SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

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TheJanitor6203
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SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:55 pm

I know this has been asked but I'm asking again but differently..

Before I start, please save all your "Neither, retake" answers because I know I don't have a shot at a 170+. I am also not concerned with the cost because I am an Army veteran and I will be using the GI Bill. I am familiar with Dallas and Waco and I don't mind living in Waco for 3 years so you can save the "Waco sucks" argument as well.

I have been planning to go to SMU for a while but I have recently started to think more seriously about Baylor for a few reasons.

1. The timing is right- when I get out of the Army I can start at Baylor in the spring but with SMU I'll have to wait 6 months to start school. Because of that wait and the fact that I can do one summer term at Baylor I can effectively graduate one year sooner by going to Baylor.
2. The COL in Waco is so much cheaper, the money I have saved up will go much further.
3. I want to do business litigation and Baylor's program (while it does seem very rigorous) sounds like it would prepare me much better to practice. I’d like to get into big law but I know the chances of that from either school are slim.

In the end I want to practice in Dallas and that is really the only thing holding me up on my decision. I really think that Baylor is the better school but I understand that when it comes time to get a job in Dallas, most employers won’t agree with me on that. I guess what I’m looking for is an unbiased opinion on the pros and cons of going to either school and for people to point out anything that I may have overlooked. My numbers: 159/3.4

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sublime
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby sublime » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:12 pm

..

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jselson
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:13 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:I know this has been asked but I'm asking again but differently..

Before I start, please save all your "Neither, retake" answers because I know I don't have a shot at a 170+. I am also not concerned with the cost because I am an Army veteran and I will be using the GI Bill. I am familiar with Dallas and Waco and I don't mind living in Waco for 3 years so you can save the "Waco sucks" argument as well.

I have been planning to go to SMU for a while but I have recently started to think more seriously about Baylor for a few reasons.

1. The timing is right- when I get out of the Army I can start at Baylor in the spring but with SMU I'll have to wait 6 months to start school. Because of that wait and the fact that I can do one summer term at Baylor I can effectively graduate one year sooner by going to Baylor.
2. The COL in Waco is so much cheaper, the money I have saved up will go much further.
3. I want to do business litigation and Baylor's program (while it does seem very rigorous) sounds like it would prepare me much better to practice. I’d like to get into big law but I know the chances of that from either school are slim.

In the end I want to practice in Dallas and that is really the only thing holding me up on my decision. I really think that Baylor is the better school but I understand that when it comes time to get a job in Dallas, most employers won’t agree with me on that. I guess what I’m looking for is an unbiased opinion on the pros and cons of going to either school and for people to point out anything that I may have overlooked. My numbers: 159/3.4


If you want BigLaw, SMU gives you twice the odds of Baylor, and there are almost 10% fewer students who end up unemployed at SMU over Baylor. SMU easily between the two.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=smu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=baylor

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:47 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Before I start, please save all your "Neither, retake" answers because I know I don't have a shot at a 170+.


I hope you don't mind that I'm going to ask why. Is this just something you believe or do you have good evidence of it?

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kalvano
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:49 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:1. The timing is right- when I get out of the Army I can start at Baylor in the spring but with SMU I'll have to wait 6 months to start school. Because of that wait and the fact that I can do one summer term at Baylor I can effectively graduate one year sooner by going to Baylor.


Starting in the spring would not give you any real advantage. Plus, Baylor has this fun thing where they won't let you work a summer job if you aren't keeping up with their stupid Practice Court. Any school that won't let you take a paying job because of some made-up hardcore mock trial contest is monumentally stupid.

TheJanitor6203 wrote:3. I want to do business litigation and Baylor's program (while it does seem very rigorous) sounds like it would prepare me much better to practice.


No it won't. It's a stupid hazing process that makes law school, which is already difficult, vastly more stressful and hard than it needs to be. No one is going to hire you because you went to Baylor and were hardcore, aside from maybe DA or PD offices. Business litigation has so very little to do with being in court.

