Any Duke Law students?

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haliiehead
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby haliiehead » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:56 pm

I'm also a 1L at Duke, and I pretty much only have positive things to say. Yes, the school is small, but I find that it provides a really good learning environment.

The law school renovations are complete, the new facilities are awesome. The common space they just built is the largest common space in any law school in the US. And the new library is really nice (which is a plus, cuz you will spend a lot of time there).

People do have motorcycles - it's a perfect way to get around, because the 1st year parking is a 10-15 minute walk from campus, and the parking authorities don't care where you park your motorcycle (my friend has one). The parking might be my one gripe about the law school itself.

I actually really like being in Durham, and that's coming from someone who grew up in NY. I wanted to go to Columbia, but realized that I would constantly be distracted by the city, friends there, etc. And Durham/Chapel Hill do have places to go and things to do (i.e. I've been going hiking on the weekends a lot, plenty of good beer bars, etc). I find that there's enough to do to keep yourself sane, but not too much that you're distracted.

As for the jd/llm program, my boyfriend is currently in it. The summer start is a great way to ease into law school (community-wise), but it's also a pretty busy 6 weeks. That said, I know all the summer starters bond pretty well and every one of them that I know loved starting early. You also get to do a summer institute abroad your summer between 1L and 2L year.

daisyduck
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby daisyduck » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:15 pm

Thanks for a descriptive post. I can't wait to get a Vespa!

I was wondering if the Legal Writing/Research class is graded or if it was pass/fail.
Also, how are OCIs selected? Are they on a lottery basis, or do employers choose interviewees?

Thanks in advance :)

philo-sophia
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby philo-sophia » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:09 pm

so at this point, i'd like to point out a fairly distinct trend on this board...

0L's and those who attend rival institutions make over-the-top, irrational statements about the misery of going to duke law.

Those who actually go to Duke Law (including myself who came from UNC) say such claims are generally drastic hyperbole, that life at Duke is really pretty enjoyable and that the exit options are fantastic ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. I REALLY don't know where this notion of Duke placing primarily in the south comes from. Does Duke dominate any southern market it chooses? Yeah. Do Southern markets dominate Duke recruiting? NO!

Here are actual numbers instead of absurd, off-the-cuff guestimations that Duke sends everyone to Atlanta or Charlotte.

Graduating Class 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
New York 53 51 48 38 39
Washington D.C. 41 36 31 27 27
North Carolina 25 28 23 22 21
California 23 14 16 20 13

As for the quality of firms people are going to in those markets, feel free to poke around for various nalp data...the operative term being "data". Last year for instance we sent about 10 people to Simpson Thatcher alone.

Look people, let's bring a little rationality to the discussion here. I'm not "trolling" by the way. I applied to UVA. I didn't get in. If i had, i would have gone. Same with Penn. So i admit it. That said, i gave up the absurdly good time that would have been UT Austin when i got off the WL here and i am happy with that decision. The placement, anywhere in the nation besides TX, is just on a different planet. Anyone who gets into multiple T14 schools has an enviable decision to make and there are certainly attractive alternatives that might pull someone away from Duke. That said, i did withdraw from Michigan when i got in here, b/c i preferred warmer weather and saw the two schools as functionally equivilent (and actually with my desire to do BigLaw and maybe enter academia with a financial focus Duke seemed better tailored to that path). I give kudos to all of the fantastic schools in the T14. But given that Duke has a new rock star dean, has some of the best facilities in the country since the renovation, runs circles around GULC in placement, thoroughly stomps Cornell in terms of numerical quality of student body and boasts fantastic weather on one of the most beautiful university campuses in the country, perhaps TLS could start giving Duke Law some of the love that is rationally deserved.

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mllerustad
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby mllerustad » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:37 pm

Visited Duke last weekend, enjoyed it. Durham's not the coolest town I've ever visited but the coffee shops looked good and the cost of living is fantastic. (Do you really want to inflate your loan burden with concerts and clubbing every weekend during law school? As if you'd have the time anyway!) The 1Ls I met with were friendly and down-to-earth--I didn't get the clique-y vibe. I'm told there's a certain baseball-cap-wearing, polo-sporting...cohort...but I found plenty of geeks. I know some of the profs at the Center for the Public Domain via friends/volunteer work and they are bloody fantastic. If you're into IP, it's hard to do better. My choice is going to come down in large part to scholarship, but let's just say I really hope Duke gives me lots, because having visited I would love to go there--even over higher-ranked schools.

philo-sophia
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby philo-sophia » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:32 pm

a follow up on my earlier post regarding actual data...(thanks to another poster for putting this together)...

