Michigan 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:53 pm

Sorry I didn't get to meet some of the TLSers at UM. Or maybe I did? I was at the game night from 8-10. Dark gray button down and blue jeans. Played pool for a little while and then had an awesome (and intense) foosball game with 3 current students.

I had a lot of fun. It was a fantastic weekend. Dean Z is awesome. The campus is gorgeous. I wasn't as thrilled with the mock class as some here seem to have been - I actually wanted it to be run like a real class. He tended to talk about what he would do instead of showing us. There were a lot of avenues that were left unexplored that could have made for an even more interesting class. He was still awesome though.

I'm not going to do a full writeup right now because I have to pack up and watch the tournie.

But...

+Faculty was outstanding. Both brilliant and friendly

+Dean Z was fantastic

+Students seemed happy to be here

+Law quad is gorgeous

+A2 is a nice little town; lots to do even though it may not seem like much at first

+Connected with a solid group of people fairly quickly.

+The woman "manning" the Native American Law Students Table was hot.

+The BLSA was absolutely fantastic from the moment I arrived at UMich until the end. Great group of people.

+I much prefer UMich's clinical offerings to the other school I'm considering.



-The whole thing could have been organized a little better

-The alumni who was so nervous she sounded like she was ready to cry throughout her entire talk made me (and my table for that matter) kind of awkwardly uncomfortable

-I met quite a few douchebags, particularly at game night. People who insisted on talking about the law to us 0Ls and, when subtly hinted at to shut up, came back with "Well, that's all I really care to talk about."

-The tone, particularly from Dean Caminker, came across as very defensive and unnecessarily comparative. Rather than attempting to sell UMich on its own merits, he took lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) jabs at other schools. Kind of turned me off. He also came off as arrogant.

-It felt really high school. I don't know if this is ultimately a big thing or not, but this whole feeling got started when one of the student panel members was explaining how "yeah, there's your jocks, your nerds, your partiers, [etc]." I'm sure it's this way at other schools, but it almost seemed celebrated at UMich.

-The campus felt like it never ended. Even when you aren't technically on campus you're surrounded by students. It felt kind of smothering. I guess I'm a bit burnt out of that after spending 4 years at an undergrad with 40,000 people.

-I met a LOT more people here who had taken time off before school than I did at the other ASW I attended. I felt very out-of-place in that sense. Not one of the group of people I hung out with throughout the weekend was going straight through, and I can probably count on one hand the people I met who were.


I know I have quite a few negatives on there, and some of those were likely my fault (less patient, perhaps, since this is the 2nd of back to back school visits...and these things are draining), but most of them are minor in the grand scheme of things.

I won't be making any decisions for a couple of weeks. I need to remove myself from the process for awhile and let it all sink in.

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby dresden doll » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:00 pm

^The thing that stands out the most to me in that write up, Objection, is the fact that you seemed to think law students were genuinely happy to be there. All negatives aside, this is a really important piece of info for me. Satisfied students are the school's best selling point, imo.

Thanks for sharing your impressions. I hope more people will hop on board to do the same in the next few hours/days.

granitemuse
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby granitemuse » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:04 pm

Objection wrote:+Faculty was outstanding. Both brilliant and friendly

+Dean Z was fantastic

+Students seemed happy to be here

+Law quad is gorgeous

+A2 is a nice little town; lots to do even though it may not seem like much at first

+Connected with a solid group of people fairly quickly.


+1.

I absolutely loved the weekend. I think it solidly made my decision for me.

unhappy
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby unhappy » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:04 pm

dresden doll wrote:^The thing that stands out the most to me in that write up, Objection, is the fact that you seemed to think law students were genuinely happy to be there. All negatives aside, this is a really important piece of info for me. Satisfied students are the school's best selling point, imo.

Thanks for sharing your impressions. I hope more people will hop on board to do the same in the next few hours/days.


FWIW, not everyone is happy at Michigan. I would hardly say that satisfied students are the school's best selling point either. I think people come here cause it's a solid school that is well known. For many, it's the best they get into, for others they're swayed by money. Truth be told, a lot of people are unhappy and Ann Arbor is awful. But to be fair, there are probably just as many people who love it. My point is that there are two sides to the story. If i could transfer, i would.

