what's up with Michigan

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
sneezus
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:13 pm

what's up with Michigan

Postby sneezus » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:31 pm

cycle drawing near to a close, and Michigan offered me 120k, around 80 percent of tuition. so obviously my curiosity has been piqued; i wasn't considering them too seriously earlier.

I have other nice options, but i'm just curious: is there any TLS wisdom on why Michigan seems to be underperforming relative to the rest of the T14 lately? if you remove from consideration NU's subset of grads who self-select out of JD-required jobs, Michigan's LST is at the bottom of the top. any thoughts on the origins of this trend/how long it might continue?

User avatar
monsterman
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:29 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby monsterman » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:36 pm

sneezus wrote:cycle drawing near to a close, and Michigan offered me 120k, around 80 percent of tuition. so obviously my curiosity has been piqued; i wasn't considering them too seriously earlier.

I have other nice options, but i'm just curious: is there any TLS wisdom on why Michigan seems to be underperforming relative to the rest of the T14 lately? if you remove from consideration NU's subset of grads who self-select out of JD-required jobs, Michigan's LST is at the bottom of the top. any thoughts on the origins of this trend/how long it might continue?


IMO, I'm sure some of it has to do with Detroit being a shell of its former self. I don't have data on the previous placement there, but I assume that at least some significant amount of grads that previously went there don't have that option today. Congrats on the $ though, that may make Mich worth it.

User avatar
sneezus
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby sneezus » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:45 pm

monsterman wrote:
sneezus wrote:cycle drawing near to a close, and Michigan offered me 120k, around 80 percent of tuition. so obviously my curiosity has been piqued; i wasn't considering them too seriously earlier.

I have other nice options, but i'm just curious: is there any TLS wisdom on why Michigan seems to be underperforming relative to the rest of the T14 lately? if you remove from consideration NU's subset of grads who self-select out of JD-required jobs, Michigan's LST is at the bottom of the top. any thoughts on the origins of this trend/how long it might continue?


IMO, I'm sure some of it has to do with Detroit being a shell of its former self. I don't have data on the previous placement there, but I assume that at least some significant amount of grads that previously went there don't have that option today. Congrats on the $ though, that may make Mich worth it.


yeah I thought about the Detroit thing, but i have a hard time believing Detroit in the 1980s was a bustling legal market. obviously speaking with no real knowledge though; it would make sense that Mich suffers to some extent along with its state's biggest city. and thanks

mvp99
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby mvp99 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:56 pm

What are your goals? Where do you want to live?

User avatar
sneezus
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby sneezus » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:04 pm

mvp99 wrote:What are your goals? Where do you want to live?


i might make a 'help me choose' thread later on, once scholly negotiations are done and all. for now, though, i was hoping we could focus this thread on why Michigan seems to be sliding.

to answer, though, i have ties in the midwest and am looking to settle in Chicago. i have ties in some chicago public interest circles, and am mostly interested in the PI route, but i wouldn't be mad about biglaw for a few years.

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:04 pm

I think that California, New York, and Texas have taken a lot of the midwest's market share. Chicago is still a huge city, but in recent years its legal market just hasn't grown in the way that those other states have. Plus, Michigan is one of the only top schools without a major home legal market. They've also had pretty big classes (though they've been shrinking recently). And they were a little late to inflate grades.

Its also important to note that when Michigan was at its peak in the rankings, we were looking at a very different type of job market. There was biglaw in the 80's, but it wasn't like biglaw today. The salary curve probably was not as bimodal as it is today. Its a lot more important to get your students into big firms these days - and that's just not as easy for a school that isn't in a city with big law firms.

mvp99
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby mvp99 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:09 pm

sneezus wrote:
mvp99 wrote:What are your goals? Where do you want to live?


i might make a 'help me choose' thread later on, once scholly negotiations are done and all. for now, though, i was hoping we could focus this thread on why Michigan seems to be sliding.

to answer, though, i have ties in the midwest and am looking to settle in Chicago. i have ties in some chicago public interest circles, and am mostly interested in the PI route, but i wouldn't be mad about biglaw for a few years.


Sweet. So you probably know Michigan might be a good choice considering your long term PI interests. I would still take NU at the same price or Chicago for slightly less money.

dabigchina
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:46 pm

They are hurt by the lack of a major market. Although, My personal opinion is that if michigan adopted the nu model of admissions its placement woes would go away quickly.

Stillblade
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:51 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby Stillblade » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:52 pm

dabigchina wrote:My personal opinion is that if michigan adopted the nu model of admissions its placement woes would go away quickly.


Do you mind expanding on this?

User avatar
DELG
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby DELG » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:55 pm

I don't think there is any market or firm that turns its nose up at Mich people so I have to wonder if the problem is unrealistic expectations by job-seekers.

dabigchina
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:12 pm

Stillblade wrote:
dabigchina wrote:My personal opinion is that if michigan adopted the nu model of admissions its placement woes would go away quickly.


Do you mind expanding on this?


NU is known for focusing more on work experience in admits, which translates into better outcomes at oci.

BigZuck
Posts: 10875
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:18 pm

Duke doesn't have a major market to feed into either

Michigan is closer to Chicago than Duke is to DC

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:20 pm

BigZuck wrote:Duke doesn't have a major market to feed into either

Michigan is closer to Chicago than Duke is to DC


Duke is half the size of Michigan.

Michigan should just cut its class size to 600, and it will shoot up in the rankings. Same with UVA. I bet Michigan/UVA would rank higher than Penn/Berkeley/Duke if it just cut class sizes by a few hundred. If Georgetown cuts its class size to half, it would probably be ranked higher than NU/Cornell.

dabigchina
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:33 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Duke doesn't have a major market to feed into either

Michigan is closer to Chicago than Duke is to DC


Duke is half the size of Michigan.

Michigan should just cut its class size to 600, and it will shoot up in the rankings. Same with UVA. I bet Michigan/UVA would rank higher than Penn/Berkeley/Duke if it just cut class sizes by a few hundred. If Georgetown cuts its class size to half, it would probably be ranked higher than NU/Cornell.


HavIng a huge class isn't bad in and of itself. Harvard Columbia and nyu have huge classes. It does tend to exacerbate other underlying problems when the legal profession is over saturated.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:39 pm

dabigchina wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Duke doesn't have a major market to feed into either

Michigan is closer to Chicago than Duke is to DC


Duke is half the size of Michigan.

Michigan should just cut its class size to 600, and it will shoot up in the rankings. Same with UVA. I bet Michigan/UVA would rank higher than Penn/Berkeley/Duke if it just cut class sizes by a few hundred. If Georgetown cuts its class size to half, it would probably be ranked higher than NU/Cornell.


HavIng a huge class isn't bad in and of itself. Harvard Columbia and nyu have huge classes. It does tend to exacerbate other underlying problems when the legal profession is over saturated.


New York firms tend to more heavily recruit from Columbia and NYU than pretty much any other law school outside of HY. It also helps that Columbia and NYU most heavily self-select to do NYC biglaw which has large classes.

Also, firms will still recruit X amount at said law school, regardless of class size. Firms don't really keep track of class sizes and just tend to have a set number in mind for each school. So if Michigan/UVA/Georgetown cut their class sizes, I'm almost 100% sure their rankings will shoot up a lot because of better employment percentages.

I personally think that Cornell should be doing a lot better than it has been given how tiny its class size is and how it heavily self selects to NYC biglaw. Cornell can't really do anything about class sizes though, unless it's okay going broke.

iron tulip
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:17 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby iron tulip » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:06 pm

I'm not a hundred per cent sure, but didn't Michigan's career office give some pretty bad advice to 2L's during a previous OCI, which had an impact on post 3L employment. Something mix up with bidding strategy, I'm pretty sure Michigan will bounce back with next year's employment stats. Big issue I'm mulling over is whether I can survive a mid-west winter...

BigZuck
Posts: 10875
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:11 pm

iron tulip wrote:I'm not a hundred per cent sure, but didn't Michigan's career office give some pretty bad advice to 2L's during a previous OCI, which had an impact on post 3L employment. Something mix up with bidding strategy, I'm pretty sure Michigan will bounce back with next year's employment stats. Big issue I'm mulling over is whether I can survive a mid-west winter...

Supposedly like 2-3 years ago CSO told everyone to bid Chicago and everyone got screwed up. Yet here we are, employment stats still lag.

Bad CSO is one of a litany of excuses alongside Detroit sucks, the students who attend are dumb/unrealistic when it comes to career desires, SELF-SELECTION!!!, and this year they'll right the ship you'll see you jerks

It's probably just a grim stew of bad things happening. Whatever the reason, it's alarming.

User avatar
Aeon
Posts: 583
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:46 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby Aeon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:49 am

Listening to Zuck, one would think Michigan to be a TTT in decline. But I wouldn't strike up a funeral march just yet. It's still very much a top school with national placement.

If you want a decent firm job from Michigan and bid strategically (i.e.: if your grades are middling, you should be targeting NYC firms), you are likely to get it. Without a single large local market, I think many students, especially those who do not want to go to a major market represented at OCI (NY, DC, CA, IL, MI) have to do a lot more legwork to find a position, with a higher likelihood of failure than taking the established route through OCI.

Likewise with PI, which is more heavily sought by Michigan students than by students at some other top schools, decisions about employment are made much later than with BigLaw, and there are fewer positions available. It's simply easier to strike out with those types of jobs.

