Texas 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
BeachedBrit
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Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby BeachedBrit » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:19 am

If you've got questions related to UT Law i'll try to answer them. I'm Out-of-State if that helps.

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japes
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby japes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:55 pm

Also a 1L. I can contribute too.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:05 pm

Was TX an obvious choice over Cornell? Have you noticed any boost in-state gives in admission? I love the idea of Austin and cheap tuition but don't want it to hurt my chances if I want to go NE (DC, NYC, etc.). I guess my nightmare would be working in TX after graduation for more than a couple years

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japes
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby japes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:14 pm

As far as in-state goes: people don't really talk about numbers, so I can't tell you in terms of LSAT/GPA how they fare, but I think in general I get the impression that the out-of-staters have more impressive resumes. PHDs, substantial work experience, etc. Because 2/3 of the incoming class is TX residents by law, I think the feeling is that there's a bottleneck for out-of-staters that makes it a bit more competitive. Whether that's actually true or not, I can't say.

My decision came down to Texas or Cornell, and I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out. I went to ASW at Cornell and really enjoyed the time I spent there, but I came away really feeling that a huge portion of the student body there is NY Biglaw or bust. It's a great school if you want NY biglaw, and the numbers definitely back that up, but I have no desire to do biglaw and probably am going to stay in the south. The other thing that got me was the money - being in-state, Cornell is significantly more expensive than UT. It's been a while since I did the math but I think this year sticker price at Cornell was $70k more than UT in-state. UT ended up a lot cheaper for me after scholarship offers, and they were willing to negotiate.

kittycatmeow
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby kittycatmeow » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:24 am

^ I'm about to graduate from Cornell undergrad. I would not stay here for another 3 years for any reason, including law school. Of course I might be biased because I'm from Texas, but the weather here makes me want to disembowel myself.

I love the people at Cornell though, and the law school building is in a convenient part of campus - these are the only good things I can think of...

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TexasWave
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby TexasWave » Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:59 pm

What is it like going to a law school with such a large student body? I went to UT undergrad and just got accepted at UT law. I am wondering how the large class size impacts grades, the atmosphere, extracurriculars, etc.

crit_racer
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby crit_racer » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:48 pm

I like going to a larger law school. You have to remember that law schools are all relatively small, even the big ones. I don't see many disadvantages of having a large class. It seems there are plenty of opportunities to go around as far as clubs, journals, etc. I can't speak to how being at a large school will affect employment prospects, though.

I also like the social diversity. You have to remember that a lot of law students can be really obnoxious, so it's good to have a wide selection to take your pick from when making friends. It's easy to avoid the social groups that you don't like, etc. Also cool to continually meet new people.

mbhaleua
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby mbhaleua » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:25 pm

I understand that UT is top 14 law school, is it harder to get into now?

crit_racer
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby crit_racer » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:03 am

mbhaleua wrote:I understand that UT is top 14 law school, is it harder to get into now?


How is anyone supposed to have an answer to that question?

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gavinstevens
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby gavinstevens » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm

mbhaleua wrote:I understand that UT is top 14 law school, is it harder to get into now?


From the UT admissions thread:

Deans Sager and Ingram were just at my school. They said they were probably going to get decisions to ED applicants before winter break. Unfortunately, they also mentioned that their applications have increased by 15% or something so far this year.

Dean Sager explicitly said that it had to do with the rise in the USNWR ranking.


OP, thanks for background on the UT v. Cornell decision, but what about the UT v. Vandy decision? They're my top picks, and I might end up picking between the two at sticker (oos for UT).

mbhaleua
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby mbhaleua » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:47 pm

I guess, what I really wanted to ask was how hard is it to get accepted into UT? I'm in Utah right now, and planning on graduating in about two years. If I moved to Texas and waited a year to get residency, and maybe also did an internship, would I be more likely to get in? Does anyone have current average GPA/LSAT that they're accepting? Also, I'm considering switching my major around to be more a more appealing applicant. I called their admissions office and got the impression that they're really interested in diversity. So, does that mean I should shy away from the more traditional English, History, Political Science majors and do something else? I'm considering French, Digital Media, or Business Management. Finally, how involved in extracurricular activities should I be? I know there's a pre-law club, and other service clubs I could join that could pad my resume, but I've also heard that almost everyone does that and it's better to just focus on school (those clubs supposedly take up a lot of time) and study hard for the LSAT. I know there's a lot to respond to, thanks for the help!

