Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which school should I attend?

Poll ended at Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:19 pm

Duke (CoA 147K)
34
38%
Michigan (CoA 150K)
39
44%
Penn (CoA 220K)
6
7%
NYU (CoA 220K)
10
11%
Vanderbilt (CoA 120K)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 89

jrblazer
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Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jrblazer » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:19 pm

I would appreciate anyone's opinion on my options above. A few points:

*I anticipate living in Washington D.C. or the south. Unless my circumstances change considerably or I become an entirely different person, I cannot see myself working in, say, New York City. It's an amazing place, just not for me in the long term.

*Following graduation, I would like to clerk or work for a large firm. But in the long term, I do not see myself practicing law for a large private firm. I'm looking for a degree that is portable and versatile (Question: Are Penn/NYU degrees more portable/versatile than Duke?)

*Until convinced otherwise, I'm not sure that it makes sense to go into considerably more debt for NYU or Penn, when Michigan and Duke are nearly comparable schools that would be cheaper for me.

*My interests: health law, global health issues, politics, and entrepreneurial business law (varied, I realize, but I do have work experience in 3 of the 4).

*I've visited Michigan, Duke, and Vandy and liked them all. But it seems to me that the decision comes down to Duke and Michigan, although Penn is tempting because of its cross-discplinary focus. NYU, oddly enough, doesn't particularly appeal to me, although I realize it's an excellent school. Vandy is a great option, too, but I don't quite feel that it's in the same league as the others on the list (that said, students there seem the most balanced).

Thanks for reading this far. Best,

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby gbpackerbacker » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:27 pm

This is a two-horse race. I voted Michigan, but in the end it should the school for which you have personal preference between Duke and Michigan. Penn is not really worth the extra 75k against Michigan.

TLSNYC
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby TLSNYC » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:29 pm

Given that you don't necessarily have a strong preference any which way for a particular school, go to Michigan. You can't beat that scholarship.

Commonwealthman
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby Commonwealthman » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:34 pm

This thread is absurdly relevant to my interests.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:46 pm

I would say Mich/Duke toss up, but because of these preferences:
jrblazer wrote:*I anticipate living in Washington D.C. or the south.
***
*My interests: health law, global health issues, politics, and entrepreneurial business law (varied, I realize, but I do have work experience in 3 of the 4).

...I say Duke.

Obviously biased though.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:47 pm

I would wager that most of the top schools provide for some degree of cross-disciplinary enrollment. I can only comment on Michigan's offerings, but plenty of students take outside courses in other graduate departments. Still others are doing dual degrees through a JD/MPH program, if that's where your interests lie. Michigan is certainly no slouch in that field, even if you're only cross-enrolling and not pursuing the additional degree (http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/public-health-rankings).

Outside of that, though, I think it should come down to personal preference based on your visits between Michigan and Duke.

jeremysen
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jeremysen » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:49 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:Outside of that, though, I think it should come down to personal preference based on your visits between Michigan and Duke.


TCR. Go M

jrblazer
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jrblazer » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 pm

Thanks to everyone who voted and is replying.

When visiting, I loved both Michigan and Duke but probably had a slightly better experience at Duke (more personalized attention, which may be a factor of smaller class size). My family is also in the south, as are my friends. I have no connections to Michigan, but it's still very appealing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I've never met a Michigan law grad who has anything but the best to say about the education and Ann Arbor.

As far as I can tell, both schools have enough programs and resources to meet my interests. Does anyone think that Michigan grads have a significant advantage to Duke grads in the legal market (holding grades constant)?

I suppose I should be grateful to have these options. Probably no truly wrong answer or poor option.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 pm

Since I'm sick of studying and needed a break, I did a quick scan of course offerings within the actual law schools at Duke and Michigan (as compared to the quality of the graduate programs outside of the schools that I linked previously). I included a (?) next to the courses that seem oddly/tangentially related, although maybe somebody can correct me if they actually are substantially focused on health law. Here's what I found:

Duke:
235: Environmental Law (?)
301: AIDS and the Law
347: Health Care Law and Policy
371: Products Liability (?)
399: Forensic Psychiatry
541: Nonprofit Organizations
705: Bioethics

Michigan:
601 Administrative Law (?)
625 Law and Bioethics
672 Health Law: Regulation
684 Health Law and Policy
758 Law, Medicine and Society
793 Regulation of Research
817 Disability Law
846 Nonprofit Law and Policy
869 Law and the Elderly
958 Pediatric Advoc Clinic
959 Pediatric Advoc Clinic Sem


Naturally, you won't be able to take all of these courses throughout your time at either school, but it does give you an idea as to what type of selection you'll be looking at (if you're curious). If I'm missing courses from either school, let me know and I can add them in.

Note: For some reason, Regulation of Research wasn't listed in Michigan's health law curriculum interests page, but it's focused entirely on human subject research with an emphasis on medical research and the IRB system.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:04 pm

jrblazer wrote:Thanks to everyone who voted and is replying.

When visiting, I loved both Michigan and Duke but probably had a slightly better experience at Duke (more personalized attention, which may be a factor of smaller class size). My family is also in the south, as are my friends. I have no connections to Michigan, but it's still very appealing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I've never met a Michigan law grad who has anything but the best to say about the education and Ann Arbor.

As far as I can tell, both schools have enough programs and resources to meet my interests. Does anyone think that Michigan grads have a significant advantage to Duke grads in the legal market (holding grades constant)?

I suppose I should be grateful to have these options. Probably no truly wrong answer or poor option.

You're right that there's no wrong answer, and with these considerations I think Duke might outweigh any small curriculum advantage Michigan potentially offers.

jeremysen
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jeremysen » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:09 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
jrblazer wrote:Thanks to everyone who voted and is replying.

When visiting, I loved both Michigan and Duke but probably had a slightly better experience at Duke (more personalized attention, which may be a factor of smaller class size). My family is also in the south, as are my friends. I have no connections to Michigan, but it's still very appealing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I've never met a Michigan law grad who has anything but the best to say about the education and Ann Arbor.

As far as I can tell, both schools have enough programs and resources to meet my interests. Does anyone think that Michigan grads have a significant advantage to Duke grads in the legal market (holding grades constant)?

I suppose I should be grateful to have these options. Probably no truly wrong answer or poor option.

You're right that there's no wrong answer, and with these considerations I think Duke might outweigh any small curriculum advantage Michigan potentially offers.


At the same time, M might open up the Chi market to you - though you mentioned that you have no interest, I just thought that I'd mention this. M has better long term location portability.
Last edited by jeremysen on Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:10 pm

Duke--because the $3,000 savings over Michigan will buy you a house in Detroit so that you enjoy both states.

jrblazer
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jrblazer » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:38 pm

FightoftheEarls, thanks for doing that analysis and for your comments. What's neat about both schools is that they'd allow me to take a few policy or public health courses at the other grad programs.

And Jeremysen, Chicago doesn't particularly appeal to me, but I do think that it's relevant that Michigan might be a bit more portable or be less restricted to the south than Duke is.

Lastly, I'd like to say that buying a summer house in Detroit for 3K is a long-term goal of mine. No place like Detroit for a nice vacation.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:00 pm

2 of the people that voted apparently go to Penn...

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Veyron
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:02 pm

*Following graduation, I would like to clerk or work for a large firm. But in the long term, I do not see myself practicing law for a large private firm. I'm looking for a degree that is portable and versatile (Question: Are Penn/NYU degrees more portable/versatile than Duke?)


No, Penn and NYU have a bit stronger placement than Duke in many places but are not more portable. If anything, these schools get a lot of their reputation from their placement power in NYC. Outside of eastern primary markets (and maybe Chi) Penn = NYU Duke. Duke may even be better for the south (not D.C.), so

I think this is a no-brainier (though it pains me to say it) even though you might be a little better off for D.C. at Penn or NYU.
Last edited by Veyron on Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:05 pm

If interested in pursuing a dual degree, Duke offers easy entry into other graduate programs for law students; I think only a letter stating your intentions is required. This may have changed in the last year, so you should ask Duke to verify.

