SMU or Baylor?

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LegalEagle111
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SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:20 pm

I graduate w/ my BA in political science in May and have been accepted to several law schools. Baylor offered me admission for the Spring of 2016 and I got wait listed at SMU.

While Baylor has already officially accepted me I'm not sure what I'll do If I get into SMU too.

Does anyone have any opinion on which is "better"? I'm not exactly sure what I mean when I ask that....

Any advice/comments are appreciated! Thanks!

BigZuck
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:22 pm

Start here:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=224879

eta:
And here:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=192436

LegalEagle111
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:27 pm

BigZuck wrote:Start here:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=224879

eta:
And here:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=192436



Thank you for taking the time to send me those links!

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txsunshine
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby txsunshine » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:35 pm

SMU for better job opportunities generally. Also, if having a social life is at all important to you, Dallas > Waco a million times over.

lnh819
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby lnh819 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:47 pm

SMU is the better choice here for many reasons. DFW is the biggest legal market in Texas (with the possible exception of Houston) so being able to intern and network in that area easily will be a huge plus during law school.

thebobs1987
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby thebobs1987 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:12 pm

If OP is waitlisted at SMU, that means the LSAT score is not very good. You need to retake it

LegalEagle111
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:27 pm

thebobs1987 wrote:If OP is waitlisted at SMU, that means the LSAT score is not very good. You need to retake it


I've already taken the LSAT twice and I think I may just not be a great test taker

The highest I ever scored was a 153 but the rest of my app. is pretty strong... or I think they would've just said no.

thebobs1987
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby thebobs1987 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:42 pm

LegalEagle111 wrote:
thebobs1987 wrote:If OP is waitlisted at SMU, that means the LSAT score is not very good. You need to retake it


I've already taken the LSAT twice and I think I may just not be a great test taker

The highest I ever scored was a 153 but the rest of my app. is pretty strong... or I think they would've just said no.


No, they want your money because if you get in off the waitlist, you might pay sticker and very few people do that and no one ever should. A 153 is not a good score. If you have taken it twice, you have another retake. Go through the LSAT prep on this site. If you can't get a 160 on the LSAT you are unlikely to succeed in law school. You need to dedicate yourself to studying for the LSAT, it will save you tons of money.

Also, you do realize that in law school, everything comes down to one test at the end of the semester so not being a good test taker is a reason not to go to law school

LegalEagle111
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:08 pm

thebobs1987 wrote:
LegalEagle111 wrote:
thebobs1987 wrote:If OP is waitlisted at SMU, that means the LSAT score is not very good. You need to retake it


I've already taken the LSAT twice and I think I may just not be a great test taker

The highest I ever scored was a 153 but the rest of my app. is pretty strong... or I think they would've just said no.


No, they want your money because if you get in off the waitlist, you might pay sticker and very few people do that and no one ever should. A 153 is not a good score. If you have taken it twice, you have another retake. Go through the LSAT prep on this site. If you can't get a 160 on the LSAT you are unlikely to succeed in law school. You need to dedicate yourself to studying for the LSAT, it will save you tons of money.

Also, you do realize that in law school, everything comes down to one test at the end of the semester so not being a good test taker is a reason not to go to law school


I appreciate your advice! My mistake --- i'm not the best standardized test taker... I think in Law School I'll be fine.

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romothesavior
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:33 pm

And your basis for that is...? (This is a rhetorical question. You have no rational basis for thinking you'll be "fine" on exams in law school.)

What kind of price tag are we looking at here? Presumably sticker at SMU?

LegalEagle111
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:42 pm

romothesavior wrote:And your basis for that is...? (This is a rhetorical question. You have no rational basis for thinking you'll be "fine" on exams in law school.)

What kind of price tag are we looking at here? Presumably sticker at SMU?


I have a 3.85 gpa at a tier 1 university in TX and I've always been a good student. From what I've heard, law school is a ton of work but the material makes sense and it's easy to learn.

mvp99
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby mvp99 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:48 pm

romothesavior's point still stands

LegalEagle111
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby LegalEagle111 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:49 pm

mvp99 wrote:romothesavior's point still stands


I think there's difference between a final exam and a standardized test.

I've always aced exams in school but have not done well on test like the SAT.

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JazzOne
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:56 pm

LegalEagle111 wrote:
mvp99 wrote:romothesavior's point still stands


I think there's difference between a final exam and a standardized test.

I've always aced exams in school but have not done well on test like the SAT.

I think there's a difference between an undergrad final exam and a law school final exam. The law might be simple and relatively easy to memorize, but that does not mean you will be good at applying the law to new situations, or thinking of clever legal arguments, or writing a strong persuasive essay on a legal issue. And it certainly doesn't mean you'll be good at schmoozing your way to a job or playing office politics at a firm.

Listen to these guys unless you have a money tree. If so, hire me to tutor you for your next LSAT retake.
Last edited by JazzOne on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:58 pm

LegalEagle111 wrote:
mvp99 wrote:romothesavior's point still stands


I think there's difference between a final exam and a standardized test.