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:08 pm

dresden doll wrote:^The thing that stands out the most to me in that write up, Objection, is the fact that you seemed to think law students were genuinely happy to be there. All negatives aside, this is a really important piece of info for me. Satisfied students are the school's best selling point, imo.

Thanks for sharing your impressions. I hope more people will hop on board to do the same in the next few hours/days.


I will qualify this somewhat: I did meet a couple of people who "hated" it, but I think they hated law school in general - not UMich.

Every student I met I would ask, "What, besides the weather, do you like least about Michigan?" Most people struggled to answer. It was very telling. On the flip-side, almost every student I met was volunteering to be there, so I wouldn't expect them to trash the school.

hdg315
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby hdg315 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:00 pm

Just got back from the weekend, and I was thoroughly impressed. Here were my pros and cons, fwiw:

Pros:

-The single biggest plus for me were the people- from faculty, to administration, to current students, and even to the prospective students (for the most part). More than any other visit/asw I've done, everyone seemed generally down to earth. Intelligent people that didn't take themselves too seriously. The faculty really treat you like peers, and they seem to get along with each other really well (e.g. poking fun at each other a lot). And it was a great point that being in a town like Ann Arbor encourages faculty to hang around the school a whole lot more than if they were in a big city.

-Ann Arbor- I had never been, and it was much bigger and more vibrant than I had imagined. Not really a city, but I could see myself there for three years.

-Mock class/class visit: These were both some of my favorite events of the entire weekend. I disagree with the poster before- I was perfectly happy with how the mock class was run. There was no way they could run it like a real class when they gave us the case info the night before, and I think it was more helpful to observe the real thing in action at the class visit. Professor Sherman was freaking amazing- I know they videotaped that talk, and I hope they put it up somewhere, because it was probably my favorite hour of the entire weekend.

-The fact that undergrads apparently freak out and are in awe when they find out you're a law student (my tour guide had been an undergrad at UM, and he equated it to seeing a unicorn). Btw, I know this is a stupid and egotistical one, but hey, it's kind of cool

-Law Quad- everyone knows how beautiful this is by the pictures, but it really is different seeing it in person. Personally, I was a bit intimidated by the pictures, but up close it is smaller than it seems and a whole lot more cozy. I knew the lawyers club and the classrooms were close, but I didn't realize that they are literally a 10 second walk from each other.

-Library-awesome, minus the green floors; Reading room- not as big as I thought it would be, which was actually a good thing for me

-Ann Arbor seems very safe, at least for where I'm coming from- it was great to walk back to the hotel late at night without too much worry

-Admissions people did not come off as braggy, but genuinely trying to help you make a decision

-Many people are very interested in government/public interest. Even the corporate people seem to do pro bono on the side. But, at the same time, current students/alumni were not demonizing biglaw.

Cons:

-classrooms themselves aren't blow-you-away impressive, facilities wise, and one was particularly run down (apparently will be renovated soon). But, I think they all had personality

-did not like the taste of the water in AA

-a lot of the bar scene near the law school seems to be infiltrated by undergrads

-smoking in restaurants/bars in michigan. I did not know they allowed this, and it's definitely a turn off

-I thought most everything admissions people said was genuine, except for the several times they brought up their vault and princeton review rankings


Other (mainly in response to some of the previous posts):

-I thought the weekend was very well structured, but without holding our hands (I felt perfectly comfortable walking back to my hotel room in the middle of the day for a nap)

-Dean Caminker's "defensive" tone- I think this may be rooted in a bit of truth, but it's exaggerated. And the "worst" of it was in response to a very rude question that was asked, in my opinion

-While I met many people a few years out, I met plenty that were straight from undergrad, as I am

-DEAN Z IS AMAZING- just wanted to emphasize this again

Obviously, I just got back, I've been drinking the Kool-aid, but these are my honest current thoughts. I was fairly heavily leaning towards a slightly higher ranked school before this, but my thoughts have definitely changed. And sorry for this long-ass post...

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:18 pm

I just wanted to make a few more comments, partially because I just thought of them and partially in response to hdg (although, obviously, there is no reason for a back and forth since these are all opinions):

- The mock class could certainly have been run like a real class. The reading was a page. Furthermore, once the initial issues were fleshed out (which took all of 10 minutes), everyone, regardless of whether they had read or not, would have had some idea - at least enough to have participated in hypothetical discussions. I guess agree to disagree.

