Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

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

Vote for recommended option

Columbia
30
58%
Penn
4
8%
Michigan
18
35%
 
Total votes: 52

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meeseeks
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Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby meeseeks » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:48 pm

Looking for some input here as it's almost decision time.

COA after scholarships
Columbia - 189,000
Penn - 189,000
Michigan - 144,000

Cost will be paid with loans.

From the midwest with ties to Chicago. Open to work anywhere although NYC would not be my first choice.

General career goals: Fed. Clerkship (assuming grades don't rule this out) --> Biglaw --> BigFed

LSAT: 174 (taken twice)
GPA: 3.31

Michigan is hands down the cheapest but I am definitely worried about their Biglaw + Fed. Clerkship rate compared to the other two options.
Last edited by meeseeks on Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shehulk16
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby shehulk16 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:56 pm

meeseeks wrote:Looking for some input here as it's almost decision time.

COA after loans
Columbia - 189,000
Penn - 189,000
Michigan - 144,000

Cost will be paid with loans.

From the midwest with ties to Chicago. Open to work anywhere although NYC would not be my first choice.

General career goals: Fed. Clerkship (assuming grades don't rule this out) --> Biglaw --> BigFed

LSAT: 174 (taken twice)
GPA: 3.31

Michigan is hands down the cheapest but I am definitely worried about their Biglaw + Fed. Clerkship rate compared to the other two options.


wow super similar numbers, outcomes, and goals here. Almost everyone would say that Michigan is the best choice because of your ties to the midwest & Chicago. And a $45,000 difference in debt is nothing to sneeze at, but it will be negligible in the long run of BigLaw salary and/or PSLF forgiveness once you transition to BigFed. I think if you're super debt averse and would like to end up back in Chicago, Michigan is a magnificent option. But Columbia and Penn would offer you more security in terms of BigLaw exit options. But if you don't like NYC so much, Philly and Ann Arbor are awesome!

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:00 pm

meeseeks wrote:Looking for some input here as it's almost decision time.

COA after loans
Columbia - 189,000
Penn - 189,000
Michigan - 144,000

Cost will be paid with loans.

From the midwest with ties to Chicago. Open to work anywhere although NYC would not be my first choice.

General career goals: Fed. Clerkship (assuming grades don't rule this out) --> Biglaw --> BigFed

LSAT: 174 (taken twice)
GPA: 3.31

Michigan is hands down the cheapest but I am definitely worried about their Biglaw + Fed. Clerkship rate compared to the other two options.


With those stated goals + the slight difference in cost between Columbia and Michigan + your stated career preferences, Columbia is the way to go. Columbia grads place well in OC/LA/SF (if you have interest, since you've said you're not too into NYC).

Again, while Columbia is going to cost more, the extra price is worth the increased number of outcomes.

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meeseeks
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby meeseeks » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:02 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
meeseeks wrote:Looking for some input here as it's almost decision time.

COA after loans
Columbia - 189,000
Penn - 189,000
Michigan - 144,000

Cost will be paid with loans.

From the midwest with ties to Chicago. Open to work anywhere although NYC would not be my first choice.

General career goals: Fed. Clerkship (assuming grades don't rule this out) --> Biglaw --> BigFed

LSAT: 174 (taken twice)
GPA: 3.31

Michigan is hands down the cheapest but I am definitely worried about their Biglaw + Fed. Clerkship rate compared to the other two options.


With those stated goals + the slight difference in cost between Columbia and Michigan + your stated career preferences, Columbia is the way to go. Columbia grads place well in OC/LA/SF (if you have interest, since you've said you're not too into NYC).

Again, while Columbia is going to cost more, the extra price is worth the increased number of outcomes.


This has been my general thought as well. Just wanted to poll the crowd and make sure I wasn't crazy taking on the extra 45k of debt.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:04 pm

meeseeks wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
meeseeks wrote:Looking for some input here as it's almost decision time.

COA after loans
Columbia - 189,000
Penn - 189,000
Michigan - 144,000

Cost will be paid with loans.

From the midwest with ties to Chicago. Open to work anywhere although NYC would not be my first choice.

General career goals: Fed. Clerkship (assuming grades don't rule this out) --> Biglaw --> BigFed

LSAT: 174 (taken twice)
GPA: 3.31

Michigan is hands down the cheapest but I am definitely worried about their Biglaw + Fed. Clerkship rate compared to the other two options.


With those stated goals + the slight difference in cost between Columbia and Michigan + your stated career preferences, Columbia is the way to go. Columbia grads place well in OC/LA/SF (if you have interest, since you've said you're not too into NYC).

Again, while Columbia is going to cost more, the extra price is worth the increased number of outcomes.


This has been my general thought as well. Just wanted to poll the crowd and make sure I wasn't crazy taking on the extra 45k of debt.


Yeah man enjoy it. Columbia will set you up for a wonderful professional future. Plus that amount of debt can be serviced in three years with aggressive payments. Enjoy!

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34iplaw
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby 34iplaw » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:05 pm

I'd say it's between Columbia and Penn, because I have an irrational fondness of UPenn.

That said, Penn at the same price as CLS doesn't make a terrible amount of sense.

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meeseeks
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby meeseeks » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:11 pm

34iplaw wrote:I'd say it's between Columbia and Penn, because I have an irrational fondness of UPenn.

That said, Penn at the same price as CLS doesn't make a terrible amount of sense.


I tend to agree with you and I think the poll is reflecting that as well.

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UVA2B
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:20 pm

Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:31 pm

I would say columbia is a pretty easy winner here. PM if you want to discuss further.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:33 pm

UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:34 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Seconded.

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:43 pm

I know self selection or whatever, but I don't love Michigan's consistently unimpressive job stats. At this price difference I'd take Columbia.

