Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

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Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby rivervalley » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:28 pm

Long time creeper finally posting...

-The schools you are considering
Duke: with 80k scholarship
Berkeley: 0 scholarship

Michigan also offered me 90k, but Ann Arbor does not really appeal to me and the weather is also a huge deterrent.
WL: UVA, Penn, Columbia, NYU - not particularly interested in waiting on any waitlists.

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.
Duke: 85k
Berkeley: 165k
(Above is only tuition. I assume COL will be less at Duke too.)

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
Family saving. I am very fortunate in that my parents are able to fund my entire law school education. I am an international student so I am not able to apply for need-based aid, scholarships, grants etc. I would have to apply for private loans if necessary. My parents already paid for my undergrad education, for which I am very grateful and is another reason why I am seriously considering Duke.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I am Canadian but grew up outside North America, and my family still lives abroad. I currently live in New York and work as a paralegal at a top Biglaw firm and ideally would like to return. I think I have a decent chance of being hired at my firm (they re-hire many of their paralegals as associates, and I think I have done a good enough job).
I went to undergrad in the northeast. I have strong ties to my friends from college who now live in New York.

-Your general career goals
I would like to work in big-law in NY for at least a few years. Not sure about after.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
3. (163, 162, 1st and second)

My thoughts:
I visited Berkeley for ASW and had a great experience. SF seems awesome and am truly excited by the opportunity to spend some time in CA and also build a network on the West Coast. Seems like they have a great intl law program, and I have spoken with many alums who only have great things to say. Until this year it has ranked higher than Duke.
I have not visited Duke ever. My main concern is being in Durham (I grew up in a big city, went to college in a pretty big city, and live in NY now). Someone else told me that Duke doesn't really feed into one particular network or area geographically so I'm limiting my potential network. I know it is a great law school and I'm sure I would also enjoy myself there.

I apologize if I sound whiny. I know I have great options and am really lucky. I really am torn though. If my parents are able to pay sticker, should I go to Berkeley (which I think I like more/is a better school). Or is it a waste of money when I will get as good of an education at Duke and potentially have as good of a chance getting hired by a NY firm after?

I would really appreciate any opinions or thoughts on either school. Thanks!!

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:33 pm

Duke, no contest.

It's probably better for nyc biglaw anyway, although its hard to say for sure.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:35 pm

Check your current law firm's profile. Seek out any Berkeley & Duke grads and ask their advice. Speak with one of the hiring partners.

My choice would be Duke because most at Berkeley self-select for West Coast firms. Duke places a higher percentage of its law graduates in NYC biglaw than does Berkeley.

Also, the New York bar exam is the most commonly taken by Duke grads while California is the most taken bar exam for Boalt Hall grads.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby L’Étranger » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:37 pm

Assuming you asked and B will not match.

If you have no interest in staying out in CA then D 'cause it's cheaper and probably as good for NYC BL.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:38 pm

Definitely Duke

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:41 pm

Duke! Congrats on a great outcome!

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:45 pm

Duke. Not even close.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby NotASpecialSnowflake » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:46 pm

Duke seems like the right choice here. Obviously negotiate with Berkley if you haven't already. You might even want to send Duke the offer from Michigan to see if they'll raise their offer.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:47 pm

Why is cornell not on the table? Seems like that would be better than Duke here. But Duke definitely beats Berkeley w/ these costs.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby rivervalley » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:19 pm

I applied for a Matching Scholarship to Berkeley with the 90k from Michigan, but got nothing...

Thanks for the feedback!

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby Yea All Right » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:20 pm

OP mentioned that weather is a big factor, which is probably why he/she didn't apply to Cornell.

Duke for sure. No point in having your parents pay an extra $80k when you don't even want to stay in CA.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:45 pm

Duke for sure.

But confused by the fact that Ann Arbor's weather is a big turnoff, yet you want to live in New York. The weather is pretty similar. Ann Arbor isn't nearly as cold as Minneapolis or as windy as Chicago.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:13 pm

^Can't leave the house 6 to 8 months out of the year in NYC (either too hot and humid or too cold/rainy). The entire East Coast SUCKS BALLS.

Then again the South sucks balls too - way too humid and hot.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Duke ($$) v. Berkeley (sticker)

Postby cron1834 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:14 pm

Duke for sure.

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