- I agree with the no hand holding thing, and I spent a lot of time doing my own thing (my "secret" hangout was the game room in the LC). But I still felt a bit like there was no coherence. It didn't really flow. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I mean. It's just one of those "feeling" things. It was also a bit repetitive at times.

- I don't recall any rude questions being asked. Try not to conflate tough with rude. I was hoping people would push a little bit. I didn't like how he reacted when they did. He also made a lot of jokes that were rooted in arrogance. Yes, I know they were jokes, but after the first 4 or 5 it's like...there must be a grain of truth in there somewhere. The most jarring of these was the remark he made to Dean Z "She had better say those things - I control how much money she'll make next year!" Yeah, a harmless joke. I'm sure Dean Z took no offense...but I didn't like it.

- One thing I liked that I didn't mention was that Michigan seemed to have lots of little nooks and crannies to escape to. I like finding an empty room, little used building, secluded hallway, etc to escape to occasionally, particularly for studying.

I don't mean to take any sort of anti-Michigan stance. I absolutely loved the weekend. I had very high expectations for Michigan and it met or exceeded most of them. Most of the negatives I listed were entirely subjective.

hdg315
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby hdg315 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Objection- you're right that this shouldn't be a back and forth, but I did also just want to respond to a few things:

Mock class- you have a good point, and I think it depends on what you were trying to get out of the class- some general philosophies about law school teaching and its purpose versus a good practical immersion into a law class

Structure- I get the flow thing, but definitely subjective. Completely agree with the repetitiveness, thought it wasn't that bad

The main thing I wanted to go into a bit more depth on was the Dean Caminker thing. I think you can look at it from a few ways- youe impressions are valid, he definitely did say some borderline arrogant things. Personally I got the feeling he was just trying to act pretty loose and not be too PC, but, in retrospect, some of those things weren't the smartest to say.

In regards to the rude question, I do think the last one was particularly rude- more than just tough. Someone basically stated that Michigan has steadily been dropping in the rankings, and asked the Dean to explain why. Whether this is true or not, the student could have gotten the same response by the Dean without asking it in that way. It easily could have been something like "I know no ranking system is perfect, but some people seem to think Michigan has been falling in the rankings over time- why do you think this is?" I thought the wording of the question was way too aggressive, almost like he/she was trying to start an argument.

Final thing, a word of advice to April ASWers: Do not ask the student panel, in front of everyone: "What other law schools did you choose Michigan over and why?" or "What is your favorite thing about Columb...er...Michigan"- two most cringeworthy moments of the weekend (asked by 2 different peeps)

EDITED: grammar

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:39 pm

"What other law schools did you choose Michigan over and why?" or "What is your favorite thing about Columb...er...Michigan"- two most cringeworthy moments of the weekend (asked by 2 different peeps)


I actually liked the first question, although it's better to ask in private.

I knew the girl who asked the 2nd question. Shared a ride with her to the hotel. She made an honest mistake. She had just come from visiting Columbia. Was quite cringe-worthy, though.

Also, re: acting loose. I really appreciated this for the most part, but there were times when they seemed like they were trying to be too hard to be "hip." The Res Gestae thing they gave us was an example of this. It was, at times, kind of like it would be if your Dad threw a party and wore 3 different colored polos with all of their collars popped.

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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby hdg315 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:43 pm

Objection wrote:I knew the girl who asked the 2nd question. Shared a ride with her to the hotel. She made an honest mistake. She had just come from visiting Columbia. Was quite cringe-worthy, though.


Granted that it was an honest mistake, but I also met her and was at the table...She couldn't talk about anything but Columbia, and essentially said she'd be going there regardless...I guess that's what pissed me off a bit about that little freudian slip

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:48 pm

hdg315 wrote:
Objection wrote:I knew the girl who asked the 2nd question. Shared a ride with her to the hotel. She made an honest mistake. She had just come from visiting Columbia. Was quite cringe-worthy, though.


Granted that it was an honest mistake, but I also met her and was at the table...She couldn't talk about anything but Columbia, and essentially said she'd be going there regardless...I guess that's what pissed me off a bit about that little freudian slip


Oh wow, if that's the case then yeah...not good. I hate people like that. Why attend if you don't have an open mind?

