Questions about Duke University

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akrogers
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Questions about Duke University

Postby akrogers » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:20 pm

Hello fellow peers! I was wondering if any of you could help me with some general questions I had about Duke University. I read a lot of information on the web but would like some personal feedback. I'm a senior in college with a current 4.0 GPA. I'm planning to take a year off after I graduate from undergraduate school so I can focus on preparing for my LSAT. I know a year may be a little bit long but I really am hoping to get a 180 on the LSAT. That way I have a greater chance in getting a scholarship or grant. We all know that law school does not come cheap. Especially if you don’t have that type of money. With that said I had some general questions about the university and area it’s located in.

What are your chances of getting a good chunk of your schooling paid for if you graduate with a 4.0 GPA and an LSAT score of 170 or higher at Duke University? Are the law classes large or small? Do the professors seem interested in their students and are they passionate about their courses? Do you need to take the bar exam in the state you want to practice in? If I were to move to a different state will I need to take the exam again? If so, how much does it cost? What are the employment prospects in graduating from Duke University in North Carolina and across the nation? What is a good place to establish myself in after graduating? What is the Durham area like? What do most graduates specialize after graduation? Do law schools teach you a specific law that interests you or is it a wide spectrum?

I am passionate about immigration law. How will that fit in the curriculum? Am I better off going for a different law? I know immigration law would be quite demanding in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and New York. What type of law firms would I be looking to apply after graduation? Should I apply for a large law firm or a small private firm? How much would I be looking at for a first year income? Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated. I want to learn as much from people who have been in my situation. I feel that personal experiences help me better understand what’s to come.

Thanks a million! ~Ana

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:32 am

1. Why are you only looking at Duke? Many schools in the T14 are very similar

2. All schools outside of HYS do merit aid up to full tuition scholarships and it is generally dependent on LSAT/GPA

I'll let someone from dook answer the specific questions

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pylon
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby pylon » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:56 am

There are a lot of questions here, and I don't think I'm qualified to answer the Duke specific ones - sorry. However, take a look at the following website: http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/. You input your GPA and projected LSAT and see how students with similar scores were accepted/rejected at law schools (including Duke). Play around with it, inputting different ranges of LSAT scores so you get a better understanding. Scholarship information is on there, however it should be taken with a grain of salt, used more as reference rather than rule.

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pylon
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby pylon » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:58 am

For example, below is the mylsn table for a 170-173 LSAT and 3.9-4.1 GPA. If your LSAT actualizes, you will have some great prospects (not just at Duke but at the rest of the T14, including Harvard and CCN).
Image

BillsFan9907
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby BillsFan9907 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:01 am

Duke is a fantastic school. When you apply, they do want you to write a Why Duke. They want people who want to go to Duke. Also, Duke offers need based aid as well. So even if you didn't kill the LSAT, your financial situation would be taken into account. If you are taking a year off to study (and that shows some amazing commitment), maybe do some volunteer work? I don't think you would necessarily be judged poorly, but it would be nice to show you contributed to society while bettering yourself.

Duke's class size is on the smaller end (209 last year). You can get a lot of great information by going here:

https://law.duke.edu/sites/default/file ... -07-46.pdf

The impression that I got is Duke's professor's are some of their most passionate out there. That's one of their big selling points: they hire professors who care just as much if not more about teaching as they do with respect to research.

Duke has very solid employment prospects:

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/duke/2011/

Durham is a great, laid back area. If you get in, you will go to an accepted students weekend where you get to experience Duke and the city first hand.

Ana - btw, are you Mexican American? If so, you are considered an under represented minority (commonly known as a URM). It adds a significant boost to your application. There are also various minority scholarships not directly from the law school.

akrogers
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby akrogers » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:08 pm

Thank you everyone for your quick and honest replies. As for only applying to Duke University it was a university I was interested in and wanted a little bit of information from those who are personally familiar with the university. I will be apply to other T14 universities but will look at them more in depth. That way I can ask you all the questions that I have. It's nice to hear that Duke University has passionate professors. That makes me feel a little better in pursuing an education there.