Percentage of graduates in the top 10 firms in the country:
1) Columbia Law School (29%)
2) University of Chicago Law School (19%)
3) Harvard Law School (17%)
4) New York University Law School (15%)
4) Cornell Law School (15)
6) University of Pennsylvania Law School (14%)
7) Duke University Law School (14%)
8 ) Northwestern University Law School (13%)
9) Berkeley Law (12%)
10) Yale Law School (11%)
10) Stanford Law School (11%)
12) University of Michigan Law School (9.1%)
13) University of Virginia Law School (7.5%)
14) Georgetown University Law School (7.1%)

phaedrus
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby phaedrus » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:12 pm

thamm347 wrote: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.


Also with regard to the Chemerinsky loss, I'd just like to point out that Duke replaced Chemerinsky with a handsome, young, swashbuckling Texan who many are saying is the best professor they've ever had.

daisyduck
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby daisyduck » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:12 am

Wow I didn't even know people were saying Duke placed primarily in the south, or anything of the like. Duke places pretty well in all the major cities in the US, it seems...

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:49 am

daisyduck wrote:I was wondering if the Legal Writing/Research class is graded or if it was pass/fail.
Also, how are OCIs selected? Are they on a lottery basis, or do employers choose interviewees?


I'm a Duke 1L. I haven't been on TLS in ages, but since nobody has answered your post I figured I'd field it.

LARW is a graded class for us. It's split as 1.5 credits in the fall, 1.5 in the spring, but you get one grade in the end. In the scheme of things, a 3 credit course isn't a big deal, and it's curved like everything else.

OCI is done by lottery. Good or bad grades will not affect your interview opportunities. Employers get no say in who they interview, although they are of course free to note that they 'prefer top 20%' or 'prefer a law journal.'

Feel free to post any other questions.

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Anhimal
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Anhimal » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:33 pm

1. How is the environment for the student body? Are people generally nice?

2. How many hours a day do you study?

3. Do you enjoy your classes?

4. If you had to choose all over again, would you choose Duke?

gobotz
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby gobotz » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:46 pm

Those Duke 1Ls answering, I keep hearing about low yield meaning that a lot of waitlisters get in, how much truth to this? Thanks!

aer
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby aer » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:07 pm

I am very strongly leaning to attend Duke next year, and I was wondering if Durham is bike friendly? Are there bike trails and would it be easy to find a place to lock up my bike?

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:12 pm

Anhimal wrote:1. How is the environment for the student body? Are people generally nice?

Being a smaller law school, we really feel like a community. You get very close to your small section, but you also get to know a lot of your other classmates. That helps the class environment a lot, too. I would say that most of my classmates are quite nice. We tend to be very supportive of each other, and anti-competitive almost to a fault.

Anhimal wrote:2. How many hours a day do you study?

Not enough! Seriously, I would say there's reading and then there's studying. For my substantive classes, I tend to really just keep up with the readings and lectures during the semester, and leave the outlining and 'studying' for the end. I don't know if I'd necessarily recommend that approach, and a lot of people do more 'studying' during the semester, but it's worked for me. That said, the reading load is quite reasonable. Obviously it depends a bit on the class and the professor. For the classes where I don't brief, I'd say 30-60 minutes of reading a night. I book brief in some classes, but I would say that the most I spend on any class is about 90 minutes a night, and that's for a class that meets 3 times a week instead of the usual 4. So for the three substantive classes, maybe 4-5 hours per week per class unless you write extensive briefs.

Our writing class can be more demanding, and the work load in there definitely ebbs and flows. It meets the first half of the semester only, both fall and spring. Towards the end of the course (mid-semester each semester) it can get a little hectic, with lots of hours researching and writing. The class meets twice a week and often has smaller ungraded assignments to turn in, and those can take some time. We get assigned a good bit of reading for that class too, but to be honest most people don't do most of the reading (and that's fine). The good news is the writing class is over well before you really have to buckle down and start outlining, etc. for exams.

Anhimal wrote:3. Do you enjoy your classes?

