Does Duke lean left or right?

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argylesocks
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Does Duke lean left or right?

Postby argylesocks » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:52 am

I've read that Duke's student body is conservative (even Ken says it 'seems' conservative), and I'm wondering how true that is. I'm honestly worried about attending a school with a conservative student body and worse, a conservative faculty. I am very liberal, and while I am always open to different opinions, I would like to spend these next three years of my life with people who have at least some of the same ideals. (And I'm hoping there will be more than a handful of us.) I've spent the last four years of my life working in community organizing and living in Los Angeles, so I'm worried about life in NC in general.

Any thoughts on this? And just a note, I'm trying to decide between Duke and Georgetown (and possibly Michigan).

EDIT: I changed the title of this thread, since some people seemed to assume that I was serious about 'not surviving' at Duke because its rumored conservatism. Really, I was just curious about how true that rumor is.
Last edited by argylesocks on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:47 am

No, go to UChicago.

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badwithpseudonyms
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby badwithpseudonyms » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:53 am

Not unless there is a flight of stairs or large cliff to your left.
Last edited by badwithpseudonyms on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

tasteofred
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby tasteofred » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:01 am

I'm sure there are some liberal people at Duke who chose it over more liberal areas for whatever reason... but I've never been there, so I can't say for sure. North Carolina isn't too bad though, the landscape is beautiful and it definitely doesn't have the uber-conservative vibe of a lot of other Southern states. A lot of cutesy little towns, too.

But, on the other hand I'm pretty liberal, grew up in a big-ish city, and I would never (EVER) live in North Carolina for three years. Especially not over Washington D.C. You're not going to get lynched or anything in NC but if you still really love the city vibe, I'd stick to Gtown.

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Blindmelon
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:35 am

Law school in general seems to attract the conservative type. I think you will get that anywhere. I'm the token liberal at BU - theres a ton of crazy libertarians and people who think Obama is to the left. Ha!

hellokitty
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby hellokitty » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:37 am

I'm sure you'd survive but do yourself a favor and don't go.

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MURPH
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby MURPH » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:46 am

I think law faculty leans to the left everywhere, except GM and maybe some religious schools. I just read a article or speech by Northwestern law prof Ginnis who studied the political donations of law professors. They overwhelmingly donate to the Democrats. Even among Law And Economics profs, usually associated with the right, they donated 2:1 to democrats.

There will be a campus ACLU organization, a few clinics that provide legal access to poor folks and probably an ACS chapter at every school. You'll meet lots of lefties. Even Chicago has Martha Nussbaum and Brian Leiter. I am sure Duke has it's share.

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eagles111
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby eagles111 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:12 am

can't speak to the duke law student body, per se, but as a native North Carolinian, the triangle area is full of liberals. RTP and the universities attract a lot of them. NC went for Obama in 2008 (barely) and the 3 bigger urban areas were a big reason for that. Probably a lot fewer at the far left than in other regions (ie California), but also keep in mind, academia tilts left, so for Duke to "seem" conservative means it's center maybe center-right and its faculty are probably center-left on average.
You certainly won't be a lonely voice for Obama or the public option or closing Guantanamo or anything like that but it won't be an echo chamber. Depending on how far left "far left" is, you might be the lonely voice for agricultural collectivization or abolishing money in which case you should reapply next year only to Berkeley. Barring that, I'm sure you'll find plenty of like-minded people. I'm pretty liberal and I'm strongly considering Duke, so I might even be one of them.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:28 am

argylesocks wrote:Any thoughts on this? And just a note, I'm trying to decide between Duke and Georgetown (and possibly Michigan).

Does this mean you're WL at Michigan, or accepted but just prefer Duke and Georgetown at this point?

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rolark
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby rolark » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:34 am

Duke doesn't have a National Lawyer's Guild chapter. Come to Michigan!

insidethetwenty
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby insidethetwenty » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:39 am

I don't know the answer to your question, but I always chuckle a little when a person says "I'm very liberal/conservative, and I fear what life would be like if I go to a law school where the faculty and students might be knuckle-dragging, unenlightened conservatives/elitist, bleeding-heart liberals."

Outside of a few token douches, most people aren't going to wave their political ideals in your face in a way that will make you feel uncomfortable. Most people are not ideological monoliths anyway, including yourself. Regardless of where you go, there's a good chance you will find good, conscientious people who both agree and disagree with you.

