Duke/Gtown/NYU

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

Which Law School to Choose?

Duke (with 1/3rd scholarship)
29
38%
Georgetown (with 1/3rd scholarship)
4
5%
NYU (no scholarship)
44
57%
 
Total votes: 77

craygar
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Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby craygar » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:39 pm

A little about myself:
I have been in new york for school the past few years and now need to decide on where to attend school. I love new york and think i want to end up working in new york or DC but am fine going somewhere else for three years and then moving afterwards. I am fairly debt adverse and like the idea of being fairly economically free after law school with the ability to truly choose what I want to do. I want to work maybe in DoJ, possibly go for a clerkship, work for some other governmental agency, though Corporate/BigLaw is not a totally repulsive idea (as an 0L). My parents live in MD, girlfriend's family in the Carolinas and a strong friend base in New York.

I have been offer about a 1/3rd scholarship from Duke, Georgetown has matched that but has a much higher cost of living, and NYU has offered me nothing. I visited Duke, thought it was beautiful but am worried if the area has enough to do, but though Chapel Hill and Raleigh looked awesome and nearby. I like the idea of leaving the city for three years to come back later, but want to make sure that I can break into the New York/DC/clerkship market from Duke. DC seems like an awesome place to live, but Georgetown is expensive and I am worried about its ranking/placement, but it seems like a good fit for government work. NYU is a great school with a great location, but didnt offer me anything. Still, it is higher ranked than the others. Ideas, what would you do, any answers to breaking into city markets/getting good clerkships or government work, etc? Thank you everyone.

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thatkid
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby thatkid » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:08 pm

NYU hasn't given out scholarships yet. I'd wait until you know all of your offers, see what you can get through negotiations, and then decide.

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luxxe
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby luxxe » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:09 pm

thatkid wrote:NYU hasn't given out scholarships yet. I'd wait until you know all of your offers, see what you can get through negotiations, and then decide.


Neither has GULC.

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scribelaw
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby scribelaw » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:32 pm

I wouldn't pick based on clerkships. You're going to have to do very well, and make law review, to get a federal clerkship from any of these schools.

If you want New York, NYU is clearly the risk-adverse move. If you want DC, I'd pick Georgetown in a second over the other two, but know that, depending your resume and personal skills, you'll probably have to be in the top-third to be competitive for DC BigLaw from GULC. The same will be true at NYU and Duke, perhaps even more so.

I picked a 2/3 scholarship at Georgetown over NYU, and it was the best decision I ever made. Georgetown is a really good school, and the difference between it and NYU is vastly overstated on TLS.

bdubs
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:50 pm

It should be between NYU and Duke. Duke is a better school, with better job prospects, and lower debt than Georgetown. NYU will net you a much better shot at top jobs in NYC though, and it will probably put you in a better position for government than Duke. The $$ difference is probably greater than 1/3 due to the cost of living in Durham.

Do you have any sense of what type of law you want to do? NYU will have a big advantage in transactional work because of the extreme NYC bias in that line of work. Litigation, patent, or general corporate is probably more of a toss up. I'd lean Duke unless you know you want to work for a V10 in NYC doing Wall St. deals.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:40 pm

Clerkships: NYU = Duke > Georgetown
DC: Georgetown = Duke > NYU
NYC: NYU > Duke > Georgetown

I, personally, would go with Duke because it seems to cater fairly well to your preferences and is substantially cheaper than NYU (if you factor in cost of living, it will probably be ~$75k cheaper).

Good luck with your decision. You have some great options for sure.

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mel2010
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby mel2010 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:48 am

Realizing this would all change if the $ changes, as it stands I would drop GULC from your list of options because I think Duke (short term) and NYU (long term) are both better choices financially.

Duke is a great school, and as you noted will be way cheaper over 3 years than GULC (and obviously NYU). I wouldn't worry about the area having enough to do...you'll probably be spending most of your time in class or studying, and though it's clearly not NYC the research triangle has plenty going on; it does have to support ~80,000 students. And the weather's beautiful and you can see grass and trees and all that jazz.

