Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Only one will survive:

SMU-PT (22k per year / 4 years)
14
70%
Rutgers-N ( 14k per year)
5
25%
Miami (38k per year)
1
5%
Kent (30k per year)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

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Justathought
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Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:19 pm

Its come down to this one thread. Vote and share your thoughts please; it is genuinely helpful and much appreciated.

I'm open to practicing in any of these markets, but will rank them according to preference: 1. NY/NJ 2. FL 3. Dallas/TX

I will go to school where I intend to work, so once a decision is made, I'm committed to the region.

General thoughts: I would probably be happy as a clam in Miami, but the market seems too small and the price seems too big. Rutgers seems like the most underrated option for people interested in NYC and unable to secure Fordham or better. However, the best of the underdogs in a hyper competitive market is still scary. SMU seems like a powerhouse in Dallas, but it would be part-time. Overall, I prefer full-time.

The Schools


SMU: --LinkRemoved--
Rutgers-N: --LinkRemoved--
Miami: --LinkRemoved--


Edit: Added Kent to the mix and changed the poll to reflect this. Tuition is listed in the parenthesis.
I also have other options, but for one reason or another, they suck. i.e. Brooklyn at sticker.
Last edited by Justathought on Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Justathought
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:36 pm

Oh one more thing, not that this matters too much: I don't have to take out loans for school. I'm a non-trad with enough in savings to cover the bill. This is worth noting, but somewhat irrelevant because I still want to get the most for my money.

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bk1
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:53 pm

SMU will give you the largest shot at biglaw though it is still unlikely.

Rutgers is the most cost effective option overall.

SMU might be more cost effective if you are okay with working during school and depending on how much you would make.


I'd say take Rutgers as long as you are okay with NJ since it is the best value and is FT.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:59 pm

bk1 wrote:SMU will give you the largest shot at biglaw though it is still unlikely.

Rutgers is the most cost effective option overall.

SMU might be more cost effective if you are okay with working during school and depending on how much you would make.


I'd say take Rutgers as long as you are okay with NJ since it is the best value and is FT.


Thanks bk, your advice is always sound. Keep the opinions coming folks, I do value your input.

On the subject of working during LS: I thought, if I go to SMU, I would take the first semester easy and not work. Get accustomed to LS, and really try to nail first semester grades. Then, if that went well, try to work second semester. Also, I could always transfer into FT for 2L, I've heard a lot of people go that route at SMU.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:28 pm

Updated avatar to reflect possibility of New Yorker in Texas.

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kalvano
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby kalvano » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:54 pm

bk1 wrote:SMU will give you the largest shot at biglaw though it is still unlikely.



Actually, SMU places well into Biglaw. There are also a lot of firms in Texas that are not big firms but pay market rate. Of course, they have GPA stipulations, but are more flexible because they are smaller.

Texas seems to have a different salary structure than other places. It's not as simple as one extreme ($160K) or the other ($35K). There is more "in-between".

I have no idea what the market is in Miami or options from Rutgers, but I can tell you in talking with 3L's here, a lot of them are down because they aren't getting the $160K jobs, but no one I have spoken with is looking at having nothing. The economy here is a little better than other places, which is nice. Also, Dallas is a huge city, but SMU (and UT, certainly) are really the only schools that directly serve it. It's a little more insular as far as hiring goes, too. Obviously, big-name schools carry great weight, but a lot of emphasis is placed on Texas ties or working in Texas through law school. SMU gives you a little leg up on that.

Obviously, I'm somewhat biased by the fact that I go there, but it wasn't my first choice and I don't like Texas, so I try and be fairly objective about the school. OP, let me know if you have any questions.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:04 pm

kalvano wrote:
bk1 wrote:SMU will give you the largest shot at biglaw though it is still unlikely.



Actually, SMU places well into Biglaw. There are also a lot of firms in Texas that are not big firms but pay market rate. Of course, they have GPA stipulations, but are more flexible because they are smaller.

Texas seems to have a different salary structure than other places. It's not as simple as one extreme ($160K) or the other ($35K). There is more "in-between".

I have no idea what the market is in Miami or options from Rutgers, but I can tell you in talking with 3L's here, a lot of them are down because they aren't getting the $160K jobs, but no one I have spoken with is looking at having nothing. The economy here is a little better than other places, which is nice. Also, Dallas is a huge city, but SMU (and UT, certainly) are really the only schools that directly serve it. It's a little more insular as far as hiring goes, too. Obviously, big-name schools carry great weight, but a lot of emphasis is placed on Texas ties or working in Texas through law school. SMU gives you a little leg up on that.

Obviously, I'm somewhat biased by the fact that I go there, but it wasn't my first choice and I don't like Texas, so I try and be fairly objective about the school. OP, let me know if you have any questions.


Thanks very much Kalvano. I asked you a few questions the other night, and your answers were very helpful. I'm sure I'll have more in the coming days.

Still looking for more feedback folks.

Also, to the people who voted for Miami: I'm curious, were you just trying to mess with the results of the poll or are there actual reasons to attend that I'm not aware of? Listen, I love Miami, that's why its up there, but this is sort of a two horse race in my opinion. I just can't justify the expense, no matter how much I would love to attend. And I would love to attend...

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:07 pm

You guys, seriously, this is a deathmatch. Need more comments and votes to determine the last school standing.

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Justathought
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:22 am

Although the tone of this thread has been rather lighthearted, I do have some serious concerns.

I really like SMU, it seems like a great choice for any applicant willing to work in Dallas. Its employment prospects out shine higher ranked programs, but its part-time. Ideally, I do want to attend full-time. Rutgers is a great value, and its full-time, but the competition is just dire. Its prestige in the region is lacking, whereas SMU is afforded more than its fair share.

So it comes down to this - Suck it up and attend part-time, or go full-time and really gamble on your chances at a solid job in the region?

I leave Miami in the mix because its a good combination of the two programs. Its full-time, and its favorably viewed in S. Florida. However, the high cost and size of the market make me very hesitant. I'm just not sure Miami, with its large class size and relatively small home turf, offers enough jobs for all the students who do reasonably well there. Let alone those who finish around median.

In other news: Waitlisted at Iowa yesterday.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby xcountryjunkie » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:38 am

I dont have any particular insights into these schools, but here are my thoughts anyway.

Miami: As you said, awesome but not worth the money.

SMU: Second-best school in a large legal market that has no state income tax. If you're okay with living in TX, this gets my vote. One year of PT would let you offset a bit of the cost and a transfer to FT would still have you graduating in three years.

Rutgers: Much lower on the NYC totem pole than SMU is in Texas. Think of all the schools NYC firms would prefer to hire from (Columbia, NYU, Fordham, Cornell, Cardozo, any random T14, etc.). Plus you'd have to live in Jersey, which nobody wants to do. (That's my inner-New Yorker coming out)...

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:04 am

SMU by far.

If you, somehow someway, end up in the bottom half of your class, you will have better job prospects from SMU than either Rutgers or Miami.

Why?

SMU is the best law school in its city and that city is one of the largest legal markets (comparatively speaking) in the US. Thus, as the data has shown, there is generally room for higher profile law school graduates to get jobs there and room for SMU grads to get jobs too. This is not the case for either Rutgers or U Miami (although U Miami likely has better job prospects than Rutgers).

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Kinderby
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Kinderby » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:14 am

My vote's for SMU too. (As soon as I vote in the actual poll, that is.) What the above have said about job prospects is true, and I don't think I saw it mentioned that COL in Texas is so low. Dallas is probably a bit higher than where I am (FW), but still, Texas compared to so many other places is cheeee-eap.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby ihp12 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:30 am

Kinderby wrote:My vote's for SMU too. (As soon as I vote in the actual poll, that is.) What the above have said about job prospects is true, and I don't think I saw it mentioned that COL in Texas is so low. Dallas is probably a bit higher than where I am (FW), but still, Texas compared to so many other places is cheeee-eap.


+1 on the COL. No state income tax and cheap property values. If you didn't make biglaw (which is likely but not certain with all these schools), you're lower salary would be MUCH more valuable in Dallas than Miami or NY.

Part-time could work for you. I don't know about SMU specifically, but you can usually transfer to full-time after a year at most schools.

Don't worry about a NY to Texas culture shock. People in Texas are friendly and Dallas is a big city.
Last edited by ihp12 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby holdencaulfield » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:32 am

kalvano wrote:
bk1 wrote:SMU will give you the largest shot at biglaw though it is still unlikely.



Actually, SMU places well into Biglaw. There are also a lot of firms in Texas that are not big firms but pay market rate. Of course, they have GPA stipulations, but are more flexible because they are smaller.

Texas seems to have a different salary structure than other places. It's not as simple as one extreme ($160K) or the other ($35K). There is more "in-between".

I have no idea what the market is in Miami or options from Rutgers, but I can tell you in talking with 3L's here, a lot of them are down because they aren't getting the $160K jobs, but no one I have spoken with is looking at having nothing. The economy here is a little better than other places, which is nice. Also, Dallas is a huge city, but SMU (and UT, certainly) are really the only schools that directly serve it. It's a little more insular as far as hiring goes, too. Obviously, big-name schools carry great weight, but a lot of emphasis is placed on Texas ties or working in Texas through law school. SMU gives you a little leg up on that.

Obviously, I'm somewhat biased by the fact that I go there, but it wasn't my first choice and I don't like Texas, so I try and be fairly objective about the school. OP, let me know if you have any questions.


