SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
mozarellastix973
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:05 pm

SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby mozarellastix973 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:14 pm

Which one would you choose? I am worried about the Southern Conservatism of SMU, but impressed by the employment prospects and scholarship offer (esp. ITE). However, I am EDIT: kinda liberal and I think I will be happier and more at home at William and Mary. The problem with William and Mary is that I will be about $98,000 in debt after 3 years of law school, and will be competing with GW, GULC, W&L, American, and UVA for the same jobs. Your thoughts are appreciated--seat deposits are coming up!
Last edited by mozarellastix973 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11726
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby kalvano » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:23 pm

SMU is a good school, and I giggled when I read "Southern Conservatism".

It's in Dallas, which is pretty much right about in the middle of everything. Some conservative, some liberal, mostly moderate. I think it's actually been a blue city for several years. Anyway, it's not like you'd be walking in to small-town Texas. You're talking about one of the top-6 largest metropolitan areas in the USA, and I would say probably 50% of the population moved here from all over.

If that's all that is holding you back, forget about it. It won't even be a blink on your radar.

And W&M is a damn good school, but I don't think it's worth $100K more than SMU.

Of course, the real issue is where do you want to be practicing and living? Dallas isn't a bad place, and SMU is without a doubt the place to go to practice in Dallas, but it's going to be harder to move immediately after school.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:33 pm

mozarellastix973 wrote:Which one would you choose? I am worried about the Southern Conservatism of SMU, but impressed by the employment prospects and scholarship offer (esp. ITE). However, I am quite liberal and I think I will be happier and more at home at William and Mary. The problem with William and Mary is that I will be about $98,000 in debt after 3 years of law school, and will be competing with GW, GULC, W&L, American, and UVA for the same jobs. Your thoughts are appreciated--seat deposits are coming up!


I think it would be downright silly to choose WM over SMU in this situation.

I personally believe that if SMU was ranked ~25ish you wouldn't even be having this conversation.

By that I mean that the main reason you are clinging to WM is because it is ranked higher (I may be wrong, but I understand how you feel).

SMU is as good as WM and does not have to deal with as much competition as WM (as you already stated).

Have you visited both?

I know Virginia has 4 schools in the T50. The only schools with more are NY, CA, and IL (if I'm not mistaken).

Texas is larger in almost all quantifiable aspects than Virgina, and has fewer competition (UT/SMU being the only T50s and U of H and Baylor being the only other relevant ones).

I say SMU - excellent prospects at a bargain price.

mozarellastix973
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby mozarellastix973 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:30 am

Hi, thanks for your helpful replies. My issue isn't the ranking--I know SMU is a great school and one of the main reasons it is ranked so "low" is its part-time program. I am truly worried about the conservative atmosphere. When I visited, I noticed most of the students I talked to were married or engaged (at my age, young 20s), most leaned right politically, and I felt like I had to censor myself. I really do not want to feel stifled in law school and at this age. I just feel more comfortable and happy at W&M, and you can't put a price on that. However, I would also like a job after law school, and I wonder what W&M's employment prospects look like. With a full ride to SMU, I will graduate with little debt (I will take out a little money in loans for living expenses), and face less competition in my market. In fact, I feel like I may be able to make it into a large firm if I graduate with great grades and a stellar resume. I'm just worried about living in Dallas and attending what is known as one of the most conservative schools in the nation. I am also worried that, in the future an employer will see my SMU law degree and think I am very conservative and not want to hire me. Does this all sound ridiculous? I really want to choose SMU because it seems more practical; I just need someone to convince me I will not be stifled...

ViIIager
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby ViIIager » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:33 am

Soooo...you're exercising the possibility that you'd rather rack up 100k debt while living with hippies than attend a good school for free while possibly encountering different values than the ones you've grown up with?

Don't forget that outside of little Colonial Williamsburg, the majority of Virginia is a conservative state. There are liberals in the State of Northern Virginia, but then you're up against Georgetown, GMU, American, GMU, Catholic, etc (not to mention Maryland's schools). Don't let the last Presidental election fool you--the Commonwealth is a red state, and you can check the last state election for evidence.

Go attend SMU, be a ringleader of the Left, and graduate with relative freedom from debt. While you'd definitely appreciate the terribly strong left-leaning population of W&M, that's three enjoyable years of your life leading to difficult job prospects + 100k debt versus three possibly less enjoyable years of your life leading to decent job prospects + nearly zero debt. You can buy a lot more medical insurance with zero debt, amirite?

sladegalute
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:25 pm

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby sladegalute » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:17 am

I think there is a lot of value in the posts which have been made. William and Mary may be more liberal than SMU but it is not as liberal as this thread makes it seem. In the end, William and Mary is a colonial school which is located in the south. If you think it is liberal look at the Presidency of Gene Nichols a year or two ago, he was ousted for making a chapel non-denominational and allowing a sex-workers traveling show on campus. If your decision is based purely on ideology I would argue that there may be some difference but not as much as you think. That being said William and Mary is a much more national school and would allow you to travel back to Texas rather easily (the admissions office can tell you more about that, it was talked about a lot at ASW). In the end, if you are just worried about politics I would suggest SMU anyway; if you prefer William and Mary for other reasons and in general I think that it is a quality legal education and you will probably be able to manage that amount of debt.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11726
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby kalvano » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:18 pm

mozarellastix973 wrote:I am truly worried about the conservative atmosphere. When I visited, I noticed most of the students I talked to were married or engaged (at my age, young 20s), most leaned right politically, and I felt like I had to censor myself.


Did you go during Young Republican day or something?


mozarellastix973 wrote:I'm just worried about living in Dallas and attending what is known as one of the most conservative schools in the nation. I am also worried that, in the future an employer will see my SMU law degree and think I am very conservative and not want to hire me.



Really? Come on, now. As compared to Berkley, Dallas is a conservative mecca, but as compared to most major cities, Dallas is firmly in the middle.

mozarellastix973 wrote: Does this all sound ridiculous?



Yes. You're going to law school, not interpretive dance school. Stop worrying about being "stifled" and go to the school that gives you the best job prospects with the best money. Are you going to play politics or to have the best opportunities?

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4862
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby Borhas » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:21 pm

As a liberal you should love the opportunity to enlighten others. Besides, one learns best when surrounded by people of different view points. I wouldn't worry about the conservative thing... I would worry about the whole Texas thing though... not sure I'd want to live in Texas.

All else being equal, a full ride at SMU + a stipend is a ridiculously good deal.

User avatar
TheBigMediocre
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: SMU full ride + stipend or W&M $8,000 per year scholarship?

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:25 pm

I can tell you're liberal because you're worrying about superfluous, trivial matters and not looking at the hard economics of the decision like a good conservative would do. Shame on you.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests