Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

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

Where should I go?

Poll ended at Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:02 pm

UC-Davis (COA 51k per year)
4
8%
Duke (COA 48k per year)
45
92%
 
Total votes: 49

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:02 pm

My decision boils down to Duke (20k scholarship per year) vs UC-Davis (14k need-based grant, no word on merit scholarships yet).

- As of now, I would like to practice in CA (I currently have residency and work in the Bay Area; no real connections elsewhere in the US - grew up abroad, worked in NYC for a year).
- I would like some flexibility in terms of location in case my spouse decides to find a job elsewhere after 5 or 6 years (this elsewhere could include England)
- I really like both campuses (well, except for the Davis library); the faculty in both schools is appealing to me; the clinics as well.
- I want to go into Labor/Employment law, plaintiff side eventually but realize I'll probably have to begin on defendant-side
- I am not really focused on PI and def not on corporate/biglaw
- my husband works at UC-Davis and will be there through 1L for sure. after that, he can explore options in both the Bay Area and Durham. He is not a fan of long distance and thinks I'm underestimating my employment prospects out of Davis.
- COA at Davis could become lower as I have not heard about merit $ yet. My parents will contribute about 15-20k per year as well so COA at both schools will go down.

I also got into Hastings with 22.5k per year but I just didn't feel the vibe there and want to be in a "campus" setting.

i am completely clueless about where to go, what to do and have to decide very soon.

mighttransfer
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby mighttransfer » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:07 pm

Did you apply to USC and UCLA?

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:11 pm

mighttransfer wrote:Did you apply to USC and UCLA?


i didn't apply to USC and am waitlisted at UCLA. I am not going to wait it out at UCLA because it would still require long distance and I might as well go to Duke then.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby Borhas » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:22 pm

Duke.

Perhaps get your acceptance and scholarship postponed to next year. The employment prospects of Duke and Davis are significantly different, there's basically no comparison.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby woeisme » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:31 pm

Is your interest in future mobility and geographic flexibility because of your boyfriend and his need to maybe move?

I'm confused on how serious you guys are and how much of this conflict is because of that situation. All of it?

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:44 pm

woeisme wrote:Is your interest in future mobility and geographic flexibility because of your boyfriend and his need to maybe move?

I'm confused on how serious you guys are and how much of this conflict is because of that situation. All of it?


we've been married for over 3 years - so we're as serious as it gets :) the conflict is because its going to be very hard to leave my husband and our "home" (i.e. our collective life of 3+ years) - not to mention my much-loved pets - when i have the option to avoid it by going to a lower-ranked but decent school...geographic mobility is an issue because my husband's career could take him elsewhere and i am committed to moving (away from CA) if its for something he really wants to do.

User avatar
beachbum
Posts: 2766
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby beachbum » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:52 pm

Duke, easily. CA is the most heavily-represented state here, and we place surprisingly well throughout the state. FWIW, I have two close friends here from CA: one is working for a firm in northern CA, the other is working gov/PI in southern CA. (I'm a 1L, so I can't speak as intimately about OCI). But, yeah, you shouldn't have a problem getting back to CA from Duke. The huge discrepancy in placement power between Duke and Davis, and the sizable scholarship to Duke, make this a no-brainer.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby woeisme » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:59 pm

hanman wrote:we've been married for over 3 years - so we're as serious as it gets :) the conflict is because its going to be very hard to leave my husband and our "home" (i.e. our collective life of 3+ years) - not to mention my much-loved pets - when i have the option to avoid it by going to a lower-ranked but decent school...geographic mobility is an issue because my husband's career could take him elsewhere and i am committed to moving (away from CA) if its for something he really wants to do.


Kay, then I think this is a factor of what you're willing to do for your relationship and whether you think you can realistically attend Duke and do well there. Duke is the objectively better option, so your reason for turning it down should be something like you simply not feeling you could handle the distance. If that's the case, then Davis is respectable.

I'm not sure whether your husband is overly optimistic about your employment opportunities coming out of Davis, but I do think you may potentially face an uphill battle finding a job outside of California. Once you're out in the working world it may get easier to move around, but Duke is certainly going to be more "mobile."

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:00 am

hanman wrote:
mighttransfer wrote:Did you apply to USC and UCLA?


i didn't apply to USC and am waitlisted at UCLA. I am not going to wait it out at UCLA because it would still require long distance and I might as well go to Duke then.

I would re-think this. A 1 hour plane ride is a lot easier than a 5 hour plane ride when you're doing long distance.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:18 am

Doorkeeper wrote:A 1 hour plane ride is a lot easier than a 5 hour plane ride when you're doing long distance.


True sir.

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby chasgoose » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:26 pm

First, even though Davis is a CA school, you will still have a much easier time getting a job in CA from Duke (you clearly have ties to CA). Obviously if you removed the husband from the picture, Duke is the only choice, but you can't do that so it is difficult.

Long distance takes an extremely hard toll on any relationship, especially a marriage (I don't know your life, but I assume "taking a break" is not really an option here. You have to seriously consider whether or not your marriage could withstand the year apart, especially since with 1L you aren't going to be able to travel that much. You also should consider the extra travel costs you will have to incur by taking Duke. Finally, is your husband's line of work something he could do in Raleigh/Durham? If you do decide on Duke, he should start looking for a new job as soon as possible, even if he has to stay at Davis for the rest of the year.