I have really enjoyed my 1L classes. Our classes are smaller than average (none bigger than about 70), and I think that really improves the class environment. Also, we're all pretty comfortable with our classmates, which allows us to relax and participate without worrying about what other people think. If you say something particularly ridiculous, it may become a class joke (sometimes even by the professor), but not in a mean way. I've had several professors who have made class a lot of fun by doing just that - joking with the students and keeping things really entertaining. The professors I've had who use true cold calling aren't jerks about it. (Most allow for 'co-counsel.') So getting called on really isn't that stressful. I'd say overall the professors here do a great job. For instance, probably very few people 'enjoy' civil procedure, because it's somewhat boring and rule-based, and there's just not too much to 'enjoy' there. But our civil procedure professor tried to keep things interesting, using movie clips and documentaries he'd produced to demonstrate rules or cases. Oh, and in my entire 1L year, I've only had to deal with two real gunners. That's pretty good.

Anhimal wrote:4. If you had to choose all over again, would you choose Duke?

That's a somewhat tricky question, since I haven't gone anywhere else. But I definitely have no regrets about picking Duke. I think the smaller student body and smaller classes give the school a really nice feel. People are friendly. The professors are amazing, and they're very available to students. Despite what you may read on these boards, Durham is a great place to go to law school. I live in a nice apartment with very affordable rent, everything I need is nearby, and I have an easy commute to school. And the weather is nice most of the time. There are some parts of Durham that aren't so great, but you really have no reason to go to those parts. Overall, I'd say it's been a very enjoyable experience so far, and I'm happy I chose to come here.


To gobotz - Sorry, I really don't know too much about waitlist statistics, so I'm not even going to hazard a guess as to whether we let in more or less than other schools.

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:20 pm

aer wrote:I am very strongly leaning to attend Duke next year, and I was wondering if Durham is bike friendly? Are there bike trails and would it be easy to find a place to lock up my bike?

It depends if you want to bike for fun or for transportation. I'll preface all of this by saying that I haven't gotten my bike out since I moved here...

Biking for fun, you have the Duke Forest, which is quite extensive and allows bikes on at least some of the trials. I also know there is also a trial near American Tobacco, but I don't know where it goes. (My writing professor is a biker, so I have some second-hand knowledge from him, but like I said, I haven't gone out at all.)

As for commuting, I don't feel like Durham is a great place for bike commuters. Maybe if you lived closer to campus it would be. I live in one of the most popular complexes for law students, and I wouldn't bike to campus from here. It's only about three miles, but the road is just not ideal for bikers. That said, I see at least one or two cyclists almost every morning on my drive to campus. So people definitely do it. And I notice that a good number of streets do have bike lanes.

As for locking up your bike, obviously there are places on campus. There might be some places downtown, too, but I'm not sure. I'd imagine the closer you are to campus, the more bike friendly it will be.

Wish I had more to offer, but hope that helps some. And congrats on being almost decided on Duke!

chadstew55
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby chadstew55 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:19 pm

Which complex is the most popular complex for law students? Just out of curiosity.

About the size of the class, do you feel like you have at least met most of the people in your class, or do you feel like you are just closer to those in your smaller section and the sections stay pretty much separate?

aer
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby aer » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:42 pm

Wahoo, I was thinking of using my bike to commute (less gas money that way). It's too bad Durham isn't great for that, but oh well. Thanks for the information.

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Anhimal
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Anhimal » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:54 pm

wahoo831 wrote:
Anhimal wrote:1. How is the environment for the student body? Are people generally nice?

Being a smaller law school, we really feel like a community. You get very close to your small section, but you also get to know a lot of your other classmates. That helps the class environment a lot, too. I would say that most of my classmates are quite nice. We tend to be very supportive of each other, and anti-competitive almost to a fault.

Anhimal wrote:2. How many hours a day do you study?

Not enough! Seriously, I would say there's reading and then there's studying. For my substantive classes, I tend to really just keep up with the readings and lectures during the semester, and leave the outlining and 'studying' for the end. I don't know if I'd necessarily recommend that approach, and a lot of people do more 'studying' during the semester, but it's worked for me. That said, the reading load is quite reasonable. Obviously it depends a bit on the class and the professor. For the classes where I don't brief, I'd say 30-60 minutes of reading a night. I book brief in some classes, but I would say that the most I spend on any class is about 90 minutes a night, and that's for a class that meets 3 times a week instead of the usual 4. So for the three substantive classes, maybe 4-5 hours per week per class unless you write extensive briefs.

Our writing class can be more demanding, and the work load in there definitely ebbs and flows. It meets the first half of the semester only, both fall and spring. Towards the end of the course (mid-semester each semester) it can get a little hectic, with lots of hours researching and writing. The class meets twice a week and often has smaller ungraded assignments to turn in, and those can take some time. We get assigned a good bit of reading for that class too, but to be honest most people don't do most of the reading (and that's fine). The good news is the writing class is over well before you really have to buckle down and start outlining, etc. for exams.

