Michigan Law Class of 2015

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2015)

Which ASW do you plan to attend?

March 15-17
35
34%
March 29-31
46
44%
Both
3
3%
Neither
20
19%
 
Total votes: 104

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:50 pm

kl10qm wrote:Does anyone know anything about parking costs? I will be living outside of Ann Arbor so will be having to commute every day. Is there plenty of available parking around the school?


No, there is absolutely not enough parking. You basically have three options. You can park one of the free park & rides and ride the city bus in for free (what I do). You can pay an obscene amount of money for a yellow pass and park by the stadium and ride the university bus in (just as long as city). Or, you can rent a space from someone who lives nearby and has an extra one. (Can go for $100+ a month.)

Other than that, there is metered parking near the school that is always full, costs like $2 an hour (only coins), and has a 2 or 4 hour time limit which is heavily enforced. (Think, people get tickets for moving further down the street and plugging a meter...time limit is per side of street.)

I guess you could also pay to park downtown and walk but it's fairly expensive as well. All of AA has a parking shortage.

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UnamSanctam
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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby UnamSanctam » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:35 pm

In via ASW today. I'm ED and in UG, so I'm going to have about 3 weeks to get from the middle of Michigan to AA. Really excited, will be checking in for apartment information.

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Entchen
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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby Entchen » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:00 am

sanetruth wrote:
Entchen wrote:Dean Z told us yesterday that it is still undecided whether they will offer a meal plan, so there is that if you don't want to feed yourself.

(I don't live in the Lawyer's Club and I'm very glad I get to be in charge of my own meals, but some people don't want to cook. I have heard the food there is fine, but I have never tried it myself).


Sorry if this is a stupid question, but does the lawyers club being closed mean that the dining hall is closed too? If so, what kind of meal plan would they even be offering?


I don't think they're renovating the dining hall, but I could be wrong about that. My guess would be that if they offer a meal plan at all, it would be there.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby Champion » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:34 am

Is having a car at UMich a necessity? What's everyone thoughts on that. I was planning on living on campus and not having to worry about a car, but since everyone pretty much has to live off campus, I'm re-thinking that.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:42 am

Champion wrote:Is having a car at UMich a necessity? What's everyone thoughts on that. I was planning on living on campus and not having to worry about a car, but since everyone pretty much has to live off campus, I'm re-thinking that.


It depends on where you live. If you live in Woodbury, there is a Kroger nearby and the bus/shuttle runs regularly to the school. Where I live at Harbor House, you could definitely get by without a car but it's certainly more convient to have one for grocery shopping, etc. Most people that live downtown downtown do not have a car or have a beater they drive irregularly.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:27 am

What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:36 am

JoeMo wrote:What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.


Without a roommate? Saline or Ypsilanti. Probably still ghetto though compared to most places.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:49 am

blowhard wrote:
JoeMo wrote:What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.


Without a roommate? Saline or Ypsilanti. Probably still ghetto though compared to most places.


I found two houses yesterday, one in Saline and one ine Ypsilanti, and they appeared to be nice homes in nice areas. Are the photos misleading (i.e. both cities are pretty much run down areas), or are there nice areas in each?

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:55 am

blowhard wrote:
JoeMo wrote:What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.


Without a roommate? Saline or Ypsilanti. Probably still ghetto though compared to most places.


Yeah, I'm married so roommates are really not an option but living on one income is going to be tough enough. I'm okay with paying $1000 but just not for a run down apartment, which is what those look like.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:55 am

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
blowhard wrote:
JoeMo wrote:What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.


Without a roommate? Saline or Ypsilanti. Probably still ghetto though compared to most places.


I found two houses yesterday, one in Saline and one ine Ypsilanti, and they appeared to be nice homes in nice areas. Are the photos misleading (i.e. both cities are pretty much run down areas), or are there nice areas in each?


Eh, there are reasonably nice pockets. Michigan has terrible zoning. Ypsi in particular, you could have a $300K next to a junkyard. In general, Ypsi is pretty sketchy and I personally wouldn't live there...except maybe right outside AA but then they are basically AA priced anyhow. Saline/Chelsea are cheaper but more rural. Chelsea in particular has a small main st, etc but is pretty rural.

You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:55 am

Of course, I could be mistaken and they could be absolutely glorious on the inside.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:59 am

JoeMo wrote:
blowhard wrote:
JoeMo wrote:What is the closest to A2 that you can live where you don't have to pay $1000/month for a crappy apartment?

That site where the buildings the school has set aside are listed is not very promising if that's what all of the housing in A2 looks like.


