The Texas Three

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paul554
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The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:05 pm

A bit about me first. I am currently married and my wife and I live in the Copperas Cove area about an hour northwest of Austin. I have several years of WE in the federal sector in law enforcement and have the full support of my wife in attending law school. As it currently stands I have received admissions to Baylor and University of Houston. For the sake of argument let us assume that SMU also admits me. I find myself having a bit of trouble choosing between these three schools since my focus and goals are a bit different from the average applicant.

The first thing I should note is that I have about zero interest in corporate or big law. My main order of precedence for employment is as follows.
1-US Army Jag
2-US Army regular commission
3-Federal Employments (either attorney or law enforcement)
Due to my previous federal time, I can easily return to a 50- 60K law enforcement job and then lateral over to an 1811 position with a top out pay of 150K after 6 years. If I can find no employment in these areas my wife is fine with me being unemployed and doing what ever I need to in order to make myself more marketable for these goals.

Second, the cost of law school is not a factor to me nor is cost of living. This is taken care of so really it does not matter to me how pricey one school is or not.
My real main concern is enjoying myself for the next 3 years (if at all possible) and attending the school that seems to best fit my goals. As it stands Houston is my top pick due to them having a ROTC detachment on campus and offering a flexible schedule for your 2L and 3L. Also, my brother will be attending Houston next year for their Optometry Program, so I would have family there as well.
This is followed by Baylor, which is only 1 ½ hours from where I live, so I would be closer to my wife but still not enough for me to want to commute every day. The counter to this though is that Baylor’s reputation precedes them and they offer very little flexibility with your schedule it appears.
Finally, we have SMU. They have no ROTC detachment but do have an amazing campus and fine facilities. Other than that though there is not a lot swaying me towards them.

So, if you had to choose between these 3 schools, with cost and employment prospects not being of primary concern, which one would you guys go with? Any feedback or experiences is appreciated!

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kalvano
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:31 pm

paul554 wrote:My real main concern is enjoying myself for the next 3 years


Then don't go to Baylor.

paul554 wrote:As it stands Houston is my top pick due to them having a ROTC detachment on campus and offering a flexible schedule for your 2L and 3L.


Almost all schools have a flexible 2L and 3L schedule. Not sure why you would want the ROTC, but go for it.


If cost of living and cost of attendance isn't an option for you, just go wherever you want to. Houston for Houston, SMU for Dallas. Scratch off Baylor.

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Crowing
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby Crowing » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:35 pm

I would be interested in hearing some perspectives from Baylor students/alumni considering it does have a reputation for being the most miserable law school in the U.S.

paul554
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:38 pm

kalvano wrote:If cost of living and cost of attendance isn't an option for you, just go wherever you want to. Houston for Houston, SMU for Dallas. Scratch off Baylor.


That is the other concern. We will probably be leaving Texas after I graduate but I don't know where we will be going. So regional placement is also not of concern. As I said I'm not the average applicant :)

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JXander
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:51 pm

Crowing wrote:I would be interested in hearing some perspectives from Baylor students/alumni considering it does have a reputation for being the most miserable law school in the U.S.

I have many friends there who have testified to this. It truly is miserable. I also met with a partner at F&J a few weeks ago from Baylor, and he doesn't recommend it for the, uh, "faint of heart." The competition is ridiculous, the professors are brutal, and it gets harder after your first year (because of Practice Court), whereas the difficulty level in most schools drops at the beginning of your 2L.

paul554 wrote:
kalvano wrote:If cost of living and cost of attendance isn't an option for you, just go wherever you want to. Houston for Houston, SMU for Dallas. Scratch off Baylor.


That is the other concern. We will probably be leaving Texas after I graduate but I don't know where we will be going. So regional placement is also not of concern. As I said I'm not the average applicant :)

Definitely try for UT and kick butt there. It has some national recognition and may extend to another state.

1. What are your #'s?
2. To where do you think you may move?

paul554
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:57 pm

JXander wrote:Definitely try for UT and kick butt there. It has some national recognition and may extend to another state.

1. What are your #'s?
2. To where do you think you may move?


1- Numbers are in profile.
2- Possible locations we may move include Washington State, Virginia, North Carolina, Kansas, San Antonio and so forth. Most likely we will go to Washington, but we will be moved again in 3 years.

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JXander
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:02 pm

paul554 wrote:
JXander wrote:Definitely try for UT and kick butt there. It has some national recognition and may extend to another state.

