SMU essentially "at cost?"

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law2law
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SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby law2law » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:12 am

I have lived and worked in Texas for a little while and plan to stay in Texas long term. I got waitlisted at UT but don't see myself getting in. I got into SMU with a small scholarship (12K/year). I have a ton of family to live with in Dallas so would not really have many expenses outside of tuition/books.

Should I retake the LSAT, wait a year and try to get into UT or does SMU have a strong enough name in Texas (I am at a 162 on second try, 3.5 GPA)? These are the only 2 Texas schools I applied to because I dont have family in Houston and I'd never live in Waco for Baylor. I got full rides at a few tier 2 schools out-of-state but have been told that they are worthless if I know I want to practice/work in Texas. My LSAT is low because I have 80 hour work weeks, which is an environment some people still study well in but not me. I would never care to go for a Big Law job.

So I suppose it's between SMU with partial scholarship now, or retake and try to get into UT with/without money/get a higher scholarship from SMU a year later, or free ride at Tier 2 out of state. Thanks in advance for insight.

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Nova
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby Nova » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:17 am

What is the total cost of attendance ? viewtopic.php?f=1&t=206299

How much debt do expect to be in upon graduation?

how high would you expect to score on an October retake?

SMU with a small scholarship is overpaying. Get a 165+ and theyll likely give you a better offer. get 167+ and youll probably get into UT with in-state.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:29 am

What exactly do you want to do with a law degree?

BigZuck
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:26 am

Definitely retake.

Not wanting big law is fine (and I wouldn't go to either school if all I wanted was big law or I needed it to pay off the debt because the chances of getting it from either school is so slim). But you have to realize that if you aren't starting out in big law then you're probably going to get a job paying like 50K or so and for that reason both schools would be too expensive. You need to keep your debt as low as possible (I would say 100K absolute max and even that is pretty generous).

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po1
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby po1 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:29 am

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Last edited by po1 on Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby StylinNProfilin » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:44 am

Definitely retake. UT opens up soo many more options in Texas. I was looking at SMU before my retake and Texas actually ended up being cheaper for me with scholarship then SMU w/ scholarship to boot.

law2law
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby law2law » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:30 pm

Nova wrote:What is the total cost of attendance ? http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 1&t=206299

How much debt do expect to be in upon graduation?

how high would you expect to score on an October retake?

SMU with a small scholarship is overpaying. Get a 165+ and theyll likely give you a better offer. get 167+ and youll probably get into UT with in-state.


Sorry, for not posting COA etc. Also, it was late and I forgot to write that I would be part-time (at least my first year). I had applied this way on purpose so I could work on a limited basis (but no more than 15-20 hours/week). I would hope to graduate in 3-3.5 years (SMU allows you to increase your courseload and take summer classes if you want to become full-time if you meet certain criteria after first year).

P/T COA is $34,889 + $2,000 for books each year minus $12,000 b/c of my scholarship and minus $9,000 from working. For the remaining two years, if I go full-time, COA may be $46,519 + $2,000 for books, minus $12000 scholarship.

So I suppose that's $15,889 the first year, $36,519 the following two years (not 100% sure if my tuition would go up that much, I think they still classify you as a part-time student just taking an increased courseload) but just assuming I'd have to pay full-time fees the 2nd two years. I'd finance debt partially with loans, and partially with money from grandparents (about $5,000/year from them).

I have no idea what I would get in October, the highest I've scored on practice tests is 167/168 and that's what I'd hope for. The thought of waiting another year to attend though is not appealing b/c I am already an older student...but I can see the argument in how many doors open with a better score. I am leaning toward tax law at the moment but have an open mind going into school.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:17 pm

How old are you? What job do you currently have? It's typically a poor idea to start PT and then increase your workload. If you're fairly young, the PT program might hurt you more than help you.

bluegreen
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby bluegreen » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:29 pm

kalvano wrote:How old are you? What job do you currently have? It's typically a poor idea to start PT and then increase your workload. If you're fairly young, the PT program might hurt you more than help you.


27 in Finance

BigZuck
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:36 pm

bluegreen wrote:
kalvano wrote:How old are you? What job do you currently have? It's typically a poor idea to start PT and then increase your workload. If you're fairly young, the PT program might hurt you more than help you.


27 in Finance


What's your salary? You're probably better off keeping your job than going to law school.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:44 pm

BigZuck wrote:
bluegreen wrote:
kalvano wrote:How old are you? What job do you currently have? It's typically a poor idea to start PT and then increase your workload. If you're fairly young, the PT program might hurt you more than help you.


27 in Finance


What's your salary? You're probably better off keeping your job than going to law school.



Yes. Why do you want to go to law school?