TheJanitor6203 wrote:I’d like to get into big law but I know the chances of that from either school are slim.


They are much better at SMU than at Baylor, particularly if you mean traditional Biglaw (Baker Botts, Akin Gump, etc.).


TheJanitor6203 wrote:In the end I want to practice in Dallas and that is really the only thing holding me up on my decision.


Dallas = SMU.

TheJanitor6203 wrote: I really think that Baylor is the better school but I understand that when it comes time to get a job in Dallas, most employers won’t agree with me on that.


All decent law schools are pretty much exactly the same, so Baylor decides to try and be different by making it significantly more difficult and stressful. That doesn't make it a better school. More exams plus mandatory Practice Court plus professors that pride themselves on being rude and harsh plus a school that fosters an ultracompetitive, somewhat vicious atmosphere doesn't mean it's any better, just less pleasant.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby Nova » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:41 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote: I really think that Baylor is the better school

It really isnt

As jselson pointed out, SMU has way better placement.

As sublime pointed out, SMU's proximity & local reputation will give you a big advantage in the DFW metroplex

As Kal pointed out, Baylor sucks.

So,

SMU >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> B
Last edited by Nova on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby BarbellDreams » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:42 pm

SMU places and has much MUCH more pull than Bayor. This isn't close unless COA is vastly different.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby StylinNProfilin » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:43 pm

Enjoy SMU

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:53 pm

kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:1. The timing is right- when I get out of the Army I can start at Baylor in the spring but with SMU I'll have to wait 6 months to start school. Because of that wait and the fact that I can do one summer term at Baylor I can effectively graduate one year sooner by going to Baylor.


Starting in the spring would not give you any real advantage. Plus, Baylor has this fun thing where they won't let you work a summer job if you aren't keeping up with their stupid Practice Court. Any school that won't let you take a paying job because of some made-up hardcore mock trial contest is monumentally stupid.

TheJanitor6203 wrote:3. I want to do business litigation and Baylor's program (while it does seem very rigorous) sounds like it would prepare me much better to practice.


No it won't. It's a stupid hazing process that makes law school, which is already difficult, vastly more stressful and hard than it needs to be. No one is going to hire you because you went to Baylor and were hardcore, aside from maybe DA or PD offices. Business litigation has so very little to do with being in court.

TheJanitor6203 wrote:I’d like to get into big law but I know the chances of that from either school are slim.


They are much better at SMU than at Baylor, particularly if you mean traditional Biglaw (Baker Botts, Akin Gump, etc.).


TheJanitor6203 wrote:In the end I want to practice in Dallas and that is really the only thing holding me up on my decision.


Dallas = SMU.

TheJanitor6203 wrote: I really think that Baylor is the better school but I understand that when it comes time to get a job in Dallas, most employers won’t agree with me on that.


All decent law schools are pretty much exactly the same, so Baylor decides to try and be different by making it significantly more difficult and stressful. That doesn't make it a better school. More exams plus mandatory Practice Court plus professors that pride themselves on being rude and harsh plus a school that fosters an ultracompetitive, somewhat vicious atmosphere doesn't mean it's any better, just less pleasant.


Thanks for the feedback. I've read all of this before and I guess I forgot about it since it's been a while. After reading this though it has reminded me of all of the reasons why SMU has always been my top pick. On top of all of this, I just found out that Baylor no longer participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program which would have covered the remainder of tuition not covered by the GI Bill which is about $20,000 per year. I guess the choice is simple. SMU it is.

I really don't want to be in a place where professors treat students like shit. After 8 years in the Army, I'm done with people treating other people badly based on position. I also don't want to be in a cutthroat environment.
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Before I start, please save all your "Neither, retake" answers because I know I don't have a shot at a 170+.


I hope you don't mind that I'm going to ask why. Is this just something you believe or do you have good evidence of it?


I say this because I just don't believe that I am capable of it. I spent about two months of self-study prior to taking the February LSAT and scored a 159 which was lower than I expected. My last 4 or 5 PT's before the LSAT were all between 164-167, which is what I was shooting for. I'm retaking in October and this time I am taking an in-person Blueprint course that runs from July until the test. I'm shooting for a 165, which from everything I've heard is the magic number for SMU.

