Last-minute WL Decision

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confusedprelaw
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Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:28 am

So I was ready to pay sticker at USC, because that was the best option I had. But just a few hours ago, I got off the WL at Duke school and I'm in a slight dilemma in picking between the two. I had my heart set on attending the USC school, because of the location and closeness to my personal ties. I also like the market it's in as well as some of the programs offered through the school.

I know that Duke doesn't place as well in CA as it does in NY, DC, but I've read plenty of times on the TLS board, "T14 or bust."

Which way should I go? And would it be ethical/worthwhile to use the WL admission from Duke to negotiate a scholarship at USC?
Last edited by confusedprelaw on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:40 am

This post is useless without more information. Discuss the specific schools, their price tags, and the regions you're talking about.

mr.hands
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby mr.hands » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:40 am

You can certainly negotiate money. You should.

What T14 and what are your numbers? That's important

confusedprelaw
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:42 am

Fair enough -- I edited my first post to include the schools :). Thanks for all your help :)

mr.hands
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby mr.hands » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:45 am

Again, what are your numbers and what's the cost of each?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:48 am

1. It is completely acceptable to use the Duke acceptance to negotiate with USC. It's done all the time.
2. I assume you want biglaw in SoCal? USC places its top 30% or so into biglaw, with most of them going to SoCal. That being said, if you're not top third at USC you don't have a very good chance at biglaw in SoCal without great WE pre-law school. Therefore, Duke is definitely the safer option overall. Duke places much more into biglaw overall (Duke = 45% vs USC = 34%). In addition, your personal ties to SoCal mitigate Duke's lack of placement into California to a degree.
3. USC at sticker is a dangerous option. You're basically gambling that you'll be top third to get the job you want.
4. If your goal is LA or bust, then negotiate with USC to see if they can give you a scholarship. I would roughly say that USC would be worth it with over $60-80k in scholarship over Duke. If you want to be safe and have the better shot at biglaw overall, go Duke. This way you can still predominantly bid to SoCal, but you can have some NYC safeties too and be seriously considered for those.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 am

mr.hands wrote:Again, what are your numbers and what's the cost of each?


My numbers are 166/3.8. I'm admittedly not as worried about costs. Assuming I pay sticker for both USC/Duke and the LST numbers are accurate in terms of costs for both schools, I'd be looking at somewhere between 40-60K of debt, when all is said and done.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:00 am

Doorkeeper wrote:1. It is completely acceptable to use the Duke acceptance to negotiate with USC. It's done all the time.
2. I assume you want biglaw in SoCal? USC places its top 30% or so into biglaw, with most of them going to SoCal. That being said, if you're not top third at USC you don't have a very good chance at biglaw in SoCal without great WE pre-law school. Therefore, Duke is definitely the safer option overall. Duke places much more into biglaw overall (Duke = 45% vs USC = 34%). In addition, your personal ties to SoCal mitigate Duke's lack of placement into California to a degree.
3. USC at sticker is a dangerous option. You're basically gambling that you'll be top third to get the job you want.
4. If your goal is LA or bust, then negotiate with USC to see if they can give you a scholarship. I would roughly say that USC would be worth it with over $60-80k in scholarship over Duke. If you want to be safe and have the better shot at biglaw overall, go Duke. This way you can still predominantly bid to SoCal, but you can have some NYC safeties too and be seriously considered for those.


Thank you very much for your help -- very informative and gave me a few things to think about.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:01 am

confusedprelaw wrote:
mr.hands wrote:Again, what are your numbers and what's the cost of each?


My numbers are 166/3.8. I'm admittedly not as worried about costs. Assuming I pay sticker for both USC/Duke and the LST numbers are accurate in terms of costs for both schools, I'd be looking at somewhere between 40-60K of debt, when all is said and done.

Is family footing the rest of the bill then?

confusedprelaw
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:03 am

Doorkeeper wrote:
confusedprelaw wrote:
mr.hands wrote:Again, what are your numbers and what's the cost of each?


My numbers are 166/3.8. I'm admittedly not as worried about costs. Assuming I pay sticker for both USC/Duke and the LST numbers are accurate in terms of costs for both schools, I'd be looking at somewhere between 40-60K of debt, when all is said and done.

Is family footing the rest of the bill then?


