Duke vs Northwestern

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Iljsk
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Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Iljsk » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:46 pm

I need help deciding between Duke with $75 and NU with $120.

Im interested in clerkships, and working in federal or international law. I've worked in big law, and I'm not opposed to it, either. I'd also want to work in NY or DC after law school.

Duke: Better opportunities in federal/ clerkships. Low cost of living. Better at placing in NY and DC.

Northwestern: I like Chicago more than Durham. I feel that opportunities would be similar coming from these schools- but please let me know if this is not the case.

Thanks !
Last edited by Iljsk on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

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trebekismyhero
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby trebekismyhero » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:30 pm

Iljsk wrote:I need help deciding between Duke with $75 and NU with $120.

Im interested in clerkships, and working in federal or international law. I've worked in big law, and I'm not opposed to it, either. I'd also want to work in NY or DC after law school.

Duke: Better opportunities in federal/ clerkships. Low cost of living. Better at placing in NY and DC.

Northwestern: I like Chicago more than durham, I felt that "at home" feeling when I went for ASW. I feel that opportunities would be similar coming from these schools- but please let me know if this is not the case.

Thanks !


Go with the money and go to NU

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TheodoreKGB
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby TheodoreKGB » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:47 pm

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Last edited by TheodoreKGB on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

MadwomanintheAttic
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby MadwomanintheAttic » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:49 pm

I would take the money and go to Northwestern, especially since you liked the area and I don't think NW puts you at any disadvantage for DC and NY. Duke has better placement for NY and DC mainly because they don't have a major market they feed into like NW does with Chicago, so I don't think you can really say Duke does a better job of placing students in DC and NY.

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KMart
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby KMart » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:52 pm

NU - I think you'll enjoy it during your time there and once you graduate.

Chrstgtr
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Chrstgtr » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:12 pm

Placement into NY isn't very different between NU and Duke. If you can get a job in Chicago you can definitely get a job in NY. I don't know the specific boost for clerkships but it is no where near large enough to justify the COA difference. Duke is probably better than NU but DC is such a bloodbath i don't think you can choose a school because of your preference for DC unless you're talking HYS since those are the only schools with appreciably better placement there.

Ask for more money from Duke and if you don't get (a lot) more money then take NU without a doubt.

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landshoes
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby landshoes » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:36 pm

NU

Iljsk
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Iljsk » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:55 pm

Chrstgtr wrote:Placement into NY isn't very different between NU and Duke. If you can get a job in Chicago you can definitely get a job in NY. I don't know the specific boost for clerkships but it is no where near large enough to justify the COA difference. Duke is probably better than NU but DC is such a bloodbath i don't think you can choose a school because of your preference for DC unless you're talking HYS since those are the only schools with appreciably better placement there.

Ask for more money from Duke and if you don't get (a lot) more money then take NU without a doubt.



Given the differences between the cost of living, and tuition as well, I don't feel like the cost difference between the two schools are very significant.. especially in the grand scheme of things..

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TheodoreKGB
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby TheodoreKGB » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:03 pm

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Last edited by TheodoreKGB on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chrstgtr
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Chrstgtr » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:15 pm

Iljsk wrote:
Chrstgtr wrote:Placement into NY isn't very different between NU and Duke. If you can get a job in Chicago you can definitely get a job in NY. I don't know the specific boost for clerkships but it is no where near large enough to justify the COA difference. Duke is probably better than NU but DC is such a bloodbath i don't think you can choose a school because of your preference for DC unless you're talking HYS since those are the only schools with appreciably better placement there.

Ask for more money from Duke and if you don't get (a lot) more money then take NU without a doubt.



Given the differences between the cost of living, and tuition as well, I don't feel like the cost difference between the two schools are very significant.. especially in the grand scheme of things..


This could not be farther from the truth.

Northwestern COA is about 2.5K more than Duke's COA so at best the difference is a little less than 40K to attend Duke for what will likely be very similar outcomes. It's easy to cut costs in Chicago by just not living downtown which is what inflates the COA at NU so much. From what I have heard you kind of need a car in Durham but definitely do not in Chicago.

https://law.duke.edu/admis/tuition/
http://chicagofinancialaid.northwestern ... html#JD115

Also see cost of living in general from non-school reported sources. It is virtually the exact same which makes doing something like cutting out a car make Chicago actually cheaper.

http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-livin ... m-nc/72112

OP, follow the money.

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chuckbass
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby chuckbass » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:51 pm

Follow the money plus 3 years in Chicago > 3 years in Durham

dalos523
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby dalos523 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:11 pm

I faced similar choice last year. Initially 75k diff between NU and Duke. Negotiated Duke up to 27.5 k (if i remember correctly) difference.

Ended up living in streeterville (5 min from the campus) during 1L year, and given its rent ($1600~) and CoL, I think I would have spent about the same money during 1L year.

So if you can negotiate with Duke to close the difference a little, the cost should not be the deciding factor unless you believe 10k~ extra loan at the time of graduation is exceptionally important for you (which likely will if you don't get a biglaw).

I didnt check Duke's clerkship this year, but NU slightly improved this year, so I doubt there is huge difference that would justify even a 10k difference.

