SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

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Texan1989
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SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Texan1989 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:00 am

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Last edited by Texan1989 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:29 am

It depends on what you want to do, and what you value more. NC will offer that more laid-back, smaller-town feel. Personally, I prefer that.

However, SMU is in one of the biggest cities in the USA, and so therefore it naturally opens more doors and gives you more opportunity at Biglaw, etc. I also think SMU will fare better if you are not in the top percentiles...you'll have more firms to send out apps to simply by virtue of Dallas being bigger.

For what it's worth, I was faced with pretty much the exact same decision and the only reason I chose SMU is I couldn't sell my house. But I also don't care much for Texas, so that was probably a driving reason.

Objectively, I would say that SMU probably offers more opportunities, not because it's a better school, but it serves such a huge market.

Texan1989
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Texan1989 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:34 am

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kalvano
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:39 am

Texan1989 wrote:Thanks for the advice. Is it generally correct that SMU will most likely land mea job in Dallas and Wake Forest will get me in Charlotte/Raleigh? Or does Wake have more reach up the East Coast, like to DC?

Also, I know SMU markets themselves as having a "global alumni." I am interested in a firm job that has some international work and traveling involved, if I could.


Wake: they probably a better reach up the East Coast, simply by virtue of geography.

SMU: SMU likes to spout a lot of international BS. If you want to travel and do international work, you need tip-top grades to go to a firm that has that type of work. I wouldn't bank on it.

de5igual
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm

OP- where do you have ties? NC is probably more insular than Texas, which is already pretty damn insular. If you don't have ties to either place, going to Wake Forest or SMU won't exactly remedy that unless you were otherwise very attractive to employers.

edit: I see that you're a Texan based on your sn. Go to SMU.

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brose
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby brose » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:17 pm

SMU.

Texan1989
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Texan1989 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:04 pm

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kalvano
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:24 pm

Both are fine from a "ties" standpoint.

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:04 pm

Somewhat similar position. I have a question about this as well. From a ties standpoint.

Are ties really THAT important? I'm a lifelong midwesterner and save for having grandparents who retired in the have no ties to the south. Would I be screwed for a job there?

My current situation is $78k at SMU and ~110k at WF.

But I'm really, really worried about career placement in a region where I'd be seen as kind of an outsider.


I'm leaning heavily towards Wake, will be going there for ASD and would like to be near my grandparents, though truth be told they're a bit farther away from WS than I realized. Is this wise - or at least as wise as going to a non t14 school can be?

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kalvano
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Putting aside my distaste for Texas, SMU really is the better choice in this comparison. The rankings don't really matter that much; WF serves NC and the surrounding area, which is pretty big, but...there really isn't a massive legal market there. It's a beautiful place, and I loved it when I visited. But you have to look at the market that the school feeds. SMU directly feeds a market that, when you take the whole metropolitan area together, is absolutely massive. And it has a huge legal market, with either nationally-recognized firms that were started in Dallas, or satellite offices of high-end Vault firms. Plus all kinds of smaller / midsized firms.

Another thing to consider is scholarship stipulations....I think mine at Wake was remain in the top 25% or so? SMU requires that you don't drop a deuce in the Dean's desk. I really cannot stress enough how much of a comfort that is come exam time. You would have to make all C's or C-'s to lose your money at SMU.

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brose
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby brose » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:49 pm

kalvano wrote:
Another thing to consider is scholarship stipulations....I think mine at Wake was remain in the top 25% or so? SMU requires that you don't drop a deuce in the Dean's desk. I really cannot stress enough how much of a comfort that is come exam time. You would have to make all C's or C-'s to lose your money at SMU.

:mrgreen:

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:04 pm

Wake has no stipulations for me. I think most law schools are doing away with those.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:06 pm

Gail wrote:Wake has no stipulations for me. I think most law schools are doing away with those.


Ah, that's nice. They did for me during my cycle.

In that case, disregard the final part.

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:22 pm

Man... I have decisions to make. I'm just so debt averse. And SMU isn't cheap, even with their scholarship. But their employment numbers are superior.

splittinghairs
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby splittinghairs » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:19 am

Gail wrote:Somewhat similar position. I have a question about this as well. From a ties standpoint.

Are ties really THAT important? I'm a lifelong midwesterner and save for having grandparents who retired in the have no ties to the south. Would I be screwed for a job there?

My current situation is $78k at SMU and ~110k at WF.

But I'm really, really worried about career placement in a region where I'd be seen as kind of an outsider.


I think others may disagree with me but from what I can tell (at my Southern market), ties seem to matter much more for ppl who strike out through OCI and therefore have to rely more on networking to land a job. I think by far, the most significant criteria for OCI is still grades, law review, moot court. Ties only tend to matter as sort of tie breakers for borderline grade cutoff folks (eg if top 30% get interviews, a law firm might preselect a top 31% with ties over say 29% without any ties, but if you are top 25% you prob wont get left out just for lack of ties) but when you get an interview you just need to be convincing with your reasons for working in that particular market.

I had been concerned from the general TLS sentiment about how important ties are to a southern market, but as far as I can tell now, it is not a huge barrier as long as you have the grades. Also, it seems to me that Dallas is not as insular as NC but I could be wrong, so different southern markets have varying degrees of emphasis on ties.

de5igual
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby de5igual » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:44 am

splittinghairs wrote:
Gail wrote:Somewhat similar position. I have a question about this as well. From a ties standpoint.

Are ties really THAT important? I'm a lifelong midwesterner and save for having grandparents who retired in the have no ties to the south. Would I be screwed for a job there?

My current situation is $78k at SMU and ~110k at WF.

But I'm really, really worried about career placement in a region where I'd be seen as kind of an outsider.


I think others may disagree with me but from what I can tell (at my Southern market), ties seem to matter much more for ppl who strike out through OCI and therefore have to rely more on networking to land a job. I think by far, the most significant criteria for OCI is still grades, law review, moot court. Ties only tend to matter as sort of tie breakers for borderline grade cutoff folks (eg if top 30% get interviews, a law firm might preselect a top 31% with ties over say 29% without any ties, but if you are top 25% you prob wont get left out just for lack of ties) but when you get an interview you just need to be convincing with your reasons for working in that particular market.

I had been concerned from the general TLS sentiment about how important ties are to a southern market, but as far as I can tell now, it is not a huge barrier as long as you have the grades. Also, it seems to me that Dallas is not as insular as NC but I could be wrong, so different southern markets have varying degrees of emphasis on ties.


regarding the bolded: most times the only way to demonstrate that is to show ties. saying "i like this area" or "the economy is good here" is not enough. obviously, the higher your grades are and the less insular the market is, the less you'll have to show.

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:11 pm

f0bolous wrote:
splittinghairs wrote:
Gail wrote:Somewhat similar position. I have a question about this as well. From a ties standpoint.

Are ties really THAT important? I'm a lifelong midwesterner and save for having grandparents who retired in the have no ties to the south. Would I be screwed for a job there?

My current situation is $78k at SMU and ~110k at WF.

But I'm really, really worried about career placement in a region where I'd be seen as kind of an outsider.


I think others may disagree with me but from what I can tell (at my Southern market), ties seem to matter much more for ppl who strike out through OCI and therefore have to rely more on networking to land a job. I think by far, the most significant criteria for OCI is still grades, law review, moot court. Ties only tend to matter as sort of tie breakers for borderline grade cutoff folks (eg if top 30% get interviews, a law firm might preselect a top 31% with ties over say 29% without any ties, but if you are top 25% you prob wont get left out just for lack of ties) but when you get an interview you just need to be convincing with your reasons for working in that particular market.

I had been concerned from the general TLS sentiment about how important ties are to a southern market, but as far as I can tell now, it is not a huge barrier as long as you have the grades. Also, it seems to me that Dallas is not as insular as NC but I could be wrong, so different southern markets have varying degrees of emphasis on ties.


regarding the bolded: most times the only way to demonstrate that is to show ties. saying "i like this area" or "the economy is good here" is not enough. obviously, the higher your grades are and the less insular the market is, the less you'll have to show.


what would one have to show in Charlotte or Dallas? I imagine 1L summer will not be good enough?

de5igual
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby de5igual » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:19 pm

Gail wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
splittinghairs wrote:
Gail wrote:Somewhat similar position. I have a question about this as well. From a ties standpoint.

Are ties really THAT important? I'm a lifelong midwesterner and save for having grandparents who retired in the have no ties to the south. Would I be screwed for a job there?

My current situation is $78k at SMU and ~110k at WF.

But I'm really, really worried about career placement in a region where I'd be seen as kind of an outsider.


I think others may disagree with me but from what I can tell (at my Southern market), ties seem to matter much more for ppl who strike out through OCI and therefore have to rely more on networking to land a job. I think by far, the most significant criteria for OCI is still grades, law review, moot court. Ties only tend to matter as sort of tie breakers for borderline grade cutoff folks (eg if top 30% get interviews, a law firm might preselect a top 31% with ties over say 29% without any ties, but if you are top 25% you prob wont get left out just for lack of ties) but when you get an interview you just need to be convincing with your reasons for working in that particular market.

I had been concerned from the general TLS sentiment about how important ties are to a southern market, but as far as I can tell now, it is not a huge barrier as long as you have the grades. Also, it seems to me that Dallas is not as insular as NC but I could be wrong, so different southern markets have varying degrees of emphasis on ties.


regarding the bolded: most times the only way to demonstrate that is to show ties. saying "i like this area" or "the economy is good here" is not enough. obviously, the higher your grades are and the less insular the market is, the less you'll have to show.


what would one have to show in Charlotte or Dallas? I imagine 1L summer will not be good enough?


I think a 1L summer would be enough, at least for the Texas markets. But getting a 1L position there is still significantly harder for someone without ties than one with.

wightjm
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby wightjm » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:05 pm

SMU.

placencia
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby placencia » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:46 pm

I currently attend Wake, but I will be working in Dallas over the summer, so I kind of have a foot in both worlds. Other than one relative in Dallas, I have no ties to Texas. I have significant ties to North Carolina, and what I can tell you is that the legal market is pretty good here, but based on what I have heard, not as good as Texas. On the other hand, I highly doubt that you would have many options in North Carolina and similar places from SMU, but obviously the reverse is not true.

To give you some idea, Wake places pretty well from about D.C. all the way to Texas, and everywhere in between. At the end of the day, a fair amount of it depends on where you want to be after graduation...but I can tell you that Wake is a great school and I love the students and faculty.

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:54 pm

Congrats on landing Dallas! Good to know that there's a pretty wide reach for the school. Kind of holding out for Charleston eventually, but I know how hard that will be.

This confused me though:

placencia wrote:I highly doubt that you would have many options in North Carolina and similar places from SMU, but obviously the reverse is not true.

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EMH99
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby EMH99 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:42 pm

I'm so glad to see this thread and that more people are in a similar situation. With the schools I've heard from so far, SMU & Wake are definitely among my top choices. I have similar scholarship offers from both (26k to SMU & 22k to Wake, per year) with stips of good academic standing each. However, I admit, I have basically no ties to either state, other than a few college friends from each. Note: I would be happy to move to either region and stay.

I know Dallas's CoL is higher, but which is the more fiscally responsible option? Would either be willing to negotiate scholly info for more than a buck or two? Any situations not common knowledge that would hurt/help the school's reputation in the near future? How does each place alumni compared to other law schools in the state (i.e. Wake v. UNC/Duke & SMU v. UT/Houston/Baylor). Which region would be more beneficial to someone OOS? Any other insight in comparing the two would be much appreciated.

Also, anyone going to either of the schools' ASD? I think I'll be headed to SMU's March 2nd & Wake's March 23rd.

Thanks for your help.

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Gail
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Re: SMU ($) v. Wake Forest ($)

Postby Gail » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:34 pm

EMH99 wrote:I'm so glad to see this thread and that more people are in a similar situation. With the schools I've heard from so far, SMU & Wake are definitely among my top choices. I have similar scholarship offers from both (26k to SMU & 22k to Wake, per year) with stips of good academic standing each. However, I admit, I have basically no ties to either state, other than a few college friends from each. Note: I would be happy to move to either region and stay.

I know Dallas's CoL is higher, but which is the more fiscally responsible option? Would either be willing to negotiate scholly info for more than a buck or two? Any situations not common knowledge that would hurt/help the school's reputation in the near future? How does each place alumni compared to other law schools in the state (i.e. Wake v. UNC/Duke & SMU v. UT/Houston/Baylor). Which region would be more beneficial to someone OOS? Any other insight in comparing the two would be much appreciated.

Also, anyone going to either of the schools' ASD? I think I'll be headed to SMU's March 2nd & Wake's March 23rd.

Thanks for your help.


Tough choice. I'm in a similar boat except my WFU scholarship is larger. Though I think I have slightly more ties to one of the regions than you do (strongish ties to a neighboring state, family + time spent in the area), I'm not sure if regional ties are going to be good enough though. Especially considering how insular that state I have ties to is itself.

Dallas is definitely easier to convince people that you want to be there though. Dallas is one of the largest cities in the country. Big metropolis. I think a 1l summer gig in the city would do it for you. That said, if SMU, you better love Dallas, because it won't likely get you much farther. SMU has a larger scholarship and the school places slightly better. I'm not sure about its alumni and how dedicated they are. You'll have more employers at your OCI. For biglaw, SMU is better. It might be better for midlaw too. SMU has only Texas and t14 to compete with in Dallas, but that's mighty stiff competition and it doesn't place very well in Houston or Austin (not sure about San Antonio).

WFU seems to have a really dedicated alumni, but I haven't experienced this directly. NC is cool and WFU seems to have a broader reach within the midatlantic/southern region. I also think that WFU is on the rise for rankings, but NLJ 250 numbers were ugly as hell for 2011. In terms of competition, Duke isn't anymore competition than any other t14. Most Dukies go to NYC. The main competition is UNC, who seem to focus more on PI and state government. Also, there's a lot of OOS in WFU. Look at some of the last names of their students on facebook and law review. No way in hell all of those Italians are from the south. That should ease some fears at least (it eases mine slightly).


Fiscally responsible depends on other factors though. Any undergrad debt? WE? I'm leaning more towards SMU for you, but it's a toss up. You'll be able to make a better decision when you go to ASW.

I'm going to the March 23rd thing as well. So you won't be the only OOS struggling with this choice there.




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