P.S. Have you received any PMs from Detroit realtors yet ? :D

jrblazer
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jrblazer » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:15 pm

I figured that Penn/NYU do better in the north and probably slightly better in D.C than Duke does, but it doesn't seem like the difference is that great. Veyron, thanks for the candor.

CanadianWolf, You're right about Duke and dual-degrees. I'm not really convinced that I want to spend the extra money/time or that the extra degree is a true asset for a practicing lawyer, but I want to take courses and I like the option of being able to enroll after 1 my first year if desired.

Also,no Detroit realtors have PMed me yet (probably because it's good Friday), but it's just a matter of time. I'm looking for a simple house with a tall fence and some bars on the windows. The market's good for buying that type of place right now.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:20 pm

Two fences: One to keep the dogs in, the other to keep the neighbors out.

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tea_drinker
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby tea_drinker » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:30 pm

The level of Michigan trolling is high in this thread.

jrblazer wrote:
*I anticipate living in Washington D.C. or the south. Unless my circumstances change considerably or I become an entirely different person, I cannot see myself working in, say, New York City. It's an amazing place, just not for me in the long term.

*I've visited Michigan, Duke, and Vandy and liked them all. But it seems to me that the decision comes down to Duke and Michigan,


DUKE

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AreJay711
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:50 pm

I said Michigan just to open up another market. Being from the South, it won't be that hard to go back as a Michigan grad but will open up another potential market. If you think Duke fits you better then go there because their network in the South will also be beneficial. With family in the South, that was my thinking in making my decision.

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beachbum
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby beachbum » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:02 pm

Since you've already expressed some interest in Duke, you want to work in the south, your connections and network are in the south, and Duke is $3k cheaper, go to Duke.

jrblazer
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby jrblazer » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:11 am

Is there any chance that Michigan (or for that matter, Penn/NYU) opens up more opportunities in the government than Duke does, or is the difference negligible? I'm leaning toward Duke but am trying to be thorough and still feel the pull of Michigan...

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tea_drinker
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby tea_drinker » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:45 pm

jrblazer wrote:Is there any chance that Michigan (or for that matter, Penn/NYU) opens up more opportunities in the government than Duke does, or is the difference negligible? I'm leaning toward Duke but am trying to be thorough and still feel the pull of Michigan...


I don't think Michigan opens up more opportunities. The two schools are in the same range. Although, you sound like you can't give up Michigan (read: trying to find a reason why Michigan is better than Duke). If this is the case, go there.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:37 am

jrblazer wrote:Is there any chance that Michigan (or for that matter, Penn/NYU) opens up more opportunities in the government than Duke does, or is the difference negligible? I'm leaning toward Duke but am trying to be thorough and still feel the pull of Michigan...

No clear advantage for government placement from either school that shouldn't be accounted for by self-selection - Duke has 5% of it's class of 2008 in PI/Government, and Michigan has 8%. Duke has fantastic name recognition in the South, but Michigan is still very well regarded within the legal community, especially with your pre-existing ties. D.C. is probably a wash for either school.

I would say this choice comes down to a personal preference based on feel, and whether you prefer $3k, Duke's southern name recognition, and being closer to friends (that said, are they close enough to Durham that this would make any realistic difference while you're in school?), or what I would describe as noticeably better curriculum offerings/cross-enrollment opportunities in your areas of interest at Michigan. Also, I didn't mention it earlier, but Michigan also an established externship placement with the World Health Organization in Geneva (among our ~25 other placements), if that type of thing is of interest to you. Best of luck with your decision - I'm sure you'd be in a great position from either school!

cavebat2000
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Re: Duke vs. Michigan vs. Penn.

Postby cavebat2000 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:40 am

im too lazy to read all the above posts but before you decide consider the law school building and the weather. Both can make a big difference over the course of 3 years.

Oh and for the record, at Duke is was like 45 degrees in feb, 50's in march, and has been totally awesome since then. I used to live in Ohio and I can tell you the winter here is about 100x better.

Just my $0.02




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