Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers Forum

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rc8

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Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by rc8 » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:28 am

recently got into michigan with about 160k. i've been getting WL at a lot of other schools...so looking into more into Michigan. How does Michigan compare with other t13, like duke, Virginia, Columbia, nyu, penn?

goals - fed clerkship, dc biglaw, government/policy work down the line.

1. can you explain why Michigan has lower Biglaw/FC numbers than its peers, like Duke/UVA/Penn? It seems Michigan's Biglaw/FC numbers of 70% lags behind the 80% of Duke and UVA.

I think some people explained this as "self selection" for PI? Do you feel that's the case?

2. Also, can you explain the high state clerkship numbers for Michigan (which seems to partly explain Michigan's lower biglaw/fed clerkship numbers)? I think Michigan has like 25+ at clerking on state courts, whereas Duke only has 2 state clerkships and UVA only had like 8. What's the benefit of clerking on the state level? Did those ppl just strike out on biglaw during OCI? It seems like most biglaw firms only pay clerkship bonuses for federal clerkships.

3. Can you explain the grading schemes for top V20 law firms when they view Michigan? I hear at CLS, you need to be Harlan Stone scholar (top 1/3) to be competitive at some top firms, like S&C, Davis Polk, Gibson Dunn, Paul Weiss? Is it similar at Michigan?

4. What's the approximate "rank" you have to be competitive for DC biglaw? For a federal clerkship?

5. How is OCI at Michigan?

6. How's Michigan's Fed Soc chapter?

nixy

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by nixy » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:32 am

What other options do you have?

rc8

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by rc8 » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:37 am

just in Michigan so far. Waitlisted at some other T10 schools, still waiting on the rest. This cycle is pretty slow.

nixy

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by nixy » Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:27 am

I get that there's not much else do right now, but I'm not sure it's worth worrying about for the moment. Either you get into a school with better numbers/a better offer, in which case all this is moot, or you don't, in which case Michigan's probably your best option, so this is still moot.

Though to try to be a tiny bit more helpful:

I've seen people discuss the biglaw numbers as a function of the biglaw market in the midwest. Michigan doesn't have as much of a home market as it used given the decline of Detroit, and there aren't as many biglaw firms in the upper midwest. So I think some of the self-selection is regional (and possibly PI, though none of those things are easy to verify).

Of course it's still a T14 school; plenty of people will go to Michigan who have no connection to the midwest and plenty of Michigan grads will end up elsewhere even if they have a connection to the midwest. But some percentage of people likely go to Michigan to stay in the upper midwest, where they're probably somewhat less likely to be in biglaw.

As a learning/professional experience, clerking at the state level can be just as a good as a federal clerkship (or even better depending on the judge), and in terms of career advancement, state Supreme Courts tend to be well-respected locally. In my small law school market (not Michigan), a number of firms did give bonuses for state clerkships, although admittedly less than for federal (and often just for state supreme). I don't think you can presume state clerks struck out at OCI, at all. IME, SSC clerks usually either had biglaw lined up, or didn't want it. (State COA was much more hit and miss, and state trial even more so. I think you can still get a ton out of those experiences, but they're less correlated with ability to get biglaw.)

(Can't help with anything else, sorry.)

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:20 pm

People rarely voice this concern about NYU, whose BL+FC is even lower. Michigan puts an unusually-high number of people into state clerkships, yes, but otherwise has a pretty standard employment profile for a T14. Also has arguably the broadest geographic reach outside of HYS (which I realize is probably cold comfort to you since you're interested in east-coast prestige biglaw).

As for your other questions, you should ask a current 2L or 3L to get the most up-to-date information.

Try to relax. With $160k at a T13 you've pretty much won the game. I'd take that outcome over Harvard at sticker. Which exact biglaw firm you end up at is much less important.

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namefromplace

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by namefromplace » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:15 pm

With regard to clerkships, I think you're on pretty even ground with other non HYSC schools; it'll be grade-dependent. However, given your question about the FedSoc chapter, I'll assume you're conservative. And UVA has better relationships with conservative judges than U Michigan does. I don't know anything about Michigan's FedSoc chapter, but given the more liberal/PI bent of the school, I would assume it is weaker than that of some other T13s (specifically Duke and UVA). I don't think this should be a huge factor in your calculus--especially without knowing whether you got into other T13s, but it's something to consider.

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by Sawtooth » Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:14 pm

rc8 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:28 am
recently got into michigan with about 160k. i've been getting WL at a lot of other schools...so looking into more into Michigan. How does Michigan compare with other t13, like duke, Virginia, Columbia, nyu, penn?

goals - fed clerkship, dc biglaw, government/policy work down the line.

