Texas School Choice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Texas school?

South Texas
7
9%
Baylor
5
6%
Houston
42
53%
SMU
25
32%
 
Total votes: 79

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Mce252
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Texas School Choice

Postby Mce252 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:58 am

I am hoping to work as a prosecutor in Houston after law school. Assuming I am accepted to the above schools, which would you suggest attending and why?

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Mce252
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby Mce252 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:59 am

Let's just assume sticker at each.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:31 am

Where is the "none of the above" option?

Though if you're choosing among those and that's your goal, U of H seems like the obvious choice. You're in Houston, they have a clinic that works with in the Harris County DA's office, and you can also do externships for credit during the school year with the Harris County DA. This seems like a no-brainer, you're getting the opportunity to network with the very organization you want to go to when you graduate, an opportunity you wouldn't get during the school year at Baylor or SMU. It's also more highly regarded than South Texas.

Your solution is obvious among these schools. U of H is your best bet for your specific goals, hands down.

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ec2xs
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby ec2xs » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:43 am

vanwinkle wrote:Where is the "none of the above" option?

No need for this. These are the options for almost every student rejected from UT that wants to stay in Texas. No need to be smug.

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kalvano
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:33 am

In order -

UofH.
SMU.
Baylor (Not sure I would subject myself to that, but whatever.)
South Texas.



Go to UofH. As was said, it's where you want to work.

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merichard87
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby merichard87 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:26 am

Honestly your list should be:

U of H
South Texas
SMU

since you want to stay in Houston but SMU is a better school and will give you more movement in Texas but U of H is still top of the list.

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patrickd139
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:33 am

OP-specific:
Texas>>>>>>>>>>>UofH>>>>>>>SMU/STCL>>>Baylor/other schools in TX.

(Yes, I realize Texas wasn't an option in the poll; just thought OP should realize what s/he is up against.)

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merichard87
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby merichard87 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:38 am

patrickd139 wrote:OP-specific:
Texas>>>>>>>>>>>UofH>>>>>>>SMU/STCL>>>Baylor/other schools in TX.

(Yes, I realize Texas wasn't an option in the poll; just thought OP should realize what s/he is up against.)


+1

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MoS
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby MoS » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:43 am

The people who are voting SMU are the ones who are telling you to go to the highest ranking school. They are wrong if you want to work in houston, unless you already have connections. UofH is the best choice of the schools you have listed. Obviously UT would be the best.

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Mce252
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby Mce252 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:50 am

Thanks for the input. And for the record, UT is so far ahead of all the schools listed, I figured it was stupid to list that as a choice.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby TCScrutinizer » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:52 am

Mce252 wrote:I am hoping to work as a prosecutor in Houston after law school. Assuming I am accepted to the above schools, which would you suggest attending and why?


Texas native bringing the CR.

Houston, SMU, and Baylor would all be decent choices, but it kind of sounds like you should be looking into STCL. STCL is an excellent trial advocacy school and I'm told that a large number of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums.

I would not be paying attention to the USNWR-whores telling you that the obvious answer is Texas, SMU, or UH, simply based on ranking. Any of those schools would give you a good shot to fulfill your goals, but STCL, despite being a TTT, seems more tailored to your objectives.

Baylor deserves a look, if you can tolerate living in Waco for three years. I know I couldn't.

I'd rank them

1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull
2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull
(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)
3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco
4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market

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Mce252
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby Mce252 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:03 pm

Texas native bringing the CR.

Houston, SMU, and Baylor would all be decent choices, but it kind of sounds like you should be looking into STCL. STCL is an excellent trial advocacy school and I'm told that a large number of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums.

I would not be paying attention to the USNWR-whores telling you that the obvious answer is Texas, SMU, or UH, simply based on ranking. Any of those schools would give you a good shot to fulfill your goals, but STCL, despite being a TTT, seems more tailored to your objectives.

Baylor deserves a look, if you can tolerate living in Waco for three years. I know I couldn't.

I'd rank them

1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull
2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull
(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)
3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco
4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market



This has been my gut feeling as well. Most of what I read seems to be from many who are too prideful to walk around with a law degree from a school that isn't ranked as high. And also, the current DA in Houston is a STCL graduate.

On the other hand, UH would certainly be less risky, especially since I'm a year out of UG and could end up wanting something other than trial advocacy.

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mcflooter06
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby mcflooter06 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:12 pm

Mce252 wrote:
Texas native bringing the CR.

Houston, SMU, and Baylor would all be decent choices, but it kind of sounds like you should be looking into STCL. STCL is an excellent trial advocacy school and I'm told that a large number of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums.

