Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

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cillianeris
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Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby cillianeris » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:32 am

Hi everyone. I've been a lurker on here for a long while and finally decided to post this in search of some good advice.

Unless something drastic happens, I have narrowed my choices down to Duke, UCLA and Emory. After scholarships, I estimate the total COA to be around 200k for Duke, 180k for UCLA and 150k for Emory. All remaining sums have to be taken out in loans.

A little something about me: I'm from a northern state and have little to no ties to any one of these places. I do not know where I would like to practice but would like to stay somewhere relatively warm. After a lifetime's worth of snow and cold, I'm ready for a change. I am interested in family law and not so much in BigLaw, though I can see myself (temporarily) changing my mind to pay off debt.

Finally, some numbers:
UGPA: 3.58
LSAT: 170 (taken once)

Thanks!

fallingup
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby fallingup » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:39 am

What's your financial situation like?

rad lulz
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby rad lulz » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:41 am

Family law? Just do local TT in your home state for free bro

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jvincent11
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby jvincent11 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:48 am

Because I know someone else will say it....

Retake. 1 or 2 points could save you a ton of money at any of those schools

cillianeris
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby cillianeris » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:20 am

fallingup wrote:What's your financial situation like?


Financially, it's not exactly great. I took a year off after college to follow my SO to his grad program, which is only one year. I am living off the money I make now, but it is by no means a permanent solution. Also, I highly dislike my current location/job, so I want to get out as soon as I possibly can. What my family can help with in terms of finances is insignificant; I am pretty much on my own since I graduated from college.

rad lulz wrote:Family law? Just do local TT in your home state for free bro


Ultimately I want to keep my options open (previously mentioned SO's future job, etc.), and a non-regional degree would probably suit my purposes better.

cillianeris
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Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:33 am

Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby cillianeris » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:21 am

jvincent11 wrote:Because I know someone else will say it....

Retake. 1 or 2 points could save you a ton of money at any of those schools

Do you think it's wise to wait another cycle? Like I said above, I've taken a year off (to do essentially nothing) already.

lmsf
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby lmsf » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:24 pm

I would say Duke > UCLA > Emory. If you're not tied to a specific location, Duke is the most nationally recognized and portable school of the three, and I don't think there's a big difference between 200k and 180k.

However, 150-200k is a lot of debt, especially if you're not interested in Big Law. I would suggest calculating what your post-graduation financial situation is going to be given a typical family law salary (which is no guarantee in this legal market) and monthly loan repayment costs. Or, if you're considering pursuing family law through a public interest organization (also no guarantee), then check out the LRAP programs at each school and see which one is going to forgive the most debt.

Also, have you tried leveraging your Duke admittance for more money at UCLA and Emory? Alternatively, I agree with the other posters that a higher LSAT score could mean more scholarship money (or admission to better schools) if you're willing to wait a year. I've also read recommendations on other threads to take the June LSAT and use the better score to negotiate scholarship money but I don't know if that's actually a thing or just anecdotal evidence. Whatever you decide, best of luck and congrats on your acceptances!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:58 pm

cillianeris wrote:
jvincent11 wrote:Because I know someone else will say it....

Retake. 1 or 2 points could save you a ton of money at any of those schools

Do you think it's wise to wait another cycle? Like I said above, I've taken a year off (to do essentially nothing) already.


Completely, completely disagree. geez there must come a time when "retake" is actually useless advice, and this is it. OP already has above median at most schools where his GPA is not prohibitive. If he retakes and scores 172 or 173, then he's just a splitter at some higher schools but little change to $. You have a great score and I'm sure you don't want to take the test again. Don't retake unless you NEED T10.

edit: which, by the way, you don't. and if you want to practice family law, I agree with an above poster; why get yourself into 6-figure debt for that? applications are still open for TTT's go get a full ride and practice locally if that's what you want out of your JD

cillianeris
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby cillianeris » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:36 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

Actually I did get into one T10 school (so far, as not all schools have reached decisions yet), but they're not offering enough scholarship to tempt me. And no, I would prefer to not retake unless it's absolutely necessary.

mr.hands
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Re: Duke v. UCLA v. Emory

Postby mr.hands » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Go to Duke. UCLA and Emory are still expensive and not nearly as good. You want options at this point.




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