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UVA2B
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:45 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Seconded.


If we were talking law school-->BigFed, sure. But we're talking about going to Biglaw first. I agree that Columbia is better, but it's still just paying $45k more for ~15% better odds of landing their goal. From there it'll be about their Biglaw experience in getting them into BigFed.

I agree it's better for their goals, I just don't personally think it's worth $45k more. Others can absolutely feel free to disagree, because we're talking about individuals doing cost-benefit analysis that is by definition subjective because of risk aversion, debt aversion, etc.

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UVA2B
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:50 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Columbia's Biglaw rate this year was ~80%, which is pretty consistent year over year, and Michigan is consistently at ~65% (health of the economy affecting both of them pretty equally year over year). It's for sure an approximation to say what number of students can get Biglaw out of Columbia, but the same holds true for Michigan.

You can think I'm wrong here. I just think it's not as simple as Columbia being a clear-cut choice.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:53 pm

UVA2B wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Columbia's Biglaw rate this year was ~80%, which is pretty consistent year over year, and Michigan is consistently at ~65% (health of the economy affecting both of them pretty equally year over year). It's for sure an approximation to say what number of students can get Biglaw out of Columbia, but the same holds true for Michigan.

You can think I'm wrong here. I just think it's not as simple as Columbia being a clear-cut choice.


It's certainly not clear cut, it's just given the factors, odds, costs, proximity to good pizza, the better choice (especially given that OP also said he was leaning that way).

Fiddlesticks
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby Fiddlesticks » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:17 pm

Columbia places people in NY. Maybe students at Columbia could go elsewhere, but just love NY, who knows. But Columbia's second largest market was a tie between California and DC, each coming in at a whopping 6% of the class.

Columbia is a better school than Michigan, no doubt. But I don't know if the school has connections to all markets quite like Michigan does (Michigan has had to create these out of necessity, not saying Columbia couldn't/doesn't have them as well). So if your goals are Non-NY biglaw > NY Biglaw, it may make sense to go to another school (didn't look up Penn's stats).

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rpupkin
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:55 pm

Fiddlesticks wrote:Columbia is a better school than Michigan, no doubt. But I don't know if the school has connections to all markets quite like Michigan does (Michigan has had to create these out of necessity, not saying Columbia couldn't/doesn't have them as well). So if your goals are Non-NY biglaw > NY Biglaw, it may make sense to go to another school.

I get the logic, but I don't think that Michigan has better national reach than Columbia. If, for example, my goal was a big law job in California, and if you told me that I was going to be median at either CLS or Michigan, I'd probably prefer to be at CLS. The difference is slight--at many law firms it wouldn't matter--but I think CLS has a marginally better rep overall in big law.

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meeseeks
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby meeseeks » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:00 pm

Thanks for the input everybody! I think Columbia will be the school I go with

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quiver
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby quiver » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:49 pm

UVA2B wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Seconded.


If we were talking law school-->BigFed, sure. But we're talking about going to Biglaw first. I agree that Columbia is better, but it's still just paying $45k more for ~15% better odds of landing their goal. From there it'll be about their Biglaw experience in getting them into BigFed.

I agree it's better for their goals, I just don't personally think it's worth $45k more. Others can absolutely feel free to disagree, because we're talking about individuals doing cost-benefit analysis that is by definition subjective because of risk aversion, debt aversion, etc.
Looks like you're going to CLS, OP. But I just wanted to chime in and say I agree with UVA2B here. Essentially, you're looking to go for non-NYC biglaw out of law school; CLS is not worth 45k more for that in my view. That money will seem a lot weightier once you graduate and start making payments.

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:40 pm

For what it's worth, I almost always advocate taking the money, but I think the 45k is worth it here for the downside protection.

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:51 pm

What kind of scholarships did this work out to be?

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meeseeks
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby meeseeks » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:03 pm

Veil of Ignorance wrote:What kind of scholarships did this work out to be?


90k from CLS
75k from Penn
90k from Michigan

shadowfax
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby shadowfax » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:56 pm

Columbia is worth the extra. Congrats.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby Hikikomorist » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:15 am

meeseeks wrote:
Veil of Ignorance wrote:What kind of scholarships did this work out to be?


90k from CLS
75k from Penn
90k from Michigan

I'd at least try to work on Penn and Michigan, because they should be offering larger scholarships than Columbia offered.

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Lavitz
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Re: Columbia vs Penn vs Michigan

Postby Lavitz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:06 am

UVA2B wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Penn and Columbia aren't $45k better than Michigan when your ultimate goal is generic Biglaw imo. You're paying for ~15% more wiggle room in getting your goals, and it's entirely up to you to figure out how much that is worth to you though.


For going into the federal gov't, Columbia is noticeably better. Also for biglaw its substantially better. Michigan has what, 65% OCI success rate? Maybe 70? CLS at 90 on avg. that's a 20% margin. People pay much more for far less difference on this site. It's a pretty big gap. Easily worth $45k.


Columbia's Biglaw rate this year was ~80%, which is pretty consistent year over year, and Michigan is consistently at ~65% (health of the economy affecting both of them pretty equally year over year). It's for sure an approximation to say what number of students can get Biglaw out of Columbia, but the same holds true for Michigan.

You can think I'm wrong here. I just think it's not as simple as Columbia being a clear-cut choice.

Just to back up jb's estimate of Michigan's OCI success rate, I think it's based on an old post where some Michigan guy revealed that career services told them >60% of the people who participated in OCI got an offer, as if this was a good percentage for a T-14.

Found it:
viewtopic.php?p=8950956#p8950956

Anyway, I don't think this is super clear-cut either given the aversion to NYC, but I would still lean Columbia here for that much of a safety net.




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