That being said, I was in a similar situation (1/3 @ Duke, CLS @ sticker) and I chose the more expensive option. I don't regret it, but I'm generally positive so I might be saying the same thing had I opted for Duke. For me, it came down to the (perhaps oversimplified) fact that I would be in six-figure debt either way. At that point, I knew I was going to either have to get biglaw or use a good loan repayment program to get out of debt in a reasonable time and manner. I felt less comfortable with NYC biglaw prospects coming out of Duke. On the LRAP side of things, Duke's program is not very generous ($60k income cap, $80k forgiveness cap, iirc), while I think NYU's is much stronger. Also, NYU is supposed to have great institutional support for people wanting to do public interest.

Maybe just confused things more, but hope it helps some. I would repeat that I think you should be choosing between Duke and NYU. Feel free to PM me if you wanna discuss my situation further.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:22 pm

mel2010 wrote:Realizing this would all change if the $ changes, as it stands I would drop GULC from your list of options because I think Duke (short term) and NYU (long term) are both better choices financially.

Duke is a great school, and as you noted will be way cheaper over 3 years than GULC (and obviously NYU). I wouldn't worry about the area having enough to do...you'll probably be spending most of your time in class or studying, and though it's clearly not NYC the research triangle has plenty going on; it does have to support ~80,000 students. And the weather's beautiful and you can see grass and trees and all that jazz.

That being said, I was in a similar situation (1/3 @ Duke, CLS @ sticker) and I chose the more expensive option. I don't regret it, but I'm generally positive so I might be saying the same thing had I opted for Duke. For me, it came down to the (perhaps oversimplified) fact that I would be in six-figure debt either way. At that point, I knew I was going to either have to get biglaw or use a good loan repayment program to get out of debt in a reasonable time and manner. I felt less comfortable with NYC biglaw prospects coming out of Duke. On the LRAP side of things, Duke's program is not very generous ($60k income cap, $80k forgiveness cap, iirc), while I think NYU's is much stronger. Also, NYU is supposed to have great institutional support for people wanting to do public interest.

Maybe just confused things more, but hope it helps some. I would repeat that I think you should be choosing between Duke and NYU. Feel free to PM me if you wanna discuss my situation further.


Two things. Duke LRAP is full forgiveness when graduate makes $60k or less. It has a sliding scale up to $75k. And, also, there is a fairly big difference IMO between NYU and CLS is my opinion so your comparison may not be fair.

If this was between CLS and Duke, I would probably recommend CLS but that is not the case.

Also, if you're worried about BigLaw, the last two classes at Duke appear to have placed about 60%+ of their class in Fed III Clerkships / BigLaw.

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Detrox
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby Detrox » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:40 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:
mel2010 wrote:Realizing this would all change if the $ changes, as it stands I would drop GULC from your list of options because I think Duke (short term) and NYU (long term) are both better choices financially.

Duke is a great school, and as you noted will be way cheaper over 3 years than GULC (and obviously NYU). I wouldn't worry about the area having enough to do...you'll probably be spending most of your time in class or studying, and though it's clearly not NYC the research triangle has plenty going on; it does have to support ~80,000 students. And the weather's beautiful and you can see grass and trees and all that jazz.

That being said, I was in a similar situation (1/3 @ Duke, CLS @ sticker) and I chose the more expensive option. I don't regret it, but I'm generally positive so I might be saying the same thing had I opted for Duke. For me, it came down to the (perhaps oversimplified) fact that I would be in six-figure debt either way. At that point, I knew I was going to either have to get biglaw or use a good loan repayment program to get out of debt in a reasonable time and manner. I felt less comfortable with NYC biglaw prospects coming out of Duke. On the LRAP side of things, Duke's program is not very generous ($60k income cap, $80k forgiveness cap, iirc), while I think NYU's is much stronger. Also, NYU is supposed to have great institutional support for people wanting to do public interest.

Maybe just confused things more, but hope it helps some. I would repeat that I think you should be choosing between Duke and NYU. Feel free to PM me if you wanna discuss my situation further.


Two things. Duke LRAP is full forgiveness when graduate makes $60k or less. It has a sliding scale up to $75k. And, also, there is a fairly big difference IMO between NYU and CLS is my opinion so your comparison may not be fair.

If this was between CLS and Duke, I would probably recommend CLS but that is not the case.

Also, if you're worried about BigLaw, the last two classes at Duke appear to have placed about 60%+ of their class in Fed III Clerkships / BigLaw.


