UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

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

Where would you go?

UCLA - 125k
2
11%
Chicago - 210k
6
32%
Michigan - 149k
0
No votes
Duke - 153k
11
58%
 
Total votes: 19

Prestige Regionwide
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:50 pm

UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Prestige Regionwide » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:07 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster looking for some advice about which law school to choose. I’ve already talked to friends and family about this decision but would like to hear the TLS opinion about what to do.

Background:

GPA: 3.85
LSAT: 171

I’m currently taking a year off of school and working as a temp paralegal so I can get a feel for the different types of job options available to lawyers. I fully intend to go to law school in the class of 2018 because I hate having a career roadblock based solely on degrees rather than skills which I could pick up on the job.


Here are the schools I’m considering with scholarships in parentheses:

UCLA (35k/yr) – COA 125k
Chicago (20k/yr) – COA 210k
Michigan (30k/yr) – COA 149k
Duke (35k/yr) – COA 153k

Still waiting to hear from Stanford and Yale but with my numbers and background an acceptance from even one of them is unlikely.

Financial Considerations:

I’ll be paying for the majority of my education with loans but because I have about 40k in savings accounts from grandparents/work my total debt will be a fair chunk lower than the stated COA.

My ideal career trajectory is to work at a large firm for the first 4+ years after law school to pay off any debt and get a healthy amount of money in a savings account. I wouldn't mind clerking at some point but that isn't a deal-breaker type goal. After making a bit of money I’ll most likely move to a smaller less intense hours firm, government job, or maybe in-house so I can tip the work-life balance scale in the correct direction. My current plan is to work in California because that’s where my entire family is from but I’d be willing to work outside the West Coast for a few years as long as my degree gives me the flexibility to end up back in CA.

Any and all advice is appreciated, thanks doods.

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Winston1984
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Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:15 pm

Duke or Michigan. Duke's numbers look a little stronger, but I'm not sure if Michigan has more pull in CA or not. Chicago is too expensive, IMO. UCLA should be a full ride.

Have you tried negotiating offers? Also, could you post total COA taking into consideration family help/savings?

TheOnePercent
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 pm

Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby TheOnePercent » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:27 pm

Winston1984 wrote:UCLA should be a full ride. Have you tried negotiating offers?

Personally would go to one of the extremes - go to UCLA if you can get that $$$ close to full tuition or to Chicago - because their placement and clerkship stats are just that much better than your other options (each of which essentially still require a BL job to pay back quickly).

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lawschool1741
Posts: 332
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Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby lawschool1741 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:31 pm

TheOnePercent wrote:Personally would go to one of the extremes - go to UCLA if you can get that $$$ close to full tuition or to Chicago - because their placement and clerkship stats are just that much better than your other options (each of which essentially still require a BL job to pay back quickly).

Tend to agree here, except do you not have any lower ranked offers that are free/near free? USC for instance?

Prestige Regionwide
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:50 pm

Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Prestige Regionwide » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:09 pm

Here's the amount of debt that I'd likely face at each school at graduation:

UCLA: 71k
Chicago: 153k
Michigan: 91k
Duke: 98k

These numbers assume 2 things: 1) That I spend 30k out of pocket on law school during my 1L year, and 2) I manage to save 15k to spend on tuition after summering at a firm between 2 and 3L.


As for other scholarship offers, USC gave me 40k a year but with in-state tuition UCLA is still cheaper. Texas gave me 25k/yr + in state tuition meaning I'd pay about 9k/yr for tuition. I didn't apply to any other lower T-14 schools (NU, GULC, Cornell) because I was sketched out by their job placement back into CA so I don't have any of those schollies to use in negotiations.

Just this morning I sent out a few rounds of negotiation emails trying to see if I could bump my offers at UCLA, Duke, Michigan, and USC. My guess is that I'll receive at most an extra 5k/yr at any one of the schools I listed.

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Winston1984
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:02 pm

Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:17 pm

UCLA: 71k
Chicago: 153k
Michigan: 91k
Duke: 98k


Based on these numbers, UCLA is out. UChi is defensible, but $60k extra is a lot of money. I would still roll with Duke/Michigan.

Nomo
Posts: 700
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Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Nomo » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:31 pm

Michigan seems to have better prospects in California than Duke, and its a lot cheaper than Chicago. I'd go with Michigan.

Just know that when you hit OCI you're going to have a conundrum on your hands. Do you bid NY, where there are more jobs and its less grade selective? Or do you bid California, where you want to end up? Or do you split the baby? Sometimes we talk as if you can choose NY if CA doesn't work out - but that's not how it goes. You have to choose without knowing what would happen if you were to bid differently.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:36 pm

visit Michigan and Duke and go to whichever one you like best

TheOnePercent
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 pm

Re: UCLA(35k) v. Duke(35k) v. Chi(20k)

Postby TheOnePercent » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:44 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
Chicago: 153k
Michigan: 91k
Duke: 98k

I would still roll with Duke/Michigan.

The $60k is a personal judgment - but don't see Michigan's value. Has the worst placement stats in the t13 and puts fewer folks into CA than UChi (UChi: 16% vs. UM: 11%).

All tuition levels are high enough and the delta small enough that am still leaning Chicago (assuming can't get UCLA lower).




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