Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

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utlaw2007
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Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:18 pm

I'm a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. I've been out for nearly 5 years. I'm a civil trial lawyer and owner of my own law firm. I advised a law school prospect who I met on this site on her choice between UT Law and another top law school. She picked UT Law based on my advice and I am proud to say she has a 1L summer clerkship with a big law firm based out of Dallas. That being said, I find that many young prospects on this site GREATLY underestimate the national placement power UT Law has with BigLaw across the country. And Texas' placement with biglaw in Texas is also underrated on this site. I want to dispel a few myths.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:39 pm

My knowledge about other law schools will be very limited. But, I can answer any questions you may have about Austin.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Br3v
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Br3v » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:44 pm

What made you chose UT? How well we're they ranked at the time? Where else did you apply?

But if you answer one question: do you enjoy your job?

Thanks for contributing to the site!

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:05 pm

Hello there,

I chose UT because I am from Houston, Texas and currently live there. It was the only top law school I applied for admission. I went to the University of Michigan for undergrad. That was my top choice law school at first. However, I had been out of school for 10 years. I rationalized that it would probably be very depressing to parade around Ann Arbor only to be reminded of the ghosts from my undergrad years. At that point, UT Law became my first choice. Plus, it's too dang cold in Michigan!

I knew I wanted to work and live in Houston, my home town. Every top law school's reputation is best in the region the school is located. UT has a great national rep, but it's Texas rep is just ridiculous. Only Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have reps that are equal throughout the country. I applied to a bunch of schools right outside the top 15 because they had waived my app fee. So why not apply? I gained acceptance into UT somewhat early in the process (a week before the regular admissions deadline) so I was spared all of the stress that comes with waiting.

I absolutely LOVE my job! I really liked law school. I liked the intellectual prowess that was needed because of the intellectual, philosophical nature of the course work. But trial work took it to another level for me. I was on one of the law school's interscholastic mock trial teams and did very well. From that moment on, I was addicted to the courtroom!
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:12 pm, edited 6 times in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:27 pm

Oh, I forgot to answer your ranking question. I researched every stat known to man about law schools at the time. Most top law schools are in regions that attract grads from other top law schools. I also looked at migration patterns to different states from top law schools. Texas was ranked 15 at that time, pretty much where it is now. I noticed that New York and California were two very popular destinations for top law school grads no matter where they go to school. So if you want to work BigLaw in New York, you have to compete with grads primarily from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Michigan, and Cornell. Really, you have to compete with everyone because New York is such a popular destination. If you go to California, you have to compete with grads primarily from Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC. If you wanted to go to Chicago, you have to compete with Chicago, Michigan, and Northwestern. If you went to DC, you have to compete with Virginia, Georgetown, and to a lessor extent, George Washington. Keep in mind that Boston U., Boston College, George Washington, Notre Dame, and Fordham, place fairly well in their respective regions. If you go to Atlanta, you have to compete with Duke and Emory. But if one goes to Houston or Dallas, you have no top law school that you have to compete with other than your fellow Texas classmates. This point is made more potent when you consider the fact that no other top law school grads really migrate to Texas for the most part. Hence, Texas DOMINATES BigLaw placement in Texas. Due to self selection, not many grads go outside the state. But yet, 60 percent of our OCI is from out of state law firms. About 30% of UT Law actually choose to leave the state.

Texas is a popular choice for Texas grads because the cost of living is dirt cheap here. Plus, there is no state income tax. $160,000 here goes a lot further than $160,000 in New York or California. And the starting pay is the same in Texas as it is in those states. Hence, why so many Texas grads stay in Texas.

Here to help. Law school selection is a harrowing process because there is so much info, good and bad, out there. So I want to do my part to help make the decision a little more informed.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Br3v
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Br3v » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:39 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:Oh, I forgot to answer your ranking question. I researched every stat known to man about law schools at the time. Most top law schools are in regions that attract grads from other top law schools. I also looked at migration patterns to different states from top law schools. Texas was ranked 15 at that time, pretty much where it is now. I noticed that New York and California were two very popular destinations for top law school grads no matter where they go to school. So if you want to work BigLaw in New York, you have to compete with grads primarily from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Michigan, and Cornell. Really, you have to compete with everyone because New York is such a popular destination. If you go to California, you have to compete with grads primarily from Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC. If you wanted to go to Chicago, you have to compete with Northwestern, Chicago, and Michigan. If you went to DC, you have to compete with Virginia, Georgetown, and to a lessor extent, George Washington. Keep in mind that Boston U., Boston College, George Washington, Notre Dame, and Fordham, place fairly well in their respective regions. If you go to Atlanta, you have to compete with Duke and Emory. But if one goes to Houston or Dallas, you have no top law school that you have to compete with other than your fellow Texas classmates. This point is made more potent when you consider the fact that no other top law school grads really migrate to Texas for the most part. Hence, Texas DOMINATES BigLaw placement in Texas. Due to self selection, not many grads go outside the state. But yet, 60 percent of our OCI is from out of state law firms. About 30% actually choose to leave the state.

