SMU or Wash U??

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SMU or Wash U???

SMU (full tuition/fees + live at home)
17
68%
Wash U (full tuition/fees)
8
32%
 
Total votes: 25

meshell_3
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SMU or Wash U??

Postby meshell_3 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:17 pm

Where should I go? I want to go to a midsize firm - probably not big law, as I am 30 and would like to work less than 80hours per week when I get out of school. My first job will be in Dallas (so SMU will be great for networking), but eventually, I might want to work in St. Louis or Chicago (I grew up in this area). I will be spending at least 3-5 years in Dallas after I graduate though . . .

I have a full tuition/fees scholarship from both Wash U and SMU, however, at SMU, I can live at home and save a substantial amount of money on cost of living. Oh and my background is engineering, so I might want to do something related to engineering and law when I get out. Considering I am 30, and would like a family, etc. when I get out of school, would choosing the less debt (~$30k less??) or the better school be the best option? Also, the most important question, if I attend SMU, will it matter if I decide to move to St. Louis 5 to 10 years down the line?

scammedhard
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby scammedhard » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:21 pm

I say go to WashU for free and live cheaply.

"My first job will be in Dallas"

Sorry I misread. Go to SMU for free. Congrats on the sweet deal.
Last edited by scammedhard on Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:25 pm

I misread.

If you want to work in Dallas immediately after graduation, SMU would be a better bet. It would be easier to move to St. Louis and find employment as an experienced attorney than it would be to find a job after graduation in Dallas with a Wash U degree.
Last edited by kalvano on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mez06
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby mez06 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:27 pm

When you say live at home, are you referring to a residence that you currently pay a mortgage on or the residence of your parents? Would help a bit in issuing sound advice....

meshell_3
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby meshell_3 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:32 pm

mez06 wrote:When you say live at home, are you referring to a residence that you currently pay a mortgage on or the residence of your parents? Would help a bit in issuing sound advice....


I would be living with my parents. So that means free rent, free utilities (TV, Internet, electricity, etc), plus a yard for the dog :-)! I wouldn't have to pay for anything but food.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:38 pm

meshell_3 wrote:Where should I go? I want to go to a midsize firm - probably not big law, as I am 30 and would like to work less than 80hours per week when I get out of school. My first job will be in Dallas (so SMU will be great for networking), but eventually, I might want to work in St. Louis or Chicago (I grew up in this area). I will be spending at least 3-5 years in Dallas after I graduate though . . .

I have a full tuition/fees scholarship from both Wash U and SMU, however, at SMU, I can live at home and save a substantial amount of money on cost of living. Oh and my background is engineering, so I might want to do something related to engineering and law when I get out. Considering I am 30, and would like a family, etc. when I get out of school, would choosing the less debt (~$30k less??) or the better school be the best option? Also, the most important question, if I attend SMU, will it matter if I decide to move to St. Louis 5 to 10 years down the line?


I don't think you can go wrong either way as you have some great options. Just out of curiosity, what were your numbers if you don't mind sharing? Personally, I would probably go with WashU, but that's just because I prefer St. Louis over Dallas. But, you said that your first job would be in Dallas, so perhaps SMU would be a better option for you because, like you said, that would give you 3 years of networking and you could live at home fo free.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:39 pm

According to the NALP directory 5 Dallas offices did OCI at WUSTL compared to 27 at SMU. WUSTL's overall placement is probably only marginally better if at all, so I'm not sure why it would be a choice for someone with a preference to work in Dallas immediately after law school.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:40 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:According to the NALP directory 5 Dallas offices did OCI at WUSTL compared to 27 at SMU. WUSTL's overall placement is probably only marginally better if at all, so I'm not sure why it would be a choice for someone with a preference to work in Dallas immediately after law school.


I was under the impression that the OP had a job lined up post-graduation in Dallas, but perhaps I'm wrong.

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bk1
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:40 pm

Do you already have a job lined up waiting for you in Dallas for after graduation? If yes, go to WUSTL. If no, go to SMU.

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bk1
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:41 pm

tittsburghfeelers wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:According to the NALP directory 5 Dallas offices did OCI at WUSTL compared to 27 at SMU. WUSTL's overall placement is probably only marginally better if at all, so I'm not sure why it would be a choice for someone with a preference to work in Dallas immediately after law school.


I was under the impression that the OP had a job lined up post-graduation in Dallas, but perhaps I'm wrong.


OP worded it vaguely. I can't tell whether it is true or not.

david787
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby david787 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:44 pm

I think either way SMU is the better choice for Dallas (perhaps the best for Dallas after UT). Not only will there be more OCI options but you'll have the SMU network for life, as opposed to having a network in STL or spread out.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:45 pm

I see no reason to not go with SMU. No further analysis is required.

meshell_3
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby meshell_3 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:47 pm

bk1 wrote:
tittsburghfeelers wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:According to the NALP directory 5 Dallas offices did OCI at WUSTL compared to 27 at SMU. WUSTL's overall placement is probably only marginally better if at all, so I'm not sure why it would be a choice for someone with a preference to work in Dallas immediately after law school.


I was under the impression that the OP had a job lined up post-graduation in Dallas, but perhaps I'm wrong.


OP worded it vaguely. I can't tell whether it is true or not.