Anhimal wrote:3. Do you enjoy your classes?

I have really enjoyed my 1L classes. Our classes are smaller than average (none bigger than about 70), and I think that really improves the class environment. Also, we're all pretty comfortable with our classmates, which allows us to relax and participate without worrying about what other people think. If you say something particularly ridiculous, it may become a class joke (sometimes even by the professor), but not in a mean way. I've had several professors who have made class a lot of fun by doing just that - joking with the students and keeping things really entertaining. The professors I've had who use true cold calling aren't jerks about it. (Most allow for 'co-counsel.') So getting called on really isn't that stressful. I'd say overall the professors here do a great job. For instance, probably very few people 'enjoy' civil procedure, because it's somewhat boring and rule-based, and there's just not too much to 'enjoy' there. But our civil procedure professor tried to keep things interesting, using movie clips and documentaries he'd produced to demonstrate rules or cases. Oh, and in my entire 1L year, I've only had to deal with two real gunners. That's pretty good.

Anhimal wrote:4. If you had to choose all over again, would you choose Duke?

That's a somewhat tricky question, since I haven't gone anywhere else. But I definitely have no regrets about picking Duke. I think the smaller student body and smaller classes give the school a really nice feel. People are friendly. The professors are amazing, and they're very available to students. Despite what you may read on these boards, Durham is a great place to go to law school. I live in a nice apartment with very affordable rent, everything I need is nearby, and I have an easy commute to school. And the weather is nice most of the time. There are some parts of Durham that aren't so great, but you really have no reason to go to those parts. Overall, I'd say it's been a very enjoyable experience so far, and I'm happy I chose to come here.


To gobotz - Sorry, I really don't know too much about waitlist statistics, so I'm not even going to hazard a guess as to whether we let in more or less than other schools.


Thanks for your answers wahoo831, after reading about Duke (Princeton Review's book) and some researching online, I found the common theme of "laid-back" and "supportive" Duke Law Students. Right now, I am deciding between UMich and Duke and I'm really excited to go to Duke's Open house in two weeks, thanks again! We really appreciate you taking the time out to help us with our decision.

chadstew55
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby chadstew55 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:59 pm

Anhimal wrote:Thanks for your answers wahoo831, after reading about Duke (Princeton Review's book) and some researching online, I found the common theme of "laid-back" and "supportive" Duke Law Students. Right now, I am deciding between UMich and Duke and I'm really excited to go to Duke's Open house in two weeks, thanks again! We really appreciate you taking the time out to help us with our decision.

umm... it is really in just one week, right?

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:59 pm

chadstew55 wrote:Which complex is the most popular complex for law students? Just out of curiosity.

The complex is called Pinnacle Ridge. It's always one of the more popular complexes for incoming law students, but this year it got an even higher proportion of 1Ls than normal. If you are coming to Duke's ASW, it's on the housing tour on Saturday.

chadstew55 wrote:About the size of the class, do you feel like you have at least met most of the people in your class, or do you feel like you are just closer to those in your smaller section and the sections stay pretty much separate?

Not surprisingly, many of the people I am close to are in my small section, but I also have friends in the other sections. Duke does a good job of mixing the sections for 1L classes so that you will meet most of your classmates. The writing class and one substantive class in the fall will be just your section, but the other five classes will be your section with another section. As of this spring, I've had class with four of the other five sections, so I've had class with most of my fellow 1Ls. And outside of class there are a good number of opportunities to meet people in other sections as well, so you definitely won't feel like you're stuck with the same thirty something people.

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:01 pm

aer wrote:Wahoo, I was thinking of using my bike to commute (less gas money that way). It's too bad Durham isn't great for that, but oh well. Thanks for the information.


Yeah, I would say the overwhelming majority of us drive to campus. That said, most of us live near campus (3-4 miles away), so gas isn't so bad.

Besides, law books are heavy!

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Anhimal
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby Anhimal » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:03 pm

chadstew55 wrote:
Anhimal wrote:Thanks for your answers wahoo831, after reading about Duke (Princeton Review's book) and some researching online, I found the common theme of "laid-back" and "supportive" Duke Law Students. Right now, I am deciding between UMich and Duke and I'm really excited to go to Duke's Open house in two weeks, thanks again! We really appreciate you taking the time out to help us with our decision.

umm... it is really in just one week, right?


Oops sorry, my mistake. It's on the 20th.

