Baylor Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
renee88
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Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:40 am

If anyone has any questions about Baylor, feel free to message me or post them here! I'm a 1L, so my experiences are limited, but I'll gladly answer them the best I can.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:36 am

Curious about 1L section sizes & 1L curriculum. How many students in a typical 1L class & are there any year-long 1L courses ? Thanks !

P.S. Any comments on Waco would also be appreciated.

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:16 pm

Section sizes will depend on the term in which you enter. Baylor goes by quarters instead of semesters, and admissions occur in three of those quarters- fall, spring, summer. The fall class is usually the largest and the summer is the smallest. This year I think summer/fall entering classes were 30 and 62, respectively. I'm not sure how large the spring quarter is, but it's somewhere in between.

The entering class is then divided up into two sections. For one class, I'm with just my section (30 students); one of my classes is my entire entering class (62 students); and two classes are with a section of the summer starters, so the combined total is about 45 students. Regardless of the class, I'm always with my section.

There aren't any year-long courses. Some classes take two quarters to complete, but two quarters is about the same as a semester at a school with a regular schedule. By the way, you don't have to take all four quarters every year. After you attend for 3 quarters, you can keep going, or you can take any quarter off. It's kind of nice because there are more internships available in fall/spring because obviously there's less demand for them- so you can go to school in the summer, for example, then do an internship in the fall. You an also get done with law school faster if you decide not to take breaks.

I like Waco for the most part, but it's probably not for people who like big cities. It's medium-sized (around 200,000, I think), but the closest big cities are each about an hour and a half away (Austin and DFW).

When I was deciding on what school to attend, a lot of people on TLS had horror stories about Baylor. I've not found any of them to be true. The teachers do challenge you, and Socratic is used in every class. I see that as an advantage, though. When I first started 8 weeks ago, I was terrified of standing up and speaking in front of people. Now it barely bothers me. Also, people here are very friendly and helpful, and it's far from being "cut-throat". Our employment numbers at graduation aren't great, but virtually everyone is employed within a few months following graduation. If you want a job at a big law firm, again, this probably isn't the school for you- but that doesn't mean it's impossible to find a job. Overall I'm really happy I chose Baylor.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:55 pm

Based on what I have read, Baylor's reputation seems to focus on the third year moot court/trial practice requirements, competitiveness & undesirability of the location.

How are the facilities ?

Which 1L courses are two quarters ?

Thanks !

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:53 pm

The facilities are great. The law school is fairly new and it's right off the Brazos river. It's set off from the rest of Baylor and parking is never a problem.

Torts and contracts are both two quarters long. I believe property is as well but I haven't started that yet. Oh, and LARC (legal writing) is also two quarters. There is a third quarter class that's apparently kind of an extension of LARC, so I suppose that might qualify as sort of being a year-long class.

From what I've heard, the location is probably one of Baylor's biggest challenges, since it's a good distance from larger cities. I've heard fewer employers come to our job fairs on account of this, but I couldn't give you any numbers.

Baylor always lands near the top of the "most competitive" lists. A substantial basis of those lists is how much time students spend studying. Everyone here does study a lot because the schedule moves so quickly and the teachers expect a lot out of you in class. From my experiences, though, no one is viciously competitive. Before I got here, I heard people sort of bond together and I think that's mostly true.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby LoyalRebel » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:27 pm

Is it worth $40,000 a year in tuition?

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:51 am

LoyalRebel wrote:Is it worth $40,000 a year in tuition?


I probably would not have gone to Baylor at sticker. However, I also don't really have any connections to Texas and had other decent options. If your only other option is going to a low-ranked school that will still leave you in debt, and if you want to stay in Texas, I wouldn't rule it out. I do think you'd get a better education for 40k here than at comparable schools, for what it's worth.

If you don't get a scholarship, I'd suggest working for higher LSAT score if you're set on Baylor. Also, the LSAT/GPA averages for summer and spring entrance are lower, so if you didn't get a scholarship for fall you might have a better chance if you apply for one of those quarters.

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sarahmargie
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby sarahmargie » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:01 am

I applied to Baylor a over a month ago for the Fall 2012 class. They have not requested my law school report. Why do you suppose that is? Is it because they are still composing the Spring and Summer classes?

