Michigan State Law Class of 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
khill
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby khill » Thu May 07, 2009 4:22 pm

menlow wrote:
khill wrote:Well I'm 99% sure I'm going to MSU in the fall. I'm going to visit the campus the end of this week to check out the building and all that before paying the deposit.

We should meet up and have a drink before the semester starts and get to know each other a little.


a/s/l?

:D



lol...you know what I meant.

fordtheriver
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby fordtheriver » Thu May 07, 2009 4:32 pm

Sorry to sound like an idiot but it seems most people agree that Cedar Village is not a great place to live. Do the other complexes like Water's Edge, etc. fall into the same "drunk undergrad" scene? Is there anything decent and walkable or should I go with something on the bus route? Is the bus convenient/ reliable (I wouldn't want to switch buses). I'm from out of state so I'm really new to the housing scene. Is it fairly easy to get a lease anytime over the summer or are most places already taken? Thanks so much guys and I'm definitely down for a meet up in August!

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msumike75
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby msumike75 » Thu May 07, 2009 8:37 pm

fordtheriver wrote:Sorry to sound like an idiot but it seems most people agree that Cedar Village is not a great place to live. Do the other complexes like Water's Edge, etc. fall into the same "drunk undergrad" scene? Is there anything decent and walkable or should I go with something on the bus route? Is the bus convenient/ reliable (I wouldn't want to switch buses). I'm from out of state so I'm really new to the housing scene. Is it fairly easy to get a lease anytime over the summer or are most places already taken? Thanks so much guys and I'm definitely down for a meet up in August!

Yes, pretty much all of the apartments near campus are going to be loud and obnoxious, including waters edge. Pick something on the Bus Route, or live farther away and get a commuter lot pass and park. If you live in the Chandler apartments the buses come pretty frequently. If you live south of Complex, say at Dover's crossing they come every 35 minutes (and it is a longer trip).

glowsticks
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby glowsticks » Thu May 07, 2009 8:54 pm

i might be going, guys...

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jne381
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby jne381 » Fri May 08, 2009 9:32 am

I am currently debating living in Grand Rapids for free and commuting to Lansing.

It is a tough choice, as it will certainly save me a considerable amount of money (even with all the gas I will use), but the hour drive there and an hour back is an annoyance.

khill
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby khill » Fri May 08, 2009 10:24 am

I'm going to be doing the same thing, commuting from Fenton which is an hour east. It's really not that bad, I commute and hour to Ann Arbor now for work, and I did it for my undergrad too.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby Go State » Thu May 14, 2009 2:03 am

tbullet7 wrote:They're on the rise.


MSU is NOT "on the rise," but on the fall (maybe even to a tier 4 next year). Career services suggested trying to get into contact with employers that are going to university of michigan if you want a job at a bigger firm (maybe any job for many people) and below is an article written by a professor here that recommended MSU grads take non-law jobs when they graduate or just lie on the survey to try to move us up a few ranks. He also mentions, based on his calculation (using the US news formula) the school has dropped to around the bottom half of the third tier.

Our U.S. News & World Report Ranking
and the Simple Thing You (Yeah, You!) Can Do to Help It
Foolish though they may be, the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings affect you.
People rely on them, even if they shouldn't. A higher ranking makes it easier for MSU to recruit
talented students and faculty, and easier for MSU graduates to get good jobs. Like it or not, the
value of your degree is linked to our ranking.
You might not appreciate, however, the extent to which the converse is true: you can affect our
ranking. It is crucial that you understand the tremendous good—or damage—you can do to the
school, and to the value of your degree, through a couple of simple decisions.
Before I get to how you can help, I'll give some background on our ranking this year.
U.S. News places the country's 184 fully accredited law schools into three groups: the Top 100,
Tier 3, and Tier 4. Every year, using the limited data that U.S. News releases, I reverse-engineer
the rankings as best I can.1 While U.S. News does not rank schools within Tiers 3 and 4, I can
estimate where in the tier we are. This year, we ranked near the middle of Tier 3—a twelvenotch
drop from last year, when we were near the top of Tier 3.

