Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

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Tarheel10
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Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Tarheel10 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:21 am

Thought this would be a useful discussion since they're both small, private southern schools. I also happen to be choosing between the two right now. Does anyone have any feeling for differences between the two in terms of student bodies (fratty? artsy? straight edge? partiers? etc?), culture (liberal? conservative? collegial? competitive?), social life (is there stuff to do at both locations?), and general quality of living at each. I am familiar with job prospects already. Thanks.

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gavinstevens
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby gavinstevens » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:34 pm

Also interested, any Vandy or Duke students want to weigh in?

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Neatrends
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Neatrends » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:16 pm

bump.

interested in what anyone has to say..

iheartregstate
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby iheartregstate » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:04 pm

Well I can't speak for Duke, but Vandy has around 190 or so students split into three sections. The average age is 23 with less than half of the class straight out of undergrad.

General culture: I know that you will definitely find people who share your interests. There are tons of student organizations ranging from the second amendment club (they go to a shooting ranges sometimes) to the _____ (i'm drawing a blank here, I couldn't think of the opposite to a second amendment club). The student orgs provide you with free pizza, free subway, free chik-fil-a, free jet's pizza, which is pizza but in it's own class.

Vandy parties pretty hard, and the students run a bar review where you go to different bars each Thursday with deals on cover charge or reduced price alcohol. I'm under the impression that most law students end up alcoholics. Other forms of entertainment include poker playing, fantasy football, soccer, and shopping.

Overall, everyone is really friendly. I'm kind of surprised by the regional diversity the school has. I know alot of people plan on practicing outside of the South after they graduate.

The campus is gorgeous, and I suggest that y'all visit if time and money allow. You won't be disappointed.
Last edited by iheartregstate on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

#1gunna
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby #1gunna » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:08 am

And we all <3 Reg State

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Magnolia
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Magnolia » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:39 am

The Vandy student body is pretty diverse. We have everything from the preppiest of the preppy to cali hippies to hipsters. My friends and I go out several nights a week, some people never leave the library. I'm about as liberal as they come, some of my friends here swear by Fox News. Regardless of who you are, you'll find someone that shares your interests/background. There are also lots of clubs and intramural sports and tons of opportunities to meet people.

Every Friday afternoon the school sponsors Blackacre, which is basically 2 hours of free food and beer/wine. The VBA throws tailgates for the home games with free food and beer as well. The 1Ls are in charge of organizing bar review every Thursday and there's always a big turnout. If you like to drink, the school gives you plenty of opportunities to do so. If you don't drink, it's not a big deal. No one gets ostracized for not drinking. However, anyone who would prefer to not be around alcohol might want to pick a different school (or career). No one cares if you don't drink, but if you skip every event where there's alcohol, you'll never get to go to anything at Vandy.

There are a few competitive assholes, but as a whole everyone is very collegial and supportive of one another. That's probably my favorite thing about the school. Everyone wants to do well, but they aren't willing to throw their classmates under the bus to do it.

There's a ton of stuff to do in Nashville - great restaurants, live music, lots of bars, live music, museums, live music, Titans/Predators/Sounds/Vandy games etc. Did I mention live music? There are always a ton of concerts going on - and not just country.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:03 am

Vandy is tempting.

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DorianGray89
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby DorianGray89 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:42 pm

Duke is awesome. I'm a 1L at Duke and I love it. The student body is great, we have a good mix of people who worked after undergrad and some that came straight through, we have preppy people, but we also got the artsy, we got religiously conservatives, and we got tree hugging liberals. It is a great environment to be at. Everyone is very open minded and not competitive at all. The only competition I've noticed is between the sections, but that's regarding the softball league (more to come on that).

There are 6 1L sections, most of them composed of 35-38 students. There are 211 students in our 1L class. All sections take one or two of their classes by themselves, and then join up with one other section for another class. So you will have classes of 35 students, and some of 70 students your first year. Sections get pretty close pretty fast.

We also have bar review (but so does almost every other law school), which every thursday night (very few people have classes on fridays) the student association hosts a party at a bar with discounted drinks and whatnot. A lot of people do intramural sports, and the school has a softball league and a bowling league. So twice a week every team plays softball (teams are made up of upperclassmen who get a team together, and then every 1L section is a team), and then once a week the bowling league has it's game. Softball is a lot of fun - everyone plays, each section makes tshirts, people bring beer, alcohol, and music. It's very laid back. The winning team of the league goes up to UVA Law to play against them.

We also have an annual musical variety show called Tricky Dick in honor of our most infamous alumnus, Richard Nixon, which I've heard it's amazing - everyone is drunk (audience and actors).

I'll be happy to answer any questions regarding Duke.

There's surprisingly a lot to do in the Durham-Chapel Hill area. A lot of great restaurants, bars, a great theater scene, baseball (Durham Bulls), and then there's raleigh, which gets all the major concerts and whatnot.

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Yeshia90
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Yeshia90 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:48 pm

Oh, crap, I didn't realize there would be softball. I'm not even joking. I love softball. (Well, baseball, but it's close enough).

