T4 Texas Transfer

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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david.bledsoe
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T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:35 pm

Hello All,

I am currently enrolled at Texas Wesleyan University (T4) and will be completing my first year after this Spring. I was fortunate enough to earn a 3.5 after my first semester and rank in the 12th percentile. My undergraduate GPA was a 3.75 and LSAT was terrible at 147 (this is why I am at a T4 obviously). However, I had heard that schools are more concerned with your first year law performance for transfer applicants. With this being said, and I can maintain my current GPA and rank (maybe even slip into the top 10%), what are my chances of transferring to the University of Houston (T2)?

Other schools I will apply to transfer are:

SMU (T2)
Texas Tech (T3)
South Texas (T4, but I think it is a more reputable T4, especially since I want to practice in Houston)

In a perfect world, and I get into all four school, would you agree with this ranking?:

1. UoH (I know this is debatable but the tuition difference breaks the tie for me)
2. SMU
3. Tech
4. STCL

Also, in a worst case scenario and I only get into STCL, is it worth it to transfer from T4 to T4? Maybe since I want to practice in Houston?

Thanks.

texas man
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:23 pm

If you're sure you want to work in Houston, it's probably worth it since less than 1% of the attorneys in Houston are Texas Wesleyan grads, whereas 24% are South Texas grads. I would shoot for UH and then have STCL as a back-up. Depending on how many spaces are open for transfers, if you can get into SMU, then you will probably get into UH as well; then UH is the logical choice (especially considering the cost difference).

BTW, how do you like Texas Wesleyan? How are/were your professors, etc.?
From what I understand, the law school is developing a pretty good reputation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

david.bledsoe
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:10 am

Texas Man,

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for U of H, but if that falls through I feel like I will have a decent chance of getting into Tech and South Texas. Do you think South Texas would be better a choice than Texas Tech because of the location?

I have had a great experience at Texas Wesleyan, and I think it's a good school. All of my professors have been wonderful and most graduated from much better schools than I expected. The DFW area has a ton of Wesleyan grads in practice, and you're right...their reputation is pretty good in that area. Only problem is their reputation isn't so great everywhere else...which is why I'm looking to transfer.

texas man
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:54 am

That's good to hear about Texas Wesleyan. As their graduates slowly filter through the State, I'm sure their reputation will only improve.

In terms of Texas Tech v. South Texas, I have to admit that I'm biased; I'm currently a student at Texas Tech Law. Texas Tech is an excellent law school in every respect with an great reputation in Texas—I can't imagine a better law school for the money.

Honestly, it's probably a toss up between the two in Houston. If you do well at Tech, you'll definitely get a job in Houston if you want to work there. Also, cost is a big plus for Tech. On the other hand, because there are just so many South Texas grads in Houston, your job prospects will also be good if you do well at South Texas. Then again, If you want future mobility in Texas, Tech might be the better choice. It's tough. Maybe Mark Lanier would have some insight on this question.

Also, if you come to Tech, you might get to take Wills & Trusts from the inimitable Professor Beyer—it might be worth it just for that.

I just posted in another thread addressing some of this: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=133983&start=325

If you have time over Spring Break, I would visit the two schools to get better impressions.

david.bledsoe
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:24 am

Thanks for the insight Texas Man. I am going to check out your other post. I have heard some great things about Tech, and like you said...it's a great "bang for your buck."

Does anyone else know anything about what numbers they are looking for at U of H? Would top 15% from a 4th tier school be enough? Or do I really need to get into the top 10%? Has anyone successfully transferred into U of h?

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txadv11
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby txadv11 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:17 pm

I am a 0L, and consequently, I only read this section 99% of the time. So take this FWIW.
However, as they say "this thread is relevant to my interests", as I have applied and considered each of the schools on your list.

My bet is with your 10-12% ranking, you'll get U of H or SMU. That said, I don't know the number of incoming transfer spots open, but you are near the general rule for TTTT---> T1 schools (top 10%)
For the "lateral transfer" to STCL/Tech, if you didn't get in, it would be because of administrative issues--class size, not enough transfers out etc.

This is purely my personal opinion, but I'd jump at an offer from SMU. Many people will say they are too expensive, but I urge you to look at the caliber of job that SMU graduates get. Times are tough for everyone, so a short-term evaluation may not look promising...but go to any major firm's website and look at the grads. You'll see T14, followed by UT and SMU. All other TX schools are -roughly- equal. Yes, SMU places well in DFW, U of H in Houston, with UT wherever it wants to be. Nevertheless, I can respect the fact that you may prefer U of H because of Houston.