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:04 pm

I'm glad that you guys by and large had a good time in Ann Arbor this weekend.

I know admissions and the student volunteers really enjoy the whole preview weekend thing although talking to Liz Seger (admissions) she was pretty tuckered out by the end as well.

After visiting for preview weekend, if you decide to come here for law school, you'll probably find that you aren't surprised by how your experience will turn out. By and large what you see is what you'll get.

My approach to talking to students wasn't to really give a 'sell' but to try to say how it is. In my opinion, the school sells itself, but it's also not for everyone. If you absolutely have to be in a large metropolis or you can't stand the cold, obviously Michigan is not for you.

I have both Brensike and Clark for professors this semester and I can tell you they're fantastic ( I was called on in the class you guys visited). I will say straight up that not every professor is as fun as they are. There are lots of fantastic professors, but there are also professors that folks gripe about.

In any case, I hope you guys had a good time and found the whole thing informative!

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dresden doll
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby dresden doll » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:12 pm

Thanks to everyone (I'm looking at you, Objection, hdg, and awesome) for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us. I cannot wait to visit in April. I just had a lengthy chat with someone that might prefer M to the rest of the MBPV tier, and I cannot wait to visit Michigan myself.

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Vail67
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Vail67 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:13 pm

Objection wrote:
"The Res Gestae thing they gave us was an example of this. It was, at times, kind of like it would be if your Dad threw a party and wore 3 different colored polos with all of their collars popped.


I actually really liked that, but at the same time I'm what seemed to be the target audience (very laid-back, straight from UG). For older or more serious applicants, it could definitely be construed as off-putting.

This has been my first law school visit, so I'll briefly share some thoughts but unfortunately won't be able to compare/contrast, which is often what I find to be of the most value from other posters. I had a fabulous weekend.

Pros:

— As has been said, the people were fantastic. I spoke at length with a couple assistant deans and someone in the admissions office, and all were about as genuine and fun as can be. I say fun rather than a host of other adjectives because I expect that the faculty and staff of a top law school will be smart and enthusiastic; what I was pleasantly surprised by was how relaxed and jovial everyone was. Very important to me.

— the lawyer's club rooms were bigger than expected. one girl had this huge window looking into the law quad (obviously her room was on display so it was nice, but still) with her desk right in front of it and I was just going nuts with the image of being there myself.

— loved the real class and mock class. to be honest i think sherman's talk was perfect. it really got me more geeked up for law school in general. primus was fabulous as well. i asked students if that was a pretty standard class for her (in terms of interesting subject matter / pace / enthusiasm) and they said absolutely. my friend also said that while primus is definitely one of his favorite professors, he hasn't had a professor he hasn't liked (he's a 1L).

— a fucking BOOK signed in a professor's BLOOD was auctioned for something like $2,000.

— i have absolutely no idea how i got home last night. how well current and prospective students can get me drunk is of the utmost importance to me, and they succeeded valiantly.

there's more but i'm sort of tired of typing. basically all current students i talked with (including those who didn't volunteer) said how much they loved it, how great everyone was, how you can't go wrong w/ any of the top schools but the people just weren't the same, etc etc etc. also several admitted students said that they were undecided coming in but very heavily leaning toward it going out.

really my only main con is that one of the current students who was at my table at dinner one night was this huge dbag. he was so annoying. he just kept talking and talking and had this awful tone of voice and was so into himself. shut up dbag.

i probably would have liked to see a younger crowd, too.

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Vail67
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Vail67 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:15 pm

awesomepossum wrote: ( I was called on in the class you guys visited).


where were you sitting!?

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:21 pm

middle - middle.

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:21 pm

really my only main con is that one of the current students who was at my table at dinner one night was this huge dbag. he was so annoying. he just kept talking and talking and had this awful tone of voice and was so into himself. shut up dbag.


Ha! Do you remember his name? At least first. I met a couple people like that. PM if you'd like.

( I was called on in the class you guys visited).


What did you say/were you talking about?

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:26 pm

mine was a softball.