What pulled us down? Nothing that we did—it was that U.S. News changed its formula.
Previously, U.S. News only counted full-time students when it looked at the 1L class's median
LSAT and GPA. This year, for the first time, they included part-timers too. This lowered our
medians, as it did for every other school in the country with a significant part-time program. Our
performance in the other categories was steady, with no significant net change.2
Now, what's this about how you (yeah, you!) can make a big difference? Two things,
relating to U.S. News's indefensibly foolish "employed 9 months after graduation" number.
First, U.S. News counts you as "employed" nine months after graduation regardless of what sort
of job you have. If you have a law job, a non-law job, the same job you had while attending law
school part-time, you count as employed. You also count as employed if you are pursuing
another degree.
Every year, unfortunately, some of our graduates are unemployed nine months after graduation,
despite their efforts to find a job. Historically, some of these people reject non-law jobs, and hold
out for law-related ones. Obviously, it can be very hard for people to settle—even temporarily—
1 U.S. News publishes the data for 65.5% of the total ranking (reputation, employment, selectivity,
student:faculty ratio, and bar-passage rates). They provide other data from which I can estimate another 22.5%
(median LSAT and undergraduate GPA of the entering class). I ignore the remaining 12% (resources), for which
U.S. News publishes nothing. In a few months, I can get ABA numbers that will fill in most of these gaps. In the
meantime, though, on the basis of some data that U.S. News accidentally leaked last year, I can confirm that my
model is accurate enough to justify my conclusions. Anyone who is interested in going over the data or my
methodology in more detail should feel free to drop by my office.
2 The formula change had a similar effect on many other schools with part-time programs. Some random
examples: George Washington dropped from #20 to #28; Indiana–Indianapolis went from #68 to #87; Stetson
dropped out of the top 100 and into the third tier.
for non-law jobs after they have worked so hard to earn a degree. But you should know that
every person who makes that decision hurts our ranking. A lot. The U.S. News math means that,
on average at the margins, each such person drops us more than one whole notch in the
rankings. At the very least, to the extent that you have any choice in the matter, please consider
the full cost of your decisions after you graduate and that nine-month mark is rolling around.
Second, U.S. News assumes that 75% of the students listed as "unknown" are unemployed.
Every year, there are schools who jump way up or fall way down because of this. Three years
ago, for instance, we reported a low employment number for the 2004 class that kicked us into
the fourth tier. Wayne State reported a similarly devastating number two years ago. But
typically, these low numbers don't come from graduates who can't find work—they come from
schools who can't find graduates.
For whatever reason, many graduates don't maintain contact with us. Others don't respond when
we finally do track them down. As a result, our ranking suffers: on average at the margins, each
such person drops us roughly one notch in the rankings.
Under Dean Spoon's leadership, the Career Services Office has done a superb job of minimizing
our "unknown" number. Mathematically, our movement out of the fourth tier can be attributed
almost entirely to this effort. But that success comes with a cost—a tremendous expenditure of
resources and energy that diverts the Office from its core function of helping you get a good job.
So when you graduate and the Career Services Office inquires about your employment status,
please respond promptly, even if your job is not law related. Please also encourage your
classmates to respond, or do it for them and tell us what your missing classmates are up to.
I'd like to conclude by explaining why the employment numbers have such a big impact. The
main reason is that U.S. News uses normalized scores for each category. This means that, in
categories where the numbers are tightly packed, a little movement can go a long way.
The employment numbers are very, very tightly packed (the average employment rate in this
year's rankings was 94.6%). With little room for variation, tiny movements in our employment
numbers have a much bigger impact on our ranking than movement in any other category.
Consider it this way. The following tweaks would have a roughly equal effect on our ranking—a
few notches:
Raising our peer or practitioner reputation score (scale of 1-5) by 0.2.
Raising our median undergraduate GPA by 0.1.
Raising our median LSAT by 2 points.
Raising our "employment at nine months" number by 1.7%.
Reputation scores are hard to budge by 0.2; every single school tries every year to improve its
reputation score, but this year only two schools jumped by 0.2 or more. It is also difficult in the
short term to boost our median GPAs by 0.1, or LSATs by 2. Here too, we try to maximize these
numbers anyway, but it is challenging to move them by very much in a short time, not least
because we are at the mercy of many factors outside of our control.
By contrast, moving our employment number by 1.7% is easy. It could happen as a direct
result of individual decisions made by four or five graduates: to take a non-law job while
looking for a permanent law position, or just to let the Career Office know that they are
working. Moving us up a few notches—or keeping us from dropping a few notches—is in your
hands.
Let's make our numbers even better, and let's keep them up there. The rankings system is idiotic.
Please do your part to keep it from being any more idiotic, and harmful to you and your
classmates, than it has to be.

