Detroit Market

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enteringthemaze
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Detroit Market

Postby enteringthemaze » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:46 pm

Hey, looking for some advice regarding school choice. I ultimately want to end up in the Detroit area. I have very strong ties to the Southeastern Michigan, including an undergrad degree from UofM. I'd be fine with going out of state for law school, but ultimately would like to come back home. I've gotten full tuition offers from Wayne and MSU. About half tuition at places like IU and Minnesota. Plus, I've been accepted to GULC. I'm still waiting on a few schools, but I am trying to begin my decision making process. While keeping my debt in check is obviously an important factor, I ultimately want to attend the school that would give me the best shot at top Detroit firms and a good quality of life post law school. Thanks!

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superpatton
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby superpatton » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:01 pm

I assume you've got an application out to Michigan, because that might be your best option.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/state/MI/

That link should give you some information about the employment stats of schools in Michigan. What was your LSAT score and would you be able to retake for options? Just remember that sitting out a cycle might not be a horrible idea depending on your exact situation.

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bugsy33
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby bugsy33 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:01 pm

Michigan has a really difficult market right now. It's really insular, in that most firms hire Wayne/MSU/UofD, but none of those schools give you a good chance of actually getting a legal job. It's kind of a quandary. The only way to effectively guarantee Michigan employment is to go to UofM, but that's off limits for ~95% of law applicants. Most of the great, but not elite, applicants are pushed out of state to other B1G schools + ND. I've heard of some people making it back, but it's not easy. So your options are basically

1.) Get into UMich Law somehow
2.) Get into some other T-14 and hope you can get back
3.) Get into a T1 B1G/ND and hope you can get back
4.) Take a full ride to Wayne/MSU and flip a coin on legal employment and hope you didn't waste 3 years of hard work.
5.) Give up on the Michigan market and go to just follow the traditional TLS wisdom of LST+$$$+Ties.

timbs4339
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:26 pm

enteringthemaze wrote:Hey, looking for some advice regarding school choice. I ultimately want to end up in the Detroit area. I have very strong ties to the Southeastern Michigan, including an undergrad degree from UofM. I'd be fine with going out of state for law school, but ultimately would like to come back home. I've gotten full tuition offers from Wayne and MSU. About half tuition at places like IU and Minnesota. Plus, I've been accepted to GULC. I'm still waiting on a few schools, but I am trying to begin my decision making process. While keeping my debt in check is obviously an important factor, I ultimately want to attend the school that would give me the best shot at top Detroit firms and a good quality of life post law school. Thanks!


You're in the same boat as many other students, which is that you want to work in a regional market that has been savaged by the recession, you'd prefer high-paying work, but you have a good scholly to local schools that place mainly in jobs paying 40-55K. You probably won't get the top Michigan jobs without going to Michigan. Those schools both have about a 50% chance of getting you a job at a small firm or with the local government (maybe more like 60% with the lowered class sizes in three years). I think you're going to have to determine whether you really want a shot at a 100K+ job (in which case a T14 is really your only option) or you'd be happy with minimal debt and a lower salary.

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cron1834
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby cron1834 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:10 pm

Retake until you get into Michigan.

mvp99
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby mvp99 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:19 pm

cron1834 wrote:Retake until you get into Michigan.


Yes. With the mindset that you may have to get a job elsewhere in the midwest or NYC.

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enteringthemaze
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby enteringthemaze » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:38 pm

Yes, I have an app in at Michigan. But it really doesn't seem like Michigan places well in state either. While I'd love to go there, I'd rather make less money than end up in NYC. I'm one of those rather be unemployed than go the NYC route people. Ultimately, I'd be fine with a smaller firm since my Michigan COL during law school will be essentially nothing as I have a SO who works in MI. So, really I suppose would Wayne State or Michigan State ultimately serve me better? Or is going to a T1 Big Ten school better than staying in state?

umichman
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby umichman » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:45 pm

the best assumption when picking schools is that you will be at median, so look where those people go. And honestly, median at michigan from what I see is not a guaranteed spot at a top Detroit firm. If you know you only want to work in detroit and you can get into michigan then it might be worth it to take a full ride at Wayne. But Wayne over MSU for sure.

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Dog
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Dog » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:44 am

umichman wrote:the best assumption when picking schools is that you will be at median, so look where those people go. And honestly, median at michigan from what I see is not a guaranteed spot at a top Detroit firm. If you know you only want to work in detroit and you can get into michigan then it might be worth it to take a full ride at Wayne. But Wayne over MSU for sure.


I have never agreed with this TLS idea. OP has a full ride to Wayne/MSU, I highly doubt the median result for full ride students at schools is to finish median. As it stands, I think your best option is Wayne State on a full ride. That said, I have heard of some pretty terrible stipulation results for scholarships there. Check out this page:

http://law.wayne.edu/about/retention.php

The numbers were particularly bleak for scholarship retention in 2012-2013 although they rebounded a bit. In addition, you will need to perform pretty well at Wayne to grab one of the jobs you want. I definitely agree Wayne > MSU for Detroit, and I'm an MSU undergrad.

If you get into Michigan that could be great, but if you have to pay sticker there's actually a decent chance your outcome from Wayne might be better if you stay in Detroit imo. Full repayment at UM is $3k+ per month for ten years, and you might end up working a similar job. Of course, Michigan gives you better chances at those jobs. I do NOT think going to Big Ten schools like Indiana/Iowa/Illinois/Ohio State/etc. would be worth it if you're dead set on Michigan, especially if they gave you more debt. Notre Dame and Northwestern might beat out Wayne, but the debt loads would be far greater. If GULC is sticker, I would probably stick with Wayne. That's me though.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:07 am

Dog wrote:OP has a full ride to Wayne/MSU, I highly doubt the median result for full ride students at schools is to finish median.

115/488 students at Wayne get full tuition or more, according to the 509. Even if those students uniformly finish at the top of the class OP is only guaranteed top quarter or so, which does absolutely nothing at places where grades matter.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:16 am

Dog wrote:
umichman wrote:the best assumption when picking schools is that you will be at median, so look where those people go. And honestly, median at michigan from what I see is not a guaranteed spot at a top Detroit firm. If you know you only want to work in detroit and you can get into michigan then it might be worth it to take a full ride at Wayne. But Wayne over MSU for sure.


I have never agreed with this TLS idea. OP has a full ride to Wayne/MSU, I highly doubt the median result for full ride students at schools is to finish median. As it stands, I think your best option is Wayne State on a full ride.

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Dog
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Dog » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:16 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Dog wrote:OP has a full ride to Wayne/MSU, I highly doubt the median result for full ride students at schools is to finish median.

115/488 students at Wayne get full tuition or more, according to the 509. Even if those students uniformly finish at the top of the class OP is only guaranteed top quarter or so, which does absolutely nothing at places where grades matter.


I wasn't trying to say OP is going to for sure finish at the top of the class. I was simply saying I disagree with the median assumption. Whether that does anything for outcomes in this case is another argument entirely.

Speaking of that argument, I would also disagree that top quarter at Wayne does nothing for you over median. If OP was hypothetically guaranteed top quarter like you mentioned, OP's median result would be top 12.5%. 9.8% of Wayne students got biglaw in the most recent statistics. If this was totally dependent on grades and no one outside the top 25% gets biglaw, OP would have close to a 40% chance at it. Of course, this hypothetical is not the case. Top quarter sure as hell beats the middle 25-50% though, on average.

I don't think the OP can optimistically predict a great outcome, but the assume median assumption is flawed.
Last edited by Dog on Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:46 pm, edited 7 times in total.

KingsleyZissou
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby KingsleyZissou » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:22 pm

enteringthemaze wrote:...But it really doesn't seem like Michigan places well in state either...


I think the numbers could be misleading you a bit since most Michigan Law students probably aren't looking to stay in Michigan in the first place.

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CaptainJapan
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby CaptainJapan » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:29 pm

KingsleyZissou wrote:
enteringthemaze wrote:...But it really doesn't seem like Michigan places well in state either...


I think the numbers could be misleading you a bit since most Michigan Law students probably aren't looking to stay in Michigan in the first place.



This is what I've heard to be true. I have ties in the Detroit area and most of the lawyers I've spoken with have said that applicants from t14 are a hot commodity lately. Most U of M kids leave the state...most other t14 grads aren't flocking to Detroit.

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star fox
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby star fox » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:40 am

KingsleyZissou wrote:
enteringthemaze wrote:...But it really doesn't seem like Michigan places well in state either...


I think the numbers could be misleading you a bit since most Michigan Law students probably aren't looking to stay in Michigan in the first place.

Well, and http://www.crainsdetroit.com/assets/PDF/CD97174117.PDF

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enteringthemaze
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby enteringthemaze » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:25 pm

So, going to a T-14 to work in Detroit big law seems financially questionable since Detroit pays about 50K less than other areas of the country and T-14 debt at sticker (or close to sticker) is very high. Is Wayne State really a lost cause for somebody from Michigan who wants to stay in Michigan?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:33 pm

enteringthemaze wrote:So, going to a T-14 to work in Detroit big law seems financially questionable since Detroit pays about 50K less than other areas of the country and T-14 debt at sticker (or close to sticker) is very high. Is Wayne State really a lost cause for somebody from Michigan who wants to stay in Michigan?

