Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

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sach1282
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Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby sach1282 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:07 pm

I have a few specific concerns about these two schools I'd like to discuss. I've done both ASWs and liked both schools. I have an identical scholarship to both schools and COA is close enough to call it identical. CoA is actually 3k per year higher at Duke/Cornell than it is at Mich (despite a 12k higher scholarship at Cornell)

1) Clerkships are my #1 priority. Michigan has a dedicated career services person just for clerkships. However, historically, Duke has placed slightly higher in A3s.
2) I don't want a car. I know that you can use your M card to ride the bus for free in Michigan. I would own a motorcycle at Duke.
3) I don't know what my career path will be but the Michigan LRAP is stronger than Duke's.
4) Clinics are very important to me. Michigan has 4 clinics I am very interested in. Duke has two.
5) At Michigan, 12.5% of 1Ls can make law review. At Duke, 18.5% can make law review.
6) I'm in at the joint JD/M.Phil at Duke, but it ends up costing about an extra $20,000, despite receiving both degrees in three years. I only consider this because I have a long eye on academia and it would be easier to go for a PhD in philosophy with the MA already there.
7) I felt a little more comfortable at Duke. Maybe it had to do with the weather, maybe it had to do with the class size, but everyone seemed a little more relaxed.
8) Legal writing at Michigan is H/P/F, Duke's legal writing ends before finals, is graded, but uncurved.

Thoughts?

Help!
Last edited by sach1282 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cylon_clone
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby cylon_clone » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:29 pm

sach1282 wrote:I have a few specific concerns about these two schools I'd like to discuss. I've done both ASWs and liked both schools. I have an identical scholarship to both schools and COA is close enough to call it identical.

1) Clerkships are my #1 priority. Michigan has a dedicated career services person just for clerkships. However, historically, Duke has placed slightly higher in A3s.
2) I don't want a car. I know that you can use your M card to ride the bus for free in Michigan. I would own a motorcycle at Duke.
3) I don't know what my career path will be but the Michigan LRAP is stronger than Duke's.
4) Clinics are very important to me. Michigan has 4 clinics I am very interested in. Duke has two.
5) At Michigan, 12.5% of 1Ls can make law review. At Duke, 18.5% can make law review.
6) I'm in at the joint JD/M.Phil at Duke, but it ends up costing about an extra $20,000, despite receiving both degrees in three years. I only consider this because I have a long eye on academia and it would be easier to go for a PhD in philosophy with the MA already there.
7) I felt a little more comfortable at Duke. Maybe it had to do with the weather, maybe it had to do with the class size, but everyone seemed a little more relaxed.
8) Legal writing at Michigan is H/P/F, Duke's legal writing ends before finals, is graded, but uncurved.

Thoughts?

Help!


1,3,4,8 = Michigan.
2,5,6,7 = Duke.

At this point I'd say go wherever makes you happier. I've been to both ASWs, and while I definitely disagree with the last part of #7, I can see how you could feel that way. I personally prefer Ann Arbor but your personal quality of living will probably be better in Durham...and if you think you'd actually use a philosophy degree, then go for it. Although Michigan's superior LRAP program still applies if you work for public university. There's nothing wrong with writing for a secondary journal and 6% and a legal writing class IMO is not worth basing a decision on.

t14fanboy
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby t14fanboy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:32 pm

Isn't it rather difficult to get an AIII clerkship out of these schools (i.e not YHS)? Don't think 1 percentage point here or there should really sway you.

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:41 pm

How important to you is your motorcycle ? Otherwise, it's a tie.

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:47 pm

1) Duke places better into AIII but you still need to be top 5% to be secure and top 20% to have a fighting chance.
2) You can ride the bus for free to Duke through a new program recently implemented (think I got an email about this).
3) Duke's LRAP was improved this past year (covers portion of loans up to $75k).
4) Do not know anything about clinics.
5) A third of those are pure write-ons, a third are pure grade ons, and a third are a 50/50 split of grades/writing at Duke. So, in order to grade on you need to be about top 7% of the class. Do not know if Michigan is pure grades or what.
6) So you would be a summer starter at Duke?
7) The weather at Duke is awesome year round and the smaller class size in a new modern building that lets in tons of natural light keeps me sane.
8) If only this were true (LARW at Duke is curved just like every other 1L class).

