Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

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lawisizzlin
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Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby lawisizzlin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:15 am

Hi TLSers. This decision has to be made by 9 am est on Thursday, or else I lose my scholarship at GULC. I loved GULC from the start- I plan to study public international law, would love to work for an NGO or in public policy, and am excited by the networking opportunities that come from going to the best law school in DC. Total political junkie and with midterm elections coming up, DC sounds like a blast.

Michigan - I have a distant relative who went there for law school and became a federal judge, plus some friends who went there UG, but so far nothing about it shines too bright for me. I'm reconsidering because they offered me a scholarship that makes the difference in cost over three years about $30k. I assumed I would take on some debt for school so paying most of the bill at GULC was just fine with me (plus I love the LRAP), until I got the scholarship from Michigan. I'm on "hold" at Columbia and pending at NYU, but have pretty much checked them off my list at this point. No big money from other schools that could sway me.

I'm not clear on what the advantages of going to Michigan would be for me, aside from the saved $$. Awesome professors yes, but what else? Ann Arbor? What am I missing?

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Teoeo
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby Teoeo » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:18 am

Michigan is simply a better school, and everyone knows it. Your career prospects would be slightly better, I would take UMICH in a sec. Having said that, if you are 100 percent sure you want to work in DC, I can't really say choosing Georgetown would be a mistake. BTW, are you planning on working for the government or a firm? As I understand it Georgetown just recently expanded their LRAP program and it kicks major ass.

detljgh
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby detljgh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:33 am

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Last edited by detljgh on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Non-Lawyer Lawyer
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby Non-Lawyer Lawyer » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:48 am

First off, whether you go to Michigan or Georgetown, your prospects for clerkships, biglaw jobs, and general employment will be very bright. You are in a fortunate position in that your main concern at this point should be the amount of debt you will come out of law school with, you do not need to worry about going to the highest ranked school in an effort to maximize job prospects. Those who say Michigan is that much better of a school or has that much better of a reputation than Georgetown are either 1Ls/recent LSAT takers who have no idea what they are talking about, or pretentious associates with their heads up their a$$es. I say this as someone who attends OCI on behalf of my firm and routinely makes recommendations for hiring based on interviews.

Since it really does not matter where you go (provided you do well at either school), I will give you some serious advice: $30k difference in tuition is a very big deal. Piled on top of rent, entertainment, and general cost of living expenses, you are looking at, I would guess, a high-5, low-6 figure debt when you come out of law school. It kills me to see young attorneys (even at biglaw) who put themselves in the hole for decades with a massive amount of debt. And believe me, even with a 6-figure job, once you start factoring in the inevitable expenses of life, this debt will be with you for a long time. Even if you can make your payments without much issue, it is always hanging around your neck. Your life will be hectic enough during law school. It's better to not have to add your debt on top of your worries (esp. if you work for an NGO or in PI).

Having gone to both law school and ugrad in D.C., and having practiced law there for several years after law school, I can tell you that D.C. is an expensive place to live. It's not New York, but it definitely adds up. But D.C. is, in my opinion, the best city for a young person in the U.S. I think you'll be extremely happy there, should you decide to go. As I'm sure you know, the school is located a short walk from Capitol Hill, and even during the midterms there is always some sort of political activity going on there.

That being said, if Ann Arbor will ultimately be cheaper, go to UM. If D.C. will be cheaper, go to Georgetown.

Congratulations on your success, and best of luck at either school!
Last edited by Non-Lawyer Lawyer on Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:12 am, edited 5 times in total.

junelsat
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby junelsat » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:53 am

Did you happen to attend MIchigan's ASW? Its a very impressive place, that probably has a completely different feel from Georgetown. Its smaller and likely more communal. This has to be a factor as well.

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Interminable_Waiting
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby Interminable_Waiting » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:57 am

Despite the terrible reputation G-Town has on TLS, when you look at student quality and job placement among just full-time students at G-Town, it is very similar to the rest of the 7 through 13 schools.

If you are set on PI, then I would definitely go to Georgetown, as debt is irrelevant.

If you are not sure whether you want biglaw, PI, or something else, then Michigan might make sense; in this case I would base my decision on which school you liked more, unless you foresee a big (like more than 50K) difference in debt at the two schools.

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lawisizzlin
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby lawisizzlin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:04 am

Hi everyone, thanks for the replies! This is great. I'd say I'm more likely to work for gov't than a firm, but that could change in three years. If I don't live in DC I'd be drawn to NY or SF. Detljgh - good point on the elections. I did send Georgetown a nice email about Michigan's offer, and I got a note back saying they will be sure to consider it, but I'm not expecting anything, especially as they already offered me the 30k and we are so close to 4/1. Really I was surprised (and delighted) with the offer I got.