I'm somewhat skeptical on the statistical examination of the "number of lawyers from X school in city Y". This is because I believe that Texas Wesleyan grads don't seek Houston....otherwise they would have gone to STCL. I wouldn't expect them to want to move to Houston. Same with not finding as many U of H in Dallas, etc. I think the only really different schools in this equation are obviously UT, and SMU. Again, this is definitely a debatable topic, and my guess is you'll find completely opposite opinions here. On a somewhat trivial point-- SMU is 48th, making it tier one, UofH 60th, Baylor 64, Tech TTT, STCL-TXWES TTTT. Either way, "statistically" UT followed by SMU are the only two tier ones in the state--out of 9 schools.

My rankings, assuming you want a firm jerb otherwise, I think your ranking is pretty good.
1.UT (why not try?)
2.SMU
3.U of H
4.STCL only because of Houston preference. Also tied with, negotiate for a huge scholarship at TX Wes.
5.Tech

david.bledsoe
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:22 pm

Thank for the response and high hopes Txadv. I checked UT's website about transfer students and after reading between the lines, I took it as "don't bother unless you are ATLEAST top 5% from a T4." I would be ecstatic to go to UT but I just assumed I didn't have a chance. Like you said, I guess I could try...

Good point about SMU- I've heard nothing but GREAT things about job placement, contacts, etc. I sure wouldn't mind having to pick between SMU and U of H. (keeping fingers crossed for grades this semester and transfer decisions)

Good luck. I hope you get into the school of your choice.

j7108
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby j7108 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:54 pm

Choice Name Rank Full-Time Part-Time 9 Month 25th Median 75th
1 University of Texas 15 $27,177 N/A 98.10% $125,000 $160,000 $160,000
2 University of Houston 60 $21,029 $15,125 97.20% $60,000 $95,000 $160,000
3 SMU 48 $38,406 $28,805 98.60% $70,000 $85,000 $160,000
4 ST College of Law N/A $25,710 $17,340 85.10% $55,000 $71,000 $120,000
5 Texas Tech N/A $23,610 $16,200 87.80% $50,000 $55,000 $72,500

*These stats are from US News.

These are all the schools you should be applying to. Although you may not have a good chance at UT, you should at least give it a shot.

The choice between UH and SMU is an easy one. SMU provides a slightly higher placement percentage than UH and higher 25th percentile salary, but at over $17,000 per year more than UH, the benefits likely do not outweigh the costs. Additionally, UH has a higher median salary and matches SMU in the 75th salary percentile. Furthermore, both UH and SMU would likely give you the same opportunities after graduation in both Houston and Dallas. Therefore, even though SMU is a higher ranked school, the better choice is UH because it's a better "bang for the buck."

The choice between STCL and TT is an easy one as well. You should pick STCL because it's located in a bigger market, great reputation, high placement, inexpensive, and better career opportunities. Although, the placement may be slightly lower than TT, remember where TT is located. There is no other law school in West Texas and most students from other law schools do not want to work in rural Texas, so TT feeds that market. Thus, TT would naturally have a bit of a higher placement percentage than STCL, and as these jobs are likely in rural Texas the salaries would be lower, which US News confirms. Moreover, STCL is located in one of the top legal markets in the country and competing with some of the best law schools, but still is able to achieve over an 85% placement. Therefore, STCL would definitely be the better choice.

Either way though, I would definitely recommend leaving TW as soon as humanly possible because they have the worst reputation in Texas. Whether or not this reputation is justified is anyone's guess, but the stigma is still there. I have heard judges and lawyers talk about "laughing TW graduates out of the court room." Additionally, many people in the legal community equate TW to the Cooley of Texas.

Study your butt off this semester to bring your GPA and class rank up. If you can maintain, or do better, you should definitely be accepted to one of the aforementioned schools.

Good luck!

david.bledsoe
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:03 pm

Nice post j7108,

Those numbers are helpful.

david.bledsoe
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:24 pm

Bump for more insight.

texas man
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:44 pm

OP, I hope you're enjoying the start to your Spring Break. I thought I would address some of the comments above from j7108—I agree with some and I disagree with others. Based on the comments, I am curious if j7108 attends law school in Texas or has lived in Texas.

First, I agree that studying prodigiously to move up in the rankings is wise. I also think that applying to UT is a good idea, especially if you are able to move up. If you can transfer to UT, the rest of this conversation is moot; but for posterity...

While I agree with the conclusion that UH is a better choice than SMU, this applies specifically to the Houston legal market. I don't agree that UH or SMU would give you the same opportunities in Houston or Dallas (unless it was meant that UH is to Houston as SMU is to Dallas). There are many more SMU grads in Dallas, and there are many more UH grads in Houston. It's good to think about the number of grads in a city as possible doors to employment that can open for you in that city. Also, the more grads from a certain law school in a city, the more familiar hiring attorneys are with that school's grads. Consequently, there is more opportunity for SMU grads in Dallas, and there is more opportunity for UH grads in Houston. Then, of course, the price difference helps UH (quite a bit). If you decided to leave Houston, both schools would carry you anywhere in Texas.