t14fanboy
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby t14fanboy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:51 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:1) Duke places better into AIII but you still need to be top 5% to be secure and top 20% to have a fighting chance.
2) You can ride the bus for free to Duke through a new program recently implemented (think I got an email about this).
3) Duke's LRAP was improved this past year (covers portion of loans up to $75k).
4) Do not know anything about clinics.
5) A third of those are pure write-ons, a third are pure grade ons, and a third are a 50/50 split of grades/writing at Duke. So, in order to grade on you need to be about top 7% of the class. Do not know if Michigan is pure grades or what.
6) So you would be a summer starter at Duke?
7) The weather at Duke is awesome year round and the smaller class size in a new modern building that lets in tons of natural light keeps me sane.
8) If only this were true (LARW at Duke is curved just like every other 1L class).


And this does not hold true at Mich?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:55 pm

t14fanboy wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:1) Duke places better into AIII but you still need to be top 5% to be secure and top 20% to have a fighting chance.
2) You can ride the bus for free to Duke through a new program recently implemented (think I got an email about this).
3) Duke's LRAP was improved this past year (covers portion of loans up to $75k).
4) Do not know anything about clinics.
5) A third of those are pure write-ons, a third are pure grade ons, and a third are a 50/50 split of grades/writing at Duke. So, in order to grade on you need to be about top 7% of the class. Do not know if Michigan is pure grades or what.
6) So you would be a summer starter at Duke?
7) The weather at Duke is awesome year round and the smaller class size in a new modern building that lets in tons of natural light keeps me sane.
8) If only this were true (LARW at Duke is curved just like every other 1L class).


And this does not hold true at Mich?


No idea. I would assume though that Duke's minimally better placement (1 - 4%) would probably not affect the class rank one needs to get one of these positions at either school.

titan747
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby titan747 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:12 pm

would you prefer a private education or public? good football or good basketball?

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby flcath » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:20 pm

Duke. Lay prestige.

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NinerFan
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby NinerFan » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:18 pm

I think basing your decision between schools like Michigan and Duke based on clerkships is like counting your chickens. Both schools have respectable placement (15% or so?) into clerkships, but it's certainly no guarantee at either school.

My feeling is that the two schools are about equal in terms of career opportunities and prestige. Duke might have more "lay prestige" in the South, but outside of the South and, oddly enough, China, I don't think they're all that prestigious.

Sounds like it's mostly a push between the two, so just go to the one that you feel like you'll be most comfortable at.

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:23 pm

I think the deciding factor ought to be personal fit...stats are very close in almost all categories otherwise.

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sach1282
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby sach1282 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:23 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:1) Duke places better into AIII but you still need to be top 5% to be secure and top 20% to have a fighting chance.
2) You can ride the bus for free to Duke through a new program recently implemented (think I got an email about this).
3) Duke's LRAP was improved this past year (covers portion of loans up to $75k).
4) Do not know anything about clinics.
5) A third of those are pure write-ons, a third are pure grade ons, and a third are a 50/50 split of grades/writing at Duke. So, in order to grade on you need to be about top 7% of the class. Do not know if Michigan is pure grades or what.
6) So you would be a summer starter at Duke?
7) The weather at Duke is awesome year round and the smaller class size in a new modern building that lets in tons of natural light keeps me sane.
8) If only this were true (LARW at Duke is curved just like every other 1L class).


I don't have a motorcycle currently, but would get one.
I know Duke's LRAP was recently improved, but Mich goes up to $88k (175% of GS-11, so it will continue to rise).
Did not know about the bus thing, but most students said the buses aren't regular enough to make it to class on..
Michigan is actually more write-on based. Before they even look at grades, you need to be top 3/4 to get to the next stage. Then, same system as Duke, 1/3 grades, 1/3 hybrid, 1/3 pure writing.
Sad face for the curved LARW. Guess I was mistaken.

If it changes the calculus at all, I'll be buying a small condo instead of renting both places.

The reason I have trouble relying on the "personal fit" thing is that it's so heavily influenced by random factors. Your impression of the fit will depend on who you sit with at the ASW dinners, what you ate for breakfast, etc... For me, I found out that my wife cheated on me while I was at an earlier ASW about 5 hours before I got on the bus to Ann Arbor. Hard to separate out my feelings when the visit to Michigan coincided with that...

