Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

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

Duke or UCLA ... or Vanderbilt?

Duke (60k)
34
76%
UCLA (120k)
10
22%
Vanderbilt (80k)
1
2%
 
Total votes: 45

AnaMariana42
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Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby AnaMariana42 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:25 pm

Hi guys.

Right now the two options I'm most seriously considering are Duke, which offered me 60k in total, and UCLA, which offered me 90k in merit-based money and an additional 10k per year in need-based non-loan aid. I'm from the Northeast, ideally looking to land in DC or NY (like everyone else, lol), and looking to do public interest/government work out of school. Duke, I think, is a better fit for me in this regard, but the money from UCLA is making it a tough decision ... what are your thoughts? Has anybody tried negotiating scholarship with Duke before?
Last edited by AnaMariana42 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

curious66
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby curious66 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:34 pm

AnaMariana42 wrote:Hi guys.

Right now the two options I'm most seriously considering are Duke, which offered me 60k in total, and UCLA, which offered me 90k in merit-based money and an additional 10k per year in need-based non-loan aid. I'm from the Northeast, ideally looking to land in DC or NY (like everyone else, lol), and looking to do public interest/government work out of school. Duke, I think, is a better fit for me in this regard, but the money from UCLA is making it a tough decision ... what are your thoughts? Has anybody tried negotiating scholarship with Duke before?


Duke is better for NY/DC than UCLA. I also tried my UCLA offer with Duke for aid, but it did not yield anything more.

AnaMariana42
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby AnaMariana42 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:10 am

bump.

I'm leaning Duke heavily (and TLS seems to be advising me similarly) but is there no justification for taking the UCLA money?

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letsjustsee
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby letsjustsee » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 am

.
Last edited by letsjustsee on Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 am

AnaMariana42 wrote:bump.

I'm leaning Duke heavily (and TLS seems to be advising me similarly) but is there no justification for taking the UCLA money?


Not if you don't have ties to CA AND want to work there.

I voted Cornell with 90K

framboozer
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby framboozer » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 am

I think if your goal was to work in California, there would be a better argument for UCLA, but the difference in scholarships will be closed really quick when you look at the details. UCLA has higher tuition and WAY higher cost of living. You will need to get your car over there from the northeast. You will be flying to the northeast for interviews and that's pricey. Getting to DC and NY from Raleigh-Durham is actually not that pricey, time-consuming or difficult.

Durham is dirt cheap compared to LA and cities in the northeast and keep in mind that Duke places well into NY and DC. Lastly, you come to the fact that Duke grads just end up doing better overall. Median at UCLA is a scary place, but people still end up with some great outcomes if they're median at Duke, as long as they're employable and reasonably personable.

AnaMariana42
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby AnaMariana42 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:34 am

letsjustsee wrote:Since you want to end up in NY or DC, you should not go with UCLA (despite the money), because it won't get you there.

Duke seems like the way to go, but it could still be a lot of debt. Have you calculated the whole COA, including interest, to see if you are comfortable with that level of debt?

Do you have any other offers on the table, or are these two it?


Not viable options, no. I got good money from Fordham and W&M (90k and 93k respectively), but I'm not really considering them as options. I've been getting WLed at everything ranked above 10 (January app, not super high numbers - WLs at Columbia, UVA, Penn). Duke I think is the best I could reasonably hope for, and, unless Harvard comes calling (probably not going to happen), Duke and UCLA seem like my best options. Got into Georgetown but I haven't heard from them about their weird scholly process, so I'm assuming I'm not getting anything there.

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letsjustsee
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby letsjustsee » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:59 pm

.
Last edited by letsjustsee on Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AnaMariana42
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby AnaMariana42 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:38 pm

letsjustsee wrote:I would at least try to negotiate with Duke. They may not increase your scholarship, but you will only find out if you give it a shot. Duke is your best option, but you would still have a lot of debt, particularly since it sounds like you are not aiming for Big Law.

I will throw this out there: have you considered retaking? In your case, it is not a must, but improving your LSAT over the summer could net big money. If you do retake, it would also be a good move to apply to Cornell, with your interst in NY. With a higher LSAT, earlier application and spreading your application around a bit more, you might have significantly better options.