You're sort of in a weird zone where you're almost old enough to get by in the PT program, but if you don't want to work in Biglaw, why go to law school? I don't mean that as "Biglaw is the only thing worth going to law school for" but more curious as to what the underlying motivation is. Depending on your goals, law school may not be a very good path for you.

bluegreen
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby bluegreen » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:11 pm

kalvano wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
bluegreen wrote:
kalvano wrote:How old are you? What job do you currently have? It's typically a poor idea to start PT and then increase your workload. If you're fairly young, the PT program might hurt you more than help you.


27 in Finance


What's your salary? You're probably better off keeping your job than going to law school.



Yes. Why do you want to go to law school?

You're sort of in a weird zone where you're almost old enough to get by in the PT program, but if you don't want to work in Biglaw, why go to law school? I don't mean that as "Biglaw is the only thing worth going to law school for" but more curious as to what the underlying motivation is. Depending on your goals, law school may not be a very good path for you.


Sorry - I should have stated I'm not the OP and my first reply didnt go through saying that - but am in a very, very similar boat so a lot of this discussion applies to me, as well. I have more scholly $$ and savings than OP stated but pretty much in same boat. I am going to law school because I dislike my job/line of work and don't care to get an MBA. I have also been placed on projects where I've had to draft project contracts with lawyers and analyze company pension plan compliance with regards to ERISA and always enjoyed that work more than the business heavy projects.

BigZuck
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Stick with your current job. Also, that was a weird hijack.

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Nova
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby Nova » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:17 pm

Hah, I just assumed bluegreen was OPs real account he accidentally replied with.

law2law
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby law2law » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:20 pm

No prob. I was confused who wrote that b/c that's not my age haha. I am older, 28 almost 29 and am in healthcare administration. I don't really see myself moving up or doing anything useful with my current job going forward. I actually wanted to do law when I graduated from college but kept pushing it off to work. I've thought to do something related to healthcare law & policy.

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francesfarmer
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:58 pm

law2law wrote:No prob. I was confused who wrote that b/c that's not my age haha. I am older, 28 almost 29 and am in healthcare administration. I don't really see myself moving up or doing anything useful with my current job going forward. I actually wanted to do law when I graduated from college but kept pushing it off to work. I've thought to do something related to healthcare law & policy.

MPH?

law2law
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby law2law » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:05 pm

francesfarmer wrote:
law2law wrote:No prob. I was confused who wrote that b/c that's not my age haha. I am older, 28 almost 29 and am in healthcare administration. I don't really see myself moving up or doing anything useful with my current job going forward. I actually wanted to do law when I graduated from college but kept pushing it off to work. I've thought to do something related to healthcare law & policy.

MPH?


I'm not 100% sure I want to specialize and stay in health care administration though. I may do a complete career change if some area of study is more interesting while I'm in law school.

BigZuck
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:08 pm

law2law wrote:
francesfarmer wrote:
law2law wrote:No prob. I was confused who wrote that b/c that's not my age haha. I am older, 28 almost 29 and am in healthcare administration. I don't really see myself moving up or doing anything useful with my current job going forward. I actually wanted to do law when I graduated from college but kept pushing it off to work. I've thought to do something related to healthcare law & policy.

MPH?


I'm not 100% sure I want to specialize and stay in health care administration though. I may do a complete career change if some area of study is more interesting while I'm in law school.


But you are sure you want to be a lawyer?

I wouldn't pay a whole lot for a school with middling job prospects like SMU. I would pay even less if I already had a good paying job. Just too much of a risk of spending three years and either having nothing to show for it, or making the same amount of money or less than I would have made in my current career.

law2law
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby law2law » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:55 pm

BigZuck wrote:
law2law wrote:
francesfarmer wrote:
law2law wrote:No prob. I was confused who wrote that b/c that's not my age haha. I am older, 28 almost 29 and am in healthcare administration. I don't really see myself moving up or doing anything useful with my current job going forward. I actually wanted to do law when I graduated from college but kept pushing it off to work. I've thought to do something related to healthcare law & policy.

MPH?


I'm not 100% sure I want to specialize and stay in health care administration though. I may do a complete career change if some area of study is more interesting while I'm in law school.


But you are sure you want to be a lawyer?

I wouldn't pay a whole lot for a school with middling job prospects like SMU. I would pay even less if I already had a good paying job. Just too much of a risk of spending three years and either having nothing to show for it, or making the same amount of money or less than I would have made in my current career.


Honestly there's more of a risk, to me, in staying in a job I hate. It's hard to potentially switch careers without some kind of professional degree and I do not want an MBA or MPH (both of which would cost a lot of money as well). I have shadowed lawyers, have talked to several more, and think I could enjoy law school. I also met folks who got a JD but chose not to practice - got decent jobs doing so. Some of the stuff they do is in line with what I do but on more of a senior level - and it would take me more than 3 years to get there while working. To each their own.

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romothesavior
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Re: SMU essentially "at cost?"

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:51 pm

Push it back one more year, retake, go to SMU at a better price. or part-time.




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