Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

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

Where should I go?

Duke (60K)
38
76%
Vandy(89K)
8
16%
Wash U (135K)
4
8%
 
Total votes: 50

FOREX
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:43 am

Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby FOREX » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:55 am

As an extremely debt-adverse individual, I am having a difficult time deciding which one of these offers I should accept. I plan to go into international transactional law (currently studying for the CFA exam; Arabic & German proficiency) and would like to know what you guys think about these various programs. I know Wash U is a rising stars and offers a LLM program with a school in Brussels (plus there is the corporate judicial clerkship opportunity). However, by name alone Duke and Vandy seem bomb-proof.

I also have an offer from IUB (I'm a senior here now) where they would pay for everything and provide a 3k a year stipend (shit in mouth, KILL SELF).

Articulate, compelling and educated reponses will be appreciated. I'm still waiting to know from Penn and Cornell.

Thanks.

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whitman
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Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby whitman » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:03 pm

FOREX wrote:As an extremely debt-adverse individual, I am having a difficult time deciding which one of these offers I should accept. I plan to go into international transactional law (currently studying for the CFA exam; Arabic & German proficiency) and would like to know what you guys think about these various programs. I know Wash U is a rising stars and offers a LLM program with a school in Brussels (plus there is the corporate judicial clerkship opportunity). However, by name alone Duke and Vandy seem bomb-proof.

I also have an offer from IUB (I'm a senior here now) where they would pay for everything and provide a 3k a year stipend (shit in mouth, KILL SELF).

Articulate, compelling and educated reponses will be appreciated. I'm still waiting to know from Penn and Cornell.

Thanks.


Duke, no question. Vandy is a great school, and I might choose it with money over my other T14 options without, but Duke is worth 29k over Vandy, I think, especially since it sounds like you're not hoping to land a gig in Atlanta, Nashville, etc.

duckmoney
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Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby duckmoney » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:04 pm

This is a very tough call and I really don't think you can go wrong in any situation.

If you are as debt-averse as it sounds, I would take the money at WUSTL. A full ride is a big deal, and you can get to the same places from WUSTL as you can from Vandy and Duke, you might just need to be a few spots higher in your class.

On the other hand, if you have substantial savings or parental support, I think Vandy (or Duke, if you really substantial savings) would certainly be worth the investment. Vandy definitely has better career prospects than WUSTL, especially in the Southeast, although pretty marginally nationally. Duke is king in the southeast and has the power to place anywhere in the country.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll probably bank several thousand dollars during your 2L summer if you plan on firm work; that should help keep the debt down if it's manageable to begin with.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

FOREX
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby FOREX » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:07 pm

Thanks for the comments. Would it be possible or tactful for me to bargain with Duke or Vandy for more funds? I'm not sure if I have anything to hold over their heads to force the issue.

Keats
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby Keats » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:18 pm

We're in similar positions (though your $ amounts are better, and Duke waitlisted me), and FWIW, I'm about 90% sure I'm going to take 60K at Vanderbilt over 75K at WUSTL and 120K at IU-B. Really, you can't go wrong with any of the options listed above, but if I were in your spot I'd go Duke, then Vandy, then WUSTL. I wouldn't pick Duke at sticker, but 60K is a great deal.

And I'm not sure about the others, but I know Vanderbilt doesn't negotiate scholarship money. Good luck!

duckmoney
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Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby duckmoney » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:37 pm

FOREX wrote:Thanks for the comments. Would it be possible or tactful for me to bargain with Duke or Vandy for more funds? I'm not sure if I have anything to hold over their heads to force the issue.


Couldn't hurt, but I wouldn't expect anything.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby bdubs » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:41 pm

FOREX wrote:As an extremely debt-adverse individual, I am having a difficult time deciding which one of these offers I should accept. I plan to go into international transactional law (currently studying for the CFA exam; Arabic & German proficiency) and would like to know what you guys think about these various programs. I know Wash U is a rising stars and offers a LLM program with a school in Brussels (plus there is the corporate judicial clerkship opportunity). However, by name alone Duke and Vandy seem bomb-proof.

I also have an offer from IUB (I'm a senior here now) where they would pay for everything and provide a 3k a year stipend (shit in mouth, KILL SELF).

Articulate, compelling and educated reponses will be appreciated. I'm still waiting to know from Penn and Cornell.