This is a really tough choice. The fact of the matter is that going to Davis is seriously going to limit your post-graduate career options compared to Duke, your husband is wrong when he says the employment options aren't that different. When you factor your marriage in, however, its not clear that the difference is totally worth it. This is kind of a lose-lose situation unfortunately, that's going to depend on which you want to risk more: getting a job after law school, or your marriage (I would probably risk getting a job after law school in your shoes, but YMMV).

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Can you defer admission to Duke?

User avatar
moneybagsphd
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:49 pm

hanman wrote:- my husband works at UC-Davis and will be there through 1L for sure. after that, he can explore options in both the Bay Area and Durham. He is not a fan of long distance and thinks I'm underestimating my employment prospects out of Davis.

Look at the OCI #s
http://davis.lawschoolnumbers.com/
http://duke.lawschoolnumbers.com/
And you can bet that the 81 CA firms represented at Duke's OCI are, on average, better/more prestigious than the 103 CA firms at Davis. NB: The very poor showing of non-CA firms for Davis. The fact is that Davis is a super regional school, much more so than UCLA/USC (which have some portability).

Lord Randolph McDuff
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:58 pm

Sucks that the OCI data on law school numbers is so old. I mean.. 2006? Really?

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:58 pm

chasgoose wrote:First, even though Davis is a CA school, you will still have a much easier time getting a job in CA from Duke (you clearly have ties to CA). Obviously if you removed the husband from the picture, Duke is the only choice, but you can't do that so it is difficult.

Long distance takes an extremely hard toll on any relationship, especially a marriage (I don't know your life, but I assume "taking a break" is not really an option here. You have to seriously consider whether or not your marriage could withstand the year apart, especially since with 1L you aren't going to be able to travel that much. You also should consider the extra travel costs you will have to incur by taking Duke. Finally, is your husband's line of work something he could do in Raleigh/Durham? If you do decide on Duke, he should start looking for a new job as soon as possible, even if he has to stay at Davis for the rest of the year.

This is a really tough choice. The fact of the matter is that going to Davis is seriously going to limit your post-graduate career options compared to Duke, your husband is wrong when he says the employment options aren't that different. When you factor your marriage in, however, its not clear that the difference is totally worth it. This is kind of a lose-lose situation unfortunately, that's going to depend on which you want to risk more: getting a job after law school, or your marriage (I would probably risk getting a job after law school in your shoes, but YMMV).


the one silver lining is that there is a possibility of my husband working in Durham/NC research triangle (hes a scientist). but you're right, it is a lose-lose situation ... i am sure our marriage will survive it and we'll be fine but i anticipate it will be stressful. i think i will try to transfer back to a better school in CA if it looks like long distance will last beyond 1L but that's not something guaranteed of course.
Last edited by hanman on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:59 pm

If your husband is bouncing around from town to town for job reasons, you either got to follow or do long distance. If he isn't sure where he will be, he sholdn't expect you to follow him across the globe. But if you want to do that, then I probably would avoid investing a ton of money in your education until he settles down.

You are better off postponing law school, than going to worse one. Definitely don't go to Davis if your husband all the sudden has to find a job somewhere else in Academia. If he gets placed anywhere but CA, you are FUCKED.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:59 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Sucks that the OCI data on law school numbers is so old. I mean.. 2006? Really?


Nalp Directory has 2010 OCI info, maybe even 2011 by now.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:01 pm

Although OP shouldn't have trouble getting back to California from Duke, the issue seems to be whether she'll return to a healthy relationship.

OP: Tell UC-Davis of your need to find out whether or not you'll receive any scholarship money. While the obvious choice is Duke, the better choice for you involves more than job placement & prestige. This comes down to a personal decision.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:02 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Sucks that the OCI data on law school numbers is so old. I mean.. 2006? Really?


Duke did give a list of employers for the class of 2012 and also where people are going for summer employment this summer. there was decent CA representation, all excellent firms ... i am sure if more people wanted to go to CA, there would be more employers listed from here. i know my firm in CA recruits at Duke but they don't go to Davis...

although the one person i know who graduated from davis in 2011 went to biglaw in NYC ... and she wasn't a top student at davis but it was lucky networking for her.

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby chasgoose » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:08 pm

bk1 wrote:Can you defer admission to Duke?


This would be a great solution to your problems. Duke should be accommodating, but you might lose your scholarship...

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby NinerFan » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:49 pm

If your husband is science oriented, hard to think he wouldn't be able to find something in the RTP area.

hanman
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby hanman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:16 pm

NinerFan wrote:If your husband is science oriented, hard to think he wouldn't be able to find something in the RTP area.


yup, there is a chance of that. the reason i didn't eliminate duke from consideration like other far-away schools is because of the RTP.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Seriously Conflicted - Duke vs UC Davis

Postby NinerFan » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:47 pm

hanman wrote:
NinerFan wrote:If your husband is science oriented, hard to think he wouldn't be able to find something in the RTP area.


yup, there is a chance of that. the reason i didn't eliminate duke from consideration like other far-away schools is because of the RTP.


Go to Duke. Keep your options open. If after a year the long-distance thing is going badly and he can't find something in the area, you can probably transfer to Davis or something. Trading down is much easier than trading up.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests