Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: curioustexan on February 24, 2008, 07:52:29 PM

Title: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 24, 2008, 07:52:29 PM
Here is my situation. I live in Texas and so does my family, and I love Texas and want to stay here long term.

In terms of law school, I have been accepted at Michigan, Duke, Virginia, and the University of Texas (and others which I am no longer considering). I get in-state tuition at Texas and I've been offered 7K per year in addition to this. I've figured it out financially, with my savings, I will graduate debt-free (or pretty close to it) if I choose Texas.

On the other hand, career placement looks to be slightly better if I go to one of the other three schools, (I think??? Some people have told me different, but as far as I can tell, the other three have a slight advantage, even in Texas) but if I go with one of the other options, I will probably have 70-90K debt upon graduation.

So there it is. Is it worth it to go somewhere other than Texas? What do you think I should do and why?
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 24, 2008, 08:41:36 PM
What are your career aspirations? That makes a huge difference.

Without knowing your goals, I'm inclined to say UT.

I honestly don't know for sure yet. I was thinking of working in a bigger firm in Texas for the first 5 years or so. After that who knows.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 24, 2008, 08:43:36 PM
Well, partner, let me giddy up and tell ya a little 'bout employment prospects out of UT.   :P

If you plan to stay in Texas, then it's probably the right choice, but you will have to perform well in order to land a high-paying "BigLaw" position.  "Well" means that you will have to beat at least 67% of your class, if not more people.

Does the scholarship come with conditions?  That should influence your decision.

Conversely, Michigan and Virginia will virtually guarantee you Texas BigLaw, but rest assured that you will pay at least 100k, if not 150-200, for that certainty.



What is your source for this conclusion (edit: I mean your conclusion about employment prospects). I have heard conflicting information on this, so if you could provide that I would appreciate it.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: botbot on February 24, 2008, 11:56:12 PM
Here is my situation. I live in Texas and so does my family, and I love Texas and want to stay here long term.

In terms of law school, I have been accepted at Michigan, Duke, Virginia, and the University of Texas (and others which I am no longer considering). I get in-state tuition at Texas and I've been offered 7K per year in addition to this. I've figured it out financially, with my savings, I will graduate debt-free (or pretty close to it) if I choose Texas.

On the other hand, career placement looks to be slightly better if I go to one of the other three schools, (I think??? Some people have told me different, but as far as I can tell, the other three have a slight advantage, even in Texas) but if I go with one of the other options, I will probably have 70-90K debt upon graduation.

So there it is. Is it worth it to go somewhere other than Texas? What do you think I should do and why?

If you want to make a lot of money, you would be a fool to pass up UVa.

If you want to save the world, you would be a fool to pass up UT.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Moe Zhust on February 25, 2008, 09:44:49 AM
No-brainer, because (and only because) you are committed to the state of Texas, go to Texas.

Location, location, location.

Can I have your spot at Michigan?  I will pay you a finder's fee.  --MZ
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Travieso on February 25, 2008, 10:01:01 AM
botbot...what do you mean save the world? I've got a similar situation and want to go into public interest or international public interest law, but I fear that UT doesn't have many strengths in that area...am I wrong?
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 25, 2008, 04:54:49 PM
No-brainer, because (and only because) you are committed to the state of Texas, go to Texas.

Location, location, location.

Can I have your spot at Michigan?  I will pay you a finder's fee.  --MZ

I am actually leaning towards Texas right now, but I think I'm going to visit the other three.

(Directed towards everyone) Which of the other three schools is best for my situation as described in the original post? I'm just curious to see what people think.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: botbot on February 25, 2008, 07:00:50 PM
UVa outplaces UT in Texas.  Handily.

botbot...what do you mean save the world? I've got a similar situation and want to go into public interest or international public interest law, but I fear that UT doesn't have many strengths in that area...am I wrong?

UT places pretty well in top public interest work and would be very cheap.

The LRAPs at the schools may actually make them a better choice over a cheap UT, but I'm not familiar with them.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: bruinbro on February 25, 2008, 08:01:25 PM
I would choose UVA
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on February 25, 2008, 10:08:11 PM
But alot of the time, people go into biglaw for the sole reason of wanting to pay off debt. My feeling is that if you go to one of those T-14's, you are going to have to do biglaw just to pay off debt. Whereas, you go to UT, come out with zero doubt, and have a lot of flexibility for jobs because you don't have to pay off debt. And hey, you could even get biglaw with that zero debt, which would put you in an amazing financial situation.

Exactly my thinking.  Too often I see people post on here that are so worried about getting the biglaw job to pay off student loans that they're willing to go to the highest ranked school they can, regardless of cost, and wrack up said student loans.  It's a bit confusing.  That's not to say that it's always appropriate to choose a lower ranked school with little to no debt over a higher ranked one, but for those who just want biglaw to pay off law school debt, why not avoid incurring it in the first place while still giving yourself plenty of opportunity at the market paying job?
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Upset T14 Student on February 26, 2008, 04:51:43 AM
Texas or Mich >-UVA and throw Duke away unless they give you a full ride. For the best BIgLaw Texas placements I'd say Michigan (unless you are top 10ish% at UT) UVA is close and will also do very well and Duke has nothing over UT.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: StudentUVA on February 26, 2008, 06:01:26 AM
Some of the advice here is a little off. Going to UT because you want to live there is probably a dumb idea. UT has been sliding down in its reputation and i dont think it's going to bounce back. All of your class mates will be competing with you for biglaw jobs. Your opportunities out of Mich/UVA are ten times better than out of UT, especially since you have connections to Texas. It's very easy to get a job from UVA in Texas for example if you have connections. We had 1ls here who didn't get their grades back, and got like 4 offers in Houston. So out of all the schools, i'd say go to UVA because Texas seems to like us a lot. And dont worry about the debt. Texas biglaw pays 160K a year now, so your loans will be paid off pretty quickly at that rate due to the low COL.
From UVA you'll have to convince firms that you want to work for them. From UT you'll have to convince them that they want to hire you, and there will be 500 others like you trying to do the same... do the math.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: ari20dal7 on February 26, 2008, 06:26:28 AM
I don't think UT's reputation is sliding, and it certainly isn't sliding in TX.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on February 26, 2008, 07:09:42 AM
To the OP, if you're from Texas, have family there, want to live there after school, and can graduate from UT with little to no debt, there's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing UT.  Most people on here are fixated with getting a biglaw job, mostly to be able to pay off their massive student loan debts, and will thus advocate the highest ranked school.  But if you can avoid that expense, you'd be in a very enviable position amongst law students while still graduating with a prestigious degree. 

But if debt is of no concern to you and you simply want the most prestigious degree and job you can get, Michigan or UVA would be the way to go.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 26, 2008, 04:59:02 PM
Some of the advice here is a little off. Going to UT because you want to live there is probably a dumb idea. UT has been sliding down in its reputation and i dont think it's going to bounce back. All of your class mates will be competing with you for biglaw jobs. Your opportunities out of Mich/UVA are ten times better than out of UT, especially since you have connections to Texas. It's very easy to get a job from UVA in Texas for example if you have connections. We had 1ls here who didn't get their grades back, and got like 4 offers in Houston. So out of all the schools, i'd say go to UVA because Texas seems to like us a lot. And dont worry about the debt. Texas biglaw pays 160K a year now, so your loans will be paid off pretty quickly at that rate due to the low COL.
From UVA you'll have to convince firms that you want to work for them. From UT you'll have to convince them that they want to hire you, and there will be 500 others like you trying to do the same... do the math.

I appreciate this opinion being that you actually go to Virginia. So if you don't mind me asking what percentage of the class can get a biglaw job in the south coming from Virginia...(or at least what has the school told you).
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 26, 2008, 05:11:08 PM
Texas isn't prestigious.  At all.  It's a BigLaw factory for Texas residents.

Pick UVa before you regret the decision; it has more clout in the South than Michigan.

You are obviously not from Texas. How people think of UT around the rest of the country I do not know, but in Texas everyone thinks it is king...ie. UT law is very pretigious here. Also, when you consider that the vast majority of partners and senior partners in the major firms are all UT grads, noone is looking down their nose at you when they see you went to UT (from what I hear).

Having said that, there is validity to the fact that their will be many UT grads all competing for the same Biglaw jobs, and therefore it makes sense to me that the other schools probably have an edge. I'm just trying to figure out how big that edge is, and if it is worth 70-90K. From these posts, as well as from many whom I have talked to, it seems like this topic is far more subjective than I originally had hoped.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: donwario on February 26, 2008, 06:51:53 PM
UVA would be hard to turn down
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 26, 2008, 09:46:31 PM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: whartonn on February 26, 2008, 10:58:49 PM
Texas w/$$$
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 27, 2008, 04:34:22 AM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.


Dude, thank you sooo much for this link!!! You have made my day. (Finally, something more than endless opinion, although I appreciate the opinions too.)
I was also wondering why many seem to be dismissive of Duke??? Anyways, thanks again. I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Upset T14 Student on February 27, 2008, 05:21:34 AM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

OOOO how statistics can fool....look at the availability of prestegious clerkships, academia, etc. that both Michigan and UVA have over Duke...many more opportunities outside of BigLaw...if Mich and Duke alum wanted those jobs....they'd have first choice
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 27, 2008, 06:56:08 AM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

OOOO how statistics can fool....look at the availability of prestegious clerkships, academia, etc. that both Michigan and UVA have over Duke...many more opportunities outside of BigLaw...if Mich and Duke alum wanted those jobs....they'd have first choice

Based on the rest of your post, it seems like you meant, 'if Mich and UVA alums wanted those jobs... they'd have first choice."

