gap, and proceed to "prove" that by taking all of the PI/Gov jobs out of your equation?

He's looking at the percentage of the class that got biglaw/fed clerk if you take out all of the PI/Gov people. Meaning Michigan is putting a bigger percentage of the class into things like business/industry and small firm jobs. The limitation on that analysis is that it doesn't account for people with strong grades self-selecting away from biglaw.


Right. If the distribution of PI people is skewed more towards people with higher grades at Michigan than it is at other places, then that would affect these stats. But I don't know how much I buy that, especially when comparing Michigan to peer school Berkeley.

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OfThriceandTen
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby OfThriceandTen » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:52 pm

I mean, what's not to buy? Prestigious PI/gov work requires high grades. Median at Michigan should feel more comfortable gunning biglaw, because the likelihood that you get any biglaw job is usually higher than the likelihood that you get any PI job. And PI people have to keep up the grades for all 3 years, since most aren't offered a job after their 2L summer. And as for just taking out of your equation the kids who got PI jobs, you're missing those who wanted them and struck out (yes, you can strike out during a PI 3L job hunt, just as you can strike out during OCI.)

I guess I don't understand the ceaseless bashing of Michigan around here. At the level that we are discussing the numbers, you can skew single data points in ridiculous directions but so much of it is based on the individuals who have made their career decisions. No one is claiming that if you want a ticket to every legal job in every market in the country, go to Michigan. Michigan opens doors that other schools can't or don't want to. And is it really a huge diss to Cornell to say that Michigan places better on the West Coast? I doubt anyone here would take grave offense to the idea that Cornell places better in New England/New York biglaw. It's just as fair to stick up for GULC by saying that if you are gunning prestigious DC gov work, GULC is your best option of the four listed.

BurkeFor3
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby BurkeFor3 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:08 pm

OfThriceandTen wrote:I mean, what's not to buy? Prestigious PI/gov work requires high grades. Median at Michigan should feel more comfortable gunning biglaw, because the likelihood that you get any biglaw job is usually higher than the likelihood that you get any PI job. And PI people have to keep up the grades for all 3 years, since most aren't offered a job after their 2L summer.


These both seems like stretches. On LR, I know several people who are aiming for PI, but there is no reason to think that PI students tend to do better at Michigan than at other schools. Especially year-over-year, given how seemingly arbitrary grades can be.

OfThriceandTen wrote:And as for just taking out of your equation the kids who got PI jobs, you're missing those who wanted them and struck out (yes, you can strike out during a PI 3L job hunt, just as you can strike out during OCI.)


But this is the real issue with their reasoning. A lot of my friends who skipped OCI want to be prosecutors. You usually need to pass the bar before a prosecutor will hire you, and even then it can take significantly longer than the 9-month survey that this data is based on. There are plenty of other PI jobs that are temporary or school funded gateways for the people who don't get what they want right away. I would suspect that PI-focused students are far more likely to be considered underemployed by this data than their BigLaw counterparts 9 months after graduation.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:10 pm

What I don't buy is that PI grades skew higher at Michigan than Berkeley. Also, PI people strike out at Berkeley, too. And at every school. At best, that boosts Michigan by another point or two. But if we're being super nitpicky, we then also have to adjust things like NU's business focus, and so on.

Michigan's a great school, and it gives you a very good chance at a biglaw job if that's what you want. But it does seem to slightly lag the rest of its peers in that category. There's no shame in being 13th!

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:22 pm

BurkeFor3 wrote:
But this is the real issue with their reasoning. A lot of my friends who skipped OCI want to be prosecutors. You usually need to pass the bar before a prosecutor will hire you, and even then it can take significantly longer than the 9-month survey that this data is based on. There are plenty of other PI jobs that are temporary or school funded gateways for the people who don't get what they want right away. I would suspect that PI-focused students are far more likely to be considered underemployed by this data than their BigLaw counterparts 9 months after graduation.


Valid point. Still, I can't help but compare it to Berkeley, which is a school with a very similar outlook and yet doesn't struggle in biglaw/fedclerk stats. And again, PI people at other schools also have this issue, through their relatively lower numbers means that they don't have as large an effect on the numbers. I think that that effect is overstated, though, as over the last three years Michigan has had 16.5% of their grads go into PI/Gov vs, for example, 9.5% at Duke or 9.8% at Cornell. So it's not like Michigan is going to have an excessively larger number of PI people who are considered unemployed that would skew the data to a large degree.

BurkeFor3
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby BurkeFor3 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:44 pm

cotiger wrote:
BurkeFor3 wrote:
But this is the real issue with their reasoning. A lot of my friends who skipped OCI want to be prosecutors. You usually need to pass the bar before a prosecutor will hire you, and even then it can take significantly longer than the 9-month survey that this data is based on. There are plenty of other PI jobs that are temporary or school funded gateways for the people who don't get what they want right away. I would suspect that PI-focused students are far more likely to be considered underemployed by this data than their BigLaw counterparts 9 months after graduation.


