Between Duke and UVA - go where you feel comfortable. The cultures of the two schools are very different. I chose Duke but there are definitely reasons to choose UVA. While UVA is traditionally better respected, the difference certainly hasn't impacted my job prospects in California or my fellow students in DC or NY.
As for the graded legal writing, the memos and briefs are due at the midpoint of the semester so there is no conflict with finals. While I hated that they were graded as a 1L, it does force you to take it a little more seriously.
GULC is a different type of school. Personally, the size wasn't appealing to me. Sure there are great opportunities in DC, but I've never felt like I was missing out in Durham and I suspect people in Charlottesville feel the same.