Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

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

Duke or Northwestern??

Duke
17
55%
Northwestern
14
45%
 
Total votes: 31

cowabunga85
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Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby cowabunga85 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:21 pm

Hi everybody,

I'm in a tough situation (again) and could really use some TLS wisdom. I've been given $30,000 in scholarship money from Northwestern and $45,000 from Duke. I don't know which school to choose, as both are peer schools (although it seems Duke might have a slight edge on NU in terms of placement). I plan to return back to Southern California after law school (again, Duke and NW seem to have similar placement stats here).

NU
Pros: I would prefer to live in a big city and I've also worked for a few years/have a master's degree (27 years old) so might relate more to NU students. I can leave my car behind as the city's public transportation is decent. Plus, the school is right in the middle of a major legal market.

Cons: seemingly less lay prestige on the west coast, more money

Duke

Pros: Seemingly more lay prestige (probably because of sports), less money

Cons: location (not sure how I feel about being stuck in Durham), younger student population, I would need a car and I will probably have to move every summer for work given its location whereas I might be able to find work in Chicago and prevent that (at least my 1L summer).

Further, I'm going to be taking out loans to cover the difference from scholarship money, so:

Full COA Duke: $180,309
Full COA NU: $208,347

Any advice from you guys would be extremely helpful. Thank you!!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:40 pm

This is close enough that if you prefer Northwestern you should go there. Maybe try negotiating with both one more time first.

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Toby Ziegler » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:This is close enough that if you prefer Northwestern you should go there. Maybe try negotiating with both one more time first.


This seems to be TCR. Also it seems you're pretty concerned about the age of students. Duke will have a little younger class on average, but at the same time I think that you're going to be able to find a good group of older students at Duke as well.

cowabunga85
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby cowabunga85 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:03 pm

Thank you. So you two both agree that placement stats and prestige level between the two schools are indisernbile? I just want to make sure that I'm not making a huge mistake by selecting NW over Duke.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby PRgradBYU » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:05 pm

cowabunga85 wrote:Hi everybody,

I'm in a tough situation (again) and could really use some TLS wisdom. I've been given $30,000 in scholarship money from Northwestern and $45,000 from Duke. I don't know which school to choose, as both are peer schools (although it seems Duke might have a slight edge on NU in terms of placement). I plan to return back to Southern California after law school (again, Duke and NW seem to have similar placement stats here).

NU
Pros: I would prefer to live in a big city and I've also worked for a few years/have a master's degree (27 years old) so might relate more to NU students. I can leave my car behind as the city's public transportation is decent. Plus, the school is right in the middle of a major legal market.

Cons: seemingly less lay prestige on the west coast, more money

Duke

Pros: Seemingly more lay prestige (probably because of sports), less money

Cons: location (not sure how I feel about being stuck in Durham), younger student population, I would need a car and I will probably have to move every summer for work given its location whereas I might be able to find work in Chicago and prevent that (at least my 1L summer).

Further, I'm going to be taking out loans to cover the difference from scholarship money, so:

Full COA Duke: $180,309
Full COA NU: $208,347

Any advice from you guys would be extremely helpful. Thank you!!


GPA / LSAT? How many times have you taken the LSAT?

cowabunga85
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby cowabunga85 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:11 pm

3.8/164. I've taken the LSAT three times. I know conventional TLS wisdom would suggest a re-take here, but I'm not willing to do that again personally.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:35 pm

Im shocked you got in/got money at duke and NU with a 164. Are you URM? Do you have some ridiculous softs?

Both are great schools -- Id go NU personally -- but realize you are making a massive mistake opportunity cost-wise by not retaking for a 170. You could get nearly a full ride at northwestern, and close to it at Duke.

cowabunga85
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby cowabunga85 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:48 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Im shocked you got in/got money at duke and NU with a 164. Are you URM? Do you have some ridiculous softs?

Both are great schools -- Id go NU personally -- but realize you are making a massive mistake opportunity cost-wise by not retaking for a 170. You could get nearly a full ride at northwestern, and close to it at Duke.



Thanks for your response. I'm not URM. I think I have solid softs and a really good app. I've never PT'd at or near 170, so the likelihood of that happening is slim unfortunately. Why would you choose NU?

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Motivator9
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Motivator9 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:01 pm

Both are great deals with with stats. Have you visited both campuses? If you like NW better, go for it.

Ti Malice
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:14 pm

Despite your testing history and how well you performed for your numbers, it's hard for me to suggest taking either option instead of reevaluating your LSAT study regimen and shooting for 170+ to avoid massive debt. And speaking of debt, it appears you didn't include tuition increases or the interest that will accumulate while you're in law school. If you're debt-financing everything but the $45K scholarship at Duke or the $30K grant at NU, you're looking at ~$225K of debt at repayment for Duke or ~$245-250K of debt at repayment for NU.

If you decide to attend at these costs, however, it would be fine to pick NU over Duke for the sake of fit. These schools are essentially equivalent in placement power.

Edit: typo
Last edited by Ti Malice on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:17 pm

cowabunga85 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Im shocked you got in/got money at duke and NU with a 164. Are you URM? Do you have some ridiculous softs?

Both are great schools -- Id go NU personally -- but realize you are making a massive mistake opportunity cost-wise by not retaking for a 170. You could get nearly a full ride at northwestern, and close to it at Duke.



Thanks for your response. I'm not URM. I think I have solid softs and a really good app. I've never PT'd at or near 170, so the likelihood of that happening is slim unfortunately. Why would you choose NU?


1) I would much prefer to live in downtown Chicago than Durham;

2) I prefer NU's geographic placement strengths to Duke's (although they are very comparable - Outside of NYC, Duke has more southern dominance, NU more lake areas);

3) I would find more in common with an older student populace with more diverse experiences and careers outside of law and undergraduate studies;

4) Rain and snow > dixie humidity;

5) Northwestern has prettier/better renovated facilities IMO;

6) Ill always be wildcats > blue devils, even if dukes teams are much better;

7) other reasons that may overlap with 1) but effectively make me clearly partial to NU here


As an important caveat: this is assuming equal or near equal cost. Id go to Duke with a large scholarship over Northwestern without in an instant.

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alexrodriguez
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby alexrodriguez » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:28 am

Tucker Max went to Duke, so go to Duke.

elizcbeth
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby elizcbeth » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:08 am

1. I go to NU, and it's fantastic. It sounds like you would like it too.
2. Born and raised in LA, and I don't think Duke has any more prestige whatsoever over NU. I've talked to other people about this in CA, and everyone seems to agree that both schools have this sort of hazy "They're good schools, but I don't know why" feel to them. I was honestly surprised that Duke was in the top 14.
3. However, the COA at NU is way more than the financial aid office says it is unless you want to live in a hole with at least a 30 minute commute. Something to consider.

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Clearly
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Clearly » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:22 am

Motivator9 wrote:Both are great deals with with stats. Have you visited both campuses? If you like NW better, go for it.

Alright, I was gonna let it go, but its in multiple threads now. It's NU, not NW.

Jonathk1
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Jonathk1 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:41 am

What are your ambitions post-grad? I faced a similar decision to yours, and I ended up choosing Duke for several reasons. I am also from California.

(1) I hated Chicago when I visited and was largely disappointed when I visited NU's law school. Simply put, I didn't feel at home.
(2) Housing is significantly cheaper in Durham compared to Chicago. Compare $1400 to $500-800 range.
(3) In terms of lay prestige, I think it depends on your own unique social network. For mine, Duke > Northwestern. Honestly though, this shouldn't affect your decision on which school to attend.
(4) I wanted to work in LA, NY, DC in that order and Duke is a better safety net for that. From the research that I've done, NU places in Chicago, NY, CA in that order and I had no desire to practice in the midwest.


If you want to chat, feel free to message me.

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Motivator9
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Motivator9 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:45 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
Motivator9 wrote:Both are great deals with with stats. Have you visited both campuses? If you like NW better, go for it.

Alright, I was gonna let it go, but its in multiple threads now. It's NU, not NW.


Oops. NW just sounds like what it should be called. It won't happen again 8)

cowabunga85
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby cowabunga85 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:51 am

elizcbeth wrote:1. I go to NU, and it's fantastic. It sounds like you would like it too.
2. Born and raised in LA, and I don't think Duke has any more prestige whatsoever over NU. I've talked to other people about this in CA, and everyone seems to agree that both schools have this sort of hazy "They're good schools, but I don't know why" feel to them. I was honestly surprised that Duke was in the top 14.
3. However, the COA at NU is way more than the financial aid office says it is unless you want to live in a hole with at least a 30 minute commute. Something to consider.


Thank you for responding! Can you go into a little more detail about NU student culture and helpfulness of professors? Also, how are fellow NU students doing with job placements both 1L and 2L summers? I constantly read on Duke forums that if you go to Duke, you're pretty much assured of a job before graduation. It seems a little more bleak on NU forums in that NU students say that they personally know of people who are graduating without any job.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby PRgradBYU » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:52 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
Motivator9 wrote:Both are great deals with with stats. Have you visited both campuses? If you like NW better, go for it.

Alright, I was gonna let it go, but its in multiple threads now. It's NU, not NW.


This really, really needed to be said. Also, my vote is for Duke (although TCR is retake).

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Kronk
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Kronk » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:57 am

Nobody cares about lay prestige in the legal job market, so if you would rather work in the midwest / live in Chicago than work in the South / live in Durham I would just go with NorthWest over Duke here.

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Eberry
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby Eberry » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:02 am

It's close, so if you prefer NW, go to NorthWest.

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hephaestus
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby hephaestus » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:10 am

I think the price difference is small enough that you can take QoL into account. I'd go to NU.

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TTH
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby TTH » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:11 am

ImNoScar wrote:I think the price difference is small enough that you can take QoL into account. I'd go to NU.


Well, I'm not so sure. Nebraska is a pretty good law school, and I've heard Lincoln is a nice place to live, but I would take Duke over NU if the price difference isn't an issue.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:23 am

TTH wrote:
ImNoScar wrote:I think the price difference is small enough that you can take QoL into account. I'd go to NU.


Well, I'm not so sure. Nebraska is a pretty good law school, and I've heard Lincoln is a nice place to live, but I would take Duke over NU if the price difference isn't an issue.


See, that would be funny, except literally no one gives a shit about the university of nebraska, or about lincoln. Ive been to the supposedly best restaurant in lincoln. Its a dive.

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untar614
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby untar614 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:35 am

How did Nebraska come into this conversation?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Northwestern ($) vs. Duke ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:38 am

untar614 wrote:How did Nebraska come into this conversation?


A bad joke about "NU" (see above)




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