Michigan ASW

(Where, When and What Did You Think)
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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:15 pm

OK, I'd like to explore another side of a dialogue that has been, I believe, pretty one-sided. This is one of the more important decisions I've made in my 26 years, and I want to really "talk it out" with folks who are in a similar boat.

I didn't like Ann Arbor very much. In fact, I thought it kinda sucked. Does anyone else feel this way?

Granted, I was only there for four days, and I'm sure that I missed out on *so* many great things about the place (although I did a ton of solo exploring/driving) -- but I've also done more than my fair share of traveling and have lived in very many cities and towns, and first impressions always count for something. While I will gladly drink all of the Michigan Kool-Aid when it comes to the faculty, the programs, and the students, I am simply not buying the Ann Arbor love.

I heard nothing but incredibly positive things about the city before visiting -- but, to me, it doesn't strike me as that different (and certainly no better) than most other "neat college towns" I've visited...and, in fact, I probably prefer many of the places I had heard Ann Arbor was "cooler"/"nicer" than -- Charlottesville, Madison, even Athens and San Antonio.

Now, I'm definitely not going to law school for the surroundings -- and this isn't going to make or break my decision. But after reading so many comments about how Ann Arbor is just such an amazing place, I feel like it'd be weird for me to avoid mentioning something I felt very strongly during ASW -- that I didn't exactly love being in Ann Arbor. :? Perhaps I had just let people (both on and off the internet) hype it up too much for me; regardless, I am usually very open-minded about my environs, and was honestly surprised that I didn't like it more. And, believe me, I really wanted to like it.

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I missing the mark? I'd really like to know what other first-time visitors (and current students for that matter) feel about the city. I will still almost certainly be there this fall, and I have little doubt that I would love my three years as a Mich Law student -- but I'm very curious about others' impressions of AA?

Illijah
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Illijah » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:29 pm

Ann Arbor the city sucked very hard.

The Law Quad was quite nice though.

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby beesknees » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:34 pm

Alexandria wrote:
beesknees wrote:As someone who is considering Michigan at sticker (but really even people with a small scholly probably feel the same way), I think I understand everyone's concern here and why people are trying to speculate about the prospects for the bottom 50% of the class. I understand that law school is an investment in your career, but it seems absurd to take on what will probably end up being close to $200k in debt when you figure in COL if you can't get a decent job at the end. By definition of the curve, half of the class will end up in the bottom half of the class situation. It scares me to death to hear that kind of talk and know I could be in that situation with an absurd amount of debt.


That is DEFINITELY understandable. What I'm trying to say is that I think these worries are more relevant to whether to go to law school at all than to picking between peer schools.

Honestly... while things have worked out for me... if I had known while deciding whether to go to law school what would happen to the economy, I don't think I would have taken on the risk.


Yeah, I see your point about nit-picking about the class placement of peer schools. I'm still trying to determine if its worth the risk. After the preview weekend, I was feeling pretty confident that the risk/reward of going to Michigan was worth it, but I didn't sit in on this particular panel. I would've come away feeling different, probably, if I had.

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holydonkey
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby holydonkey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:36 pm

Michigan is awesome in spite of the location, not because of it. The law school is great, but the surrounding area is very meh. I keep telling myself that it'll be good for me - help me focus on the work. And besides, just about any town is great when you're boozed up.

Also hoping it'll depress the hell out of the people from California, Florida, and the South, so I'll finish top 50% :mrgreen:

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:40 pm

shaville wrote:A "miraculous interview"? It will take a miracle to get a job out the bottom 50%?? I guess a candid response from a law school is refreshing...kind of.



I remember this panel and the no one in career services used the words "miraculous interview." That seemed to be the poster's own feelings about the response to the question. The lady on the panel was definitely speaking more towards Biglaw placement, since thats what we talked about for like 75% of this panel.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:40 pm

holydonkey wrote:Also hoping it'll depress the hell out of the people from California, Florida, and the South, so I'll finish top 50% :mrgreen:


I've qualified for all three of those at different points in my life. Maybe that's why it's already bumming me out! :D

I did, however, survive four years in a northern college town MUCH grimmer, shittier, and smaller than Ann Arbor...so I know it'll be just fine. I was definitely thrown off by all of the A2 praise I heard, though -- not just on TLS but from tons of other people, too.