And this is probably right.  The rep scores of Michigan and UVA are both not insignificantly better than that of Duke.  This seems to be one of the best gauges of opportunities a school affords.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on February 27, 2008, 07:09:13 AM
Texas isn't prestigious.  At all.  It's a BigLaw factory for Texas residents.

credibility dropping.....
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 27, 2008, 07:54:33 AM
Texas isn't prestigious.  At all.  It's a BigLaw factory for Texas residents.

credibility dropping.....

Not that you're wrong, but this should be read as, "BUT I'M GOING TO TEXAS!!!"
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on February 27, 2008, 07:58:48 AM
I have no shame about being a UT troll.  But I'm not a blind cheerleader for them either.  To here someone say that UT isn't prestigious AT ALL makes my smiley face do this  ::)
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 27, 2008, 08:01:26 AM
I have no shame about being a UT troll.  But I'm not a blind cheerleader for them either.  To here someone say that UT isn't prestigious AT ALL makes my smiley face do this  ::)

Fair.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on February 27, 2008, 08:13:29 AM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

Come on, these statistics don't mean Duke places better. As someone before noted, UVA and UM students have more options outside of biglaw and also have better rep scores. Those schools' students also go into public interest a lot more than Duke students. From what I heard from Duke students (and I don't have a problem with this), Duke seems very corporate focused. Also, I can't seem to fine it, but there is a site that shows placement in the NLJ 250 Firms. Vault is heavily biased towards NYC-based firms.

Sadly there's many people here that think the V100 is a comprehensive list of all the biglaw firms in the country.  Many schools place graduates in biglaw firms that aren't in the V100 because of their region but pay market nonetheless.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 27, 2008, 09:39:01 PM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

OOOO how statistics can fool....look at the availability of prestegious clerkships, academia, etc. that both Michigan and UVA have over Duke...many more opportunities outside of BigLaw...if Mich and Duke alum wanted those jobs....they'd have first choice

Quick glance at the schools' websites, Duke places a slightly larger percentage of its class in clerkships than the other two schools (something like 17%/16%/15%).

As for reputation scores, yes, the other schools score higher. But reputation scores are compiled from questions sent to law school deans (faculty too, I think) around the country. It's just their opinion - and "their" does includes more than just faculty at top schools. Duke is tied in the rankings with UVA and just behind Michigan, so it must be ahead in most other areas.

Full disclosure: I'm a 1L at Duke, which I chose over Michigan. Did not apply to UVA.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: uvawannabe on February 27, 2008, 10:06:54 PM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

Yeah, you go ahead and choose Duke over UVA based on some stats you pulled off some dude's blog. Go ask 10 biglaw partners which school is more respected in the legal community and which school enjoys better placement in the most sought after legal jobs in the country. I guarantee you that Duke will not be your answer. 
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on February 27, 2008, 10:48:14 PM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

Yeah, you go ahead and choose Duke over UVA based on some stats you pulled off some dude's blog. Go ask 10 biglaw partners which school is more respected in the legal community and which school enjoys better placement in the most sought after legal jobs in the country. I guarantee you that Duke will not be your answer. 

Hmmm, you sound pretty confident. Have you actually talked to biglaw partners or are you just talking?

Honestly, I've looked over most of the #'s that I have come across on various sites and all three schools seem to me to be fairly equal. There are slight variations, but unless someone can present some solid proof, I can't buy into the idea that any one of these schools is significantly ahead of any other one. My advisor, which probably doesn't know any more than any of us, actually told me that Duke would place the best in Texas of the three because according to him they traditionally send more students than the other two to our state...but again, according to usnews, they seem to be equal this year???

Well, I guess what I'm going to have to do is visit all three (as well as TX), and "sense" which one feels right...haha ;) I heard Duke has very cool looking buildings, but that UVa's is nicer overall? We'll see I guess.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Upset T14 Student on February 28, 2008, 01:53:13 AM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 28, 2008, 06:59:55 AM
Contrary to the posts on this thread, Duke places better than UVA or Michigan in big law. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/

Higher percentage of grads at each breakdown, and overall Duke placed 55.8% at Vault 100 firms, whereas Virginia and Michigan placed 41.4 and 41.3%, respectively.

For Texas, Virginia placed 2.7%, Duke 2.0%, and Michigan 1.9%. Texas, of course, was much higher with 16.5%. But then Texas only placed 28.7% overall in Vault 100.

