Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:46 pm

I would like to see the state of Michigan establish 1-2 more law schools across the state. Do I think this will happen - very unlikely. With state budget concerns and also there being no justification for Michigan to start new law schools at more "recognizably named" universities just so graduates can be more marketable out-of-state, there is little justification for what I would personally and selfishly like to see take place here in Michigan. But I sincerely believe that the Central Michigan University (CMU) College of Law or Western Michigan University (WMU) College of Law would be more recognizable abroad in their first-year of existence than Wayne State University, University of Detroit Mercy or Cooley will ever be. Not to mention the fact that I think that regionally speaking, Michigan needs another law school for populations north of Lansing (CMU) and west of Ann Arbor (WMU).

I am currently looking for a part-time, evening law program in the SE Michigan region to augment my Michigan State undergrad and my MBA from UMass. Truthfully, I am considering the University of Toledo Law School over Wayne State Law because I believe that UT - although perhaps not a legal education giant or even as academically strong as Wayne State - is still a more recognizable "university" name in other parts of the United States that Wayne State is. University of Detroit Mercy (high cost, poor ROI) and Cooley Law (poor reputation, poor ROI) are not even on my radar. I would forgo earning a law degree all together on just focus on earning more professional certifications or something rather than attend either of those law programs. For the record, my goal is not to be a practicing attorney. I would simply like to earn a terminal degree for professional advancement and Executive Director opportunities in the government and law enforcement fields. Law School perceptions just seem to be weird like that. The University of Montana and the University of North Dakota Law Schools seem to have very little academic reputation to speak of, but I would attend either of them before attending Wayne State because seemingly a "University of (Fill In The State)" has a certain implied credibility, reputation and recognition that trumps better academics at lesser-known regional state colleges.

Does anyone else see what I am trying to get at here regarding the nuances and perceptions often applied (or misapplied) to law schools based the name recognition of the universities they are a part of? And as of November 2009, I believe that the state of Michigan - a large state with in excess on 10 Million residents - only has one law school (University of Michigan) that carries any weight nationally. Since the U of M Law School doesn't have an evening program, it is not an option for me - which actually at a certain level suits me fine as an MSU grad because if they did have an evening program, I would sell a part of my Green & White soul and apply.

IMO when it comes down strictly to the ROI metrics of earning a law degree for "professional advancement" and not for "practicing law", give me the law school at the "state-university party school with unearned credibility and name recognition due to athletics" over the "academic powerhouse that no one has ever heard of" any day of the week.
Last edited by SpartanGrad on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Foozle
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:04 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby Foozle » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:51 pm

...Except that the University of Michigan also happens to be pretty damn good academically too.

The state of Michigan (with its 10 million residents) doesn't need another law school. In fact, one of the last things this country needs is more law schools with high tuition and crappy exit options.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:51 pm

FOB? :evil: :twisted:
Last edited by JazzOne on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TheBigMediocre
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:55 pm

tl;dr

User avatar
chicoalto0649
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:34 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby chicoalto0649 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:59 pm

:roll:

Maybe this post is the catalyst for someone to create the Michigan School of Law Online.....

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:03 pm

chicoalto0649 wrote::roll:

Maybe this post is the catalyst for someone to create the Michigan School of Law Online.....



The University of Phoenix already has an online law school - Concord Law School. No way I would do a doctorate-level degree online and have the nerve to put it on my resume and expect to be taken seriously!

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:05 pm

[quote="Foozle"]...Except that the University of Michigan also happens to be pretty damn good academically too.


I think I gave U of M Law their due in my post...... it is a Top 10 or better national program and I would go there (MSU grad or not) it hey had a part-time evening program and i was accepted into it.

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:11 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:tl;dr


Let me guess - too long, don't reply?

I did go stream of consciousness...... I scaled it back a bit ATF. Not that I would expect you to re-consider your IP, but it was (and perhaps still is) long. First day on the board posting, I appreciate the etiquette heads up - even if you were being a bit of a JA....... it was a fair point.

Oblomov
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:16 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby Oblomov » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:18 pm

SpartanGrad wrote:The University of Phoenix already has an online law school - Concord Law School. No way I would do a doctorate-level degree online and have the nerve to put it on my resume and expect to be taken seriously!


