Berk vs UVA vs Michigan

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

Which one?

Berkeley ($219k CoA/$75k scholly/*is it in-state tuition after 1L?)
6
38%
UVA ($194k CoA/$75k scholly)
3
19%
Michigan ($179k CoA/$75k scholly/*in-state tuition)
7
44%
 
Total votes: 16

MidwestTho
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Berk vs UVA vs Michigan

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:10 pm

-The schools you are considering
Berkeley ($75k), UVA ($75k), Michigan ($75k).

Waitlisted at Harvard, Col, Chi, Penn, Cornell, NW.
Withdrawing from some of those WL and riding some others out for a bit/until May and see what happens if there's any scholly $, but I will ride Harvard out until the bitter end.

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
Berkeley ~$219,508 ($75k scholly)
UVA ~$193,778 ($75k scholly)
Michigan ~$178,984 ($75k scholly) *in-state tuition
(Wasn't eligible for need-aid based on parental income)

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

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I'm from the Midwest but I've lived on the east coast and have ties to the DC area and NYC, but no ties to the west coast. As for where I want to work, I'm unsure. As mentioned I have ties to different areas but nothing currently tying me down like a gf/family congregated in one area, etc. NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, SF/SV are all about equally likely and they each have their pros/cons.

-Your general career goals
Practice law of course. I'm hoping law school itself will help me narrow things down in terms of practice area.

I've thought about PI—social justice, human/civil rights, etc. or at an org like the ACLU. But I've also thought about big law—corporate transactional M&A/VC. If I go PI I understand I should consider PLSF/IBR, and if I go BigLaw obviously I won't qualify. If I do end up in big law, I don't see myself as being a "biglaw lifer." I will definitely be running for office down the road. (For personal reasons. Also before you jump down my throat please note the first thing I said was that I DO want to practice law)

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
Somewhere in the range of 153-160/3.95+

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once.

Thank you for any advice!
Last edited by MidwestTho on Wed May 20, 2015 4:20 pm, edited 16 times in total.

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Rigo
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Rigo » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:14 pm

Just to clarify, $75k is the COA and not just your scholarship reward, right? In other words, you have basically a full ride at UVA and Michigan?

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:16 pm

Rigo wrote:Just to clarify, $75k is the COA and not just your scholarship reward, right? In other words, you have basically a full ride at UVA and Michigan?


I'm sorry, that's what I'm trying to calculate, my scholarship award is $75k not COA.

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Rigo
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Rigo » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:20 pm

I'm guessing you're a URM with that low LSAT (sorry)? You really should retake. If you're dead set on going this cycle though, I vote UVA. However, that's still a lot of debt when you could probably go for close to free with a retake.
Last edited by Rigo on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:20 pm

Protip: a 10 point spread in giving your LSAT range is wildly unhelpful. I don't see why giving the score is a big deal.

Even if we assumed you got the top end of that (162), the answer is retake. You are sitting on a beautiful GPA - if you seriously commit to the LSAT, and up that score into the 170's, you are talking seriously sweet money for the t14.

If you HAD to go to school now, unless GULC is giving you a full ride, toss it out of the equation. I'd go with UVA over Michigan, and would choose it over Berkeley as well unless they threw some serious money your way.

But seriously - retake. If you aren't psyched about BigLaw then you don't want to take on debt and be forced to go that route. Up that score, get sweet money at a top school and then PI to your little heart's content.

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cron1834
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby cron1834 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:22 pm

Also, you're going to need to narrow down your geographic and career goals. You list like 5 different areas and 5 different jobs. That's not going to allow people to give you advice.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:26 pm

Rigo wrote:I'm guessing you're a URM with that low LSAT (sorry)? You really should retake. If you're dead set on going this cycle though, I vote UVA. However, that's still a lot of debt when you could probably go for close to free with a retake.


I have seen people with lower GPA's and a few more points on the LSAT get significantly more $ this cycle so I am considering sitting out and retaking. Kind of waiting to see what happens with Harvard's waitlist though.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:29 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Protip: a 10 point spread in giving your LSAT range is wildly unhelpful. I don't see why giving the score is a big deal.

Even if we assumed you got the top end of that (162), the answer is retake. You are sitting on a beautiful GPA - if you seriously commit to the LSAT, and up that score into the 170's, you are talking seriously sweet money for the t14.

If you HAD to go to school now, unless GULC is giving you a full ride, toss it out of the equation. I'd go with UVA over Michigan, and would choose it over Berkeley as well unless they threw some serious money your way.

But seriously - retake. If you aren't psyched about BigLaw then you don't want to take on debt and be forced to go that route. Up that score, get sweet money at a top school and then PI to your little heart's content.


Thank you for the reply!

I narrowed it down more, I guess I can give the exact score but I just didn't want it to turn into an AA thread/"you got into ___ AND with $, with THAT score?!"

Why UVA over Michigan? I'm not disagreeing just asking for clarification!

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:33 pm

cron1834 wrote:Also, you're going to need to narrow down your geographic and career goals. You list like 5 different areas and 5 different jobs. That's not going to allow people to give you advice.


As for career goals, it really is just kind of practice law ---> gain experience/network/etc. --> run for office.

I really don't have any geographic goals...as I said no ties like an SO needing to find a job or all of my family in one area. I've lived/worked in NYC, DC, and Chicago briefly. I have close family in NYC (my brother) and DC (ton of family in DMV area). I've been to LA once and never been to NorCal but was waiting to visit pending Berkeley's offer.

I know I don't want to work in "the South" but beyond that I'm open. I know the major legal markets are NYC/DC/Chicago/LA which is why I listed them, and really have no preference. NYC/LA are more expensive, Chicago doesn't have as much going on as the first two but $ will go further, and DC would definitely be good/great for anything political.

BigZuck
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:33 pm

I'd take a year off to retake and figure out what you want to do/get some more geographic focus

This is the grim reality: like 90% of 0Ls say things along the line of "I want PI" or "I'm open but prefer PI." But, they'll be lining up at OCI. We all know they will. Which is fine, whatever. But that's the reality.

So, now that we know you're going to be doing big law, the issue is that you will be about 200K in debt when you don't have to be. You have an amazing GPA and plenty of room to improve on the LSAT and get a really big scholarship to some great schools.

Definitely retake June and see what happens.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:38 pm

MidwestTho wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Protip: a 10 point spread in giving your LSAT range is wildly unhelpful. I don't see why giving the score is a big deal.

Even if we assumed you got the top end of that (162), the answer is retake. You are sitting on a beautiful GPA - if you seriously commit to the LSAT, and up that score into the 170's, you are talking seriously sweet money for the t14.

If you HAD to go to school now, unless GULC is giving you a full ride, toss it out of the equation. I'd go with UVA over Michigan, and would choose it over Berkeley as well unless they threw some serious money your way.

But seriously - retake. If you aren't psyched about BigLaw then you don't want to take on debt and be forced to go that route. Up that score, get sweet money at a top school and then PI to your little heart's content.


Thank you for the reply!

I narrowed it down more, I guess I can give the exact score but I just didn't want it to turn into an AA thread/"you got into ___ AND with $, with THAT score?!"

Why UVA over Michigan? I'm not disagreeing just asking for clarification!


UVA does a little better than Michigan with BigLaw and Clerkships - about a 5 percent advantage this year in number of grads hired. See below for a chart with all the school breakdowns:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... d=14086468

They're close enough that neither UVA or Michigan is super-clearly the winner, but Michigan had a bad year and UVA had a good one. They may equalize somewhat but it doesn't look to me like the situation will reverse itself between the two. UVA has some good ties to the DC market, whereas Michigan's home-turf ties are to, well, Michigan. Plus I'd take Charlottesville over Ann Arbor any day of the week, but I'm probably a minority there (Ann Arbor is pretty nice in my limited experience visiting there).