And to everyone else who responded- Thanks for your input.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:06 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I've read all of this before and I guess I forgot about it since it's been a while. After reading this though it has reminded me of all of the reasons why SMU has always been my top pick. On top of all of this, I just found out that Baylor no longer participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program which would have covered the remainder of tuition not covered by the GI Bill which is about $20,000 per year. I guess the choice is simple. SMU it is.

I really don't want to be in a place where professors treat students like shit. After 8 years in the Army, I'm done with people treating other people badly based on position. I also don't want to be in a cutthroat environment.



I never had one single professor at SMU do the Socratic method like you think of in a stereotypical law school way. It's apparently pretty common at Baylor, but we had professors just either pure lecture, no questions asked, or be nice about it. We could pass on a question, ask for "co-counsel" (other students), or that sort of thing. I think Dorsaneo does the full "stand at attention and recite" thing, but he's bugfuck nuts. People are nice to each other, generally, and it's not a bad place to be for three years.

Plus, you know, better job prospects than Baylor.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:30 pm

kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I've read all of this before and I guess I forgot about it since it's been a while. After reading this though it has reminded me of all of the reasons why SMU has always been my top pick. On top of all of this, I just found out that Baylor no longer participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program which would have covered the remainder of tuition not covered by the GI Bill which is about $20,000 per year. I guess the choice is simple. SMU it is.

I really don't want to be in a place where professors treat students like shit. After 8 years in the Army, I'm done with people treating other people badly based on position. I also don't want to be in a cutthroat environment.



I never had one single professor at SMU do the Socratic method like you think of in a stereotypical law school way. It's apparently pretty common at Baylor, but we had professors just either pure lecture, no questions asked, or be nice about it. We could pass on a question, ask for "co-counsel" (other students), or that sort of thing. I think Dorsaneo does the full "stand at attention and recite" thing, but he's bugfuck nuts. People are nice to each other, generally, and it's not a bad place to be for three years.

Plus, you know, better job prospects than Baylor.


I'm really excited about going to SMU.. I just got a little side-tracked I guess. I think the biggest thing drawing me to Baylor for the Spring term is that I wouldn't have to retake the LSAT. With a 159 I have a small shot at SMU but I definitely need to retake to ensure I get in and I'm just dreading having to take it again. When I was in elementary school I lived on Airline, down the street from the football stadium and I have wanted to go to SMU ever since then. I visited the campus last time I was in Dallas in December and met a few students and really enjoyed that too. My entire family lives in Dallas, I already own a house in Dallas.. I have tons of reasons to chose SMU over Baylor. I just needed to hear it from someone else I guess.

What are your thoughts on the school changing deans? I know the outgoing dean wasn't very popular but do you know anything about the incoming dean and what kinds of changes should be expected? I would assume that a priority of the new dean would be to improve the schools ranking; do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:35 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?


Because higher LSATs are becoming more difficult to come by, I imagine most places are trying their hardest to keep from slipping rather than trying to improve. If every school surrounding you in the rankings has to drop their medians, but you don't, then you have a good shot of improving.

So you should be good if your LSAT is at or above the 2013 median.

Also, SMU took a median hit recently, so a 165 will be more than enough. But that's a good score goal so you have a bit of leeway on the real thing.
Last edited by jselson on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:39 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:What are your thoughts on the school changing deans? I know the outgoing dean wasn't very popular but do you know anything about the incoming dean and what kinds of changes should be expected? I would assume that a priority of the new dean would be to improve the schools ranking; do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?



No one knows who the new dean will be. But a retarded parrot would be an improvement. But no, it shouldn't affect the fall. There is an interim dean for this upcoming school year, with a dean search to be conducted and hopefully a new dean named in the summer of 2014.

Besides, SMU's lower ranking has never been much about the median LSAT.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:41 pm

jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?