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:39 pm

sarahmargie wrote:I applied to Baylor a over a month ago for the Fall 2012 class. They have not requested my law school report. Why do you suppose that is? Is it because they are still composing the Spring and Summer classes?


I'm not sure. Becky Beck and Suzy Daniels in the admissions office are both really helpful are could let you know if there's any issues. I was accepted for fall before the summer application deadline had passed, so the fact the summer class isn't set probably doesn't matter. But it is pretty early and they might not do a lot of fall admissions until after Nov. 1st like some other schools.

I would probably email them in a couple weeks if you still haven't heard anything (or now if you're anxious about it) for confirmation that they at least received your application.

Edit: Just thought I'd mention that some people did have to wait quite a while to get an answer last year (4-5 months), but generally it's only if you're lower than the medians...and you have a great LSAT score so I doubt you have anything to worry about. 4-5 months is long but at least Baylor doesn't take as long as other schools. (i.e., I applied to SMU in November and got accepted in August.)

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Titleist
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Titleist » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:34 pm

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Last edited by Titleist on Sun May 06, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:32 pm

UNTravis wrote:Can anyone shed some light on scholarships? 162/3.69 along with great softs (3 years of moot court, clerk for an attorney). Looking at Law School Numbers I see some people get scholarships with a 162 and some not. Interestingly one got a scholly with a lower GPA than the other.


When I went to a Preview Day last year, the admissions director mentioned giving out scholarships when the applicant (for the fall session) had at least either a 3.4 or 3.5 and at least a 162 (she didn't mention how scholarships are given when, for instance, you have a really high LSAT but low gpa). I may not be remembering the numbers correctly and obviously it changes every year, but it gives you some idea. It will also depend on how early you apply, of course. Based on the scholarships I received for both summer and fall, I would say you have a good chance of getting some money for fall.

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Titleist
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Titleist » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:56 pm

Thank you, that is encouraging to hear. My top two choices are Baylor and Houston. I would prefer Baylor but unfortunately might decide Houston if I do not get a scholarship.

What are your thoughts on the way Baylor's 3 mini semesters? Do you see this as a positive or a negative for Baylor?

Also, just because I'm a sports fan, how hard is it to get tickets to Baylor sporting events?
Last edited by Titleist on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Ty Webb » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:00 pm

If you choose Baylor over UH (all other things close to equal), you've lost your mind.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Ty Webb » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:01 pm

UNTravis wrote:Can anyone shed some light on scholarships? 162/3.69 along with great softs (3 years of moot court, clerk for an attorney). Looking at Law School Numbers I see some people get scholarships with a 162 and some not. Interestingly one got a scholly with a lower GPA than the other.


Please don't continue thinking these are great softs.

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Titleist
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Titleist » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:26 pm

Ty Webb wrote:If you choose Baylor over UH (all other things close to equal), you've lost your mind.

Why is this in your opinion? The fact that UH feeds in to the Houston market?

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:01 am

UNTravis wrote:Thank you, that is encouraging to hear. My top two choices are Baylor and Houston. I would prefer Baylor but unfortunately might decide Houston if I do not get a scholarship.

What are your thoughts on the way Baylor's 3 mini semesters? Do you see this as a positive or a negative for Baylor?

Also, just because I'm a sports fan, how hard is it to get tickets to Baylor sporting events?


I see the quarter system as a positive. It's very intense, but that's why I chose Baylor. It's demanding, but so the legal profession, and I believe Baylor prepares you for that.

I think it's really easy to get football tickets. :) I have several classmates who've gone to games and the tickets haven't been too expensive. I'm not sure about other sports. I know basketball is big here but I'm not sure if the tickets to those games are any harder to get.

In one of my earlier posts, I alluded to the fact some people on the forums will tell you to avoid Baylor at all costs. I assume this is because of the rankings, employment info, stories about it being ultra-competitive, etc. However, being a self-proclaimed expert interpreter of the U.S. News rankings really doesn't mean you have the whole story about what goes on at a school. For example, we don't have a great employment rate at graduation. However, most people are able to find employment in the few months following graduation (the career services office told me around 95%). When I chose Baylor, I decided I was willing to face that in return for what I consider is better preparation for a legal career. We do have the highest bar passage rate in TX and we do have a really unique practice court program. Those things don't make it into the ratings, at least not in any significant way.