Going to T-14 for Detroit big law is a bad move because there aren't a lot of Detroit big law jobs. But if you don't get one you can just get one in NYC for a few years. If you go to Wayne State you can't expect big law, but it's okay if you just plan to work in small law in the area and take on very little debt.

umichman
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby umichman » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:46 pm

Do any of you have any experience of going to Mich and then trying to go midsize law in detroit?

medianman
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby medianman » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:17 pm

- Midsize/Detroit BigLaw is very doable from umich. Do not let lower placement numbers relative to other Michigan law schools fool you. Many umich students self select out of Detroit market or are not desirable to firms because of their lack of ties. Umich students with strong Michigan ties at median, and even a little below, are favored over the vast majority of MSU/WSU/UofD students. Students at these schools must have outstanding credentials and be at the very top of their classes to have a chance at Detroit Big Law. And when I say top of their class, I literally mean top 5 or 6 people at each school.

- The top firms in Detroit seem to be doing well financially. However, this has not translated into larger summer associate classes. The top 5 or 6 firms have classes between 6-12 per year. So far, firms have favored lateral hiring over increasing summer class sizes.


- If you are from Michigan, and went to U of M for undergrad, you will remain an attractive candidate for Detroit. The problem is that it will require a lot of legwork on your end because your school will not be a natural pipeline for Detroit firms. You will need to contact hiring partners, remain in contact, etc. Every year students summer from out of state schools, but they all have strong ties. Firms seem to apply similar criteria to Michigan to other T-14 students. Around median, will make you competitive. For the higher ranked Big Ten + ND and other midwest T-30 schools you will need to be better, I'd guess top 1/4.


- If you want Detroit, Michigan is the clear choice. With your strong ties other T-14 schools would be a solid choice as well. At WSU/UofD/MSU you will have to do outstanding to have a shot at Detroit Big Law. Of course, at full ride this will be at little financial cost, but you will be giving up better placement. A degree from those schools would also virtually lock you into Michigan/Detroit where the dropoff in pay/prestige/exit options from Big Law to other legal jobs is massive. If you want Detroit Big Law, WSU/UofD/MSU is a tough route to get there. A T-14 school would allow you the ability to work in another city and lateral back, and a much better shot at Detroit directly.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby donewithannarbor » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:03 pm

1) UMich if you're admitted; 1a) Wayne State full ride; 2) GULC if you desperately want to live in DC and don't mind risking your long-term plan of living in Detroit (which might be jeopardized if you don't score really well at GULC).

lawschoolbound94
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby lawschoolbound94 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:32 am

I lived in Michigan for awhile.

Your best bet, would be go to U Michigan.

Michigan State is not going to do you any good in the Detroit area because of Wayne State is the preferred school and is local and tied with MSU in rankings. Wayne will always win.

Other than U Michigan, a t14 is not worth it if your coming back to Detroit and I recommend staying in the state.

Short answer: go to Wayne State.

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dsn32
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby dsn32 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:50 am

Feel free to PM me OP. Current Penn student who will be SA'ing in MI this summer (though not in Detroit). I've interviewed with pretty much all the firms and can tell you my experience coming from a non-Umich t-14.

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dsn32
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby dsn32 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:54 am

I should add too......if you want to be a lawyer above being geographically picky in the short term...do GULC. If you want to be in MI over all...go to Michigan or another t14....or don't go. I know a lot of struggles from people out of the other schools in MI. It's a dangerous gamble.

Nomo
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby Nomo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:28 am

Going to Michigan at full tuition is crazy. Median at Michigan hardly guarantees a job at a top firm in Detroit ... there just aren't that many spots to go around. In fact, I'm of the mind that one of the biggest thing bringing Michigan's employment numbers down is the number of students who bid on places like Detroit when they should be bidding where the jobs are, New York. And even if you get a biglaw job in Detroit you're paying $3,000+ per month.

At the same time, you're chances of getting a biglaw job in Detroit out of Michigan State or Wayne State is pretty bad. Your chance of not finding legal employment is real.

I think you have to either decide that (a)getting a 50k/yr job in a small firm is fine and go to Wayne State, (b) retake the LSAT, or (c) give up on law school.

medianman
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Re: Detroit Market

Postby medianman » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:50 pm

I think all the advice given here is pretty on point. Just want to underscore that median at Michigan/T-14 will make you competitive- not guarantee you a job. Detroit firms turn down competitive people all the time. There are so few spots relative to interest in the current Summer Associate classes in Detroit.

I do want to underscore the ability to lateral back to Detroit. If you are willing to work in Chicago/NYC/DC first, then you will be an attractive candidate later. This is why I would favor other T-14's as well, even if you can't get a Detroit gig out of the gate. Lateral hiring is the current trend with the big firms in Detroit, T-14 schools would help you get back to Detroit later. The "I wanted to come home and help the city come back" narrative and Big Law lateral hiring is very common in the big Detroit firms. However, there is virtually no hiring from the pool of local non biglaw or small shop attorneys. Like other posters have said, this is what makes Wayne/MSU/etc so dangerous. If you miss Detroit you're virtually done. But if you miss at a T-14, you will still have a great shot at BigLaw NYC/Chicago/etc and lateral back.




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