The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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RVP11
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:40 am

philo-sophia wrote:IMHO UT Law = Freakin' Awesome. I was going to go there before getting into Duke of the WL. Like DAC, i considered UT my top "somewhat realistic" choice at the beginning of the cycle. When i got in, i was totally thrilled (and i don't particularly want to practice in TX, though i suppose i could live with it if need be). I am coming from NYC and, having worked briefly at Cravath, i was plenty confident in UT's ability to get NYC BigLaw and even more so on the West Coast.

I went to admitted students weekend and my impression was very positive. One thing i'll say, Austin was aesthetically a bit disappointing compared to what i was expecting. I'd say it was a bit dingy and drab in places. That said, the capital is really cool, 6th street is perhaps the most entertaining strip of bars i've ever come across and UT's campus is as beautiful as you'd expect (though not as beautiful as Duke's). The law facilities themselves are what you'd probably expect from a strong state school. Most of the hallways and classrooms are, of themselves, adequate but not particularly impressive. There are, of course, highlights though...the moot court room is probably one of the few best in the country. The highlight of my visit, BY FAR, was the people i met. The faculty, the administrators and (most importantly) the other students were amazingly friendly and helpful. I found this extended beyond UT as well...everyone is Austin was incredibly open and friendly. I found myself having twenty minute conversations with complete strangers who were happy to share what they loved about Austin.

I would also say that UT has its priorities in the right place. The ASW started off with a small round table with Dean Sager. This is a great guy who knows what it takes to build a great law school. There was no talk of "oh we're getting a hyper-super-nano internet installed here...blah blah". The focus was almost entirely on new program development and recent faculty additions. I'd say the reason UT is a great law school (and will always be very well regarded nationally) is its faculty which, by all accounts, is much stronger than its ranking would suggest. When researching schools from which jobs in academia are accessible, i found Texas typically ranked above a lot of T14 schools and i think that's because if you're one of the top few students at UT, you really do have the resources of a world-class faculty at your finger tips. I think that in terms of education quality, Texas is right there with the T14 schools. I'd say the primary differentiator is that the numerical profile of their students (GPA/LSAT) is now, and will always be, lower than the T14. Aside from that, i think UT is an amazing law school and i'm definitely one of the TLS'ers who considers UT more "national" than "regional".


Good stuff, philo, and thanks. UT is also my top "somewhat realistic" choice right now. My numbers are just slightly above yours and I'm also an out-of-stater but hopefully I can swing an EA acceptance.

Of my possible LS destinations, I recently discovered that Austin is one of the few cities where my fiancee is able to get a job quickly and easily, so it's gone up a lot in our estimation. Even if I get into "better" schools, we will still have to consider UT as an ideal school for both of us; I can get a great education and good career prospects and she can make more than enough to support us for 3 years - somewhere like Michigan or Cornell would make the situation much more lopsided for us, in that I would be getting objectively better job prospects but she would struggle career-wise. I don't want her to have to wait tables. We also have the perfect number of friends in that part of TX that we will have a small social network to begin with but also opportunities to make new friends.

What scares me about UT is what I think could be questionable placement in the markets my fiancee and I have agreed on. She's said she'll go anywhere with me for 3 years as long as we can get back to the Southwest, more specifically Denver, Phoenix or Vegas. I'm not thrilled about Vegas, she's not in love with Denver, so really Phoenix is our #1 choice.

My research on UT grads in Phoenix is not encouraging. I only found 4 UT associates at ~15 "big" firms, and 3 of them were at firms like Greenberg Traurig and Ballard Spahr - large national firms with small offices in Phoenix. Only 2 PHX firms even did OCI at UT, and one of them (Snell and Wilmer) still managed to not have any UT grads among their associates.

So, I wondered...how could this be? I'd always heard and assumed UT carried a strong name throughout the Southwest, and Phoenix is the industrial center of the Southwest. Their big firms should have UT grads. But I suppose that, since 2/3 of UT matriculants are Texans, it's probably a good guess that 2/3 to 3/4 of UT grads stay in Texas. So I guess we're working with more like 100 UT grads per year going out of state. But Vandy and ND, much smaller schools than UT, still have about 3x the associates in Phoenix.