I essentially just had to read off 2 or 3 factors that were considered in the honor prison case to figure out if it was a necessity for the dude to run. I also just had to say that if there was a starving dude on an island, he should obviously go to the FEMA trailer rather than break into some dude's house. I wanted to say that the FEMA trailer probably had no food in it anyway, but decided not to be a smartass.

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Objection
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:30 pm

awesomepossum wrote:mine was a softball.

I essentially just had to read off 2 or 3 factors that were considered in the honor prison case to figure out if it was a necessity for the dude to run. I also just had to say that if there was a starving dude on an island, he should obviously go to the FEMA trailer rather than break into some dude's house. I wanted to say that the FEMA trailer probably had no food in it anyway, but decided not to be a smartass.


Now to talk out of my ass: I was trying to come up with answers to some of the stuff in my head (hadn't done the reading though).

When she posed the hypothetical about the homeless guy turned down for jobs who exhausted all his legal options etc and whether he should have been able to break into a house at that point...I was kind of disagreeing that he could. He could have picked through garbage, couldn't he? It's not ideal, but it's a legitimate resource that he hadn't utilized up to that point.

I will say that I found all of the topics discussed extraordinarily interesting, and if a class is that interesting on a normal day...well I'm excited about law school.

hdg315
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby hdg315 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:32 pm

Objection wrote:really my only main con is that one of the current students who was at my table at dinner one night was this huge dbag. he was so annoying. he just kept talking and talking and had this awful tone of voice and was so into himself. shut up dbag.


Ha! Do you remember his name? At least first. I met a couple people like that. PM if you'd like.


If it starts with a T...I know EXACTLY who you are talking about

hdg315
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby hdg315 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:33 pm

BTW anyone who wants, feel free to PM me with more specific ASW qstns...I'm kind of still riding the high

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:36 pm

Objection wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:mine was a softball.

I essentially just had to read off 2 or 3 factors that were considered in the honor prison case to figure out if it was a necessity for the dude to run. I also just had to say that if there was a starving dude on an island, he should obviously go to the FEMA trailer rather than break into some dude's house. I wanted to say that the FEMA trailer probably had no food in it anyway, but decided not to be a smartass.


Now to talk out of my ass: I was trying to come up with answers to some of the stuff in my head (hadn't done the reading though).

When she posed the hypothetical about the homeless guy turned down for jobs who exhausted all his legal options etc and whether he should have been able to break into a house at that point...I was kind of disagreeing that he could. He could have picked through garbage, couldn't he? It's not ideal, but it's a legitimate resource that he hadn't utilized up to that point.

I will say that I found all of the topics discussed extraordinarily interesting, and if a class is that interesting on a normal day...well I'm excited about law school.



Well I think she was trying to pose a question where there were no alternatives. Obviously the student could have just kept answering with more and more possibilities...he could move to Sweden, he could start his own farm....but usually you know the point of the question and you just try to answer it rather than being a pain. Part of it is that you recognize that there's a point that the prof is trying to make and you don't waste everybody's time by going further and further outside the box. That's not to say that there's only one answer (sometimes there is no one right answer...there are several answers which are completely opposite to each other) or that you can't be creative but you want to address the issues as much as possible.

Brensike's classes are generally very interesting. She's usually a little more ... scary to tell you the truth. We were a little scared shitless at the beginning of the semester. But as time went on we figured out what she wanted and she mellowed a tiny bit.

06072010
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby 06072010 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:36 pm

really my only main con is that one of the current students who was at my table at dinner one night was this huge dbag. he was so annoying. he just kept talking and talking and had this awful tone of voice and was so into himself. shut up dbag.


Get used to this. It's law school. They're everywhere.

i probably would have liked to see a younger crowd, too.


Weird. I wish most law students were older. We can agree that most law students should STFU most of the time, though.

06072010
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby 06072010 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:38 pm

Part of it is that you recognize that there's a point that the prof is trying to make and you don't waste everybody's time by going further and further outside the box.


This.

You will go far. Please impart this wisdom to the rest of the school. It's not about seeing what the craziest hypothetical you can come up with. It's about making sure the class knows what is pushing the doctrine.

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Jeff Mangum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Jeff Mangum » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:39 pm

It seemed that nobody used a laptop in that class to take notes--possibly the room was not equipped. Is that fairly standard?




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