Any Duke Law students?

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Vail67
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Any Duke Law students?

Postby Vail67 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:07 pm

Hunted for a Duke questions thread and could not find one. So for any takers...

What's it like? What's the atmosphere? What sticks out to you about the student body? How big are classes? Everyone rags on Durham — is it that bad? If you could make a pro/con list, what would it be?

Thanks!

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Bosque
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Bosque » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:07 pm

I just got in (well, actually it has been about a week now), so I thought I would bump this.

Image

Arise!

Rayster
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Rayster » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:55 pm

Durham isn't great, but Chapel Hill is closeby and is great.

Duke is horrible. Duke has an institutional problem of ignoring its own standards. I don't want to get too specific, but Duke sets standards and then doesn't enforce them, rewarding those who ignore the standards at the expense of everyone else.

Duke's rank is going to drop because they lost Chemerinsky. Academic reputation is 25% of the USNEWS score, and it is going to suffer as people stop conflating Duke with Chemerinsky. I don't think anyone should make decisions based on USNEWS scores, but if you are considering them for rank alone you should realize their rank is going to drop.

The bright side:

The weather is great. Winter? There is none. (The down side to this is if they ever do get snow over 1cm, the whole state is shut down.)

Duke does have very good employment statistics, so if you go you won't need to be too concerned about finding a job. But, the lower ranked students get stuck in the south. If that is the region you want to be in then it isn't much of a problem.

Durham is VERY inexpensive, but part of that comes from there being nothing to do. But hey, you'll be in law school, did you expect to have a life?

hoyasaxa09
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby hoyasaxa09 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:12 am

Wow rayster, that was harsh. Is that the general opinion or just one disgruntled person's view?

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dresq
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby dresq » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:57 am

hoyasaxa09 wrote:Wow rayster, that was harsh. Is that the general opinion or just one disgruntled person's view?


Maybe slightly exaggerated, but not that far off. I'm not a student there, but I was very close to someone (and a few others by extension) during their 3 years at Duke Law. Here's one particularly telling incident I recall quite well:

--LinkRemoved--

There are also problems with career services, especially if you're not into doing BIGLAW.

There are some bright spots, though. Like someone else said, COL is VERY low, and Chapel Hill is pretty great. Beaches, mountains, warm weather, etc. are all nearby. Everyone always raves about Professor James Boyle, too. All in all, I think Duke is a bit overrated. I'm having serious second thoughts about whether I want to go there or not, even though my ties to the area are very strong.

Vail67 wrote:What's it like? What's the atmosphere? What sticks out to you about the student body? How big are classes? Everyone rags on Durham — is it that bad? If you could make a pro/con list, what would it be?

The atmosphere is kinda lame. Duke Law High is what everyone I knew called it, and that's not that far from the truth. The student body is probably not that different from anywhere else. There are some cool people, some self-important assholes, some gunners, etc. It's just a little cliquey, I guess.

Pros: BIGLAW placement, location (the region, not necessarily Durham), low cost of living, James Boyle and a few other great faculty members.

Cons: Just about everything else.

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Bosque
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Bosque » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:16 am

So I guess the answer is no, no there are not any Duke law students on the forum we can talk to.

Time to look elsewhere then.

(Not trying to be rude, but I didn't want just anyone's musings about Duke. The OP and I were looking for Duke Law students or Alumni. If you want to just talk about Duke while having no personal experience with the school, there are a bunch of threads in the choosing a law school forum you can try.)

Rayster
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Rayster » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:10 pm

Bosque wrote:(Not trying to be rude, but I didn't want just anyone's musings about Duke. The OP and I were looking for Duke Law students or Alumni. If you want to just talk about Duke while having no personal experience with the school, there are a bunch of threads in the choosing a law school forum you can try.)


Just a quick pointer, making such assumptions will hurt you in law school. I'm not sure why you think I have no personal experience with the school, but that is a false assumption. In fact, I can confidently say that, short of admissions staff trolling the forum, I'm the most knowledgeable person about Duke on this forum.

I'm sorry that I can't shoot flowers and sunshine up your ass now that you are accepted, but you shouldn't discount alumni advice/experience so quickly. Time and time again young ones ask for advice, and when they get it they think "that won't happen to me, because I'm so much smarter..." Guess what? Institutions change slowly if at all. If you are lucky you will have a different experience from me and everyone else I know who went to Duke, but it will be mere luck. If you want I can answer more specific questions, like whether or not you should live in Duke Manor (only if you want to get robbed), or whether Satisfactions is the proper place to pick up undergrads (only if you want a Freshman, everyone else goes to Chapel Hill) or whether Jame Joyce is the place to play trivia (it is).

thamm347
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby thamm347 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:35 pm

I'm a 1L at Duke, and so far I've had a very different experience than Rayster must have had. Below are my answers to questions that someone emailed me. If you're seriously considering Duke, I think the best thing you can do is go to the admitted students' weekend.