I guess I'm just wondering how much of UT's placement is self-selection. Could being a UT grad in a city where they're a rare commodity be a good thing? I'd love to just know how deep the market-paying firms in Phoenix recruit at UT, but I know that information is not available. Has anyone happened to talk to a UT student about how their CSO is in helping them get to the city of their choice?

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countbizaller
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby countbizaller » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:15 pm

Where did you find those OCI numbers? The ones I'm looking at show 5 firms that interview at UT out of 14 PHX firms that pay at least 115k. 1/3 isn't too bad.

And I'd be willing to bet it's overwhelmingly self-selection that plays into those small numbers. Looking through some of those firms there's really not a large concentration of lawyers from any particular school besides the AZ ones. And PHX is probably not at the top of many UT grads' lists considering the size of the market in relation to the TX, NY, and Cali markets that most Longhorns go to. I'm sure if you called the CSO they'd be more than willing to talk specifics with you that none of us would have.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RATRATRAT » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:38 pm

jsporter wrote:
philo-sophia wrote:IMHO UT Law = Freakin' Awesome. I was going to go there before getting into Duke of the WL. Like DAC, i considered UT my top "somewhat realistic" choice at the beginning of the cycle. When i got in, i was totally thrilled (and i don't particularly want to practice in TX, though i suppose i could live with it if need be). I am coming from NYC and, having worked briefly at Cravath, i was plenty confident in UT's ability to get NYC BigLaw and even more so on the West Coast.

I went to admitted students weekend and my impression was very positive. One thing i'll say, Austin was aesthetically a bit disappointing compared to what i was expecting. I'd say it was a bit dingy and drab in places. That said, the capital is really cool, 6th street is perhaps the most entertaining strip of bars i've ever come across and UT's campus is as beautiful as you'd expect (though not as beautiful as Duke's). The law facilities themselves are what you'd probably expect from a strong state school. Most of the hallways and classrooms are, of themselves, adequate but not particularly impressive. There are, of course, highlights though...the moot court room is probably one of the few best in the country. The highlight of my visit, BY FAR, was the people i met. The faculty, the administrators and (most importantly) the other students were amazingly friendly and helpful. I found this extended beyond UT as well...everyone is Austin was incredibly open and friendly. I found myself having twenty minute conversations with complete strangers who were happy to share what they loved about Austin.

I would also say that UT has its priorities in the right place. The ASW started off with a small round table with Dean Sager. This is a great guy who knows what it takes to build a great law school. There was no talk of "oh we're getting a hyper-super-nano internet installed here...blah blah". The focus was almost entirely on new program development and recent faculty additions. I'd say the reason UT is a great law school (and will always be very well regarded nationally) is its faculty which, by all accounts, is much stronger than its ranking would suggest. When researching schools from which jobs in academia are accessible, i found Texas typically ranked above a lot of T14 schools and i think that's because if you're one of the top few students at UT, you really do have the resources of a world-class faculty at your finger tips. I think that in terms of education quality, Texas is right there with the T14 schools. I'd say the primary differentiator is that the numerical profile of their students (GPA/LSAT) is now, and will always be, lower than the T14. Aside from that, i think UT is an amazing law school and i'm definitely one of the TLS'ers who considers UT more "national" than "regional".


Good stuff, philo, and thanks. UT is also my top "somewhat realistic" choice right now. My numbers are just slightly above yours and I'm also an out-of-stater but hopefully I can swing an EA acceptance.

Of my possible LS destinations, I recently discovered that Austin is one of the few cities where my fiancee is able to get a job quickly and easily, so it's gone up a lot in our estimation. Even if I get into "better" schools, we will still have to consider UT as an ideal school for both of us; I can get a great education and good career prospects and she can make more than enough to support us for 3 years - somewhere like Michigan or Cornell would make the situation much more lopsided for us, in that I would be getting objectively better job prospects but she would struggle career-wise. I don't want her to have to wait tables. We also have the perfect number of friends in that part of TX that we will have a small social network to begin with but also opportunities to make new friends.

What scares me about UT is what I think could be questionable placement in the markets my fiancee and I have agreed on. She's said she'll go anywhere with me for 3 years as long as we can get back to the Southwest, more specifically Denver, Phoenix or Vegas. I'm not thrilled about Vegas, she's not in love with Denver, so really Phoenix is our #1 choice.