1. What are your #'s?
2. To where do you think you may move?


1- Numbers are in profile.
2- Possible locations we may move include Washington State, Virginia, North Carolina, Kansas, San Antonio and so forth. Most likely we will go to Washington, but we will be moved again in 3 years.

I'd say try for UT, but it may be difficult. With your unique background, you may stand a chance.

Would you be applying for this current cycle or the next?

paul554
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:06 pm

JXander wrote:I'd say try for UT, but it may be difficult. With your unique background, you may stand a chance.

Would you be applying for this current cycle or the next?


UT said no I'm afraid. I asked my wife if I should sit out a cycle and try for UT. She asked where I would live while I waited. So trying for UT in the future isn't going to happen.

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JXander
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:07 pm

paul554 wrote:
JXander wrote:I'd say try for UT, but it may be difficult. With your unique background, you may stand a chance.

Would you be applying for this current cycle or the next?


UT said no I'm afraid. I asked my wife if I should sit out a cycle and try for UT. She asked where I would live while I waited. So trying for UT in the future isn't going to happen.

Ah.

SMU it is, then! :)

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shifty_eyed
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby shifty_eyed » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:30 pm

kalvano wrote:
paul554 wrote:My real main concern is enjoying myself for the next 3 years


Then don't go to Baylor.



Agreed. Baylor is the easiest to mark off. I think Houston is the clear winner since you have no interest in Dallas firm jobs, and it is MUCH cheaper.

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kalvano
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Also, SMU is an LSAT school and I don't seem them taking OP. So I would count on Houston, which seems fine since that is your top choice.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:47 pm

Your circumstances seem to make it less pressing to go to the absolute best school you can than most applicants, but I would seriously try to retake and reapply to UT next year if it is at all feasible for you. Even if cost isn't an issue, it could make a real difference in your career opportunities down the road, which I'd think your wife could be made to understand.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby BerkeleyBear » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:54 pm

Hey OP, I'm from Katy TX. How you like that humidity? It literally drove my parents out of the state and back to CA. Since the Astros moved to the AL, I'm starting to seriously consider targeting the Houston region in a few years. Good luck man and my pick is Houston since that's your top choice.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby StylinNProfilin » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:59 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:Hey OP, I'm from Katy TX. How you like that humidity? It literally drove my parents out of the state and back to CA. Since the Astros moved to the AL, I'm starting to seriously consider targeting the Houston region in a few years. Good luck man and my pick is Houston since that's your top choice.


You're going to target Houston because the Sox will play 3 games a year in Houston? haha

To OP, go to Houston. Avoid Baylor at all costs.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby BerkeleyBear » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:02 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:
BerkeleyBear wrote:Hey OP, I'm from Katy TX. How you like that humidity? It literally drove my parents out of the state and back to CA. Since the Astros moved to the AL, I'm starting to seriously consider targeting the Houston region in a few years. Good luck man and my pick is Houston since that's your top choice.


You're going to target Houston because the Sox will play 3 games a year in Houston? haha

To OP, go to Houston. Avoid Baylor at all costs.


Damn straight! I do love Texas and the Houston area in general though. COL, great food, and texas gun laws FTW :D

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kalvano
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:02 pm

Yes. Guns laws. Exactly what should be on your mind when choosing a law school. Just what Texas needs, more gun-toting morons.

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JXander
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:51 pm

kalvano wrote:Yes. Guns laws. Exactly what should be on your mind when choosing a law school. Just what Texas needs, more gun-toting morons.

...but more gun-toting figures like your avatar, right?

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby BerkeleyBear » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:39 am

kalvano wrote:Yes. Guns laws. Exactly what should be on your mind when choosing a law school. Just what Texas needs, more gun-toting morons.


Actually, I'm not applying to any LS's in Texas. I'd love to work in Houston though. That's what I meant but I just figured no one would care. Settle down Kalv. Nice tar btw.

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Devlin
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby Devlin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:03 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:
StylinNProfilin wrote:
BerkeleyBear wrote:Hey OP, I'm from Katy TX. How you like that humidity? It literally drove my parents out of the state and back to CA. Since the Astros moved to the AL, I'm starting to seriously consider targeting the Houston region in a few years. Good luck man and my pick is Houston since that's your top choice.


You're going to target Houston because the Sox will play 3 games a year in Houston? haha

To OP, go to Houston. Avoid Baylor at all costs.


Damn straight! I do love Texas and the Houston area in general though. COL, great food, and texas gun laws FTW :D


The shitty Astros can still beat your Sox right now.



