Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 09:18:32 AM

Title: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 09:18:32 AM
Ok... slim chance at getting into Duke. Is it THAT much better than Vanderbilt?

Cons - Signed a lease at Vandy, wife has a job in Nashville she just started this week, short period of time to move, Duke would be about $60,000 more in overall

Pros - Dream school since deciding to go to law school back in high school, closer to the coast, higher starting salary and presumably better placement, Vandy student at admit day flat out told me to go to UVA if I get in, so I'm sure it applies to Duke as well...

I feel totally sick because I really wanted Duke and now my wife and I have established ties to Nashville that would be very difficult to just up and move to Durham..but it's DUKE. Ahhh somebody give some sage advice please!

I love Vandy, Nashville is very nice... have always loved Duke, but I haven't visited... although my trip to Chapel Hill it seemed like a nice regiion.

Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: magnumalv on May 18, 2006, 09:30:16 AM
I say stick with Vandy, SD. You guys are already settled, you know you love the school/town/people @ Vandy, and I don't think the 3 or 4 spots makes THAT MUCH of a difference in prestige (it would make some, yes, but do you really think you'll need it for your future plans?).

If you were single and hadn't moved yet, I would tell you to consider it, but you're neither of those. I think you've made a good choice. :)
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: tinytim on May 18, 2006, 09:34:08 AM
I know that you have been way excited to attend Vandy since you first got in. That being said, I would go to a T14 if I get that chance no matter how much more money it is. Law is prestige obsessed and you don't want to be looking back down the road saying, "I wonder where I would be if I went to Duke." Even if you go to Duke and pay more money and get the same job you would have gotten out of Vandy, oh well you are out 1/4 of your salary for one year. But...if you go to Vandy and can't get a really great job you will always wonder.

The fact that Duke is your dream school and all, you should go if you get in. You won't regret it down the road. If it was a T14 you didn't really like or was in an area you didn't like I would consider my options. But it's Duke and it's your dream. Oh well if it will be more money and a little inconvenient packing up and moving again. What is two weeks of rushing vs a lifetime of wondering?
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: lope on May 18, 2006, 09:41:24 AM
I would take Duke over Vanderbilt, without hesitation.  It might be a bit of a hassle making the switch since you've already signed a lease in Nashville and your wife already has a job, but it's DUKE!  

Your landlord might let you out of the lease, but even if they don't, they'd probably agree to help you find someone to assume your lease.  I used to work at a leasing office and that's what we did for people.  If it's anywhere near campus, it shouldn't be hard for them to find someone to take it off of your hands, especially this early in the summer while a lot of students are still looking for places.  

I liked Vandy a lot when I visited, and it's a great school, but it just won't open the same doors that Duke will.  Good luck with your choice, and congratulations on Duke.  It's such a great opportunity.  
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 09:46:31 AM
No need for congrats yet, I'm not in... just hopefully in.

Ahh I don't know what to do it's like I know what I personally would do but being married and all it's not just about me anymore... lol.

Anyways, thanks for the input, anyone else, feel free to chime in.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: magnumalv on May 18, 2006, 09:47:43 AM
I"m surprised I'm in the minority. Then again, I'm factoring your wife equally into this, which the others may not be doing...  :-\
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: lope on May 18, 2006, 09:51:02 AM
Ahh I don't know what to do it's like I know what I personally would do but being married and all it's not just about me anymore... lol.

Does your wife not want to make the Duke move? 
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 09:56:17 AM
Well... I don't know.. there are all kinds of teacher positions in NC... but she just started, literally, this week at a preschool here in Nashville and thus far loves it. So it's kinda like chasing my dream might in a way be causing her to forfeit hers...granted, there's other jobs... but I almost would feel kinda guilty trying to get her to give up on her first job straight out of undergrad...

So many complications.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: George JeffersonČ on May 18, 2006, 09:57:38 AM
Well... I don't know.. there are all kinds of teacher positions in NC... but she just started, literally, this week at a preschool here in Nashville and thus far loves it. So it's kinda like chasing my dream might in a way be causing her to forfeit hers...granted, there's other jobs... but I almost would feel kinda guilty trying to get her to give up on her first job straight out of undergrad...

So many complications.

She'll enjoy spending your Duke biglaw money. Kids in TN = kids in NC.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: RockyMarciano on May 18, 2006, 09:58:47 AM
I say that Duke would be the best option for you. However, will it be the best option for your family? I think the gap between Duke and Vandy is just too big to ignore.

Have you talked to your wife about this? I imagine that she probably wants you to go to the best law school possible. Explain to her the situation and the benefits of going to Duke. Hopefully she will understand.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: lope on May 18, 2006, 10:09:05 AM
Well... I don't know.. there are all kinds of teacher positions in NC... but she just started, literally, this week at a preschool here in Nashville and thus far loves it. So it's kinda like chasing my dream might in a way be causing her to forfeit hers...granted, there's other jobs... but I almost would feel kinda guilty trying to get her to give up on her first job straight out of undergrad...

So many complications.

Yeah, NC is growing so fast that there are tons of openings for teachers there.  I'm from NY and I know more than a few people from here who have moved down to NC to teach because there are so many more jobs there.  

