Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

which one should I choose?

Go to Duke (the prestige is too important)
St. John's (save the money)

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hilljack

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2005, 08:51:03 PM »
I know for a fact this isn't true for deducting a interest on a mortgage or for state/local taxes.  What makes loans for education different?  Also, for the most part, low income earners (including those earning 50,000) opt for the standard deduction, so they wouldn't deduct anything.

InVinoVeritas

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2005, 08:52:48 PM »
I know for a fact this isn't true for deducting a interest on a mortgage or for state/local taxes.  What makes loans for education different?  Also, for the most part, low income earners (including those earning 50,000) opt for the standard deduction, so they wouldn't deduct anything.

the tax code distinguishes between interest from student loans and other kinds of debt that are eligible for tax relief.

hilljack

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2005, 09:00:25 PM »
Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

hilljack

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2005, 09:03:06 PM »
Of course you could always see some benefit of paying off this debt faster and have a longer mortgage.  So in effect, you could still take this interest into account.  This is assuming that you will be buying a house or apartment after graduation.

king

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2005, 09:03:46 PM »
Student loan deductions are not on the itemized deduction form.  Check the 1040 instructions.  

Amanda H.

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2005, 03:02:25 AM »
If you wanted to be a prosecutor in NYC, I might say St. Johns.  However, since you want biglaw, I'd say Duke. 

(It might be more accurate to say that Duke is the 11-13 school in the country, but it does have a top 10 reputation among lawyers and judges.)

For critics of Biglaw, it should be kept in mind that one can make enough in a couple of years there to pay off most student debt (or save a ton of cash).  You work hard, but you get paid well for it.  And when you want to transfer out, it's generally easier to get those small and mid-sized firm jobs with a biglaw firm on you resume.  (Having a top school name there will also help in that regard.  Top schools don't just get you Biglaw, they give you better shots at small and mid-sized firms as well.)

lawschoolmama

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2005, 05:29:05 PM »
Just my 2 cents.....
Have you actually been to St John's?  I went there undergrad and my dad was a college of business teacher for 30+ years.  I can't see liking Jamaica Queens over North Carolina.  St John's is the largest Catholic university in the country - the Law School is on the far side of the campus and a whole world unto itself - I don't have direct experience with it. 

St JOhns has built dorms since I was there, but I think it is still primarily a commuter school.  The area to the north of the school is ok, but you definitely don't want to go too far south of the campus. I would worry about walking around campus at night.

Think about what type of environment you would like - an urban school or a college town. 

Hope this helps

birddog

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2005, 06:19:16 PM »
First, I'd ask Duke for more money.  Tell them they're your first choice but that money is a huge issue and you're seriosuly considering going to St. John's with a full ride. 

Durham cost of living is MUCH MUCH lower than NYC.  If you're talking about debt load, you should figure out in real dollars how much the two schools will cost (including cost of living).

If you want to go BIGLAW, then don't worry so much about dept.  I'm graduating this year and after 3 years of on-time payments my interest rate on student loans will be 1.55%.  My interest rate will never go above 2.87% which is less than inflation.  A few years in BIGLAW and you won't have much debt left.

Really look at where grads of each school go to work.  There are a ton of Duke students going BIGLAW and I think everyone I know who tried to get a job in NYC BIGLAW got one (some even during their 3L year which is tough).  You go to law school to get a job and you want to make sure you can get the best job possible - figure out which school will do that for you.

kitakatt

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2005, 11:35:50 AM »
OK, decision time.

Should I accept a full tuition scholarship to St. John's in Queens, NY or attend Duke (with a 9K scholarship per year)? I will paying for the whole cost of law school using loans. And my goal is securing a Biglaw job, at least initially.

I am leaning toward one option, but would love to hear feedbacks.

Thank you in advance and enjoy your weekend.


just a lil tidbit ... i was browsing the internet attorney profiles of a New York City law firm, and stumbled across a partner who attended st. john's with a full ride. it was cool to see him, as well as others, successful at a prestigious law firm without having gone to a "top 10 school". like you, i am also trying to figure out how much scholarship money is worth in the long run. its really hard to say. good luck with your decision! and i agree about asking duke for more money.
Getting antsy.

michaelduke

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Re: Duke vs. St. John's (please contribute your opinion)
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2005, 11:44:06 AM »
OK, decision time.

Should I accept a full tuition scholarship to St. John's in Queens, NY or attend Duke (with a 9K scholarship per year)? I will paying for the whole cost of law school using loans. And my goal is securing a Biglaw job, at least initially.

I am leaning toward one option, but would love to hear feedbacks.

Thank you in advance and enjoy your weekend.

Thank you for this nugget of insight.  Can you let me know which firm? 

just a lil tidbit ... i was browsing the internet attorney profiles of a New York City law firm, and stumbled across a partner who attended st. john's with a full ride. it was cool to see him, as well as others, successful at a prestigious law firm without having gone to a "top 10 school". like you, i am also trying to figure out how much scholarship money is worth in the long run. its really hard to say. good luck with your decision! and i agree about asking duke for more money.