OP- I'm a 1L at UH. Message me if you have any questions.
Last edited by Devlin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SPerez
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby SPerez » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:29 pm

paul554 wrote:The first thing I should note is that I have about zero interest in corporate or big law. My main order of precedence for employment is as follows.
1-US Army Jag
2-US Army regular commission
3-Federal Employments (either attorney or law enforcement)


How hard would I be trolling if I popped in here just to mention there is a law school in Texas who has a former dean who still teaches that was the (not "a") Judge Advocate General for the Army (Gen. Walt Huffman) and another professor who was the Commandant at the JAG school in Virginia (Prof. Rick Rosen)?

Dean Perez

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patrickd139
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:14 am

SPerez wrote:
paul554 wrote:The first thing I should note is that I have about zero interest in corporate or big law. My main order of precedence for employment is as follows.
1-US Army Jag
2-US Army regular commission
3-Federal Employments (either attorney or law enforcement)


How hard would I be trolling if I popped in here just to mention there is a law school in Texas who has a former dean who still teaches that was the (not "a") Judge Advocate General for the Army (Gen. Walt Huffman) and another professor who was the Commandant at the JAG school in Virginia (Prof. Rick Rosen)?

Dean Perez

Dean Perez: What is Tech's success rate at placing students in JAG positions? The percentage of students who apply for JAG positions and are accepted would be the most relevant stat for OP's query. I feel like it's a bit disingenuous to suggest that OP attending Tech will increase his or her chances at picking up an appointment simply because Tech employs an (albeit impressive) faculty who were once JAG officers themselves.

To answer your question: could be trolling hard, could be helpful.

OP: Whatever you do, I would suggest that you do not attend Baylor. You can search my post history and the forum for the numerous threads about Baylor where my (and others') logic and rationals are fully outlined.

paul554
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:23 pm

SPerez wrote:
How hard would I be trolling if I popped in here just to mention there is a law school in Texas who has a former dean who still teaches that was the (not "a") Judge Advocate General for the Army (Gen. Walt Huffman) and another professor who was the Commandant at the JAG school in Virginia (Prof. Rick Rosen)?

Dean Perez


Dean Perez,

Tech was actually high on my list of considerations due to the military law center and the overwhelming amount of JAG on staff. I did apply and receive acceptance there, but in the end a few things kept me from saying yes (though I have not firmly said no either).

With the GI Bill, cost of attendance and living cost is equal at ALL schools I was accepted to. So my next consideration was being close to my wife who works on Ft Hood. Houston is a 3 hour drive in good traffic from our apartment, while Tech is 6 hours! This means that meeting up each weekend and spending time together simply is not as feasible with Tech. Next, while Tech does have plenty of JAG officers on staff, this does not necessarily correlate to better chances at JAG selection. While I doubt this would hurt my chances in any way, it is not certain enough to sway me to attending there currently. Heck, technically the number one feeder school for Amy JAG this year was Thomas M. Cooley, but I doubt anyone would advise me to attend there based on that.

I will admit though, if Tech had some sort of data that showed they had a substantially higher JAG placement rate then other schools, this could indeed sway my decision.

Edit to Add-
Also I just wanted to add that Tech was definitely my first pick if I had not gotten into Houston. Personally, I love the law school, campus and town of Lubbock when I visited a few months ago. Maybe if you could get my wife a PCS to the campus for the next three years and make this decision easy for me :D

nouseforaname123
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:55 pm

Considering that your main goal is to stay in close proximity to your wife, I think your options should be the following:

1. Sit out this year, retake, and go to UT (sorry if I missed that you are out of retakes). Your commute to Austin would be rough, but doable if you wanted to make it from Cove. You and your wife could also split the difference and live somewhere like Liberty Hill.

2. Move to Temple/Belton and attend Baylor. That's a reasonable commute for both of you, straight shot on highways, barely any traffic, etc.... Army ROTC is also on Baylor's campus. You mentioned an apartment, so it doesn't seem like a house is keeping you in Cove.

3. The distance between Cove and Lubbock actually cuts in Tech's favor, IMHO. Regularly driving from Houston or DFW back to Cove to meet up with your spouse isn't going to be feasible in your first year. Even if you're splitting the difference and meeting in the middle, you'll be taking away valuable study time. You also may find it difficult to actually spend time with her when together on the weekends, rather than studying. In your position, I would rank Tech after UT/Baylor just to remove the temptation of frequent visits to see your spouse.