My law school app background:
At the end of application season, I was deciding between Duke, Columbia, NYU, and UVA. I got a scholarship to Duke, and my significant other is in the med school at Duke -- he and I had some choices about where we could go to match up, and we decided on Duke after going to all the admitted students' weekends and talking to current students and alums.

_What's the best thing about Duke Law, in your opinion?_
For me, the small classes and the openness and availability of the professors to their students. Having smaller classes has helped to create a sense of camaraderie between my classmates and me. Instead of being limited to one or two student voices per class session (as seems to happen in large, strictly Socratic method classes), we are able to have real class discussions and engage the material as a group. Also, because of the small class size and the wide geographic destinations of my classmates, I feel like we are not really in competition with each other for jobs (as opposed to big-city law schools where most of the class stays in that city's legal market). In my experience at Duke, the small class size has helped to reduce any intimidation or competitiveness that people feel coming into law school.

Also, my experience with the professors here has been great. All of them have been extremely warm and receptive to questions outside of class. This is comforting not only during the semester when I'm confused or worried about exams, but also in the long term when I think about job or clerkship applications. Plus, our professors are just amazing people to know. They are all involved in highly specialized and high level projects, and yet they always make time to talk to students. The small class size helps here too, since it makes it easier for professors to get to know their students.

_What's the worst thing about Duke Law?_
At first I thought the worst thing would be living in Durham. After about a month, I realized that this is a great place to be in law school. Before I decided on Duke, I was really considering NYU and Columbia -- it'd be hard to find two more different prospects than NYC and Durham. But after about a month here I found that Durham has every amenity I need as a student. I spend most of my time in class or at home studying (and sleeping!), and here I can afford to live in a very comfortable apartment. (Plus the Duke facilities are great.) Also, as a student, I wouldn't have time or the money to take advantage of NYC, or any big city for that matter. The weather is beautiful here, and there is actually more going on that I thought. Between the Duke and UNC campus' events and shows, the indie theaters that carry most good movies, and the restaurants and bars in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham, there are more opportunities for outside-of-class activities than I have time for. And there's Duke basketball and grad school campout (for basketball tickets). :)
Maybe the worst thing is the public transportation. I tried to take a bus from my apartment the first week of classes, and it was a disaster. So I drive, as do most students. My other complaint is that there are no Starbucks close to campus (I know -- I have it so hard).
Last edited by thamm347 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

granfalloon
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby granfalloon » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:40 pm

I visited Duke and loved it. It came down to Duke vs NYU, and I picked NYU (mainly because I got more $$).

I know a few Duke grads currently working in new york...I'll ask them if they're willing to post here about it. They all had really great experiences at Duke.

thamm347
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby thamm347 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:46 pm

About the Chemerinsky loss - I'm not sure if that will affect rankings or not, but with the new dean, David Levi (former U.S. district judge), we've had 3 supreme court justices come in the last year. Dean Levi seems highly regarded by his peers and, like all of the Duke faculty, he's very open to students. (There are "breakfast with the Dean" events all year long - small group of students goes to Dean's office to brunch and get to know one another and Dean Levi). Anyway, my hope is that the appointment of Dean Levi will cancel out the Chemerinsky loss as far as rankings go.

JJim1919
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby JJim1919 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:47 pm

As far as Duke to NYC goes, are alot of students on this track? Do NYC firms regularly come down to Duke? How is biglaw employment to NYC?

Thanks.

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Bosque
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Bosque » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:45 pm

Rayster wrote:
Bosque wrote:(Not trying to be rude, but I didn't want just anyone's musings about Duke. The OP and I were looking for Duke Law students or Alumni. If you want to just talk about Duke while having no personal experience with the school, there are a bunch of threads in the choosing a law school forum you can try.)


Just a quick pointer, making such assumptions will hurt you in law school. I'm not sure why you think I have no personal experience with the school, but that is a false assumption. In fact, I can confidently say that, short of admissions staff trolling the forum, I'm the most knowledgeable person about Duke on this forum.

I'm sorry that I can't shoot flowers and sunshine up your ass now that you are accepted, but you shouldn't discount alumni advice/experience so quickly. Time and time again young ones ask for advice, and when they get it they think "that won't happen to me, because I'm so much smarter..." Guess what? Institutions change slowly if at all. If you are lucky you will have a different experience from me and everyone else I know who went to Duke, but it will be mere luck. If you want I can answer more specific questions, like whether or not you should live in Duke Manor (only if you want to get robbed), or whether Satisfactions is the proper place to pick up undergrads (only if you want a Freshman, everyone else goes to Chapel Hill) or whether Jame Joyce is the place to play trivia (it is).


As I already responded when you PMed me, I gathered from your past posts I searched (since in your post it was hard to tell one way or another) that you were not a Duke law student. Again, I apologize.

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Bosque
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Bosque » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:54 pm

Back on topic then.

What is the process of getting onto the Law Review at Duke like? Any idea what the clinic opportunities are like? I have heard the Law building is finally done with the renovations, is this so?

