Duke vs Vanderbilt

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Duke with 45k or Vanderbilt with 60k?

Duke - 45k
50
83%
Vanderbilt - 60k
10
17%
 
Total votes: 60

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poprox
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Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby poprox » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:33 pm

Which would you choose? The bare details:

Career goals: Copyright Law, especially digital copyrights (i.e. DMCA), and technology law (legal technology, e-discovery, internet law)

Employer goals: BigLaw or US DOJ

Geographic Preferences: For NLJ 250 - St Louis/Nashville/Charlotte
For US DOJ - anywhere they want to put me :-)

Living expenses will be covered, so COL is a non-issue, though it's likely about the same in either NC or TN.

Flanker1067
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby Flanker1067 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:36 pm

I was the first vote, and admittedly I will probably end up at Duke so definitely biased.... Not that others won't be. As for why I say this, there is no real reason, Vandy is a great school in a town I think most like alot.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby Sauer Grapes » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:38 pm

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Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby thickfreakness » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:51 pm

I'm going to abstain from voting here because I think it's too close to call. I think both schools could give you great opportunities for BigLaw or DOJ, with Duke probably having a slight edge. Two issues here that I think should be important: the financial ones and the "do I like where I'll be living" ones. If you're debt averse then it may be better to take Vanderbilt, but I would get your FAFSA and all required FinAid stuff in at the two schools so you can see what kind of loan options you'll get from each school, compare COAs relative to actual COA, etc. Both schools have small class sizes and seem to be very close knit, as well. I'm likely going to be making this same choice, but with different $ amounts, and won't even try to make a call until I attend both schools' ASWs.

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dontstopbelivin
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby dontstopbelivin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:13 pm

poprox, I'm in the exact same boat, and voted for Duke (although I could easily be swayed the other way). I don't think the money is a major difference in this case. So here's my thinking:

Employment: Duke wins.
Duke has better placement stats at both DOJ and BigLaw (St Louis or Charlotte - I bet Vandy wins by a long shot in Nashville). Which school is stronger in technology law? I'm not sure, but my guess is Duke.

QOL: Vanderbilt wins (IMO).
This one is really a personal preference. Researching apartments, I didn't find dramatic differences in price (maybe I have expensive taste!). Other incidentals would be cheaper in Duke, BUT you'll spend more on gas (more driving from place to place than in Nashville, assuming you live within the city limits). Do you prefer city life or the outdoors? Duke seemed much more rural than Vanderbilt, which was less appealing to me. Are you really into college sports? Duke's basketball team is in and of itself an awesome reason to go. But Nashville has several pro sports teams, so this could be a moot point.

In the end, I would research which school has better technology law, and then decide whether you like city or country life. Those answers should help you make that decision.

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poprox
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby poprox » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:34 pm

thickfreakness wrote:I'm going to abstain from voting here because I think it's too close to call. I think both schools could give you great opportunities for BigLaw or DOJ, with Duke probably having a slight edge. Two issues here that I think should be important: the financial ones and the "do I like where I'll be living" ones. If you're debt averse then it may be better to take Vanderbilt, but I would get your FAFSA and all required FinAid stuff in at the two schools so you can see what kind of loan options you'll get from each school, compare COAs relative to actual COA, etc. Both schools have small class sizes and seem to be very close knit, as well. I'm likely going to be making this same choice, but with different $ amounts, and won't even try to make a call until I attend both schools' ASWs.


Thanks! That's a very helpful analysis, especially the "do I like where I'll be living" question. I really like the idea of doing both ASWs first before making a final decision. Good luck to you on your own decision!

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stratocophic
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby stratocophic » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:39 pm

dontstopbelivin wrote:poprox, I'm in the exact same boat, and voted for Duke (although I could easily be swayed the other way). I don't think the money is a major difference in this case. So here's my thinking:

Employment: Duke wins.
Duke has better placement stats at both DOJ and BigLaw (St Louis or Charlotte - I bet Vandy wins by a long shot in Nashville). Which school is stronger in technology law? I'm not sure, but my guess is Duke.

QOL: Vanderbilt wins (IMO).
This one is really a personal preference. Researching apartments, I didn't find dramatic differences in price (maybe I have expensive taste!). Other incidentals would be cheaper in Duke, BUT you'll spend more on gas (more driving from place to place than in Nashville, assuming you live within the city limits). Do you prefer city life or the outdoors? Duke seemed much more rural than Vanderbilt, which was less appealing to me. Are you really into college sports? Duke's basketball team is in and of itself an awesome reason to go. But Nashville has several pro sports teams, so this could be a moot point.

In the end, I would research which school has better technology law, and then decide whether you like city or country life. Those answers should help you make that decision.

