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Advice

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:41 am
by atunnell
I do not know which school to attend. I want to practice and live in Dallas after law school. I have lived in Dallas my entire life. I have been admitted to Georgetown, WUSTL and SMU.

Which school would give me the best shot at working in a large law firm in Dallas.

Thanks.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:55 am
by atunnell
Bump.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:41 am
by Richie Tenenbaum
Outcome at UT? (I know they don't accept many transfers though.)

Between the three, your choice should be between GULC and SMU. WUSTL just doesn't make sense if you want to work in Dallas. Paying full cost at both, it would be very hard for me to choose SMU over GULC. It may make for an awkward discussion during interviews with firms, but shouldn't be too bad to explain why you transferred to a school not in Texas since there is a noticeable jump between GULC and SMU. Just let me know you tried to transfer to UT but they only take a very small number of transfers, you had some friends already living in D.C., and you thought it would be a fun place to live for two years (but now you're ready to come back to Dallas).

Maybe someone else can try to take up the position that SMU is the better choice, but I just don't see it.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:36 am
by random5483
Choosing a bottom ranked T1 school over a T14 school does not make sense. WUSTL is a better school than SMU as well, but since both are regional schools I would pick SMU over WUSTL if you are set on Texas.


GULC > SMU > WUSTL.


Moving away from Texas (for a T14) will hurt you Texas big law chances as long as you have strong ties to Texas (ex. lived there before law school).

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:49 am
by patrickd139
GULC, and it's not even close.

What school do you attend now? What is your class rank at said school? Law review? Summer job this year?

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:58 am
by vanwinkle
Seriously, this is how I would rank this:

1) GULC
2) SMU
3) Stay where you are
4) WUSTL

I do actually think #1 and 2 are close, and there's an argument to be made for going to SMU. It is in Dallas, it shows how much you want to stay there, and if you really think you can do well there it would let you stay in the area and make connections while you're still in law school. However, I think it does get trumped by the substantially higher value of a GULC degree, and when you get the "Why GULC?" question from employers, there are several strong answers to give, about wanting the best possible education, the realities of legal hiring, or however else you feel you can best explain it. As long as you have an answer that shows 1) you really thought about it and 2) you really do want to come back to Dallas, you'll be fine.

WUSTL would, I think, just be an immense WTF to everyone.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:28 pm
by atunnell
patrickd139 wrote:GULC, and it's not even close.

What school do you attend now? What is your class rank at said school? Law review? Summer job this year?


I attend a T3 school. I am # 1 in my class, on law review, and did a federal judicial clerkship this summer.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:32 pm
by keg411
GULC has plenty of TX employers coming to OCI and they also have a TX program (though the deadline may have passed; check with OCS to see if you can get into that -- if you can't, they will give you some good advice on mailing TX firms). I can see an argument for SMU since you want to work in Dallas, but I think you would be fine for Dallas/TX at GULC.

Re: Advice

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:45 pm
by patrickd139
atunnell wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:GULC, and it's not even close.

What school do you attend now? What is your class rank at said school? Law review? Summer job this year?


I attend a T3 school. I am # 1 in my class, on law review, and did a federal judicial clerkship this summer.

If that T3 is in Texas, you might be in a better position to land a Dallas job if you stay put than if you transfer to SMU. At SMU, you'll be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the class and might not make law review.

Aside: federal judicial clerkship = paid job working for a judge for a year or more. You probably didn't do a federal judicial clerkship during the summer. It seems like semantics, but I've heard stories of firms making comments about those who mislabel it on resumes.

Re: Advice

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:03 pm
by Stryka
Georgetown will open many windows especially being ranked much higher. Good luck!

Re: Advice

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:04 pm
by random5483
patrickd139 wrote:
atunnell wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:GULC, and it's not even close.

What school do you attend now? What is your class rank at said school? Law review? Summer job this year?


I attend a T3 school. I am # 1 in my class, on law review, and did a federal judicial clerkship this summer.

If that T3 is in Texas, you might be in a better position to land a Dallas job if you stay put than if you transfer to SMU. At SMU, you'll be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the class and might not make law review.

Aside: federal judicial clerkship = paid job working for a judge for a year or more. You probably didn't do a federal judicial clerkship during the summer. It seems like semantics, but I've heard stories of firms making comments about those who mislabel it on resumes.




As the above poster said, a federal clerkship is post graduation. Landing a federal district court internship is relatively easy (we have a couple of TTTT interns who topped their class at the court I am interning at), but a clerkship is significantly harder. To put it in perspective, many people do a federal internship, but very few of them will ever land a federal article III clerkship.


To answer the OP's question, GULC is the best choice. SMU is definitely a decent one as well if you are sold on the market, but why limit yourself? You might want more options some day in the future and a GULC degree will likely be more portable.m