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tallboone
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby tallboone » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:41 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Does anyone else feel this way, or am I missing the mark? I'd really like to know what other first-time visitors (and current students for that matter) feel about the city. I will still almost certainly be there this fall, and I have little doubt that I would love my three years as a Mich Law student -- but I'm very curious about others' impressions of AA?


I definitely had mixed emotions about AA. On the one hand, it seems like it might be a very dull three years, especially after living in large cities my whole adult life. But it also seems like your free time in law school is so limited that you really wouldn't be able to take advantage of many big city opportunities while in school, especially the first and second years. I could see myself really hating being there for four years of undergrad or something, but I think that in law school it will be kind of nice to have limited social options/temptations. Yeah, there isn't going to be much of a music scene, the bars will get old, as will the museums. But I think this contributes to the social atmosphere of the school.

Everyone is confined to a town of 100k residents appx. 50 miles west of Detroit, so you really have to cultivate your relationships with your classmates because you can't just jaunt off to a big city attraction. I bought into their description of the collegiality between classmates and professors and I think it has a lot to do with Ann Arbor. And since I don't think you can really separate the two, you kind of just have to take the good with the bad and the ugly (weather).

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:42 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I heard nothing but incredibly positive things about the city before visiting -- but, to me, it doesn't strike me as that different (and certainly no better) than most other "neat college towns" I've visited...and, in fact, I probably prefer many of the places I had heard Ann Arbor was "cooler"/"nicer" than -- Charlottesville, Madison, even Athens and San Antonio.


Those of you that thought A2 sucked, what college towns are you coming from? I went to UG in Athens and it was basically the same shit. The only difference was Athens has more bars, but at the same time Athens is waaaaaay more fratty.

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beesknees
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby beesknees » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:44 pm

holydonkey wrote:Michigan is awesome in spite of the location, not because of it. The law school is great, but the surrounding area is very meh. I keep telling myself that it'll be good for me - help me focus on the work. And besides, just about any town is great when you're boozed up.

Also hoping it'll depress the hell out of the people from California, Florida, and the South, so I'll finish top 50% :mrgreen:


That would be me, Donkey. Fortunately for me, I tend to become a workaholic when the day is gray - makes reading seem like a good idea. Its was much harder in UG to convince myself to study when I could spend my day at South Beach. So, your evil plan won't work!
Last edited by beesknees on Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tallboone
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby tallboone » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:45 pm

doinmybest wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I heard nothing but incredibly positive things about the city before visiting -- but, to me, it doesn't strike me as that different (and certainly no better) than most other "neat college towns" I've visited...and, in fact, I probably prefer many of the places I had heard Ann Arbor was "cooler"/"nicer" than -- Charlottesville, Madison, even Athens and San Antonio.


Those of you that thought A2 sucked, what college towns are you coming from? I went to UG in Athens and it was basically the same shit. The only difference was Athens has more bars, but at the same time Athens is waaaaaay more fratty.


I was relieved that the frat-tasticness of AA is at a minimum compared to what I feared it might be.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:47 pm

doinmybest wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I heard nothing but incredibly positive things about the city before visiting -- but, to me, it doesn't strike me as that different (and certainly no better) than most other "neat college towns" I've visited...and, in fact, I probably prefer many of the places I had heard Ann Arbor was "cooler"/"nicer" than -- Charlottesville, Madison, even Athens and San Antonio.


Those of you that thought A2 sucked, what college towns are you coming from? I went to UG in Athens and it was basically the same shit. The only difference was Athens has more bars, but at the same time Athens is waaaaaay more fratty.


Yeah, hence my "even Athens". Athens is not very awesome and I would not be stoked to live there either, but it's cheaper and has nicer weather. 8) And, as far as "nearby major city", Atlanta > Detroit...even if it's 70 min vs. 45 min.