Vanderbilt's sports are pretty close to equivalent to those at Duke. Both suck at football, and both have basketball teams that are great at home and mediocre on the road. The basketball atmosphere is better at Duke by far, though.

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poprox
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby poprox » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:41 pm

dontstopbelivin wrote:poprox, I'm in the exact same boat, and voted for Duke (although I could easily be swayed the other way). I don't think the money is a major difference in this case. So here's my thinking:

Employment: Duke wins.
Duke has better placement stats at both DOJ and BigLaw (St Louis or Charlotte - I bet Vandy wins by a long shot in Nashville). Which school is stronger in technology law? I'm not sure, but my guess is Duke.

QOL: Vanderbilt wins (IMO).
This one is really a personal preference. Researching apartments, I didn't find dramatic differences in price (maybe I have expensive taste!). Other incidentals would be cheaper in Duke, BUT you'll spend more on gas (more driving from place to place than in Nashville, assuming you live within the city limits). Do you prefer city life or the outdoors? Duke seemed much more rural than Vanderbilt, which was less appealing to me. Are you really into college sports? Duke's basketball team is in and of itself an awesome reason to go. But Nashville has several pro sports teams, so this could be a moot point.

In the end, I would research which school has better technology law, and then decide whether you like city or country life. Those answers should help you make that decision.


I agree that Duke offers better employment prospects, and based on my research they have a (slightly) stronger program for technology law as well.

The QOL part gets tricky, as I like mid-size city life a lot (a la St Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinatti, Nashville, etc), but I'm also an outdoors type who appreciates having some space to breathe. Duke will definitely involve more driving, that's the one big drawback to living in Raleigh/Durham/Cary/Chapel Hill - it's all spread out with no single downtown area. I think I'm really going to have to visit, rent a car, stay a couple of days and do some "test" drives around the area to see how long my commute would be from potential apartments. That way I'll know if I can handle it on a day to day basis.

Thanks everyone for the responses so far - keep them coming!

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poprox
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby poprox » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:00 pm

Well I'm in Raleigh-Durham now checking out the area. The area definitely has a different look and feel than Nashville. Nashville seemed laid-back, small yet urban, with vibrant nightlife and a lot of things to do within a small geographic footprint. RDU is definitely a more spread-out area, seems to be a LOT of east coast transplants here, and not nearly as "southern" and laid-back at first blush. However, there's so much growth here that most areas seem really shiny and new, even certain parts of Durham. Every single townhouse/apt I looked at so far was built in late 2007 or newer, pretty nice. I'm going to take a couple more days to poke around and check out the University, see how I feel after that.

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poprox
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Re: Duke vs Vanderbilt

Postby poprox » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:22 pm

I was very impressed both by Duke's campus in general and by the law school building. The whole place is gorgeous (even more than Cornell I would argue, haha), and the classrooms+clinic rooms look very up to date and high-tech. The cafe and adjacent commons area look great; I especially like all of the different little areas within the commons that are setup, some with leather couches, others with comfy-looking chairs. This setting of this campus is totally different than Vandy - there's no walking across the street to grab some Panera or Mexican food. Once you're on campus in the morning, you're pretty much on campus and not going anywhere else unless you want to surrender your parking space. I don't like the idea of parking a good distance away and having to walk down to the law school building every morning, as it seems parking is pretty much non-existent right by the law school.

This was a tough decision, and I couldn't decide until visiting Vandy one more time. I stopped by on Saturday, on the way back home. Walked around the law school, and sat in the cafeteria drinking an overpriced bottle of Dasani while I mulled over my decision. I ultimately decided not to attend Vandy, mainly based on two factors:

1) I think that Duke will offer slightly better job prospects. Even though the difference may be small, I think it's significant enough to justify 15k more in loans
2) I'll be more happy with my living situation in Raleigh-Durham. It's no problem getting an almost brand new townhome with a garage there for cheap. I'd be parking on the street or in a parking garage in Nashville (or living too far out to truly enjoy the city like I want). This is imporant as I don't want to worry about tons of noisy co-tenants in an apartment building, or my car getting trashed/stolen while out on the street every night. I also won't have to worry about being surrounded by a ton of hipsters, which is a very minor plus, but still a plus for me.

For a city its size, Nashville offers an amazing amount of entertainment opportunities, live music included. I have to say I am sad that I won't be attending Vanderbilt this fall, but still excited to be headed to Durham. I said goodbye to Nashville last night with a guiness from Red Door east, followed by a couple of chili cheese dogs from 'I Dream of Weenie'. Even though I never did find the Mas Tacos truck and I don't know who won the Kentucky game, I still had a great time.

I can easily understand why Observationalist raves so much about Vandy and Nashville. Good luck to all of you who end up at Vandy, you're definitely going to a great school in a great city! It was truly difficult to walk away from.




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