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:06 pm

Anhimal wrote:Thanks for your answers wahoo831, after reading about Duke (Princeton Review's book) and some researching online, I found the common theme of "laid-back" and "supportive" Duke Law Students. Right now, I am deciding between UMich and Duke and I'm really excited to go to Duke's Open house in two weeks, thanks again! We really appreciate you taking the time out to help us with our decision.

Yeah, I think if you came and polled current students, probably 90% or more would say we're "non-competitive" or "supportive" or something similar. But there's a reason for that. Then again, I think Michigan is fairly similar in that respect.

Happy to answer your questions, I know it's not an easy decision. But visiting should definitely help. Hope you enjoy ASW.

linhvo
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby linhvo » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:36 am

I am a prospective Duke student as well and I was wondering the following:

-What are the employment prospects like for 1L and 2Ls coming out of Duke (in comparison to the other T14s)? Do you guys get your first choices?

-Do the employers/firms get to see your gpa/rank? Do they pick the students or do the students pick the firms? Is it lottery?

-Is Law Review a big deal at Duke or do students usually not care?

Thanks! :)

wahoo831
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby wahoo831 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:03 pm

linhvo wrote:-What are the employment prospects like for 1L and 2Ls coming out of Duke (in comparison to the other T14s)? Do you guys get your first choices?

My sense is that we are very much in line with the other T14s. Obviously, this economy has affected employment this year, here and elsewhere. In a typical year, it is said that about 1/3 of our 1Ls get firm jobs. That won't be the case this summer. But everybody is feeling the pinch for 1L jobs, because a lot of firms have reduced or cut their 1L programs, and then more students are competing for the same number of non-firm jobs. So it's a tough year for 1Ls, but I'd say that's no more or less true here than the other T14s. As you probably know, 2L employment is much more important than 1L. And our 2Ls are doing fine. There are very few 2Ls (maybe 5?) without summer jobs, and a close 2L source told me that those people were basically too limited in their search at the beginning. As you might imagine, people didn't necessarily get as many offers as they might have in better years, but I haven't encountered any 2Ls who are disappointed with where they're going this summer. So maybe not as many people getting their 'first choice' this year, but I think we're very much in line with the other T14s. And before the recession, my sense is that students were overwhelmingly getting their first choice.

One random thought I'm going to throw out here - being a smaller school helps. Employers really like school diversity in their incoming class. So a firm might take one student each from Harvard, UVA, Michigan, Duke, and Georgetown. (Random example.) They usually don't explicitly compensate for class size when planning their incoming class. So a firm isn't going to say 'Georgetown is three times as big as Duke, we should aim for six Georgetown students and only two Duke.' (Of course a firm might end up with more Georgetown than Duke, I'm just saying they usually aim for it to be more even.) And I know a lot of employers do follow the 'one per school' mentality, especially with 1L employment. So if you only have about 200 classmates, this really works to your advantage. Not to puppet career services, but if you ask 2L OCI employers how many Duke students they would like to hire and add it all up, it's about 500 spots. Not bad for ~200 students. Furthermore, because Duke students tend to spread out a lot (we're not all gunning for NY or DC), the competition thins even more.

linhvo wrote:-Do the employers/firms get to see your gpa/rank? Do they pick the students or do the students pick the firms? Is it lottery?

First of all, Duke does not rank students. So we don't even know our rank. The best you can do is get a loose sense of where you stand based on the suggested grade distribution and mandatory median.

As for employers, it's different for 1Ls and 2Ls. There is a small 1L OCI in the spring, but this is not how most of us get our jobs. Obviously, if you start sending out resumes in December, you have no GPA. Some employers will wait until grades come out, but some won't. I had two firm interviews in January before grades even came out. I know some people had offers before grades were out. But like I said, some employers will not take any action until they've seen your grades.

For OCI (both 1L and 2L), interviews are done on a lottery system. Students bid on employers in rank order, and interviews are determined accordingly. Employers get no say in which students they interview. Of course once they interview you, they will have your GPA from your resume, and they may use GPA in deciding call-backs, but you will always get a chance to impress them regardless of GPA.

linhvo wrote:-Is Law Review a big deal at Duke or do students usually not care?

