« on: May 18, 2006, 04:31:09 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.