User avatar
DELG
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby DELG » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:01 am

BigZuck wrote:
iron tulip wrote:I'm not a hundred per cent sure, but didn't Michigan's career office give some pretty bad advice to 2L's during a previous OCI, which had an impact on post 3L employment. Something mix up with bidding strategy, I'm pretty sure Michigan will bounce back with next year's employment stats. Big issue I'm mulling over is whether I can survive a mid-west winter...

Supposedly like 2-3 years ago CSO told everyone to bid Chicago and everyone got screwed up. Yet here we are, employment stats still lag.

Bad CSO is one of a litany of excuses alongside Detroit sucks, the students who attend are dumb/unrealistic when it comes to career desires, SELF-SELECTION!!!, and this year they'll right the ship you'll see you jerks

It's probably just a grim stew of bad things happening. Whatever the reason, it's alarming.

From a law firm prospective though, what has changed? Nothing. So it's hard for me to see that Mich is a worse bet than NU.

User avatar
skers
Posts: 4950
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:33 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby skers » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:48 am

It might be bidding (especially bidding NY) since I know what seems like a disproportionate number of otherwise qualified and sociable people who struck out at Michigan. Though I don't know why Michigan students would somehow have missed the bid NY wisdom over the last couple years. Big part is probably they're just not as competitive in the midwest after the contraction in the Chicago legal market.

BigZuck
Posts: 10875
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BigZuck » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:11 am

DELG wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
iron tulip wrote:I'm not a hundred per cent sure, but didn't Michigan's career office give some pretty bad advice to 2L's during a previous OCI, which had an impact on post 3L employment. Something mix up with bidding strategy, I'm pretty sure Michigan will bounce back with next year's employment stats. Big issue I'm mulling over is whether I can survive a mid-west winter...

Supposedly like 2-3 years ago CSO told everyone to bid Chicago and everyone got screwed up. Yet here we are, employment stats still lag.

Bad CSO is one of a litany of excuses alongside Detroit sucks, the students who attend are dumb/unrealistic when it comes to career desires, SELF-SELECTION!!!, and this year they'll right the ship you'll see you jerks

It's probably just a grim stew of bad things happening. Whatever the reason, it's alarming.

From a law firm prospective though, what has changed? Nothing. So it's hard for me to see that Mich is a worse bet than NU.

Yeah, people say the cut offs are the same or more favorable for Michigan students than their lower T14 peers.

You're on the students are failing the school by being dumb when it comes to bidding train, right? Why would Michigan students be worse offenders when it comes to that than, say, UVA students? They just attract a certain "type?"

I think a lot of the arguments put forward defending Michigan should apply to other schools too but for some reason they don't. But, on balance, when you combine a little bit of this and a little bit of that, that's probably the explanation. As I said, it probably is some combination of bad bidding, bad advice, etc. A grim stew, if you will.

But not sure I would take Michigan at equal price with Northwestern. Maybe if I was confident that I wouldn't be a bad bidder, I wouldn't get lured in by the siren song of PI, I wouldn't allow myself to be led astray by that dastardly CSO, etc., I would pull the trigger. But, I don't have that much faith in myself so I'd probably just go to, like, Duke. And for cheaper because Michigan usually insists on pricing itself out of being competitive. Cuz it was T3 in 1986 or something? I guess?

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9651
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:41 am

dabigchina wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Duke doesn't have a major market to feed into either

Michigan is closer to Chicago than Duke is to DC


Duke is half the size of Michigan.

Michigan should just cut its class size to 600, and it will shoot up in the rankings. Same with UVA. I bet Michigan/UVA would rank higher than Penn/Berkeley/Duke if it just cut class sizes by a few hundred. If Georgetown cuts its class size to half, it would probably be ranked higher than NU/Cornell.


HavIng a huge class isn't bad in and of itself. Harvard Columbia and nyu have huge classes. It does tend to exacerbate other underlying problems when the legal profession is over saturated.


Columbia and UVA have the same class size, several hundred less than NYU or Harvard. I wouldn't call it "huge."

Moreover I don't think the "if X underperforming school cut class sizes, it would be jump in rankings" argument does much work. It doesn't align with how legal hiring works: law firms still recruit heavily based on grades and placement in the class. If you bring down Michigan's class size to 200, a firm pulling median and above students with its current class won't suddenly dip lower in the new smaller one. From a percentage perspective, this doesn't substantially change outcomes, even if it leaves less students jobless in absolute terms.

Moreover, cutting students means cutting faculty, resources, and other parts of the USNWR ranking structure. I suppose a school could reduce class size in a gaming effort and become more selective, but I don't know if Michigan could suddenly hold a 3.8/171 median if it just decided to only accept those type of students - they just wouldnt have a class, and thats a huge risk for an admissions team.