I've always aced exams in school but have not done well on test like the SAT.

What is the difference and how, specifically, are law school exams closer to final exams than standardized tests?

thebobs1987
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby thebobs1987 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:01 pm

LegalEagle111 wrote:
mvp99 wrote:romothesavior's point still stands


I think there's difference between a final exam and a standardized test.

I've always aced exams in school but have not done well on test like the SAT.


Law school exams by and large are nothing like exams in undergrad. Would you be paying for law school with loans? What did you do to study for the LSAT the first two times?

Winter is Coming
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby Winter is Coming » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:34 pm

OP, I hate to do this.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=244574&p=8435214#p8435214

But please don't do this. That thread is for people looking to transfer currently. Going to law school with the intent to transfer is a terrible, terrible idea.

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romothesavior
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:53 pm

The fact that law school material is fairly simple to learn is exactly part of the reason law school exams are so hard. Literally nothing you have done up to this point should give you any confidence that you'll do well in law school. Law school will be full of people with better grades, LSAT scores, undergraduate institutions, etc. And none of those factors is a particularly good indicator of law school success to begin with. Your cockiness is totally unwarranted.

Given your numbers and your refusal to answer my question about cost, I'm assuming you're looking at sticker. That's career and financial suicide. You'll be paying 200k+ in exchange for marginal job prospects (please go to LST and research the data). You've been warned.

Finally, your plan to transfer up is a very bad one considering a jump from SMU or Baylor to Harvard will require you to be virtually number 1 in your class. Going to law school assuming top grades is a recipe for disaster.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby kalvano » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:05 am

I just recently graduated from SMU. While it's an OK school, if your choice is between Baylor and sticker at SMU, go do something else. And your plan to transfer is laughably bad. I always rocked undergrad exams too, and law schools exams are a totally different thing.

wons
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby wons » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:08 am

BigZuck wrote:
LegalEagle111 wrote:
mvp99 wrote:romothesavior's point still stands


I think there's difference between a final exam and a standardized test.

I've always aced exams in school but have not done well on test like the SAT.

What is the difference and how, specifically, are law school exams closer to final exams than standardized tests?



Law school exams are very very similar to standardized tests.

(I have years of prior experience tutoring the LSAT, along with my own personal experience as a student, law student, and now lawyer.)

Law exam questions mimic standardized tests in that that they require guessing the question as much as knowing the answer. Law exams are open book. They require little creative thinking. The tough part is figuring out which subset of the infinite freely available information is the correct information to provide to the prompt. In this way, it is EXACTLY like a standardized test. Contrast that with undergraduate exams, which tend to reward either memorization or writing. My dog could write good law school exams. Put differently, I had a extremely high GPA at a T6 school. My exams were written like this post. Do you write like this?

Undergraduate GPAs reflect a million factors, only part of which is your exams. Your papers. Kissing ass at office hours. Kissing ass with class participation. Law school mostly eliminates all of that. Great schmoozer? Worthless. Great at cultivating professors? No one cares. All that matters is the 3 hours where you plug the right nuggets from an outline into "essays".

Law school GPA is twice as strongly correlated with LSAT than with UGGPA. That's because ultimately, the LSAT is a remarkably good proxy for law school aptitude. (It goes without saying that it is not a proxy for all sorts of aptitude as an attorney, but I would not gamble my future on being a world class trial lawyer or business development guy unless I had a tangible reason to believe I had fantastic charisma.)

timbs4339
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Re: SMU or Baylor?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:44 am

OP: I got a 3.8 in poly sci at a large flagship state U then went to CLS. I tried to prepare myself for the difference between my UG and LS but it took me by surprise. Here's what I learned.

As the poster above said, your 3.85 GPA reflects a lot of things. One very important factor is how you perform relative to the other people in your class. The people sitting in your poly sci classes are not at all representative, in terms of intellectual ability, maturity, and work ethic, of the kind of people who will be sitting in your law school classes. Essentially, you need to try and figure out what GPA you would have had if that someone came in, took only the top 10% or 5% students in your poly sci program, and graded you against those people on a curve (oh and made you all take out 250K in debt for the privilege). That means leaving out all the people who don't come to class because they are drunk, or come to class high, or are just floating through their five years of UG because that's what mediocre, unmotivated middle class kids in America do after high school, or the athletes, or people who came from crappy high schools where they had a high HSGPA but are completely unprepared to compete against said middle class kids, etc etc.

Hint, you would not have gotten a 3.85. You probably would have been median, and that's probably where you are going to end up at SMU. But with your LSAT you are seriously at risk of being completely overmatched and winding up bottom 20%, and then you will be 200K+ in debt with not even a 40K job. You need to get over the idea that you're "just a bad test-taker" suck it up and make the right decision. That is s crutch that too many UG students use to avoid a little stress and hard work in the present even though it's certain to lead to massive stress in the future.




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