Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

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

Which School?

Chicago ($30k)
13
16%
Northwestern ($135k)
46
56%
Duke ($67k)
15
18%
Michigan ($67k)
8
10%
 
Total votes: 82

JSpitz
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Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby JSpitz » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:10 am

I was pretty set on going to Northwestern due to the scholarship and then I visited....

I went to see Michigan, Duke, Northwestern, and Chicago and ended up really liking Duke (and actually really disliking the city of Chicago - no offense to those who love Chicago it is just not for me).

Considerations (there aren't very many):
1.) I want to work in So Cal
2.) Strong interest in BigLaw

Am I crazy for even considering Duke (with 1/2 the $$ as compared to NU)?

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:22 am

If you're not going to be happy at NU, don't go. Plus, only one of those choices has reasonable weather.

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strawberryfanta
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby strawberryfanta » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:28 am

Depending on how long you stayed the first time, I'd consider a second trip to both cities. If you truly despise Chicago/NU and (L) Durham/Duke, then you should go with Duke. But risking so much debt over one (probably short) trip seems risky.

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Bosque
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Bosque » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:03 am

Have you told Dean Hoye about your Northwestern offer yet? No promises, but I bet if you try and negotiate you might see a money increase.

Even if you don't get an increase you are not crazy. You should go with the school you like best. If you are miserable all through law school it will be reflected in your performance. And 67k is not something to sneeze at in any case.

JSpitz
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby JSpitz » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:42 pm

strawberryfanta wrote:Depending on how long you stayed the first time, I'd consider a second trip to both cities. If you truly despise Chicago/NU and (L) Durham/Duke, then you should go with Duke. But risking so much debt over one (probably short) trip seems risky.


I've been to Raleigh before (one of college friends is from NC and I went there for her wedding) and went again recently for the Duke visit - but my entire time spent there was probably about 2 weeks.

Besides the school visits I've been to Chicago for work and was always pretty much in between my client's site and my hotel so my experience is pretty limited.

I really wish I could go again - it's hard to agree to ~35k (with COL factored in since Durham is much cheaper than the Streeterville area) more debt based on such limited experiences - however I used up all my vacation time at work on the first trip!

Bosque wrote:Have you told Dean Hoye about your Northwestern offer yet? No promises, but I bet if you try and negotiate you might see a money increase.

Even if you don't get an increase you are not crazy. You should go with the school you like best. If you are miserable all through law school it will be reflected in your performance. And 67k is not something to sneeze at in any case.


I've tried to negotiate and was not successful.

bigben
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby bigben » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:48 pm

JSpitz wrote:Am I crazy for even considering Duke (with 1/2 the $$ as compared to NU)?

Yes.

But hey, it's just money...I guess...

td6624
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby td6624 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:50 pm

What didn't you like about NU?

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Jericwithers
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Jericwithers » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:52 pm

So 35k difference to go to the school you really like? Tough call... I will be at Duke and will be paying $40k more than my close 2nd choice of UT because I feel I would be happier there. However, career prospects factored into my decision since Duke is 10% better than UT (even though I want to work in the Texas market). I would do some research and see if you can convince yourself that Duke would be the better choice for long-term/jobs as well as happiness. Duke beats NU at clerkships (I would venture a guess at PI too) but NU beats Duke at biglaw. In the end $35k is a very tough call to make but if you just would be miserable at NU then you shouldn't go.

bigben
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby bigben » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:40 pm

JSpitz wrote:I really wish I could go again - it's hard to agree to ~35k (with COL factored in since Durham is much cheaper than the Streeterville area) more debt based on such limited experiences - however I used up all my vacation time at work on the first trip!


You're figuring a 33k difference in COL? That sounds way high.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Interesting post. I counsel a lot of students & typically Durham is a huge turnoff.

JSpitz
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby JSpitz » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:43 pm

bigben wrote:You're figuring a 33k difference in COL? That sounds way high


I've been looking on craigslist and it seems like RTP area would be ~$600 in rent as compared to ~1600 rent in the streeterville/gold coast/river north area (I have 2 small dogs that will come with me so I have to find pet friendly places + pay pet rent) including Chicago's higher taxes

CanadianWolf wrote:Interesting post. I counsel a lot of students & typically Durham is a huge turnoff.