I would not be paying attention to the USNWR-whores telling you that the obvious answer is Texas, SMU, or UH, simply based on ranking. Any of those schools would give you a good shot to fulfill your goals, but STCL, despite being a TTT, seems more tailored to your objectives.

Baylor deserves a look, if you can tolerate living in Waco for three years. I know I couldn't.

I'd rank them

1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull
2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull
(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)
3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco
4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market



This has been my gut feeling as well. Most of what I read seems to be from many who are afraid to walk around with a law degree from a school that isn't ranked as high. And also, the current DA in Houston is a STCL graduate.

On the other hand, UH would certainly be less risky, especially since I'm a year out of UG and have no useful understanding of the law.


Also a Texas native...

In your situation, I think Houston would be the best choice for you. I don't think, however, you should pay sticker at Houston if you have a substantial scholarship for STCL, since you want to be a prosecutor. STCL does have a high ranked advocacy program, I will give them that. UH will provide more opportunities in and out of school, and means more in the Houston market (and if you have any desire to ever go into private practice, I would definitely say go to UH), but I don't think you'd really be at a huge disadvanatge with a STCL JD as a prosecutor.

Really, UTexas is the best school for all of Texas (and, no, I'm not being a "rankings-whore," I work in the market, and UTexas dominates), but in your situation I think chosing a lesser ranker school in your target market is a fine choice, since you don't want to go the private practice route. Good luck!

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kalvano
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Mce252 wrote:Let's just assume sticker at each.



This is why I said UofH and SMU should be your number 1 and 2 choices. If you're paying sticker, you want the most options available to you. UofH and SMU provide far more than Baylor / South Texas.

If you have a scholarship to South Texas, then go there.

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mcflooter06
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby mcflooter06 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:28 pm

kalvano wrote:
Mce252 wrote:Let's just assume sticker at each.



This is why I said UofH and SMU should be your number 1 and 2 choices. If you're paying sticker, you want the most options available to you. UofH and SMU provide far more than Baylor / South Texas.

If you have a scholarship to South Texas, then go there.


+1

Exactly what I was trying to say, but so much simpler.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:57 pm

ec2xs wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Where is the "none of the above" option?

No need for this. These are the options for almost every student rejected from UT that wants to stay in Texas. No need to be smug.

He said "assume sticker at each". With all of these schools, weighing them at sticker at least warrants weighing them against your options for not attending. These schools cost a lot of money to attend, and despite Texas' relative economic strength right now, it's still difficult for a lot of people there to find decent work when they graduate. It would be irresponsible ITE to not at least discuss the possibility of not attending instead of attending one of these schools at sticker.

I also loved the poster who referred to people recommending U of H as "rankings whores". I gave very specific, sound reasons for going to U of H regarding OP's career opportunities, and if OP changes his mind or can't get hired by his dream employer, he'll have more alternative employment options at U of H than he would at South Texas.

South Texas is clearly NOT TCR here. The school is such a huge risk at sticker that it's not worth it. As other posters have said, with scholarship at South Texas it'd be different, but under "assume sticker at each" TCR for OP is U of H, if anywhere at all.

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patrickd139
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:04 pm

TCS wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I am hoping to work as a prosecutor in Houston after law school. Assuming I am accepted to the above schools, which would you suggest attending and why?


Texas native bringing the CR.

Houston, SMU, and Baylor would all be decent choices, but it kind of sounds like you should be looking into STCL. STCL is an excellent trial advocacy school and I'm told that a large number of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums.

I would not be paying attention to the USNWR-whores telling you that the obvious answer is Texas, SMU, or UH, simply based on ranking. Any of those schools would give you a good shot to fulfill your goals, but STCL, despite being a TTT, seems more tailored to your objectives.

Baylor deserves a look, if you can tolerate living in Waco for three years. I know I couldn't.

I'd rank them

1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull
2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull
(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)
3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco
4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market

First, LOL at someone advising a 0L to choose a school based on what type of law they think they might want to practice before they even set foot in a substantive law class.

So you're willing to use a term like "TTT" to describe STCL in comparison to UT, SMU, UofH and Baylor? A term that (in almost every conceivable instance) refers to the same USNWR rankings you accuse the other posters in this thread of whoring ourselves out to? Fail.

Moreover, if you reference my post above, you'll see the part where I recommend the OP go to UofH over SMU, and SMU/STCL over Baylor. That's recommending the 60th ranked school over the 48th ranked school, and a "TTT" at the same level as the highest ranked school (48th) in the OP's choices above. And then I have the audacity to recommend a TTT over the 64th ranked school? Blatant rankings-whoring. :roll:

Further, advocating STCL's trial advocacy program over PC at Baylor? :shock: That's about the only thing Baylor has going for it. Sounds like some not-so-subtle USNWR specialty rankings trolling on your part.

Finally, based someone telling you "large numbers of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums." Really? Because of anecdotal advice, you're willing to instruct a 0L to make a potentially career-defining choice? I have no doubt the numbers exist to support your assertion that large numbers of STCL students end up at the Harris County DA's office. At least try to find them out before casually advising anonymous people on the internet where to go to law school.

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nealric
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby nealric » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:31 pm

Texas native bringing the CR.

Houston, SMU, and Baylor would all be decent choices, but it kind of sounds like you should be looking into STCL. STCL is an excellent trial advocacy school and I'm told that a large number of lawyers working in the Houston DA's office are STCL alums.

I would not be paying attention to the USNWR-whores telling you that the obvious answer is Texas, SMU, or UH, simply based on ranking. Any of those schools would give you a good shot to fulfill your goals, but STCL, despite being a TTT, seems more tailored to your objectives.

Baylor deserves a look, if you can tolerate living in Waco for three years. I know I couldn't.

I'd rank them

1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull
2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull
(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)
3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco
4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market


Yeah... no.

As a Houston native with a lot of connections in the legal community there, I say that you would be borderline crazy to choose STCL over UH at sticker.

UH is the TCR if OP can't get into UT.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby Stringer Bell » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:33 pm

For the purposes of this dialogue, one thing that should be pointed out is that sticker at UH for instate is around 27k. I think STCL sticker is around there and Baylor and SMU are closer to 40k. UH voting to raise their tuition this year is unfortunate. At 20k, or wherever it was, it was a much better deal.

Also, anecdotally, I have heard (not just from this site) that plenty of kids from SMU/UH/STCL are struggling to get jobs. To point out that OP should consider the risk/reward is credited. I'm not advising one way or the other, but it does bear mentioning.

That said, UH is definitely TCR here. STCL has historically been a very respectable school in relation to their admissions standards and definitely has put people in DA's offices in Houston and surrounding communities. However, it's not like you can't accomplish that goal from UH, and UH will present better opportunities overall. Scratching SMU is easy as well since it's only somewhat better in terms of overall placement, not in OP's desired city, and would cost 10k extra at sticker.

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kalvano
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:34 pm

TCS wrote:1. STCL -- specific strength in your area of interest, strong local pull


Really? Over every choice in this thread, at sticker? Fail.

TCS wrote:2. Houston -- strong alumni base and local pull



This should be #1, since it happens to be in the city where the OP wants to work and feeds that direct market. You know, kind of important.


TCS wrote:(2b. Texas -- best overall school; statewide pull)



Did you really rank Texas as the #3 choice? Wow. Just wow.


TCS wrote:3. Baylor -- specific strength in your area of interest; but in Waco



Should be last on the list. STCL comes before Baylor.


TCS wrote:4. SMU -- solid school, but feeds primarily into the Dallas market


Yes, it primarily feeds Dallas, just as UofH primarily feeds Houston. But it's still a very well-respected school over all of Texas. OP would have much more luck in Houston with an SMU degree than a Baylor or STCL.

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kalvano
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:36 pm

Mce252 wrote:Thanks for the input. And for the record, UT is so far ahead of all the schools listed, I figured it was stupid to list that as a choice.



What's your LSAT? And do you live in Texas?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:45 pm

You have a lot of great choices in light of your career goals. In my opinion, a primary concern should be obtaining an internship in the Houston DA's office--which can be trickier (more political) than one might think. Some large metropolitan/city DA's offices offer internships to non-law school rising college seniors & recent graduates. Try to get an immediate internship, although interviews recently ended at many DA offices.

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ggocat
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby ggocat » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:46 pm

Houston is TCR. I'm surprised so many people are voting for SMU. It costs more and is in Dallas, and NLJ 250 placement is similar for both schools.

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patrickd139
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:56 pm

ggocat wrote:Houston is TCR. I'm surprised so many people are voting for SMU. It costs more and is in Dallas, and NLJ 250 placement is similar for both schools.

It's not only that both schools have similar numbers that baffles me about this; it's where the schools place their similar numbers. UofH is clearly above SMU for the the Houston market.

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ec2xs
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Re: Texas School Choice

Postby ec2xs » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:05 pm

I have looked closely and visited both SMU and UH. I have also asked SMU directly about how they place in Texas markets outside of Dallas, and the response was something along the lines of "our focus is Dallas/Ft. Worth and our students like to stay here". With that in mind, I voted UH. I don't know why people are voting SMU.

And at sticker for each, UH is considerably cheaper if you're a TX resident.




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