Texas is a great school, if you want to stay in the state, go to UT. If you know you want to do big law, likely outside of TX, go to Duke.

Yeah, you go ahead and choose Duke over UVA based on some stats you pulled off some dude's blog. Go ask 10 biglaw partners which school is more respected in the legal community and which school enjoys better placement in the most sought after legal jobs in the country. I guarantee you that Duke will not be your answer. 

Hmmm, you sound pretty confident. Have you actually talked to biglaw partners or are you just talking?

Honestly, I've looked over most of the #'s that I have come across on various sites and all three schools seem to me to be fairly equal. There are slight variations, but unless someone can present some solid proof, I can't buy into the idea that any one of these schools is significantly ahead of any other one. My advisor, which probably doesn't know any more than any of us, actually told me that Duke would place the best in Texas of the three because according to him they traditionally send more students than the other two to our state...but again, according to usnews, they seem to be equal this year???

Well, I guess what I'm going to have to do is visit all three (as well as TX), and "sense" which one feels right...haha ;) I heard Duke has very cool looking buildings, but that UVa's is nicer overall? We'll see I guess.

I have actually talked to several biglaw partners (i work at a biglaw firm) and know that UVA>Duke.  And i'm in one of duke's major markets.

For what it's worth, uva is a consistent top 10 school.  Duke is a consistent Cornell/NU/Gtown-level school.  It's a great education and it places well, but it's not UVA (nor is it Michigan).

Finally, there are 2 sets of rep scores - academic and practitioner.  UVA scores significantly better than duke in both.  HTH.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 28, 2008, 11:01:26 AM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 28, 2008, 11:09:31 AM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: just some guy on February 28, 2008, 11:14:40 AM
If you do not have a copy of the Texas Lawyer Almanac for 2007, any participation in this thread is pure bull. Call Texas Lawyer and get a copy. It lists all BIGTEX associate hiring by LS, as well as all new partners by LS.
HTH.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 28, 2008, 02:32:57 PM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.

You sure are an angry little guy. You know so much about law school how? Are you even in law school?

I'm just trying to help the kid out with numbers. You're screeching that I'm wrong based on conversations with "partners" at the "biglaw" firm you work for. Neato.

Here are some more numbers. Leiter's Scholarly Impact 2007, rankings by faculty citations: Duke 8; Michigan 9; UVA 17. (http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact.shtml)
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: uvawannabe on February 28, 2008, 03:33:39 PM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.

You sure are an angry little guy. You know so much about law school how? Are you even in law school?

I'm just trying to help the kid out with numbers. You're screeching that I'm wrong based on conversations with "partners" at the "biglaw" firm you work for. Neato.

Here are some more numbers. Leiter's Scholarly Impact 2007, rankings by faculty citations: Duke 8; Michigan 9; UVA 17. (http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact.shtml)

Why don't you post:

1. The USNWR rankings
2. The other Leiter rankings, like SCOTUS clerks, student quality, national placement
3. The numerous shortcomings to the Leiter faculty impact rankings, which Leiter himself fully acknowledges -- eg, having a lot of old professors that don't teach anymore will raise your ranking but does not affect educational quality.

Why don't you also look at UVA's vs. Duke's yield -- which can be calculated via their admissions stats on their websites. Are you saying all those people are wrong by choosing UVA over Duke?

Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 28, 2008, 03:49:20 PM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.

You sure are an angry little guy. You know so much about law school how? Are you even in law school?

I'm just trying to help the kid out with numbers. You're screeching that I'm wrong based on conversations with "partners" at the "biglaw" firm you work for. Neato.

Here are some more numbers. Leiter's Scholarly Impact 2007, rankings by faculty citations: Duke 8; Michigan 9; UVA 17. (http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact.shtml)

Why don't you post:

1. The USNWR rankings
2. The other Leiter rankings, like SCOTUS clerks, student quality, national placement
3. The numerous shortcomings to the Leiter faculty impact rankings, which Leiter himself fully acknowledges -- eg, having a lot of old professors that don't teach anymore will raise your ranking but does not affect educational quality.

Why don't you also look at UVA's vs. Duke's yield -- which can be calculated via their admissions stats on their websites. Are you saying all those people are wrong by choosing UVA over Duke?


This argument is dumb. Nobody is saying that UVA is a bad school. I was just giving advise to the OP. But I'll humor you.