I would definitely recommend leaving TW as soon as humanly possible because they have the worst reputation in Texas. Whether or not this reputation is justified is anyone's guess, but the stigma is still there. I have heard judges and lawyers talk about "laughing TW graduates out of the court room." Additionally, many people in the legal community equate TW to the Cooley of Texas.


TSU has the worst reputation in Texas, not Texas Wesleyan. As discussed previously, Texas Wesleyan has been developing a good reputation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area; in other areas, Texas Wesleyan doesn't really have a reputation yet because there are so few grads in those areas. The idea that judges and lawyers have commented about "laughing TW graduates out of the court room" is suspect. In practice, discussion of what law school you graduated from rarely comes up. This idea is also contrary to the professionalism that judges and (most) lawyers maintain.

The choice between STCL and TT is an easy one as well. You should pick STCL because it's located in a bigger market, great reputation, high placement, inexpensive, and better career opportunities.


If you are sure you want to work and settle down in Houston, STCL might be a better choice; once again, this follows from the number of potential doors to employment that could open for you—based on the number of STCL grads—in Houston. Still, I don't see it as an easy choice. The reputation, placement, and career opportunities are qualified to the Houston legal market. Cost is a big plus for Texas Tech. Total cost of education for three years at TT is around $90K, whereas STCL is around $128K. If you think you might want to work outside of Houston, then Tech becomes more attractive. However, another plus for STCL is that you could work in Houston during the summer without having to move; this is a nice convenience.

It's important to look at statistics in the proper context, whether they are job placement or median starting salaries. At Texas Tech, the graduating classes usually comprise 200-240 students; depending on the year, usually 10-20 grads end up working at big law firms. Most of the grads end up working at mid-size or smaller firms. Also, while it is true that TT feeds to the West Texas markets, it is not true that it only feeds to these markets. Actually, more TT grads end up going to work in Dallas/Ft. Worth than any other market. Lubbock and Austin follow this. Incidentally, I have talked with several 3L's who will be working in New Mexico (Albuquerque) and Oklahoma. For overall placement, 90% of TT grads from the Class of 2009 were employed within 9 months, and 97.26% of grads from the Class of 2010 were employed after 9 months—this is a pretty good sign considering the economy.

Also, instead of just looking at starting salaries in terms of school, it is more instructive to look at those salaries in the context of specific markets. Here is a link that is somewhat helpful: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/search_wage_data_for_your_county?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email
Keep in mind that these stats are salaries for all attorneys, not starting salaries.

Overall, it is important to look at statistics in context and keep them in perspective. I want to work in Austin, and I chose Texas Tech over South Texas, Texas Wesleyan, SMU (part time), and UH (part time) after considering all factors. I am very satisfied with my choice. If wanted to work in Houston, I probably would have decided differently, and hopefully I would have been as satisfied as I am now.

ClutchCity24
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby ClutchCity24 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:57 pm

UH Law Center has a reputation of being fairly cheap. But tuition has spiked a fair amount over the past 3 years and it looks like its going to get worse. State funding for public universities was just recently greatly reduced and UH has said that they are greatly impacted by this. Right now they are telling you the estimated tuition because it is likely to go up as the budget is evaluated. Also the costs are going to continue to increase. Just be aware that what was once a strong school in a good legal market that was cheap does not necessarily hold true anymore.

Also from those in the legal community that I know, they are all more impressed with SMU then UH. Also it would be worth looking at the recent release that named the top 50 law schools as far as biglaw placement. SMU was 28 I believe which outperformed their current ranking of 48. Also SMU is T1.

Hope this helps some.

texas man
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:21 am

ClutchCity24 wrote:UH Law Center has a reputation of being fairly cheap. But tuition has spiked a fair amount over the past 3 years and it looks like its going to get worse. State funding for public universities was just recently greatly reduced and UH has said that they are greatly impacted by this. Right now they are telling you the estimated tuition because it is likely to go up as the budget is evaluated. Also the costs are going to continue to increase. Just be aware that what was once a strong school in a good legal market that was cheap does not necessarily hold true anymore.

Also from those in the legal community that I know, they are all more impressed with SMU then UH. Also it would be worth looking at the recent release that named the top 50 law schools as far as biglaw placement. SMU was 28 I believe which outperformed their current ranking of 48. Also SMU is T1.

Hope this helps some.


This is insightful. Also, while SMU does place well with big law firms, most of the SMU grads at these firms are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. In Harris County, 2% of the attorneys are SMU grads. This is not reflective of SMU's reputation, but of networking leads for employment. Also, outside of the national schools, USNWR rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.

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txadv11
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby txadv11 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:20 pm

One more thing. Someone else just reminded me of this in another thread.
http://nalpdirectory.com/ <-- go there and click "advanced search", then leave all of the options alone and choose a school: TX Wes, STCL, TT, SMU etc etc etc and see how the options change!

nouseforaname123
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:28 pm

Texas man:

I don't fault you for taking pride in your school. All of us should take pride in our schools. That said, your advice in these threads is simply way off base.

texas man wrote:It's important to look at statistics in the proper context, whether they are job placement or median starting salaries. At Texas Tech, the graduating classes usually comprise 200-240 students; depending on the year, usually 10-20 grads end up working at big law firms. Most of the grads end up working at mid-size or smaller firms. Also, while it is true that TT feeds to the West Texas markets, it is not true that it only feeds to these markets. Actually, more TT grads end up going to work in Dallas/Ft. Worth than any other market. Lubbock and Austin follow this. Incidentally, I have talked with several 3L's who will be working in New Mexico (Albuquerque) and Oklahoma. For overall placement, 90% of TT grads from the Class of 2009 were employed within 9 months, and 97.26% of grads from the Class of 2010 were employed after 9 months—this is a pretty good sign considering the economy.


Where are these "10-20 grads [that] end up working at big law firms"?

I searched the following firms and I found a total of three TTU SOL grads from the class of 2010:

F&J 1
V& 0
BB 0
H&B 2
JD 0
LLB&L 0
T&K 0
AG 0
A&B
AK 0
B&M 0
K&L G 0
PB 0

I then searched a sample of firms which could arguably be classified as regional biglaw in DFW and found only one grad from TTU SOL c/o 2010.

Bell Nunnally & Martin -0
Kelly Hart - 1
Figari Davenport -0
Strausburger & Price -0
Carrington Coleman - 0

Then I went to New Mexico. There are five New Mexico firms that report to the NALP. I found zero TTU Law grads from the class of 2010 at four of those firms. I did not search Modrall Sperling b/c its website is a pain in the ass to navigate. Of the other four firms, I found a grand total of three (3!) Texas Tech University School of Law grads. Ironically, all three worked for offices outside of New Mexico (Dallas, Boise, and Long Island at their respective firms).

I know my sample is limited here. I can see the low end of your "10-20" figure being possible for market paying jobs for TTU SOL grads. I am very skeptical of the high end of your figure unless there is some market paying firm in Oklahoma or Texas that is taking 10 TTU SOL grads a year.

Even with the $30k saving in COA, I don't see TTU SOL being a great value for most law students. For somebody that is already in the O&G industry and wants to stay in west Texas I would say that TTU SOL is an excellent choice.

texas man wrote:Texas Wesleyan has been developing a good reputation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area


Please provide any source that corroborates this assertion.

texas man wrote: Also, outside of the national schools, USNWR rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.


Yet you quote employment statistics as if they are the gospel truth....

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Grizz
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby Grizz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:20 pm

j7108 wrote:Choice Name Rank Full-Time Part-Time 9 Month 25th Median 75th
1 University of Texas 15 $27,177 N/A 98.10% $125,000 $160,000 $160,000
2 University of Houston 60 $21,029 $15,125 97.20% $60,000 $95,000 $160,000
3 SMU 48 $38,406 $28,805 98.60% $70,000 $85,000 $160,000
4 ST College of Law N/A $25,710 $17,340 85.10% $55,000 $71,000 $120,000
5 Texas Tech N/A $23,610 $16,200 87.80% $50,000 $55,000 $72,500

*These stats are from US News.

These are all the schools you should be applying to. Although you may not have a good chance at UT, you should at least give it a shot.

The choice between UH and SMU is an easy one. SMU provides a slightly higher placement percentage than UH and higher 25th percentile salary, but at over $17,000 per year more than UH, the benefits likely do not outweigh the costs. Additionally, UH has a higher median salary and matches SMU in the 75th salary percentile. Furthermore, both UH and SMU would likely give you the same opportunities after graduation in both Houston and Dallas. Therefore, even though SMU is a higher ranked school, the better choice is UH because it's a better "bang for the buck."

The choice between STCL and TT is an easy one as well. You should pick STCL because it's located in a bigger market, great reputation, high placement, inexpensive, and better career opportunities. Although, the placement may be slightly lower than TT, remember where TT is located. There is no other law school in West Texas and most students from other law schools do not want to work in rural Texas, so TT feeds that market. Thus, TT would naturally have a bit of a higher placement percentage than STCL, and as these jobs are likely in rural Texas the salaries would be lower, which US News confirms. Moreover, STCL is located in one of the top legal markets in the country and competing with some of the best law schools, but still is able to achieve over an 85% placement. Therefore, STCL would definitely be the better choice.

Either way though, I would definitely recommend leaving TW as soon as humanly possible because they have the worst reputation in Texas. Whether or not this reputation is justified is anyone's guess, but the stigma is still there. I have heard judges and lawyers talk about "laughing TW graduates out of the court room." Additionally, many people in the legal community equate TW to the Cooley of Texas.

Study your butt off this semester to bring your GPA and class rank up. If you can maintain, or do better, you should definitely be accepted to one of the aforementioned schools.

Good luck!


lol @ your use of school self-reported stats

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Grizz
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby Grizz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:22 pm

texas man wrote:It's important to look at statistics in the proper context, whether they are job placement or median starting salaries. At Texas Tech, the graduating classes usually comprise 200-240 students; depending on the year, usually 10-20 grads end up working at big law firms. Most of the grads end up working at mid-size or smaller firms. Also, while it is true that TT feeds to the West Texas markets, it is not true that it only feeds to these markets. Actually, more TT grads end up going to work in Dallas/Ft. Worth than any other market. Lubbock and Austin follow this. Incidentally, I have talked with several 3L's who will be working in New Mexico (Albuquerque) and Oklahoma. For overall placement, 90% of TT grads from the Class of 2009 were employed within 9 months, and 97.26% of grads from the Class of 2010 were employed after 9 months—this is a pretty good sign considering the economy.


Employed at 9 months =/= employed as lawyers at 9 months.

david.bledsoe
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby david.bledsoe » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:43 pm

Well even though a few of you don't really agree with each, the posts have still been helpful.

Does anyone have any thoughts on my actual chances of getting into to U of H or SMU? Is it common for students to transfer from a T4 to schools similar to these with a GPA around 3.5 or is it typically higher/lower? I really have no clue what it will take to get in.

texas man
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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:49 am

I expected pushback on some of my comments, and I think some is justified (Sorry, OP, but I think a response is appropriate).

nouseforaname123 wrote:I don't fault you for taking pride in your school. All of us should take pride in our schools. That said, your advice in these threads is simply way off base.


I don’t take pride in my school blindly. I went to UT in Austin for undergrad, and I never really felt a strong sense of pride—this was based on my perception of the faculty’s accessibility, the quality of teaching, etc. At TT, I have been consistently impressed with the Law School faculty’s commitment to students, the quality of teaching, career services, advocacy programs, etc. This pride has been well deserved, and many other law students at TT feel the same way.

nouseforaname123 wrote:Where are these "10-20 grads [that] end up working at big law firms"?


This is a reasonable question. I have met with Career Services at TT several times. I’ve been told that the School usually places 10-20 grads at big firms. They did not specify whether this was the NLJ 250 or just firms employing more than a certain number of attorneys. I suspect that these were firms listed with NALP. They also emphasized that if I was in the top 10%, I would be competitive for jobs at those firms if that was my goal. In the past, when I looked at stats reported by the NLJ, I believe TT had ~5% of grads at the NLJ 250 firms. You actually made me curious about the number of TT grads at NLJ 250 firms based out of Dallas and Houston. I also looked at a couple of others; looking at 16 firms, I found 134 TT grads. While this isn’t nearly as many as UT or SMU, there is still a presence at (most of) these firms:

Dallas Based
Jackson Walker: 16 (6 A, 5 DFW, 4 H, 1 SA)
Winstead: 10 (2 A, 7 DFW, 1 H)
Gardere Wynne Sewell: 17 (15 DFW, 2 H)
Strasburger & Price: 1 (A)
Haynes & Boone: 10 (9 DFW, 1 SA)
Thompson & Knight: 20 (2 A, 18 DFW)
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell: 7 (4 A, 3 DFW)

Houston Based
Fulbright & Jaworski: 16 (2 A, 9 DFW, 3 H, 1 SA, 1 Dub)
Baker Botts: 6 (1 A, 5 DFW)
Andrews Kurth: 5 (1 A, 1 DFW, 3 H)
Vinson & Elkins: 6 (1 A, 3 DFW, 2 H)
Bracewell & Guiliani: 3 (2 DFW, 1 H)

Washington Based
Jones Day: 8 (6 DFW, 2 H)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: 4 (3 DFW, 1 H)

Chicago Based
Baker & McKenzie: 4 (DFW)
DLA Piper: 1 (H)


I didn’t look specifically for 2010 TT grads reported on their websites, but in a casual look over profiles at Austin offices, I found very few 2010 grads from any school. But, like you said, these are limited samples.

I am not attempting to imply that a TT JD is the ticket to “biglaw” in any way. Statistically, it is difficult—coming from any school in Texas—to get a job at one of the NLJ 250 firms. The real ticket is getting great grades, especially in the first year.

