I am waiting for a plane to go back to Duke right now, so I will try and answer this quick.
annabell wrote:I drove through the area on the way to the beach over winter break and stopped by Duke Law. Unfortunately, all the buildings were locked, but I still got a feel for the area. After visiting, I have a few questions...sorry if there are too many - most are basically yes/no/number questions. I really, really appreciate this thread!!!
--It seems like you absolutely need to have a car because there wasn't much within easy walking distance of the law school other than other graduate schools - is this true? Also, given this, is parking a real problem? If students drive to school, are they less likely to leave during the day (i.e. lunch not at the law school, work out, go home to nap/study)?
Yes, you should have a car. Presidentv8 does not, but he is a crazy person. I suppose if you lived in the Lofts, that would be a walkable distance, but those are pretty expesive (but nice). Most people have cars or at the least a bike of some variety. Baring that, find a roommate to mooch rides from or live in an apartment complex that has other law students in it so you can carpool.
1L year you park in the green zone. The green zone is a short walk down science drive from the law school, and we share the lot with Fuqua and the Public policy students I think. There is also a smaller green zone lot down towerview and green zone spots along towerview, but those are almost always full. The only time I have had a problem with actually finding a spot is between 9 and 11 or so in the morning, and in that case you can usually park across the street in the WaDuke parking lot without getting ticketed. Just don't make a habit of it or they might figure you out. And you shouldn't need to go anywhere to work out, as...
annabell wrote:--Is there a gym nearby that's free to grad students? If so, is it nice and is there parking nearby (or is it walking distance to the law school)?
...we have access to the gym and it is maybe a 4 minute walk from the law school. It is actually situated between the green zone and the law school. I played basketball (and sucked at it) after finals to relieve stress. It has all the normal equipment you would expect in a gym. It is nice, and it is usually not very crowded. Oh, and it has a climbing wall which I intend to actually start using over this semester. It has been a while since I climbed, so I am a little afraid I am going to thoroughly embarrass myself for about a month. But if I want to go climbing with my cousin back west, I need to get back in shape.
annabell wrote:--Is there any camraderie between law students and Business School/Public Policy School students (as well as other grad students) or do law students more stick to themselves?
You don't want to be friends with those guys, they are jerks.
Seriously though, I at least don't talk to them much. There are really not all that many opportunities for us to interact with them, as we are all pretty busy in our own schools. The few I know are nice, but I know very few. The Fuqua cafeteria is a much better deal than the Refractory in the Law school, so we tend to invade their building during lunch if there are no free options on any particular day. The common space in the Public Policy building is another good option for eating/studying when you need a change of scenery.
annabell wrote:--Is there a social division between summer starters and non-summer starters?
Unfortunately yes... kinda. I know quite a few and talk to them often, but I am of course on the whole closer to my section-that is only natural. I know other people who don't know any of the sumer starters. Most of the summer starters from my class are very friendly, but it again comes down to making the time to seek them out and make friends.
The division is really the same as the division between all of the sections. It is not so much that any particular section is unfriendly or exclusive, but rather that we are all so busy that it is easier to get to know the people we have to see every day. I know lots of people in my section, and the two other sections I had class with last semester (one of which was the summer starters), but I probably know 5-10 people in the other three sections right now. I have been told the section divisions lessen in future years when we no longer taking all of our classes with the same group of people. Some of the summer starters will undoubtedly have a harder time integrating into the school because they are getting a duel degree in another discipline. Time spent away from the law school is less time to bond with your classmates. But it is by no means insurmountable.
I have been told that in past years the summer starters have cloistered themselves away from the rest of the school more so than they have with our class. One of the administrators I talked to had an interesting theory as to why our class is different. In past years, the summer starters have had lower average lsat and gpa scores than the rest of the school. This year, the averages are roughly the same. So the summer starters this year don't feel like they need to prove anything to everyone else, and so are more willing to integrate into the rest of the class. I don't know if that is really the reason, but I thought I would pass it along.
annabell wrote:--How many nights a week do law students go out at the beginning/middle/end of the semester? Is it more apartment parties or bars or pregame/then bars? Do most people go out a lot or will ultrasocial people get lonely (and possibly fail out because everyone else is studying all the time all year long)?
I am going to let someone else answer this because the plane is taking off.
annabell wrote:--Last question, if this applies to you, when did most people get their scholarship information? It says any time after Jan 1...
I don't quite remember, but I feel like it was sometime in February or March. You might be waiting a while.
Good luck! I will try and fill this in more when I land.