Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Alexandria
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Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:37 pm

There's been a request in the class of 2013 thread for a new "taking questions" thread. So... shoot!

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:42 pm

Amazing turnaround! Thanks for taking our questions. What year are you?

I'll start with some very general stuff; these questions have been asked many times on the boards, but each unique response is helpful.

- How cold are you right now?

- How competitive is the academic atmosphere? How difficult is the curriculum?

- How much time do you spend studying? Do you have time for weekend relaxation? A social life?

- What's your biggest complaint (or complaints?) about your Michigan experience so far?

waitingforanswers
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby waitingforanswers » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:45 pm

Thanks for taking questions! The summer starters got an email with our classes for the summer. Contracts with JJ White or John Pottow and Torts with Kyle Logue. Any thoughts?

tamlyric
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby tamlyric » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:45 pm

Thanks for making the request, TG!

And thanks to all of the Michiganders for their time and wisdom! :mrgreen:

tamlyric
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby tamlyric » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:47 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Amazing turnaround! Thanks for taking our questions. What year are you?

I'll start with some very general stuff; these questions have been asked many times on the boards, but each unique response is helpful.

- How cold are you right now?

- How competitive is the academic atmosphere? How difficult is the curriculum?

- How much time do you spend studying? Do you have time for weekend relaxation? A social life?

- What's your biggest complaint (or complaints?) about your Michigan experience so far?


I'll add one to this list of generals.

- What is the best thing(s) about your Michigan experience so far?

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:01 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Amazing turnaround! Thanks for taking our questions. What year are you?

I'll start with some very general stuff; these questions have been asked many times on the boards, but each unique response is helpful.

- How cold are you right now?

- How competitive is the academic atmosphere? How difficult is the curriculum?

- How much time do you spend studying? Do you have time for weekend relaxation? A social life?

- What's your biggest complaint (or complaints?) about your Michigan experience so far?


1. 3L

2. It's cold, but really not that bad (highs in the 20s and 30s pretty much this entire winter, with a few exceptions in both directions... more in the 40s than the teens though). My 1L winter was kinda medium, my 2L winter was harsh, and this winter is mild. DC (where I lived before law school and where I'm returning in the fall) has gotten WAY more snow than Ann Arbor this year. I'm pissed about this bc I love snow (I'm from the south, so it's still a novelty).

3. It's hard to answer about the competitive atmosphere. I would say that it's not very competitive at all in an adversarial sense, but it's very competitive (at least 1L year) in the sense that everyone wants to do well. So people push themselves and they care about how they do. But people also cooperate: sharing notes, forming study groups, passing along outlines from older students, etc. After 1L, there are definitely people who don't care about grades anymore. And there are others who keep pushing themselves. But even the people who are at the top of the class tend to be friends with one another bc of being in a lot of the same classes and extracurricular activities.

Re: how hard the curriculum is, it's all what you make of it. If you want to coast, you can pick classes that let you do that. If you want to be challenged, there are DEFINITELY classes that will do that. There are very few requirements after 1L (Transnational Law, something to satisfy the ethics requirement, and a class that you have to write a 20+ page paper for... that's it).

4. Studying varies a lot. Early in the semester, if I plan my week out right, I can take the whole weekend off. In the last month or 6 weeks of the semester, I may work on Sunday but take Saturdays off. And then at the end, I work probably 7 days a week. That said, I do not work late into the evening (during the semester done by like 6 and later in the semester done by 8), and I take a real lunch break (and other shorter breaks) every day.

People have VERY active social lives. I spend a lot more time with my husband and dogs than out at bars. But the more typical social scene is definitely very prominent, and if you want it you can find it easily (even if you're someone like me who doesn't do it much).

5. I don't really have any complaints? Sorry. I know there are people who do have complaints about things. But my experience has been very positive. Law school really is what you make of it. What you get involved in, the relationships you make for yourself with faculty and other students, etc. I have truly loved law school!

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rolark
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby rolark » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:02 pm

Would someone describe the public interest climate on campus? How well do you feel Michigan supports students in this regard?

What are your thoughts on the study abroad / international externship programs?

And, if anyone has had experience enrolling in classes outside of the law school, how was that?

