* This is part of an ongoing series where current law students share their candid feelings about their respective law schools. *A special note to current students --please send us yours thoughts on your school at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add to the series! We will tweet regularly at https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult
First, a disclaimer: I am biased because I love Duke. At around 200 students per year it’s on the smaller side, so you can’t hide here—your professors will know you, and you will know almost everyone in your class by name. Professors are all brilliant. Despite being at the top of their respective fields, they’re always available to talk during office hours or by email, and they want to get to know you. For example, I finished my Constitutional Law course months ago but I just had brunch at my professor’s house last weekend.
It can feel like high school at times (cliques tend to form), but students are generally friendly and I think it cuts down on competition for grades when you personally know everybody, which isn’t really possible at a bigger school. Very social group of students—intramural softball is huge, and there are plenty of opportunities to go out if that’s your scene. Another plus is Duke basketball. Law students can get season tickets, and there is nothing like the atmosphere at Cameron Indoor Stadium or the rivalry with UNC. If you’re not a fan, you will be.
One critique: Durham is not the nicest town. Surprisingly it has lots of great restaurants, but not much going on outside of that. You need a car to get anywhere; thankfully Chapel Hill is only a 15 minute drive, and offers great nightlife.
Number one reason I chose Duke was the career placement stats. T14 prestige (#10 in US News and #7 in ATL), national reach (CA, NY, and DC are top destinations but you can go pretty much anywhere), and a career office that punches above its weight in terms of landing big firm jobs at OCI. Overall Duke is a great school and I love it here.
-Mike, rising 2L