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:41 pm

MidwestTho wrote:I narrowed it down more


MidwestTho wrote:-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
Somewhere in the range of 153-160/3.95+

Very funny. I like this kid already.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:43 pm

BigZuck wrote:I'd take a year off to retake and figure out what you want to do/get some more geographic focus

This is the grim reality: like 90% of 0Ls say things along the line of "I want PI" or "I'm open but prefer PI." But, they'll be lining up at OCI. We all know they will. Which is fine, whatever. But that's the reality.

So, now that we know you're going to be doing big law, the issue is that you will be about 200K in debt when you don't have to be. You have an amazing GPA and plenty of room to improve on the LSAT and get a really big scholarship to some great schools.

Definitely retake June and see what happens.


I've already taken more than one year off. I'm passionate about social justice/civil rights, culminating in running for office (like US Senate) but the problem is the lack of $ when I am looking at taking out so much in loans and I don't come from a rich family so I know I'm going to have bills to pay.

So I've said to myself, okay big law isn't bad because lawyers have basically zero training and some law firms actually do social justice/civil rights stuff anyway, not to mention I can always just use my pro-bono hours to do that. I literally want to do it at all (and I know I can't). Hence sort of hoping that law school will help me narrow it down, "oh I really thought I was going to like contracts but I hate contracts and M&A is heavily based in contracts so yeah...I don't want to do M&A anymore"

To be clear, I was always YSH or bust. I didn't get Y or S because of my LSAT and wasn't expecting to, so if I get H off the waitlist then I'm running with it. The only thing that would dissuade me was significant money at a T14 as you've mentioned. I just need to come up with a "plan B" in the mean time as seat deposits are due and pick between my current options while I'm riding the waitlist.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:43 pm

zacharus85 wrote:
MidwestTho wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Protip: a 10 point spread in giving your LSAT range is wildly unhelpful. I don't see why giving the score is a big deal.

Even if we assumed you got the top end of that (162), the answer is retake. You are sitting on a beautiful GPA - if you seriously commit to the LSAT, and up that score into the 170's, you are talking seriously sweet money for the t14.

If you HAD to go to school now, unless GULC is giving you a full ride, toss it out of the equation. I'd go with UVA over Michigan, and would choose it over Berkeley as well unless they threw some serious money your way.

But seriously - retake. If you aren't psyched about BigLaw then you don't want to take on debt and be forced to go that route. Up that score, get sweet money at a top school and then PI to your little heart's content.


Thank you for the reply!

I narrowed it down more, I guess I can give the exact score but I just didn't want it to turn into an AA thread/"you got into ___ AND with $, with THAT score?!"

Why UVA over Michigan? I'm not disagreeing just asking for clarification!


UVA does a little better than Michigan with BigLaw and Clerkships - about a 5 percent advantage this year in number of grads hired. See below for a chart with all the school breakdowns:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... d=14086468

They're close enough that neither UVA or Michigan is super-clearly the winner, but Michigan had a bad year and UVA had a good one. They may equalize somewhat but it doesn't look to me like the situation will reverse itself between the two. UVA has some good ties to the DC market, whereas Michigan's home-turf ties are to, well, Michigan. Plus I'd take Charlottesville over Ann Arbor any day of the week, but I'm probably a minority there (Ann Arbor is pretty nice in my limited experience visiting there).


Thank you! And thanks for pointing me in the direction of that thread

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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 pm

If you want to be a politician (which is bizarre to me if you're like 24, but that's neither here nor there), then I would go do that. If you think law school is the route to get there, then go to your state flagship or maybe Harvard. I don't see how going to Duke and becoming some M&A comma jockey drone is going to get you any closer to your goal.

Also, don't go into big law to try and backdoor into some human rights pro bono stuff. That's just not a good plan.