I'm not contemplating a life as a Law Dawg or anything...just using it as a point of reference. But I agree with you -- "same shit", more or less. I was just expecting something sweeter -- two different people I know in GA called Ann Arbor "Athens on steroids", which I totally did NOT see. :roll:

Illijah
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Illijah » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:52 pm

doinmybest wrote:
shaville wrote:A "miraculous interview"? It will take a miracle to get a job out the bottom 50%?? I guess a candid response from a law school is refreshing...kind of.



I remember this panel and the no one in career services used the words "miraculous interview." That seemed to be the poster's own feelings about the response to the question. The lady on the panel was definitely speaking more towards Biglaw placement, since thats what we talked about for like 75% of this panel.


Yes I said what they said was to the effect of "miraculous interview" I believe the exact quote was "blow the interviewer away."

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Reinhardt
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Reinhardt » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:54 pm

I kind of expected a better version of my undergrad college town, and that's what I got. I had very low expectations though, because my undergrad's town sucked pretty bad. Some of my friends are also UMich alums and they prepped me well. They basically said "it's not a bad place to go to school." There's a White Castle, a Chipotle, a Buffalo Wild Wings, a smattering of ethnic restaurants, and some decent bars like Ashleys. I'm not looking for too much else.

RhubarbPie
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby RhubarbPie » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:00 pm

We liked the town. We're also coming from a big city, so it will obviously be a change, but its only for 3 years. We're foodies, and we went to two restaurants (one that was pretty good, and one that we REALLY loved), plus we went to Amer's and got the froyo which was good. So as long as there are good/diverse food options, we're fine. Also seems like there are some nice art galleries/craft stores.

betsyanna
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby betsyanna » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:02 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Does anyone else feel this way, or am I missing the mark? I'd really like to know what other first-time visitors (and current students for that matter) feel about the city. I will still almost certainly be there this fall, and I have little doubt that I would love my three years as a Mich Law student -- but I'm very curious about others' impressions of AA?


You're right--people exaggerate about Ann Arbor being an amazing place. It's a nice town. It would be a nice place to raise a family. It has a cute farmer's market and a ridiculously good public library system and a high concentration of interesting, overeducated people. But it's a college town.

I think people describe it in such glowing terms because they're comparing it to the rest of the Midwest. There's nothing else like it in Michigan, and not much else like it in the surrounding states.

That said, it's a fine place to go to law school.

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:02 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote: I was just expecting something sweeter -- two different people I know in GA called Ann Arbor "Athens on steroids", which I totally did NOT see. :roll:


Wow, thats weird. I would put Athens as only marginally better than A2... infact very marginally if at all. All college towns are usually the same, I wanted a college town so I pretty much got what I expected. But maybe my expectations were lower? Did you go to the second ASW? I was at the second one and I felt like I was the only guy from the south. There were like 2 other people from GA, but there was no one else from my undergrad. I'm actually looking forward to it. Change is good 8)

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Helmholtz
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:06 pm

betsyanna wrote:That said, it's a fine place to go to law school.


I agree. I definitely approached my visit as a place I wanted to study law in for a few years. It's nowhere I would like to end up, but I really liked it and thought it was conducive to law school.

Amelie
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Amelie » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:09 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
betsyanna wrote:That said, it's a fine place to go to law school.


I agree. I definitely approached my visit as a place I wanted to study law in for a few years. It's nowhere I would like to end up, but I really liked it and thought it was conducive to law school.


My thoughts exactly. I'm used to DC (and I love it, it's where I'll likely end up), but I think AA could be a nice change of pace for me for a few years. Plus, as an above poster noted, I think the location is conducive to the close-knit atmosphere that Michigan has.

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:10 pm

Illijah wrote:
doinmybest wrote:
shaville wrote:A "miraculous interview"? It will take a miracle to get a job out the bottom 50%?? I guess a candid response from a law school is refreshing...kind of.



I remember this panel and the no one in career services used the words "miraculous interview." That seemed to be the poster's own feelings about the response to the question. The lady on the panel was definitely speaking more towards Biglaw placement, since thats what we talked about for like 75% of this panel.


Yes I said what they said was to the effect of "miraculous interview" I believe the exact quote was "blow the interviewer away."