1. can you explain why Michigan has lower Biglaw/FC numbers than its peers, like Duke/UVA/Penn? It seems Michigan's Biglaw/FC numbers of 70% lags behind the 80% of Duke and UVA.

I think some people explained this as "self selection" for PI? Do you feel that's the case?

2. Also, can you explain the high state clerkship numbers for Michigan (which seems to partly explain Michigan's lower biglaw/fed clerkship numbers)? I think Michigan has like 25+ at clerking on state courts, whereas Duke only has 2 state clerkships and UVA only had like 8. What's the benefit of clerking on the state level? Did those ppl just strike out on biglaw during OCI? It seems like most biglaw firms only pay clerkship bonuses for federal clerkships.

3. Can you explain the grading schemes for top V20 law firms when they view Michigan? I hear at CLS, you need to be Harlan Stone scholar (top 1/3) to be competitive at some top firms, like S&C, Davis Polk, Gibson Dunn, Paul Weiss? Is it similar at Michigan?

4. What's the approximate "rank" you have to be competitive for DC biglaw? For a federal clerkship?

5. How is OCI at Michigan?

6. How's Michigan's Fed Soc chapter?
Recent Michigan grad here, some thoughts below:

1. I think any discrepancy in biglaw/fed clerkship numbers can be attributed to self-selection. Michigan has a large PI focused contingent, and as was mentioned previously, a decent number of students who opt to take jobs in smaller markets. I had classmates who took jobs at midsized firms in places like Grand Rapids, the Detroit metro area, and Des Moines who certainly could have gone to Chi/NY biglaw if they had wanted to.

2. I think the students taking state clerkships are mostly the PI contingent, especially the public defense crew (there is a pretty decent number of prospective public defenders at Michigan, who I think in part come because of a community built by a few professors). These students know most of their career will be spent in state court, and so opt to seek experience in those courts.

3. I think that is roughly the same across most of the non-HYS T14. At Michigan it seemed like you to be competitive for the top NY firms (CSM, DPW, PW, etc.) you needed to be roughly in the top 40% to top third.

4. I can't remember the exact details from the OCI data or clerkship memo, but I think like a 3.5 or 3.6 would make you competitive for flyover districts, with probably closer to around a 3.7 needed for more competitive districts. I had friends with pretty average grades who got DC biglaw, but if you are wanting to go to firms like Covington, Williams & Connelly, Wilmer, etc. I think it was around a 3.7 (about top quarter) to be competitive.

5. OCI was fine, and who you interview with is 100% based on how your rank firms, not based on firm input or selection. You don't share your transcript until the end of the screener. I think this is probably the same across peer schools.

6. Michigan has an active fed soc chapter, which has strong connections with high-profile appellate judges like Raymond Kethledge and Joan Larsen who attended or taught at Michigan and have chambers in Ann Arbor. The classmates I knew who had really high grades and were involved in fed soc got clerkships with feeder judges like Kethledge and Sutton.

As a general point, once you matriculate to a T14, I think your opportunities are vastly more dependent on your personal performance than which school in the T14 you attended. I think fair to say that HYS students have a bit of an edge, but I think it's a little silly to think judges or firms somehow have a higher GPA cutoff for Michigan versus Duke or UVA.

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AlbertParsons

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by AlbertParsons » Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:09 pm

Sawtooth wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:14 pm
rc8 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:28 am
recently got into michigan with about 160k. i've been getting WL at a lot of other schools...so looking into more into Michigan. How does Michigan compare with other t13, like duke, Virginia, Columbia, nyu, penn?

goals - fed clerkship, dc biglaw, government/policy work down the line.

1. can you explain why Michigan has lower Biglaw/FC numbers than its peers, like Duke/UVA/Penn? It seems Michigan's Biglaw/FC numbers of 70% lags behind the 80% of Duke and UVA.

I think some people explained this as "self selection" for PI? Do you feel that's the case?

2. Also, can you explain the high state clerkship numbers for Michigan (which seems to partly explain Michigan's lower biglaw/fed clerkship numbers)? I think Michigan has like 25+ at clerking on state courts, whereas Duke only has 2 state clerkships and UVA only had like 8. What's the benefit of clerking on the state level? Did those ppl just strike out on biglaw during OCI? It seems like most biglaw firms only pay clerkship bonuses for federal clerkships.

3. Can you explain the grading schemes for top V20 law firms when they view Michigan? I hear at CLS, you need to be Harlan Stone scholar (top 1/3) to be competitive at some top firms, like S&C, Davis Polk, Gibson Dunn, Paul Weiss? Is it similar at Michigan?