I grew in Los Angeles and actually like a slower pace. I lived in Downtown LA for a year (which I think is less busy than where NU is located) and moved as it was just too busy for me. Not sure if many will know but I current live near Ventura/Westlake Village (~50 miles north of Los Angeles) and really like the feel of the area.

td6624 wrote:What didn't you like about NU?

As superficial/subjective/etc as it sounds - the school itself just did not feel right. I've been out of undergrad for 3 years now and have decent W/E so it seemed like it would have been the right fit but it just didn't feel right. I disliked the idea of having to live in such a bustling part of the city (as for 1L I would definitely live very close to the school), taking public transportation to go places (I've driven everywhere I've needed to go for the last 10 years and giving that up does not appeal to me), it was pretty cold + windy (I figure I'll eventually at least get use to that weather), it is a pretty expensive city (everything seemed to be as much or more than I what I pay now in LA)... lots of small things that add up to me not really looking forward to spending 3 years there.

I just wonder if that enough to pass up the $$ for peer programs?

fortissimo
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby fortissimo » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:48 pm

You should take the money. It's Chicago, not a third world country. (Although for some I've met a lot of people recently who hate it...) Regardless, I'd still take the full ride.

2013esq
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby 2013esq » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:51 pm

I think you should go with your gut. I visited NU and also really disliked it for all the reasons you mentioned. I'm probably turning them down for $$$ at WUSTL. I say go with Duke. Most TLS-ers say go for biglaw and chase the prospect of earning as much money as you can. But I think your happiness during the most stressful 3 years of life really counts for something. Besides, Duke is a GREAT school.

showNprove
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby showNprove » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:17 am

.
Last edited by showNprove on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bruinsbaseball
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby bruinsbaseball » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:24 am

Chicago is the greatest city in the world. You must have been visiting Ann Arbor and gotten confused.

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im_blue
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby im_blue » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:41 am

showNprove wrote:NU + $135k > UChicago + $30k > Michigan + $67k > Duke + $67k

I'm not saying don't go to Duke, but of your very good options, it's the least very good.

seconded

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Bosque
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Bosque » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:32 pm

im_blue wrote:
showNprove wrote:NU + $135k > UChicago + $30k > Michigan + $67k > Duke + $67k

I'm not saying don't go to Duke, but of your very good options, it's the least very good.

seconded


Scratch that. Reverse it.

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Jericwithers
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Jericwithers » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:05 pm

Bosque wrote:
im_blue wrote:
showNprove wrote:NU + $135k > UChicago + $30k > Michigan + $67k > Duke + $67k

I'm not saying don't go to Duke, but of your very good options, it's the least very good.

seconded


Scratch that. Reverse it.


I love Duke, but $30k at Chicago or $135k at NU would win me over (I would have to visit the city first though to make sure I don't have a reaction like OP).

motiontodismiss
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby motiontodismiss » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:32 pm

quickquestionthanks wrote:If you're not going to be happy at NU, don't go. Plus, only one of those choices has reasonable weather.


That's one of the stupidest reasons to choose (or not choose) a law school I've ever heard.

Besides, Chicago is awesome with a capital A.

dpeter2455
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby dpeter2455 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:14 pm

Do you really know what you want in a law school? I ask because you state that the feel of the school is important and yet you applied to two fundamentally different schools (UChicago and Northwestern), and you state that you want to practice in CA, and you are deciding between three Midwestern and one Southeastern school. Michigan can get you a good job in CA - NU stays in Chicago, Duke feeds NYC and DC, and UChic does academia/clerk not research in CA. If you're not married to CA but are sure you want to be a lawyer, go to Duke - I am a big advocate of "good fits." But if you're not sure you want to be a lawyer, you're looking at Duke as a change to return to the glorious college years (why I LOVED Duke Law, so I'm ok with saying that), perhaps you should take the money at NU and not risk the cost of Duke. For what it's worth, Duke was high on my list until I accepted that I wanted to practice in the Midwest and therefore shouldn't go to law school outside the Midwest, and so ended up at NU - but you might like NU if you like Duke, I thought they were similar. And yes, in full disclosure, I am starting at Northwestern this fall and can't imagine why anyone wouldn't love Chicago, so take everything with a grain of salt :) If you have a plan, if you know that the extra debt of Duke won't hurt, then why not, go be happy, or as much as we can as 1Ls. ~ Dana

newyorklaw23
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby newyorklaw23 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:11 pm