What is the student body like? Are they a nice group of students to work with? Many people scare me with the stereotype that all students who attend T14 universities are snobby? Is that true? I am the type of person who sees the good in everyone so I have a good feeling I will get along with everyone. This is just a fear I have about applying to a high ranked university. I don’t want to feel like I don’t fit in or that I’m not as intelligent as others.
I think you all have asked great questions that have given me the ability to further my research. I am indeed a Mexican-American. Will that help me in the application process?

I am starting to look into LSAT prep books and courses. What would you all suggest I purchase? Since I want to score at least a 170 or higher on the exam any books/ courses that you all feel will guarantee that will be greatly appreciated.

I have another important question to ask. My husband and I are thinking about having a family in the near future. I saw that most of the universities provide child-care for their graduate students. Due to me taking the time to prepare for my LSAT and attending a law school I’m not wanting to 100% have a child. We are just wondering what type of child-care assistance these type of schools offer. Our main concern is being prepared for all of lives unexpected surprises. Have any of you had experience with attending law school while raising a child? No sugar coating, be brutally honest.

Thanks a million everyone!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:52 pm

I don't know anything about Duke, but all law schools say they hire professors who want to teach, not just research. All law schools have some excellent professors and some crappy professors. Quality of professors isn't going to vary enough to make it a useful criterion for choosing a law school.

To your non-Duke questions: Yes, the bar exam is state-specific - you have to take it in a specific state and if you work in another state you have to take it again (or if you've practiced long enough - usually 5 years or so - and the second state allows, you can simply pay the fee and do the application but not take the exam again). It's expensive - usually around $700-800. You don't have to take the bar exam in the state where you go to law school, though you do have to decide where you're going to take it at least a few months before graduation. And if you work exclusively in federal court (which is the case with immigration law) you just need to be admitted to a state bar and then you can get admitted to all the federal courts.

Law schools have a set curriculum for the first year, then they offer a wide range of subjects. You can often specialize, but you don't need to at all and it can be a disadvantage to be too specialized when you first start looking for jobs. Almost any law school will offer the courses you need to prepare to go into immigration law (it's possible you might find a school out there that doesn't offer a basic immigration law course, but I'd be surprised).

What kind of immigration law are you interested in? Do you want to work with immigrants and help them come to the US/stay? If so, that's overwhelmingly practiced by solo practitioners and small firms, and networking, experience in the field, and language skills is most important. Do you want to enforce the US's immigration laws? Then you'll be looking for a job with the federal government. The only kind of immigration law practiced by any large law firms is business immigration - generally helping companies get/keep non-citizen employees - which is very different again from the previous 2 options, and not many big firms do much of this kind of work. There are a couple of big/national-type firms, and then maybe some smaller/midsized local firms depending on where you are.

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ratfukr
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby ratfukr » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:26 am

Duke looks sick for 1L doctrinal profs specializing in the technological singularity

Image
http://law.duke.edu/fac/boyle/

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http://law.duke.edu/fac/farahany/

Less directly related, but still cool

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http://law.duke.edu/fac/adler/


The papers are all right there online. You don't even have to Google the titles

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ratfukr
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby ratfukr » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:37 am

Duke looks fun AF actually

Image

Like, a retired major general quoting Trotsky to open a cyberwarfare paper. NBD.

e: Who all did Chemerinsky take to UCI? Is this a relatively fresh faculty?

akrogers
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby akrogers » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:00 pm

Thank you A. Nony Mouse for your respond to my questions. I really appreciate it! As for you question I would like to work with immigrants and help them come to the US/stay. I am extremely passionate with this type of law at the moment. That is good that I can learn a wide variety of laws while attending the university. Gives me more of an option. Ratfukr, thank you for your honest advice. I really feel that its hard for a university to higher only passionate professors. I have not come across a professor who didn't love their subject. With that said I'm sure I won't run into that situation. I will always make the best of a bad situation if I do get a difficult professor.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Questions about Duke University

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:23 pm

The research profs specialize in has almost no impact on what students actually experience in doctrinal 1L classes (or most of the rest of their classes). It's not like actual academic graduate programs.




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