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U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:06 pm
by ab5
I am currently in at both U of H and SMU. Tuition is not an issue (I did get $$$ to both). I am wanting to end up in Houston, but I am partial to the SMU campus and the fact that it is in the top 50. I am currently interested in employment/labor law and banking/finance law. Any suggestions???

Should the fact that SMU is #50 and U of H is #56 play a big factor in my decision???

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:06 pm
by bk1
I'm dumb and forgot SMU wasn't in Houston so ignore my advice.

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:09 pm
by ArchRoark
If you are set on practicing in Houston and cost differences aren't a factor then UofH easily. How much money did you get from Houston?

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:10 pm
by bartleby
I'm in a sim. position and am leaning SMU. I just can't spend another day, much less one awful year, on the UH campus. Whether it is worth $5,000 over three years is the problem.

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:12 pm
by Aberzombie1892
SMU's historical placement has been blowing U of Houston out of the water.

I didn't read the OP's post, but if you want a higher salary - go SMU (assuming it is affordable).

EDIT:

U of Houston - 34% of Houston's class of 2009 made more than $65,000
SMU - 48% of SMU's class of 2009 made more than $75,000

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:15 pm
by ab5
does rank make a difference here or do Houston's job prospects negate that?

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:17 pm
by Ty Webb
ab5 wrote:does rank make a difference here or do Houston's job prospects negate that?


The two are peer schools. If you want to work in Houston, you're better off at UH.

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:17 pm
by fathergoose
Native Houstonian here. Had to make this choice last year and ultimately it came down to financial considerations. My COA was lower at SMU after scholarships. So I went to SMU

Both schools place pretty well in TX. SMU might leave you stuck in Dallas if you don't get the grades and UH will leave you in Houston if you don't get grades.

Basically if you have to work in Houston go to UH but if it's more of a I'd like to work in Houston go to SMU.

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:23 pm
by ab5
Thanks for all the advice! This is all very helpful. Please keep it coming. I am from Houston, and I don't have to end up there, but I would like to.

FatherGoose...are you happy with your choice? Hear anything from your friends at U of Houston that makes you think that may have been a better choice?

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:42 pm
by Stanford4Me
fathergoose wrote:Native Houstonian here. Had to make this choice last year and ultimately it came down to financial considerations. My COA was lower at SMU after scholarships. So I went to SMU

Both schools place pretty well in TX. SMU might leave you stuck in Dallas if you don't get the grades and UH will leave you in Houston if you don't get grades.

Basically if you have to work in Houston go to UH but if it's more of a I'd like to work in Houston go to SMU.

+1

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:52 pm
by Mce252
If you don't have a huge desire to work in Houston over Dallas, it might come down to aesthetics. And SMU wins...

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:39 pm
by 2013ek
ab5 wrote:Thanks for all the advice! This is all very helpful. Please keep it coming. I am from Houston, and I don't have to end up there, but I would like to.

FatherGoose...are you happy with your choice? Hear anything from your friends at U of Houston that makes you think that may have been a better choice?


Made the same choice last year with slightly more $$$ from SMU. I chose to stay in Houston b/c that's where I wanted to end up. Not to beat a dead horse, but if you want to work in Houston go to UH. Graduates from both schools place really well with Big Law firms in their respective cities, but have a tough time breaking into each others markets. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but it is generally the case. A big reason for this, aside from the obvious geographic reasons, is that Big Law interviews at UH OCI will only be for their Houston offices and SMU interviews will typically only be for Dallas. The only exception to this that I know of is Skadden, which allows you to pick which office (nationwide). Regardless, you should be able to find last year's OCI data on their Career Websites or TLS that lists what firms interviewed and for which offices. If it's any consolation, I know that both schools have started hosting career fairs in each others' cities, but it's relatively recent development.

As far as a 6 ranking diff, don't worry about that. That only matters to 0L's. Just worry about getting good grades wherever you end up. If you do well enough maybe you can transfer up to the #6 school in the country, where a 6 ranking diff actually matters, but that's just my .02

Good Luck!

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:43 pm
by patrickd139
2013ek wrote:Made the same choice last year with slightly more $$$ from SMU. I chose to stay in Houston b/c that's where I wanted to end up. Not to beat a dead horse, but if you want to work in Houston go to UH. Graduates from both schools place really well with Big Law firms in their respective cities, but have a tough time breaking into each others markets. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but it is generally the case. A big reason for this, aside from the obvious geographic reasons, is that Big Law interviews at UH OCI will only be for their Houston offices and SMU interviews will typically only be for Dallas. The only exception to this that I know of is Skadden, which allows you to pick which office (nationwide). Regardless, you should be able to find last year's OCI data on their Career Websites or TLS that lists what firms interviewed and for which offices. If it's any consolation, I know that both schools have started hosting career fairs in each others' cities, but it's relatively recent development.

As far as a 6 ranking diff, don't worry about that. That only matters to 0L's. Just worry about getting good grades wherever you end up. If you do well enough maybe you can transfer up to the #6 school in the country, where a 6 ranking diff actually matters, but that's just my .02

Good Luck!

Everything about this post is solid. OP: I vote for UofH. I know its location sucks, but law school is professional school, not vacation school.

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:56 pm
by fathergoose
ab5 wrote:Thanks for all the advice! This is all very helpful. Please keep it coming. I am from Houston, and I don't have to end up there, but I would like to.

FatherGoose...are you happy with your choice? Hear anything from your friends at U of Houston that makes you think that may have been a better choice?

Yea I'm real pleased with my choice. I'll end up in Houston after graduation and will probably put down my roots permanently there so I'm glad I took the chance to live somewhere different for a while, even if it's still in Texas.

I think there are some things I'd adjust about SMU, namely the way LRW is set up, but to be fair it did teach me how to write memos and briefs like a champ.

Honestly flip a coin. I have friends who love both places. They are certainly different but if you are from Houston I'm assuming you are a decent laid back person not obsessed with pretension (cough cough Dallas natives) and you'll fit in fine wherever you go.

Feel free to PM me if you have particular questions or if I can be of any help

Edit: Lack of conjunctions

Re: U of Houston vs SMU???

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:03 pm
by ab5
again...so helpful. i think you're right about a 6 point ranking only mattering to a 0L. also, good way of phrasing it with the professional school vs vacation school.