It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

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UVA vs UMich 45k vs Duke 60k

Poll ended at Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:13 pm

UVA - full tuition, warm, loved school
18
36%
UMich - 45k, cold, meh about school
9
18%
Duke - 60k, meh about school
23
46%
 
Total votes: 50

Royalduck
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It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby Royalduck » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:13 pm

Context:
I have many ideas for what I want to do post law school and will definitely narrow down or expand somewhere else: international-environmental/human rights/politics/diplomacy? I am quite set on not doing BigLaw for life, but I'm open to doing it for a couple years for the training (did similar thing post college - worked at PR agency for training, then did nonprofit PR freelance). Somewhat interested in academia or high-level clerkships and would like to keep those options as open as possible. It is very important to me to live in a mild climate, though I know 3 years will go by quickly. I have no idea what physical location I want to end up after law school - I have ties to DC, Seattle, Europe and Pacific Islands and ideally I could just cycle through all of these :)

UVA - LOVED the campus, gorgeous clean surroundings, students, and profs. Very excited about it. However, no scholarship with low hopes of high salary post graduation, and not even sure I'll be specifically practicing law after graduation so I don't want to count too much on LRAP.

UMich - Ranking and offerings basically the same as UVA, not so excited about the town, the law campus is nice but I'm not used to living in a run-down looking college neighborhood so I'm a bit put-off. I'm sure it'll be fine if I choose it, but I'm just not excited about it. 45K off tuition.

Duke - Like their environmental law program but am very turned off by Durham. Again, I'm sure I'd be fine with it in time. 60k off tuition.

Any advice, pupils of TLS?! Be cold and save money, or live where I want to at a higher financial risk?

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booboo
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby booboo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Did you try to negotiate with UVA, especially with the Mich scholarship?

dabbadon8
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby dabbadon8 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Royalduck wrote: not even sure I'll be specifically practicing law after graduation


Um... This seems problematic.

duckmoney
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby duckmoney » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Royalduck wrote:Context:
international-environmental/human rights/politics/diplomacy?


This seems even more problematic.

I would try to renogiate with all three schools and go wherever offers you the most money. The schools are basically peer schools in terms of general employment prospects. None of the schools will give you a realistic chance of doing what you think of when you say "international law." All will give you a decent chance of biglaw and a small chance of government or public interest legal work.

Real Madrid
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby Real Madrid » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:38 pm

Duke. Duke and UVA are peers and UVA is not worth $60k more than Duke (IMO).

I have ties to DC, Seattle, Europe and Pacific Islands and ideally I could just cycle through all of these


Lol. What? You have ties to an entire continent?

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bk1
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:45 pm

Pick your preference of UMich/Duke.

Royalduck
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby Royalduck » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:51 pm

Thank you for the comments, interesting and very helpful to hear these POVs!

Yes, tried negotiating with UVA. Going to keep pestering until the last possible moment :mrgreen:

dabbadon8 wrote:
Royalduck wrote: not even sure I'll be specifically practicing law after graduation


Um... This seems problematic.


Fortunately, it is actually possible to utilize a law degree without being a full-time attorney. I'm envious that you are 100% certain about your career path, though, I have always been a jumper down from my UG major to jobs after UG so I'm always a bit nervous about financial/time commitments! Part of being a millenial, I guess. Some positions that interest me are law enforcement (parent was legal attache for FBI and we moved all over Europe as a result), practice management consultant, politics, lobbyist, legal correspondent, plenty of JDs at the think tank at which I once worked... and legal knowledge would have come in handy a thousand times in my current PR work with int'l non-profits in global health (getting messaging or partnerships approved by off-site legal team), while not having need to devote 100% allocation to full time counsel. I would gladly keep doing my current job if I had the addition of more sophisticated thinking.

Lol. What? You have ties to an entire continent?


Haha, no, not quite. Once your foot is in EU though, they're pretty much like US states - in my experience. My parents are immigrants and I have family in Norway, Germany, Austria and have lived in France, Austria and Italy.

