South Texas College of Law

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citrus2010
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:03 pm

South Texas College of Law

Postby citrus2010 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:53 pm

Though not impressive, my scores have placed me into a few very low T2 schools (IU-Indy, Gonzaga, Louisville).

I am still considering South Texas College of Law and Drake though.

I need help please!

South Texas and Drake both offer great placement in their regional markets. I would love to practice in TX or IA.

I could take my T2 options, but both of these schools offer a lot of potential. Houston is a very large market which appeals to me, but I'm afraid I couldn't ever get out of Texas. My wife wants to eventually make it back to Utah. 10 years later is fine. Do you think I'd be in Texas forever?

Same thing with Drake. Great jobs in Des Moines! I am from Iowa and would happily stay there for 10 years, but Utah after that.

Taking into consideration the fact that we want to come back eventually, and the potential coming out of these two schools, what would be your suggestions?

Should I take the higher ranked schools and expect it to carry me farther in the long run? Or will I get back to Utah as easily from South Texas as say, Louisville?

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Lomax
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby Lomax » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:44 am

citrus2010 wrote:Should I take the higher ranked schools and expect it to carry me farther in the long run? Or will I get back to Utah as easily from South Texas as say, Louisville?


According to LSN (which uses slightly outdated data, admittedly), South Texas is a Tier 4. Drake is a Tier 3. Gonzaga is a Tier 3. IU-Indy and Louisville are the only Tier 1s on your list, and probably offer the best real-world job placement of the lot (but not by all that much). I think what you have to consider more is how much money you're looking at paying for your education at each school, and which area you'd most like to live in. That said, it would not be wise to go to a Tier 4 school over a Tier 1 based on regional preference only to find that your Tier 4 degree won't get you a job. Wherever you go, make sure you're comfortable with the cost-benefit, risk-reward analysis. As for your long-term plan - where you go to law school will help determine your short-term career prospects. It'll be up to you to determine whether or not you'll be able to make a successful move to Utah in 10 years; the boost you'll get from going to one law school on your list over another should be relatively minor.

EDIT: Fixed "Louisville not a Tier 1" error.
Last edited by Lomax on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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deadpanic
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby deadpanic » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:02 am

Lomax wrote:
citrus2010 wrote:Should I take the higher ranked schools and expect it to carry me farther in the long run? Or will I get back to Utah as easily from South Texas as say, Louisville?


According to LSN (which uses slightly outdated data, admittedly), South Texas is a Tier 4. Drake is a Tier 3. Gonzaga is a Tier 3. Louisville is a Tier 3. IU-Indy is the only Tier 1 on your list, and probably offers the best real-world job placement of the lot (but not by all that much). I think what you have to consider more is how much money you're looking at paying for your education at each school, and which area you'd most like to live in. That said, it would not be wise to go to a Tier 4 school over a Tier 1 based on regional preference only to find that your Tier 4 degree won't get you a job. Wherever you go, make sure you're comfortable with the cost-benefit, risk-reward analysis. As for your long-term plan - where you go to law school will help determine your short-term career prospects. It'll be up to you to determine whether or not you'll be able to make a successful move to Utah in 10 years; the boost you'll get from going to one law school on your list over another should be relatively minor.


Louisville and Gonzaga are tier 1 (UofL is even on LSN) or tier 2, whatever term you prefer, ranked within 50-100.

Either way I'd say none of these options are good if you want to end up in Utah. They are all regional schools. Out of your options, Gonzaga is probably your best bet to get back to Utah, geography wise, but again, it is still not a good bet. Go to the cheapest one, practice in the area they place for a number of years, then try to move back to Utah.

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Lomax
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby Lomax » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:44 am

deadpanic wrote:Louisville and Gonzaga are tier 1 (UofL is even on LSN) or tier 2, whatever term you prefer, ranked within 50-100.

Either way I'd say none of these options are good if you want to end up in Utah. They are all regional schools. Out of your options, Gonzaga is probably your best bet to get back to Utah, geography wise, but again, it is still not a good bet. Go to the cheapest one, practice in the area they place for a number of years, then try to move back to Utah.


Good catch. Error fixed.