Just an idea. Taking Duke's offer this cycle does not sound like a terrible choice, but you should definitely calculate the total COA (with accumulated interest) to see if it's a debt load you can realistically take on.


I'm definitely going to talk to the finaid office to see if they can increase a little bit. It's worth a shot.

Regarding a retake, I've definitely considered it ... a few points on my LSAT plus earlier applications in the next cycle might give me a better shot at T6 ... but I don't know if it would be worth taking the year off without an employment plan (I'm graduating in June) for what might only be a marginally better long-run outcome, as Duke's employment numbers are pretty good. But it is something I've considered, I'm just not sure how practical it would be for me.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:00 pm

UCLA makes no sense for someone who's from the Northeast and wants to wind up on the East Coast after school. Use them to get a bigger scholly out of Duke and be done with it.

AnaMariana42
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby AnaMariana42 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:50 am

Would this change if I added Vanderbilt with 80k to the mix?

Ti Malice
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k)?

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:42 pm

AnaMariana42 wrote:Would this change if I added Vanderbilt with 80k to the mix?


No, not at all. Duke is very easily the best of these three options.

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:52 am

Go to California - enjoy the weather for three years and then come back to the Northeast. You still have to take out some loans for COL but it will be much better than servicing 120k on PI salary - that's going to hurt.

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hephaestus
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby hephaestus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:55 am

Duke or retake. UCLA is not that tempting since you want the east coast and its far from free.

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:59 am

OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.

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hephaestus
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby hephaestus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:10 am

Master Tofu wrote:OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.

I was working on the assumption that government work right out of schoo is unlikely (at least "desirable" gov work, and 2-3 years of private lit experience or similar was implicitly required). If OP just wants PD work or more attainable PI, UCLA may well be the better choice.

Ti Malice
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:16 am

Master Tofu wrote:OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.


Who on this thread said Duke placed $120K better than UCLA?

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:33 am

Ti Malice wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.


Who on this thread said Duke placed $120K better than UCLA?



I am not taking the bait. Make a statement - how much better do you think Duke places in public interest and how much is it worth?

BigZuck
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:49 am

Master Tofu wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.


Who on this thread said Duke placed $120K better than UCLA?



I am not taking the bait. Make a statement - how much better do you think Duke places in public interest and how much is it worth?


Bait? Come on bro bro, you're the one who is making stuff up. Just own up to it.

When the OP realizes that PI is almost impossible to get and/or not what he thought it was and wants to jump on the big law train he/she will be happy they are at Duke and not UCLA. As said previously, even if they want PI then they might have to work in big law for a few years anyway and it's much easier to get that from Duke.

Going to a regional school like UCLA without ties to that region would be a colossal mistake IMO. Considering the OP wants to work in NY or DC, two places that Duke places well in and that UCLA barely places in at all, coupled with increased big law chances and probably a better LRAP (although I admit that I haven't really looked into that for these two schools) Duke is easily worth 60K more. Not to mention it probably won't be a 60K difference because of cost of living, etc.

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:58 am

BigZuck wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:OP, everyone is telling you to attend Duke for the East Coast - you should challenge them to give you compelling reasons why Duke would place 120k better than UCLA in public interest work in NYC/DC.


Who on this thread said Duke placed $120K better than UCLA?



I am not taking the bait. Make a statement - how much better do you think Duke places in public interest and how much is it worth?


Bait? Come on bro bro, you're the one who is making stuff up. Just own up to it.

When the OP realizes that PI is almost impossible to get and/or not what he thought it was and wants to jump on the big law train he/she will be happy they are at Duke and not UCLA. As said previously, even if they want PI then they might have to work in big law for a few years anyway and it's much easier to get that from Duke.

Going to a regional school like UCLA without ties to that region would be a colossal mistake IMO. Considering the OP wants to work in NY or DC, two places that Duke places well in and that UCLA barely places in at all, coupled with increased big law chances and probably a better LRAP (although I admit that I haven't really looked into that for these two schools) Duke is easily worth 60K more. Not to mention it probably won't be a 60K difference because of cost of living, etc.



Ok, I was comparing UCLA money to Duke sticker, fine. The point is if you're telling OP to take on more debt, you should be able to justify it.

What you just did is what lawyers and law students would call "fighting the fact pattern". Here's a gratuitous tip - don't fight the facts, it won't serve you well.

