Columbia vs Duke (60k)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
SummerDec1225
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:16 am

Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby SummerDec1225 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:06 pm

I am mainly considering Columbia and Duke at this point. Duke offered me $60,000 and nothing yet from CLS. My family has offered to pay but I would absolutely prefer if they can pay less.

I went to Duke for undergrad and loved it, and have close friends and family there. I feel like I'd have a very strong support system at Duke if I were to go there. That and knowing the environment very well may help with my 1L grades. I don't have a set career plan but would probably go into big law after graduation (DC would be the ideal but I don't care much about location in general. I'm not a huge fan of NYC but wouldn't mind it). CLS has the better name and from what I've heard, better employment opportunities.

Given the money difference and the possibility that I may do better at Duke, which one should I pick?
Any thoughts/input would be very much appreciated!
Last edited by SummerDec1225 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thatsnotmyname
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby thatsnotmyname » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:09 pm

Where else did you apply? Are these your only/best options? Did you get any better scholarship offers from elsewhere in the T14?

BigZuck
Posts: 10851
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:11 pm

A lot of people have to consider money because they are at risk if things go bad. With a rich family you don't have that problem so I think you can safely choose whichever one you prefer.

Sounds like you like Duke more and would prefer they save a little dough.
But you know Columbia places better.

So it's really up to you to weigh those two things and decide what to do.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:36 pm

First, ask both law schools for more scholarship money.

If things remain the same, then Duke is the safer choice for an easy, less stressful transition into law school & Columbia is the safer choice for job placement. Which is more important to you ?

If required to make a recommendation, then Duke since you're happy there & since NYC is not your favorite destination.

SummerDec1225
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby SummerDec1225 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:43 pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:Where else did you apply? Are these your only/best options? Did you get any better scholarship offers from elsewhere in the T14?



Thanks for the response. I'm waitlisted at HYS, in at NYU, Michigan (75k), Gtown, Northwestern, UCLA (100k).

SummerDec1225
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby SummerDec1225 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:45 pm

BigZuck wrote:A lot of people have to consider money because they are at risk if things go bad. With a rich family you don't have that problem so I think you can safely choose whichever one you prefer.

Sounds like you like Duke more and would prefer they save a little dough.
But you know Columbia places better.

So it's really up to you to weigh those two things and decide what to do.


Thanks for your reply. Honestly I care more about the employment outcome. But I wonder what the real placement difference would be if I were above average at Duke vs. average at CLS?

SummerDec1225
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby SummerDec1225 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:48 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:First, ask both law schools for more scholarship money.

If things remain the same, then Duke is the safer choice for an easy, less stressful transition into law school & Columbia is the safer choice for job placement. Which is more important to you ?

If required to make a recommendation, then Duke since you're happy there & since NYC is not your favorite destination.



Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. As mentioned above, I care more about the employment outcome but I wonder if doing better at Duke (say above average or top 30%) would give me more of an edge in placement than being average at CLS?

BigZuck
Posts: 10851
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:55 pm

SummerDec1225 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:A lot of people have to consider money because they are at risk if things go bad. With a rich family you don't have that problem so I think you can safely choose whichever one you prefer.

Sounds like you like Duke more and would prefer they save a little dough.
But you know Columbia places better.

So it's really up to you to weigh those two things and decide what to do.


Thanks for your reply. Honestly I care more about the employment outcome. But I wonder what the real placement difference would be if I were above average at Duke vs. average at CLS?

I doubt you would do significantly better at Duke than at Columbia, the student body will be very similar. The main difference is getting like 2 or 3 more questions right on the lsat which is pretty meaningless.

Generally, above average at Duke and average at CLS is probably working at the same NYC big law drone factory. Side by side. Droning it up. Day in and day out.

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby Nomo » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:58 pm

The answer depends a lot on what you want to do and where you want to practice.

User avatar
dabigchina
Posts: 692
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby dabigchina » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:32 pm

FYI Duke's placement was really strong this year. I'm in a very similar situation and I'm seriously learning towards Duke unless Columbia steps up with their offer.

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4165
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:44 pm

SummerDec1225 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:A lot of people have to consider money because they are at risk if things go bad. With a rich family you don't have that problem so I think you can safely choose whichever one you prefer.