4. In light of your goal of staying close to Ft. Hood, Baylor and UT seem to be your best options. It would be tough, but it's feasible that you could attend those schools while living with your wife and she keeps her job at Ft. Hood.

ETA:

Reading more closely, it appears your wife is Active Duty. Is that correct? How sure are you that she will continue to be stationed at Ft. Hood? For how long?

paul554
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby paul554 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:51 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:Considering that your main goal is to stay in close proximity to your wife, I think your options should be the following:

1. Sit out this year, retake, and go to UT (sorry if I missed that you are out of retakes). Your commute to Austin would be rough, but doable if you wanted to make it from Cove. You and your wife could also split the difference and live somewhere like Liberty Hill.

2. Move to Temple/Belton and attend Baylor. That's a reasonable commute for both of you, straight shot on highways, barely any traffic, etc.... Army ROTC is also on Baylor's campus. You mentioned an apartment, so it doesn't seem like a house is keeping you in Cove.

3. The distance between Cove and Lubbock actually cuts in Tech's favor, IMHO. Regularly driving from Houston or DFW back to Cove to meet up with your spouse isn't going to be feasible in your first year. Even if you're splitting the difference and meeting in the middle, you'll be taking away valuable study time. You also may find it difficult to actually spend time with her when together on the weekends, rather than studying. In your position, I would rank Tech after UT/Baylor just to remove the temptation of frequent visits to see your spouse.

4. In light of your goal of staying close to Ft. Hood, Baylor and UT seem to be your best options. It would be tough, but it's feasible that you could attend those schools while living with your wife and she keeps her job at Ft. Hood.

ETA:

Reading more closely, it appears your wife is Active Duty. Is that correct? How sure are you that she will continue to be stationed at Ft. Hood? For how long?


My wife is indeed active duty and we just arrived at Ft Hood in October. She will be here for three years for sure as she is set to deploy then probably take command. Due to her deploying this also means that my first year of law school I will be on my own and not commuting anywhere to see her.

Honestly, at this point Baylor is ruled out. There cut throat environment just doesn't sit well with me and the fact that they have cut their yellow ribbon program slots every year for the last three years doesn't bode well to me. Baylor is great when I can go for free, but if they can't offer me the yellow ribbon then I'm out of 60-90K after my first year.

My wife and I both think that me living near campus and devoting more time to school is the best option, especially since the GI Bill pays for it.

SPerez
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Re: The Texas Three

Postby SPerez » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:38 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Dean Perez: What is Tech's success rate at placing students in JAG positions? The percentage of students who apply for JAG positions and are accepted would be the most relevant stat for OP's query. I feel like it's a bit disingenuous to suggest that OP attending Tech will increase his or her chances at picking up an appointment simply because Tech employs an (albeit impressive) faculty who were once JAG officers themselves.

To answer your question: could be trolling hard, could be helpful.

OP: Whatever you do, I would suggest that you do not attend Baylor. You can search my post history and the forum for the numerous threads about Baylor where my (and others') logic and rationals are fully outlined.


Usually we have anywhere from 2-5 students go into JAG after graduation. We don't "place" them there, of course, they earn their spots. JAG is EXTREMELY competitive so not many from any law school get those positions in any given year. I think most people reading my post understood that I was simply stating that the presence of key faculty here at Tech Law would be beneficial to any student wanting to go JAG. There are certainly other aspects of other schools that would be similarly beneficial.

I was not saying that OP might benefit "simply because Tech employs an (albeit impressive) faculty who were once JAG officers." What I was saying is that the two particular faculty members I mentioned (we have other professors who were JAG officers) were at the top of their field - THE former Judge Advocate General for the Army (and our former Dean, and a Tech Law alum) and the Commandant of the JAG school. These aren't just two guys who used to be JAG. A letter of recommendation from Gen. Huffman carries a lot of weight.

My primary purpose with all my posts is to make sure people have the information they need. This one might have been "pro-Texas Tech" (I think my only one ever, actually), but we actually happen to have a specific strength in this area. If OP had been looking for a typical business law job, I probably wouldn't have said anything.

For others reading who might be interested, one of our current students who was active duty for a number of years before coming to law school, has a JAG offer, and teaches ROTC at the undergrad told me his advice is to not do ROTC while in law school. He had several reasons, but it essentially came down to the benefits not being worth the lost study time and lost summer (due to 2 month training course) and that there are other ways to get your officer commission.

Dean Perez




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