The Texas T4 Face Off

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afrogod3@yahoo.com
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The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby afrogod3@yahoo.com » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:12 pm

I have been weighing pros and cons for quite a while now and would appreciate some outside perspectives.

I have been accepted to St. Mary's in San Antonio and Thurgood Marshall in Houston. I've a 155 and 3.05, military experience, career experience, etc.

I am having trouble deciding between the two school since last Friday TM informed me that they were offering me a free ride scholarship where SM is offering 7k off of their 27k/yr tuition.

I have 15 months left of my GI Bill making my first year at St. Mary's free. As a disabled veteran, I qualify for a VA benefit which will make my 2nd year (mostly) free, leaving my 3rd year to finance personally.

The TM route would allow the first year free with scholarship (possibly extended with a 3.0 after 1L, but uncertain considering their "unique" curve), the 2nd year free with GI bill, and the third free with VA benefit for disabled vets provided i do not re-qualify for the scholarship.

So, is Thurgood Marshall THAT bad? Any and all advice would be welcome! thanks!!

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BarbellDreams
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:14 pm

Is it THAT bad? Yes, you should probably retake.

However, if it is absolutely free and you realize just how bad the job prospects are coming out of it so as not to simply waste 3 years of your life then by all means...

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bk1
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:17 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Is it THAT bad? Yes, you should probably retake.

However, if it is absolutely free and you realize just how bad the job prospects are coming out of it so as not to simply waste 3 years of your life then by all means...


I'm not necessarily sure whether retake/reapply is actually the best bet with only 15 months left on the GI bill.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Is it THAT bad? Yes, you should probably retake.

However, if it is absolutely free and you realize just how bad the job prospects are coming out of it so as not to simply waste 3 years of your life then by all means...


I'm not necessarily sure whether retake/reapply is actually the best bet with only 15 months left on the GI bill.


Eh, you're right, its a huge gamble either way. If you retake and score 10 points higher it will be worth it, if you retake and score 2 points higher it won't with the GI bill running out. Accept and retake in June?

HowdyYall
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby HowdyYall » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:20 pm

im originally from san antonio; been all over the world and never been in a city like it. Extremely military friendly city so that might be good with your military background and everything. That being said, I have 2 friends in the top 20% of their class at SM; neither have law-related jobs lined up, one worked as a lifeguard this past summer (theyre both 3Ls now)....id really check out thurgood bud

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fatduck
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:21 pm

bk1 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Is it THAT bad? Yes, you should probably retake.

However, if it is absolutely free and you realize just how bad the job prospects are coming out of it so as not to simply waste 3 years of your life then by all means...


I'm not necessarily sure whether retake/reapply is actually the best bet with only 15 months left on the GI bill.


by 15 months left he almost assuredly means 15 months of school, not a 15 month clock ticking

CanadianWolf
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:21 pm

I think that you mean Texas Southern's Marshall School of Law. Of almost 200 ABA accredited law schools in the US, Texas Southern's Thurgood Marshall has the lowest or second lowest standards of admission. Comparatively speaking between the two law schools, St. Mary's bar passage rate is significantly higher than Texas Southern's. A reasonable argument could be made that Texas Southern's Thurgood Marshall School of Law may be the worst in the nation among ABA accredited law schools. St. Marys bar passage rate is above average for Texas at over 87% compared to Texas Southern's 59%.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:22 pm

fatduck wrote:by 15 months left he almost assuredly means 15 months of school, not a 15 month clock ticking


Oh? Well I seriously have no idea how it works so ignore me then.

afrogod3@yahoo.com
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby afrogod3@yahoo.com » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:34 pm

I understand my prospects coming out of a T4 school, but I am (stupidly?) convinced that a t4 school won't stop me from grabbing a year or two experience in a boutique firm or government office before starting my own family law practice.

The question is which is the lesser of two evils - TM or SM? Free ride at a sh*t school, or roughly 40k debt from a (slightly) less sh*ttier school?

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bk1
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:36 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I am (stupidly?) convinced that a t4 school won't stop me from grabbing a year or two experience in a boutique firm or government office before starting my own family law practice.


Yes, stupidly.

At many of these schools securing any job is difficult, let alone a crappy one. Schools far better than these have little more than half of their class employed at graduation.

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fatduck
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:37 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I understand my prospects coming out of a T4 school, but I am (stupidly?) convinced that a t4 school won't stop me from grabbing a year or two experience in a boutique firm or government office before starting my own family law practice.

The question is which is the lesser of two evils - TM or SM? Free ride at a sh*t school, or roughly 40k debt from a (slightly) less sh*ttier school?


retake. retake retake retake retake retake. if you can get your lsat to the 162-165 range, you will have so many more options available to you. target yellow ribbon program schools if you're looking to keep your debt low.

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Grond
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Grond » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:41 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I understand my prospects coming out of a T4 school, but I am (stupidly?) convinced that a t4 school won't stop me from grabbing a year or two experience in a boutique firm or government office before starting my own family law practice.

The question is which is the lesser of two evils - TM or SM? Free ride at a sh*t school, or roughly 40k debt from a (slightly) less sh*ttier school?


Did you apply to other schools in TX? Also, are you URM? You should have better options than those two schools.

afrogod3@yahoo.com
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby afrogod3@yahoo.com » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:45 pm

I am not a URM. I applied (stupidly) to Texas, Baylor, St. Mary's, and Thurgood Marshall.

Suggestions? I still have time before application deadlines.

HowdyYall
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby HowdyYall » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:46 pm

Grond wrote:
afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I understand my prospects coming out of a T4 school, but I am (stupidly?) convinced that a t4 school won't stop me from grabbing a year or two experience in a boutique firm or government office before starting my own family law practice.

The question is which is the lesser of two evils - TM or SM? Free ride at a sh*t school, or roughly 40k debt from a (slightly) less sh*ttier school?


Did you apply to other schools in TX? Also, are you URM? You should have better options than those two schools.


woai there racist, just because his name is afrogod and he's in the military doesnt automatically mean he's a URM haha

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Grond
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Grond » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:49 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I am not a URM. I applied (stupidly) to Texas, Baylor, St. Mary's, and Thurgood Marshall.

Suggestions? I still have time before application deadlines.


South Texas.

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Grond
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Grond » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:53 pm

Grond wrote:
afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:I am not a URM. I applied (stupidly) to Texas, Baylor, St. Mary's, and Thurgood Marshall.

Suggestions? I still have time before application deadlines.


South Texas.



What the heck, throw in UH, Texas Tech and SMU as well. Check out the part time programs at SMU and UH, as they take lower numbers.

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Marionberry
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Marionberry » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:58 pm

HowdyYall wrote:im originally from san antonio; been all over the world and never been in a city like it. Extremely military friendly city so that might be good with your military background and everything. That being said, I have 2 friends in the top 20% of their class at SM; neither have law-related jobs lined up, one worked as a lifeguard this past summer (theyre both 3Ls now)....id really check out thurgood bud


This is not credited. Prospects for St. Mary's grads are grim, but Texas Southern is the absolute worst of the Texas law schools. I have never met anyone who had anything positive to say about it. If possible, retake and shoot for UH/Baylor/SMU, failing that STCL, Tech or St. Mary's. Then maybe consider Texas Wesleyan. Then, if you can't get into any of those other schools and someone will literally murder you if you don't attend a law school, then I would go visit TSU and see what you think before you make your decision.

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kalvano
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:02 pm

Definitely STCL. That seems to do pretty well in Houston.

You might have a shot at part time SMU. UT is obviously out, but throw one at UofH as well.

Do not go to either of the schools that have said yes.

CanadianWolf
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:40 pm

Your LSAT score is 155. How did you prepare for the test ? Is this your only score ? Have you considered retaking the LSAT after completion of a review course like Test Masters, PowerScore, Princeton review, etc.?

afrogod3@yahoo.com
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby afrogod3@yahoo.com » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:53 pm

Thank you all for your insight. I applied to STCL last night. I forgot to mention UoH declined me. I had STCL selected to apply to on my LSAC account page, but when I submitted applications they were not yet accepting apps. I had forgotten to check back and apply. I thank you all for the reminder. My numbers seem to give me a decent shot at STCL.

I was unaware that STCL provided that much more of an advantage in placement options. After reviewing the data at http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm ... mic_Trends and http://www.nalp.org/, I am starting to develop a better understanding of the dynamics at play.

In regards to the decision you all have helped me with, I have ruled out TM, and pending STCL's decision, I will either attend there or SM. Hopefully, STCL will extend me an offer.

My major concern is placement after law school to get a few years experience before striking out on my own. Retake is not an option as I would still be stuck with a 3.05 GPA from a semester of all F's back in my early 20s. Even after these past two years of making nothing but A's (72 hours of credit), I have only managed to bring it up to a 3.05. Furthermore, I am unsure if I would score higher. I was expecting a 155 considering the 12 practice LSATs I took at home. Only three times did I score 160 or marginally above.

Now to explain to the wife and in-laws why I am passing up a free ride to TM... any ideas with that one? haha

How about this? I am reasonably convinced that finding a job fresh out of law school will be difficult for any law graduate. Placing within the top 10% of your class will definitely make the process easier. TM has a unique grading curve that hinders the effect of personal achievement or dedication while emphasizing group performance. Obtaining a top 10% ranking is strongly influenced by which student grouping you are arbitrarily assigned. Furthermore, the performance or aptitude of other students is beyond your control. Even at other schools besides TM, where you rank in your class is just as much within your control as out of it. The only thing truly within your control is your choice of school, and that decision should be influenced by the placement opportunities for graduates not in their top 10%. Attending a school with sub-par expectations for graduates not in the highest class rank is simply too much of a gamble. Attending a regional school is gamble enough.

In case you haven't noticed, I am partially still trying to convince myself that passing up a free legal education is a wise idea. As always, opinions are welcome. Thank you all for your time and assistance in helping me sift through my options.

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fatduck
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby fatduck » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:56 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your LSAT score is 155. How did you prepare for the test ? Is this your only score ? Have you considered retaking the LSAT after completion of a review course like Test Masters, PowerScore, Princeton review, etc.?

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Marionberry
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Marionberry » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:59 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:Thank you all for your insight. I applied to STCL last night. I forgot to mention UoH declined me. I had STCL selected to apply to on my LSAC account page, but when I submitted applications they were not yet accepting apps. I had forgotten to check back and apply. I thank you all for the reminder. My numbers seem to give me a decent shot at STCL.

I was unaware that STCL provided that much more of an advantage in placement options. After reviewing the data at http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm ... mic_Trends and http://www.nalp.org/, I am starting to develop a better understanding of the dynamics at play.

In regards to the decision you all have helped me with, I have ruled out TM, and pending STCL's decision, I will either attend there or SM. Hopefully, STCL will extend me an offer.

My major concern is placement after law school to get a few years experience before striking out on my own. Retake is not an option as I would still be stuck with a 3.05 GPA from a semester of all F's back in my early 20s. Even after these past two years of making nothing but A's (72 hours of credit), I have only managed to bring it up to a 3.05. Furthermore, I am unsure if I would score higher. I was expecting a 155 considering the 12 practice LSATs I took at home. Only three times did I score 160 or marginally above.

Now to explain to the wife and in-laws why I am passing up a free ride to TM... any ideas with that one? haha

How about this? I am reasonably convinced that finding a job fresh out of law school will be difficult for any law graduate. Placing within the top 10% of your class will definitely make the process easier. TM has a unique grading curve that hinders the effect of personal achievement or dedication while emphasizing group performance. Obtaining a top 10% ranking is strongly influenced by which student grouping you are arbitrarily assigned. Furthermore, the performance or aptitude of other students is beyond your control. Even at other schools besides TM, where you rank in your class is just as much within your control as out of it. The only thing truly within your control is your choice of school, and that decision should be influenced by the placement opportunities for graduates not in their top 10%. Attending a school with sub-par expectations for graduates not in the highest class rank is simply too much of a gamble. Attending a regional school is gamble enough.

In case you haven't noticed, I am partially still trying to convince myself that passing up a free legal education is a wise idea. As always, opinions are welcome. Thank you all for your time and assistance in helping me sift through my options.


I would add that if your goal is to get a JD, pass the bar, and then hang your own shingle, your abilities will make a much bigger difference that the name on your degree. But since you expressed an interest to work for a firm before striking out on your own, you have to consider which schools are gonna give you a chance at that. I may be wrong in my assessment of TM, but I have seriously never heard anything positive about it or its graduates. I think, as pointed out earlier in the thread, it is arguably one of the worst schools in the country, if we are gonna go off of admissions numbers. However, if its free, that makes it a much less terrible decision, though I would still say probably not a good one.

afrogod3@yahoo.com
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby afrogod3@yahoo.com » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:04 pm

Yes it is my only score, and no I do not intend on retaking. Nor do I plan to pay some one a grand or two to help me study. I simply do not have the time as a full time student, part time worker, and father of three. I also have doubts as to the effectiveness of these review courses.

Even if I did ace the LSAT, a 3.05 GPA will still hold me back, and there is not much I can do about that. I have resigned to accept the 155 and the limitations to my choice of school as a result.

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fatduck
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby fatduck » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:07 pm

afrogod3@yahoo.com wrote:Yes it is my only score, and no I do not intend on retaking. Nor do I plan to pay some one a grand or two to help me study. I simply do not have the time as a full time student, part time worker, and father of three. I also have doubts as to the effectiveness of these review courses.

Even if I did ace the LSAT, a 3.05 GPA will still hold me back, and there is not much I can do about that. I have resigned to accept the 155 and the limitations to my choice of school as a result.


well obviously it's your decision - I will say that my first prep test score was a 159, and through practice I eventually scored a 170 on the real test (and did not pay for any tutoring or classes). I have a 2.94 GPA and I've been offered full rides to bottom-T1 schools, so it's something worth considering (I'm also a veteran so our "softs" are probably reasonably similar)

I won't comment on the rest of the thread because I think other people have given much better advice - TM seems like a horrible school, though, especially the way you describe the "unique curve"
Last edited by fatduck on Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aqualibrium
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Re: The Texas T4 Face Off

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:07 pm

Marionberry wrote:
HowdyYall wrote:im originally from san antonio; been all over the world and never been in a city like it. Extremely military friendly city so that might be good with your military background and everything. That being said, I have 2 friends in the top 20% of their class at SM; neither have law-related jobs lined up, one worked as a lifeguard this past summer (theyre both 3Ls now)....id really check out thurgood bud


This is not credited. Prospects for St. Mary's grads are grim, but Texas Southern is the absolute worst of the Texas law schools. I have never met anyone who had anything positive to say about it. If possible, retake and shoot for UH/Baylor/SMU, failing that STCL, Tech or St. Mary's. Then maybe consider Texas Wesleyan. Then, if you can't get into any of those other schools and someone will literally murder you if you don't attend a law school, then I would go visit TSU and see what you think before you make your decision.


+1 even Thurgood students in the top 10% are struggling. I know a couple who were actually able to transfer to better schools (t1) and still couldn't get a job because of the Thrugood stain on their resume.




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