1. UVA and Duke are tied at 10. Michigan is immediately above them, at 8.
2. SCOTUS clerks (#/avg class size): Michigan - 21/350; UVA - 19/350; Duke - 7/200. They all send a fraction of 1% of their students to the Supreme Court.
3. I already posted more recent data on law firms. As for student placement, feel free to post it, but if all things are equal, I don't think +1 or 2 on the school's avg. LSAT score will make much difference in your life.
4. UVA is a public school. Lots of Virginians apply, lots of Virginians get in, lots of Virginians go.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Upset T14 Student on February 29, 2008, 06:35:32 AM
So we've concluded Michigan is the best choice and DUke is being thrown out
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: nike6075 on February 29, 2008, 08:31:52 AM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.

You sure are an angry little guy. You know so much about law school how? Are you even in law school?

I'm just trying to help the kid out with numbers. You're screeching that I'm wrong based on conversations with "partners" at the "biglaw" firm you work for. Neato.

Here are some more numbers. Leiter's Scholarly Impact 2007, rankings by faculty citations: Duke 8; Michigan 9; UVA 17. (http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact.shtml)

Why don't you post:

1. The USNWR rankings
2. The other Leiter rankings, like SCOTUS clerks, student quality, national placement
3. The numerous shortcomings to the Leiter faculty impact rankings, which Leiter himself fully acknowledges -- eg, having a lot of old professors that don't teach anymore will raise your ranking but does not affect educational quality.

Why don't you also look at UVA's vs. Duke's yield -- which can be calculated via their admissions stats on their websites. Are you saying all those people are wrong by choosing UVA over Duke?


This argument is dumb. Nobody is saying that UVA is a bad school. I was just giving advise to the OP. But I'll humor you.

1. UVA and Duke are tied at 10. Michigan is immediately above them, at 8.
2. SCOTUS clerks (#/avg class size): Michigan - 21/350; UVA - 19/350; Duke - 7/200. They all send a fraction of 1% of their students to the Supreme Court.
3. I already posted more recent data on law firms. As for student placement, feel free to post it, but if all things are equal, I don't think +1 or 2 on the school's avg. LSAT score will make much difference in your life.
4. UVA is a public school. Lots of Virginians apply, lots of Virginians get in, lots of Virginians go.

So how is it at duke?
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: doibhilin on February 29, 2008, 11:43:14 PM
You are also limiting yourself to one years worth of numbers...Duke has been OK recently....surely not Mich or UVA but it is a very good school. You must also consider where the schools will be when you graduate? In 10 years? Michigan surely will not leave the top 10 but will Duke still remain in the T14? Who Knows...Michigan has been as high as #3 (1987) in the US News rankings...has Duke? I think not...Duke may have doen well as a corporate law factory playing the US News Rankings game last year but will it have the long-time reputation of Michigan.....hmmmmm? If you can go to TX, Mich or UVA save some money and throw Duke out of the mix.

Michigan has been falling in the rankings while Duke has been rising - so we should favor Michigan for its historic rankings? That's sound logic. I don't think Duke has ever been outside of the top 14, and Michigan was only third in the first year the rankings were published. Duke also has a new, highly respected dean this year, and the school itself is undergoing major renovations. If anything it will go up.

To the OP, I would disregard a lot of what has been said knocking Duke in this thread. Michigan obviously has a great reputation, but I think the differences between the schools are minor. And Duke, being in the south, might place better than Michigan in TX. No matter how many big law partners nike6075 thinks he's spoken with, numbers don't lie. To be honest, I didn't know that UVA was good at anything until I started applying to law schools last year and was shocked to find it in the T14 (I'm from the northeast). Of course, I now know that it's a great school - my point is that its name recognition isn't huge in some parts of the country.

Good thing it's the partners (and not you) doing the hiring.  The views of people who don't know anything about law schools is completely and totally irrelevant.

You sure are an angry little guy. You know so much about law school how? Are you even in law school?

I'm just trying to help the kid out with numbers. You're screeching that I'm wrong based on conversations with "partners" at the "biglaw" firm you work for. Neato.

Here are some more numbers. Leiter's Scholarly Impact 2007, rankings by faculty citations: Duke 8; Michigan 9; UVA 17. (http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact.shtml)

Why don't you post:

1. The USNWR rankings
2. The other Leiter rankings, like SCOTUS clerks, student quality, national placement
3. The numerous shortcomings to the Leiter faculty impact rankings, which Leiter himself fully acknowledges -- eg, having a lot of old professors that don't teach anymore will raise your ranking but does not affect educational quality.

Why don't you also look at UVA's vs. Duke's yield -- which can be calculated via their admissions stats on their websites. Are you saying all those people are wrong by choosing UVA over Duke?


This argument is dumb. Nobody is saying that UVA is a bad school. I was just giving advise to the OP. But I'll humor you.

1. UVA and Duke are tied at 10. Michigan is immediately above them, at 8.
2. SCOTUS clerks (#/avg class size): Michigan - 21/350; UVA - 19/350; Duke - 7/200. They all send a fraction of 1% of their students to the Supreme Court.
3. I already posted more recent data on law firms. As for student placement, feel free to post it, but if all things are equal, I don't think +1 or 2 on the school's avg. LSAT score will make much difference in your life.
4. UVA is a public school. Lots of Virginians apply, lots of Virginians get in, lots of Virginians go.

So how is it at duke?

Duke is fantastic, thanks for asking.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 01, 2008, 07:31:27 PM
Actually, if I end up going to one of the other three it will probably be Duke as long as I like it when I visit. All of my friends and family look at me cross-eyed when I suggest Michigan or Virginia over Texas and are shocked when I tell them they are pretigious law schools, but everyone seems to know that Duke is a more prestigious school than UT...I know that is a pretty dumb reason to lean toward one school over others, but when all the other tangibles seem to me to be so close then little things (like all the opinions of those who are in my relational circles) begin to matter more. We'll see when I visit. If I really like Michigan or Virginia then my mindset could change in an instant, but right now I'll give the edge to Duke. Again, I'd have to really like Duke to choose it over Texas though.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 01, 2008, 07:36:02 PM
If you do not have a copy of the Texas Lawyer Almanac for 2007, any participation in this thread is pure bull. Call Texas Lawyer and get a copy. It lists all BIGTEX associate hiring by LS, as well as all new partners by LS.
HTH.

This is one of the best ideas on this thread. I'm definitely going to do this...I'm actually a looong way from home right now, though, and I won't be back in the US for a few weeks. Can you give us a hint about what the Almanac indicates.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: dashrashi on March 01, 2008, 08:24:18 PM
Actually, if I end up going to one of the other three it will probably be Duke as long as I like it when I visit. All of my friends and family look at me cross-eyed when I suggest Michigan or Virginia over Texas and are shocked when I tell them they are pretigious law schools, but everyone seems to know that Duke is a more prestigious school than UT...I know that is a pretty dumb reason to lean toward one school over others, but when all the other tangibles seem to me to be so close then little things (like all the opinions of those who are in my relational circles) begin to matter more. We'll see when I visit. If I really like Michigan or Virginia then my mindset could change in an instant, but right now I'll give the edge to Duke. Again, I'd have to really like Duke to choose it over Texas though.

oooooh nooooooooo, don't get fooled by lay prestige. Going by lay prestige, Princeton Law is one of the top three law schools in the country. Georgetown is right behind it.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: countbizaller on March 01, 2008, 11:35:42 PM
Lol.  That is very true.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Czar on March 02, 2008, 05:12:23 PM
Don't be fooled by the trolls. Duke has numerous advantages over Michigan, they just aren't as quantifiable. The climate and culture at the two places couldn't be more different, so you are definitely right when you say the visit should be your deciding factor.

In your case, I think your best fit is UT or UVa off the bat unless Duke offers you money.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: dashrashi on March 02, 2008, 07:21:51 PM
Not saying he shouldn't go to Duke, just saying that he shouldn't go to Duke because the name is more impressive to his family/friends. I have no opinion on the substantive issue, just on the reasons behind the issue.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: just some guy on March 03, 2008, 07:12:14 AM
If you do not have a copy of the Texas Lawyer Almanac for 2007, any participation in this thread is pure bull. Call Texas Lawyer and get a copy. It lists all BIGTEX associate hiring by LS, as well as all new partners by LS.
HTH.

This is one of the best ideas on this thread. I'm definitely going to do this...I'm actually a looong way from home right now, though, and I won't be back in the US for a few weeks. Can you give us a hint about what the Almanac indicates.

I don't have it on my desk today, so I'm doing this from memory, but it collates information from the 25 largest law firms in TX. It ranges from Akin Gump and Fulbright downward. It also includes the Texas offices of out state firms such as Jones Day and Weil Gotshal. I can post an update on this later.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 03, 2008, 07:30:01 PM
Actually, if I end up going to one of the other three it will probably be Duke as long as I like it when I visit. All of my friends and family look at me cross-eyed when I suggest Michigan or Virginia over Texas and are shocked when I tell them they are pretigious law schools, but everyone seems to know that Duke is a more prestigious school than UT...I know that is a pretty dumb reason to lean toward one school over others, but when all the other tangibles seem to me to be so close then little things (like all the opinions of those who are in my relational circles) begin to matter more. We'll see when I visit. If I really like Michigan or Virginia then my mindset could change in an instant, but right now I'll give the edge to Duke. Again, I'd have to really like Duke to choose it over Texas though.

oooooh nooooooooo, don't get fooled by lay prestige. Going by lay prestige, Princeton Law is one of the top three law schools in the country. Georgetown is right behind it.

I think you've missed the fact that I've already considered most of the other real world factors and have concluded that all three are pretty much the same in my mind. Lay prestige to me is just like icing on the cake...now if all three cakes or otherwise the same, why not take the one with the icing? Your example of Princeton Law doesn't make sense within this context. I understand your overarching principle though, and I agree with you.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 03, 2008, 07:32:36 PM
If you do not have a copy of the Texas Lawyer Almanac for 2007, any participation in this thread is pure bull. Call Texas Lawyer and get a copy. It lists all BIGTEX associate hiring by LS, as well as all new partners by LS.
HTH.

This is one of the best ideas on this thread. I'm definitely going to do this...I'm actually a looong way from home right now, though, and I won't be back in the US for a few weeks. Can you give us a hint about what the Almanac indicates.

I don't have it on my desk today, so I'm doing this from memory, but it collates information from the 25 largest law firms in TX. It ranges from Akin Gump and Fulbright downward. It also includes the Texas offices of out state firms such as Jones Day and Weil Gotshal. I can post an update on this later.

Ya, if you could I would really appreciate it. My guess is that most of them are from UT (am I right?).
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: pikey on March 03, 2008, 08:37:13 PM
Don't leave Michigan out of the equation!  I know several 1Ls who got Biglaw jobs in Texas long before grades came out, in fact the Texans were amongst the first to get offers.  I don't think that you should choose any of MVD over Texas, given your situation, but if you're set on T-14 you should definitely consider Michigan!
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: dashrashi on March 03, 2008, 09:04:01 PM
Actually, if I end up going to one of the other three it will probably be Duke as long as I like it when I visit. All of my friends and family look at me cross-eyed when I suggest Michigan or Virginia over Texas and are shocked when I tell them they are pretigious law schools, but everyone seems to know that Duke is a more prestigious school than UT...I know that is a pretty dumb reason to lean toward one school over others, but when all the other tangibles seem to me to be so close then little things (like all the opinions of those who are in my relational circles) begin to matter more. We'll see when I visit. If I really like Michigan or Virginia then my mindset could change in an instant, but right now I'll give the edge to Duke. Again, I'd have to really like Duke to choose it over Texas though.

oooooh nooooooooo, don't get fooled by lay prestige. Going by lay prestige, Princeton Law is one of the top three law schools in the country. Georgetown is right behind it.

I think you've missed the fact that I've already considered most of the other real world factors and have concluded that all three are pretty much the same in my mind. Lay prestige to me is just like icing on the cake...now if all three cakes or otherwise the same, why not take the one with the icing? Your example of Princeton Law doesn't make sense within this context. I understand your overarching principle though, and I agree with you.

I don't even think it is icing. It's, at most, the appearance of icing.

And my own personal opinions re prestige are that it's actively gross if it's not helping you get a real-world benefit such as a job or a clerkship. Lay prestige falls into that category of "prestige for prestige's sake," which I personally feel icky about.

re Princeton law: if your family were to be really impressed by the idea of Princeton Law, that opinion would be valueless. Since they're really impressed by Duke in a cognitively similar way, I can only assume that their opinion is still valueless.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 05, 2008, 02:29:58 PM
Don't leave Michigan out of the equation!  I know several 1Ls who got Biglaw jobs in Texas long before grades came out, in fact the Texans were amongst the first to get offers.  I don't think that you should choose any of MVD over Texas, given your situation, but if you're set on T-14 you should definitely consider Michigan!

Now you go to Michigan, right?...so you do not think there is 90K worth in the difference between the two? I would really appreciate your logic if you don't mind.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on March 05, 2008, 02:46:25 PM
Actually, if I end up going to one of the other three it will probably be Duke as long as I like it when I visit. All of my friends and family look at me cross-eyed when I suggest Michigan or Virginia over Texas and are shocked when I tell them they are pretigious law schools, but everyone seems to know that Duke is a more prestigious school than UT...I know that is a pretty dumb reason to lean toward one school over others, but when all the other tangibles seem to me to be so close then little things (like all the opinions of those who are in my relational circles) begin to matter more. We'll see when I visit. If I really like Michigan or Virginia then my mindset could change in an instant, but right now I'll give the edge to Duke. Again, I'd have to really like Duke to choose it over Texas though.

oooooh nooooooooo, don't get fooled by lay prestige. Going by lay prestige, Princeton Law is one of the top three law schools in the country. Georgetown is right behind it.

I think you've missed the fact that I've already considered most of the other real world factors and have concluded that all three are pretty much the same in my mind. Lay prestige to me is just like icing on the cake...now if all three cakes or otherwise the same, why not take the one with the icing? Your example of Princeton Law doesn't make sense within this context. I understand your overarching principle though, and I agree with you.