Sounds like you like Duke more and would prefer they save a little dough.
But you know Columbia places better.

So it's really up to you to weigh those two things and decide what to do.


Thanks for your reply. Honestly I care more about the employment outcome. But I wonder what the real placement difference would be if I were above average at Duke vs. average at CLS?

Image

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:34 pm

If your parents are rich (multi millionaires), then I'd probably just go to Columbia. For rich people 60k means jack shit.

There's disproportionately a higher percentage of poors on this forum (compared to law school and in practice, which both have a ton of trust fund kids), which is why everyone on here is more concerned with debt. If you don't have to worry about money, then go to Columbia.

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

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:22 pm

Columbia is worth the $60K IMO. If you ever needed to fall back on a Duke alumni connection (for example, if you wanted to work in the south) you already have it. Diversifying in that respect has its advantages.

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:41 pm

For DC, CLS is not worth $60k-90k (with COL) more than Duke.

BigZuck
Posts: 10851
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:01 am

It's about an 80K difference it looks like

If it's worth 60K more it's probably worth 80K more I guess cuz that's all kind of arbitrary line drawing anyway

For someone who isn't jazzed on NYC big law I'm not super convinced it's worth 80K more but what the hell do I know?

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 11941
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby Rigo » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:05 am

If you feel you'd be happier at Duke, trust your gut.

wons
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:25 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby wons » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:22 am

You'd have to be nuts to pick Duke over Columbia for $60k. Your expected future earnings on day 1 crush thst difference, even with compounding interest. If your family can afford to help than it's doubly a nobrainer.

Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.

It's one thing to close doors for $200k in nondischargable debt, but that is not your facts.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby iamgeorgebush » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:50 am

wons wrote:You'd have to be nuts to pick Duke over Columbia for $60k. Your expected future earnings on day 1 crush thst difference, even with compounding interest. If your family can afford to help than it's doubly a nobrainer.

Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.

It's one thing to close doors for $200k in nondischargable debt, but that is not your facts.

i feel like CLS is worth the $60k if your family is helping you out, but this is faulty reasoning. S&C and DPW are both firms w/ enormous NYC offices, and CLS students tend to self-select into NYC. Indeed, 2/3 of CLS grads end up in NYC upon graduation. duke grads, OTOH, tend to spread out more. only 20% end up in NYC. no surprise that CLS is going to have better representation at firms like S&C and DPW.

User avatar
bowser
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby bowser » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:41 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
wons wrote:You'd have to be nuts to pick Duke over Columbia for $60k. Your expected future earnings on day 1 crush thst difference, even with compounding interest. If your family can afford to help than it's doubly a nobrainer.

Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.

It's one thing to close doors for $200k in nondischargable debt, but that is not your facts.

i feel like CLS is worth the $60k if your family is helping you out, but this is faulty reasoning. S&C and DPW are both firms w/ enormous NYC offices, and CLS students tend to self-select into NYC. Indeed, 2/3 of CLS grads end up in NYC upon graduation. duke grads, OTOH, tend to spread out more. only 20% end up in NYC. no surprise that CLS is going to have better representation at firms like S&C and DPW.


Class size and NYC targeting do not fully explain the difference. Going to Columbia over Duke makes it significantly more likely someone who is targeting NYC will end up at S&C or Cravath rather than, say, Kirkland or Milbank or DLA Piper or Proskauer, etc. How much ending up at one or the other should make a difference is highly arguable; but I will say that 1Ls put in the position of deciding firms usually will pick S&C, not because they know anything but because they don't---in lieu of solid information, law students presume more "prestigious" firms are a safer choice which provides better opportunities. Who knows if that's true. I'm going to one of those firms people usually pick, and I have no idea.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:27 am

bowser wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
wons wrote:You'd have to be nuts to pick Duke over Columbia for $60k. Your expected future earnings on day 1 crush thst difference, even with compounding interest. If your family can afford to help than it's doubly a nobrainer.

Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.

It's one thing to close doors for $200k in nondischargable debt, but that is not your facts.

i feel like CLS is worth the $60k if your family is helping you out, but this is faulty reasoning. S&C and DPW are both firms w/ enormous NYC offices, and CLS students tend to self-select into NYC. Indeed, 2/3 of CLS grads end up in NYC upon graduation. duke grads, OTOH, tend to spread out more. only 20% end up in NYC. no surprise that CLS is going to have better representation at firms like S&C and DPW.


