Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

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downinDtown
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Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby downinDtown » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:54 pm

I hope this can help elucidate the pros and cons of selecting Baylor Law School as your law school of choice. The moral of the story--Only go to Baylor Law School if:

(1) You only want to work in Texas. Texas is a great market, probably one of the best in the country with several large cities (and economies), but consider what you want type of legal work because the amount and quality of work opportunities in Texas will likely depend of which law school you choose to attend. For Baylor 2012 Grads (138 total), 117 were employed in TX (85% of the class); 2 in OK; 1 in CA; 15 were Unemployed (or 11% of the class and it’s safe to assume that some of these couldn’t find a job in TX); 3 Unknown), which leads me to my next point….

(2) You only want to work in a small- or mid-size firm. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but look at the numbers before you decide: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=baylor(For 2012, 4 grads went solo/didn’t like unemployment; 47 went to 2-10 attorney firms; 19 went to 11-25 attorney firms; 12 went to 26-50 attorney firms; and 3 went to 51-100 attorney firms; 2 unknown). Since you’re probably wondering (and too lazy to look up the numbers yourself), here is the gist of it: 62% of the 2012 Baylor class went to work in a law firm of 100 or less lawyers. That’s fine, but if you’re paying sticker (see #4), you’re setting yourself up to be paying off loans for a long time. Estimated monthly loan payment on a 10-year plan would be $2,853, or $34,246 per year. Put another way: In 2011, the median salary for Baylor Law Grads was $60,000, the 75th percentile was $85,000. Assuming an average tax rate of 20%, median earners are left with $48,000 after taxes and 75th percentile earners are left with $68,000 after taxes. So (using the 10-year payment plan) a median earner (without PAYE) would have 75% of his take-home pay earmarked for loans and a 75th percentile earner would have 50%. That’s just not sustainable or possible. That kind of debt payment would suck if you made 160K, but that’d suck even worse when you’re only making $60K. But that’s what PAYE’s for, amirite?

(3) You do not aspire to work in BigLaw (the only schools that Baylor sometimes outplaces in Texas BigLaw are Texas Tech (and other TTT(T)’s), and even South Texas kicks Baylor’s butt at placement in some Houston firms). Only 13 of Baylor’s 2012 Law Grads went to “BigLaw,” which is less than 10% of the entire class. Statistics suck, but that means 9 out of 10 people at Baylor won’t ever reach the 160K pie-in-the-sky. Which really sucks because you’re going to have a whole pile of debt waiting for you upon graduation …see #4

(4) You have lots of money sitting around burning a hole in your pocket (Class of 2016 projected cost for Baylor = $239,584, or the equivalent of two decent houses in Waco – are you sure you don’t want to get into real estate investing??) and 3 years to spend/waste (matter of perspective-but remember to consider opportunity costs) OR you have a lot of scholly $$$ calling your name, AND . . . .

(5) You've maxed out your retakes, must stay in Texas, and you have no better offers at schools that will offer you better employment prospects (in terms of both job chances and salary outcomes). As mentioned above, if you want to work in TX, consider this: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?r=tx. Baylor is 10th on the list, even though they are the 4th highest-rated school in the state (based on USNews), sandwiched between the University of Oklahoma and South Texas College of Law. Some prestigious company to be in, for sure.

(6) You just absolutely love litigation; like you dream of Joe Jamail (no, wait, he went to UT Law) and that’s what you want to do and you just want to soak it all in. I know, I know, you’re going to be the next Ken Starr, but you’ll only be famous like him if Bill Clinton is back in office.

(7) You are masochistic – Law school sucks enough already; go ahead and use the search function to find out how much more sucky Baylor Law is. It’s intense and insanely competitive (https://baylorlariat.com/2011/10/13/bu-law-students-ranked-nation%E2%80%99s-most-competitive/). For a TLS discussion on how much Baylor Law sucks, here’s a head-start: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=192436.

(8) More specifically, instead of coasting your last year of law school, you want to put yourself through living hell with “Practice Court,” which every Baylor Law alum I’ve talked to has described as “intense,” “brutal,” or “super busy.” This sucks for 3 reasons: (1) if you are on the summer track, you may be doing this instead of getting legal experience at a possible employer; (2) you are extremely busy/stressed your last year of law school and you don’t have a ton of time to find a job (and since you live in Waco—see #9—this only makes it harder); and (3) you’re apparently getting fantastic practical experience, but apparently only smaller law firms tend to agree – see #2. If you’re worried about passing the Texas Bar, Baylor will get you ready for that, but so will many other TX law schools, and you’ll actually have a life your 3L year. And you’ll get to do it in Dallas, Houston, or Austin, all of which are NOT . . .

(9) Waco. If you don’t mind living in Waco (or as my wife first pronounced it when we moved to Texas: “Whack-o”; she’s not too far off). It’s an ugly town (and that’s saying something in TX) and it’s not exactly an awesome campus. Plus, crazy people seem to flock there, I’m joking on this, but still this is one of the first things that people think about when you say Waco. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/waco/davidkoresh.html). Also, there isn’t a ton to do in the town, but the real problem is that Waco is not exactly a booming town, there aren’t a lot of employers there (and hence, not a lot of legal jobs), and you’re so busy w/ school/exams/practice court that you don’t have time to go to Houston, Dallas, Austin, etc. to make connections or find legal job opportunities. And as we discussed above, don’t bank on big firms coming to OCI in Waco and rolling out the red carpet for you (I’m sure some Baylor grads fight over who has to go (not who gets to go) to Waco and do the OCI interviews). It’s putting yourself in a sub-prime legal market (location and prospects), with sub-prime activities to do and see in the town, and just hoping that you defy the statistical odds to find gainful employment to pay back your pile of loans.

(10) (<sarcasm>) You only want to study and don’t like parties, dancing, and you epitomize conservative/Baptist viewpoints (</sarcasm>)

(11) Bonus – they have a pretty good/exciting football team, Art Briles is a great coach and they could be good for several years as long as he’s there, and they just got a new stadium built.

(12) Bonus-- Waco has, like, a Chipotle, a Fazzoli’s, and like, so many other fine dining options.

TL;DR – Only go to Baylor if you have a scholarship, want to do litigation in TX, don’t care if it’s at a small(-er) law firm, and don’t mind living in Waco for 3 years, and you want the most competitive, miserable law school experience ever.

*Disclosure: I didn't go to Baylor Law and I'm glad I didn't. I am not from Texas originally, but I am very familiar with the Waco area and Texas overall. And I've heard first-hand from multiple sources of their experience at Baylor (and others' are well documented on TLS). I see this as a public-service announcement so those considering Baylor Law can objectively identify whether the school will provide the means to help them reach their employment goals.
Last edited by downinDtown on Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby Nova » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:44 pm

Good post

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cron1834
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby cron1834 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:13 pm

What I take from this: there's a Chipotle.

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downinDtown
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby downinDtown » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:31 pm

cron1834 wrote:What I take from this: there's a Chipotle.

It's the only place that makes it worthwhile to stop in Waco. Otherwise, I'm just waiting till I get to Buc-ee's.

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downinDtown
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby downinDtown » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:36 pm

Nova wrote:Good post

Thanks. Like helping out when I have time. When I was looking at law schools (and before I was acquainted with TLS), my friend said: "Friends don't let friends go to Baylor." Just passing it along.

leib10
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby leib10 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:44 pm

FWIW, I got into Texas Tech with a decent scholarship and Baylor with no scholarship. I chose to go to Tech for a fraction of the price instead of a school whose superiority over Tech is questionable in many areas, prohibitively expensive, and seems like an all-around miserable experience.

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Attax
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby Attax » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:04 pm

My high school was a feeder to Baylor. A ton of my graduating class went to Baylor. Almost every single one of them are trying to get out of Waco for LS/grad school/jobs if they haven't transferred out already. Saying the town blows really is a bit of an understatement. There are a FEW decent areas, but not really that many.

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phillywc
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby phillywc » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:49 am

Solid post, well done.

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MistakenGenius
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Post removed.

Postby MistakenGenius » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:10 pm

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downinDtown
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby downinDtown » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:17 pm

MistakenGenius wrote:
downinDtown wrote:
cron1834 wrote:What I take from this: there's a Chipotle.

It's the only place that makes it worthwhile to stop in Waco. Otherwise, I'm just waiting till I get to Buc-ee's.


Hey, I haven't been to one since I was 8 or 9, but my town used to have a Fazolis and it was pretty solid. If I remember correctly you could order the lasagna and get a side of a piece of pizza with it for free. That's cool. Also, never been to Chipotle, don't really have them here and even if we did I couldn't get past the South Park episode talking about bloodstains in your underwear from Chipotle.

Also, OP, let me make it even clearer. If you follow the OP's advice and Baylor is the best school you get into, don't go to law school. I'd choose Texas Tech over it honestly. Dean Perez is the man.

Chipotle is heaven wrapped in a tortilla. It's really good. Haven't been to Fazoli's since I was 8. And when you eat with your parents, everything is free so I probably didn't realize the awesomeness of free food then.

To your point, TT and Baylor have similar high-end employment outcomes and if you're competitive for Baylor, you can probably get some decent scholly $$$ from TT (not to mention it's cheaper to begin with). That means you'll be paying a heck of a lot less for similar employment probabilities and outcomes, so I agree with you in that regard.

Also, I guess I should have added that if people can still convince themselves to go to Baylor in spite of reading this, they may want to consider getting a mental health evaluation.

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kalvano
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:20 pm

Chipotle is nothing. Freebirds is everything.

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jts723
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby jts723 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:34 pm

kalvano wrote:Chipotle is nothing. Freebirds is everything.

Blasphemy. Freebirds is average at best.

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MistakenGenius
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Postby MistakenGenius » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:22 pm

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bearsfan23
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby bearsfan23 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:21 pm

How close is the Chipotle to the Law School? This could be a dealbreaker

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Nova
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby Nova » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:23 pm

theres a chipotle within about 100 yards of my law school

they should put that on the brochures

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kalvano
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:43 pm

jts723 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Chipotle is nothing. Freebirds is everything.

Blasphemy. Freebirds is average at best.


PICK UP THE GLOVE.

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lsatyolo
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby lsatyolo » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:18 am

kalvano wrote:Chipotle is nothing. Freebirds is everything.


You know what the fuck is up.

leib10
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby leib10 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:45 am

downinDtown wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote:
downinDtown wrote:
cron1834 wrote:What I take from this: there's a Chipotle.

It's the only place that makes it worthwhile to stop in Waco. Otherwise, I'm just waiting till I get to Buc-ee's.


Hey, I haven't been to one since I was 8 or 9, but my town used to have a Fazolis and it was pretty solid. If I remember correctly you could order the lasagna and get a side of a piece of pizza with it for free. That's cool. Also, never been to Chipotle, don't really have them here and even if we did I couldn't get past the South Park episode talking about bloodstains in your underwear from Chipotle.

Also, OP, let me make it even clearer. If you follow the OP's advice and Baylor is the best school you get into, don't go to law school. I'd choose Texas Tech over it honestly. Dean Perez is the man.

Chipotle is heaven wrapped in a tortilla. It's really good. Haven't been to Fazoli's since I was 8. And when you eat with your parents, everything is free so I probably didn't realize the awesomeness of free food then.

To your point, TT and Baylor have similar high-end employment outcomes and if you're competitive for Baylor, you can probably get some decent scholly $$$ from TT (not to mention it's cheaper to begin with). That means you'll be paying a heck of a lot less for similar employment probabilities and outcomes, so I agree with you in that regard.

Also, I guess I should have added that if people can still convince themselves to go to Baylor in spite of reading this, they may want to consider getting a mental health evaluation.


The Chipotle in Lubbock is within biking or driving distance of the law school. You could walk it, but it's pretty far. Then again, Tech's campus is huge, so walking long distances is normal.

Also, Texas Tech has really made me feel welcome and cared about. Baylor's courtesy has been perfunctory. I understand that this has no bearing on the quality of education, employment outcomes, etc., but it still feels nice to know that they really, truly want you to go. The feel from the communications I've received from Tech seem relaxed, a bit quirky (thanks in large part to Dean Perez), but still on mission and focused on the law. Baylor's open house seemed stiff, stressed, and maybe even a bit snobby.

BigZuck
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:07 am

ITT: cripple fights

Waco vs Lubbock
Chipotle vs Freebirds

I mean yeah, maybe one is better than the other but that doesn't make it objectively ok, let alone good.

As for the point of the thread- I honestly don't get why or how Baylor law school exists or why anyone would choose to go there. UT, SMU, UH, and maybe Tech are the only sensible choices in the state.

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BVest
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby BVest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:38 pm

BigZuck wrote:ITT: cripple fights

. . .
Chipotle vs Freebirds

I mean yeah, maybe one is better than the other but that doesn't make it objectively ok, let alone good.



The mistake is talking burritos in the first place. That's California talk. Tacos are where the heart of Tex Mex is found.

deebanger
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby deebanger » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:22 am

does the quarter system in baylor make it hard to transfer after your first year? Any baylor students want to chime in?

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BVest
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby BVest » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:33 am

deebanger wrote:does the quarter system in baylor make it hard to transfer after your first year? Any baylor students want to chime in?


This should never be your concern. In practice, selecting 1L school = selecting school on your JD degree. Despite the ample bandwidth used over transfers on TLS, it is by far the exception, not the rule.

But if you want an answer to this question, look to find out when spring quarter grades typically come out and compare that to schools' deadlines for transfer. Quarter systems do not, by themselves, make it more difficult to transfer, but they can have some funky effects on cycle deadlines.

ETA: It looks like, though Baylor Law is on quarters, their academic calendar aligns fairly well with semester schools (exam period ends May 1 -- cf. Chicago which ends June 5; UW which ends June 12), so it shouldn't have an effect.

paul554
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby paul554 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:07 am

deebanger wrote:does the quarter system in baylor make it hard to transfer after your first year? Any baylor students want to chime in?


Most schools do a straight transfer where so long as you completed 1L your courses are guranteed to transfer. The catch though is that if your courses aren't similar to the required 1L courses at the new school then you will have to take those classes. Overall not a big deal, but keep in mind the chances of transferring are small. In fact there is a 90% chance you won't be in the top 10%!

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:26 am

There's a Chipotle attached to my apartment building. Don't even need to go outside.

slayerhn
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Re: Only Go to Baylor Law IF:

Postby slayerhn » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:39 pm

leib10 wrote:The Chipotle in Lubbock is within biking or driving distance of the law school. You could walk it, but it's pretty far. Then again, Tech's campus is huge, so walking long distances is normal.



There's a campus bus that drops you off across the street of it.




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