This "fairly big difference" is what?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:45 pm

Detrox wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:
mel2010 wrote:Realizing this would all change if the $ changes, as it stands I would drop GULC from your list of options because I think Duke (short term) and NYU (long term) are both better choices financially.

Duke is a great school, and as you noted will be way cheaper over 3 years than GULC (and obviously NYU). I wouldn't worry about the area having enough to do...you'll probably be spending most of your time in class or studying, and though it's clearly not NYC the research triangle has plenty going on; it does have to support ~80,000 students. And the weather's beautiful and you can see grass and trees and all that jazz.

That being said, I was in a similar situation (1/3 @ Duke, CLS @ sticker) and I chose the more expensive option. I don't regret it, but I'm generally positive so I might be saying the same thing had I opted for Duke. For me, it came down to the (perhaps oversimplified) fact that I would be in six-figure debt either way. At that point, I knew I was going to either have to get biglaw or use a good loan repayment program to get out of debt in a reasonable time and manner. I felt less comfortable with NYC biglaw prospects coming out of Duke. On the LRAP side of things, Duke's program is not very generous ($60k income cap, $80k forgiveness cap, iirc), while I think NYU's is much stronger. Also, NYU is supposed to have great institutional support for people wanting to do public interest.

Maybe just confused things more, but hope it helps some. I would repeat that I think you should be choosing between Duke and NYU. Feel free to PM me if you wanna discuss my situation further.


Two things. Duke LRAP is full forgiveness when graduate makes $60k or less. It has a sliding scale up to $75k. And, also, there is a fairly big difference IMO between NYU and CLS is my opinion so your comparison may not be fair.

If this was between CLS and Duke, I would probably recommend CLS but that is not the case.

Also, if you're worried about BigLaw, the last two classes at Duke appear to have placed about 60%+ of their class in Fed III Clerkships / BigLaw.


This "fairly big difference" is what?


Placement into BigLaw...

NYU is closer to the rest of the T13 than it is to the T5 as far as I can tell from everything I read on these boards.

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Detrox
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby Detrox » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:04 pm

These boards can be very misleading and schools with the most vocal trolls seem to redefine truth.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/choosing ... in-ny.html is a decent post, with slightly outdated figures.

Or you can look at the NLJ rankings for postings into biglaw at but if you do apparently Cornell > Columbia and NYU, not to mention Harvard for biglaw placement, so take that as you will. http://abovethelaw.com/2011/03/best-law ... w-job-2011

In any case, NYU and Columbia will provide about the same opportunities for NYC biglaw (the largest market). Secondary markets and clerkship chances may provide Columbia with some advantage, but public interest and government opportunities may balance that consideration. In any case, it seems like for OP's concerns, NYU may as well be Columbia.

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TUP
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby TUP » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:47 pm

Try to negotiate, but I was in a similar situation and didn't give NYU another thought once they failed to match a lower T14 half scholarship.

Keep in mind that over the past few years Duke and NYU have similar NLJ250 numbers even though Duke doesn't have 80% of its class gunning for the easiest market. Duke also does better with clerkships.

Finally, the 70k in additional debt locks you into big law for 2 more years assuming everything works out and you get it.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:06 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:Placement into BigLaw...

NYU is closer to the rest of the T13 than it is to the T5 as far as I can tell from everything I read on these boards.

I just love how this is such conventional wisdom now that Chicago is at 5 and NYU is 6 in USNWR. When CLS and NYU were 4 and 5, I don't recall so much insistence that NYU is not a peer of CC. I just really don't think the facts support it, but this place is such a prestige-whore 0L echo chamber that it's like gospel truth now.

That said, I think it's quite a legitimate choice to take Duke with money over NYU.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:16 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:Placement into BigLaw...

NYU is closer to the rest of the T13 than it is to the T5 as far as I can tell from everything I read on these boards.

I just love how this is such conventional wisdom now that Chicago is at 5 and NYU is 6 in USNWR. When CLS and NYU were 4 and 5, I don't recall so much insistence that NYU is not a peer of CC. I just really don't think the facts support it, but this place is such a prestige-whore 0L echo chamber that it's like gospel truth now.