To balance out kalvano's points:

SMU places well in biglaw, but landing such a job is only for those at the very top; thus, I agree with bk1 that biglaw is unlikely (this may change as the market turns). I'd also say that I know MANY 3L's with nothing lined up yet (even several on law review). Job prospects are good compared other similar schools, but it's still a bloodbath out there for many 3L's. Hopefully kalvano's class will have it better.

That said, I think SMU is a great school. If you network well and stay at least above median, you should be able to find a decent job. Not to mention Dallas is a great place to live.

About the PT program: it's great and many transfer to FT after the fist year. You have the same opportunities for law review, moot court, etc.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:46 pm

Thanks for all the discussion folks. As you know, the results of a deathmatch are binding, so it looks like I'll be headed to SMU.

I do welcome more conversation if you feel strongly about SMU or one of the other choices. Also, I reserve the right to subject SMU to a challenge from Iowa(if I get in off the waitlist) or W&M (they are going to waitlist me any second now).

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers v. Miami

Postby Justathought » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:21 pm

Looking for more thoughts on this matter. I still can't decide and its getting close to the deadline.

Only game changer here could be an Acceptance from WUSTL; I doubt very much that will come, so assume these are my best choices.


Concerns:

Rutgers -Public interest focus. Hate Newark. Worried about NY competition.
SMU - Part-time in a strange city. If I work, which I think would be wise for a 30 year old, after the first semester, the schedule would be brutal.

Also, I guess you can throw Kent in the mix because I got 10k per year there and its full time. No stipulations. Worried about Chicago competition.

Edit: Changed title to reflect the fact that Miami is out of the equation. Seems silly to choose it over Kent, since its at sticker. Also, SMU offer came in at 9k per year, no stipulations.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:56 pm

SMU with $ seems like the best choice if you're fine with working in Dallas.

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kalvano
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby kalvano » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:31 pm

Do the other scholarships have stipulations?

I cannot emphasize enough how nice it is not to have to worry about that.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby fakemoney » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:44 pm

SMU sounds solid if you're alright with Texas. Just mind the snow.

Besides, we need more NY transplants in Texas to set that state right.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby fathergoose » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:48 pm

kalvano wrote:Do the other scholarships have stipulations?

I cannot emphasize enough how nice it is not to have to worry about that.


Amen to this.

I'd say SMU (obviously biased) if you don't mind the fourth year. If you didn't want to work to during your 1L classes it would be nice to only have to focus on three or four classes instead of the full 5 or 6. And during the rest of the years you could find a firm in Dallas to work at during the day to offset expenses.

But I'm biased as I said so take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby keg411 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:01 am

I voted for Rutgers because it's the most cost-effective option and it sounds like you want NJ and are from NJ. Seriously, New Jersey is not a bad place; I don't get the bashing... it always makes me :(. There are plenty of reasons to criticize RU without the Jersey-hating.

That said, if I had SMU as an option last year, I probably would have taken it (and honestly, I think I would have regretted it).

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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:54 am

I voted SMU because you are getting a good scholly, and at pt- you will be working. While this may be difficult for yoru grades, it will keep the expenses of school down. I dont know much about the markets- but i think keeping costs down is important. However, you are more interested in NY NJ, so rutgers would be a decent option. I think what you need to do is travel and see each area- and see where you would fit in and be the happiest. That can make the decision much easier. Check to see how and if you can go fro pt to ft at SMU. That will help you make a decision ( however, giving the economy another year to right itself might be a good idea- but its up to you)

Sorry for being wishy washy- but i think you need to listen to yourself, write out the pros and cons in as much detail as possible, sleep on it for a few days( travel to visit would help, but might not be practical), then go.

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kalvano
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby kalvano » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:04 am

SMU is a nice school, and I enjoy it despite myself. However, Dallas is most definitely not New York / NJ (for better and for worse), and you really need to come visit to see if you'd be comfortable here.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby holdencaulfield » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:55 pm

After speaking with some underclassmen, I think I may have understated the current biglaw prospects. I spoke with several 2L's who informed me that quite a few of their classmates got SA positions at the biglaw firms here. Two of the 2L's I spoke with were splitting their summers between firms, all which paid market.

It certainly is better than it has been the last two years. Perhaps kalvano or some other 1L's or 2L's have more insight.

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Justathought
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Re: Random LS Deathmatch: SMU v. Rutgers

Postby Justathought » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:59 pm

holdencaulfield wrote:After speaking with some underclassmen, I think I may have understated the current biglaw prospects. I spoke with several 2L's who informed me that quite a few of their classmates got SA positions at the biglaw firms here. Two of the 2L's I spoke with were splitting their summers between firms, all which paid market.

It certainly is better than it has been the last two years. Perhaps kalvano or some other 1L's or 2L's have more insight.


Oh thanks for the updated response. Any idea on how the part-time crowd did? I know that may be too specific, but I may as well ask.




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