My research on UT grads in Phoenix is not encouraging. I only found 4 UT associates at ~15 "big" firms, and 3 of them were at firms like Greenberg Traurig and Ballard Spahr - large national firms with small offices in Phoenix. Only 2 PHX firms even did OCI at UT, and one of them (Snell and Wilmer) still managed to not have any UT grads among their associates.

So, I wondered...how could this be? I'd always heard and assumed UT carried a strong name throughout the Southwest, and Phoenix is the industrial center of the Southwest. Their big firms should have UT grads. But I suppose that, since 2/3 of UT matriculants are Texans, it's probably a good guess that 2/3 to 3/4 of UT grads stay in Texas. So I guess we're working with more like 100 UT grads per year going out of state. But Vandy and ND, much smaller schools than UT, still have about 3x the associates in Phoenix.

I guess I'm just wondering how much of UT's placement is self-selection. Could being a UT grad in a city where they're a rare commodity be a good thing? I'd love to just know how deep the market-paying firms in Phoenix recruit at UT, but I know that information is not available. Has anyone happened to talk to a UT student about how their CSO is in helping them get to the city of their choice?


I agree with Philo. I think UT is sufficiently semi-national that you don't need to be worrying about the Phoenix market being out of reach. I'm not one of those people that think that UT places like Harvard or something, but I do think that it carries at least as well as Vandy & ND, & I would consider somewhere like Phoenix to definitely be within UT's sphere of influence. If you know ahead of time that that's where you want & work to get summer opportunities there, &c. then it's very doable. Definitely talk to the career service people & everything, but I think you should be fine in Phoenix.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby philo-sophia » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:39 pm

jsporter, i definitely wouldn't sweat getting a solid gig in Phoenix from UT. The bottom line is that not many people who get into a top 17 school have phoenix even remotely on their radar. UT is primarily composed of two types of student; those who want to be in Texas no matter what, and those who see UT as a good enough school to get them BigLaw in NYC, LA, etc...(but would be ultimately okay with being in Texas if they finish lower in the class).

As such, it's probably not a worthwhile investment of time and resources for Phoenix firms to do OCI at very many T17 schools. My guess is that the vast majority of the associates you do find, even at the top firms in Pheonix, will be from lower ranked, more regional schools. These schools will have a much higher concentration of students aiming for jobs in Pheonix and so, on the flip side of the coin, Pheonix firms would be more inclined to rigorously pursue OCI at those schools. But that doesn't mean that most firms in Pheonix wouldn't immediately jump at the opportunity to get a few Texas grads.

EDIT: For context on RAT's comment, in case you didn't know, he chose Texas over Cornell. After visiting Texas i was going to withdraw from Cornell, but i returned home to find the rejection letter waiting for me.
Last edited by philo-sophia on Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:50 pm

Thanks again for all the help guys. This is good stuff.

Countbizaller: my OCI information is mostly from just going through websites and seeing which firms interview at UT. I only found 2 (so I'm missing 3...) among the 11 firms I researched. This wouldn't worry me but it seems schools like Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and USC are more heavily recruited.

Someone I talked to on here did research on the Phoenix firms' composition of associates and came up with these overall totals for firms that pay 100k+ (I'd be aiming for a firm that pays Phoenix market of 125k):

Arizona State 128 associates
Arizona 92
Iowa 25
BYU 18
Notre Dame 13
Kansas 11
Michigan 10
Vanderbilt 10
Northwestern 9
UCLA 8
Utah 8
Duke 6
GULC 6
Stanford 6
Chicago 5
Cornell 5
Harvard 5
Penn 5
Columbia 4
Virginia 4
Texas 4

I'm holding out hope that that's pure self-selection at play. There are definitely more T14 grads than I would have expected.

Philo - what you said about firms not having the resources/desire to crisscross the country recruiting at T17s is definitely TCR. Snell and Wilmer seems like the only Phoenix-based firm with the financial power to recruit at most of those schools. I believe they do OCI at every T14, except Yale, NYU, and Columbia. What still bothers me is that some of the firms with more limiting recruiting budgets manage to make trips to South Bend and Nashville but not to Austin. Again, I have to hope that's self-selection and they've found that too few UT people want Phoenix to make it a worthwhile place to do OCI.