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Bosque
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby Bosque » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:55 pm

Royalduck wrote:
dabbadon8 wrote:
Royalduck wrote: not even sure I'll be specifically practicing law after graduation


Um... This seems problematic.


Fortunately, it is actually possible to utilize a law degree without being a full-time attorney. I'm envious that you are 100% certain about your career path, though, I have always been a jumper down from my UG major to jobs after UG so I'm always a bit nervous about financial/time commitments! Part of being a millenial, I guess. Some positions that interest me are law enforcement (parent was legal attache for FBI and we moved all over Europe as a result), practice management consultant, politics, lobbyist, legal correspondent, plenty of JDs at the think tank at which I once worked... and legal knowledge would have come in handy a thousand times in my current PR work with int'l non-profits in global health (getting messaging or partnerships approved by off-site legal team), while not having need to devote 100% allocation to full time counsel. I would gladly keep doing my current job if I had the addition of more sophisticated thinking.


Utilize? Sure. You CAN do all those things with a law degree. But you can also do all of those positions without one. There is only one reason you should pay for a law degree: if you want to practice law. Paying for a law degree when you don't think you want to practice is just plain economically irresponsible.

Now if you had a full ride somewhere and didn't mind losing out on three years of earning potential, then I would say go for it. But if you don't think you want to practice, I would consider long and hard before you commit to any of these schools.

Back on topic, it seems like you are basing your "mehs" for Michigan and Duke and your excitement for UVA on the towns they are in. You didn't really talk at all about the actual schools. You are not going to be spending your time out on the town, you are going to be at the school working. So while being able to live in the town is important, it should probably be way down the list after things like the student body, the money, the job prospects coming out, the professors, ect. I just worry you are not really thinking this decision through.

I say pick Duke from what we know, but I also say think hard about not picking any at all. Or at least really think about why law school is worth 120k+ to you.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:08 am

Duke. Go to UVA though if you can get at least $30-40k out of them with scholarship negotiations.

chasgoose
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby chasgoose » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Paying sticker when you don't even know if you want to do a JD-required job, at least for awhile, is a monumentally stupid decision. Go to Duke.

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NinerFan
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Re: It's Crunch Time! UVA vs. UMich $45k vs. Duke $60k

Postby NinerFan » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:04 am

Royalduck wrote:Thank you for the comments, interesting and very helpful to hear these POVs!

Yes, tried negotiating with UVA. Going to keep pestering until the last possible moment :mrgreen:

dabbadon8 wrote:
Royalduck wrote: not even sure I'll be specifically practicing law after graduation


Um... This seems problematic.


Fortunately, it is actually possible to utilize a law degree without being a full-time attorney. I'm envious that you are 100% certain about your career path, though, I have always been a jumper down from my UG major to jobs after UG so I'm always a bit nervous about financial/time commitments! Part of being a millenial, I guess. Some positions that interest me are law enforcement (parent was legal attache for FBI and we moved all over Europe as a result), practice management consultant, politics, lobbyist, legal correspondent, plenty of JDs at the think tank at which I once worked... and legal knowledge would have come in handy a thousand times in my current PR work with int'l non-profits in global health (getting messaging or partnerships approved by off-site legal team), while not having need to devote 100% allocation to full time counsel. I would gladly keep doing my current job if I had the addition of more sophisticated thinking.

Lol. What? You have ties to an entire continent?


Haha, no, not quite. Once your foot is in EU though, they're pretty much like US states - in my experience. My parents are immigrants and I have family in Norway, Germany, Austria and have lived in France, Austria and Italy.


From reading this and your OP, let me urge you to reconsider law school if you don't want to actually practice law. Paying over 100k+ to "learn how to think" is not going to be a wise investment. If you love your job right now, don't leave it.

If anything, a masters or ph.d might be more useful if you just want to have something on your resume to prove your sophisticated thinking.




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