Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

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

UVA v DUke

Duke (206,056 COA)
12
31%
UVA (201,801 COA)
27
69%
 
Total votes: 39

drisk5
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:52 pm

Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby drisk5 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:11 pm

Duke COA: 206,056
UVA COA: 201,801 (20k per year from both schools.)
(COA figures represent all 3 years of law school and include interest to repayment. The total payment figure over 10 years will be significantly higher)

I was recently admitted to UVA from the wait list, and I have no idea what to do here. I will be financing law school entirely with debt. I'm from Alabama, and generally have strong ties to the South, but I'm not committed to working there after law school. While not opposed to big law, it's not something I'm particularly excited about pursuing. I have a public interest background prior to applying to law school, but I'm not sure if that's where I will eventually end up career wise. It seems like UVA is a superior option, but the school is fairly notorious for gaming the ranking system. Any input from the TLS community would be greatly appreciated.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:16 pm

With this kind of debt you need biglaw. That is so much money.
Have you visited the schools? Did you prefer one over the other?

Can you negotiate scholarships at all?

curious66
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:34 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby curious66 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:19 pm

I think they are comparable schools.. some folks really like UVA due to the location closer to DC. Others just love the Duke atmosphere. At this point, if you have already signed a lease etc in Durham and will lose more money in the process, it might not be worth any perceived difference. It is true that UVA does a good job of school funded positions which helps them in the rankings, but it is still a great school irrespective. Duke is awesome of biglaw, but that is not to say PI is non-existent.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:24 pm

Neither of these schools have great LRAPs. You will very likely need BigLaw to pay off that kind of debt.

What are your numbers? If there's room for significantly improving your LSAT score, I'd think about retaking and reapplying for more money.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:30 pm

Ti Malice wrote:Neither of these schools have great LRAPs. You will very likely need BigLaw to pay off that kind of debt.

What are your numbers? If there's room for significantly improving your LSAT score, I'd think about retaking and reapplying for more money.


Lol. I was afraid to suggest this because I know OP will say they can't retake and they have to go this year.

OP: you will need biglaw to repay that much money. There really isn't another option except 20 years of PAYE. PI jobs are so competitive it is just hard to rely on getting one. But that would be 10 years of debt and living on a low salary for 10 years.

I would never take on this much debt, but you are not the only one doing so

curious66
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:34 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby curious66 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:30 pm

I assumed this person does not have the time to retake... sounded like OP was set on attending Duke this fall and then got pulled off the waitlist recently from UVA.. hence the last minute scramble.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby 20141023 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:49 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:57 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Something you all have to consider is that PAYE means that anyone who is eligible for this program no longer "needs" a large income to go to graduate school, no matter the cost. :P


I know that. That is why I said the options include 20 years of debt under PAYE. I left off the tax bomb though.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:04 pm

Its silly to say "retake" at this point since OP was going to go to Duke anyway.

I would, however, counsel you to negotiate with Dean Hoye given your recent UVA scholly. I doubt Duke will let you flee to MVP without putting up a financial fight. You can squeeze an extra $5K/year from Duke if you kindly alert them to your new scholarship. This would lower your COA to a slightly more manageable $180-185K at graduation. Still a lot, but I think its a fair bet given Duke's placement -- Im only saying this because you had already accepted a higher debt burden and presumably understood it implications.

With both schools at current amounts, Id go to UVA for DC and Duke for NYC.
Last edited by jbagelboy on Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby 20141023 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:05 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fallingup
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby fallingup » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:08 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Its silly to say "retake" at this point since OP was going to go to Duke anyway.

I would, however, counsel you to negotiate with Dean Hoye given your recent UVA scholly. I doubt Duke will let you flee to MVP without putting up a financial fight.


TCR

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:27 pm

Neither school is worth this debt. Either retake LSAT or go to a non-T14 on a full ride.

User avatar
Robespierre
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Robespierre » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:52 pm

If you can pull your 169 up to 174, you'd get much bigger schollys from these schools. Think about whether you might be able to accomplish that with a herculean LSAT prep effort on retake.

If not, pretty much peer schools. Go with your gut.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:12 pm

curious66 wrote:I assumed this person does not have the time to retake


With respect to attending law school, there's always time not to make a bad/questionable decision. It's irrelevant to me what OP was planning to do before hearing from UVA. Classes haven't started and loans haven't been disbursed, so the best option is still on the table. Even if the odds of the OP going that route are minimal, it's still worth mentioning.

Hopefully Duke will cough up some money here. I seem to remember them being pretty generous with someone else in a similar situation earlier this summer, though I might be misremembering.

drisk5
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:52 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby drisk5 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:24 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I was able to increase my scholarship at Duke to 25k per year. That makes the total cost of attendance at repayment $187,869. That does appear to make Duke a slightly stronger option. Should I go for 30k from them? UVA seems to be maxed out with their offer at this time.