I don't even think it is icing. It's, at most, the appearance of icing.

And my own personal opinions re prestige are that it's actively gross if it's not helping you get a real-world benefit such as a job or a clerkship. Lay prestige falls into that category of "prestige for prestige's sake," which I personally feel icky about.

re Princeton law: if your family were to be really impressed by the idea of Princeton Law, that opinion would be valueless. Since they're really impressed by Duke in a cognitively similar way, I can only assume that their opinion is still valueless.


Well that is where you and I differ. My family's opinion of me is not valueless, but is very important to me. I am not saying that I would allow it to control me, but with the goal in mind of being socially and relationaly healthy I try to keep it as a factor in my decisions, and depending on the circumstances I try to give it appropriate weight/influence. In this decision (ie. choosing a law school) it is like icing on the cake to me, IF all other factors are equal. I will be connected with my family members for the rest of my life, so rationalizing my cognitive thought in such a way as to as to conclude that their opinions are valueless would personally make me feel...
..."icky".
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: dashrashi on March 05, 2008, 04:23:10 PM
I appreciate that their opinion is important to you, but their opinion A) is not about you, but rather about the relative quality of law schools; and B) appears not to based on anything substantive, and so likely could be changed with just a little bit of education by you about the law school world.

When I was starting out in this process, my mom thought that, as between the three of them, I should go to GULC because it was so, so, so much better than NYU OR Penn, ohmagawd. I explained to her how it was, and then, by golly, her opinion changed. It would have been folly for me to put any stock in her original opinion, since it wasn't well-founded.

And again, I find prestige-for-prestige's-sake valuations to be gross and silly, and so I wouldn't put any stock in them, no matter who thinks of a school as prestigious--my a-hole TA, my dad, or the reincarnation of Gandhi. I guess I'm a prestige-utilitarian--good when it's useful, pointless* when it's not.

*Pointless at best. At worst, it has nasty classist overtones that I very much don't like. There's also a continuum.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on April 04, 2008, 08:11:36 AM
Update...Going to TEXAS!!!

UVA would have been my next choice, but after visiting Texas on the ASD it felt right. (and again, graduating debt free is hard to pass up.)

Also IMO UVA>Michigan>>>Duke
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: Trill on April 04, 2008, 03:57:40 PM
Update...Going to TEXAS!!!

UVA would have been my next choice, but after visiting Texas on the ASD it felt right. (and again, graduating debt free is hard to pass up.)

Also IMO UVA>Michigan>>>Duke

Congrats on the decision. A friend of mine was in the same predicament (Texas$$ vs. Michigan) and got into Penn off a waitlist and opted to go to Penn. Though, he was going to attend Michigan over UT.

This is a fuzzy area for Texas residents.  The lower T14 isn't worth choosing over Texas, but I would argue that UVA/Michigan are. They will practically guarantee that you find a job in the elite BigTex firms. UT will require top 25% grades. Over a career, the debt isn't all that significant if you're graduating from a school like UVA/Mich. I think it's more important to be debt free when you're discussing regional schools, but not the top schools.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: summerisnear on April 04, 2008, 05:16:27 PM
Congrats on making a decision.  I was in Austin last week (for leisure, not UT) and I am always blown away by the plethora of ridiculously hot girls everywhere you look.  Quite a nice perk.

But I do have to agree with what others have already said regarding lay prestige.  It's meaningless.  Your family/friends would have learned more about UVa/Michigan over the next three years had you chosen to go there, and their opinions would have surely shifted to a preference for that school.  I live in Colorado, and the average person here thinks DU is an amazing law school with great national recognition.  It's pretty funny.  They refuse to believe me when I tell them CU is ranked higher, and significantly at that.  Some people have tried to start heated arguments with me.  The average person is terribly ignorant of the law school rankings; even my own parents were surprised to hear Princeton has no law school  :D.
Title: Re: Michigan/Duke/Virginia/Texas$$
Post by: curioustexan on April 04, 2008, 05:43:40 PM
My decision isn't based purely on employment stats ...(Although top half at UT can usually work for a bigger firm apparently, and top 1/3 have no problem at all getting an offer from a bigger firm from what I was told...I would agree that I'll need to place in the top 1/4 to have comparable employment prospects to the top half of UVA though).

The money aside, I didn't like Duke at all, and Michigan was nice, but I didn't like it as much as UVA. UVA was the biggest temptation, and I know it would be a great option... BUT other than the security of being able to be ranked lower in the class and still get a good job, I would rather be at UT. So I've made the choice to gamble at getting the top quarter and IF (big if, I know), I am able to pull that off, I am 100% happy with my choice of UT over the others (looking 3 years ahead, and then in retrospect)...so we'll see.