Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

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FutureLitigator27
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Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby FutureLitigator27 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:35 pm

I haven't seen a thread comparing the two, so I figured I would start one. If we put aside the rankings, what reasons are there to choose South Texas over Baylor (or vice versa) to specialize in litigation and trial advocacy? I have been able to talk to some recent graduates over the last couple years and starting salary's for top students seem to be close, though not as high as UH or SMU. So South Texas's tier 4 ranking does not effect them too much.

Baylor
    Quarter System - Good or Bad?
    Third Year Trial Court
    Bad Location
    Very small class sizes
    Tier 2

South Texas
    Very well known for trial advocacy
    Dominate moot court comps every year
    Perfect Location
    Tier 4

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Marionberry
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Marionberry » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:44 pm

FutureLitigator27 wrote:I haven't seen a thread comparing the two, so I figured I would start one. If we put aside the rankings, what reasons are there to choose South Texas over Baylor (or vice versa) to specialize in litigation and trial advocacy? I have been able to talk to some recent graduates over the last couple years and starting salary's for top students seem to be close, though not as high as UH or SMU. So South Texas's tier 4 ranking does not effect them too much.

Baylor
    Quarter System - Good or Bad?
    Third Year Trial Court
    Bad Location
    Very small class sizes
    Tier 2

South Texas
    Very well known for trial advocacy
    Dominate moot court comps every year
    Perfect Location
    Tier 4


If you're positive you want to be a trial lawyer, neither is terrible but Baylor is by far the better choice. It wouldn't be prudent to go to either at sticker. FWIW, I hear from a recent baylor grad who estimated that probably 60% of his graduating class didn't have anything full time locked down. South Texas is okay if you want to stay in Houston, but your job prospects coming out of either of these schools are probably not gonna be good.

Also, if you like Houston and your numbers are good enough to get you into Baylor, they might be good enough for U of H. This would be cheaper than either of those, I think(certainly Baylor not sure about STCL), and your job prospects for Houston will be much better, though still not great.

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FutureLitigator27
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby FutureLitigator27 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:49 pm

Marionberry wrote:
If you're positive you want to be a trial lawyer, neither is terrible but Baylor is by far the better choice. It wouldn't be prudent to go to either at sticker. FWIW, I hear from a recent baylor grad who estimated that probably 60% of his graduating class didn't have anything full time locked down. South Texas is okay if you want to stay in Houston, but your job prospects coming out of either of these schools are probably not gonna be good.


Do you think Baylor produces better trial lawyers? Or would you choose Baylor because the ranking over South Texas is significant enough to effect employment after graduation? I have not received scholarship info from either school. I don't expect anything from Baylor, but they do offer merit scholarships based off first year grades. I am still waiting to be admitted or denied to SMU & UH.

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Marionberry
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Marionberry » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:54 pm

FutureLitigator27 wrote:
Marionberry wrote:
If you're positive you want to be a trial lawyer, neither is terrible but Baylor is by far the better choice. It wouldn't be prudent to go to either at sticker. FWIW, I hear from a recent baylor grad who estimated that probably 60% of his graduating class didn't have anything full time locked down. South Texas is okay if you want to stay in Houston, but your job prospects coming out of either of these schools are probably not gonna be good.


Do you think Baylor produces better trial lawyers? Or would you choose Baylor because the ranking over South Texas is significant enough to effect employment after graduation? I have not received scholarship info from either school. I don't expect anything from Baylor, but they do offer merit scholarships based off first year grades. I am still waiting to be admitted or denied to SMU & UH.


Baylor has a very good reputation throughout the state, South Texas less so. Either school will probably do a good job of preparing you to practice law, though ultimately your performance will come down to natural ability, your work ethic, and experience after school. The important thing to point out is that coming out of school primed to be a good trial lawyer is meaningless if you can't find a job. Your chances of finding a job from Baylor/UH/SMU are much better. As far as goign straight into solo work, that is nigh impossible if you don't have a mentor or someone to office with. Starting your own practice with 6 figures of debt over your head would be a recipe for disaster, if possible at all.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:03 pm

FutureLitigator27 wrote:
Marionberry wrote:
If you're positive you want to be a trial lawyer, neither is terrible but Baylor is by far the better choice. It wouldn't be prudent to go to either at sticker. FWIW, I hear from a recent baylor grad who estimated that probably 60% of his graduating class didn't have anything full time locked down. South Texas is okay if you want to stay in Houston, but your job prospects coming out of either of these schools are probably not gonna be good.


Do you think Baylor produces better trial lawyers? Or would you choose Baylor because the ranking over South Texas is significant enough to effect employment after graduation? I have not received scholarship info from either school. I don't expect anything from Baylor, but they do offer merit scholarships based off first year grades. I am still waiting to be admitted or denied to SMU & UH.



Something like 2% of Federal civil cases go to trial. The number in state cases is not as low, but is still pretty dismal. Don't go to a school @ sticker expecting to be a trial lawyer...

I mean go if you want to go, I've never been one to discourage people from exercising their free choice, but this idea of which makes better trial lawyers just doesn't matter much.