In terms of the city, Chicago is great. I cannot say the weather is good, but the proximity to the loop and its location in the city is just great for everything (extern, summer job, receptions etc). Even the CoL could be reduced if you are willing to commute during 1L year (which I was too lazy to do during 1L).

So its really, negotiate with Duke as much as you can, and if you close it down to 25k~ diff, just follow your heart.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:16 pm

They are peers, I wouldn't really say duke has a placement edge over northwestern in NY, and DC will be very hard from either so it's a wash imo. Go with money

DOOK101
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby DOOK101 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:47 am

Rising 2L at Duke. I had to make a similar decision last year. I had slightly more money from NU than Duke, but I wound up picking Duke and I couldn't be happier with the decision. Things to consider:

- Duke has a ton of journals, to the point where if you wanted to be on ANY journal, you're pretty much guaranteed to be on one. No exaggeration. The small school size (220 per class) and large journals (there are 9 of them total), means that you can definitely get on one.
- COL. Durham is incredibly cheap. I had a roommate this past year and paid about $600 per month, which includes rent, utilities, and cable. And the apartments are huge. Sure, Durham is no Chicago in terms of resources, but you aren't going to beat how cheap Durham is. I think that the COL difference likely makes up for the difference in scholarship money being offered.
- Placement is pretty much a wash. The top two markets for Duke are NY and DC, followed by CA and NC. Duke also crushes it with clerkship placement, as was previously mentioned.
- One underrated aspect of going to law school at Duke is that anybody who is in Durham is there for Duke, pretty much. When I was there, I was able to focus on law school, the Duke community (and our fantastic basketball team), and exploring Durham. In Chicago, you're going to have tons of distractions, as with any other big city. I personally liked the campus feel of living in Duke. For 1L, you're going to be living in a cubicle anyway, so why the hell would you pay $1600 a month to sleep instead of $600?
- WEATHER. Chicago is very cold for a lot of the school year. Durham is not nearly as cold for a lot of the school year. It will make a difference.

Let me know if you have any other questions/concerns.

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TheodoreKGB
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby TheodoreKGB » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:58 am

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Last edited by TheodoreKGB on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

FluffMonster
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby FluffMonster » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:03 am

scottidsntknow wrote:Follow the money plus 3 years in Chicago > 3 years in Durham


Durham is great. With that being said, take the money from NU.

krads153
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby krads153 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:52 am

I think Duke in the most recent stats placed way more into biglaw + clerkships, but I'd probably just take the money and go to NU.

That said you're still going to graduate with a ton of six figure debt - so maybe retake is the best option?

Chrstgtr
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Chrstgtr » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:19 pm

krads153 wrote:I think Duke in the most recent stats placed way more into biglaw + clerkships, but I'd probably just take the money and go to NU.

That said you're still going to graduate with a ton of six figure debt - so maybe retake is the best option?


It's is actually closer than I initially thought. about a 5% difference (about 3% of which are clerks. Probably a wash once you consider NU's business jobs that go to it's large JD-MBA class.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... d=14086468
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/profess ... /stats/jd/

OP might be able to get away with less than 6-figure debt at NU (or Duke if OP can negotiate Duke's scholarship up to what NU is offering) depending on how frugalous OP lives or if OP has any savings.

Iljsk
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Re: Duke vs Northwestern

Postby Iljsk » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:40 pm

Chrstgtr wrote:
Iljsk wrote:
Chrstgtr wrote:Placement into NY isn't very different between NU and Duke. If you can get a job in Chicago you can definitely get a job in NY. I don't know the specific boost for clerkships but it is no where near large enough to justify the COA difference. Duke is probably better than NU but DC is such a bloodbath i don't think you can choose a school because of your preference for DC unless you're talking HYS since those are the only schools with appreciably better placement there.

Ask for more money from Duke and if you don't get (a lot) more money then take NU without a doubt.



Given the differences between the cost of living, and tuition as well, I don't feel like the cost difference between the two schools are very significant.. especially in the grand scheme of things..


This could not be farther from the truth.

Northwestern COA is about 2.5K more than Duke's COA so at best the difference is a little less than 40K to attend Duke for what will likely be very similar outcomes. It's easy to cut costs in Chicago by just not living downtown which is what inflates the COA at NU so much. From what I have heard you kind of need a car in Durham but definitely do not in Chicago.

https://law.duke.edu/admis/tuition/
http://chicagofinancialaid.northwestern ... html#JD115

Also see cost of living in general from non-school reported sources. It is virtually the exact same which makes doing something like cutting out a car make Chicago actually cheaper.

http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-livin ... m-nc/72112

OP, follow the money.


Thanks for this, and to everyone on their feedback- really appreciate it!

I wasnt saying the COA will be similar, but more to the point that ~40k difference wouldn't be a deciding factor for me. In the grand scheme of things, I feel this difference is marginal, and I care more about putting myself in the best possible situation during and after law school to get to where I want to be. Ultimately, my concern is whether duke and northwestern are truly peer schools, where opportunities will be the same? Duke jumped up a lot in rankings this year, and based on the people I personally know at both schools, duke seems like they have an edge on northwestern. But my experience may also not be representative.

I should also just mention, I already have a car so I'm not considering that as a great expense.

Thanks again everyone!




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