Because higher LSATs are becoming more difficult to come by, I imagine most places are trying their hardest to keep from slipping rather than trying to improve. If every school surrounding you in the rankings has to drop their medians, but you don't, then you have a good shot of improving.

So you should be good if your LSAT is at or above the 2013 median.


Are higher LSATs becoming hard to come by due to less people applying? I assumed that less people would be applying but it seems like they'd still have enough applicants to maintain (or raise) their medians. Am I wrong?

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:54 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?


Because higher LSATs are becoming more difficult to come by, I imagine most places are trying their hardest to keep from slipping rather than trying to improve. If every school surrounding you in the rankings has to drop their medians, but you don't, then you have a good shot of improving.

So you should be good if your LSAT is at or above the 2013 median.


Are higher LSATs becoming hard to come by due to less people applying? I assumed that less people would be applying but it seems like they'd still have enough applicants to maintain (or raise) their medians. Am I wrong?


It's because both fewer people are applying and fewer people are taking the LSAT. SMU's LSAT numbers have dropped since the number of people taking LSATs started to drop, about 2 years ago. And the biggest drops are amongst higher scorers.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:56 pm

kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:What are your thoughts on the school changing deans? I know the outgoing dean wasn't very popular but do you know anything about the incoming dean and what kinds of changes should be expected? I would assume that a priority of the new dean would be to improve the schools ranking; do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?



No one knows who the new dean will be. But a retarded parrot would be an improvement. But no, it shouldn't affect the fall. There is an interim dean for this upcoming school year, with a dean search to be conducted and hopefully a new dean named in the summer of 2014.

Besides, SMU's lower ranking has never been much about the median LSAT.


This brings up a questions I've had for a while. I don't know if I understand the ranking system correctly but from what I understand, a large part of it is based on the rating that graduates give the school. A lot of what I read about people talking about SMU is that they are unhappy with the job prospects after graduation because the school is ranked lower than they'd like it to be.... So, if these same people just gave the school better reviews wouldn't that improve the ranking and their job prospects?

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:57 pm

jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?


Because higher LSATs are becoming more difficult to come by, I imagine most places are trying their hardest to keep from slipping rather than trying to improve. If every school surrounding you in the rankings has to drop their medians, but you don't, then you have a good shot of improving.

So you should be good if your LSAT is at or above the 2013 median.


Are higher LSATs becoming hard to come by due to less people applying? I assumed that less people would be applying but it seems like they'd still have enough applicants to maintain (or raise) their medians. Am I wrong?


It's because both fewer people are applying and fewer people are taking the LSAT. SMU's LSAT numbers have dropped since the number of people taking LSATs started to drop, about 2 years ago. And the biggest drops are amongst higher scorers.


I guess the smarter people are smart enough to know not to go to law school right now..

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:01 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
Are higher LSATs becoming hard to come by due to less people applying? I assumed that less people would be applying but it seems like they'd still have enough applicants to maintain (or raise) their medians. Am I wrong?


It's because both fewer people are applying and fewer people are taking the LSAT. SMU's LSAT numbers have dropped since the number of people taking LSATs started to drop, about 2 years ago. And the biggest drops are amongst higher scorers.


I guess the smarter people are smart enough to know not to go to law school right now..


Something like that. I think the theory is more that the types of people who would do well on the LSAT are also the types who would research the market more and/or are more likely to have better/other options besides law school.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:04 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:What are your thoughts on the school changing deans? I know the outgoing dean wasn't very popular but do you know anything about the incoming dean and what kinds of changes should be expected? I would assume that a priority of the new dean would be to improve the schools ranking; do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?



No one knows who the new dean will be. But a retarded parrot would be an improvement. But no, it shouldn't affect the fall. There is an interim dean for this upcoming school year, with a dean search to be conducted and hopefully a new dean named in the summer of 2014.

Besides, SMU's lower ranking has never been much about the median LSAT.


