long time reader, first time poster! i recently got the same offer and wanted to see what everyone else had to say about it. after much deliberation, taking the offer seems like a questionable idea.
it seems to me like if you have another viable option (id say T18 or so) that you would be satisfied with taking, then it might be better/smarter to just take it and go rather than wait a whole 'nother year. that way you can stay in law school for your three years, at the end of which hopefully the economy will have picked up and legal jobs will be more plentiful and ripe for the picking. taking a year off seems like it would be particularly hard in this economy especially if you need to get a job to support yourself for that year. if you dont plan on getting a job, we gotta keep in mind that one year outside of school and unemployed is QUITE a long time and that youd need many different things to occupy yourself. ive heard of people going nuts/being bored out of their mind when they take a year off. someone suggested traveling. a great idea...but often not plausible for those of us without the funds..
also, a year off means earning the big bucks at a big firm (if that's what youre into) one whole year later. i dunno about you guys, but making a (hopefully) nice income at 25 isn't too shabby. at 26...youre officially in your late 20s!! no matter how old you are, id think that having a good income and being a lawyer as early as possible is by no means a bad thing!
lastly, if you do happen to have something else on the table for this year, but apply to duke ED and get in, you have to really focus on the fact that you are going to have to withdraw your applications/acceptances not only for this year, but also ANY potential reapplications for next year. that means you would be forgoing a potential opportunity if you think you have a decent shot at possibly getting somewhere better than duke if you apply early in next year's cycle...OR youd be forgoing the options you have on the table right now, something you might end up regretting sometime during that LONG year off.
but i dunno, just my partial thought process. nonetheless, a very interesting offer from duke and hats off and good luck to everyone who received it!
as for me, im thinking cornell or vandy arent bad choices for this coming year..
post your decisions as you make them!