If you really and truly want to do PI and know what that all entails then great. I'd probably still lean towards minimizing debt as much as possible.

I hope you get into Harvard one way or the other. Good luck.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:55 pm

BigZuck wrote:If you want to be a politician (which is bizarre to me if you're like 24, but that's neither here nor there), then I would go do that. If you think law school is the route to get there, then go to your state flagship or maybe Harvard. I don't see how going to Duke and becoming some M&A comma jockey drone is going to get you any closer to your goal.


Haha I know it's bizarre! Long story, I'll PM you sometime if you're interested. State flagship would be Michigan (I'm in-state tuition at Michigan) but I do know you/others are right about UVA being superior in the DMV area.

BigZuck wrote:Also, don't go into big law to try and backdoor into some human rights pro bono stuff. That's just not a good plan.

Hmm alright, noted. (Not arguing, I've seen you give good advice on the forum before so I'm listening)

BigZuck wrote:If you really and truly want to do PI and know what that all entails then great. I'd probably still lean towards minimizing debt as much as possible.


You're right in terms of debt. But for picking a plan b by tomorrow (seat deposit deadline) with my current options, what are your thoughts?

BigZuck wrote:I hope you get into Harvard one way or the other. Good luck.


Thank you BZ! I hope so too, would certainly make this significantly easier as I really don't want to wait any longer to matriculate.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:08 pm

I'll assume that your LSAT is closer to 153 than to 160. Virginia is the best option, but I'd like to know more.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:11 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I'll

You'll?

OP-I guess based on everything you've said if you're going to deposit tomorrow I would do it at Michigan

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:12 pm

if you scored in the 150s, you need to retake the LSAT

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I'll assume that your LSAT is closer to 153 than to 160. Virginia is the best option, but I'd like to know more.


Your assumption is correct.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:16 pm

OP: Michigan is not the equivalent of Virginia. Since you have ties to DC & NYC, Virginia is your best option.

Michigan is a great law school, but their scholarship offer should be higher when competing with Virginia.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:17 pm

BigZuck wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:I'll

You'll?

OP-I guess based on everything you've said if you're going to deposit tomorrow I would do it at Michigan


Michigan's deadline is 30th, UVA is tomorrow. I was thinking about visiting Michigan's campus tomorrow just to see if anything screamed out at me in terms of fit/see if they'd increase their offer based on the recent employment stats (i.e. UVA = better probabilty of big law/FC therefore Michigan should increase offer rather than just match since they don't have the same stats) but I don't know what to do
Last edited by MidwestTho on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:18 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: Michigan is not the equivalent of Virginia. Since you have ties to DC & NYC, Virginia is your best option.

Michigan is a great law school, but their scholarship offer should be higher when competing with Virginia.


Okay yeah I just saw that above and was thinking along the same lines after I saw the thread with the recent employment stats.

Does it change anything if I have ties to the State of Michigan as well? Did undergrad here/would get in-state tuition
Last edited by MidwestTho on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:20 pm

You're taking the right approach--just be prepared to deposit at Virginia tomorrow if Michigan doesn't increase their offer.

MidwestTho
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Re: Berk vs UVA vs Michigan vs Georgetown (vs others)

Postby MidwestTho » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:23 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:You're taking the right approach--just be prepared to deposit at Virginia tomorrow if Michigan doesn't increase their offer.


Having not heard about aid from Berkeley yet, would I have to withdraw from there as well if that's the case and I do deposit? I was waiting for Berkeley to offer something first before I submitted a match request for Michigan's offer.

And if I go that route, would Berkeley with the same $75k (or perhaps more) then be a better move, or is it still UVA is the TCR if UVA&Mich are equal offers or Mich if they offer more $ than UVA? Tbf I wouldn't have applied to Berk if I wasn't attracted to the school and interested in the area, I just couldn't afford the flight out there without knowing aid.
Last edited by MidwestTho on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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