This brings up a questions I've had for a while. I don't know if I understand the ranking system correctly but from what I understand, a large part of it is based on the rating that graduates give the school. A lot of what I read about people talking about SMU is that they are unhappy with the job prospects after graduation because the school is ranked lower than they'd like it to be.... So, if these same people just gave the school better reviews wouldn't that improve the ranking and their job prospects?



No. SMU gets whacked pretty hard by peer review scores, for some reason. Graduate's reviews of the school don't matter much, if at all.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:07 pm

jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
Are higher LSATs becoming hard to come by due to less people applying? I assumed that less people would be applying but it seems like they'd still have enough applicants to maintain (or raise) their medians. Am I wrong?


It's because both fewer people are applying and fewer people are taking the LSAT. SMU's LSAT numbers have dropped since the number of people taking LSATs started to drop, about 2 years ago. And the biggest drops are amongst higher scorers.


I guess the smarter people are smart enough to know not to go to law school right now..


Something like that. I think the theory is more that the types of people who would do well on the LSAT are also the types who would research the market more and/or are more likely to have better/other options besides law school.


I agree. I wouldn't go to law school right now if I didn't have the GI Bill. But, luckily I do and I'll be able to finish law school with absolutely 0 debt. I hate the Army and I am extremely ready to be done with it but I will be forever grateful that I was able to complete a bachelor degree while I serving in the Army for under $2,000 out of my own pocket.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:08 pm

kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:What are your thoughts on the school changing deans? I know the outgoing dean wasn't very popular but do you know anything about the incoming dean and what kinds of changes should be expected? I would assume that a priority of the new dean would be to improve the schools ranking; do you think this is going to affect people applying this Fall as far as needing higher numbers?



No one knows who the new dean will be. But a retarded parrot would be an improvement. But no, it shouldn't affect the fall. There is an interim dean for this upcoming school year, with a dean search to be conducted and hopefully a new dean named in the summer of 2014.

Besides, SMU's lower ranking has never been much about the median LSAT.


This brings up a questions I've had for a while. I don't know if I understand the ranking system correctly but from what I understand, a large part of it is based on the rating that graduates give the school. A lot of what I read about people talking about SMU is that they are unhappy with the job prospects after graduation because the school is ranked lower than they'd like it to be.... So, if these same people just gave the school better reviews wouldn't that improve the ranking and their job prospects?



No. SMU gets whacked pretty hard by peer review scores, for some reason. Graduate's reviews of the school don't matter much, if at all.


Ok, so that is what I was confusing then. So where do these peers come from? Are they just random lawyers around the country that fill out surveys or something based on their experience with graduates from that school?

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:09 pm

Just to be clear, these are hypos not real options?

Retake if you want big law. For that I would consider UT but really I would focus in more on T14 schools because even UT doesn't give you a particularly good shot at that.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:10 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Ok, so that is what I was confusing then. So where do these peers come from? Are they just random lawyers around the country that fill out surveys or something based on their experience with graduates from that school?



"Peers" meaning other schools.

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:12 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
I agree. I wouldn't go to law school right now if I didn't have the GI Bill. But, luckily I do and I'll be able to finish law school with absolutely 0 debt. I hate the Army and I am extremely ready to be done with it but I will be forever grateful that I was able to complete a bachelor degree while I serving in the Army for under $2,000 out of my own pocket.


Yeah, that's awesome, man, and military usually gets a boost in admissions as well. Can I ask why you aren't thinking about applying to UT?

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Re: SMU vs. Baylor (Again)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:19 pm

jselson wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
I agree. I wouldn't go to law school right now if I didn't have the GI Bill. But, luckily I do and I'll be able to finish law school with absolutely 0 debt. I hate the Army and I am extremely ready to be done with it but I will be forever grateful that I was able to complete a bachelor degree while I serving in the Army for under $2,000 out of my own pocket.


Yeah, that's awesome, man, and military usually gets a boost in admissions as well. Can I ask why you aren't thinking about applying to UT?


I don't have the numbers. 159/3.4 currently. I'm going to retake and if I do extremely well, then I'll apply but I'm not counting on it.




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