You're right. I think she did say "blow the interviewer away." But I'm like 90% sure she was talking about Biglaw jobs. Am I right? Because that makes sense when you think about it, since Michigan's NLJ250 placement was 51% for 2009.

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rockchalk86
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby rockchalk86 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:15 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
betsyanna wrote:That said, it's a fine place to go to law school.


I agree. I definitely approached my visit as a place I wanted to study law in for a few years. It's nowhere I would like to end up, but I really liked it and thought it was conducive to law school.


I just don't know what people were expecting. As far as college towns go, I think it is definitely one of the best. Beautiful campus, downtown is walking distance, fun bars, good music scene etc... What else do you want? It's not a major city. It's ok to have 4 gym options instead of 30, 20 good bars instead of 100's, a few great parks instead of one GIANT one. More is not always better.

Illijah
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Illijah » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:16 pm

doinmybest wrote:
Illijah wrote:
doinmybest wrote:
shaville wrote:A "miraculous interview"? It will take a miracle to get a job out the bottom 50%?? I guess a candid response from a law school is refreshing...kind of.



I remember this panel and the no one in career services used the words "miraculous interview." That seemed to be the poster's own feelings about the response to the question. The lady on the panel was definitely speaking more towards Biglaw placement, since thats what we talked about for like 75% of this panel.


Yes I said what they said was to the effect of "miraculous interview" I believe the exact quote was "blow the interviewer away."



You're right. I think she did say "blow the interviewer away." But I'm like 90% sure she was talking about Biglaw jobs. Am I right? Because that makes sense when you think about it, since Michigan's NLJ250 placement was 51% for 2009.


Yea probably. Was never said but that would make sense. Do you remember when the question was initially asked they all paused looked at each other and then the very professional looking woman on the left made a slight joke and they all laughed.....and none of the prospectives laughed.....cuz its not funny

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:18 pm

It's great to hear everyone's thoughts on AA. Sounds like my high expectations are largely to blame...had I gone into ASW expecting a typical college town with a handful of good restaurants and bars, I'm sure I wouldn't have blinked an eye.

Time to get back to designing my Woodbury Wolverines bowling league team shirts...

holborn
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby holborn » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:18 pm

I think actually going to Michigan changes your perspective of ann arbor (I assume all the A2 praise you heard was from alumni). I grew up in Ann Arbor and never bothered to go downtown (aka campus) during high school because I thought it was boring. Even when I visited for undergrad I wasn't impressed. Now, having gone to undergrad there, I strongly believe that Ann Arbor is the greatest city in the world. Pretty much tied with NYC where I live now. (in fact, im deciding between Umich and Columbia and consider location a pro for both).

In conclusion: the Michigan Kool-aid changes you. be prepared.

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doinmybest
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:21 pm

Illijah wrote:Yea probably. Was never said but that would make sense. Do you remember when the question was initially asked they all paused looked at each other and then the very professional looking woman on the left made a slight joke and they all laughed.....and none of the prospectives laughed.....cuz its not funny


Yeah I remember, I'm not sure why the hiring partner on the left laughed. It seemed like she was thinking to herself "I knew someone would ask that sooner or later!!" I think thats what it was. I chuckled because the kid sitting next to me leaned in and whispered that the kid who asked the question was probably from JD Underground. No offense if it was you, but I think you already said that it wasn't.

Illijah
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Re: Michigan ASW

Postby Illijah » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:29 pm

doinmybest wrote:
Illijah wrote:Yea probably. Was never said but that would make sense. Do you remember when the question was initially asked they all paused looked at each other and then the very professional looking woman on the left made a slight joke and they all laughed.....and none of the prospectives laughed.....cuz its not funny


Yeah I remember, I'm not sure why the hiring partner on the left laughed. It seemed like she was thinking to herself "I knew someone would ask that sooner or later!!" I think thats what it was. I chuckled because the kid sitting next to me leaned in and whispered that the kid who asked the question was probably from JD Underground. No offense if it was you, but I think you already said that it wasn't.


Nope wasn't me....the kid was sitting the row in front of me and when they all laughed you should have seen his face....cold as ice LOL




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