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FlanAl
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby FlanAl » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:44 pm

non graded legal writing would be so awesome also do they both have the same amount of substantive classes, some schools do 3 others do 4. if much is 3 then i think it is definitely the call

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby quiver » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:44 pm

sach1282 wrote:I have a few specific concerns about these two schools I'd like to discuss. I've done both ASWs and liked both schools. I have an identical scholarship to both schools and COA is close enough to call it identical.

1) Clerkships are my #1 priority. Michigan has a dedicated career services person just for clerkships. However, historically, Duke has placed slightly higher in A3s.
2) I don't want a car. I know that you can use your M card to ride the bus for free in Michigan. I would own a motorcycle at Duke.
3) I don't know what my career path will be but the Michigan LRAP is stronger than Duke's.
4) Clinics are very important to me. Michigan has 4 clinics I am very interested in. Duke has two.
5) At Michigan, 12.5% of 1Ls can make law review. At Duke, 18.5% can make law review.
6) I'm in at the joint JD/M.Phil at Duke, but it ends up costing about an extra $20,000, despite receiving both degrees in three years. I only consider this because I have a long eye on academia and it would be easier to go for a PhD in philosophy with the MA already there.
7) I felt a little more comfortable at Duke. Maybe it had to do with the weather, maybe it had to do with the class size, but everyone seemed a little more relaxed.
8) Legal writing at Michigan is H/P/F, Duke's legal writing ends before finals, is graded, but uncurved.

Thoughts?

Help!

Tough call between essentially peer schools.
1. This is a difficult thing to have as your #1 priority; AIII clerkships are very difficult now. I wouldn't put too much stock in percentage points here though, relatively few people get AIII clerkships out of these schools and Duke's class size is so small that a few extra people can look like a way different relative percentage. See --LinkRemoved-- (11.4% of ~200= 23 AIII clerks) and --LinkRemoved-- (10.6% of ~350= 37 AIII clerks). I've heard Michigan has excellent support through their clerkship office too. Haven't heard anything one way or the other about Duke career services in this area.
2. Doesn't seem like you have strong feelings about this either way. Probably a non-factor.
3. LRAP could be important down the road and I know Michigan has one of the best outside YSH. If you're really focused on clerkships and indifferent about whether you want a firm or gov/PI afterward (like me) then LRAP may be something you want to put more weight on.
4. This obviously goes to Michigan.
5. Not sure what to make of this factor. I guess the higher percentage means that this points to Duke.
6. Not sure how this figures in either. When you say that the COA is basically equal, does that include this extra 20k? If so I'd probably just drop the extra degree and go to Duke. If not, Michigan would be 20k less and I'd probably go there. Not really sure what the MA really gets you honestly. Outside of Yale and maybe Stanford and Harvard, academia is a pipe dream almost not worthy of consideration. So if you happened to do well enough to be competitive for academia you could always go back for the PhD which would only add one year of time since you wouldn't have done the joint degree; in the much more likely event that academia is out of reach, you saved 20k. All of this is putting aside the fact that, while academia seems seems to be trending that way, a PhD is neither necessary nor sufficient to land a law professorship. From my admittedly narrow understanding, your grades, clerkships, and published work will be the main determinants of whether you can become a law professor. From the above analysis I would honestly go to whichever school saves you the 20k.
7. This points to Duke obviously but I'm not sure how much stock anyone should put into one isolated visit. Realistically this would be kinda a wash for me.
8. Given what the above poster said, this goes to Michigan. Graded LRW is a bitch.

Those are my thoughts. I'd honestly make #6 the deciding factor here.

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby dabbadon8 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:01 pm

Chose duke over mich at equal money. PM if you want details. Definitely happy with the choice I made.

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby woeisme » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:12 pm

Checked your LSN, ... I'd go to Cornell since its AIII and employment stats are on par with duke (slightly ahead of mich) and since they gave you the most money (also you're from NY, etc). As between Duke and Michigan, ... flip a coin? Maybe consider which town you liked more? I don't think the dual program in Duke should be the deciding factor necessarily (is the MA not an option at Mich? Many schools can work with students to facilitate dual degrees).