I am gonna try and think of some more questions and come back.

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a.williams
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby a.williams » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:10 am

Does anyone have any experience with or know anyone in the JD/LLM program. I was accepted to the program and it seems very interesting. I am also liking the idea of starting in the summer and having the opportunity to study abroad without loosing an entire semester or summer to do it. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

philo-sophia
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby philo-sophia » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:13 am

JJim1919 wrote:As far as Duke to NYC goes, are alot of students on this track? Do NYC firms regularly come down to Duke? How is biglaw employment to NYC?

Thanks.


In a word, yes. NYC is the market where Duke sends the greatest number of students, followed by DC and CA. Wachtell, Cravath, Sullivan Cromwell, Simpson Thacher...all of them recruit at OCI here. We have a similar turnout for top firms in DC (Covington, etc...), San Fran, LA, etc. We also have firms like Freshfields and Linklaters recruiting for their London offices and the rest of Europe (if you have the local language skills).

Is living in Durham something to be legitimately concerned with? For some people, sure (though i would choose Durham over Ithaca and Ann Arbor any day of the week). But one thing you definitely do NOT have to worry about is Duke's placement into major market BigLaw.

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:53 am

I have a good friend who went to Duke Law. Her knock on the school (and granted she went there many years ago) is that it contained a lot of students who didn't want to be there -- i.e. were only there because they got rejected by Columbia, NYU, etc. -- and were bitter about it.

philo-sophia
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby philo-sophia » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:43 am

Dick Whitman wrote:I have a good friend who went to Duke Law. Her knock on the school (and granted she went there many years ago) is that it contained a lot of students who didn't want to be there -- i.e. were only there because they got rejected by Columbia, NYU, etc. -- and were bitter about it.


Yeah i think that's a bit less of an issue now. There's obviously one or two exceptions but most people are definitely not bitter that they're here. There are some people who got rejected by, say, UVA (i.e. me) or Mich, but i think most people know what they're getting when they apply here. If they were Columbia/NYU hopefuls (with a legitimate chance) then they probably had Northwestern as an option if being in a city was really important to them.

That said, i do sort of miss living in a city!

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:54 am

philo-sophia wrote:
Dick Whitman wrote:I have a good friend who went to Duke Law. Her knock on the school (and granted she went there many years ago) is that it contained a lot of students who didn't want to be there -- i.e. were only there because they got rejected by Columbia, NYU, etc. -- and were bitter about it.


Yeah i think that's a bit less of an issue now. There's obviously one or two exceptions but most people are definitely not bitter that they're here. There are some people who got rejected by, say, UVA (i.e. me) or Mich, but i think most people know what they're getting when they apply here. If they were Columbia/NYU hopefuls (with a legitimate chance) then they probably had Northwestern as an option if being in a city was really important to them.

That said, i do sort of miss living in a city!


She did add the caveat that Duke was higher ranked when she went there, so it may have been more of issue then. I'm still applying.

One more thing good about Duke -- the Durham Bulls.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby The Zeppelin » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:58 am

Dick Whitman wrote:One more thing good about Duke -- the Durham Bulls.

Best thing about Durham. Consequently, the second best thing is the movie Bull Durham.

JJim1919
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby JJim1919 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:07 pm

philo-sophia wrote:
JJim1919 wrote:As far as Duke to NYC goes, are alot of students on this track? Do NYC firms regularly come down to Duke? How is biglaw employment to NYC?

Thanks.


In a word, yes. NYC is the market where Duke sends the greatest number of students, followed by DC and CA. Wachtell, Cravath, Sullivan Cromwell, Simpson Thacher...all of them recruit at OCI here. We have a similar turnout for top firms in DC (Covington, etc...), San Fran, LA, etc. We also have firms like Freshfields and Linklaters recruiting for their London offices and the rest of Europe (if you have the local language skills).

Is living in Durham something to be legitimately concerned with? For some people, sure (though i would choose Durham over Ithaca and Ann Arbor any day of the week). But one thing you definitely do NOT have to worry about is Duke's placement into major market BigLaw.


Sounds great. I'd love to attend duke, but my lsat score makes this unlikely. Here's to hoping!

dmnshm
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby dmnshm » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:00 pm

I've also been accepted to the JD/LLM and interested in hearing more about it from anyone who knows. Thanks

aryncita
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby aryncita » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:42 pm

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Last edited by aryncita on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sidgey
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby sidgey » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:11 pm

bump

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a.williams
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby a.williams » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:20 pm

any students have any thoughts on the new facilities? does anyone know of any good apartments/condos around west campus? i'm visiting at the beginning of March and want to check out some places.

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sidgey
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby sidgey » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:43 pm

aryncita wrote:I live in Carrboro


Big Ups! I lived in Carrboro UG (UNC-Chapel Hill), and will move back if I get into Duke. Do any students have motorcycles? I would think that would be the easiest way to get around seeing as how the weather is so nice year-round.




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