If you visit Duke, like the faculty, like the placement numbers, and like the school and area, go. If you don't, don't. I wouldn't base it on whether you might find yourself in the ideological minority (though there's a great chance you won't...).

robe1300
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby robe1300 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:40 am

I've lived in North Carolina for 21 years (aka, my whole life haha) and I can attest, as a self-identifying liberal, that you have nothing to worry about living in North Carolina. People here are very congenial regardless of your political beliefs (although, as with anywhere, there are some a$$holes that aren't but they're generally imports from New Jersey for example). We went blue during the last election. As far as Duke, I certainly did not get a conservative vibe from their student body when I visited for ASD. Hope this helps.

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Jericwithers
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Jericwithers » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:45 am

I argue with anyone's 'strongly held' beliefs, so if that might rub you the wrong way then avoid Duke. It annoys most people, but in the end I will probably agree with you on some point.

EDIT: How far left are we talking? Marxist bust sitting on your desk?
Last edited by Jericwithers on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:48 am

I dunno how conservative Duke is. Northwestern is allegedly on the conservative side but I find it pretty liberal nonetheless. Law as a profession is dominated by liberals.

night06
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby night06 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:53 am

Blindmelon wrote:Law school in general seems to attract the conservative type. I think you will get that anywhere. I'm the token liberal at BU - theres a ton of crazy libertarians and people who think Obama is to the left. Ha!


:shock:

This is the first I've ever heard this; in fact, I've always heard (and observed, judging from ASWs and such) the exact opposite.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:54 am

Also, PSA: Being able to work with people whose "strongly held beliefs" differ from yours is a pretty vital life skill. I find it amusing as all hell that people even consider possible political slant in their school decision.

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nealric
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby nealric » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:55 am

No, you will probably be murdered in your sleep by a horde off brownshirts.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:00 am

night06 wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:Law school in general seems to attract the conservative type. I think you will get that anywhere. I'm the token liberal at BU - theres a ton of crazy libertarians and people who think Obama is to the left. Ha!


:shock:

This is the first I've ever heard this; in fact, I've always heard (and observed, judging from ASWs and such) the exact opposite.

The opinion that I've gotten from the materials they've sent me is that the faculty and student body may even lean left. All kinds of left clubs and organizations. In fact, I've got a more conservative vibe from UVA than from Duke.

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Jericwithers
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Jericwithers » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:02 am

Sauer Grapes wrote:
night06 wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:Law school in general seems to attract the conservative type. I think you will get that anywhere. I'm the token liberal at BU - theres a ton of crazy libertarians and people who think Obama is to the left. Ha!


:shock:

This is the first I've ever heard this; in fact, I've always heard (and observed, judging from ASWs and such) the exact opposite.

The opinion that I've gotten from the materials they've sent me is that the faculty and student body may even lean left. All kinds of left clubs and organizations. In fact, I've got a more conservative vibe from UVA than from Duke.


Virginia is #2 in the nation for executions.

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prezidentv8
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:06 am

To me it seems like we have a solid mix. No idea on actual political leanings vs. in-class impressions though.

Slimpee
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Slimpee » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:07 am

badwithpseudonyms wrote:Not if there is a flight of stairs or large cliff to your left.


This is hilarious!

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:13 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Also, PSA: Being able to work with people whose "strongly held beliefs" differ from yours is a pretty vital life skill. I find it amusing as all hell that people even consider possible political slant in their school decision.



+1

I'm liberal and went to a very conservative school for undergrad (one of the three U.S. service academies). During those four years I developed a capacity for independent, fair-minded thinking that I doubt I would have gained in an enviroment that was full of people who thought the exact way I did.

Sure I had to put up with opposing viewpoints, but it made me investigate the roots of my own convictions. Ultimately my experience resulted in me identifying and overcoming many prejudices that I previously maintained. At the same time I became more firmly grounded in the ideas that I found to have merit.

Go to Duke, you'll be a better person (and attorney) because of it.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:15 am

Jericwithers wrote: Virginia is #2 in the nation for executions.


This has nothing to do with anything in this thread.

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Jericwithers
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Jericwithers » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:16 am

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
Jericwithers wrote: Virginia is #2 in the nation for executions.


This has nothing to do with anything in this thread.


Neither does your post. Nor this one.

Flanker1067
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Re: If I lean far far to the left, will I survive at Duke?

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:17 am

If you lean "far far to the left", doesn't everyone seem conservative to you? I mean I am a moderate that leans slightly to the left (like most moderates) but I still can get very annoyed with whiny liberals, just as I can with bigoted conservatives. My point is that I won't be much kinder to you if you are being ignorant or annoying then a conservative will, and if you aren't doing that then you have nothing to worry about anyways.

Oh and I will probably also end up at Duke.




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