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gavinstevens
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby gavinstevens » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:03 pm

mbhaleua wrote:I guess, what I really wanted to ask was how hard is it to get accepted into UT? I'm in Utah right now, and planning on graduating in about two years. If I moved to Texas and waited a year to get residency, and maybe also did an internship, would I be more likely to get in? Does anyone have current average GPA/LSAT that they're accepting? Also, I'm considering switching my major around to be more a more appealing applicant. I called their admissions office and got the impression that they're really interested in diversity. So, does that mean I should shy away from the more traditional English, History, Political Science majors and do something else? I'm considering French, Digital Media, or Business Management. Finally, how involved in extracurricular activities should I be? I know there's a pre-law club, and other service clubs I could join that could pad my resume, but I've also heard that almost everyone does that and it's better to just focus on school (those clubs supposedly take up a lot of time) and study hard for the LSAT. I know there's a lot to respond to, thanks for the help!


i. UT in v. out of state isn't a huge difference for admissions as long as you apply early. (This contrasts with UNC and to a lesser extent UVA.)

ii. The consensus is that softs (intership, extracurriculars) largely don't matter. Peace Corps, military, financial analyst, PhD, TFA etc. serve as tie breakers in admissions at all but Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley, where they're necessary on top of good numbers.

iii. Major in something you can do well in that involves a lot of reading and writing. Maybe even something you like! Or, if you're not completely sold on law school, major in something that provides an alternative career path if you decide not to do LS. I'm convinced that Econ might be the way to go, as it's not completely impractical (read: alternate career path), but is also a great pre-law major (read: analytical reading and writing required). I am by the way a history major.

iv. Absolutely study hard for the LSAT.

Also, I see you are new and I don't mind answering earnest questions, but such basic questions will prompt snark elsewhere sometimes. Be forewarned.

horrorbusiness
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby horrorbusiness » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:48 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/1 ... 1321484190

Was this news over there at all?

How representative is this girl of politically-minded students there?

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bigtexmex
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby bigtexmex » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:40 am

horrorbusiness wrote:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/obama-assassination-lauren-pierce_n_1098280.html?1321484190

Was this news over there at all?

How representative is this girl of politically-minded students there?

I went to UT for undergrad, and I can say you do have some pretty conservative people at UT. More than you might think (it is Texas after all). Hell, I was friends with some very religious, conservative people almost resembling those who attend schools like Regent or Liberty U who constantly complained about how liberal UT and Austin were (which I never understood why they just didn't go to those schools since they constantly bitched about UT and Austin).

Most are liberal or very moderate. During a 2005 vote on same sex marriage in Texas, Travis (Austin) County was the only county voting in favor of the bill throughout the state, and the bill received an overwhelming support from the 78705 Zip Code (UT). So, no, she is not representative.

*Edit: Sorry, it was against the bill. The bill defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Travis County was the only county that voted against it. Every single other county in Texas voted for the bill.*

Hook 'Em!
\m/

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:59 am

horrorbusiness wrote:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/obama-assassination-lauren-pierce_n_1098280.html?1321484190

Was this news over there at all?

How representative is this girl of politically-minded students there?


Didn't hear about this until now. And I haven't met anyone in the law school who fits that kind of mindset of "our side is good and the other side is evil," either from people who are left-leaning or right-leaning. I would say, majority-wise, people may be left-leaning? I really don't know though since I don't talk politics because I hate politics. What I can say is that I never have seen political leanings be a divisive thing between law students--the students that are heavy into politics (working for the legislative, working on campaigns, etc) get along with each other fine.
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

crit_racer
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby crit_racer » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:17 am

I agree that politics don't seem to play a huge role here. I am part of 2 political student orgs, so I definitely encounter it, but that's b/c I have made a deliberate attempt to seek this out. I will say that the federalist society seems to be very active here; they are definitely the most visible political student org. Having said that, I consider myself to be pretty far left, and I have found plenty of like-minded people. That girl is clearly a nut job. Not representative of UT or the law school.

horrorbusiness
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:40 am

crit_racer wrote:I agree that politics don't seem to play a huge role here. I am part of 2 political student orgs, so I definitely encounter it, but that's b/c I have made a deliberate attempt to seek this out. I will say that the federalist society seems to be very active here; they are definitely the most visible political student org. Having said that, I consider myself to be pretty far left, and I have found plenty of like-minded people. That girl is clearly a nut job. Not representative of UT or the law school.


Sounds awesome. That girl is no credit to the reputation of texas or UT, unfortunately.

