Berkeley vs Duke Law

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miguelfoogo
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Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby miguelfoogo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:43 pm

Hi all,

I am choosing between Berkeley and Duke Law both at 10k per year. I visited Berkeley and loved the campus. I did not fall in love with Duke as much when I visited, but I like the NC area.

I am not sure exactly where I want to work afterwards. I am from the South, and I see some importance in settling down somewhat close to my family. At the same time I like San Francisco and the west coast and I wouldn't mind living out there.

I guess if all things were equal and I felt like I could still eventually move back to a place like atlanta, DC, or Nashville just as easily from Berkeley as I could from Duke, I would definitely go to Berkeley. Duke also seems to have a much bigger prestige factor here in the South. If i tell someone in the South where I am considering going to school, they always think I have hit the jackpot with Duke and don't know that there is anything special about berkeley. still, at the end of the day i really liked the culture of berkeley the most.

Also about retaking and reapplying.
I have already taken the lsat twice. Once in 2010 and again in the fall of 2012. I got a 164 both times. My gpa is 3.8. Both times I studied very intensely for about a month. Is this enough time to maximize your score? I can't imagine sitting out a full year again and reapplying. both times i took i had higher pt scores. the first time 166/167 and then the 164. the second time I had practice tests of 171 and 169 before the test, but then on test day i thought i did pretty well but still ended up right back at 164. afterwards it seemed useless to consider retaking. Is this fair to think? Of course I would have liked to have ended up at Harvard, and i know i am giving up this option for the most part if i enroll now.

I am ready to put my energy towards actually studying the law and moving on with a career.
Thoughts? Advice?

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HankBashir
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby HankBashir » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:47 pm

You should honestly retake and spend more than a month on prep. A month is really not enough to significantly change your score. If this idea is too intolerable to you, then Duke.

BigZuck
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:49 pm

10K as in the both offered you a 10K a year scholarship? In that case I think both are too expensive but gun to your head I would choose Duke. Lower cost of living and closer proximity to where you want to end up (although I don't think lay prestige should matter much here).

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:54 pm

At the very least, retake in June. But I would take a year off and study really intently for the October test if I were you.



Figure out if you would prefer to work in CA or NYC. The biggest difference between these schools seem to be where they place their grads.

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dawyzest1
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby dawyzest1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:03 pm

The retake advice is right here. 3 months of intense study is the minimum. Though, if you are non-URM at 3.8/164 you have outperformed your numbers with these two being options.

But, if no retake, then I'd go to Duke. It will have a slight edge on Berkeley for southern placement, and if you're cool with Nashville, then you might like Charlotte, and I am pretty sure Duke will set you up nicely there.

miguelfoogo
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby miguelfoogo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:14 pm

I guess I was hesitant to retake even the first time because a lot of the schools said they averaged scores.

Obviously I would like more money, but my main goal in retaking would be to get into HYS.

I think my max score would be a 174. I really don't think i am a fast enough test taker to ever get above that. In that case even if i only averaged 164 and 174 together, my score would still just be a 169. That's still not much of a shot at HYS.

Or has this "we average scores" thing been a scam along. If I were to take the lsat 3 times and get 164s and then on the 4th time get a 174, would that give me a legit shot at HLS like any other 3.8/ 174 applicant?

I have seen some stories of retakers where it did not seem like schools were paying attention to the average as much as i thought they said they would. Any information on this?

If i couldn't get HYS, i would be happy with Berkeley or Duke at this price/ (i am not too worried about the money because i have some support). Does that change anybody's advice?
Last edited by miguelfoogo on Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:20 pm

They don't average but they do consider all of your scores.


If you got berk and duke with your current numbers, I say you have a pretty strong fighting chance at SLS with a 172 and HLS with a 173.

But the real prize is hitting 170. That's where you will be swarmed with scholly money from many of the t14.

Big Dog
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby Big Dog » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:21 pm

Or has this "we average scores" thing been a scam along.Or has this "we average scores" thing been a scam along.Or has this "we average scores" thing been a scam along.


Given the massive drop in LS applicants, the schools will take whatever high scores that they can get, since the highest score is what they report for rankings purposes. So, forget about the average and go get a 170+.

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:24 pm

If money isn't an issue, retake in June and if you don't break 170, just go versus if money is an issue, study a lot longer and retake in October.

miguelfoogo
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby miguelfoogo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:26 pm

But maybe I am really just not that great at the LSAT. I could see myself investing 3 months in the LSAT and still only hitting a 169 because things did not come together on test day. I don't have much confidence in 172+ if that is what it will take to get H or S. Without H or S it all would have seemed like a waste of time.

I also feel like it is time i put that energy into something more productive like the actual law school classes. I'm also 27 now, so time does seem to be ticking a little more

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:35 pm

A 170 will net you roughly 100k in more scholly money. If that isn't motivation enough to retake, I guess.there is no reason for you to.

miguelfoogo
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby miguelfoogo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:38 pm

I guess I should just mention the other external pressures in retaking.

I know my 4 recommendation writers really put good effort into writing my recommendations. I guess they can all just submit the same letter the next year, but it still seems like i would be making them go through the whole tedious process of submitting things online. How did this go for other people? I don't want to change recommendors either. I think a lot of softs from my application like my recommendors were what helped me outperform my numbers.

Needing to explain to family and friends and girlfriend that i just was so intent on attending HYS that i am going to spend more time trying to improve my LSAT.

Looking for a new job. I have been planning on resigning from my job in June. I could potentially stay here, but really I am ready for a new experience.

I am eager to start law school. I was excited by my visits to schools and sitting in on classes. It's what i am ready for now.

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:42 pm

I believe you can deposit at one of Berkeley or Duke, sign up for the June LSAT, and take it.

If you score good enough, reapply. If not, attend.

Thereby mitigating some of the risk of time lost with no benefit.

miguelfoogo
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby miguelfoogo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:46 pm

Yeah, I see the benefit in taking the June LSAT, but at this point my study phase will mirror my studying from the past two tests: 30 to 40 days of intense studying. I have no reason to believe i would all the sudden do better. i think the 3 month study path could yield some differences.

i appreciate the advice. going to give it some good thought this evening

BigZuck
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:54 pm

Seems like you're going to do your damnedest to convince yourself that not retaking and attending law school this fall is the best move. And that's fine. As always with people who have rich parents just go to wherever makes you happiest. You don't have to worry about money like most people do, which is where the vast majority of this advice comes from. YOLO bro.

Big Dog
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby Big Dog » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:03 pm

Needing to explain to family and friends and girlfriend that i just was so intent on attending HYS that i am going to spend more time trying to improve my LSAT.Needing to explain to family and friends and girlfriend that i just was so intent on attending HYS that i am going to spend more time trying to improve my LSAT.


Forget about HYS. Think about a T14 at full/near full tuition. Explain to your GF how loans are paid back with after-tax dollars -- her dollars, if she hangs with you long enough. Then explain how merit money is tax-free.

Doh!

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dawyzest1
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby dawyzest1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:15 pm

From my perspective, the advice to retake is driven by the fact that you haven't yet put in max time/effort. We don't know yet what your ceiling is because we don't have adequate inputs.

No schools average scores per se, but I have heard tales of HYS (moreso Y/S) taking earlier tests into account in evaluating applicants. Meaning that a one-time only 174 might be viewed more favorably than a 164, 174.

Honestly, if you can swing it financially, you are not in a world of sh*t with either of your options.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:58 pm

Those are some lame reasons not to retake. You could go from 20 years of paying a couple thousand a month in loans to going to Duke or Berkeley for free or close to free.

You can use the same letters again anyway.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:00 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:21 pm

If you have only southern ties, go to duke as its less risk, and ultimately less expensive than out of state at Cal.

Moreover, you're in the wrong thread bro. You shouldnt leave LSAT prep until at least 6 months of studying, unless you started PTing above 170. 1 month? C'mon! I studied 4 months with a class and I would have done more if I needed to. If you got into Duke with a 164, imagine what you could get with a 168 or 170.

Real Madrid
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:45 am

miguelfoogo wrote:Hi all,

I am choosing between Berkeley and Duke Law both at 10k per year. I visited Berkeley and loved the campus. I did not fall in love with Duke as much when I visited, but I like the NC area.

I am not sure exactly where I want to work afterwards. I am from the South, and I see some importance in settling down somewhat close to my family. At the same time I like San Francisco and the west coast and I wouldn't mind living out there.

I guess if all things were equal and I felt like I could still eventually move back to a place like atlanta, DC, or Nashville just as easily from Berkeley as I could from Duke, I would definitely go to Berkeley. Duke also seems to have a much bigger prestige factor here in the South. If i tell someone in the South where I am considering going to school, they always think I have hit the jackpot with Duke and don't know that there is anything special about berkeley. still, at the end of the day i really liked the culture of berkeley the most.

Also about retaking and reapplying.
I have already taken the lsat twice. Once in 2010 and again in the fall of 2012. I got a 164 both times. My gpa is 3.8. Both times I studied very intensely for about a month. Is this enough time to maximize your score? I can't imagine sitting out a full year again and reapplying. both times i took i had higher pt scores. the first time 166/167 and then the 164. the second time I had practice tests of 171 and 169 before the test, but then on test day i thought i did pretty well but still ended up right back at 164. afterwards it seemed useless to consider retaking. Is this fair to think? Of course I would have liked to have ended up at Harvard, and i know i am giving up this option for the most part if i enroll now.

I am ready to put my energy towards actually studying the law and moving on with a career.
Thoughts? Advice?


People from the south are stupid. I would know. These same people would also think the University of Chicago is some crappy state school.

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sinfiery
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby sinfiery » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:01 pm

Ignorance =/= stupid bro

Real Madrid
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:26 pm

sinfiery wrote:Ignorance =/= stupid bro


I should have clarified. People from the south are ignorant AND stupid.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby PRgradBYU » Wed May 01, 2013 12:07 am

ajax adonis wrote:I would retake.

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cwid1391
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Re: Berkeley vs Duke Law

Postby cwid1391 » Wed May 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Ignorance =/= stupid bro


I should have clarified. People from the south are ignorant AND stupid.


I guarantee you the average person in New York state or California does not know how prestigious the University of Chicago is. Lawyers in the South know how prestigious various schools are and big firms in the South care just as much about getting grads from top schools as New York firms.

So what's your point, that people from the South are dumb? You're basing this on the fact that the average person might not recognize the prestigiousness of a school?




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