So MSU was 108, 12 spot drop = 120, doesn't look like they will be hitting top 100 anytime soon. But for what its worth MSU is not a very competitive school and if you can get a free ride or close to it, and have no intention of leaving Michigan, then it would be worth it. But if you have not been to Michigan before I would recommend living out in E Lansing for a couple months because it is really shitty out here (i.e. there is no money here and everything is broke ass), which is why I no longer want to stay in Michigan when I graduate, and also why I am looking at transferring.

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crystalhawkeye
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby crystalhawkeye » Thu May 14, 2009 6:11 pm

Hmm, Go State, indeed...

AverageGuy
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby AverageGuy » Thu May 14, 2009 10:31 pm

This is a joke, right? So....

(a) select MSU (presumably because didn't get into a better school or get enough money from a better school),
(b) spend a lot of time and effort to get an education,
(c) post an article as proof that the school sucks (as opposed to seeing it as an analysis of the ratings system),
(d) plan to transfer with that poor 4th tier education to a better school,
(e) got nothing out of being at a Big 10 school, since it's in crappy East Lansing (the economy in the rest of the country is incredibly better for students coming out of 3T and 4T schools), and
(f) posts all this wisdom on the MS Law Class of 2012 thread

Man, I hope you get your wish and get to transfer.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby Go State » Fri May 15, 2009 8:16 am

AverageGuy wrote:This is a joke, right? So....

(a) select MSU (presumably because didn't get into a better school or get enough money from a better school),


This is true, MSU gave me more money then other schools. But I didn't realize how crappy everything out here in Michigan (the state in general) was before coming here. Hence, my advice of coming out here for a couple months before deciding to go to school here because your options are limited to just employment in Michigan at MSU.

AverageGuy wrote: (b) spend a lot of time and effort to get an education,
(c) post an article as proof that the school sucks (as opposed to seeing it as an analysis of the ratings system),


You are putting words in my mouth now. I didn't say the school sucks. In fact, I love the school itself. The people here are great, the campus is awesome, and I'm a football nut so big 10 football is the shit. Also based on reading how much people study at other schools on this forum it seems that MSU is truly a ton less competitive than many other schools. There are basically 3 people here that study the 45+ hours a week that people on here claim to do and those are the international students (and that is understandable because they have a lot more to lose). BUT what I am saying is make sure that you are okay with living in a extremely poor community with a sky high crime rate (with a ton of murders and rapes/sexual assaults) after graduation-- and I am not just talking about E lansing/Lansing... Detroit and the surrounding cities aren't exactly friendly places to live. The roads here are also the worst i've driven on anywhere. I swear you need a fucking army hummer to drive around here, which really makes me mad because I can't take my Z out here in this really nice weather.

AverageGuy wrote:
(d) plan to transfer with that poor 4th tier education to a better school,
(e) got nothing out of being at a Big 10 school, since it's in crappy East Lansing (the economy in the rest of the country is incredibly better for students coming out of 3T and 4T schools), and


First, it's not just "crappy East Lansing", but "crappy" the entire state of Michigan (well the lower peninsula, the UP is nice but there isn't enough people to work there). And guess what, your options for employment are limited to Michigan at MSU (see the employer page on the website).