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:03 pm

waitingforanswers wrote:Thanks for taking questions! The summer starters got an email with our classes for the summer. Contracts with JJ White or John Pottow and Torts with Kyle Logue. Any thoughts?


I had JJ White for Contracts, and he was fantastic! A true legend. I find I learn the best from teachers who instill a little fear (just fear of being put on the spot and needing to be on your toes), and he definitely fits that bill.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:06 pm

tamlyric wrote:
- What is the best thing(s) about your Michigan experience so far?


It has been everything I could have hoped for, honestly. Law school has turned out to be a really good fit for me, in terms of my strengths and interests. In particular, I've found an area law I'm genuinely passionate about and that has helped me find out I'm a much more creative thinker than I realized. I've had some of the BEST teachers I've had in my life (not to say all or even most profs are awesome teachers, but you should seek the great ones out and take everything you can with them), and I've made strong relationships with a few faculty members that I think will last into my career.

z*z
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby z*z » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:08 pm

This questions is not necessarily Michigan specific but as someone who will be attending LS and married I have some concerns about the stresses of law school having a negative impact on my marriage. What is your take on this?

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:10 pm

rolark wrote:Would someone describe the public interest climate on campus? How well do you feel Michigan supports students in this regard?

What are your thoughts on the study abroad / international externship programs?

And, if anyone has had experience enrolling in classes outside of the law school, how was that?


Hopefully others will join in to answer these (and other questions).

1. I don't know about the support for public interest since I'm not doing that. But in terms of the climate, I would say that student interest and class selection in public interest is very strong. I think we rank in the top three, along with NYU and Boalt, for schools sending the highest percentage of students into PI.

2. Personally, I think int'l externships are more valuable than study abroad (I worked abroad my 1L summer, but not through a school program... just a normal job hunt). I kind of get the sense that study abroads are just kind of for fun, rather than helping you develop professional skills.

3. I've never done it, but there are plenty of people who do. Hopefully PKSebben will speak up... I know he's done it.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:15 pm

z*z wrote:This questions is not necessarily Michigan specific but as someone who will be attending LS and married I have some concerns about the stresses of law school having a negative impact on my marriage. What is your take on this?


I don't think this has happened at all. We had been married just under 2 years when I started, so just over 4 years now. It's hard to say, but I think any changes in our relationship have just been the normal process of our marriage maturing, encountering different situations and life stages, etc. I mean, if you're the type of person who has trouble not taking stress out on other people, obviously you have to watch that. And I will say that it has been hard on my husband to feel a bit isolated (bc he telecommutes, so he hasn't really met much of anyone other than my law school friends). But overall, if anything I'd say law school will be having a positive impact on our marriage in the sense that I'm coming out of it more fulfilled, and we're coming out of it with higher combined earning potential.

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toolshed
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby toolshed » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:19 pm

I'm assuming that your admission to Michigan means that most of you were admitted to the same tiered schools (UVA, Duke, NW, etc.). What ultimately led to Michigan becoming first choice?

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bees
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby bees » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:22 pm

Thanks so much for answering questions everyone.

Did all/any of you attend an ASW? Work is making it difficult to make it to either one but if it seems like everyone is going I might force myself to find a way around it.

cavebat2000
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby cavebat2000 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:56 pm

Do you live on or off campus? What was your experience? Where do you recommend 1L's live and why? What if you have a significant other?

How much debt do you have? Does this scare you? Are you or your classmates as paranoid as TLSers are about it?

I think that's all for now. THANK YOU!!!!

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:58 pm

toolshed wrote:I'm assuming that your admission to Michigan means that most of you were admitted to the same tiered schools (UVA, Duke, NW, etc.). What ultimately led to Michigan becoming first choice?


I was always looking for a school in a college town/smaller city, so Northwestern or CCN were never real considerations for me. Mostly bc of cost of living. I had been living in a city and knew I'd go back to a city after school, so it seemed like a nice break in that respect. In particular, we were selling our house and going from two salaries to one, so that seemed a lot easier at Michigan/UVA/Duke than elsewhere.

Between those three, it was mostly just personal preference. (1. Mich, 2. Duke, 3. UVA) I do think Michigan and UVA have a touch stronger reputational pull with employers than Duke does. I really liked everyone I met at Duke, and it was sort of a dream school for me in a lay prestige sense, being from the south. But I did feel that Michigan came out a tiny bit ahead of Duke in basically every measurable category. I also liked that Michigan was bigger because that meant there would be more course offerings.