4. What's the approximate "rank" you have to be competitive for DC biglaw? For a federal clerkship?

5. How is OCI at Michigan?

6. How's Michigan's Fed Soc chapter?
Recent Michigan grad here, some thoughts below:

1. I think any discrepancy in biglaw/fed clerkship numbers can be attributed to self-selection. Michigan has a large PI focused contingent, and as was mentioned previously, a decent number of students who opt to take jobs in smaller markets. I had classmates who took jobs at midsized firms in places like Grand Rapids, the Detroit metro area, and Des Moines who certainly could have gone to Chi/NY biglaw if they had wanted to.

2. I think the students taking state clerkships are mostly the PI contingent, especially the public defense crew (there is a pretty decent number of prospective public defenders at Michigan, who I think in part come because of a community built by a few professors). These students know most of their career will be spent in state court, and so opt to seek experience in those courts.

3. I think that is roughly the same across most of the non-HYS T14. At Michigan it seemed like you to be competitive for the top NY firms (CSM, DPW, PW, etc.) you needed to be roughly in the top 40% to top third.

4. I can't remember the exact details from the OCI data or clerkship memo, but I think like a 3.5 or 3.6 would make you competitive for flyover districts, with probably closer to around a 3.7 needed for more competitive districts. I had friends with pretty average grades who got DC biglaw, but if you are wanting to go to firms like Covington, Williams & Connelly, Wilmer, etc. I think it was around a 3.7 (about top quarter) to be competitive.

5. OCI was fine, and who you interview with is 100% based on how your rank firms, not based on firm input or selection. You don't share your transcript until the end of the screener. I think this is probably the same across peer schools.

6. Michigan has an active fed soc chapter, which has strong connections with high-profile appellate judges like Raymond Kethledge and Joan Larsen who attended or taught at Michigan and have chambers in Ann Arbor. The classmates I knew who had really high grades and were involved in fed soc got clerkships with feeder judges like Kethledge and Sutton.

As a general point, once you matriculate to a T14, I think your opportunities are vastly more dependent on your personal performance than which school in the T14 you attended. I think fair to say that HYS students have a bit of an edge, but I think it's a little silly to think judges or firms somehow have a higher GPA cutoff for Michigan versus Duke or UVA.
Recent Michigan grad as well, and pretty much agree with everything said above. I had plenty of friends who went to work at smaller firms in the midwest, even though they would have done fine at OCI for NY/Chi/DC and people who wanted to clerk in state courts for their own career objectives. I’m in NY big law and had lots of options and was above median (but even people at median were okay). I don’t think it matters where you go (apart from HYS I guess) if you are below median/have bad grades. IMO stop being such a slave to the numbers. They only provide a snapshot and mean little without context. Obviously, you do what’s best for you, but 160k at Michigan is a pretty good outcome.

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Wild Card

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by Wild Card » Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:06 am

160K from Michigan is very, very impressive.

They gave me 90K and I chickened out.

You should take the offer, unless you get into YHS.

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rc8

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by rc8 » Fri Feb 04, 2022 4:40 pm

AlbertParsons wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:09 pm
Sawtooth wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:14 pm
rc8 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:28 am
recently got into michigan with about 160k. i've been getting WL at a lot of other schools...so looking into more into Michigan. How does Michigan compare with other t13, like duke, Virginia, Columbia, nyu, penn?

goals - fed clerkship, dc biglaw, government/policy work down the line.

1. can you explain why Michigan has lower Biglaw/FC numbers than its peers, like Duke/UVA/Penn? It seems Michigan's Biglaw/FC numbers of 70% lags behind the 80% of Duke and UVA.

I think some people explained this as "self selection" for PI? Do you feel that's the case?

2. Also, can you explain the high state clerkship numbers for Michigan (which seems to partly explain Michigan's lower biglaw/fed clerkship numbers)? I think Michigan has like 25+ at clerking on state courts, whereas Duke only has 2 state clerkships and UVA only had like 8. What's the benefit of clerking on the state level? Did those ppl just strike out on biglaw during OCI? It seems like most biglaw firms only pay clerkship bonuses for federal clerkships.

3. Can you explain the grading schemes for top V20 law firms when they view Michigan? I hear at CLS, you need to be Harlan Stone scholar (top 1/3) to be competitive at some top firms, like S&C, Davis Polk, Gibson Dunn, Paul Weiss? Is it similar at Michigan?

4. What's the approximate "rank" you have to be competitive for DC biglaw? For a federal clerkship?

5. How is OCI at Michigan?

6. How's Michigan's Fed Soc chapter?
Recent Michigan grad here, some thoughts below:

1. I think any discrepancy in biglaw/fed clerkship numbers can be attributed to self-selection. Michigan has a large PI focused contingent, and as was mentioned previously, a decent number of students who opt to take jobs in smaller markets. I had classmates who took jobs at midsized firms in places like Grand Rapids, the Detroit metro area, and Des Moines who certainly could have gone to Chi/NY biglaw if they had wanted to.