If someone can support a reasonable counterargument I'm open to hearing it.

mvp99
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby mvp99 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:52 am

for those wondering, Michigan's real graduating class size is close to 400

User avatar
jrthor10
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:33 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby jrthor10 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:27 am

A lot of guessing and misinformation in this thread, so I'll try to clear up a few things:

1. Michigan Drop: Yes Michigan dropped, but it was really only a spot from last year as Duke just moved up and we didn't follow suit. This isn't meant to imply the drop didn't happen, it did, but it's not as serious as some people have let on. Michigan has been towards the bottom of the top 10 for the last few years now, so a 1 spot drop is/should not be alarming.

2. Explanations For Drop: Lots of factors here, most of which have already been mentioned. We don't have a home market, so when the market contracted, we got screwed. That's true. I also think for a few years Michigan continued to admit an incoming class that did not have as much work experience, on the whole, as classes at peer schools. This hurt us as well at OCI. Finally, and this is certainly the hardest to explain, I think demographic and changes in living preferences has also played a huge role. Young people today want to be in cities, even much more so than 10-15 years ago. To many students from the coasts, Michigan seems like a foreign land (trust me, this continues even amongst such students from the coasts now attending). I think it is harder today to get good students to come to the middle of Michigan than it was 15 years ago. Hopefully some people will want to come see Harbaugh.

3. Adjustments Already Made: Our 2L class is smaller by about 50 people than previous classes. I think this will make a huge difference when OCI #s come out. All anecdotal information from students and OCP indicates that OCI went very well for our class this past fall. OCP also moved up OCI to the first week of August, I think this will also benefit students. Additionally, Michigan adjusted its grade curve last year, so we are now in line with our peer schools, whereas before we were unnecessarily below. Finally, Michigan decided to play along with the rankings game started by other schools; we have started "employing" graduates without jobs post-graduation. These numbers, though, won't show up in our employment data used by U.S. News for at least 1-2 more years, according to the Dean. Oh, we also hired a new football coach, so I am confident that will do wonders for us as well.

Michigan leadership is pretty honest that we are never going to get back to our place in the T-6, i.e. when the rankings first came out. Two of the biggest metrics now used are spending per student and endowment. Michigan, as a public school, is never going to catch HSY, Columbia, NYU, Chicago, or even Penn. That we know. But I wouldn't be surprised if we are are back in the lower part of the T-14 in the next few years.

BigZuck
Posts: 10875
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: what's up with Michigan

Postby BigZuck » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:40 am

jrthor10 wrote:A lot of guessing and misinformation in this thread, so I'll try to clear up a few things:

1. Michigan Drop: Yes Michigan dropped, but it was really only a spot from last year as Duke just moved up and we didn't follow suit. This isn't meant to imply the drop didn't happen, it did, but it's not as serious as some people have let on. Michigan has been towards the bottom of the top 10 for the last few years now, so a 1 spot drop is/should not be alarming.

2. Explanations For Drop: Lots of factors here, most of which have already been mentioned. We don't have a home market, so when the market contracted, we got screwed. That's true. I also think for a few years Michigan continued to admit an incoming class that did not have as much work experience, on the whole, as classes at peer schools. This hurt us as well at OCI. Finally, and this is certainly the hardest to explain, I think demographic and changes in living preferences has also played a huge role. Young people today want to be in cities, even much more so than 10-15 years ago. To many students from the coasts, Michigan seems like a foreign land (trust me, this continues even amongst such students from the coasts now attending). I think it is harder today to get good students to come to the middle of Michigan than it was 15 years ago. Hopefully some people will want to come see Harbaugh.

3. Adjustments Already Made: Our 2L class is smaller by about 50 people than previous classes. I think this will make a huge difference when OCI #s come out. All anecdotal information from students and OCP indicates that OCI went very well for our class this past fall. OCP also moved up OCI to the first week of August, I think this will also benefit students. Additionally, Michigan adjusted its grade curve last year, so we are now in line with our peer schools, whereas before we were unnecessarily below. Finally, Michigan decided to play along with the rankings game started by other schools; we have started "employing" graduates without jobs post-graduation. These numbers, though, won't show up in our employment data used by U.S. News for at least 1-2 more years, according to the Dean. Oh, we also hired a new football coach, so I am confident that will do wonders for us as well.

Michigan leadership is pretty honest that we are never going to get back to our place in the T-6, i.e. when the rankings first came out. Two of the biggest metrics now used are spending per student and endowment. Michigan, as a public school, is never going to catch HSY, Columbia, NYU, Chicago, or even Penn. That we know. But I wouldn't be surprised if we are are back in the lower part of the T-14 in the next few years.

(this will be the year we right the ship you haters just you damn wait you'll see)

I do like the "Young people insist on being in cities now more than 15 years ago" thing. That's a new one. I'll add it to my list.

"It's those damn kids you see! Always with their cities and their whatnots!"




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot] and 4 guests