I have nothing specific lined up post graduation. I was just worried that if I attend SMU, it will limit my opportunities when I move back to the midwest (5 years after graduation or so).

My numbers were LSAT:170, GPA: 3.82 at top 10 engineering school

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bk1
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:51 pm

meshell_3 wrote:I have nothing specific lined up post graduation. I was just worried that if I attend SMU, it will limit my opportunities when I move back to the midwest (5 years after graduation or so).

My numbers were LSAT:170, GPA: 3.82 at top 10 engineering school


Go to SMU then. Your opportunities to move back to the midwest down the road will likely be governed more by the job you have than the school you went to.

I'm assuming you're choosing full rides over some money at T14's or UT (which is fine and don't let others try and convince you that there is something wrong with that).

CanadianWolf
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:51 pm

Decide whether you want to live & work in Dallas or St. Louis. Planning to work in Dallas for a few years & then moving to St. Louis to practice law is a bit unrealistic. Experienced attorneys are hired by other firms most often for their portable clients, not their expertise (although that can happen, but it is not common especially when moving from one jurisdiction to another).

SMU seems to be the safer choice for you, in my opinion.

david787
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby david787 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:56 pm

Can you explain a little more why you want to work in Dallas for 5 years and then return to the Midwest?

meshell_3
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby meshell_3 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:04 pm

david787 wrote:Can you explain a little more why you want to work in Dallas for 5 years and then return to the Midwest?


I just grew up in St. Louis and Chicago, and most of my friends and family are there (except for my parents). It is very important that I don't do anything with my career that significantly hurts my chances to move back there if/when I want to. I like Dallas for now, but I for sure want to keep the Midwest open as an option . . .

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thexfactor
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby thexfactor » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:04 pm

is UT an option? i think UT sticker is better than SMU full ride.

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bk1
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:07 pm

meshell_3 wrote:
david787 wrote:Can you explain a little more why you want to work in Dallas for 5 years and then return to the Midwest?


I just grew up in St. Louis and Chicago, and most of my friends and family are there (except for my parents). It is very important that I don't do anything with my career that significantly hurts my chances to move back there if/when I want to. I like Dallas for now, but I for sure want to keep the Midwest open as an option . . .


WUSTL may open midwest options down the line, but SMU opens up far more Dallas options right now. Your ability to get to the midwest down the line will likely have more to do with your career at that point than the difference between whether you went to WUSTL or SMU.

thexfactor wrote:is UT an option? i think UT sticker is better than SMU full ride.


Disagree fervently.

CanadianWolf
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Much of the practice of law involves building relationships with clients, judges & other lawyers in a particular area. Legal expertise is much easier to acquire than clients and/or relationships.

P.S. For an expert point of view, consider contacting an experienced legal recruiter (headhunter) & discuss your plans.

david787
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby david787 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:09 pm

I think I'm going to change my vote to WashU then, I think SMU is excellent for staying in Dallas, but it doesn't travel well at all (not even to Houston). Maybe once you're at WashU then you'll decide you want to stay there and can skip the 5 years in Dallas (tell me if I'm wrong, I just don't see your motivation for Dallas). I certainly wouldn't use free rent and utilities as the reason to pick SMU over WashU, there are people willing to pay full fare at both schools, you are getting a great deal (you earned it with your #s) and shouldn't sweat the smaller expenses.

What are your other options, anything T14?

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:12 pm

thexfactor wrote:is UT an option? i think UT sticker is better than SMU full ride.


Completely disagree. If OP's wanted to work in Houston or Austin, then I would agree with you, but that's not the case in this situation.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:29 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Decide whether you want to live & work in Dallas or St. Louis. Planning to work in Dallas for a few years & then moving to St. Louis to practice law is a bit unrealistic. Experienced attorneys are hired by other firms most often for their portable clients, not their expertise (although that can happen, but it is not common especially when moving from one jurisdiction to another).



Sort of disagree. People on here completely overplay this aspect of being an attorney. If you're a good lawyer, you can find a job elsewhere and where you went to school won't matter as much.

You aren't just going to waltz into NYC or D.C. without some connections, but if someone from Dallas wanted to move to St. Louis and was an experienced attorney, I doubt they would have trouble finding some sort of employment, assuming the economy hasn't tanked.

CanadianWolf
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:34 pm

Maybe in a very strong economy, but without relationships & a book of business it might be a challenge. Sometimes certain specialties become hot & attorneys are hired by firms for their expertise--so it can happen.

P.S. Defining a "good lawyer" is also relevant. The practice of law is not law school.

meshell_3
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Re: SMU or Wash U??

Postby meshell_3 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:19 am

bk1 wrote:
meshell_3 wrote:I have nothing specific lined up post graduation. I was just worried that if I attend SMU, it will limit my opportunities when I move back to the midwest (5 years after graduation or so).

My numbers were LSAT:170, GPA: 3.82 at top 10 engineering school


Go to SMU then. Your opportunities to move back to the midwest down the road will likely be governed more by the job you have than the school you went to.

I'm assuming you're choosing full rides over some money at T14's or UT (which is fine and don't let others try and convince you that there is something wrong with that).


Yes - I turned down scholarships at some T14s, but none of them were close to full tuition. Now reading these posts, I hope that wasn't the worst decision ever! . . .




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