Wake Forest v. Duke--employment options?

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Wake Forest v. Duke--employment options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:51 pm

This is my situation: North Carolina resident, non-traditional student (older), I'm interested in possibly staying and practicing within the state. This year I am in to Wake Forest (full tuition offer) and am in to Duke (no scholly info yet, but I'll be lucky to get half off). So Duke I would probably end up with $120-150k, whereas WFU I would take on minimal debt. It would also be MUCH easier in terms of the commute for me to attend Wake. I visited Duke, and one of the faculty there told me--in his/her office, with the door closed--that they would recommend I consider attending WFU, because it will be much easier to standout (top 10%, law review, etc) whereas at Duke I would take on debt + it will be harder to stand out.

Any thoughts about how standout (top 10% or better) at a top-40 school compares to being in the middle of the pack at a t-14 in terms of employment?

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Re: Wake Forest v. Duke--employment options?

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:53 pm

Well what do you want to do?

Just FYI, it's not as easy as saying go to the lower ranked school, it's easier. You've never taken a law exam, neither has anyone else, and people, even smart people, can be all over the map with these things.


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Re: Wake Forest v. Duke--employment options?

Postby BrianFellow » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:55 pm

Are you moving to law from a career that hasn't earned you decent money?

Are you just academically interested in law and set for life financially?

I'm not trying to be a jerk necessarily, but I don't know how any "older" student who reads the newspaper on a semi-regular basis would enter law school.

Having said that, disagree that going to a lesser-ranked school will make it any easier to stand out. There are smart kids at every law school in this country and the same goes for not-so-bright bulbs. Every law school graduates incredibly bright lawyers and every law school graduates kids who can't pass a bar exam.

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Re: Wake Forest v. Duke--employment options?

Postby Unitas » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:06 pm

At Duke you will likely have a biglaw job at graduation.
At Wake Forest you will likely NOT have a biglaw job at graduation.

However, at Duke you may not have a job at graduation and at Wake Forest you may...

You can actually insert mathematical variables to come up with if the cost difference is worth it to you but it will be highly dependent on the variables you give the possible outcomes. I would say Duke 80% 160k biglaw and 20% 60k+ and Wake Forest 10-15% biglaw, 40% or so 60k, and the rest is applying for the journalism job at ATL.

I'd go to Duke. It offers a lot better odds regardless of exactly what they are. You will be under a lot less pressure to perform given needing to "stand out" at Wake Forest but not Duke. Two years of constant pressure to perform at the top seems bad (probably worth the debt alone). Most people I know that do well are more relaxed about it and not so much pressure, yes they try but getting below top 10% isn't the end of the world.

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