In retrospect I probably should have retaken. I was testing substantially higher than I ended up scoring, but my job would have made test preparation a nightmare. Neither school has a strong LRAP so I agree big law seems to be the only way to go. I was thinking that UVA's influence in the southeast, and my ties to the area would make a regional firm a viable option. I've heard mixed reviews about how strong Duke actually is in the southeast.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:31 pm

drisk5 wrote:Should I go for 30k from them? UVA seems to be maxed out with their offer at this time.


Definitely. The worst they can do is say no. But I'd make UVA tell you no one more time first.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:46 pm

Congrats on the negotiation.

I say Duke.

User avatar
ArtistOfManliness
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:50 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
drisk5 wrote:Should I go for 30k from them? UVA seems to be maxed out with their offer at this time.


Definitely. The worst they can do is say no. But I'd make UVA tell you no one more time first.


Oh without a doubt... no harm in trying

BigZuck
Posts: 10853
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby BigZuck » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:03 pm

About a month ago UVA accepted me off the WL with 60K and on the phone Dean Richards said something to the effect of "I'm not sure if more money will free up but if it does we would be willing to work with you." I'm committed to a school not in the T14 but I did have 90K at Duke and Cornell earlier in this cycle before passing on those offers. I emailed her about something else and kind of casually said it would be tough to commit to UVA with 60K when I passed on 90K at those schools but she fixated on the other thing I was emailing her about and never addressed my weak negotiation attempt.

Not sure if any of that helps you but I guess what I'm trying to say is that she did open the door to negotiating slightly for me and if I had been more forceful she might have been willing to deal. Then again that was a few weeks ago and maybe you could interpret her being unmoved by 90K at Duke to mean she would be unmoved by 75K.

I would try to negotiate with them if you prefer UVA but if things stay as they are I would definitely choose Duke.

User avatar
NoodleyOne
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:56 pm

BigZuck wrote:About a month ago UVA accepted me off the WL with 60K and on the phone Dean Richards said something to the effect of "I'm not sure if more money will free up but if it does we would be willing to work with you." I'm committed to a school not in the T14 but I did have 90K at Duke and Cornell earlier in this cycle before passing on those offers. I emailed her about something else and kind of casually said it would be tough to commit to UVA with 60K when I passed on 90K at those schools but she fixated on the other thing I was emailing her about and never addressed my weak negotiation attempt.

Not sure if any of that helps you but I guess what I'm trying to say is that she did open the door to negotiating slightly for me and if I had been more forceful she might have been willing to deal. Then again that was a few weeks ago and maybe you could interpret her being unmoved by 90K at Duke to mean she would be unmoved by 75K.

I would try to negotiate with them if you prefer UVA but if things stay as they are I would definitely choose Duke.

I had a similar experience, although I was negotiating with an equal offer from NYU and they wouldn't budge. UVA doesn't seem very interested in negotiating nowadays.

A Parliment of Owls
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:09 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby A Parliment of Owls » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:26 pm

-
Last edited by A Parliment of Owls on Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawyerwannabe
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:33 pm

A Parliment of Owls wrote:Would it be at all possible for you to take a road trip to UVA his weekend?

I've visited both UVA and Duke and thought UVA had a vastly nicer law school facility/campus. I imagine that if you called ahead and let the admissions office know they could figure out a tour for you or a meeting with some professors.

That said, IMO UVA Law has a better student body, prestige, and campus than Duke law.

But if you're looking for good basketball, Duke hands down.


I am biased and YMMV, but I have yet to talk to anyone who thinks UVA is more prestigious than Duke. And while opinion may vary as to whether UVA's law facilities are better, no way UVA's campus is better than Duke's overall.

To OP: Go to whichever you like more. They are peer schools and the money difference shouldn't really be a deciding factor because it is fairly negligible. Good luck!

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby Br3v » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Both schools pretty solid (and relatively equal) when it comes to employment. I say it's ok to make a decision between the two in your shoes based on the "little things" at this point. Where do you want to live for 3 years? Is one closer to a signifcant other or anything? Do you see yourself more at one school over the other?

californiabeauar
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:33 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby californiabeauar » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:23 am

1) UVA > (or, maybe, =) DUKE. IMO, UVA is the right choice.

2) "...notorious for gaming the rankings..." LOL. You've fallen into the TLS hivemind. The only thing UVA is 'notorious' for is drunken softball and helping some of their students (those who don't land the jobs they want at graduation) on their feet and the get well regarded law jerbs once their fellowships end.
Last edited by californiabeauar on Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sinfiery
Posts: 3308
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 am

Re: Last Minute Decision Duke $$ v UVA $$

Postby sinfiery » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:29 am

At equal cost, I would attend UVA because of their better safety net at the bottom of the class. (Which I think more than makes up for whatever negative their grading system causes) I think the 5k/year difference once again makes it a tossup, difficult decision but both are good options. Goodluck.
Last edited by sinfiery on Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests