I'm really warming to Duke, but coming for the west coast I have a lot of friends and family who really see it as kind of a 'white-elite' type of place where especially a non-urm minority like myself would really stick out. Basically I think their vision of Duke is rooted in the lacrosse scandal. I'm open minded enough to realize that this view is probably seriously misguided and biased but I wanted to ask the viewpoint of people who go there. I guess I dont have a specific question, but curious what you think of Duke's general rep.
All you have to do is look at the stats the ABA compiles and you can see that Berkeley, for example, has a much higher percentage of Asian students than Duke (just as an example, but for other URMs the numbers are similar). It's not all that difficult to explain this phenomenon just by virtue of where Berkeley and Duke are located. As to how much that matters, that probably varies by individual and I can't really comment on what it's like to be Indian or Chinese at Duke. With that said, it's not like Duke's ethnicity breakdown looks like the state of Vermont.
As to the "white privilege" issue, in all honesty you are going to find a great deal of privilege at any elite law school public or private. That's because, just by virtue of being here, we are all privileged. You aren't going to find a lot of people of average intelligence, with average work ethics, from disadvantaged backgrounds at top law schools. Whether by intelligence, work ethic, or background (or all of the above) everyone here is privileged, and I think the same would be true of most anywhere else.
But just because--for whatever reason--everyone here is lucky doesn't mean everyone is a snob. Personally, I haven't met many (if any?) snobs.
OTOH, we don't have enough toilets in the library. That annoys me.