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japes
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby japes » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:46 am

TexasWave wrote:What is it like going to a law school with such a large student body? I went to UT undergrad and just got accepted at UT law. I am wondering how the large class size impacts grades, the atmosphere, extracurriculars, etc.


the curve is the curve. Not having received any grades I can't really comment on how the curve looks other than to tell you to google that (it's available online somewhere) and to note that I think we have a pretty big curve compared to other similarly-ranked schools. Granted, conventional wisdom is that it doesn't matter, class ranking is important, not the curve.

I honestly don't feel like I'm in a huge class. The incoming class is broken into 100-student sections subdivided into 4 25-student groups. You have 2 classes with your section and 2 smaller classes (one of which is legal writing) with your small group. I know my small group pretty well, and I think that's probably pretty valuable 1L year. No clue how any of that looks after 1L year though.

--

A friend of mine in UT undergrad (who is a member of young conservatives - the other conservative political org on campus) knows that girl. Apparently she is really just dumb and kind of a ditz. Don't know why it's national news that an undergrad said something dumb on twitter. Undergrad political orgs are mostly troll fronts. Law school is different. for example: in my con law class the prof makes us sit according to our political philosophy (liberals on the left, etc) and debate the cases we read. I have never seen a disagreement get ugly - most of the time people will end up walking out of class still discussing whatever we were talking about. People here are smart enough to recognize that there are arguments on both sides.

ASAP
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby ASAP » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:14 pm

How is housing around campus? I have heard North Campus is a lot less crazy than West Campus. Are there any good apartments close to the law school that cater more to graduate students?

ASAP
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby ASAP » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:22 pm

mbhaleua wrote:I guess, what I really wanted to ask was how hard is it to get accepted into UT? I'm in Utah right now, and planning on graduating in about two years. If I moved to Texas and waited a year to get residency, and maybe also did an internship, would I be more likely to get in? Does anyone have current average GPA/LSAT that they're accepting? Also, I'm considering switching my major around to be more a more appealing applicant. I called their admissions office and got the impression that they're really interested in diversity. So, does that mean I should shy away from the more traditional English, History, Political Science majors and do something else? I'm considering French, Digital Media, or Business Management. Finally, how involved in extracurricular activities should I be? I know there's a pre-law club, and other service clubs I could join that could pad my resume, but I've also heard that almost everyone does that and it's better to just focus on school (those clubs supposedly take up a lot of time) and study hard for the LSAT. I know there's a lot to respond to, thanks for the help!


From Texas' website -

Median LSAT: 167
Median GPA: 3.69

Pre-law club doesn't do anything for you on an application. Major doesn't matter too much either as long as it isn't a joke - GPA and LSAT are the 2 most important things by far. If you can get above both medians you have a very good shot at getting in. Probably the best extracurricular you could do is some form of consistent and continued community service.

mbhaleua
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby mbhaleua » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:09 pm

That's good news! I really appreciate the advice @gavinstevens and @ASAP, now I just need to buckle down and actually do what I know I can. Thanks again

super6
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby super6 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:28 am

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:Was TX an obvious choice over Cornell? Have you noticed any boost in-state gives in admission? I love the idea of Austin and cheap tuition but don't want it to hurt my chances if I want to go NE (DC, NYC, etc.). I guess my nightmare would be working in TX after graduation for more than a couple years


For me, yes, but that's become I Cornell waitlisted me and UT gave me $25k/year. All things being equal I would have still picked UT, though, because of location.

No discernible boost at all, but that's from a sample of 3 other people. One guy in my section was in-state with a GPA .20 higher than mine, same LSAT, and he got the same scholarship package as I did (my package gave me in-state tuition even though I'm OOS)

Why would working in Texas be a nightmare? Lots of big firms and no competition from yankees.

super6
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby super6 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:30 am

ASAP wrote:How is housing around campus? I have heard North Campus is a lot less crazy than West Campus. Are there any good apartments close to the law school that cater more to graduate students?


I pay $675/month for a semi-crappy 1/1 10 minutes from campus by bus. There are houses across the street from the school, though, so you can be as close as you're willing to pay for.

super6
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Re: Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby super6 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:35 am

TexasWave wrote:What is it like going to a law school with such a large student body? I went to UT undergrad and just got accepted at UT law. I am wondering how the large class size impacts grades, the atmosphere, extracurriculars, etc.


You don't really notice it. The yeah is split into 4 100-person sections, you'll take 2 classes with them 1st semester and 3 classes with them 2nd semester. Then that section is split in half to create what they call a society which hosts a variety of events with free food and alochol. Then half of your society is your small section, this is a group of 25 people that is in every class and 2 1st semester and 1 2nd semester class is taken only with this small group.

Because of this, you'll know everyone in your small section quickly and you'll know almost everyone in your big section eventually.




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