So, you really just have to visit a school, talk to the students and faculty, and decide what's best for you... not based on what students from other law schools tell you.

I'm not about to get into an argument with anyone about what school is better than others (See: law school finals next week), and I won't...but that's just my advice.

nouseforaname123
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby nouseforaname123 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:26 am

renee88 wrote:I'm not about to get into an argument with anyone about what school is better than others (See: law school finals next week), and I won't...


1. To paraphrase: "I am going to be better educated than my peers at similar schools, but I'm not getting into an argument about it."

2. The nice thing about message boards is that arguments can wait. This post will still be here after your finals. There is no need to use finals as an excuse to cop out of the argument you know you are inviting.

renee88 wrote:I see the quarter system as a positive. It's very intense, but that's why I chose Baylor. It's demanding, but so the legal profession, and I believe Baylor prepares you for that.


One of your strongest justifications for choosing Baylor over similar schools is that the rigor prepares a student for practice. What employer of consequence is going to allow you to use your trial skills early in your career? What about those people that have no interest in litigation?

For example, we don't have a great employment rate at graduation. However, most people are able to find employment in the few months following graduation (the career services office told me around 95%).


The "95% employed within 9 months of graduation" statistic is one of the most manipulated statistics. I wouldn't trust that data coming from my own OCS.

The following are statistics paint a much different picture. While none of these statistics is singularly positive on the employment issue, taken together, they certainly give you a decent feel for what is going on in the employment market.

USNWR Employment Stats (at graduation):

UH: 75.5%
SMU: 66.1%
Baylor: 46.9%

Law School Transparency (based on "employed at 9 months" data):


SMU: 67.4%% of grads represented by salary data (in private sector); median of $120,000; 81.5% of all grads have a known salary range
UH: 55.2% of grads represented by salary data (in private sector); median of $100,000; 63.7% of all grads have a known salary range
Baylor: 44.6% of grads represented by salary data (in private sector); median of $81,250; 75.1% of grads have a known salary range

Art. III Clerks:

SMU: 4.0%
Baylor: 2.6%
UH: 2.0%

NLJ "Go-To Schools" - Based on Placement at NLJ250 firms:

SMU: #27, 16.22% of the c/o 2010 placed at NLJ250 firms
UH: #42, 11.62% of the c/o 2010 placed at NLJ250 firms
Baylor: NR - NLJ does not rank below #50

NALPdirectory.com---------->Advanced Search-----------> State: "TX", Campus Interviews: "Baylor University" ----------> Search

SMU: 30 unique employers (60 offices represented)
Houston: 23 unique employers (46 offices represented)
Baylor: 15 unique employers (34 offices represented)

Rather than argue about which school better educates or prepares its students, I'll simply say that employers aren't placing a premium on the Baylor Law degree. You can believe you are better prepared for the practice of law, but it doesn't appear to me that employers are placing any real value on that preparation.

From what I've heard, the location is probably one of Baylor's biggest challenges, since it's a good distance from larger cities. I've heard fewer employers come to our job fairs on account of this, but I couldn't give you any numbers.


Even if this is true, why go to a law school that employers don't value enough to tackle the 100 miles it takes to get to Waco? The Dallas firms that travel to Austin have to go through Waco to get there. It's only 185 miles from Houston to Waco.

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:32 am

You're absolutely right. If those numbers are important to you, don't go to Baylor.

I'm not about to discuss "which school is better" because that's not why I started this thread. If I imply it, it's because of what makes our program unique and my perception of it; but I'm not going to argue about it because I don't know what other schools are like. I'm not going to pretend to know because I can read statistics.

It's the better school for me, as far as atmosphere, location, and the program itself. It might not be for others. And while I'm grateful for your taking the time to copy and paste things people on this thread have probably already read, I'm not going to argue about them either, because obviously you have to take those numbers for what they're worth. Done. Of course they have a role in the decision any student makes. It made me think about my decision to go here extra carefully. But seeing them now doesn't change my mind about the value of a Baylor education or how I feel it will benefit me over the course of my law career. What happens over the course of my career, and not just from graduation to a year afterwards, is something these numbers don't even purport to explain. I decided not to base my decision on them. If other students do, I don't blame them. It's a difficult market. But it's not an impossible one for Baylor grads, and I was just attempting to get that out there in my earlier posts.