Valid point. Still, I can't help but compare it to Berkeley, which is a school with a very similar outlook and yet doesn't struggle in biglaw/fedclerk stats. And again, PI people at other schools also have this issue, through their relatively lower numbers means that they don't have as large an effect on the numbers. I think that that effect is overstated, though, as over the last three years Michigan has had 16.5% of their grads go into PI/Gov vs, for example, 9.5% at Duke or 9.8% at Cornell. So it's not like Michigan is going to have an excessively larger number of PI people who are considered unemployed that would skew the data to a large degree.


It's more significant than you're letting on because those numbers only reflect the % who actually got a FT, LT PI job in 9 months. Let's say (pure dumb guess) that 2/3 of people at each school who want PI get it in time to list it on their employment survey. At M, that would mean 25% of the class is looking for PI, while just 15% of the class at Cornell is doing so. That extra 10% of the class who deliberate avoid law firms makes a big difference when we are talking about BigLaw placement disparities of 2-7%. If we assume these students are proportionately distributed throughout the class (no evidence, just a guess), and that about 50% of our class is in BigLaw+Clerkship, shouldn't we also assume that M could make up a 5% placement gap if those students self-selected to the private sector instead?

I tend to agree with you in that I don't think self-selection explains 100% of the difference with some other schools. There are good reasons to think that Cornell is probably slightly more effective than Michigan at placing students in NYC BigLaw, for example. They have their OCI in New York City after all. But when you're dealing with very small percentage differentials with several uncontrolled variables, as we are here, I tend to be skeptical of blanket normative assertions.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:44 pm

First, since we've kind of gotten away from the OP.. is that "small but powerful network" you have in DC in any way legal related? If so, and especially because you're not taking out big debt, GULC could be defensible here. If it's not, I would say go to Michigan. It'll give you a much stronger chance at biglaw while still having a strong PI/Gov reach.


BurkeFor3 wrote:It's more significant than you're letting on because those numbers only reflect the % who actually got a FT, LT PI job in 9 months. Let's say (pure dumb guess) that 2/3 of people at each school who want PI get it in time to list it on their employment survey. At M, that would mean 25% of the class is looking for PI, while just 15% of the class at Cornell is doing so. That extra 10% of the class who deliberate avoid law firms makes a big difference when we are talking about BigLaw placement disparities of 2-7%. If we assume these students are proportionately distributed throughout the class (no evidence, just a guess), and that about 50% of our class is in BigLaw+Clerkship, shouldn't we also assume that M could make up a 5% placement gap if those students self-selected to the private sector instead?


That 1/3 of all PI/Gov people show up as unemployed isn't right. Last year, for instance, NYU had 104 grads in Gov/PI (all LTFT). Only 8 unemployed people total.

Berkeley had 46 PI/Gov LTFT (55 total), and only 12 unemployed.

Michigan had 62 grads in Gov/PI LTFT (74 total), and only 27 unemployed.

To be absurdly charitable, let's assume that all unemployed people at Michigan are PI people, while no unemployed people at other schools are. Which is ridiculous, but done to be as favorable to Michigan as possible. Also, in the previous calculations, I neglected to add in STPT PI/Gov, so we'll add in them this time too.

Lowest five outputs in this metric (3 year average):
Berkeley 71.1
Duke 69.4
Michigan 67.4
Northwestern 64.8
GULC 59.5

And this is when all unemployed at Michigan are counted as PI/Gov and none at other schools are. I feel like it's pretty incontrovertible that Michigan lags in biglaw even when its PI-focus is taken into consideration. Which is not to say that it's a big difference, or that Michigan is bad for biglaw. It's just half a step behind its peers in that regard.

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cotiger
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby cotiger » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:55 pm

Also,
Nelson wrote:You want to defer a year? Retake, retake, retake.

CTT
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby CTT » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:24 pm

cotiger wrote:Also,
Nelson wrote:You want to defer a year? Retake, retake, retake.


This is accurate.

We're bickering over trying to explain a few percentage points in difference. I still believe that once you're looking at law firms that are in roughly the same rankings group, you should look at factors other than BigLaw placement. A substantial chunk of that difference in BigLaw placement is being driven by selection bias. What remains isn't all that significant.

The geographic reach that these schools have an the sort of life that you're going to have at each should drive your decision. If you know you want to be in New York, Cornell could be a good fit. Michigan is going to provide a much wider range of options geographically. Georgetown might be the best for D.C., but the problem is that the D.C. market is the toughest in the country and the firm jobs there are getting scooped up my HYS students and the top 15 percent at the rest of the T14.

arivtal
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Re: Michigan v Georgetown v Vandy v Cornell

Postby arivtal » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:43 pm

Thank you all for your input. It is very much appreciated.




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