Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

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kalvano
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:36 pm

utb wrote:
kalvano wrote:Go to SMU. If you want to work in Dallas, it's your best bet. You'll be very hard-pressed to crack the Dallas market with a degree from Alabama. Rankings won't mean jack, it'll all be about the connections.


That's the way that I'm leaning - but man it's hard to leave a free ride on the table. Thanks for all of the suggestions.



You're free ride won't mean much when you can't get a job where you want to be.

If you live in Dallas, then you ought to know how insular and clannish the Dallas legal market is. SMU and don't look back.

utb
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby utb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:37 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are you willing to post your stats that earned a full tuition scholarship to Alabama?


167/3.23 with 3 years of business management experience

CanadianWolf
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:07 pm

Contact the Univ. of Alabama School of Law placement office & ask them for information regarding Texas law firms that have scheduled on campus interviews at Alabama during the last three or four years. Next contact law firms in the Dallas, Texas area, ask for their hiring partner & seek his or her opinion if they agree not to charge you for the advice. Then contact SMU's School of Law placement office & your decision, I suspect, will be quite easily made.
Living in Dallas, Texas & attending SMU School of Law is a very different cultural experience than spending three years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a family, we recently dealt with somewhat similiar circumstances, so I, as a parent, understand many of your concerns.

utb
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby utb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:26 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Contact the Univ. of Alabama School of Law placement office & ask them for information regarding Texas law firms that have scheduled on campus interviews at Alabama during the last three or four years. Next contact law firms in the Dallas, Texas area, ask for their hiring partner & seek his or her opinion if they agree not to charge you for the advice. Then contact SMU's School of Law placement office & your decision, I suspect, will be quite easily made.
Living in Dallas, Texas & attending SMU School of Law is a very different cultural experience than spending three years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a family, we recently dealt with somewhat similiar circumstances, so I, as a parent, understand many of your concerns.


Great suggestions and I just sent a few emails doing just that. Thanks again!

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:28 pm

utb wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Okay, go to Alabama (since that's the answer that you want to read apparently).


Thank you for that.

Apparently throwing $60k+ away isn't a big deal to you - but it is to me and my family. I'm trying to learn why most believe that a Bama degree wouldn't hold much value in Dallas. You said, "employment opportunities for Alabama graduates are overwhelmingly in the state of Alabama."

I'm just trying to determine how you arrived at this conclusion.


2007 Graduates Employment Location
Graduates employed in-state 74%
Graduates employed in foreign countries 0%
Number of states where graduates are employed 10
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) N/A
Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) 0.7%
East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) N/A
West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) N/A
South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) 17.6%
East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) 78.9%
West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 2.1%
Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 0.7%
Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) N/A
Employment location unknown 0.0%

utb
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby utb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:23 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:2007 Graduates Employment Location
Graduates employed in-state 74%
Graduates employed in foreign countries 0%
Number of states where graduates are employed 10
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) N/A
Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) 0.7%
East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) N/A
West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) N/A
South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) 17.6%
East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) 78.9%
West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 2.1%
Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 0.7%
Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) N/A
Employment location unknown 0.0%


Yeah - I just always wonder if that's because 75% of each class at Alabama is from Alabama...ie...75% of students want to stay in that market or if it's because there were no other options.

SMU for $17k isn't a bad deal...thanks for the comments.

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kalvano
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:29 pm

Just to break it down for you, here's how hiring in Dallas will work.


UT - SMU - Miscellaneous T14 people
UofH - Baylor
Random prestigious schools (Vandy, WUSTL, etc.)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Alabama



I find it difficult to believe that someone from Dallas can be so obtuse about this, but perhaps it's willfully so.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:42 pm

kalvano wrote:Just to break it down for you, here's how hiring in Dallas will work.


UT - SMU - Miscellaneous T14 people
UofH - Baylor
Random prestigious schools (Vandy, WUSTL, etc.)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Alabama



I find it difficult to believe that someone from Dallas can be so obtuse about this, but perhaps it's willfully so.



I completely agree. I'm a 2L at SMU and have only seen students from the schools from the top of this list during my interviews with big and medium firms (along with a few TTU students). While that may be due to small numbers of Alabama students applying for jobs here, I still think you will need to have connections, be at the top of your class (don't assume you will be), or get very lucky to land a good job in Dallas after attending Alabama...especially if the job market stays the way it is.

I think it comes down to how bad you want to work in Dallas; if you are dead set on working here, you should attend SMU. The networking opportunities through the school, DAYL and other associations, and just being in Dallas are priceless.

That said, leaving lawschool with little or no debt is an incredible feeling. If you're not dead set on Dallas, or if you think living in Alabama would also be good, I would attend Alabama.

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Thirteen
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby Thirteen » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:56 pm

utb wrote:I live in Dallas and plan on practicing in Dallas


Go to SMU. See you in the fall.

