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Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:14 pm
by canditiffany
I received $25K per year from Duke, and full tuition from Minnesota and Illinois. I live in the midwest and would like to practice in the midwest. I think I am interested in IP law, but am open to see what interests me once I start. Please give me your thoughts.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:26 pm
by masochist
I can’t help, but I can empathize. I am trying to decide between a decent scholarship at Duke and a full tuition scholarship at UIUC, and my mind changes daily. For what it is worth, all of the advice I’ve been getting seems to suggest that UIUC > Duke for Chicago, but Duke > UIUC for everywhere else by quite a bit. I know nothing about Minnesota.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:26 pm
by fakemoney
You pretty much can't go wrong. Duke makes sense if you don't mind taking on 60K or so extra in debt for more regional flexibility, a better shot at big law/other more competitive jobs, and the prestige of a degree from a t14 school. Illinois and UMN make sense if you're definitely set on the Midwest and want to keep your debt down.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:31 pm
by 09042014
canditiffany wrote:I received $25K per year from Duke, and full tuition from Minnesota and Illinois. I live in the midwest and would like to practice in the midwest. I think I am interested in IP law, but am open to see what interests me once I start. Please give me your thoughts.


What happened at NW and Michigan?

I'd take Duke, even if you want Chicago big law. Unless you will take shit law in Chicago vs big law in NYC (and with no debt that might not be a horrible choice), Duke is probably the better choice.

You'll have to organize a mail in resume attack if you go to Duke. There just aren't that many Midwestern firms that go to Duke.

What type of IP are you interested in and what are you qualifications. Patent Prosectution might work in Illinois's favor.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:40 pm
by masochist
Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I know nothing about IP in Chicago.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:28 am
by canditiffany
I am graduating with a Chem Engineering degree so I have an engineering background to use with my IP law interest. I was wait listed at both Michigan and Northwestern (and U of Chicago), so those are not in the picture. Do you think that Duke is worth taking on the extra 75K in debt? Minnesota, Duke, and U of Illinois will all cost about the same for fees, R&B, so the difference is the tuition cost at Duke less my scholarship vs free tuition at Minnesota and Illinois. Anyone else want to weigh in? I appreciate any advice you can provide!

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:30 am
by Law Sauce
I would go to duke for the better educational experience (higher student quality), contacts you'd meet (though not midwest contacts probably), rarity of the Duke name (in midwest it may be an advantage because firms don't see many duke grads), small school feel (nearly the same point as above), weather (if you lived in midwest and want to go back why not go to the beach for a while), flexibility (you really know where you want to be after school already, for sure? no way you'd change you're mind?), and likely better specialized training (don't know about IP, but at Duke there will be great profs in nearly all specialties including IP I'd guess). 60k is not that much over your whole career, not like 200k is anyway.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:03 pm
by 09042014
canditiffany wrote:I am graduating with a Chem Engineering degree so I have an engineering background to use with my IP law interest. I was wait listed at both Michigan and Northwestern (and U of Chicago), so those are not in the picture. Do you think that Duke is worth taking on the extra 75K in debt? Minnesota, Duke, and U of Illinois will all cost about the same for fees, R&B, so the difference is the tuition cost at Duke less my scholarship vs free tuition at Minnesota and Illinois. Anyone else want to weigh in? I appreciate any advice you can provide!


This is a hard call. If you had no IP background I'd tell you Duke for sure.

But IP cuts both ways. You can do the Loyola Patent Fair and get interviews with a lot of Midwest firms even if you go to Duke. But IP is usually less prestige whorish. You might be able to get an IP job based on your engineering credentials alone making Duke irrelevant.

You should somehow find out how IP folks at UIUC and Minn are doing finding jobs.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:24 pm
by kellycane
FWIW, Minnesota has a really great IP program and a huge job market for IP due to the number of companies located in the area. I attended the ASW and met a few IP profs who spoke to the demand for IP attorneys in the area, as apparently MN has one of the biggest markets. I'm not interested in IP, so I didn't ask for more information, but MN might be worth investigating.

Congrats on your awesome choices and good luck making a decision!

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:49 pm
by illini22
Desert Fox wrote:
canditiffany wrote:I am graduating with a Chem Engineering degree so I have an engineering background to use with my IP law interest. I was wait listed at both Michigan and Northwestern (and U of Chicago), so those are not in the picture. Do you think that Duke is worth taking on the extra 75K in debt? Minnesota, Duke, and U of Illinois will all cost about the same for fees, R&B, so the difference is the tuition cost at Duke less my scholarship vs free tuition at Minnesota and Illinois. Anyone else want to weigh in? I appreciate any advice you can provide!


This is a hard call. If you had no IP background I'd tell you Duke for sure.

But IP cuts both ways. You can do the Loyola Patent Fair and get interviews with a lot of Midwest firms even if you go to Duke. But IP is usually less prestige whorish. You might be able to get an IP job based on your engineering credentials alone making Duke irrelevant.

You should somehow find out how IP folks at UIUC and Minn are doing finding jobs.


UIUC student here. IP is golden, is better than being a minority... IP people got both boutique and big law. Some even got those jobs as for their 1L summer. I think its also because Illinois has a very strong Engineering program, so people at those firms either came to Illinois for undergrad or law school, so the alumni base in that area is the strongest. Full disclosure tho, I dont know anyone with an IP job outside of Midwest (Chicago/St. Louis).

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:57 pm
by Ludo!
I can confirm that IP kids here did ridiculously well. Even with grades that would normally make biglaw throw their resumes in the trash there are people making above market at boutique Chicago firms this summer. It also seemed to eliminate some of the regionality of Illinois; my IP friends had interviews in every market regardless of ties. Knobbe in OC for example comes to our OCI and I know they gave out offers.

That said, I certainly don't know every 2l that possibly has an IP background, but I know ~10 and they've all got good jobs.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:03 pm
by 09042014
BANNER SHATTERS THE MARKET.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:25 pm
by Paul Campos
Tuition and fees at Duke this fall are $54K so if you assume no more than COL increases in tuition you're looking at an extra $90K to go there ($165K in tuition -- $75K in grant money).

Not worth it if you want to be in the Midwest, especially with the IP factor.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:05 pm
by CanadianWolf
Three great options-----if you plan to pursue IP law. If undecided, then Duke.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:13 pm
by Doorkeeper
Duke with 75k scholarship is definitely a good deal.

Duke by a mile. Portability. Flexibility. Better education. No doubt.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:20 am
by J-e-L-L-o
Doorkeeper wrote:Duke with 75k scholarship is definitely a good deal.

Duke by a mile. Portability. Flexibility. Better education. No doubt.


I don't agree with this. IP is different and OP has an engineering degree.

No sense in paying more for what a lower cost can get you. I would say if you have an interest in clerking Duke. Take the full ride offer for big law IP in the midwest.

It's not like the options are Tier III.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:50 am
by cotiger
Three year old double necro. Nice.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:39 am
by thebobs1987
UIUC student here. Just to confirm what Illini22 said, IP at UIUC does remarkably well. I am a 1L and nearly every patent 1L I know has a paid job lined up at a company or biglaw/boutique. But as Illini22 said, they're all Chicago/St. Louis and I know some Indy ppl as well. If you want IP in Chicago or midwest then UIUC debt free is definitely not a bad call. If you want IP outside the midwest or unsure that you want to do IP then I agree it is definitely Duke.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:41 am
by Lawyerji
Duke; no contest.

Re: Advice Please--Duke vs Minnesota vs Illinois

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:44 am
by A. Nony Mouse
People, I'm pretty sure the OP made their decision almost 2 years ago.