How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

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ScottRiqui
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How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby ScottRiqui » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:04 pm

I'd much rather go to UT, but I'm being realistic that I may not be able to get past my UGPA with the UT adcomms. I'm going to be retiring to Arlington, Texas (right between Dallas & Fort Worth) in a few years, so that's where I'd be practicing regardless of where I go to school.

I know that SMU doesn't have much reach, but would it still be a good choice for those who wanted to practice in Dallas?

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Marionberry
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Marionberry » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:12 pm

UT has a pretty hard GPA cutoff around 3.3 for non-URM applicants, so there's really no conceivable chance of you getting in there. However, SMU grads do very well in the DFW area, other than UT or a T14 that's about the best school for Dallas, and it's probably arguably better than some T14s for that purpose too. There's a lot of discussion about SMU for Dallas on these boards, use the search function and you'll find a lot of stuff to read.

Dwigt
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Dwigt » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:14 pm

I'm somewhat familiar with the Dallas legal market and all indications are that SMU performs well above its rank in placing its students in the Dallas market. Their placement is probably helped out a lot by the fact that the co-founder of Haynes and Boone is a Dedman Law alum. The degree isn't very portable, though.

Keep in mind that SMU's pricetag is pretty high (unless you get scholarships) even considering how well the school places in Dallas. It is far and away the best law school in the Metroplex, though, so if you have your heart set on studying there, I'd suggest going to SMU as opposed to Texas Wesleyan or the new UNT law school that I think is opening in 2-3 years.

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kalvano
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:18 am

It'll do OK.

What's your GPA?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:26 am

Dwigt wrote:I'm somewhat familiar with the Dallas legal market and all indications are that SMU performs well above its rank in placing its students in the Dallas market. Their placement is probably helped out a lot by the fact that the co-founder of Haynes and Boone is a Dedman Law alum. The degree isn't very portable, though.

Keep in mind that SMU's pricetag is pretty high (unless you get scholarships) even considering how well the school places in Dallas. It is far and away the best law school in the Metroplex, though, so if you have your heart set on studying there, I'd suggest going to SMU as opposed to Texas Wesleyan or the new UNT law school that I think is opening in 2-3 years.


sigh* it almost seems unethical to me for this to happen lol. TX does not need more law schools.

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kalvano
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:57 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
Dwigt wrote:I'm somewhat familiar with the Dallas legal market and all indications are that SMU performs well above its rank in placing its students in the Dallas market. Their placement is probably helped out a lot by the fact that the co-founder of Haynes and Boone is a Dedman Law alum. The degree isn't very portable, though.

Keep in mind that SMU's pricetag is pretty high (unless you get scholarships) even considering how well the school places in Dallas. It is far and away the best law school in the Metroplex, though, so if you have your heart set on studying there, I'd suggest going to SMU as opposed to Texas Wesleyan or the new UNT law school that I think is opening in 2-3 years.


sigh* it almost seems unethical to me for this to happen lol. TX does not need more law schools.


I predict it will instantly place better than Wesleyan. A lot of name recognition for UNT in the D/FW area.

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Marionberry
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:35 am

In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.

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kalvano
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:27 am

Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.

HowdyYall
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby HowdyYall » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:40 am

kalvano wrote:
Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.


wait, with a 2.6? even with a 170 i dont think SMU would be "likely"

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Marionberry
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:30 pm

HowdyYall wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.


wait, with a 2.6? even with a 170 i dont think SMU would be "likely"


I don't have time to bring up their LSAC admissions grid, but they admitted pretty much anyone with over a 166, with just one or two exceptions. 2.6/170+ is not at all unprecedented at SMU.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:34 pm

HowdyYall wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.


wait, with a 2.6? even with a 170 i dont think SMU would be "likely"


Barring the always-possible "bad LSAT day", I'm predicting something in the mid-170s.

Also, while that uGPA is horrible, it'll also be 20 years old when I apply. Since then, I'll have had a 20-year career in the military and a physics master's degree with a much better GPA (3.85). I was also born and raised in Texas and can articulate clearly why I want to go back there to live/work.

I realize that the uGPA will always matter, but I'm hoping that two decades of separation with good work experience/education will mitigate it a little bit.

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UnTouChablE
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby UnTouChablE » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:38 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
HowdyYall wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.


wait, with a 2.6? even with a 170 i dont think SMU would be "likely"


Barring the always-possible "bad LSAT day", I'm predicting something in the mid-170s.

Also, while that uGPA is horrible, it'll also be 20 years old when I apply. Since then, I'll have had a 20-year career in the military and a physics master's degree with a much better GPA (3.85). I was also born and raised in Texas and can articulate clearly why I want to go back there to live/work.

I realize that the uGPA will always matter, but I'm hoping that two decades of separation with good work experience/education will mitigate it a little bit.


lol @ "a little bit", you mean "alot". You should be good for SMU with a 170+

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kalvano
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:47 pm

HowdyYall wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Marionberry wrote:In a previous thread, OP said that his GPA was in the area of 2.6-2.7.



UT is out then, even with a 180.

SMU is likely with a good enough LSAT.


wait, with a 2.6? even with a 170 i dont think SMU would be "likely"



SMU likes good LSAT's. They favor that over GPA.

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Marionberry
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:29 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:Also, while that uGPA is horrible, it'll also be 20 years old when I apply. Since then, I'll have had a 20-year career in the military and a physics master's degree with a much better GPA (3.85). I was also born and raised in Texas and can articulate clearly why I want to go back there to live/work.

I realize that the uGPA will always matter, but I'm hoping that two decades of separation with good work experience/education will mitigate it a little bit.


It won't, not at UT at least. And I'm not trying to be a dick, but countless people who were by all other criteria stellar applicants and Texas residents (Texas political newspaper columnists, people who did years of volunteer work in Africa) have been getting dinged with 170+ and 3.0-3.2 gpas. Unless you are the second coming of Christ and can provide documentation of that, or are a URM, there is about a .01% likelihood that you're getting into Texas with less than a 3.0. The good news is that if you break 170 you are almost a sure thing at SMU, and might even get some money.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:43 pm

Marionberry wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:Also, while that uGPA is horrible, it'll also be 20 years old when I apply. Since then, I'll have had a 20-year career in the military and a physics master's degree with a much better GPA (3.85). I was also born and raised in Texas and can articulate clearly why I want to go back there to live/work.

I realize that the uGPA will always matter, but I'm hoping that two decades of separation with good work experience/education will mitigate it a little bit.


It won't, not at UT at least. And I'm not trying to be a dick, but countless people who were by all other criteria stellar applicants and Texas residents (Texas political newspaper columnists, people who did years of volunteer work in Africa) have been getting dinged with 170+ and 3.0-3.2 gpas. Unless you are the second coming of Christ and can provide documentation of that, or are a URM, there is about a .01% likelihood that you're getting into Texas with less than a 3.0. The good news is that if you break 170 you are almost a sure thing at SMU, and might even get some money.


I agree, and you're not sounding like a dick at all. The part of my post you quoted is me describing my reasons why I think I have a shot at SMU even with my low uGPA - I realize that my chances at UT are all but nil. It sucks, but I made my bed and I'll lie in it.

I'll still apply to UT, of course, but right now I think my best hope for practicing in DFW is to get accepted to SMU with a little bit of $$ to go along with the GI Bill.

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Marionberry
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Re: How Good/Bad is SMU if you want to practice in D/FW?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:01 pm

Yeah, prep hard for the LSAT and I think that's a very attainable goal.

here is the pdf with the admissions grid I was talking about earlier:

http://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/S ... AC6660.pdf

In that year, SMU admitted 8 out of 9 applicants with GPAs ranging between 2.5 and 2.75, with LSATS between 165-169. So, even if you just break 165, your chances are still very good. Of course, the higher you go up to a certain point I would imagine the better your chances are at money.




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