Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

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

Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Michigan 25k/yr
7
22%
Duke 27k/yr
5
16%
Cornell 45k/yr
17
53%
Minnesota full ride
3
9%
 
Total votes: 32

rjaymac
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Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby rjaymac » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:19 pm

Scholarships:
Michigan - 35k/yr
Duke - 27k/yr
Cornell - 45k/yr
Minnesota - Full ride

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings:
Loans on loans on loans

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any):
I'm from Minnesota. While I wouldn't mind staying in the Midwest after law school, geographic flexibility is a big factor in my decision process. California, Chicago, and DC are all attractive. I would love to work abroad for a few years.

Your general career goals:
If I'm straddled with debt I'll likely shoot for a few years of biglaw to pay it off before transitioning to PI or gov't. I would like to focus on environmental law and international law, ei Sierra Club attorney or UNEP officer. I'm also keeping the dream of academia alive.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers:
169, 3.75

How many times you have taken the LSAT:
Once

I currently live abroad so I haven't visited any of the schools. From my impressions, Ann Arbor > Durham >>> Ithaca.

I'm leaning toward Michigan based on the geographical diversity of job placement, historical prestige , Geneva externship program, student life, and other intangibles. That said, I'm as concerned as anyone about their perpetual slide down the USNWR rankings (will it continue??) and their recent hit in job placement.

Duke would be about the same price as Michigan but seems more East Coast/South focused, the two regions in which I am least interested. That said, its job placement is stellar and its international and environmental law programs are both very strong. Does it place as well in the Midwest and West Coast?

Cornell gave me a great offer but I'm not interested in NY biglaw and I honestly think I would hate Ithaca. I went to undergrad in a small town and I don't think I could handle another three years of isolation.

Based on everything I've heard, if I go to Minnesota I'm stuck in Minnesota.

I've used Cornell's scholarship as a bargaining chip with Duke and Michigan, I'll let you know when I hear back.
Last edited by rjaymac on Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:36 pm

rjaymac wrote:Scholarships:
Michigan - 25k/yr
Duke - 27k/yr
Cornell - 45k/yr
Minnesota - Full ride

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings:
Loans on loans on loans

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any):
I'm from Minnesota. While I wouldn't mind staying in the Midwest after law school, geographic flexibility is a big factor in my decision process. California, Chicago, and DC are all attractive. I would love to work abroad for a few years.

Your general career goals:
If I'm straddled with debt I'll likely shoot for a few years of biglaw to pay it off before transitioning to PI or gov't. I would like to focus on environmental law and international law, ei Sierra Club attorney or UNEP officer. I'm also keeping the dream of academia alive.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers:
169, 3.75

How many times you have taken the LSAT:
Once

I currently live abroad so I haven't visited any of the schools. From my impressions, Ann Arbor > Durham >>> Ithaca.

I'm leaning toward Michigan based on the geographical diversity of job placement, historical prestige , Geneva externship program, student life, and other intangibles. That said, I'm as concerned as anyone about their perpetual slide down the USNWR rankings (will it continue??) and their recent hit in job placement.

Duke would be about the same price as Michigan but seems more East Coast/South focused, the two regions in which I am least interested. That said, its job placement is stellar and its international and environmental law programs are both very strong. Does it place as well in the Midwest and West Coast?

Cornell gave me a great offer but I'm not interested in NY biglaw and I honestly think I would hate Ithaca. I went to undergrad in a small town and I don't think I could handle another three years of isolation.

Based on everything I've heard, if I go to Minnesota I'm stuck in Minnesota.

I've used Cornell's scholarship as a bargaining chip with Duke and Michigan, I'll let you know when I hear back.

All of the above considered, it'd be tough to justify any of these options over Cornell's offer.

Effectively the worst case scenario would be graduating with ~85K in debt and NYC biglaw (assuming drop out if unsuccessful OCI & bad grades). If that's not good enough, retake.

Also you seem to be heavily weighing a lot of irrelevant factors. The three fundamental considerations are cost of attendance, placement power, and placement geography. You can consider silly stuff (like "intangibles" (how do you discern differences in intangible factors, out of curiosity?)) when the fundamental considerations are close to equal. The fundamental considerations aren't that close to equal here.
Last edited by zombie mcavoy on Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomo
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Nomo » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:39 pm

Its hard to give good advice without knowing what your debt at repayment will be for each school. Do you have those numbers? (Be sure to include tuition increases, loan origination fees, and interest that accrues during school)

Also, what do you want to do if you aren't able to become a Sierra Club attorney or UNEP officer? Those jobs aren't impossible to get, and you should definitely shoot for them, but there's a very good chance that it won't work out regardless of which school you pick. How would you feel about doing insurance defense, estate planning, transitioning from biglaw to an in-house job with Wells Fargo, etc.

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:42 pm

I don't see any of these schools getting you to CA if you don't have pre-existing ties there. DC probably won't happen unless you get good grades (unlikely). Perhaps ditto Chicago. Of course there are exceptions but I think usually it's just where you have extensive ties and NYC big law and maybe the market the school is located in that is open to you.

What'd you get at Northwestern? That's probably your best bet if you want to avoid the frozen tundra and have Chicago as an option.

If you really want to be in CA then maybe go to Berkeley?

I wouldn't go to Minnesota without modest career goals.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:52 pm

Duke has a Geneva program during summers. Duke claims to place well in California.

Since you've only taken the LSAT once, are you considering another try ?

If you're willing to stay in Minnesota, then the full ride looks great. If you have to get away from your home state, then Duke & Michigan are strong options.

rjaymac
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby rjaymac » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:45 pm

Nomo wrote:Its hard to give good advice without knowing what your debt at repayment will be for each school. Do you have those numbers? (Be sure to include tuition increases, loan origination fees, and interest that accrues during school)


Cornell ~90k
Michigan ~128k
Duke ~130k

Nomo wrote:Also, what do you want to do if you aren't able to become a Sierra Club attorney or UNEP officer? Those jobs aren't impossible to get, and you should definitely shoot for them, but there's a very good chance that it won't work out regardless of which school you pick. How would you feel about doing insurance defense, estate planning, transitioning from biglaw to an in-house job with Wells Fargo, etc.


Good question. Although I would be willing to begin my career in those areas to build experience and pay off debt, my ultimate objective is public interest. Income is of little importance to me after loans are squared.

BigZuck wrote: What'd you get at Northwestern? That's probably your best bet if you want to avoid the frozen tundra and have Chicago as an option.

If you really want to be in CA then maybe go to Berkeley?


Frozen tundra doesn't bother me.
I didn't apply to Northwestern because I couldn't get a slot for a Skype interview. Bad move in hindsight. If I wait out this cycle to retake I will most definitely apply there.

I was denied at Berkeley and Chicago, waitlisted at Virginia, Columbia, and Harvard. Still waiting on Penn, NYU, and Stanford (ha).

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jrthor10
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby jrthor10 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:49 pm

Ann Arbor is definitely better than Ithaca, and we do have Harbaugh, but those two together don't equal 38k.

That's the question you need to ask yourself: Do all of your reasons for liking Michigan/Duke more than Cornell add up to more than 38k.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:54 pm

cornell would be TCR if it was the same cost as michigan, at cheaper its a real easy decision.

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WeeBey
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby WeeBey » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:44 pm

Duke is playing some shameful flopping ass basketball right now so obviously they are not TCR.

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ballcaps
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby ballcaps » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:22 pm

WeeBey wrote:Duke is playing some shameful flopping ass basketball right now so obviously they are not TCR.


relevant + agreed.

also cornell is obviously TCR given cost.

Nomo
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Nomo » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:50 pm

Cornell. Michigan would be better at equal money. But its not 38k better.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby zombie mcavoy » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:04 am

Nomo wrote:Cornell. Michigan would be better at equal money. But its not 38k better.

I even think that's a tough argument to make.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:15 am

If you don't want NYC biglaw then it's a lot harder to pick Cornell since Cornell pretty much only places in New York. I'd see if you can get Michigan or Duke to up their offers and go from there. Michigan and Duke have similar placement - I think the most recent stats were 2 to 3 percent difference, so they are pretty even overall but are stronger in different regions.