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Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby Spaceman Spiff » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:59 pm

SMU rules Dallas. If you live in Dallas (as I do), you know this. I understand the allure of no post-school debt, but as a previous poster noted, the Dallas legal market is very insular. Go to SMU.

utb
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby utb » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:42 pm

Spaceman Spiff wrote:SMU rules Dallas. If you live in Dallas (as I do), you know this. I understand the allure of no post-school debt, but as a previous poster noted, the Dallas legal market is very insular. Go to SMU.


Thanks to everyone.

Yes, I was blinded by Alabama's personal approach (in contrast to that of SMU) and the allure of leaving school with less than $30k of debt...but I am now headed to SMU. Thanks again for the suggestions!

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deadpanic
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby deadpanic » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:59 pm

utb wrote:Yes, I was blinded by Alabama's personal approach (in contrast to that of SMU) and the allure of leaving school with less than $30k of debt...but I am now headed to SMU. Thanks again for the suggestions!


Good choice if you want to work in Dallas. Alabama will recruit people with an LSAT that will raise their median like they are a 5 star football recruit coming to play for the Tahd! They will tell you lies such as, "Alabama is a really prestigious law school and can get you a job anywhere in the country." 3 years later and you are working in Birmingham and saying, "I attended this place to be debt free, but fuck, this was not even close to being worth it."

P.S. Other than that, nothing against Bama (except when it comes time for football season) as it is a great school, but their personal approach with tons of money thrown in is very tempting.
Last edited by deadpanic on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chopchop
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby chopchop » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:19 pm

A few thoughts.

I am a student at the University of Alabama. In choosing Alabama, I selected between University of Texas, Vanderbilt, University of North Carolina, Boston College, Baylor, and UA. In the end I had full scholarship opportunities to Baylor and Alabama, and no financial help from any of the others. I have no doubts that more doors would have been opened for me had I chosen Vanderbilt or UT, but in the end, my wife and I chose to stay out of debt.

Now I am considering staying in Alabama after graduation. Why? Well because Alabama oddly enough has one of the largest recruiting pools for first year law students. They hook you early. And we have discovered that we really love it here. This in part explains the fact that so many Alabama law students stay in state. I believe it has less to do with an inability to go elsewhere as it does with finding a job early that you like and then feeling satisfied.

But I will also explore options outside of the state. There is a great network of attorney's practicing outside the state of Alabama, and the school does a great job at helping those who want to go out of state get there. I have been given contacts in Dallas and D.C. and I am confident I will be interviewing with firms in both of those cities in the fall.

If you go to school in Texas it is certainly easier to get a Texas job. However, debt is a big deal. Especially right now. While you will have to do a little more legwork to get back to Texas from Alabama, it is a lot easier to do legwork when you don't have tens of thousands of dollars in debt weighing you down. I hear horror stories of law student debt everyday. It is nice to hear them and not experience them first hand.

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Luis Gomez
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby Luis Gomez » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:27 pm

I got a similar scholly from Bama and SMU. I withdrew from both. But I remember Alabama rising red flags on the GPA requirements. They actually lowered it to top 40% after issuing my award letter. However they give substantial scholarship to 60 % of the class that means 20 percent looses their money.

kafka213
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby kafka213 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:07 am

Each student is different. I attend Alabama and can tell you that not a single person who wanted an out of state job fail to acquire one, and a good one. Ignore the percentage of students staying in state. What does that really tell you? I agree with the posters saying it has more to do with choice than a lack of options.

Plus, and this is an experience I had, how do you KNOW you want to work in Dallas, in Big Law, in ________? It is a bit premature to think you know exactly what you want to do and where and in what field. Everyone changes their mind about something at some point and while a school based in the city you are contemplating may seem like the logical choice, what if your eventual choice in practice areas leads you to need a job in Virginia, or Maine, or Washington State? The primary function of a law degree, to my mind, is to keep options open. The better school will achieve that end more effectively. Alabama can get you a job anywhere, if you do well and want it. Of course, if you can't perform, and are a bit lazy with the job search, then yeah, you'll have trouble.

Far more important than the school (at least between SMU and Bama) is the quality of student. If you can do well (top 20% or better), you'll be fine regardless. If you cannot, you'll struggle regardless. Too often students want the school to carry the freight they should be shipping themselves, not saying that's true in your case, but the onus is on YOU, not the school.

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Gatriel
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby Gatriel » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:29 am

The age old adage holds true; it is not what you know, its who you know. I know many (Coif) attorneys in DFW who went to UT, SMU, UH all have coworkers who graduated with a 3.0 from Weslyan, South Texas, Thurgood Marshall, etc. Not because they have some specialized skill, or were excessively good at law school, but they know people in powerful places.

If you want to work in DFW, SMU without a doubt. You make the UT waitlist?

texaslawyer
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Re: Full Ride at Alabama vs 25k at SMU?

Postby texaslawyer » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:31 am

I'd go to Alabama in a heartbeat ! Tuscaloosa isn't Dallas, but the doors a JD form 'Bama would open...........




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