Does anyone know how one gets a 2L summer associate position outside of OCI? How does Texas even do their OCI? Do you happen to have a list of firms, countbizaller?

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby philo-sophia » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:04 pm

What still bothers me is that some of the firms with more limiting recruiting budgets manage to make trips to South Bend and Nashville but not to Austin. Again, I have to hope that's self-selection and they've found that too few UT people want Phoenix to make it a worthwhile place to do OCI.


I think this is basically the case. If you're top half to top third at either Texas or Vandy, then most people (even if they weren't initially planning on it) won't be able to avoid the siren call of major market BigLaw. Below that, all indication seems to be that anyone not in the bottom third of the class at UT will still be able to get $125K+ in TX and Dallas + Houston is a big enough market to absorb all of them. I don't think Nashville/Charlotte is big enough to absorb/attract all the Vandy grads that don't get BigLaw. So those grads are probably open to considering good opportunities in markets like Pheonix, Denver, etc.

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countbizaller
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby countbizaller » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:37 pm

http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/career/ ... e/oci.html

Click on the "Employers Participating in..." link. HTH.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby LaffyTaffy » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:01 pm

:lol:
Last edited by LaffyTaffy on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby LawSchoolWannaBe » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:30 am

Plus there are at least two of us that hate the Cubs :)

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:00 pm

UT is the shit. You all will love it.

Don't listen to the T14 sackriders on here. If you want to work in Texas, UT is just as good of a choice than anything outside of the T6, and quite a bit cheaper to boot.

Plus, the people are, on the whole, incredibly chill, and the overall environment isn't all that overbearing.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RATRATRAT » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:02 pm

Are you a current student?

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:11 pm

Yeah, and I'm a bit biased, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. But, I am being quite objective when I say incoming UT folks have made a good choice. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year, as did the vast majority of my friends.

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RATRATRAT
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RATRATRAT » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:27 pm

Well, that's good to hear. For the benefit of people looking into Ut, what makes you say that?

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:50 pm

1) Austin kicks ass. Really.
2) UT is much more highly regarded with big firms in this area (Texas and Austin specifically) than the message board masses give it credit for. The top Texas firms are absolutely littered with UT summer associates and attorneys.
3) UT sports a relatively relaxed environment as far as law school goes. You'll work hard, but you're not going to kill yourself with your workload.
4) Bad ass sports (if you're into that). Definitely the best athletic program for the 3 major sports of any top law school.

06072010
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby 06072010 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:55 pm

4) Bad ass sports (if you're into that). Definitely the best athletic program for the 3 major sports of any top law school.


What's the third sport?

FYI: Nobody gives an eff about college baseball. :)

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RATRATRAT » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:00 am

What's the second sport?

Just kidding, thanks for responding. So, there's been a lot of debate on here recently about what percentile you need to be in to not be on food stamps come graduation. Do you have any insight on where you should be placing in the class if you want i. biglaw (NYC &c.) ii. Texas midlaw iii. fed clerkships &c.?

Also, jsporter had some questions about just how doable getting a decent job in Phoenix would be from UT--what do you think?

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:02 am

PKSebben wrote:
4) Bad ass sports (if you're into that). Definitely the best athletic program for the 3 major sports of any top law school.


What's the third sport?

FYI: Nobody gives an eff about college baseball. :)


You give more of an F when your team wins two College World Series while you're in undergrad there. :D

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:22 am

RATRATRAT wrote:What's the second sport?

Just kidding, thanks for responding. So, there's been a lot of debate on here recently about what percentile you need to be in to not be on food stamps come graduation. Do you have any insight on where you should be placing in the class if you want i. biglaw (NYC &c.) ii. Texas midlaw iii. fed clerkships &c.?

Also, jsporter had some questions about just how doable getting a decent job in Phoenix would be from UT--what do you think?


Obviously, UT's placement in NYC/LA/Boston is not as good as most of the T14 schools. However, don't believe people who tell you that the gap is "huge," especially when it comes to the lower part of the T14. We place a lot of people into those markets, not only through OCI, but also through UT's NY and Boston job fairs.

I couldn't tell you exact percentiles necessary for all of those jobs. However, I can tell you that most of the BigLaw firms on our OCI list ask for top 33% (we don't actually publish top 33%, so you sort of have to guess), and some ask for top 50%. Texas BigLaw is about the same, though Austin firms tend to have stricter requirements (but that goes for just about any school--if you aren't at HYS, or aren't top 15% or so, you probably aren't going to work Austin BigLaw).

For federal clerkships, anything below top 15% probably isn't going to cut it. You should note, though, that UT actually does incredibly well as far as placing people into Circuit Court clerkships. In 2007, we placed 20 people into Circuit Court clerkships, which is a pretty incredible number for a "non-T14." I don't have the numbers on hand, but I'd imagine 20 probably beats most of the T14 schools other than HYS. UT is generally regarded as having the most comprehensive clerkship program of any law school, which we just instituted a few years ago. One of the Eleventh Circuit judges commented that it was by far the best clerkship program he's ever seen at any school.

Shoot me any other questions. I'm by no means an expert on all this shit, but I'll answer as I can.

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RVP11
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:30 am

Thanks for all the info, Prodigy.

Do you happen to know about what the interviewing cut-off is for firms interviewing for secondary markets (like Phoenix particularly)? Like if it's top 25% for NYC/LA, top 33% for most TX firms, what is the cutoff for the smaller markets?

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countbizaller
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby countbizaller » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:17 am

I just wanted to comment on the job cutoff stuff. What Prodigy said about the percentile ranks is right but firms do go beyond what they ask for. A few guys I know that graduated from UT said they fell below the cutoffs asked for by certain employers but had no problem getting interviews with them. The CSO has worked hard to convince the employers that they are missing out on a ton of good students by sticking to their published cutoffs so employers have routinely gone beyond those.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby ProdigyDub » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:35 am

jsporter wrote:Thanks for all the info, Prodigy.

Do you happen to know about what the interviewing cut-off is for firms interviewing for secondary markets (like Phoenix particularly)? Like if it's top 25% for NYC/LA, top 33% for most TX firms, what is the cutoff for the smaller markets?


Looking at the OCI spreadsheet, secondary markets range anywhere from top 10% to top 50% depending on both the market in and the firm. Also, note that a lot of the cutoffs are only "preferred," meaning that you can get an interview with less. And a lot of firms on the list don't even list a cutoff at all.

There are about 6 or 7 firms in Phoenix on our OCI list. Most of them seem to have pretty strict requirements (a few ask for top 10%, a few top 25%, and a few don't list a required number). A lot of the firms with Phoenix offices have offices in NY/LA/etc., and they only list one GPA requirement for all of the offices, so what you're probably looking at there is a lower requirement than what's listed to be considered for the Phoenix office specifically.

If you have a connection to Phoenix, I don't think you will have any problem getting a job there coming from UT, especially if you're top 50% (and the higher the better, of course). You'd definitely want to go outside of OCI to ensure that you have enough options (i.e. mail resumes directly to all the firms), but with halfway decent grades you'd find some interested firms. Again, this is all assuming that you have some connection to Phoenix. It's fairly difficult to get a summer position in most secondary markets unless you have a connection there.

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby zonawildcat » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:43 am

JSPORTER: I also want to practice in Phoenix, and will probably end up staying in AZ or CA for law school. Would you happen to have any materials or a good website that gives the info about the Phoenix firms and salary. If I stay in AZ, I will probably have no debt, which may be a deciding factor for me in deciding against the CA schools. Anyway, just wondering if you have any good resources. I know the median is around 90K for ASU and Uofa. Just started looking after getting my LSAT results.

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countbizaller
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby countbizaller » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:03 am

NALP has a website that lists firms all across the country. They all have profiles listing salaries for new associates as well as benefits, bonuses, and which schools' OCIs they participate in. This is the search page.

--LinkRemoved--

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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby Esc » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm

.
Last edited by Esc on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RATRATRAT
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Re: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Postby RATRATRAT » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:22 pm

Wow. Are you sure you want to go to Ut w/ #s like that? I mean, you could be going to Harvard or something; might be worth the sacrifice. If you are sure about UT, then yeah, I'd think you'd have as good a chance as any, & yes, it would probably help to have other acceptances/scholarships to competitors/higher schools for negotiation purposes. Good luck.




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