Tulane vs. Houston

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TheJanitor6203
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Tulane vs. Houston

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:05 pm

I ultimately want to practice in Dallas. I would obviously go to SMU over either of these but I haven't been accepted there yet so at the moment I'm just trying to decide between these two if I don't end up getting into SMU. The COA at both are basically identical. I have the GI Bill so tuition is covered at Houston no matter what and I have a big enough scholarship at Tulane that, combined with the GI Bill, tuition is covered there as well. The scholarship has a 3.0 stip and I have read that is the bottom 25% of the class so I'm not too concerned with losing it. I think the cost of living between the two is probably similar as well.

There LST scores are very similar as well. Tulane's basic score is 62.8% compared to Houston's 61.5%. Houston's big law score is 17.6% but only 1.1% got clerkships while Tulane's big law is only 10% but 10.4% landed clerkships.

So it comes down to what I want to do and where I want to practice after law school. As I said, I want to be in Dallas but if I ended up working in Houston for a while first, I wouldn't mind that. I'm less ok with working in New Orleans though just because I don't want to become a LA resident. As far as work goes, I'm not 100% decided on what I want to do. I'm interested in becoming a public defender, gunning for big law, or anything else really. Since I'll be graduating debt free, or close to it, I'm not consumed with the need to land big law.

I think the correct answer is probably Houston. The only thing holding me up is that I think I'd enjoy Tulane more than UH and I'd much rather live in New Orleans over Houston (at least during law school). Also, Tulane has a Criminal Defense Clinic and Houston doesn't.

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Nova
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby Nova » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:14 pm

UHLC seems like a pretty clear winner to me considering youre D>H>NO.

Youll want to be in the market you would rather practice in. Law school is not a good time to take a 3 year vay cay.

And UHLC >T for Dallas

HYSenberg
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby HYSenberg » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:20 pm

Only 5.4% of Tulane's clerkships are federal. Plus, it seems like it'd be much easier to lateral to Dallas after a few years in Houston than in LA, partly due to the Napoleonic code thing. Houston's economy is also better, so I vote UH as well.

OTOH, I think you'll get into SMU :D.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:49 pm

HYSenberg wrote:Only 5.4% of Tulane's clerkships are federal. Plus, it seems like it'd be much easier to lateral to Dallas after a few years in Houston than in LA, partly due to the Napoleonic code thing. Houston's economy is also better, so I vote UH as well.

OTOH, I think you'll get into SMU :D.

I really hope you're right.

BigZuck
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:45 pm

If you got into these schools why wouldn't you get in to SMU?

Among these choices, UH>Tulane

But the real answer is neither. Why someone with the GI bill wouldn't at least ED UVA is beyond me.

Retake, hit a 170 (169?) and enjoy UVA/life

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:23 am

You'd have to ask SMU why they haven't accepted me. You're right, I should retake and get a 170. Gosh, why didn't I think of that.

BigZuck
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:30 am

TheJanitor6203 wrote:You'd have to ask SMU why they haven't accepted me. You're right, I should retake and get a 170. Gosh, why didn't I think of that.


Your snark is noted and appreciated.

It sounds like the whole venture hasn't been thought through very well. You say you're interested in big law, but big law placement at all of these schools is bad. You probably won't get it.

Then you say you're interested in big law, but also PI. Which to me signals no real interest in anything in particular. Just a general "I want a career." Which I actually think can be ok, but not if you're going to choose a school that will really limit all of your opportunities. If you're not sure what you want to do, then going to the very best school you can seems like the only logical choice.

Retake, ED UVA at the very least

If you have a good GPA, couple that with the solid softs and a good LSAT and aim higher than UVA.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:16 pm

BigZuck wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:You'd have to ask SMU why they haven't accepted me. You're right, I should retake and get a 170. Gosh, why didn't I think of that.


Your snark is noted and appreciated.

It sounds like the whole venture hasn't been thought through very well. You say you're interested in big law, but big law placement at all of these schools is bad. You probably won't get it.

Then you say you're interested in big law, but also PI. Which to me signals no real interest in anything in particular. Just a general "I want a career." Which I actually think can be ok, but not if you're going to choose a school that will really limit all of your opportunities. If you're not sure what you want to do, then going to the very best school you can seems like the only logical choice.

Retake, ED UVA at the very least

If you have a good GPA, couple that with the solid softs and a good LSAT and aim higher than UVA.

I'm sure you're trying to be helpful and I appreciate that but the general advise to re-take isn't helpful at this point. I didn't include this information in my initial post because it's not relevant to my question but my first try was a 159 and my second was a 161. I was PTing in the high 160's prior to both tests.. I just keep bombing the real thing.

I understand your point about EDing to UVA with the GI Bill since paying sticker wouldn't be an issue but I see it differently. I think the main reason everyone here has the "big law or bust" mentality is because 1. the prestige and 2. everyone needs that income to pay their student loans. For me, the prestige would be cool but it's not a huge motivator for me. As for the debt, I am currently debt free and should be graduating law school debt free as well. Not only will I not be paying tuition, I have a significant amount of money saved to live off while I'm going to school. So with that in mind, I don't really care if I end up making a 6 figure salary out of law school.

I also disagree that I haven't thought this through. I am interested in gunning for big law and I am interested in becoming a public defender but in the end, I think I'd even be happy just doing "shit law". There is also a large mid law market in Dallas. I will hopefully be interning with the local public defender before I start law school which will give me a much better idea of whether or not PD is the route I want to pursue. So rather than saying "I want to do X" now, I'm waiting until I get to law school so I can really figure it out. I don't see anything wrong with this approach.

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Nova
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby Nova » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:20 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:my first try was a 159 and my second was a 161. I was PTing in the high 160's prior to both tests.. I just keep bombing the real thing.

May as well give it one more shot to help your chances at SMU/UT. Since you were PTing @ 165+, the odds are in your favor to add a few points next time

ill stop now

BigZuck
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:52 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:You'd have to ask SMU why they haven't accepted me. You're right, I should retake and get a 170. Gosh, why didn't I think of that.


Your snark is noted and appreciated.

It sounds like the whole venture hasn't been thought through very well. You say you're interested in big law, but big law placement at all of these schools is bad. You probably won't get it.

Then you say you're interested in big law, but also PI. Which to me signals no real interest in anything in particular. Just a general "I want a career." Which I actually think can be ok, but not if you're going to choose a school that will really limit all of your opportunities. If you're not sure what you want to do, then going to the very best school you can seems like the only logical choice.

Retake, ED UVA at the very least

If you have a good GPA, couple that with the solid softs and a good LSAT and aim higher than UVA.

I'm sure you're trying to be helpful and I appreciate that but the general advise to re-take isn't helpful at this point. I didn't include this information in my initial post because it's not relevant to my question but my first try was a 159 and my second was a 161. I was PTing in the high 160's prior to both tests.. I just keep bombing the real thing.

I understand your point about EDing to UVA with the GI Bill since paying sticker wouldn't be an issue but I see it differently. I think the main reason everyone here has the "big law or bust" mentality is because 1. the prestige and 2. everyone needs that income to pay their student loans. For me, the prestige would be cool but it's not a huge motivator for me. As for the debt, I am currently debt free and should be graduating law school debt free as well. Not only will I not be paying tuition, I have a significant amount of money saved to live off while I'm going to school. So with that in mind, I don't really care if I end up making a 6 figure salary out of law school.

I also disagree that I haven't thought this through. I am interested in gunning for big law and I am interested in becoming a public defender but in the end, I think I'd even be happy just doing "shit law". There is also a large mid law market in Dallas. I will hopefully be interning with the local public defender before I start law school which will give me a much better idea of whether or not PD is the route I want to pursue. So rather than saying "I want to do X" now, I'm waiting until I get to law school so I can really figure it out. I don't see anything wrong with this approach.


If you want big law, go to a big law feeder. If you want PI, go to a school that feeds well into that. If you want small law, go to the best school you can while also limiting your debt.

Considering the schools you are looking at, you're really only positioning yourself to have a good shot at a small firm (maybe PI). Big law is almost assuredly out. For one, those schools don't place well into large firms. More importantly though, if you crumble under test pressure you almost certainly won't get good grades in law school, which are the prerequisites to getting large firm jobs, especially from the schools you are considering. But that's not the end of the world, your debt will be low and you don't need a big law salary to pay off your debt.

I was assuming that you were approaching law school from the "I'm not exactly sure what I want to do but I want options" standpoint. If that were the case, the absolute worst school you should attend is UT. But if you're approaching it from the "I'm tired of taking the LSAT and I won't be paying tuition so F it" standpoint and are ok with the reality that the best job you will get (assuming you get a legal job) is at a small firm then that is 100% fine.

But, if I'm misreading you, and you're actually thinking "Well, I'm no good at the LSAT but I'll crush law school and have my pick of whatever jobs I want" then no. Don't even go. You have to get over your test taking struggles first, and the LSAT is the best opportunity to do that because you can take it whenever and give yourself maximum time to prep. Plus, it's the single most important test you'll ever take. If you can't bring yourself to conquer that test, you will almost certainly be crushed by law school final exams.

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jingosaur
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby jingosaur » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:28 pm

If Dallas is your goal, stay in Texas. You also have to keep in mind that Louisiana's legal system is really different than the legal systems in every other state, so you may learn a lot of things that won't be applicable in Texas.

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hookem7
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby hookem7 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:43 pm

OP I will agree with the UH sentiment at this time but you need to just be patient and wait it out from here. SMU is notoriously slow in all regards, and I doubt they get around to accepting people until February at the earliest. I was above both medians and above LSAT 75th and didn't hear til March (with scholarship). So just let things shake out. If you got into Tulane and UH (especially with money) you have a good chance of getting SMU.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Tulane vs. Houston

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:14 pm

hookem7 wrote:OP I will agree with the UH sentiment at this time but you need to just be patient and wait it out from here. SMU is notoriously slow in all regards, and I doubt they get around to accepting people until February at the earliest. I was above both medians and above LSAT 75th and didn't hear til March (with scholarship). So just let things shake out. If you got into Tulane and UH (especially with money) you have a good chance of getting SMU.

I hope you're right. I'm not about to put down a seat deposit, just trying to make a decision ahead of time in case that acceptance from SMU never comes.




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