Non-lawyer, thank you for being candid! Refreshing to hear from someone outside of the admissions game. I'm really hesitating to make this decision purely based on money, but it's true that this debt is going to be with me for a while. I have just under $15k left from undergrad so minimizing the additional debt sounds great.

What do people like about Michigan? What is the city like? I visited DC for the early admit weekend and loved it, but I've never been to Michigan. Unfortunately I have a huge deadline at work April 1 and can't sneak off to Michigan to see if I love it in person.

detljgh
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby detljgh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:21 am

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Last edited by detljgh on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

misu427
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby misu427 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:27 am

i attended the University of Michigan for undergrad and while obviously there's a different feel and atmosphere and experience as an undergrad than a law student, i can attest to what an incredible place Ann Arbor is.

it might seem obvious, but the profile on TLS does a pretty good job capturing and putting in words the atmosphere on campus. Ann Arbor is very self-contained, it's close enough and accessible to many different cities and interesting places, but most people tend to stay close to campus. There really is something for everyone in terms of attractions and activities, and the one thing that has always stood out to me is an incredible sense of school spirit. Those who attend the University of Michigan LOVE being Wolverines and tend to bleed maize and blue regardless of whether or not you're a sports fan.

This kind of pride really helps in building community, being a wolverine acts as common ground for most people. There is incredible diversity in Ann Arbor, which might be expected in a city like D.C., and it's such a pleasant surprise being able to find events, places, people that are for everyone in a smaller, walkable, place.

I loved it there, and even in four years as an undergrad I can definitely say I didn't get to experience nearly half of everything Ann Arbor has to offer. It's a great place for those out-of-class opportunities, but also a great place because of the level of investment students have in their school and the community.

...I feel like I'm echoing detljgh, but I absolutely agree.

(also, about the alumni, once I was in Quito, Ecuador at a restaurant wearing a Michigan sweatshirt and some middle-aged businessman on a business trip paid for my meal because he was a Michigan grad too! people pass me on the street and if I have any type of Michigan gear anywhere they'll give me a little, "Go Blue!!" and it makes my day. :) )

detljgh
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby detljgh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:20 pm

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Last edited by detljgh on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

yeff
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby yeff » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:41 pm

How committed are you to finding a job at a nonprofit or government agency, versus private practice?

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lawisizzlin
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby lawisizzlin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:29 pm

Generally I am committed, which makes Georgetown's LRAP very attractive - and makes the difference in cost less compelling. That said, debt stinks, period.

Practical issues - do I need a car in Ann Arbor? I was planning to leave my car at home in CA if I went to DC (it's an older convertible and not sure how it would hold up through the Michigan winters.) Do people generally live on campus? I'm learning more about the QOL at Michigan and it seems awesome. That's a huge plus. On top of the smart students, I'm seriously considering it. I can always go to DC or NY for the summer. Right?

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flyingpanda
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby flyingpanda » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Interminable_Waiting wrote:Despite the terrible reputation G-Town has on TLS, when you look at student quality and job placement among just full-time students at G-Town, it is very similar to the rest of the 7 through 13 schools.


I've seen people floating this around in the last couple days... does anyone actually have the data for just full time students, or is everyone just assuming that the % big law placement is mainly weighted into the full time students?


TLS wisdom would be to pick Michigan, you should at least visit and give it a try.
Last edited by flyingpanda on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rolark
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby rolark » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:08 pm

As someone who will likely be heading to Michigan, I just wanted to say that, based upon your interests, I'd love to have you in the class! I think there is definitely a community that would support your direction at Michigan.

Have you looked at some of Michigan's programs? It seems like you'd be a good fit for the Geneva externship program, where you spend a semester working with an NGO. Also, though I know Georgetown likely has a good policy school of its own, the Ford School at Michigan is great. I hope to take a class or two there myself.

The biggest thing I think appeals to me about Michigan is the community. I feel as though a school with a strong sense of community like Michigan is much more likely to offer me support if I want to start something new, work directly with a professor, etc. It might not be in D.C., but with their clinics, that externship program, and free summers, I really don't feel as though you'd miss out on much!

Anyway, good luck with your decision!

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lawisizzlin
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Re: Michigan (45k) vs. Georgetown (30k) --> ??

Postby lawisizzlin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:37 pm

Ok guys, thanks for all your insights and advice ... I just got back from lunch to find an increased scholarship offer from GULC in my inbox!!! Miracles can happen ... so that pretty much seals the deal for me. COL is still higher in DC, but I think it's a better fit for my interests and I've been dreaming of DC for months.

Best of luck to everyone else out there, and three cheers for Michigan - now I know how many friends and fans they have. :)




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