Edit: On a side note, I remember hearing SMU actually helps pay the salary of some of their grads in return for firms agreeing to hire them for a certain period of time. Baylor does not do this. So if you are worried about employment, I would suggest looking into a school that has a program like that.

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/smu-will ... graduates/

nouseforaname123
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby nouseforaname123 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:13 am

renee88 wrote:You're absolutely right. If those numbers are important to you, don't go to Baylor.


I didn't post those numbers to help somebody choose which school to attend. I am using them as a signal which shows that employers are NOT valuing the unique Baylor education. We could all spout off the marketing materials from our respective schools and not settle this. Bottom line: Employers are hiring more SMU and UH grads and paying them more money.

renee88 wrote:I'm not about to discuss "which school is better" because that's not why I started this thread.


You might not have started the thread for that purpose but you certainly made it an issue when you said:

renee88 wrote:I do think you'd get a better education for 40k here than at comparable schools, for what it's worth.


renee88 wrote:If I imply it, it's because of what makes our program unique and my perception of it; but I'm not going to argue about it because I don't know what other schools are like.


1. You didn't imply it; you made the claim outright (see the quote above).

2. I like your style. In one post you claim your school is better than other comparable schools and in another you want to bow out of defending your position claiming ignorance about those other schools.

renee88 wrote:It's the better school for me, as far as atmosphere, location, and the program itself. It might not be for others. And while I'm grateful for your taking the time to copy and paste things people on this thread have probably already read, I'm not going to argue about them either, because obviously you have to take those numbers for what they're worth. Done.


LOL at you brushing off objective employment data in the same thread in which you made employment an issue when you told us about your OCS claiming 95% of Baylor grads are employed within months of graduation.
renee88 wrote:Edit: On a side note, I remember hearing SMU actually helps pay the salary of some of their grads in return for firms agreeing to hire them for a certain period of time. Baylor does not do this. So if you are worried about employment, I would suggest looking into a school that has a program like that.

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/smu-will ... graduates/

I am c/o 2013 and my employment for next summer looks just fine. I appreciate your concern.

Before you snicker at the program you may wish to do your research as to how many of those positions led to full-time employment.
Although some critics saw the program as a cynical move to improve the law school's placement statistics with make-work, it has, in fact, been astonishingly successful, helping 35 of 48 grads who did a "test drive" win a job offer.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... ates_chair

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:35 am

You accuse me of "brushing off" the employment data you provided, yet you blew off my information despite not knowing anything about it other than it was provided by OCI. It's two different sets of data and just because it's from OCI does not mean it's inaccurate.

If you've read any of my posts until this point, I've provided plenty of reasons why I feel Baylor provides its students with a good education. That's not to mention Baylor has the highest bar passage rate in Texas and one of the highest in the nation. To me, these things along with everything else I've said mean Baylor provides a "better education than comparable schools."I did not say it was the best school- I just said a "better education". But note how I have not specified any schools or even discussed what I meant by "comparable schools" (Schools with similar rankings? Schools within Texas?). This is because I'm not interested into getting into snippy arguments on TLS and I apologize if a few random statements from my posts made you think that.

But this is TLS. Enjoy LOL'ing at me all day long.
Last edited by renee88 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Titleist
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby Titleist » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:37 pm

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Last edited by Titleist on Sun May 06, 2012 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:00 pm

UN: You forgot to acknowledge the writing program.

renee88
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby renee88 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:22 pm

LARC (legal writing) is a great class. It's a ton of work for the credits it's worth, but it's already completely changed the way I approach problems. The teacher is fantastic.

Waco has a small-town feel. The small law school body sort of helps give that feeling, too. I definitely feel comfortable here (though there are some shady parts of Waco to look out for).

bartleby
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby bartleby » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:40 pm

also, the differences between Baylor, UH, and SMU isn't like you're choosing a Baylor over a T14.

I'm pretty sure the consensus is top 10% to "feel safe" about getting a decent job no matter what.

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deadpanic
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Re: Baylor Law

Postby deadpanic » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:18 pm

bartleby wrote:also, the differences between Baylor, UH, and SMU isn't like you're choosing a Baylor over a T14.


True, but the job prospects out of UH & SMU are better. And the way Baylor is set up is a lot different than any other law school - it is inherently more competitive.




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