I don't have time for more of this back and forth - OP, think carefully about the level of debt that you're taking on (put actual numbers on them), then go talk to some lawyers who practice in the area that you're interested in and get their view.

This forum is not the best place to get advice about student loans.

BigZuck
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:29 am

And what you just did was "ignore everybody's well-reasoned arguments." You came into this thread jusy to be combative, made some shit up about other people's arguments, and when called out on it you fled.

Look OP, it's a crap ton of debt no matter what school you go to. Law school will always cost something, and there are opportunity costs. If you go you have to go to a school that will fulfill your career aspirations and allow you to pay off the debt. Of the choices you presented us I think Duke is the only reasonable choice.

Edit: spelling

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:50 am

BigZuck wrote:And what you just did was "ignore everybody's well-reasoned arguments." You came into this thread jusy to be combative, made some shit up about other people's arguments, and when called out on it you fled.

Look OP, it's a crap ton of debt no matter what school you go to. Law school will always cost something, and there are opportunity costs. If you go you have to go to a school that will fulfill your career aspirations and allow you to pay off the debt. Of the choices you presented us I think Duke is the only reasonable choice.

Edit: spelling


What well-reasoned arguments? The part where you ignore that OP wants to do PI and insists that she will eventually see things your way and do big firm? I do like it.

And also, what do you know about servicing more than a hundred thousand dollars in student loans? If you don't, I would think twice about advising someone else to take on that level of debt.

BigZuck
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:56 am

Master Tofu wrote:
BigZuck wrote:And what you just did was "ignore everybody's well-reasoned arguments." You came into this thread jusy to be combative, made some shit up about other people's arguments, and when called out on it you fled.

Look OP, it's a crap ton of debt no matter what school you go to. Law school will always cost something, and there are opportunity costs. If you go you have to go to a school that will fulfill your career aspirations and allow you to pay off the debt. Of the choices you presented us I think Duke is the only reasonable choice.

Edit: spelling


What well-reasoned arguments? The part where you ignore that OP wants to do PI and insists that she will eventually see things your way and do big firm? I do like it.

And also, what do you know about servicing more than a hundred thousand dollars in student loans? If you don't, I would think twice about advising someone else to take on that level of debt.


I'm old bro bro. I've dealt with debt before. And I'm not sure what my personal situation has to do with anything.

OP will be over 100K in debt if they choose UCLA too. My advice is take the school that has a better chance of paying it off. But if you think the OP shouldn't go to law school at all that's fine. But just say it.

You came here to be combative, not to help the OP. So help the OP. What should they do?

Master Tofu
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby Master Tofu » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:03 am

Master Tofu wrote:Go to California - enjoy the weather for three years and then come back to the Northeast. You still have to take out some loans for COL but it will be much better than servicing 120k on PI salary - that's going to hurt.


I would not pay an additional 60k for Duke if my goal was PI.

BigZuck wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:
BigZuck wrote:And what you just did was "ignore everybody's well-reasoned arguments." You came into this thread jusy to be combative, made some shit up about other people's arguments, and when called out on it you fled.

Look OP, it's a crap ton of debt no matter what school you go to. Law school will always cost something, and there are opportunity costs. If you go you have to go to a school that will fulfill your career aspirations and allow you to pay off the debt. Of the choices you presented us I think Duke is the only reasonable choice.

Edit: spelling


What well-reasoned arguments? The part where you ignore that OP wants to do PI and insists that she will eventually see things your way and do big firm? I do like it.

And also, what do you know about servicing more than a hundred thousand dollars in student loans? If you don't, I would think twice about advising someone else to take on that level of debt.


I'm old bro bro. I've dealt with debt before. And I'm not sure what my personal situation has to do with anything.

OP will be over 100K in debt if they choose UCLA too. My advice is take the school that has a better chance of paying it off. But if you think the OP shouldn't go to law school at all that's fine. But just say it.

You came here to be combative, not to help the OP. So help the OP. What should they do?

BigZuck
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Re: Duke (60k) or UCLA (120k) or Vanderbilt (80k)?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:06 am

With interest he will probably be at least 110K in debt at UCLA. You are confident enough in UCLAs LRAP and east coast placement for the OP to take that gamble?




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