2. I think the students taking state clerkships are mostly the PI contingent, especially the public defense crew (there is a pretty decent number of prospective public defenders at Michigan, who I think in part come because of a community built by a few professors). These students know most of their career will be spent in state court, and so opt to seek experience in those courts.

3. I think that is roughly the same across most of the non-HYS T14. At Michigan it seemed like you to be competitive for the top NY firms (CSM, DPW, PW, etc.) you needed to be roughly in the top 40% to top third.

4. I can't remember the exact details from the OCI data or clerkship memo, but I think like a 3.5 or 3.6 would make you competitive for flyover districts, with probably closer to around a 3.7 needed for more competitive districts. I had friends with pretty average grades who got DC biglaw, but if you are wanting to go to firms like Covington, Williams & Connelly, Wilmer, etc. I think it was around a 3.7 (about top quarter) to be competitive.

5. OCI was fine, and who you interview with is 100% based on how your rank firms, not based on firm input or selection. You don't share your transcript until the end of the screener. I think this is probably the same across peer schools.

6. Michigan has an active fed soc chapter, which has strong connections with high-profile appellate judges like Raymond Kethledge and Joan Larsen who attended or taught at Michigan and have chambers in Ann Arbor. The classmates I knew who had really high grades and were involved in fed soc got clerkships with feeder judges like Kethledge and Sutton.

As a general point, once you matriculate to a T14, I think your opportunities are vastly more dependent on your personal performance than which school in the T14 you attended. I think fair to say that HYS students have a bit of an edge, but I think it's a little silly to think judges or firms somehow have a higher GPA cutoff for Michigan versus Duke or UVA.
Recent Michigan grad as well, and pretty much agree with everything said above. I had plenty of friends who went to work at smaller firms in the midwest, even though they would have done fine at OCI for NY/Chi/DC and people who wanted to clerk in state courts for their own career objectives. I’m in NY big law and had lots of options and was above median (but even people at median were okay). I don’t think it matters where you go (apart from HYS I guess) if you are below median/have bad grades. IMO stop being such a slave to the numbers. They only provide a snapshot and mean little without context. Obviously, you do what’s best for you, but 160k at Michigan is a pretty good outcome.
Thank you for your feedback. Any other insight into why someone should pick Michigan? Anything else about Michigan that distinguishes it from the rest of the T10?

Also curious, how is the grading at Mich? How competitive is it? What's the alumni network like? How easy is it to network within the Michigan network - I hear can be important (outside of grades of course) for 1L and 2L summer associate recruiting. Thanks

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by Sawtooth » Tue Feb 08, 2022 2:35 pm

I think the conventional wisdom on these boards of selecting among T10/T13 primarily based on COA is right, and it sounds like Michigan made you a very competitive offer. I think secondary considerations can be things like geographical/environmental preference, etc.

I really loved my experience at MLaw, thought the law school provided a really strong community, still wish I was living in Ann Arbor, and enjoyed the amazing college sports scene. Perhaps only the last point is unique among the T10.

Median grade at Michigan is a B+, with roughly a third doing better and a third worse. Huge, widely dispersed alumni base, especially factoring in people who attended UM for undergrad and went to other law schools.

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Re: Recently got into Michigan. Worried about it's biglaw/FC numbers compared to peers

Post by mandrewsf » Tue Mar 08, 2022 5:45 pm

I had the same concern as OP when I picked Michigan but I've not met anyone here who struck out unless they bid poorly AND had bad grades. Career services are useless here (as they are at every law school) so you'll need to be a little proactive and hustle a little bit but I seriously doubt anyone could strike out here with a 3.0+ (on a 3.3 curve) if they are smart about the bidding process and put in the legwork (network, talk to upperclassmen, etc).

A lot of PI oriented people do go to state courts, but they're generally going to state supreme courts rather than (say) your local county chambers. Biglaw generally see state supreme courts as equivalent to federal district courts for clerkship bonuses based on what I know. And yeah, the PI self selection is real. Not complaining though since it probably makes OCI less competitive.

DC biglaw is plenty doable if you have the grades. Plenty of people go to Covington, Cleary etc. Generally DC is our 2nd or 3rd biggest market for placement.

I'm in fedsoc right now and while I can't speak to how "strong" (w/e that means) it is compared to other peer schools, we have judges coming on campus regularly and a ton of fedsoc alums who clerk.

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