Also, when I referred to attorneys from TT working in New Mexico or Oklahoma, I was not referring to big firms in those states; I was just making the point that a TT JD carries in those states. This makes sense somewhat; Lubbock is as close to Albuquerque or Oklahoma City as it is to DFW.

nouseforaname123 wrote:
texas man wrote:Texas Wesleyan has been developing a good reputation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area


Please provide any source that corroborates this assertion.


Rob Sherwin, currently a professor and director of the advocacy program at TT, previously taught at TW and coached their advocacy teams. Prior to that, he worked at Brackett & Ellis in Ft. Worth. Also, Brian Loncar has commented positively on several of his TW attorneys.

nouseforaname123 wrote:Even with the $30k saving in COA, I don't see TTU SOL being a great value for most law students. For somebody that is already in the O&G industry and wants to stay in west Texas I would say that TTU SOL is an excellent choice.


I’m not sure how you are measuring value here. I don’t measure value by the percentage of grads employed at the NLJ 250. For me, value is measured primarily by my prospect of employment (in a location I want to work), debt at graduation, and the quality of education I’m getting (bar passage rate may be reflective of this to an extent). When I was deciding where to go, it would have cost me over $120K more to go to SMU part-time; at STCL, it was over $30K, and I don’t really want to work in Houston. It might be noteworthy that I am probably more debt averse than the average law student; I’ve paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars before, and it was a heavy burden for many years.

As I’ve said before, TT grads are not limited to west Texas—more TT grads end up going to DFW than any other area, and the majority of them end up working at mid-size and smaller law firms. Also, TT traditionally has high bar passage rates and high employment placement numbers. Incidentally, of the attorneys I know in Austin, the ones working at the mid-sized firms are happier than the ones at the bigger firms. Of those attorneys that are TT grads, they consider TT an excellent value. The UT grads I know have commented similarly.

nouseforaname123 wrote:
texas man wrote: Also, outside of the national schools, USNWR rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.


Yet you quote employment statistics as if they are the gospel truth....


I think you’re missing the point here; I don’t look at this from a religious perspective, but rather from a scientific one. It is important to look at statistics in context. For example, when looking at the number of attorneys in specific counties, this isn’t necessarily reflective of the reputation of the school. In Houston, there are 10 times as many grads from UH as from SMU. This is not reflective of SMU’s reputation in Houston; however, it is reflective of networking opportunity for employment. In terms of employment stats quoted from schools, this is just measured data; while I might be skeptical, I am not just going to assume that false numbers are being reported to the ABA. To gain perspective and context, it is important to carefully analyze the employment data, including the percentage that have an unknown status. If done so, these stats can be very helpful. Also, I think bar passage rate is a good statistic to look at.

Unfortunately, many prospective law students look at the USNWR rankings as the gospel truth. Many then make decisions of where to attend law school based, with serious financial ramifications, on a school being ranked 50th instead of 60th or 70th. This linear ranking is a fiction that preys on the competitive proclivities of prospective law students. Instead of a statistical phenomenon, it appears to be a religious phenomenon.

When I first considered attending law school, I looked at the rankings. Then I looked at some of the stats that USNWR used to rank the schools. When looked at in context, as mentioned above, some of these stats can be helpful. Fortunately, I also know many members of the legal community in Austin, and their perspectives were helpful. First, it is important to separate the national schools from the regional schools. Ostensibly, national schools are equally competitive in any legal market in the country and are typically identified as the T14; in reality, there may be even fewer than 14. If your prospects are regional schools, then it makes sense to evaluate the competitive schools in that region: look at statistics (in context), financial burden, talk to attorneys in the area you want to work, etc.

While I do have pride in the law school I attend, this isn’t blind or irrational pride. Likewise, I have always attempted to temper any advice given with rationality.

Please note that I didn’t even mention TT in my first post in this thread.
Last edited by texas man on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:50 am

rad law wrote:Employed at 9 months =/= employed as lawyers at 9 months.


This is true. You have to look closely at the breakdown.

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby Grizz » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:57 am

texas man wrote:
rad law wrote:Employed at 9 months =/= employed as lawyers at 9 months.


This is true. You have to look closely at the breakdown.


Also a better metric for TT's placement in biglaw would be to count only recent hires, like 2009 and 2010 grads.

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:30 am

rad law wrote:Also a better metric for TT's placement in biglaw would be to count only recent hires, like 2009 and 2010 grads.


Yes. This would be more current. Unless there is an easy way, scouring the firm's attorney profiles would be a little time consuming. I'm also curious about how many of the sites are kept up-to-date. I could also just ask Career Services for specific numbers on the NALP firms over the last 2 years.

*Edit: looking at the 16 firms I listed above, I found 15 2009/2010 hires.

**Edit: alright, going through the NALP firms took a little time, but there were 14 hires from 2009 and 10 from 2010 that I could find.
Last edited by texas man on Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:32 am

david.bledsoe wrote:Well even though a few of you don't really agree with each, the posts have still been helpful.

Does anyone have any thoughts on my actual chances of getting into to U of H or SMU? Is it common for students to transfer from a T4 to schools similar to these with a GPA around 3.5 or is it typically higher/lower? I really have no clue what it will take to get in.


Top 12% probably not good enough for SMU. SMU typically takes 2 or 3 TW transfers a year. I imagine they are top 2 or 3%.

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:30 am

texas man wrote:I don’t take pride in my school blindly. I went to UT in Austin for undergrad, and I never really felt a strong sense of pride—this was based on my perception of the faculty’s accessibility, the quality of teaching, etc. At TT, I have been consistently impressed with the Law School faculty’s commitment to students, the quality of teaching, career services, advocacy programs, etc. This pride has been well deserved, and many other law students at TT feel the same way.


You're comparing your experience as an undergraduate at one the largest public universities in the country to your experience as a graduate student in a professional school? You understand that one is specifically designed to educate mass quantities of students as cheaply as possible while the other is specifically designed for a more personal experience with little regard for cost, right?

texas man wrote:Also, when I referred to attorneys from TT working in New Mexico or Oklahoma, I was not referring to big firms in those states; I was just making the point that a TT JD carries in those states. This makes sense somewhat; Lubbock is as close to Albuquerque or Oklahoma City as it is to DFW.


Carries to what kind of jobs? NM is not a large legal market that can support lots attorneys. To put this in perspective there are more people in the Dallas metro area (excluding Fort Worth Metro) than there are in the entire state of New Mexico. New Mexico already has its own law school and it is clear that the big firms in NM aren't hiring out of TTU SOL. I understand that there are going to be some grads from TTU SOL that end up in NM. I doubt it is nearly enough for 0L's to consider NM a viable employment option as they consider attending TTU. Any 0L that seriously considers NM an employment option would be better off attending law school in NM to begin with. I imagine the same analysis generally applies to Oklahoma.

texas man wrote: I don’t measure value by the percentage of grads employed at the NLJ 250. For me, value is measured primarily by my prospect of employment (in a location I want to work), debt at graduation, and the quality of education I’m getting (bar passage rate may be reflective of this to an extent). When I was deciding where to go, it would have cost me over $120K more to go to SMU part-time; at STCL, it was over $30K, and I don’t really want to work in Houston. It might be noteworthy that I am probably more debt averse than the average law student; I’ve paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars before, and it was a heavy burden for many years.


First, odds are that I am more debt averse than you are. I'm half way through SMU debt free and the scholarship is only covering ~30% of tuition (I am receiving no outside help either). Like you, I've paid off my fair share of debt in my life. Second, there is no reliable objective data on employment prospects. The NLJ250 list is probably about as close as it gets. The folks at LST are making a pretty good go at salary data. If you look at LST on TTU, I just don't see where the employment prospects at TTU are good.

--LinkRemoved--

TTU SOL salary data as reported for c/o 2008 by LST:

65.5% of grads reporting salaries.

25th percentile - $50k
Median - $55k
75th percentile - $72.5k

--LinkRemoved--

TW salary data as reported for c/o 2008 by LST:

81.6% of grads reporting salaries.

25th percentile - $50k
Median - $61k
75th percentile - $90k

--LinkRemoved--

STCL salary data as reported for c/o 2008 by LST:

41.8% of grads reporting salaries.

25th percentile - $55k
Median - $71k
75th percentile - $120k

--LinkRemoved--

UH salary data as reported for c/o 2008 by LST:

64.8% of grads reporting salaries.

25th percentile - $60k
Median - $95k
75th percentile - $160k

--LinkRemoved--

SMU salary data as reported for c/o 2008 by LST:

81.8% of grads reporting salaries.

25th percentile - $70k
Median - $85k
75th percentile - $160k

This is about as good of an analysis on salary data as we're going to get from an objective source. If you consider the job prospects at TTU SOL good, exactly what would you consider the other schools listed? What would you consider bad? On a salary basis, TTU is getting beat pretty handily by both TW and STCL and TTU is nowhere near the same league as SMU and UH. Note that the 25th percentile at UH is higher than the median at TTU and the 25th percentile at SMU is just $2k less than the 75% percentile at TTU.

texas man wrote:nouseforaname123 wrote:
texas man wrote:
Also, outside of the national schools, USNWR rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.


Yet you quote employment statistics as if they are the gospel truth....


I think you’re missing the point here; I don’t look at this from a religious perspective, but rather from a scientific one.


What scientific perspective is there to self-reported employment data? The data is not audited nor subject to peer review. The context that you try to provide relies heavily on conjecture and/or speculation; the religious analogy is surprisingly apt on this issue.

texas man wrote:Unfortunately, many prospective law students look at the USNWR rankings as the gospel truth. Many then make decisions of where to attend law school based, with serious financial ramifications, on a school being ranked 50th instead of 60th or 70th. This linear ranking is a fiction that preys on the competitive proclivities of prospective law students. Instead of a statistical phenomenon, it appears to be a religious phenomenon.


Yet that "fiction" is something that seems to play out fairly accurately when it comes to the salary data as reported by LST.

Given how the salary data plays out, I can't characterize TTU SOL as a good value. From my perspective, enhanced starting salaries at other schools more than offset any cost advantage that TTU SOL carries.

Edit: Typo

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Re: T4 Texas Transfer

Postby texas man » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:58 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:You're comparing your experience as an undergraduate at one the largest public universities in the country to your experience as a graduate student in a professional school? You understand that one is specifically designed to educate mass quantities of students as cheaply as possible while the other is specifically designed for a more personal experience with little regard for cost, right?


I think some of this is arguable, but I don’t think you understood my point. You said, “All of us should take pride in our schools.” I don’t agree. My point was that if you have a great experience at an undergraduate school, graduate school, professional school, or high school, then pride makes sense. There are many students at law schools who are not having great experiences. I don’t think they should necessarily take pride in their schools.

nouseforaname123 wrote:Carries to what kind of jobs? NM is not a large legal market that can support lots attorneys. To put this in perspective there are more people in the Dallas metro area (excluding Fort Worth Metro) than there are in the entire state of New Mexico. New Mexico already has its own law school and it is clear that the big firms in NM aren't hiring out of TTU SOL. I understand that there are going to be some grads from TTU SOL that end up in NM. I doubt it is nearly enough for 0L's to consider NM a viable employment option as they consider attending TTU. Any 0L that seriously considers NM an employment option would be better off attending law school in NM to begin with. I imagine the same analysis generally applies to Oklahoma.


I agree that if a 0L is sure that they want to work in New Mexico, UNM is a better choice. I also agree that NM is not a large legal market; I wasn’t arguing the size of the NM legal market in comparison to Dallas or anywhere else. Just because of the proximity, many firms in Lubbock do work in New Mexico. Tombs Maxwell and Craig, Terrill, Hale & Grantham are two that come to mind. There are many TT grads that have ended up working in NM at mid-size/small law firms. This is a minority of grads, but TT grads are by no means limited to west Texas or Lubbock; NM is a viable option for a TT grad (but it is not the usual option).

nouseforaname123 wrote:First, odds are that I am more debt averse than you are. I'm half way through SMU debt free and the scholarship is only covering ~30% of tuition (I am receiving no outside help either). Like you, I've paid off my fair share of debt in my life. Second, there is no reliable objective data on employment prospects. The NLJ250 list is probably about as close as it gets. The folks at LST are making a pretty good go at salary data. If you look at LST on TTU, I just don't see where the employment prospects at TTU are good.


That’s great that you are sensitive to debt; more students should think about this more seriously before deciding to take on $100-200K in debt. I’m not sure how you come to the conclusion that you are probably more debt averse than me. You know little about me.

I agree that LST is making an admirable effort, but there is a lot of unknown data, and it has to be looked at in context. The LST data is really more reflective of the markets than the schools. I think it is more valuable to look at the salary ranges in the location you plan on working. My starting salary in Lubbock would be very different from Dallas/Ft. Worth or Austin (assuming, of course, a similar position in each city). If I work in Austin, a STCL JD won’t get me a higher salary than a TT JD for the same job. So, I ask: Can I get a job in Dallas, Ft. Worth, or Austin? If I am in the top 10% of my class, then I should be competitive for any law firm position (assuming, of course, that I interview well, I’m not socially awkward, etc.); if I’m below that, then mid-size/smaller law firms will probably be my options, and these are also available for TT grads in any of these cities.

nouseforaname123 wrote:Yet that "fiction" is something that seems to play out fairly accurately when it comes to the salary data as reported by LST.

Given how the salary data plays out, I can't characterize TTU SOL as a good value. From my perspective, enhanced starting salaries at other schools more than offset any cost advantage that TTU SOL carries.


Once again, I think I am analyzing the data differently than you. I don’t look at the linear rankings of USNWR and come to the conclusion that a school ranked 50th is better or has better prospects than a school ranked 70th. Likewise for the LST data. I looked at many statistics from many sources (there is a lot of data on the State Bar of Texas website), considered their sample, their context, and then made a decision on where to attend law school. I also visited the various campuses of several of the schools. All of this was in consideration of the end goal of where I want to practice. In the end, I believe that TT is a great value, and I’m confident that I made the right choice. If I had received full rides to all of my choices, I probably would have decided differently, but we all have unique circumstances to bear in mind when making the final choice.




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