Flame.

pattymac
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:44 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby pattymac » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:18 pm

That's great that you don't want to be a practicing attorney, but how about the rest of us who want to be? Wayne State is a pretty damn good option. Yes, its a T3 on the brink of being a T2 and the tuition is relatively low and the admissions aren't too stingy. UDM and obviously Cooley are absolute travesties. MSU's admissions are as stingy as WSU's for $16,000 more a semester yet they're ranked something like 140th vs. Wayne thats on the cusp of the top 100? I really don't see what is wrong with Wayne State. I'll be stoked if I end up there. Most of the U of M grads might end up taking jobs elsewhere out of state which might open up a lot of employment opportunities for Wayne grads. I have no problem with Michigan as a state, but I sure as hell wouldn't be staying there if I graduated from Michigan.

To go back to your post, maybe Michigan does need another law school. They have one great school (u of m), two very very very mediocre schools (wsu and msu) and three absolute pieces of crap (ave maria, cooley and udm). I've heard MSU is a climbing the ranks, but I agree it would be nice to see another school somewhere higher in the second tier.

User avatar
samer
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:59 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby samer » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:24 pm

No other school in Michigan has the name recognition that you mentioned would be helpful for people to know. I don't even think MSU has the national name recognition you mentioned (of course, I could just be saying that because I go to U of M). Really, state of Michigan doesn't need another law school. UM is the option for students who want to leave the state, and MSU and Wayne State will be the in-state options. Other states should be so luck as to have a state school that have national prestige

Pearalegal
Posts: 1433
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:50 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:25 pm

samer wrote:I don't even think MSU has the national name recognition you mentioned (of course, I could just be saying that because I go to U of M).


He is not just saying this because he goes to U of M.

User avatar
missvik218
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:45 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby missvik218 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:26 pm

:shock: :roll: Haha, the LAST thing the state of Michigan needs is another law school option.

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:42 pm

To go back to your post, maybe Michigan does need another law school. They have one great school (u of m), two very very very mediocre schools (wsu and msu) and three absolute pieces of crap (ave maria, cooley and udm). I've heard MSU is a climbing the ranks, but I agree it would be nice to see another school somewhere higher in the second tier.[/quote]


Hey - no worries. Good luck to you. I also think Wayne State is a solid choice if you stay in Michigan - I would even say a good choice. But I guess what I am talking about goes to this whole issue of "Lay Reputation" - or the perceptions about the schools by the general public, not within the legal community. I think Wayne is a fine choice if you want to practice law in Michigan. But for my purpose (professional advancement but not legal practice outside of Michigan), I am more focused on the "Lay" or "Layperson" reputation of the school. The people I will be hired and promoted by will in many cases not be lawyers.

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:50 pm

Oblomov wrote:
SpartanGrad wrote:The University of Phoenix already has an online law school - Concord Law School. No way I would do a doctorate-level degree online and have the nerve to put it on my resume and expect to be taken seriously!


Flame.



Does that mean I am acting like my sh-t don't stink and I am being arrogant or something? This is my first day on the board, so what is flame? If that means you are putting me in my place for stating an opinion that some may disagree with, point taken. Let's just say that I would never do it, but that doesn't mean an online doctorate may not be a great option for a whole host of people. Empirically speaking, I just think the ROI of an earning online doctorate is poor. But I did come across a bit harsh with the "taken seriously" comment. It depends upon the audience I guess..... My apologies to those offended or who have online doctorates.

Pearalegal
Posts: 1433
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:50 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:53 pm

SpartanGrad wrote: But for my purpose (professional advancement but not legal practice outside of Michigan), I am more focused on the "Lay" or "Layperson" reputation of the school. The people I will be hired and promoted by will in many cases not be lawyers.


While not knowing anything about your specific circumstances, this raises a lot of red flags. If you're getting a degree to advance into certain positions, presumably that degree will be evaluated by someone with some sort of knowledge of the field. People in government typically fall within this category.

User avatar
BruceBarr
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:26 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby BruceBarr » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:55 pm

U of M... not really a state school. I mean, yes. But no. That would be like saying Vanderbilt is a Tennessee school or Northwestern is an Illinois school. It's only something like 18-20% of U of M students are MI residents. And that is not so much because they prefer in-stater's, but more because of the overwhelming amount of MI residents that apply there for in state.

That being said: MI still has Wayne State and MSU law. Both are great MI schools (we'll leave Cooley out). There are a few Tier 4's too. But two good law school and one great school is plenty for a state. And if you don't like that... go to one of Ohio's 22309735 law schools.

Michigan has enough.

Realistic discussion: Why does Ohio have so many?

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:08 pm

Pearalegal wrote:
SpartanGrad wrote: But for my purpose (professional advancement but not legal practice outside of Michigan), I am more focused on the "Lay" or "Layperson" reputation of the school. The people I will be hired and promoted by will in many cases not be lawyers.


While not knowing anything about your specific circumstances, this raises a lot of red flags. If you're getting a degree to advance into certain positions, presumably that degree will be evaluated by someone with some sort of knowledge of the field. People in government typically fall within this category.


Why on earth would my post raise red flags to you? Really - red flags? I am not some kind of subversive trying to undermine logical thought. Do you think there is something I am not telling you? Geez - I am just trying to get some feedback on whether or not people in Michigan think that the state has sufficient institutions to earn a reputable legal education that can help career advancement outside of the state? Perhaps in hindsight that would have been a more concise post to start with, but hey - I like to write.

Also, it is entirely possible for someone with a JD to be hired into certain field by people who may not have JD's or have graduate degrees in other fields - both in government and the private sector. How is that red flag raising, or were you just casually using the term because you wanted me to be more clear about something?

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1395
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:11 pm

Someone said that Wayne is on the cusp of breaking into top 100. Based on what info? Three years ago they dropped to Tier 4, and have since come back into tier 3. Michigan State College of Law and Wayne are both Tier 3, which means they are all tied for #101.

And it certainly can't be based on their lackluster Law Review rank.

The Michigan State Law Review is the 59th most cited flagship journal in the nation. Wayne's is 153rd. Cooley is 186. Look it up. http://lawlib.wlu.edu/LJ/index.aspx (check the "general" box to limit search to flagship journals, then click the "jnls" box in 2008 to limit the search to journal rankings in 2008, then search.)

In fact, if you search for ALL journals, which includes secondary journals plus law reviews, MSU is the 76th most cited journal in the country. Wayne is 351, Cooley is 562.

It’s a simple fact that academia views MSU's law review as more authoritative than Wayne's by a large margin, and in fact our law review is cited more often that some Tier 2 schools' law reviews, and several journals from Harvard and Yale. That speaks to the quality of the academics.

If anything, MSU is under-ranked.

[strike]Did the OP even know that MSU had a Law School?[/strike] (edited: Oh yeah, I forgot we don't have an evening program anymore.)

More to the point, Michigan has enough law schools already.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2397
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:48 pm

(ave maria, cooley and udm)


Didn't ave maria move to Florida?

I think the answer to: "Does X state need another law school?" will pretty much always be an emphatic NO.

starstruck393
Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby starstruck393 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:59 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Someone said that Wayne is on the cusp of breaking into top 100. Based on what info? Three years ago they dropped to Tier 4, and have since come back into tier 3. Michigan State College of Law and Wayne are both Tier 3, which means they are all tied for #101.

And it certainly can't be based on their lackluster Law Review rank.

The Michigan State Law Review is the 59th most cited flagship journal in the nation. Wayne's is 153rd. Cooley is 186. Look it up. http://lawlib.wlu.edu/LJ/index.aspx (check the "general" box to limit search to flagship journals, then click the "jnls" box in 2008 to limit the search to journal rankings in 2008, then search.)

In fact, if you search for ALL journals, which includes secondary journals plus law reviews, MSU is the 76th most cited journal in the country. Wayne is 351, Cooley is 562.

It’s a simple fact that academia views MSU's law review as more authoritative than Wayne's by a large margin, and in fact our law review is cited more often that some Tier 2 schools' law reviews, and several journals from Harvard and Yale. That speaks to the quality of the academics.

If anything, MSU is under-ranked.

[strike]Did the OP even know that MSU had a Law School?[/strike] (edited: Oh yeah, I forgot we don't have an evening program anymore.)

More to the point, Michigan has enough law schools already.


Did MSU just get rid of their evening program, because I knew someone in it last year...

starstruck393
Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby starstruck393 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:00 pm

nealric wrote:
(ave maria, cooley and udm)


Didn't ave maria move to Florida?

I think the answer to: "Does X state need another law school?" will pretty much always be an emphatic NO.


Ave Maria is in Florida now. About the only state I could think of that could use another law school would be Alaska, since they don't have one at the moment...

User avatar
BruceBarr
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:26 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby BruceBarr » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:07 pm

Yea Ave Maria got sick of living in U of M's shadow (both in Ann Arbor).


Yea... MSU and Wayne are great if you plan on staying in MI. The general point of thumb that I've heard from the attorneys at my firm (among others) is that if you want to stay in state for law school and cant get into U of M, go to:

Wayne State if you wanna stay in MI
MSU if you wanna go somewhere else in the mid-west.

Wayne State is a HIGHLY respected school in MI... but falls short anywhere else. MSU is just kind of a good not great law school all around. Not as highly regarded in MI as Wayne State, but when you cross the border, it blows it out of the water. And honestly, as ridiculous as it is, a lot is owed to their incredible sport teams. You've heard of MSU in Indiana and Wisconsin because you've watched them play football, basketball, etc.

Oh... and Wayne is said to be on the verge of T100 because it has been in the 90's before.

SpartanGrad
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby SpartanGrad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:48 pm

BruceBarr wrote:Yea Ave Maria got sick of living in U of M's shadow (both in Ann Arbor).


Yea... MSU and Wayne are great if you plan on staying in MI. The general point of thumb that I've heard from the attorneys at my firm (among others) is that if you want to stay in state for law school and cant get into U of M, go to:

Wayne State if you wanna stay in MI
MSU if you wanna go somewhere else in the mid-west.

Wayne State is a HIGHLY respected school in MI... but falls short anywhere else. MSU is just kind of a good not great law school all around. Not as highly regarded in MI as Wayne State, but when you cross the border, it blows it out of the water. And honestly, as ridiculous as it is, a lot is owed to their incredible sport teams. You've heard of MSU in Indiana and Wisconsin because you've watched them play football, basketball, etc.

Oh... and Wayne is said to be on the verge of T100 because it has been in the 90's before.



BruceBarr - You offer a very good perspective on this "reputation" phenomena that I have been trying to get at the heart of in this thread. I agree with you 100%. If I end up staying in Michigan for the rest of my professional career, I would attend Wayne State Law with ZERO hesitation. But if I move to any state outside of Michigan, I absolutely believe that my educational credentials "on paper" would be better served by having a law degree from the University of Toledo than from Wayne State. Now look - from my perch here in Michigan and to others from Michigan, that may sound absurd. Regionally (in SE Michigan and northern Ohio), Wayne State is probably regarded as superior to Univ. of Toledo for both undergraduate and graduate studies. I know that and people in Michigan know that. And by no means do I think that the University of Toledo is putting me at the top of someone's recruiting list. I just think the name is more recognizable than Wayne State and that may mean something down the road.

But the last thing you ever want to have happen is to spend 3-5 years earning an expensive law degree only to have your credentials questioned based on some undeserved bias because you attended a barely recognizable school. Like it or not, attending a university very few people outside your state have ever heard of (even if you earned outstanding grades there), can cause doubts to creep into the minds of some recruiters and hiring managers. Wayne State University may be every bit as academically rigorous as Michigan State University within certain degree programs, but put a Wayne State grad and a MSU grad (with the same grades) up against each other for the same job with firm in downtown San Francisco or Dallas, I can almost guarantee you the MSU grad will be viewed more favorably on paper. The Wayne State grad may overtake the MSU grad with a great interview or other positive factors, but the MSU grad will initially be regarded as having a stronger academic profile - even though we as Michiganders may know otherwise.

Thank you for having such an intuitive understanding of my overall point. More people need to understand that the "layperson reputation" of an institution can and often does trump a university's true "academic reputation".... And yes, collegiate/NCAA sports team recognition drives the "layperson reputation" - and the Recruiting Managers who filter the resumes to the hiring managers are often coming from the layperson perspective when it comes to evaluating which candidates attended - in their mind - the best schools.
Last edited by SpartanGrad on Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
biggamejames
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:27 pm

Re: Does The State of Michigan Need Another Law School Option?

Postby biggamejames » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:54 pm

Your face needs another law school option.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 5 guests