I'll preface this by pointing out that as a 1L I haven't yet gone through the casenote competition for journals (which is after finals in May). My sense is that law review is a "big deal" at Duke in the same sense that it is at all top law schools - good experience that looks really good to employers. Obviously, if you want a good clerkship after graduation, journal experience is basically a prerequisite, but that's really the case anywhere. We are somewhat unique in that we have both Duke Law Journal (DLJ) and a secondary flagship journal, Law and Contemporary Problems, which is considered almost as impressive as DLJ. To me, that reduces the stress somewhat, because it's not DLJ or bust. I also know upperclassmen who are on other journals (i.e. not DLJ or LCP) and are quite happy with their experiences. It's definitely not the type of school where you have to be on Law Review to get a good job or anything like that.

linhvo
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby linhvo » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:18 pm

Regarding Open House, is it okay to bring your parents? I know they won't cover their cost of travel but are they allowed to come to the events?

linhvo
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Re: Any Duke Law students?

Postby linhvo » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:20 pm

wahoo831 wrote:
linhvo wrote:-What are the employment prospects like for 1L and 2Ls coming out of Duke (in comparison to the other T14s)? Do you guys get your first choices?

My sense is that we are very much in line with the other T14s. Obviously, this economy has affected employment this year, here and elsewhere. In a typical year, it is said that about 1/3 of our 1Ls get firm jobs. That won't be the case this summer. But everybody is feeling the pinch for 1L jobs, because a lot of firms have reduced or cut their 1L programs, and then more students are competing for the same number of non-firm jobs. So it's a tough year for 1Ls, but I'd say that's no more or less true here than the other T14s. As you probably know, 2L employment is much more important than 1L. And our 2Ls are doing fine. There are very few 2Ls (maybe 5?) without summer jobs, and a close 2L source told me that those people were basically too limited in their search at the beginning. As you might imagine, people didn't necessarily get as many offers as they might have in better years, but I haven't encountered any 2Ls who are disappointed with where they're going this summer. So maybe not as many people getting their 'first choice' this year, but I think we're very much in line with the other T14s. And before the recession, my sense is that students were overwhelmingly getting their first choice.

One random thought I'm going to throw out here - being a smaller school helps. Employers really like school diversity in their incoming class. So a firm might take one student each from Harvard, UVA, Michigan, Duke, and Georgetown. (Random example.) They usually don't explicitly compensate for class size when planning their incoming class. So a firm isn't going to say 'Georgetown is three times as big as Duke, we should aim for six Georgetown students and only two Duke.' (Of course a firm might end up with more Georgetown than Duke, I'm just saying they usually aim for it to be more even.) And I know a lot of employers do follow the 'one per school' mentality, especially with 1L employment. So if you only have about 200 classmates, this really works to your advantage. Not to puppet career services, but if you ask 2L OCI employers how many Duke students they would like to hire and add it all up, it's about 500 spots. Not bad for ~200 students. Furthermore, because Duke students tend to spread out a lot (we're not all gunning for NY or DC), the competition thins even more.

linhvo wrote:-Do the employers/firms get to see your gpa/rank? Do they pick the students or do the students pick the firms? Is it lottery?

First of all, Duke does not rank students. So we don't even know our rank. The best you can do is get a loose sense of where you stand based on the suggested grade distribution and mandatory median.

As for employers, it's different for 1Ls and 2Ls. There is a small 1L OCI in the spring, but this is not how most of us get our jobs. Obviously, if you start sending out resumes in December, you have no GPA. Some employers will wait until grades come out, but some won't. I had two firm interviews in January before grades even came out. I know some people had offers before grades were out. But like I said, some employers will not take any action until they've seen your grades.

For OCI (both 1L and 2L), interviews are done on a lottery system. Students bid on employers in rank order, and interviews are determined accordingly. Employers get no say in which students they interview. Of course once they interview you, they will have your GPA from your resume, and they may use GPA in deciding call-backs, but you will always get a chance to impress them regardless of GPA.

linhvo wrote:-Is Law Review a big deal at Duke or do students usually not care?

I'll preface this by pointing out that as a 1L I haven't yet gone through the casenote competition for journals (which is after finals in May). My sense is that law review is a "big deal" at Duke in the same sense that it is at all top law schools - good experience that looks really good to employers. Obviously, if you want a good clerkship after graduation, journal experience is basically a prerequisite, but that's really the case anywhere. We are somewhat unique in that we have both Duke Law Journal (DLJ) and a secondary flagship journal, Law and Contemporary Problems, which is considered almost as impressive as DLJ. To me, that reduces the stress somewhat, because it's not DLJ or bust. I also know upperclassmen who are on other journals (i.e. not DLJ or LCP) and are quite happy with their experiences. It's definitely not the type of school where you have to be on Law Review to get a good job or anything like that.


Thanks Wahoo! Much appreciated :mrgreen:




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