Duke vs Penn [updated]

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Chill_Out
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Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby Chill_Out » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:17 am

Any help would be appreciated. [edited to only include penn & duke]

-The schools you are considering
Penn & Duke. Waitlisted at H and still under review at S (My fingers are crossed..)


-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.

Duke $115,000
Penn $125,000


-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
Mostly loans.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
Ties to texas and would like to work in tx, though I'd like to maintain geographic flexibility incase something changes.

-Your general career goals
Interested in litigation. Would like to work at a litigation boutique that pays biglaw salaries after graduation.

-GPA/LSAT

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
twice
Last edited by Chill_Out on Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:34 am

Cross Chicago off your list and throw away their materials
The school is indefensible at that price

Either Texas or Duke is justifiable. Given your ties to TX and that you at least may want to work there, I'd pick UT. It's a great option at that price

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby zombie mcavoy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:42 am

Cross of Chicago. Personal preference between duke and ut, both are good to great at those costs. If you really want to be in Texas long term then I would lean towards ut, but duke can obviously get you back to tx. I guess weigh how valuable geographic flexibility is to you.

Also there aren't many firms in tx that pay market at that size, but if that's truly the way you want to go, being in TX for networking purposes could be advantageous. The few shops I know of are composed very heavily of UT folk.

BigZuck
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:29 am

That goal is problematic because there are relatively few of those jobs and you'll likely have to crush law school to get them, which is unlikely. Big firm litigation is somewhat more realistic but I can't in good conscience recommend targeting big firm litigation in TX (or, at least in Houston at least).

Your best bet at litigation IMO is in NY, and UT doesn't reliably place there. So I guess by default Duke is the call? You might get something in TX and if not you at least have NY as a fallback. There's not nearly as much wiggle room at UT.

I agree that Chicago is out.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:59 am

If the total COA for the University of Texas is just $11,000 per year ($33,000 total for all 3 years), then empty your pockets, lift up all the sofa & chair cushions, collect the change & go buy yourself a law degree from a great school. This is your best option because you have ties to Texas & want to work in Texas. And, just for fun, try to negotiate a better deal.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby zombie mcavoy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:05 am

Where are you living right now OP? I would scan some firm websites, look for an associate who has a similar background to you, explain your situation, and ask him to lunch or coffee for advice. Small-ish firm lit that pays market is a tough nut to crack, anywhere, though, and these kind of firms are going to require really good grades. You can't make your school decision assuming really good grades. It's the same niche I'm gunning for at UT; I get the feeling that I'd be on the outside looking in after 2L OCI (as someone a bit better than top 20% after first semester grades).

But still get the advice of an associate or two. See e.g. Houston http://www.azalaw.com/; Austin http://www.scottdoug.com/; Dallas http://www.mckoolsmith.com/offices-Dallas.html

crit_racer
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby crit_racer » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:16 am

I think Duke.

Most flexibility and still a somewhat reasonable cost. You will need biglaw (salary) to pay off 115, but you can more or less count on that from Duke. I am a UT grad, and one of my family friends is currently a 1L at Duke. She has had little/no problem getting 1L biglaw SAs in TX coming out of Duke. Whereas at UT that is much more difficult.

Also, to BigZuck, why don't you think boutique litigation is possible in TX? We have some decent options here (Susman, Bickel and Brewer, McKool Smith, Yetter Coleman, Gibbs and Bruns, AZA, and some others). Not that I think any of those firms are EASY to get, but just saying that I think TX has as many good options as any state when it comes to this.

BigZuck
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:32 am

crit_racer wrote:I think Duke.

Most flexibility and still a somewhat reasonable cost. You will need biglaw (salary) to pay off 115, but you can more or less count on that from Duke. I am a UT grad, and one of my family friends is currently a 1L at Duke. She has had little/no problem getting 1L biglaw SAs in TX coming out of Duke. Whereas at UT that is much more difficult.

Also, to BigZuck, why don't you think boutique litigation is possible in TX? We have some decent options here (Susman, Bickel and Brewer, McKool Smith, Yetter Coleman, Gibbs and Bruns, AZA, and some others). Not that I think any of those firms are EASY to get, but just saying that I think TX has as many good options as any state when it comes to this.

You misread my post if you thought I said it was impossible. I would edit it for clarity but I'm not sure what I could say to make it any more clear. Maybe I should say very unlikely isn't the same as impossible?

I agree that TX is probably the best place for the types of jobs the OP is interested in. And UT might be the best school for attaining them (maybe like Harvard is better, I interviewed with a shop like that at OCI and they said they only recruit from UT and Harvard). I don't think any of that changes what I said though. Just like people probably shouldn't make school choices based on COA clerkship goals, they probably shouldn't think too hard about hard to get lit boutiques. Fine to have that as an overarching goal but the target should be much more realistic IMO.

I think the best shot the OP has at a market paying job is lining up at the NYC big law drone factory doors. Maaaaaaaybe the TX big law drone factory doors. Both will be way easier from Duke.

Chill_Out
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby Chill_Out » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:23 am

Thank you all for your honest advice.

