Duke vs. UVA

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sunny1L
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Duke vs. UVA

Postby sunny1L » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:41 am

I am beginning law school in the fall and am debating between UVA and Duke. My total cost of attendance for three years at Duke would be $145,000- at UVA, it would be $99,000.

Both schools seem like they would provide a great education and would enable me to secure a solid job post-graduation.

I am not sure what type of law I want to practice post-graduation, but I do know that I want to live in Florida, Arizona or California. I also know that I want to maximize clinical, externship and study abroad experiences.

Most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall. That includes stress emerging from difficulty of classes, amount of work, paying off debt, finding a job...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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cardinalandgold
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby cardinalandgold » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:46 am

I would just follow the $$ and go with UVA.

showNprove
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby showNprove » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:49 am

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

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thickfreakness
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby thickfreakness » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:53 am

I'd lean towards UVA here. The only possible exception is that study abroad and international opportunities at Duke are pretty awesome, but I seriously doubt that it's worth the extra money.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:40 pm

showNprove wrote:UVa, and with that kind of money, it's not even close.

Unless you LOVE Durham and HATE Cvill, this.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby soullesswonder » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:50 pm

sunny1L wrote:I am beginning law school in the fall and am debating between UVA and Duke. My total cost of attendance for three years at Duke would be $145,000- at UVA, it would be $99,000.

Both schools seem like they would provide a great education and would enable me to secure a solid job post-graduation.

I am not sure what type of law I want to practice post-graduation, but I do know that I want to live in Florida, Arizona or California. I also know that I want to maximize clinical, externship and study abroad experiences.

Most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall. That includes stress emerging from difficulty of classes, amount of work, paying off debt, finding a job...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Go to UVA. For two schools that are very similar (laid-back and enthusiastic students, solid placement, great weather), $46k is enough to be a deciding factor. UVA has slightly better clinical offerings while Duke has slightly better study abroad, and I imagine the externships are roughly equivalent. If the money difference was <10k, this would be a toss-up, but I've spent the better part of the last month comparing these two schools and I couldn't find 15k/yr worth of distinctions.

paralegal
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby paralegal » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:58 pm

I've done a lot of research comparing both law schools, and both will provide you with a great legal education. You really can't go wrong with either choice.

The money offered by UVA is certainly a consideration. However, I've found that there is often VERY little discussion on TLS about law school performance. You mention "most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall." I would strongly consider Duke for this very reason. The students at Duke are amazing, extremely intelligent and yet supportive. The professors are completely available and are truly interested in their students' success.

Law school is tough, the most challenging three years of your life. It's important to give serious consideration to choosing the environment where you will end up most successful, where you will thrive. It's hard to beat Duke's supportive environment.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby soullesswonder » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:08 pm

paralegal wrote:I've done a lot of research comparing both law schools, and both will provide you with a great legal education. You really can't go wrong with either choice.

The money offered by UVA is certainly a consideration. However, I've found that there is often VERY little discussion on TLS about law school performance. You mention "most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall." I would strongly consider Duke for this very reason. The students at Duke are amazing, extremely intelligent and yet supportive. The professors are completely available and are truly interested in their students' success.

Law school is tough, the most challenging three years of your life. It's important to give serious consideration to choosing the environment where you will end up most successful, where you will thrive. It's hard to beat Duke's supportive environment.


I'm not going to dispute anything you said, but I didn't find anything in my research or my ASW visits to suggest that UVA was significantly different from Duke in this regard.

Flanker1067
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:12 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
paralegal wrote:I've done a lot of research comparing both law schools, and both will provide you with a great legal education. You really can't go wrong with either choice.

The money offered by UVA is certainly a consideration. However, I've found that there is often VERY little discussion on TLS about law school performance. You mention "most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall." I would strongly consider Duke for this very reason. The students at Duke are amazing, extremely intelligent and yet supportive. The professors are completely available and are truly interested in their students' success.

Law school is tough, the most challenging three years of your life. It's important to give serious consideration to choosing the environment where you will end up most successful, where you will thrive. It's hard to beat Duke's supportive environment.


I'm not going to dispute anything you said, but I didn't find anything in my research or my ASW visits to suggest that UVA was significantly different from Duke in this regard.


I like Duke, and will probably end up there so I hope this to be true. However, there really is nothing that suggests that this aspect is significantly different among any of the top law schools, nevermind Duke and UVA. It seems everyone has an impression of the schools they have been to, unfortunately those impressions are not even close to uniform for any one school.

paralegal
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby paralegal » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:16 pm

I've found in my research and in my own ASW experience that the differences were not significant, but there are some differences like class size for one that can contribute to one's success. I have several close friends at Duke Law, and they tell me that the law school community is like a family. Because of the small class size, the professors develop strong relationships with their students - they say that the stress associated with exams is greatly reduced just because the professors pretty much have an "open door" policy. My friends have told me that when they take their exams, that they have discussed the issues "one-on-one" with their professors many, many times and that they feel very confident going into their exams.

I'd love to attend a law school where my professors seem to be "invested" in my success, where they know me - my interests and my challeges.

Wooster33
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby Wooster33 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:18 pm

UVA. UVA is a better school and it's cheaper. And congratz. However, I do recommend visiting both schools before you make a decision.

paralegal
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby paralegal » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:03 pm

UVA is a great school, but it is not the "better" school - they are peer schools. UVA has a strong following on this board and Duke's following is slowly getting a little stronger at TLS. Those of us that appreciate Duke at TLS need to speak up more.

I also felt that I had a greater opporuntiy at Duke to be on one of their many legal journals. It depends upon one's aspirations, but if you hope to work at the DOJ's or do a federal clerkship, involvement in a legal journal is a must. Again, larger class size - fewer opportunitites (realistically), smaller class size - more importunitites.

For the October Term 2010 US Supreme Court Clerks - Duke has three (3) appointments.

showNprove
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby showNprove » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:36 pm

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Last edited by showNprove on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

paralegal
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby paralegal » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:59 pm

Here I thought that we were having a discussion and someone just butchered my last post.

How incredibly rude.

fortissimo
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby fortissimo » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:21 pm

cardinalandgold wrote:I would just follow the $$ and go with UVA.


Ditto...that's a lot of dough.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby flyingpanda » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:29 pm

I stopped reading after seeing the COA at UVA and Duke. Pick UVA.

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dutchstriker
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby dutchstriker » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:33 pm

paralegal wrote:I've done a lot of research comparing both law schools, and both will provide you with a great legal education. You really can't go wrong with either choice.

The money offered by UVA is certainly a consideration. However, I've found that there is often VERY little discussion on TLS about law school performance. You mention "most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall." I would strongly consider Duke for this very reason. The students at Duke are amazing, extremely intelligent and yet supportive. The professors are completely available and are truly interested in their students' success.

Law school is tough, the most challenging three years of your life. It's important to give serious consideration to choosing the environment where you will end up most successful, where you will thrive. It's hard to beat Duke's supportive environment.

I don't really see how a "supportive environment" will improve your "law school performance" relative to the other students, which is what matters. Maybe you'll be "happier" but so will everyone else. This is the beauty of the curve. So if you mean "personal happiness", fine. But law school performance cannot possibly be correlated to the school's atmosphere, since everyone's in the same environment.

And it's questionable whether what you say about Duke vs UVA is even true.

keg411
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby keg411 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:42 pm

aznflyingpanda wrote:I stopped reading after seeing the COA at UVA and Duke. Pick UVA.


This. But I would still urge OP to visit both.

jeeli
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby jeeli » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:24 am

what about lay prestige? would going to Duke open more doors to more geographical markets within the US?

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flyingpanda
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby flyingpanda » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:44 am

jeeli wrote:what about lay prestige? would going to Duke open more doors to more geographical markets within the US?


Is this a serious question? Lay prestige is lay prestige. It's not legal prestige. So no, Duke will not open doors to more geographical markets within the US.

insidethetwenty
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby insidethetwenty » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:44 am

I have the same decision, but the money is practically equal. I'm going to Duke because it felt like the place I wanted to be in law school when I visited. However, since UVA is apparently a much less expensive option, UVA is probably a better choice for you. Unless you just love/have to go to Duke, I wouldn't advise you to spend/borrow another $46k for it.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:30 am

paralegal wrote:However, I've found that there is often VERY little discussion on TLS about law school performance. You mention "most importantly, I want to go to the school that will be least stressful overall." I would strongly consider Duke for this very reason. The students at Duke are amazing, extremely intelligent and yet supportive. The professors are completely available and are truly interested in their students' success.

All of this is just as true at UVA, if not moreso. The "beer and softball" thing is real here, and Duke doesn't have Feb Club. You get to choose how much you party (and drink) during the school year and nobody cares if you don't, but there's plenty of fun to be had if you want it. UVA is about as fun as I can imagine law school being. The work is still hard work, but we play hard here, too.

UVA is the better school, especially for placement to the west coast. The school historically does well placing into California: http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/career/career_map.htm With most UVA folks wanting to stay on the east coast, there's still good placement out west for those who want it. (Keep in mind, those numbers are pre-ITE; yes, UVA's taken a hit in placement lately, but so has Duke and every other school.)

As for Arizona... well, one of our grads back in the 80s went to AZ to clerk and worked her way up to becoming a two-term governor, and is now being considered for the Supreme Court, or something like that. :mrgreen:

Duke is, at best, a peer school to UVA in terms of both national reach and quality of life. Given that, the money should be the easy tiebreaker here. There is no reason at all to go to Duke when UVA is there and cheaper. If this were a tie or you had some reason to want to go to Duke in particular it might be a contest, but here it's not.

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Chairman
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Re: Duke vs. UVA

Postby Chairman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:01 am

Follow the money unless there's a seriously compelling reason to avoid UVA. If the situation were reversed, IMHO, following the money (to Duke) would still be the right choice.




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