Second, keep in mind yeah MSU is a Big 10 school but the college of law see's nothing $1.3 billion endowment because it is private and the state refused to fund it. One of the key advantages of a Big 10 school is the financial resources and the college of law gets none of this (it merely gets to use the name). Presumably this is the key distinction between Penn State law and MSU-- i.e. Penn State moved up the ranks quickly because it got state funding and a piece of Penn State's endowment, while MSU doesn't get anything besides tuition (which a large portion of it goes to paying MSU for the building they are paying off).

AverageGuy wrote:
(f) posts all this wisdom on the MS Law Class of 2012 thread


There seems to be a lot of this MSU is "on the rise" nonsense going around on the internet. My main point here is that it not "on the rise." But who knows, if enough people buy that shit then maybe it will rise (I guess its like the market, it does what people speculate it will do).

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msumike75
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby msumike75 » Sat May 16, 2009 9:01 pm

Go State wrote:
First, it's not just "crappy East Lansing", but "crappy" the entire state of Michigan (well the lower peninsula, the UP is nice but there isn't enough people to work there). And guess what, your options for employment are limited to Michigan at MSU (see the employer page on the website).

.

There are a number of great things to do in Michigan. The golf is great and inexpensive compared to other states. There are some great campgrounds and Lake Michigan in the summer is absolutely tremendous. Got to Charlevoix, Traverse City, Luddington, Grand Haven and have fun. The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes are quite impressive.

fordtheriver
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby fordtheriver » Mon May 18, 2009 12:35 pm

I'm having a hard time finding an apartment that allows dogs. Any suggestions?

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crystalhawkeye
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby crystalhawkeye » Tue May 19, 2009 5:55 pm

msumike75 wrote:
Go State wrote:
First, it's not just "crappy East Lansing", but "crappy" the entire state of Michigan (well the lower peninsula, the UP is nice but there isn't enough people to work there). And guess what, your options for employment are limited to Michigan at MSU (see the employer page on the website).

.

There are a number of great things to do in Michigan. The golf is great and inexpensive compared to other states. There are some great campgrounds and Lake Michigan in the summer is absolutely tremendous. Got to Charlevoix, Traverse City, Luddington, Grand Haven and have fun. The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes are quite impressive.

If Flint and Metro Detroit just disappeared off of the face of the earth, no one would miss them and Michigan would be a great state.

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jne381
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby jne381 » Tue May 19, 2009 7:30 pm

crystalhawkeye wrote:If Flint and Metro Detroit just disappeared off of the face of the earth, no one would miss them and Michigan would be a great state.


This is the credited response.

I have two plans. One is take the Michigan National Guard and rebuild Detroit like Iraq. Or, the state buys up complete neighborhoods of Detroit, since the average house costs $7,500, renovate all the houses, and move artists musicians and gay people into them for free as long as they pledge to live there for ten years. If you do that to enough places, it is bound to turn the city around.

scelestus
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby scelestus » Wed May 20, 2009 9:40 pm

This is my first post on TLS. Anyway, I just graduated from MSU Law and I'll answer any questions you want to ask (including those regarding scholarships, stats, competition, professors, and debt).

Edit: I graduated in December, not last week.

lawgirl087
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby lawgirl087 » Thu May 21, 2009 12:27 am

I have a few questions for the recent MSU grad! First, did you have a job (in the legal field!) when you graduated? If so, do you think your MSU degree helped or hurt you in any way? And do you know how your classmates did/are doing? And finally, if you have any thoughts/experience with this, how impossible is it to work in Chicago after MSU? Basically, what advice would you have for anyone considering going there? Would love to hear your thoughts!!! Thanks!

scelestus
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby scelestus » Fri May 22, 2009 10:11 am

I hope this post doesn't ramble too much...

I did not have a job at graduation. I was planning on getting another degree but changed my mind. I decided not to pursue the degree at the end of March and began looking for a job in an unfamiliar state. I passed the February bar, but I have yet to land a solid legal job (I took a job in a store and I work a few hours a week doing general office work for a solo practitioner). I don't know if the current job market will affect you in 2012, but right now things are bad.

Still, I think the MSU degree helped a bit. While it's not the law school's reputation per se that does the trick, MSU as an institution in itself is very well-respected. Right now, though, even Ivy Leaguers are having trouble.