Thanks.


I believe that international transactional law positions are some of the most competitive and difficult ones to get in biglaw. If you want magic circle or a big name US firm's overseas office you will have to earn great grades at a top school. Duke is really your best shot, unless you got into higher ranked schools with less $$. I would doubt that proficiency in a language will make up for the rank of your school, but it might give you the bump if you do well at a highly ranked school.

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drylo
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby drylo » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:14 am

If you want to do international deals, I think you have to be looking at practicing in NYC (or maybe overseas somewhere). I don't know the specific stats, but I assume Duke sends the most people (of those three schools) to NY. However, being at Vandy, I know that a majority of my classmates don't want to practice in NY--so that will skew the placement stats. Bottom line is that it will depend on how well you do in school and how well you navigate OCI. It seems like your choice is pretty straightforward. Weigh the debt, think about which place you like more, and go with your gut.

User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby thexfactor » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:14 pm

duckmoney wrote:This is a very tough call and I really don't think you can go wrong in any situation.

If you are as debt-averse as it sounds, I would take the money at WUSTL. A full ride is a big deal, and you can get to the same places from WUSTL as you can from Vandy and Duke, you might just need to be a few spots higher in your class.

On the other hand, if you have substantial savings or parental support, I think Vandy (or Duke, if you really substantial savings) would certainly be worth the investment. Vandy definitely has better career prospects than WUSTL, especially in the Southeast, although pretty marginally nationally. Duke is king in the southeast and has the power to place anywhere in the country.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll probably bank several thousand dollars during your 2L summer if you plan on firm work; that should help keep the debt down if it's manageable to begin with.

Hope that helps, and good luck!



a few spots higher? compared to duke? lol it s a lot more than a few. Duke places 20% more kids in biglaw/midlaw according to the NLJ250 and also does better in clerkships.

It comes down to 60k for a 20-30% better chance at a high paying job for your career. The problem is that with the bimodal salary distribution, chances are that if you miss the boat you will start out at 40k and not 80 or 90k. That 60k debt is really manageable with the new IBR plan.

FOREX
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby FOREX » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:51 pm

Once again thank you for your responses. I've been checking the sites of the top 10 M&A / transaction firms (by value) to see where their attorneys come from, and Duke seems to be the standout among my choices (what is a wash u?). I have also been accepted to Penn and Michigan; however, I will not know anything about scholarhsips for about another month or so (which is unfortunate considering Wash U's seat deposit date is April 1st ----bastards do this on purpose). I plan to visit Vandy and Wash U next week (my sping break; they are in session) and then go to Duke's admitted student weekend.

Hopefully by visiting these schools I will gain a more informed perspective on things.

Also IU put me in contact with an alumnus from Allen and Overy (NY office)who graduated last year and by blood, sweat and perhaps a little luck landed a position at the firm (a key player in M&A). The poor man had been working until four in the morning (overseas conference calls) for the past week. Considering '10 was an abysmal year, I believe he is a good example that if you really, really, really try you can make it wherever you want to go from the T30 (excluding Supreme Court clerkships).

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:07 pm

Duke. It's well worth the investment (maybe a full ride from Vandy would be a game-changer).

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Duke (60K) v. Vandy (89k) v. Wash U (135K)

Postby bdubs » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:10 pm

FOREX wrote:Once again thank you for your responses. I've been checking the sites of the top 10 M&A / transaction firms (by value) to see where their attorneys come from, and Duke seems to be the standout among my choices (what is a wash u?). I have also been accepted to Penn and Michigan; however, I will not know anything about scholarhsips for about another month or so (which is unfortunate considering Wash U's seat deposit date is April 1st ----bastards do this on purpose). I plan to visit Vandy and Wash U next week (my sping break; they are in session) and then go to Duke's admitted student weekend.

Hopefully by visiting these schools I will gain a more informed perspective on things.

Also IU put me in contact with an alumnus from Allen and Overy (NY office)who graduated last year and by blood, sweat and perhaps a little luck landed a position at the firm (a key player in M&A). The poor man had been working until four in the morning (overseas conference calls) for the past week. Considering '10 was an abysmal year, I believe he is a good example that if you really, really, really try you can make it wherever you want to go from the T30 (excluding Supreme Court clerkships).



Go to Penn or Michigan unless you get substantial money from Duke.




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