That said, I think it's quite a legitimate choice to take Duke with money over NYU.


If it makes you feel any better, I think prestige-wise it is pretty much HYS then the rest of the T14.

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mel2010
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby mel2010 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:17 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:Two things. Duke LRAP is full forgiveness when graduate makes $60k or less. It has a sliding scale up to $75k. And, also, there is a fairly big difference IMO between NYU and CLS is my opinion so your comparison may not be fair.

If this was between CLS and Duke, I would probably recommend CLS but that is not the case.

Also, if you're worried about BigLaw, the last two classes at Duke appear to have placed about 60%+ of their class in Fed III Clerkships / BigLaw.

You're right, I was looking at the older plan, but NYU's LRAP still seems significantly better to me:
Duke: full coverage under 65k, sliding up to 75k
NYU: full coverage under 80k, no cap (as far as I can tell)

On the second note, two things. I was actually making this decision regarding NYU before I was accepted into CLS, and I don't think it would have changed much. Also, I think the differences between NYU and CLS are pretty overstated; CLS might have a little edge on biglaw but NYU has a bigger edge on public interest (which is what OP seemed primarily interested in).

But I'm not trying to convince him one is better than the other. I think the only "wrong" choice in OP's particular situation is GULC.
Last edited by mel2010 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

071816
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby 071816 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:18 pm

I would go with Duke. More money, cheaper COL, and any jump in employment prospects coming out of NYU probably won't outweigh the money saved by going to Duke. If you really want to be in NYC though you can't really go wrong with NYU here.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:29 pm

Hoping I can bump this thread. Im in a very similar position to OP, with same career prospects: biglaw, fedgov, clerkship desires. However I have like 35,000 in undergrad debt. Im wondering if this would change the calculus of this decision at all. Im pretty worried about having like $250,000 in debt coming out of NYU v. $175,000 at Duke (at 1/3 scholarship).

I know having a biglaw job would would make paying this off if not easy or comfortable, at least possible. But Im just curious if NYU is still that much better than Duke to mitigate the risk of $150,000+ in debt. Thanks guys.

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skers
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby skers » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:32 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:Hoping I can bump this thread. Im in a very similar position to OP, with same career prospects: biglaw, fedgov, clerkship desires. However I have like 35,000 in undergrad debt. Im wondering if this would change the calculus of this decision at all. Im pretty worried about having like $250,000 in debt coming out of NYU v. $175,000 at Duke (at 1/3 scholarship).

I know having a biglaw job would would make paying this off if not easy or comfortable, at least possible. But Im just curious if NYU is still that much better than Duke to mitigate the risk of $150,000+ in debt. Thanks guys.


You ok possibly working in the South? Either way, I'd take Duke in your shoes. That additional $35k is a dealbreaker.

bdubs
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby bdubs » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:02 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:Hoping I can bump this thread. Im in a very similar position to OP, with same career prospects: biglaw, fedgov, clerkship desires. However I have like 35,000 in undergrad debt. Im wondering if this would change the calculus of this decision at all. Im pretty worried about having like $250,000 in debt coming out of NYU v. $175,000 at Duke (at 1/3 scholarship).

I know having a biglaw job would would make paying this off if not easy or comfortable, at least possible. But Im just curious if NYU is still that much better than Duke to mitigate the risk of $150,000+ in debt. Thanks guys.


How risk averse are you? Coming out of school with 175,000 in debt and no job is a scarier proposition than coming out of school with 250k in debt and a job. The differences are not super stark in placement, but it would really suck to be in that marginal group with similar grades who would get jobs at NYU but not at Duke.

It also depends on whether you really want to be in NYC, NYU is a better choice if you have a strong desire to work in NYC.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Duke/Gtown/NYU

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Thanks for the replies. The more I think about biglaw attrition and cost of living in NYC, the more risk averse I get. I don't think I would mind living in NYC, but I think cost of living plus a $2500 to $3000 a month payment to loans would be pretty damn stressful. Im retaking in june because Im not necessarily comfortable with either of these options but I was asking in case a retake didn't work out. My main plan is to sit out a year, pay off my undergrad debt, then try to get a more substantial lower t14 scholarship or maybe some money in the t6 range. However I am trying to hedge my bets in case my LSAT retake doesn't work out.




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