Is a full ride from UCLA or USC on the table?

garrett09
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby garrett09 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:18 pm

showNprove wrote:NU + $135k > UChicago + $30k > Michigan + $67k > Duke + $67k

I'm not saying don't go to Duke, but of your very good options, it's the least very good.



I'm really not sure how people can post stuff like this as a fact. Three years is a LONG TIME. The things that will matter most in 3 years, in terms of career prospects, are how hard you worked, how smart/creative you are, and maybe how good you are at networking. You're only considering top schools. Congrats. The waffling of this board means you're not insane either way, so you're free to make the choice right for you.

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Jericwithers
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Jericwithers » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:23 pm

Made a decision yet? Duke deposit must be in their hands by Friday, so FedEx is your best friend at this point.

JSpitz
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby JSpitz » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:08 pm

dpeter2455 wrote:Do you really know what you want in a law school? I ask because you state that the feel of the school is important and yet you applied to two fundamentally different schools (UChicago and Northwestern), and you state that you want to practice in CA, and you are deciding between three Midwestern and one Southeastern school. Michigan can get you a good job in CA - NU stays in Chicago, Duke feeds NYC and DC, and UChic does academia/clerk not research in CA. If you're not married to CA but are sure you want to be a lawyer, go to Duke - I am a big advocate of "good fits."


I applied to a lot of schools (basically all the T14 + USC/UCLA) as I received several fee waivers and figured any money received would be good for scholarship negotiation even if I chose not to attend. I would have preferred to go to Boalt but was rejected - also I was waitlisted by UCLA and admitted to USC at sticker only (and after speaking with the Financial Aid Office they have told me that they would not make their decision until after May 1). Therefore, I am faced with schools that do not really feed into the LA market (I was complete at both USC/UCLA in late October). Prior to receiving any admissions, I assumed I would get into either UCLA/USC with some $$ (173/3.7) and would choose really between the two.


Michigan was fine; however, I am going with my SO who is leaving his current internal audit job (~65k) to come with me. He prefers Chicago (either Chicago school) due to job prospects, but is also okay with Duke (as it is close to RTP). Finding a job in Ann Arbor (or even a search within 50 miles) in internal audit means that he'll probably be out of a job for the longest/having to settle for a job that is a downgrade vs a lateral move. I also did not seem to find any data that supported that Michigan was far and above better than any of the other 3 choices in CA placement (for example above Michigan has ~1.5 to 2x the class size so I expected ~1.5 to 2x the number of Michigan grads).


I did a small, quick search based on the Vault Top 20 firms in Southern California (searching by school and by associates only) and found ~50 from Michigan; ~40 from Chicago (this one suprised me), ~25 from Duke, and ~25 from Northwestern (from a population of ~2,000) so nothing really seems to say go to a particular school based on CA placement. I realize there is probably 1,000+ things wrong with my search that will be pointed out but it really was done as a quick, "back of the napkin" sort of calculation. I also looked at the ABA data for first time bar attempts in CA and the numbers did not indicate to me that Michigan was far and above better for CA (just a larger class size). As a note - I also wonder about NU's relatively low CA bar passage rate (it seems to always be slightly below the CA state average).

I am set on coming back on CA.

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Jericwithers
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Re: Northwestern ($$$) vs Duke ($)

Postby Jericwithers » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:26 pm

53 California schools OCI'd at Duke this year, 58 at NU, 68 at Chicago, and 90 at Michigan. Just another number to put on the back of that napkin you are using lol.

http://www.nalpdirectory.com

Also from Michigan and Duke's published numbers, 21 people from Duke's c/o 2008 went to California and 54 from Michigan's class (not sure which year).




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