Fortunately, yeah

mr.hands
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby mr.hands » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:04 am

40-60k isn't bad at all. Since the cost is so low and you're from CA, I can see reasonable arguments for both schools.

How much time do you have to decide? Aren't classes starting in a week or two?

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:22 am

Doooook

Lack of a natural market means Duke grads go all over the place, and it's enough of a "name" school that you can carry it back to CA since you have ties. $40-60k is a great price for what you're getting.

fingersxd
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby fingersxd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:38 am

Go to Duke unless USC gives you more $$. Work in SoCal your 1L Job and network like crap.

Unless you are SoCal or bust, Duke is a much safer bet to get the job you want (costs clearly being pretty much irrelevant).

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Samara
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby Samara » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:55 am

Doorkeeper wrote:I assume you want biglaw in SoCal? USC places its top 30% or so into biglaw, with most of them going to SoCal. That being said, if you're not top third at USC you don't have a very good chance at biglaw in SoCal without great WE pre-law school. Therefore, Duke is definitely the safer option overall. Duke places much more into biglaw overall (Duke = 45% vs USC = 34%). In addition, your personal ties to SoCal mitigate Duke's lack of placement into California to a degree.

The important thing here though is that the "safety net" of extra placement comes mostly in the form of NYC biglaw. OP will probably have to be top third at either school to feel good about their chances for CA biglaw. Median is possible, but will require a strong resume, strong interview, and hustle. The other downside to Duke is that I doubt many CA firms come to Duke's OCI, so OP will have to rely mostly on mass mailing.

With such a low debt load, I don't think it's a clear choice. It comes down to what is more important to you.

CA biglaw -> CA shitlaw/other/funemployment -> NYC/any biglaw = USC
CA biglaw -> NYC/any biglaw -> CA shitlaw/other/funemployment = Duke

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dingbat
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby dingbat » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:12 am

Try asking someone familiar with the SoCal market how duke is viewed.
Most people on this board only know generalities. T14 is a state of mind (among law students) and the difference in rankings between USC and Duke is small. Duke does well on the east coast, but no ins here knows how well they do in the west.
Yes, employment stats are better for Duke so if you care more about getting a job and less about location, Duke is unequivocally better, but if you strongly care about being in SoCal, it might be that Duke doesn't place there as well as the Trojan network; the only way to find out is to ask (try calling a few big firms, ask for the hiring coordinator and get their input)

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:42 am

Samara wrote:CA biglaw -> CA shitlaw/other/funemployment -> NYC/any biglaw = USC
CA biglaw -> NYC/any biglaw -> CA shitlaw/other/funemployment = Duke

I agree with this calculation. Would the OP prefer SoCal shitlaw to NYC biglaw? If so, go USC. If not, go Duke.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:56 pm

mr.hands wrote:40-60k isn't bad at all. Since the cost is so low and you're from CA, I can see reasonable arguments for both schools.

How much time do you have to decide? Aren't classes starting in a week or two?


Yeah, there isn't much time -- the deadline for deciding is Thursday, and should I choose Duke, classes start the following Tuesday.
--------------
One final thing I'm considering, but I'm not quite sure how much weight to put into it in order to make my decision, is dual degree programs. If I attend USC, I would probably want to try for a JD/PhD program in Econ through CalTech; but, if I attend Duke, I'd be looking at a JD/MS in one of their engineering programs. I imagine, given my background, that both of these are reaches to a certain degree, but I'd appreciate any insight

mr.hands
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Re: Last-minute WL Decision

Postby mr.hands » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:42 pm

confusedprelaw wrote:
mr.hands wrote:40-60k isn't bad at all. Since the cost is so low and you're from CA, I can see reasonable arguments for both schools.

How much time do you have to decide? Aren't classes starting in a week or two?


Yeah, there isn't much time -- the deadline for deciding is Thursday, and should I choose Duke, classes start the following Tuesday.
--------------
One final thing I'm considering, but I'm not quite sure how much weight to put into it in order to make my decision, is dual degree programs. If I attend USC, I would probably want to try for a JD/PhD program in Econ through CalTech; but, if I attend Duke, I'd be looking at a JD/MS in one of their engineering programs. I imagine, given my background, that both of these are reaches to a certain degree, but I'd appreciate any insight


I'd probably go with Duke. It's the safer option and it's a steal at 60ish thousand. Plus COL is cheaper than LA.




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