Between Michigan and UVA, it was truly exclusively personal preference. The student body at UVA seemed more homogenous to me. In a non-relative sense, I'm sure UVA's student body is extremely diverse in terms of interests and backgrounds... the student bodies of all top law schools are. But relative to Michigan's, it didn't feel that way. The UVA students seemed really nice but a little boring. And even the curriculum seemed a little more slanted toward business law of things and less toward the more academic types of courses.

That said, it feels weird to talk about schools in this way now, since I have a number of friends (from my summer class at my firm) from these schools. They are nice and awesome people. We are nice and awesome people. We love our schools. We are happy with our choices. Etc.

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Steven Perry
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Steven Perry » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:11 pm

Michigan is one of my top picks, and I'm pretty confident I can achieve the LSAT score to gain entry, but in the event that my numbers are a little bit low and I have to apply ED, any words on how the summer students deal with starting at that time? Is it a benefit to start before most of your classmates, or does it leave a student burned out?

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:36 am

bees wrote:Thanks so much for answering questions everyone.

Did all/any of you attend an ASW? Work is making it difficult to make it to either one but if it seems like everyone is going I might force myself to find a way around it.


I really think you should. And you should try to make it to ones for all the schools you're seriously considering. I found it kind of hard to compare the schools I went to the ASW for with the one I visited on a normal day.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:45 am

cavebat2000 wrote:Do you live on or off campus? What was your experience? Where do you recommend 1L's live and why? What if you have a significant other?

How much debt do you have? Does this scare you? Are you or your classmates as paranoid as TLSers are about it?

I think that's all for now. THANK YOU!!!!



Off, bc I'm married (and Northwood wasn't really "modern" enough for my husband to consider, especially bc of the lack of air-conditioning, if I remember correctly).

If I weren't married, I probably would have lived in the LC, mainly bc I have been living in the real world long enough to be over how cool it is to have my own place, and the ultra-convenience + someone else cooking for me + someone else cleaning my bathroom sound really nice.

I have too much debt. :) I'm not paying sticker, but my scholarship isn't big either. I'm not paranoid bc I have a job for post-graduation at a stable firm. I definitely want to work on getting it paid off ASAP, since I know odds are against making partner or of-counsel and basically anything else I'd move into (probably federal government) would pay less.

But I don't think other people are wrong for being paranoid about debt. One of my best friends is like top 5% in our class, and she got no-offered at her firm last summer and hasn't managed to find anything else (part of this is probably her fault for not working as hard at the 3L job search as she should have, I think bc she doesn't exactly know what she wants to do with her life and is overwhelmed by figuring it out).

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kumba84
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby kumba84 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:48 am

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Last edited by kumba84 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

RhubarbPie
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby RhubarbPie » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:49 am

Just marking this thread. Thanks for making it!

navalspartan
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby navalspartan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:56 am

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I think everyone really appreciates it.

How much writing do you do in Legal Practice? I have been out of academia for some time and I am concerned about the little things like citations and writing format. What style guide is used at M? MLA?

Thanks again.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Aeroplane » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:15 am

navalspartan wrote: How much writing do you do in Legal Practice? I have been out of academia for some time and I am concerned about the little things like citations and writing format. What style guide is used at M? MLA?

Quantity depends on who the instructor is. My section had two memos to write in the fall and I think we'll be writing 2-3 things this semester.

Citations are done per the Bluebook, which you'll buy. In our Legal Practice section, we had to do a multi-page worksheet of Bluebook exercises to learn the basics of citing.

Format of the assignments themselves varies. In our section, sample assignments are posted online, so we can just download those and delete all the content and use as a template.

navalspartan
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby navalspartan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:49 am

Thanks. It sounds like they are actually teaching how to do legal writing including the basics. That assuages some of my concerns.

Amelie
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Re: Michigan 1Ls/2Ls/3Ls taking questions

Postby Amelie » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:13 pm

Can someone who lives/has lived in the Lawyer's Club speak to their experience? Is it worth it to live there for the the social atmosphere and convenience? I think if I attend that's where I'll probably live, but the idea of using shared bathrooms grosses me out a bit :shock:




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