Without a roommate? Saline or Ypsilanti. Probably still ghetto though compared to most places.


Yeah, I'm married so roommates are really not an option but living on one income is going to be tough enough. I'm okay with paying $1000 but just not for a run down apartment, which is what those look like.


Few apartments/houses in AA or surrounding have been truly modernized. Downtown in particular finding a dishwasher can be tough. If they have been modernized, they are going to be over $1,000. I know of people paying $1,600 a month for an updated studio downtown. There are some places that are much nicer, but they are 3-4+ bedroom houses that for way more than $1,000. I pay $1,200 for a 2-bedroom a few miles south but a 1-bedroom is only like $90 cheaper in my complex. My apt is decent, but the kitchen is from the 80s, laminate countertops, and the dishwasher door catches on the oven handle due to poor design of the layout. We have a brand new gym, pool, etc. (I live in Harbor House, Woodbury/Woodland Mews are similar.) The carpet, etc is all new and overall I'm happy with it. However, it doesn't compare to newer apts I've lived in elsewhere. You just don't have a cohort of younger people making sufficient money to afford nicer apts...so the owners don't put the money in to make them really nice.

People who rent houses that I know have similar issues. The problem is they are all old victorians, generally rented by students, etc. They have character and can be quite nice to live in. But they all seem to be run down in one way or another. Drafty (high utility costs), old kitchens, no A/C, etc. Almost all rentals in AA are students or younger professionals. People that would generally demand such places live elsewhere because of the CoL or own. A roommate in a slightly updated house with a spouse could easily be doable. There are lots of 3-4 bedroom victorians, etc. If you want to live alone, you're going to have to pony up a little.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:10 pm

Blowhard: Since you are already there, which area(s) would you suggest for one to look for a home that is in a nice area and within a 30 minute commute? Say less than $2000/month.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Blowhard: Since you are already there, which area(s) would you suggest for one to look for a home that is in a nice area and within a 30 minute commute? Say less than $2000/month.


The problem is, with traffic at rush hour 30 minutes will limit you to basically AA. It takes me 30+ minutes until I wait for the bus, get to car, drive home, etc and I live 3 miles away. Even taking out waiting for the bus you're looking at 20-25 minutes. Every now and then it takes 45-60 minutes if traffic is particularly bad. And, I commute to a bus line that runs every 9-12 minutes. If going from my door, that bus only runs every 30 minutes and sometimes it's hard to time. If I miss, it adds an automatic 30-35 minutes.

If you're willing to go 15-20+ minutes further, I'd look at Chelsea, Saline, or places North of town. (Chelsea in particular is cute if you don't mind a bit more rural. It has it's own little downtown and is about 6 miles away once you make it to the highway...maybe 45 minutes to downtown but you'd have to figure out where to park and transition to buses.) I'd avoid Ypsi unless you can find something just inside of it but basically AA (like Ellsworth near Carpenter). But, you're going to be missing out some. You will be too far to go downtown for entertainment, the whole drinking and getting home problem, etc. Not to mention, random trips in to grab a book or meet someone outside of your normal schedule.

For $2,000 you could probably get a decent house/apt in AA. I had friends who rented a place for like $1,800 that was 3-bedrooms, hardware floors throughout, like a half-acre back yard. It was a bit of a walk to school but not terrible. That budget would put you over the floor in the market. There starts to be a huge difference once you get out of what an UG could afford with roommates.

Also, keep in mind how busy you will be. You'll barely be home most of the time to enjoy it. You'll likely never be here in the summer. And, subletting a place outside downtown is practically impossible in the summer. As the saying goes, you can live like a law student now or live like one later when you're paying off your loans. With a roommate, I pay $700 a month including utilities. I personally would never pay $2,000/month for somewhere to live during LS. Look for something that will just get you by and not cause a divorce. Your budget for housing is $72,000. If paying with student loans, add in interest...~$2,200 on the first year's budget alone. That's $50,000+ more than me even without interest. When looking at these cheaper places, ask if you'd live there if someone paid you $50K.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:34 pm

blowhard wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Blowhard: Since you are already there, which area(s) would you suggest for one to look for a home that is in a nice area and within a 30 minute commute? Say less than $2000/month.


The problem is, with traffic at rush hour 30 minutes will limit you to basically AA. It takes me 30+ minutes until I wait for the bus, get to car, drive home, etc and I live 3 miles away. Even taking out waiting for the bus you're looking at 20-25 minutes. Every now and then it takes 45-60 minutes if traffic is particularly bad.