Before you start feeling guilty about trying to get her to move to NC, I'd just discuss it with her (or have you already?).  She might be much more willing to make the move than you think.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 11:01:19 AM
Quote

Before you start feeling guilty about trying to get her to move to NC, I'd just discuss it with her (or have you already?).  She might be much more willing to make the move than you think.  Good luck!

I have mentioned it somewhat in passing...i.e. that I might have a chance of getting in. Not so much from a serious viewpoint of making arrangements to go if I actually did get in.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: oldhat on May 18, 2006, 12:59:28 PM
I'm struggling with similar problem with my girlfriend. Duke, why do you have to make this so difficult?
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: oldhat on May 18, 2006, 01:04:45 PM
If you start jerking her around now, she'll start eyeing the pool boy soon.

What a nasty thing to say. Jesus Christ...
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: queencruella on May 18, 2006, 01:21:38 PM
First, Duke's higher starting salary is a result of a large percentage of graduates going to work in NYC. The difference between the quality of the two schools is pretty negligible and it's just no fair to ask your wife to move for you two times in a very short period and putting you both $60K more into debt.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 01:34:47 PM
You really seemed to like Vanderbilt. You're a bright person, and I don't think you'll see fewer opportunities out of Vandy than Duke, especially if you're not gunning for top NY BigLaw.

Your wife must be taken into consideration too. This is too early in the marriage to start jerking her around. That must wait until you're well into your 40s and you drop the bomb o her that you're leaving her and the kids because you've been nailing your secretary for the past three years.

If you start jerking her around now, she'll start eyeing the pool boy soon.

Nice...good stroke of optimism there...that's why we're having a pool GIRL... lol

This is a big mess... I just hope Dean Hoye decides one way or the other, very quickly, so I can get on with life.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: Stephon Devante on May 18, 2006, 01:49:46 PM
Well I definitely understand the train sentiment, which is exactly what makes even the possibility of getting in kinda bittersweet...

And as far as the terminal goal, yes Duke would be the primo school...UVA is very nice as well... but Duke is just awesome. And Cornell can blow me, haha, but I'm bitter with their bs. Back on track, yes I think Duke would be perfect...

But also, the train may have already passed that station

Doh
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: jackdeut on May 18, 2006, 02:14:54 PM
I just got emailed from the dean as well as to whther I would be interested in coming to school this summer for the llm program. Right now I put my deposit down at USC and was totally stoked about Cal and L.A. Now it is whther I want to live in a bad ass city with a slightly lower school or live in Durham for three years and have a nice degree to hang on the wall. Hopefully the Dean will give us an indication shortly.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: tinytim on May 18, 2006, 02:15:47 PM
Three years down the road it won't matter to either school where you went or how much money you gave the school. It will matter to you though. Ya it sucks getting up and moving with a wife, but marriage isn't what these bozos on here refer to it as. Sit down with your wife. Tell her your thoughts and why you would like to go to Duke. Let her express her concerns and then together make a decision based on the overall picture. You are a partnership and you shouldn't feel guilty presenting her with a new deal. Look it over together and then together make a decision that is best for both of you.

Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: allthatjazz on May 18, 2006, 03:31:09 PM
I feel your pain.  This would be a hard decision if it were me.  Oddly enough it was kind of me about a month ago.  My three top choices came down to UVa, Duke, and Vandy.  I choose UVa for the same reason you are agonizing over the possible opportunity to attend Duke; it was my "dream" school when I started applying to law school. 

Vandy is indeed an excellent school, but from my personal visit to Duke I liked the law school and the area there much better.  Even though Vandy would have cost me half of what Duke would have in terms of tuition, I had my heart set on attending Duke.  The only thing that changed that was the acceptance to UVa, which did not come until early April.  If simply having the possibility of going to Duke is causing you this much agony, do you think you will be able to look back in three years and not have a lot of regret over staying with Vandy?  Not a little regret but a lot of regret. 

Granted you have already moved and your wife has already found a job, so your situation is infinitely more complicated than mine.  Still, if Duke is your dream then perhaps you should sit down with her and discuss going there.  Lay out the pros and cons with her, and see what she thinks about the whole situation. 

Of course, you will have to break your lease and probably pay a penalty of some sort, but the Duke area is not hurting for nice and relatively inexpensive apartments.  Sure your wife has a job that she loves (at least one week into it), but she can find another education related job, especially in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.

So the real question is what about the next three years?  What about the possibility of passing up your dream?  I am a firm believer that you need to make the most of your opportunities, as you very often do not get a second chance; one chance to choose the right place to get your education and one chance to make the most of it.  This is particularly true when it comes to law school.

Would an education at Duke be that much better at providing you opportunities than Vanderbilt?  Most likely not, but isn't the journey a key part of the law school experience?

When it comes down to it, I am sure you will make the best decision for you and your wife, but do not let the possibility of a few hectic weeks dissuade you from seriously considering the option of attending Duke.  If the two of you can deal with the cost of moving to Durham and the uncertainty of her finding a job in a timely manner, then I say go for it.  Best of luck with whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: AdiosLSD! on May 18, 2006, 04:42:41 PM
 :( well this certainly makes me sad.

Title: Re: Duke versus Vanderbilt
Post by: king on May 18, 2006, 08:00:44 PM
I would choose Duke b/c of much better national options.  If you want to stay in the South it is a wash.