/moves Duke up list of schools.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:16 am

Tom Joad wrote:Vandy is tempting.


Duke is tempting.

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby DallasCowboy » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:16 am

I think the culture is going to be pretty similar

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:28 am

PM Grizz for info on Vandy.

iheartregstate
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby iheartregstate » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:29 pm

My favorite part of Vandy: free massages during stress fest!

Least favorite part: Only three study rooms in the library.

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Grizz
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Grizz » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:57 pm

iheartregstate wrote:My favorite part of Vandy: free massages during stress fest!

Least favorite part: Only three study rooms in the library.

I am disinclined to consider the advice of anyone who hearts reg state.

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msblaw89
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby msblaw89 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:08 pm

I've visited Nashville several times and the Vandy campus. I'm a current applicant, but I can say that every time I visited Vandy and Nashville everyone is super FRIENDLY. I couldn't believe it. I love the southern hospitality feel. Plus the food is phenomenal... Pancake Pantry, Fido's, SATCO, J. Alexander's .. Yes please! Uhh... I hate Florida... <3 Nashville

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Grizz
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Grizz » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:27 pm

They have J. Alexander's in FL though...

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msblaw89
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby msblaw89 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:28 pm

Grizz wrote:They have J. Alexander's in FL though...


At least not in the area I live

duckmoney
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby duckmoney » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:33 pm

I visited both last year looking at law schools. I got the impression that they were both small southern schools with a lot of diversity that were very young (more straight of out undergrad or close to it than peer schools) and had a generally laid back atmosphere. Both seemed like a lot of fun if you wanted to have it, and a very intellectually challenging experience if you wanted it.

I gathered that Duke was slightly less fun and more serious (though still more fun and less serious than many peers, such as Cornell or Penn) than Vandy. In return, Duke grad had better job prospects.

Vandy also gives more scholarship than Duke, being as its medians are lower, but Duke is still quite generous with money.

I would still pick Duke if you could choose between the two. The increase in prestige and job prospects are real, and you wouldn't lose that much in terms of social life. You're going to law school to get a job. Keep that in mind.

For south, I would argue that HYS >>>>>> CC >> VD >> rest of T13 >>> Vandy / UT >>>>>>>>>> Local state school.

iheartregstate
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby iheartregstate » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:21 am

It's to hide my identity. Grizz, did you ever get your 5 bucks for saying it's all gonna be Chevron step 0, Chevron, and "arbitrary and capricious"?

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Grizz
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Grizz » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:45 am

iheartregstate wrote:It's to hide my identity. Grizz, did you ever get your 5 bucks for saying it's all gonna be Chevron step 0, Chevron, and "arbitrary and capricious"?

Yeah I don't remember that. You need to PM me.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:58 am

I have no vias but I'd rather live in Nashville. However, the value of a Duke degree is much better. Also, the sports teams, etc. Duke seems like a better school life, Nashville a better city.

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby DallasCowboy » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:55 pm

Not sure I'm a fan of the "VD" acronym/grouping

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Elston Gunn » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:18 am

duckmoney wrote:For south, I would argue that HYS >>>>>> CC >> VD >> rest of T13 >>> Vandy / UT >>>>>>>>>> Local state school.


You really think Cornell or Northwestern places better in the south than UT and Vandy? I'd be shocked if that were true, even accounting for self-selection.

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Grizz
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby Grizz » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:31 am

Elston Gunn wrote:
duckmoney wrote:For south, I would argue that HYS >>>>>> CC >> VD >> rest of T13 >>> Vandy / UT >>>>>>>>>> Local state school.


You really think Cornell or Northwestern places better in the south than UT and Vandy? I'd be shocked if that were true, even accounting for self-selection.

For the South, I don't think you could say whether Cornell/GULC is better than Vandy categorically, but I don't think you'd shoot yourself in the foot if you went to either. But I'd wager not a lot of Southern firms OCI at Cornell, especially.

duckmoney
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Re: Duke vs. Vandy school culture, student body, etc.

Postby duckmoney » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:01 pm

Grizz wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:
duckmoney wrote:For south, I would argue that HYS >>>>>> CC >> VD >> rest of T13 >>> Vandy / UT >>>>>>>>>> Local state school.


You really think Cornell or Northwestern places better in the south than UT and Vandy? I'd be shocked if that were true, even accounting for self-selection.

For the South, I don't think you could say whether Cornell/GULC is better than Vandy categorically, but I don't think you'd shoot yourself in the foot if you went to either. But I'd wager not a lot of Southern firms OCI at Cornell, especially.


It would probably depend on the firm to say whether the lower T14 was better than Vandy. Local firms might prefer Vandy, while satellites of NYC firms might prefer Cornell. If your goal is the south when deciding law schools, it's probably a wash and your decision should be based on cost and subjective factors.

However, a T10 school will pretty much always be better than Vandy for anywhere you have ties to. If you can get in to UVA / Duke and the cost difference isn't outrageous, you should probably go. (Example: When I applied, UVA offered me 0 scholarship and Vandy gave me $84k. I was planning on picking Vandy until Duke came back to me with $60k, which made it the clear choice).




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