Class size and NYC targeting do not fully explain the difference. Going to Columbia over Duke makes it significantly more likely someone who is targeting NYC will end up at S&C or Cravath rather than, say, Kirkland or Milbank or DLA Piper or Proskauer, etc. How much ending up at one or the other should make a difference is highly arguable; but I will say that 1Ls put in the position of deciding firms usually will pick S&C, not because they know anything but because they don't---in lieu of solid information, law students presume more "prestigious" firms are a safer choice which provides better opportunities. Who knows if that's true. I'm going to one of those firms people usually pick, and I have no idea.


What is the point of this post

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:41 am

wons wrote:Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.


Oh well if you performed a back of the envelope check then I'm sure you are right

And we all know if you don't get hired at a V5 then law school was basically pointless

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

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:10 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:
wons wrote:Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.


Oh well if you performed a back of the envelope check then I'm sure you are right

And we all know if you don't get hired at a V5 then law school was basically pointless


I don't place such an emphasis on the "V5" or "V10" thing, but over the past four years Columbia has placed its graduates into desirable or well paying positions more frequently than Duke, and not by a negligible margin. Even including past increases this year and assuming CLS showed no gains of its own -- which is highly unlikely -- Columbia has averaged 14.9% higher placement into market paying firms or federal clerkships (which will most likely turn into market paying firms one year later). So you're not just paying for that marginal distinction in "firm prestige," you're paying for a greater chance at any firm, government position, clerkship.

wons
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:25 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby wons » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:34 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
wons wrote:Dukes placement into top Biglaw is not that good. I checked a couple of the top firms (S&C and DPW) as a back of the envelope check, and they had about 8 times as many CLS alumni associates as Duke alumni. Even adjusting for class size, that's a massive difference.


Oh well if you performed a back of the envelope check then I'm sure you are right

And we all know if you don't get hired at a V5 then law school was basically pointless



No one is arguing that law school is "pointless" other than you, Pancho. The point is that your expected future earnings are much higher if you start at a V5 than a firm lower down on the totem pole, and if your odds of starting a V5 (or V10, or whatever proxy you want to use for "the best firms") are significantly reduced at Duke (and they are!), then you're giving up a ton of value by choosing Duke, even if you discount the future earnings to NPV.

I'm sure many, even most folks at Duke get Biglaw, and that's great, but pretending that a ob pushing paper in BigCharlotteLaw is the same as a spot n the Simpson Thacher M&A group grossly distorts reality and will lead people to leave value on the table by foregoing acceptances at better schools for marginally lower tuition.

Even folks who leave biglaw will get better jobs if they start at better firms. Folks who go to better schools make more money in their legal careers. If they work in PI, they may not make more money but they get more nonmonetary compensation. Either way, you need to price that in. Assuming all biglaw jobs are equal is blatantly inaccurate.

User avatar
bowser
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby bowser » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:59 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:
bowser wrote:Class size and NYC targeting do not fully explain the difference. Going to Columbia over Duke makes it significantly more likely someone who is targeting NYC will end up at S&C or Cravath rather than, say, Kirkland or Milbank or DLA Piper or Proskauer, etc. How much ending up at one or the other should make a difference is highly arguable; but I will say that 1Ls put in the position of deciding firms usually will pick S&C, not because they know anything but because they don't---in lieu of solid information, law students presume more "prestigious" firms are a safer choice which provides better opportunities. Who knows if that's true. I'm going to one of those firms people usually pick, and I have no idea.


What is the point of this post


Point of post is you can yell "LOL don't be a prestige whore V5 is meaningless" to 0Ls all you want. 1Ls during recruiting inevitably pick V5s and V10s because they don't know what else to do. It happens year after year.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Columbia vs Duke (60k)

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:24 pm

For the money, on a purely economic scale, CLS might be a better choice. If you think you'd be happier at Duke, then go to Duke.

I enjoyed going to law school where I didn't know anyone. The support network might be nice, or it might drag you away from other relationships that could be helpful.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dcc617 and 4 guests