Page 1 of 1

SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:53 am
by Archoholic
Here's the kicker... I'm 37, married with children, living in the Dallas area.

My personal hang-up in making this decision (with my wife, of course) is the extra year in the part-time program. Why take four years to complete a three-year degree? I've talked with admissions and someone graduating this year, and learned you can petition the dean to accelerate your course load in the part-time program, in order to finish in three years. I'm just worried that my trying to take the extra courses in years two and three, as well as summer courses, might be setting myself up for failure.

My other option is to go to one of the Chicago schools for a year and try to transfer to SMU full-time in year two. This is risky because I obviously wasn't admitted to their full-time program, and have no idea if a subsequent application would be received better.

Opinions? Maybe someone reading this is a student in the SMU part-time program who has done the accelerated path, and would help a prospective 1E...

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:56 am
by StarLightSpectre
My vote is SMU. You already have roots in Dallas. Why risk not having the grades to transfer back? However, if you weren't able to get into the full time program because of your LSAT, I'd advise retaking. After all, it's a whole lot easier studying hard to improve your LSAT than finishing at the top of your class to transfer.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:16 am
by kalvano
Where do you want to end up? Sounds like Dallas. If that's the case then go to SMU, either PT or retake.

What do you want to do with your degree?

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:17 am
by CanadianWolf
SMU part-time since you live in Dallas & want to remain or return there. Also, it would probably be easier on your spouse & kids if you stayed put rather than attempting to relocate for just one year with the hope of transferring back to SMU.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:22 am
by Archoholic
kalvano wrote:What do you want to do with your degree?


I'm a licensed architect, and would use that by going into construction law. Most likely boutique, but possibly biglaw (standard caveats, of course) or corporate.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:22 am
by The Rover
Could you work part-time while attending SMU part-time to offset some of the tuition costs?

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:30 am
by kalvano
Archoholic wrote:
kalvano wrote:What do you want to do with your degree?


I'm a licensed architect, and would use that by going into construction law. Most likely boutique, but possibly biglaw (standard caveats, of course) or corporate.


I don't know that much about the other two schools, but I know SMU offers a good shot at some smaller firms. That's going to be important because you will face some age discrimination at the large firms.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:10 am
by nouseforaname123
OP, I am a 3E at SMU. IMHO, the risk of going to the Chicago schools is not worth the downside.

Out of those three schools, enroll at SMU. If you are below median after your 1E year you'll miss the biglaw train and you should accelerate graduation. If you do well and are top 10% you'll need to stick with the four year program. Between top 10% and median is a really tough call on accelerating graduation. I'm not sure there is a clear answer for that particular group.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:19 am
by Archoholic
nouseforaname123 wrote:OP, I am a 3E at SMU. IMHO, the risk of going to the Chicago schools is not worth the downside.

Out of those three schools, enroll at SMU. If you are below median after your 1E year you'll miss the biglaw train and you should accelerate graduation. If you do well and are top 10% you'll need to stick with the four year program. Between top 10% and median is a really tough call on accelerating graduation. I'm not sure there is a clear answer for that particular group.


interesting take. What benefits would maintaining the four year track give someone who does get top 10% grades? Would it be the potential for an extra SA?

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:29 am
by nouseforaname123
Archoholic wrote:
nouseforaname123 wrote:OP, I am a 3E at SMU. IMHO, the risk of going to the Chicago schools is not worth the downside.

Out of those three schools, enroll at SMU. If you are below median after your 1E year you'll miss the biglaw train and you should accelerate graduation. If you do well and are top 10% you'll need to stick with the four year program. Between top 10% and median is a really tough call on accelerating graduation. I'm not sure there is a clear answer for that particular group.


interesting take. What benefits would maintaining the four year track give someone who does get top 10% grades? Would it be the potential for an extra SA?


It's complicated and I'm posting from a mobile device. Search my post history, you'll find a detailed answer to the issue. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll post it tonight. Basically, it has to do with the timing of law review and OCI.


ETA: read this post, skip down to #5.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=126107&p=4154935#p4154935

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:17 pm
by crit_racer
SMU hands down. Do not leave your family and go across the country just to come back once you transfer.

If youre a practicing architect, can't you keep working some while doing SMU PT? That would have the added benefit of being able to keep costs low, provide for your family, etc

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:36 pm
by Archoholic
crit_racer wrote:If youre a practicing architect, can't you keep working some while doing SMU PT? That would have the added benefit of being able to keep costs low, provide for your family, etc


licensed =/= practicing... *sad trombone*

Been unemployed for a while now, with no prospects in sight. The market for project architects is in the toilets. Hence law school. I'm planning on using my architecture experience in construction law. There are approximately 64 lawyers in the U.S. who are also licensed architects. I plan on being number 65.

Re: SMU PT vs. DePaul FT $ vs. Chicago-Kent FT $

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:46 am
by Archoholic
Thanks to everyone who responded. I attended an admitted students dinner at SMU this evening, and have made the easy choice to go there. Now to write the deposit check and mail it tomorrow!