Ask yourself which school you'd regret not attending more. Based on your OP, I'm thinking Duke for you though.
Last edited by woeisme on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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skers
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby skers » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:14 pm

Choose the school that you'd like the best for when you don't get a clerkship.

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby woeisme » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:16 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:Choose the school that you'd like the best for when you don't get a clerkship.


This works too...

keg411
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby keg411 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:12 pm

sach1282 wrote:For me, I found out that my wife cheated on me while I was at an earlier ASW about 5 hours before I got on the bus to Ann Arbor. Hard to separate out my feelings when the visit to Michigan coincided with that...


OMG, that's terrible! I'm really sorry :( :( :(.

Anyway, I'm guessing you're at least a little bit of an older student since you're buying a condo instead of renting. I'm a 2L at Michigan and I'm on the older side too, so if you have any questions about being in a college town, not having a car, or anything about jobs/the school/etc, feel free to PM me.

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PARTY
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby PARTY » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:15 pm

sach1282 wrote:For me, I found out that my wife cheated on me while I was at an earlier ASW about 5 hours before I got on the bus to Ann Arbor. Hard to separate out my feelings when the visit to Michigan coincided with that...


divorce?

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sach1282
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby sach1282 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:34 am

Yes, divorce papers being filed Monday.

Also, CoA is not equal with the joint degree. Duke costs 20k more than Mich.

Just redid my CoA calculations and this is what it ends up with for Duke/Cornell/Mich with the budget numbers posted on their respective websites. The number = (total expenses * 3) - scholarship $. $54k at Duke/Mich, $66k at Cornell.


Cornell: 158,040
Michigan: 149,610
Duke: 158,310 (add 20k for joint degree)

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PARTY
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby PARTY » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:18 am

i wish you the best.

Real Madrid
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:40 am

NinerFan wrote:I think basing your decision between schools like Michigan and Duke based on clerkships is like counting your chickens. Both schools have respectable placement (15% or so?) into clerkships, but it's certainly no guarantee at either school.

My feeling is that the two schools are about equal in terms of career opportunities and prestige. Duke might have more "lay prestige" in the South, but outside of the South and, oddly enough, China, I don't think they're all that prestigious.

Sounds like it's mostly a push between the two, so just go to the one that you feel like you'll be most comfortable at.


Definitely disagree about Duke not being prestigious, even outside the south. It's a top-10 undergrad school, for goodness sake. Granted, I'm from the south, but I think a lot of people would argue it's more prestigious than the lowest Ivies (read: Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown).

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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:31 am

Real Madrid wrote:
NinerFan wrote:I think basing your decision between schools like Michigan and Duke based on clerkships is like counting your chickens. Both schools have respectable placement (15% or so?) into clerkships, but it's certainly no guarantee at either school.

My feeling is that the two schools are about equal in terms of career opportunities and prestige. Duke might have more "lay prestige" in the South, but outside of the South and, oddly enough, China, I don't think they're all that prestigious.

Sounds like it's mostly a push between the two, so just go to the one that you feel like you'll be most comfortable at.


Definitely disagree about Duke not being prestigious, even outside the south. It's a top-10 undergrad school, for goodness sake. Granted, I'm from the south, but I think a lot of people would argue it's more prestigious than the lowest Ivies (read: Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown).


I would disagree with your belief that Duke is prestigious outside the south, it just isn't that well known. Of those that have heard of Duke, it is usually because of one of three reasons, none of which have anything to do with academics: the Duke lacrosse scandal, Tucker Max, or basketball.

woeisme
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Re: Michigan v. Duke (Specific concerns require discussion!)

Postby woeisme » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:09 am

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
Definitely disagree about Duke not being prestigious, even outside the south. It's a top-10 undergrad school, for goodness sake. Granted, I'm from the south, but I think a lot of people would argue it's more prestigious than the lowest Ivies (read: Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown).


I would disagree with your belief that Duke is prestigious outside the south, it just isn't that well known. Of those that have heard of Duke, it is usually because of one of three reasons, none of which have anything to do with academics: the Duke lacrosse scandal, Tucker Max, or basketball.


As far as lay prestige is concerned I think you're both wrong. Duke is nowhere near as prestigious as the ivies, but is undoubtedly prestigious in its own right and is seen as such throughout the country.




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