To be very frank, I will gladly give you a ton of information about the school; I think it's a great school. But if I were any of you, I would be cautious about asking job-market questions. Not because people like me get angry, but instead because it's looking grim everywhere. You might get responses like "shut every school outside of the top 25 down" or "don't bother going." While those might be appropriate sentiments sometime in the future, I do not believe that they are at this point in time. Hopefully the legal market will survive this recession so we can all find work.

For what it's worth, some of my classmates had jobs at graduation. I graduated a semester early in December among 30 or so people, while a few hundred of my true classmates graduated last week. I don't know how many of them have jobs lined up, but those that do likely are staying in Michigan. Those of us (like myself) who moved out-of-state are having a tougher time. I don't think that MSU is necessarily a regional school, though it may seem that way. The real way to land jobs seems to be through careful networking, and students remaining in Michigan are simply that much more entwined in a network.

EDIT: About Chicago: great city. Tons of MSU grads. Tons of everyschool grads. Chicago is saturated. You will find fellow Spartans there in droves, but as of a few years ago work has been getting hard to find. Remember, you'll also be competing with a bunch of Chicago-area law schools. UI, NW, UChicago, DePaul, Kent, NIU, Notre Dame, etc.

lawgirl087
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby lawgirl087 » Fri May 22, 2009 5:30 pm

thanks so much for the info and best of luck to you!

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singularity
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby singularity » Fri May 22, 2009 5:44 pm

What can you say about the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute?

Is it worth while? Does any one outside of MSU care about it? How competitive is it to get in (looks like only 10% get to participate)? What are the students impression of it?

scelestus
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby scelestus » Sat May 23, 2009 1:52 am

Thanks for the good wishes. I'll be happy to answer anything else if you want, especially when you start getting information about your class section and the whole law school process.

If you want to litigate, the TPI is pretty good. You spend a lot of time actually doing the paperwork that lawyers do. It does take up a lot of your time. As far as selectivity, it's more a personality-based thing than one would expect. TPI seems to look at stats, but interviews each potential candidate. They gave me the impression that they consider the facets of a person for the purpose of "building a cohesive community" or something like that within the program. A lot of my friends were TPI students and seemed to enjoy being part of the program very much, though I myself did not participate.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby Go State » Tue May 26, 2009 11:06 pm

February 2009 bar exam passage at MSU:

FIRST-TIME Bar Exam Takers Breakdown (Statewide: 85%)
Michigan State University: 76%
Ave Maria: 100%
Cooley: 86%
U of D Mercy: 90%
U of M: 100%
Wayne: 78%
University of Toledo: 100%
Out of State Law Schools: 84%

ALL Exam Takers Breakdown (Statewide: 71%)
Michigan State University: 65%
Ave Maria: 50%
Cooley: 75%
U of D Mercy: 63%
U of M: 100%
Wayne: 70%
University of Toledo: 100%
Out of State Law Schools: 64%

Hmm... getting smoked by Cooley graduates can't be good for rankings. Tier 4 here MSU comes :lol:.

scelestus
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby scelestus » Fri May 29, 2009 12:32 am

Go State, where did you get those stats? They used to post them by the Career Services office at MSU, but I left after taking the bar. The school sure isn't putting them up on their website!

If that's from MSU, do you have any info about out-of-state exams taken by MSU Law grads?

realworldescapee
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby realworldescapee » Fri May 29, 2009 12:59 am

.
Last edited by realworldescapee on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby Go State » Sat May 30, 2009 1:53 am

scelestus wrote:Go State, where did you get those stats? They used to post them by the Career Services office at MSU, but I left after taking the bar. The school sure isn't putting them up on their website!

If that's from MSU, do you have any info about out-of-state exams taken by MSU Law grads?


Dean Howarth or Alsup emails them out after every bar exam. Not sure if they are on the website. They did put them on the website the year we hit 93% on the bar exam, not sure about last year forward though.

scelestus
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Re: Michigan State Law Class of 2012

Postby scelestus » Sat May 30, 2009 11:03 pm

I guess I'm not getting those emails anymore. Huh.




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