1. COA. I looked at Northwestern, but by the time I got in, they were offering me $0. I'd easily be looking at $200,000 in debt.
I really thought long and hard about Duke, but 2 (sort of superficial) reasons kept me at Michigan: A. I wanted to be closer to home for law school. I went to undergrad on the east coast and I currently work in Florida, and I am from the Midwest. B. As great of a law school as Duke is, and as much I like the area, I coudn't get over the fact that I would be going to "Duke." Plus, I went to Georgetown, already have a basketball team to cheer for, and wanted to add a football team.
*Mostly joking on the last point.
2. As shitty as UMich's job stats were last year (which actually corresponds to OCI 2009 or 2010 I believe), I am buoyed by 2 add'l factors: 1. Their job placement and reputation in the Midwest (where I want to be) is still very good. Among established attorneys, Michigan and UChicago are still considered the big dogs of law firms in the Midwest. If you don't believe me, check out the USNWR rankings for the past 5 years. Michigan is always rated in the top 5 (maybe the top 6) by professionals in the field. Some might argue that this is outdated and is mostly due to old farts not knowing shit about current legal education. Whatever. Old farts are the partners that make the decisions at big firms so I am okay with going on their idea of the top schools vs. what people 20 yrs old or not in the law profession think.
Lastly, I do think that OCI results for that one year were unusually awful, and based on some poor advice from the career office (this is what I am told). Also, I think that a higher number of people at Michigan self-select for gov't or non-profit work compared to other schools in the T-14 (maybe not Gtown, but absent them, yes).
Let me know if you have add'l questions. Happy to answer them.