bnmillie13 wrote:I love how these forums can go off into the craziest tangents :] I want to thank everyone who took the time to offer advice though; I really appreciate it! Wanted to let you all know that after weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to take the Mordecai and go to Duke. Many of you suggested I wait until I find out what $ I can get from Stanford, but I'll just tell you straight up: my family makes too much for me to get any need-based assistance. I have a younger brother at MIT who had to pay sticker. I definitely understand what many of you have said; going to a school like Stanford genuinely creates a degree of security as you enter the job market, but as hard as I worked to get where I am now, I am confident that at Duke I will be able to work hard enough, and have the resources available, to create opportunities that will make my three years spent there worth while. Maybe it's not going to be at such a high powered firm as a degree from Stanford would place me, but realistically, I'm not aiming to enter a firm and make egregious amounts of money forever as I work my way up towards partnership. I want to get into a solid firm and gain the experience necessary to eventually work in-house in an aspect of the entertainment industry, and Duke is a great institution that I'm pretty sure can get me there. Oh lol, also to chime in on the LSAT vs. LS performance discussion; I'll just say my LSAT score alone didn't define my admission to these institutions, and it's not going to define what I bring to my class once I make it to law school; that's on me, the holistic me (well, maybe it also helps that Duke doesn't publish rank) :] Thanks again though everyone!!! I'm really excited for what's coming next.
Honestly, if your family makes that kind of money maybe you should just get their financial assistance and go to Stanford. The thing about going to Duke is if you end up below median you're going to have an incredibly hard time getting a firm job (your desired outcome). However, the likelihood of you pulling above median grades is higher than the average admit since you got the Mordecai. Either way good luck.
I would dispute "incredibly" hard time getting a NYC firm job from Duke with below median grades (though obviously if you're bottom 1/4, that might be pushing it). I'm a 3L at Duke and that's not really my impression, but I'm also not one of the NYC biglawl kids.
No one ITT mentioned that OP is URM. Even if she doesn't perform well, I would think that + IP background would leave her in a fairly nice position.
(I personally would have chosen Stanford. Not because I dislike Duke - this school has given me some amazing opportunities and law school worked out about as well for me as it possibly could have. But I wouldn't have passed up SLS, as it and Berkeley were the two highest schools on my list. FWIW I didn't pay sticker at Duke - I don't think I was willing to pay sticker anywhere lower than CCN. But I certainly would have paid sticker at SLS.)
OP: Best of luck, and enjoy Duke. It really has been a fantastic experience for me. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.