SpartanGrad wrote: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.
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.
Oh, you are totally right. I'm currently a Wayne State undergrad and this is the biggest problem a lot of my friends at the law school face. Like so many others, when they went into law school they knew that their career prospects ended at border. But, like I said, it's no surprise to them going into it.
As far as the two schools go, I don't believe one has a better program than the other. It just depends on what you want to go in to and study. MSU has a lot of political options being a stones throw from Lansing and Wayne has plenty of options with big corporate law being in Detroit (ha... what's left of it anyway). As a Wayne State undergrad, I would rather go to MSU for law because I wouldn't want to be confined to MI for quite some time after graduating. However... if giving the chance, I would (like you) take U Toledo or another Tier 3 with more national prospects because though having that "Wayne State Law" plaque in your office is pretty impressive... being stuck inside a dying market is not.
Unless you are going for bankruptcy law. If that's the case: Welcome to Heaven.