I recognize that I'd need killer grades from either school to realize my dreams, but I'm leaning towards Duke because I believe it would provide more biglaw employment opportunities in the case that I don't earn killer grades, while also maintaining my ability to return to work in Texas.


Of course, I would probably throw all logic out of the window if I receive an acceptance from H or S haha.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:51 am

If accepted to Harvard or Stanford, then you're first move should be a quick call to Duke to negotiate for more scholarship money. Next calculate total COA for all contenders, think about placement from each school & then throw all logic out the window.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:42 am

Chill_Out wrote:Thank you all for your honest advice.

I recognize that I'd need killer grades from either school to realize my dreams, but I'm leaning towards Duke because I believe it would provide more biglaw employment opportunities in the case that I don't earn killer grades, while also maintaining my ability to return to work in Texas.


Of course, I would probably throw all logic out of the window if I receive an acceptance from H or S haha.


Why? It's an equally logic driven analysis. Don't get blinded by us news. Duke at 115k to work in the south is still a better outcome than a higher ranked school (HSChi) at sticker.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:31 pm

Gonna agree with the crowd on this one. Chicago shouldn't be a consideration. Duke or UT are both great options at those prices. This is going to come down to how much regional flexibility and biglaw is worth to you. Either way, you can't make a wrong choice.

Chill_Out
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby Chill_Out » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:26 am

Thank you everyone. I have a follow up question:

Penn is also a viable option for me. The COA for Penn would be at 125k. Based on the fact that I want to maintain the ability to both return to TX & obtain some biglaw job, should I consider Penn more strongly?

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby zombie mcavoy » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:32 am

Great price to pay for Penn. I don't see why personal preference wouldn't win out between Duke and Penn, but at the same time, I also don't see why so many TLSers consider Duke to be magical in Texas. If you're persuaded by that notion, then Duke is probably better long-term for TX.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:49 am

I am going to say Penn at those prices. Penn for $125k is not bad at all, and their biglaw placement is much better than Duke. If you want to stay in Texas though, just do UT. I think the nice thing about Penn is that it will give you the more options than UT in geographically where you can realistically find a job, but if you already have strong ties to Texas, I'm sure you can make it back there coming out of either Duke or Penn.

WheninLaw
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:04 am

Chill_Out wrote:Of course, I would probably throw all logic out of the window if I receive an acceptance from H or S haha.


This doesn't make any sense. You have about the same chance of reaching your goals from Chicago as you do from H/S. If Chicago is not worth sticker (and it's not), H/S certainly aren't either.

Chill_Out
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby Chill_Out » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:15 am

thank you for your reply. Since I have not yet received an acceptance from h or s, what do you think about the other schools?

WheninLaw wrote:
Chill_Out wrote:Of course, I would probably throw all logic out of the window if I receive an acceptance from H or S haha.


This doesn't make any sense. You have about the same chance of reaching your goals from Chicago as you do from H/S. If Chicago is not worth sticker (and it's not), H/S certainly aren't either.

WheninLaw
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:29 am

Chill_Out wrote:thank you for your reply. Since I have not yet received an acceptance from h or s, what do you think about the other schools?

WheninLaw wrote:
Chill_Out wrote:Of course, I would probably throw all logic out of the window if I receive an acceptance from H or S haha.


This doesn't make any sense. You have about the same chance of reaching your goals from Chicago as you do from H/S. If Chicago is not worth sticker (and it's not), H/S certainly aren't either.


I'd take Penn.

BigZuck
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:47 am

Penn vs Duke- just go ahead and choose pretty much whichever you prefer

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SplitMyPants
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby SplitMyPants » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:54 am

If you want to work in TX or the South generally, take Duke over Penn. It has stronger pull in the South.

Also FWIW, not that this wouldn't happen from Penn, but I know plenty of people at Duke, including non-URM, who are summering in TX as 1Ls this year.

BigZuck
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:58 am

SplitMyPants wrote:If you want to work in TX or the South generally, take Duke over Penn. It has stronger pull in the South.

Also FWIW, not that this wouldn't happen from Penn, but I know plenty of people at Duke, including non-URM, who are summering in TX as 1Ls this year.

I know of TX firms that have multiple Penn people in their class but no Duke

It's a wash IMO. I can't imagine firms would really prefer one over the other.

Chill_Out
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby Chill_Out » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:32 pm

Thank you so much for your replies!

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Chi vs Ut vs Duke vs Penn [updated]

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:31 pm

BigZuck wrote:
SplitMyPants wrote:If you want to work in TX or the South generally, take Duke over Penn. It has stronger pull in the South.

Also FWIW, not that this wouldn't happen from Penn, but I know plenty of people at Duke, including non-URM, who are summering in TX as 1Ls this year.

I know of TX firms that have multiple Penn people in their class but no Duke

It's a wash IMO. I can't imagine firms would really prefer one over the other.


Biggest difference is probably just one of availability. Duke has lots of TX firms come to OCI and recruiting events, I can't imagine Penn does (though someone from there can correct me if I'm wrong).




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