The problem here is that Utah has only two law schools of its own, and both would likely reject citrus2010. Gonzaga is not any better a choice based on geography than the others; to confirm this, look on Martindale for Gonzaga alumni practicing in Utah. However, maybe there is another lower-ranked school that really does send a lot of graduates to Utah.

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rdcws000
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby rdcws000 » Mon May 24, 2010 6:12 pm

Serious question on STCL here... This thread and the "discuss you law school" forum in general have very low traffic, so I'm not sure how much feedback I'll get.

My deposits are paid and I am 95% sure I'll be attending the PT program this fall. Everyone I talk to says while STCL is in fact a T4, it is highly underrated as a viable option because it has a strong alumni base and is well respected in Houston which is a very large market. I am well aware of the comparisons to UT, UH, Baylor, and SMU as far as job prospects go, so I don't want to rehash any of that.

My question is, What can STCL do to improve their ranking? What criteria bring them down? Are there any other examples of a T4 coming up in the world to advance into the realm of respectibility?

luckycurl84
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby luckycurl84 » Mon May 24, 2010 6:39 pm

STCL needs either larger numbers of high-quality applicants to apply and attend OR cut class sizes. Unfortunately, there's probably a limit of those when UH has a dual advantage of recuiting 1L's and poaching the best of STCL for transfers. Cutting class sizes is harder - especially at a school without the benefit of an undergrad's endowment.

UH accepts 29% of applicants. STCL accepts 45%. UH's median is 161/3.45. STCL's is 153/3.27.

Even though employment prospects are better at STCL than other T4's, it's going to have a hard time climbing the rankings with UH right there and Austin 3 hrs away.

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blackacre
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby blackacre » Mon May 24, 2010 6:53 pm

STCL cuts people from their 1L class like it is going out of style. You need to factor that in to your decision. Also, you should be sure you want to be a litigator, which is what that school prides itself upon.

People on this site tend to overemphasis the limitations involved with a JD from a "regional" school. While there is some merit to this argument, 5 years of work in any market will allow someone from a different market to determine whether you would do well in their practice. In short, your degree matter very little when you look at what you have done as a lawyer.

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kalvano
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby kalvano » Mon May 24, 2010 7:05 pm

Once you've been practicing for a while, the quality of your work becomes more important than where you got your degree.

That being said, STCL isn't some place I would go unless I had no other viable options. You're simply competing with too many other good schools.

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rdcws000
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby rdcws000 » Tue May 25, 2010 9:01 am

blackacre wrote:STCL cuts people from their 1L class like it is going out of style. You need to factor that in to your decision. Also, you should be sure you want to be a litigator, which is what that school prides itself upon.


Are they cutting them on the basis of grades? I don't understand why if they could cut class sizes and increase their standing, why they admit so many just to cut them. It's hard to imagine the tuition money for one semester or even one year would be worth the hassle.
Last edited by rdcws000 on Tue May 25, 2010 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rdcws000
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Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby rdcws000 » Tue May 25, 2010 9:07 am

Thanks for all the feedback by the way. I am not typically too concerned with elitism and prestige, the only reason I ask about STCL is because in the legal field the elitism tends to have at least some influence in career options.

Personally I am less concerned because I have a pretty good career now that I am trying to complement, but it would be nice after I graduate to have more than one option.

kalvano wrote: That being said, STCL isn't some place I would go unless I had no other viable options. You're simply competing with too many other good schools.


I had only 2 options really, STCL and UH. Part of the compromise with my wife to gain support for law school was that it would need to be local. I figure that's the smallest concession I can make. I'm bummed about not getting UH, but not that bummed.

Podunk21
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:36 pm

Re: South Texas College of Law

Postby Podunk21 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:23 pm

You will probably get out of Texas at some point. One of my fellow students here now is from Utah...and plans to go back.

However, if you do decide on STCL...I would expect to stay in Houston (after school) for a few years before you are able to move around as freely as you would like.

Then again, crazier things have happened....and you may find a way to go back right away. But to be on the safe side, I would go with the plan on being "stuck" in Houston for a few years, gain some experience, and then start applying to jobs in Utah.

Of course, if you can land some summer interships in Utah while at STCL...that would help. Especially if you get a Clerkship in Utah immediately after school....then you would almost be set! I am not saying that getting an internship or clerkship in Utah while at STCL would be easy, but its a good way to get a head start on heading that way.




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