If you're willing to go 15-20+ minutes further, I'd look at Chelsea, Saline, or places North of town. (Chelsea in particular is cute if you don't mind a bit more rural. It has it's own little downtown and is about 6 miles away once you make it to the highway...maybe 45 minutes to downtown but you'd have to figure out where to park and transition to buses.) I'd avoid Ypsi unless you can find something just inside of it but basically AA (like Ellsworth near Carpenter). But, you're going to be missing out some. You will be too far to go downtown for entertainment, the whole drinking and getting home problem, etc. Not to mention, random trips in to grab a book or meet someone outside of your normal schedule.

For $2,000 you could probably get a decent house/apt in AA. I had friends who rented a place for like $1,800 that was 3-bedrooms, hardware floors throughout, like a half-acre back yard. It was a bit of a walk to school but not terrible. That budget would put you over the floor in the market. There starts to be a huge difference once you get out of what an UG could afford with roommates.

Also, keep in mind how busy you will be. You'll barely be home most of the time to enjoy it. You'll likely never be here in the summer. And, subletting a place outside downtown is practically impossible in the summer. As the saying goes, you can live like a law student now or live like one later when you're paying off your loans. With a roommate, I pay $700 a month including utilities. I personally would never pay $2,000/month for somewhere to live during LS. Look for something that will just get you by and not cause a divorce. Your budget for housing is $72,000. If paying with student loans, add in interest...~$2,200 on the first year's budget alone. That's $50,000+ more than me even without interest. When looking at these cheaper places, ask if you'd live there if someone paid you $50K.


Well, I have a family, so I have to take that into account, as well. Also, having worked the last 8 years, I have a decent amount of money saved up to live on during law school, and I'll be getting the housing allowance through the Post 9/11. And, although I may not be in Ann Arbor during the summer, my family will, so subletting isn't an obstacle.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:37 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
Well, I have a family, so I have to take that into account, as well. Also, having worked the last 8 years, I have a decent amount of money saved up to live on during law school, and I'll be getting the housing allowance through the Post 9/11. And, although I may not be in Ann Arbor during the summer, my family will, so subletting isn't an obstacle.


Well, that changes a little. You need to look at the schools as well which I know little about. I know AA has award-winning schools but that's it. My BAH covers my rent and car payment (I'm grandfathered...yours will be slightly lower.) For you, look to rent in non-student areas. That'd be Burns Park (probably best if can get...where most profs live althogh there are some fratty shared houses closest to school), West of downtown (but be careful...some parts UG heavy closer to downtown), North of town, South of 94, Chelsea, etc. Definitely avoid Ypsi. Everything from downtown south to the stadium, between State/Main, is super-UG heavy and you want to avoid.

You'd probably be better to contact a realtor that does rentals as you're out of the student market.

Edit: Wherever you are looking...you need to consider how you'll get to school. Burns park you could probably walk/bike. There really is no parking so you need to plan in either renting a space ($100/month) and sitting in more traffic or commuting to one of the park & rides and 15-20 minutes on the bus.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:02 pm

With all this talk of BAH, I wish I was military. :(

and thanks for the info Blowhard. What you're saying definitely makes a lot of sense.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:05 pm

Has anyone else gone out and purchased a Michigan sweatshirt? By gone out, I of course mean sitting in the comfort of your home and ordering online.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby kl10qm » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:07 pm

blowhard wrote:You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.


I know this might be stretching it, but how is the drive from Windsor, ON? Because of circumstances outside of my control I have to live there...according to mapquest its about a 45 minute drive...that does not include rush hour. What time does rush hour normally take place? If I leave Windsor around 5-6am each morning (I am a morning person), would I have too much trouble?

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:13 pm

kl10qm wrote:
blowhard wrote:You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.


I know this might be stretching it, but how is the drive from Windsor, ON? Because of circumstances outside of my control I have to live there...according to mapquest its about a 45 minute drive...that does not include rush hour. What time does rush hour normally take place? If I leave Windsor around 5-6am each morning (I am a morning person), would I have too much trouble?


I've never been to Windsor, but my understanding is that most Points of Entry require a security check. Is this not the case coming from Windsor to Ann Arbor?

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby kl10qm » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:16 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
kl10qm wrote:
blowhard wrote:You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.


I know this might be stretching it, but how is the drive from Windsor, ON? Because of circumstances outside of my control I have to live there...according to mapquest its about a 45 minute drive...that does not include rush hour. What time does rush hour normally take place? If I leave Windsor around 5-6am each morning (I am a morning person), would I have too much trouble?


I've never been to Windsor, but my understanding is that most Points of Entry require a security check. Is this not the case coming from Windsor to Ann Arbor?


Yea it does, but that's not a biggie...I will have a Nexus card by that time (both Canadian and American here)...so I should be through the border in about ten-fifteen minutes or so. And if I remember correctly, mapquest factors in border time into that 45 minutes.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:21 pm

kl10qm wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:
kl10qm wrote:
blowhard wrote:You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.


I know this might be stretching it, but how is the drive from Windsor, ON? Because of circumstances outside of my control I have to live there...according to mapquest its about a 45 minute drive...that does not include rush hour. What time does rush hour normally take place? If I leave Windsor around 5-6am each morning (I am a morning person), would I have too much trouble?


I've never been to Windsor, but my understanding is that most Points of Entry require a security check. Is this not the case coming from Windsor to Ann Arbor?


Yea it does, but that's not a biggie...I will have a Nexus card by that time (both Canadian and American here)...so I should be through the border in about ten-fifteen minutes or so. And if I remember correctly, mapquest factors in border time into that 45 minutes.


Don't know how to tell you this...but that's not doable. The bridge to cross is known to routinely have 2-3 hour backups. The tunnel is better but at rush hour youll be in bumper-to-bumper the whole way. You're looking at 1.5 hour from detroit alone from 7a-9:30'ish and another 1.5 hour to Detroit from 4p-7p. Thats 3 hours a day not counting the bridge/tunnel or border which is another 30 minutes each way at best.

I commuted to Detroit all summer and hit only moderate traffic. Unlike every other big city, everyone leaves Detroit at rush hour and comes back at night.

Even leaving windsor at 5 am, I doubt you'll make it by 7-7:30. Then you're facing commute home. There just aren't enough hours in the day during 1/2L. Even if mapquest was accurate, you'd have another 20 min to the school from 94 and 2 hours a day isn't doable.

Edit: I'm home now so I'll elaborate more. It took me 30 minutes to get to my apt 3 miles from school, with no traffic. It took me 20-25 minutes to get to my car which is where you'd also have to park. That's 50 minuts a day before you start your commute. Add in an hour each way to Detroit, which is best case at 6 am/8pm, and you're at 3 hours a day commuting before the border crossing or your commute in Windsor. That's not sustainable. I'd be surprised if you made it across the border in less than 45 minutes. During the summer, there seemed to be constant bumper-to-bumper in the bridge/tunnel from 5a-10a or so. There is bumper-to-bumper traffic virtually the whole way from Detroit past AA (and back at night) at the times you'd be driving. Even reverse commuting it took us around an hour to Detroit, at non-rush hour times, from the highway where we met. Again, you'd have to add an hour of commuting within AA to that as well.

Also, I'm not sure why you'd have to live there but if it's cost, it'll cost more in fuel to sit in traffic that long each day than to rent an apt in AA. If it's commitments/spouse, best case is you'd leave home at 5 am and not get home until 10-11pm...every day. You could leave earlier and not read first, but then you'd have 4-5 hours of reading once you made it home. Again best case and not counting legal writing projects, needing to meet with your assigned writing group, officer hours, etc. Either way, you'd be better to stay in AA and buckle down and go home on the weekends which is when you'd have time to see anyone if you did live there.

Nor is that factoring in snow/weather. Michigan hasn't taken a snow day since the late 70s.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:23 pm

kl10qm wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:
kl10qm wrote:
blowhard wrote:You really need to factor time into this as well. Traffic can be a pain and an 1+ hours a day in traffic is a huge problem during LS.


I know this might be stretching it, but how is the drive from Windsor, ON? Because of circumstances outside of my control I have to live there...according to mapquest its about a 45 minute drive...that does not include rush hour. What time does rush hour normally take place? If I leave Windsor around 5-6am each morning (I am a morning person), would I have too much trouble?


I've never been to Windsor, but my understanding is that most Points of Entry require a security check. Is this not the case coming from Windsor to Ann Arbor?


Yea it does, but that's not a biggie...I will have a Nexus card by that time (both Canadian and American here)...so I should be through the border in about ten-fifteen minutes or so. And if I remember correctly, mapquest factors in border time into that 45 minutes.


Best advice to you: Drive it tomorrow, or some other weekday and see how long it takes. Go at the times you would normally go for school.

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby Hopefully2012 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:45 pm

Thanks for all the advice, blowhard! It's very helpful to have someone who's a current student give us the scoop. I really appreciate it. :D!

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Re: Michigan Law Class of 2015

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:47 pm

Hopefully2012 wrote:Thanks for all the advice, blowhard! It's very helpful to have someone who's a current student give us the scoop. I really appreciate it. :D!


No problem. It's a nice (although bad) distraction during Election Law.




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