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Shelbinole
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Shelbinole » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:28 am

I was offered the same exact scholarships at Cornell and Michigan with the same exact #s. I used my Cornell offer and was able to get Michigan up to 35k/yr. If you can do the same then Michigan is much more feasible, especially seeing as Cornell tuition is 5k higher than Michigan!

rjaymac
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby rjaymac » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:34 pm

Shelbinole wrote:I was offered the same exact scholarships at Cornell and Michigan with the same exact #s. I used my Cornell offer and was able to get Michigan up to 35k/yr. If you can do the same then Michigan is much more feasible, especially seeing as Cornell tuition is 5k higher than Michigan!


Michigan admissions responded today with "don't get your hopes up" (literally). Hopefully I'll have a better idea by the end of the week.

BigZuck wrote:I think usually it's just where you have extensive ties and NYC big law and maybe the market the school is located in that is open to you.


Really? I was under the impression that t14 schools are set apart from the rest by the portability of their degrees, not just their access to NYC biglaw.

BiglawAssociate wrote:If you don't want NYC biglaw then it's a lot harder to pick Cornell since Cornell pretty much only places in New York.


Right. It's hard to ignore the fact that Cornell sends almost everybody to NYC while Michigan and Duke have alumni all over the country. As I said, portability is a large part of my decision process. Whether or not this advantage is worth 38k is the question. Crossing my fingers for a successful negotiation.

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:50 pm

Depends on the market, but theres a ton of T14 grads every year, employers aren't just going to fall all over themselves to hire a schmo-y T14 grad who lacks ties when they can get an equally schmo-y T14 grad that is born and raised in that area.

You'll need to acquire geographic focus at OCI at least, a smattering of bids in a smattering of markets that seem like they'd be cool places to live is a recipe for striking out (again, depending on how schmo-y you are I guess). It's far off but yeah, I would disabuse yourself of the notion that the world will be your oyster and employers all over are going to be interested in you just because of the name on your diploma.

I'm also really, really doubting that the vast majority of employers will favor a Duke grad over a Cornell grad (or vice versa)

Nomo
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Nomo » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:53 pm

BigZuck wrote:Depends on the market, but theres a ton of T14 grads every year, employers aren't just going to fall all over themselves to hire a schmo-y T14 grad who lacks ties when they can get an equally schmo-y T14 grad that is born and raised in that area.

You'll need to acquire geographic focus at OCI at least, a smattering of bids in a smattering of markets that seem like they'd be cool places to live is a recipe for striking out (again, depending on how schmo-y you are I guess). It's far off but yeah, I would disabuse yourself of the notion that the world will be your oyster and employers all over are going to be interested in you just because of the name on your diploma.

I'm also really, really doubting that the vast majority of employers will favor a Duke grad over a Cornell grad (or vice versa)


Its certainly easier to get hired if into a firm that comes to OCI. And if you're talking about a firm that doesn't come to your OCI, its easier to get an interview if the firm has some partners from your school. For those reasons Michigan and Duke probably do have more national portability. But I agree that you don't want to show up at OCI smattering resumes across the country. The ideal candidate is someone who lived in the market before law school and returned there for 1L summer.

California is going to be tough for you, OP. DC is going to be tough for you (not only do you lack ties, its also grade selective). But since you're a midwesterner, I think you'll have a better shot at Chicago, especially if you go to Michigan and then do your 1L summer in Chicago. If you want New York, you should probably go to Cornell.
Last edited by Nomo on Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yeezus
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Yeezus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 pm

Cornell, unless you really like debt. The career opportunities from MDC are pretty similar.

rjaymac
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby rjaymac » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:01 pm

Michigan raised their offer to 35k/yr!
New COA difference between Michigan and Cornell is ~8k.
All things considered, I'm now leaning toward Michigan even more strongly. The midwest is much more attractive to me than NYC.
Still waiting on the possibility of a huge raise from Duke (but not really expecting one).
Big thanks to Nomo, BigZuck and others for the insights into career prospects.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Michigan / Duke / Cornell / Minnesota

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:06 pm

rjaymac wrote:Michigan raised their offer to 35k/yr!
New COA difference between Michigan and Cornell is ~8k.
All things considered, I'm now leaning toward Michigan even more strongly. The midwest is much more attractive to me than NYC.
Still waiting on the possibility of a huge raise from Duke (but not really expecting one).
Big thanks to Nomo, BigZuck and others for the insights into career prospects.


congrats on the $$




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