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Marionberry
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Marionberry » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:27 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
FutureLitigator27 wrote:
Marionberry wrote:
If you're positive you want to be a trial lawyer, neither is terrible but Baylor is by far the better choice. It wouldn't be prudent to go to either at sticker. FWIW, I hear from a recent baylor grad who estimated that probably 60% of his graduating class didn't have anything full time locked down. South Texas is okay if you want to stay in Houston, but your job prospects coming out of either of these schools are probably not gonna be good.


Do you think Baylor produces better trial lawyers? Or would you choose Baylor because the ranking over South Texas is significant enough to effect employment after graduation? I have not received scholarship info from either school. I don't expect anything from Baylor, but they do offer merit scholarships based off first year grades. I am still waiting to be admitted or denied to SMU & UH.



Something like 2% of Federal civil cases go to trial. The number in state cases is not as low, but is still pretty dismal. Don't go to a school @ sticker expecting to be a trial lawyer...

I mean go if you want to go, I've never been one to discourage people from exercising their free choice, but this idea of which makes better trial lawyers just doesn't matter much.


There's still criminal law, and small time civil litigation.

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FutureLitigator27
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby FutureLitigator27 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:28 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:

Something like 2% of Federal civil cases go to trial. The number in state cases is not as low, but is still pretty dismal. Don't go to a school @ sticker expecting to be a trial lawyer...


I don't have plans to become a trial lawyer specifically. The schools I've looked at that are known for their trial advocacy programs have a lot more courses dedicated to litigation. I see myself following my uncles footsteps into personal injury.

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kalvano
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:30 pm

Baylor is a brutal school.

Still, probably better than STCL.

Maybe.

keg411
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby keg411 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:34 am

Aqualibrium wrote:Something like 2% of Federal civil cases go to trial. The number in state cases is not as low, but is still pretty dismal. Don't go to a school @ sticker expecting to be a trial lawyer...

I mean go if you want to go, I've never been one to discourage people from exercising their free choice, but this idea of which makes better trial lawyers just doesn't matter much.


I don't even really want to do litigation, and Aqua, you are usually good at things... but on this point you are wrong. There is more to being a trial lawyer than having most of your cases go to trial. I know people who consider themselves "trial lawyers" and it is extremely rare that their cases ever actually go to trial.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:49 am

keg411 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Something like 2% of Federal civil cases go to trial. The number in state cases is not as low, but is still pretty dismal. Don't go to a school @ sticker expecting to be a trial lawyer...

I mean go if you want to go, I've never been one to discourage people from exercising their free choice, but this idea of which makes better trial lawyers just doesn't matter much.


I don't even really want to do litigation, and Aqua, you are usually good at things... but on this point you are wrong. There is more to being a trial lawyer than having most of your cases go to trial. I know people who consider themselves "trial lawyers" and it is extremely rare that their cases ever actually go to trial.


I appreciate the compliment Keg.

My not so well stated point was that going to a school at sticker because of it's trial ad program based on the 0L notion of what a trial attorney is doesn't make much sense (I quoted the stat just as a way of illustrating that a trial attorney isn't exactly what most people think it is these days). Especially because of the point you made.

Every law school has a bunch of classes tailored to litigation. The fact is, that's kinda what law school is geared towards if you think about it. Also, the specialty rankings on what schools have the best programs don't really tell the whole story. For instance, my school won the National Trial Lawyers Association competition last year, and was in the finals at many other competitions both last year and this year. Every prominent trial attorney in the state for the past 20 years was on the trial team, which is coached by a guy who is on the FRE committee and another very experienced trial attorney. My school isn't anywhere on the radar as far as the USNWR specialty rankings though...

Relying on those rankings as an indicator of who produces the best trial attorney is just not very realistic. Regardless of what a school teaches you, you can't practice it (or pay off your loans) without a job. My school produces lots of trial attorneys because it is in a position to offer many of its graduates good job opportunities. You really can't have one without the other. That was more so my point than anything...don't try to figure out which school "has the better trial program," try to figure out who has the best job prospects.

I'll admit I didn't state that very well the first time around...

keg411
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby keg411 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:19 am

Agree with your basic point Aqua (especially about specialty rankings and going anywhere at sticker), but at least the thread-starter seems to have the basic idea right in terms of focusing on market/location first (and also said he/she would prefer UH but hasn't heard yet).

I do think the term "trial lawyer" has a pretty specific connotation referring mostly to plaintiff work.

See: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/jus ... efault.htm

Aqualibrium
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:23 am

@Keg - I'm actually going to be competing at the AAJ Trial Competition next month...I've noticed that most of these things are put on by the plaintiff's bar. I suppose them and the criminal guys are really the only ones who take things to court these days.

For the OP, I'd suggest visiting both schools, and trying to get in contact with students at both. If these are your two final options, fit and feel are going to be more important than litigation prep. Especially since the job prospects from either school aren't that great.

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Marionberry
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Re: Baylor v. South Texas for Litigation

Postby Marionberry » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:30 am

FWIW, both of the schools OP mentioned have a good reputation, in Baylor's case a very good reputation, in the state for producing graduates who are more prepared than most to deal with trial work. Of course, as mentioned previously, this is pretty much meaningless without a job.




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