Texas is a popular choice Texas grads because the cost of living is dirt cheap here. Plus, there is no state income tax. $160,000 here goes a lot farther than $160,000 in New York or California. And the starting pay is the same in Texas as it is in those states. Hence, why so many Texas grads stay in Texas.

Here to help. Law school selection is a harrowing process because there is so much info, good and bad, out there. So I want to do my part to help make the decision a little more informed.


The lack of as intense of other school pressure in the Texas market is a good point.
What was your first position after graduating?

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emkay625
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby emkay625 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Hi there! Thanks for doing this. I'm a Texas native who's attending UT in the fall and I'm very excited.

Do you have any advice (other than get good grades!) for people looking to get one of those rare summer associateships as a 1L?

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:08 pm

The lack of as intense of other school pressure in the Texas market is a good point.
What was your first position after graduating?


I actually was sick with a very rare autoimmune disorder after I graduated and right after I passed the bar. I was sick for three years. I was completely incapacitated. I couldn't fix myself dinner, let alone work. Once doctors figured what was wrong with me. I slowly got better. By that time, the market had gotten terrible. That was significant because I wanted no part of BigLaw because I wanted to be be in the courtroom. If you go BigLaw, you may never see the inside of a courtroom. You can, but it's just not likely. Plenty of BigLaw associates work in litigation departments of their respective firms. They just never see a courtroom because they aren't the ones actually trying a case usually.

So when I got better, I wanted to work for a small law firm to get plenty of civil trial experience. But the economy was terrible. Small firms already don't hire often and couple that with a bad economy, they don't hire at all unless you had 5 years experience doing what they want to hire you for.

So my best friend's step dad wanted me to help him with a small claims court case. A few thousand dollars was the amount in controversy. I pointed out something that was key to protecting my client from liability. His dad liked my work and wanted me to become lead counsel on a much, much bigger case financially. It was a commercial litigation case. When I saw just how much money you could make off of ONE case, I thought to myself, "I will never work for someone again. Forget working for someone else regardless if it's Biglaw, MidLaw, or SmallLaw" Open your own firm." I subsequently spent the next four months brainstorming and crafting, possible practice areas, possible clients, marketing strategies, budgets, and different amounts of predicted revenue from different legal services rendered.

Now it's not easy to do. Many lawyers don't make much money doing their own thing. But many do. You HAVE to be a good business man. You have to network. And you have to think like a business man and have a plan for expansion when that time comes. But before you expand, I think it's best to plan how you are going to increase revenue before you expand.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Jeremyl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Jeremyl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:12 pm

Dominate the entire region?

What is the percentage again for the class of 2011 that had full time jobs requiring jd?

--LinkRemoved--

What is their bar passage rate compared to other Texas schools?

Dominate biglaw, sure. But what about the other 70% of the class? What happens to them?

Jeremyl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Jeremyl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:15 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:I meant to say "further" instead of "farther."

I actually was sick with a very rare autoimmune disorder after I graduated and right after I passed the bar. I was sick for three years. I was completely incapacitated. I couldn't fix myself dinner, let alone work. Once doctors figured what was wrong with me. I slowly got better. By that time, the market had gotten terrible. That was significant because I wanted no part of BigLaw because I wanted to be be in the courtroom. If you go BigLaw, you may never see the inside of a courtroom. You can, but it's just not likely. Plenty of BigLaw associates work in litigation departments of their respective firms. They just never see a courtroom because they aren't the ones actually trying a case usually.

So when I got better, I wanted to work for a small law firm to get plenty of civil trial experience. But the economy was terrible. Small firms already don't hire often and couple that with a bad economy, they don't hire at all unless you had 5 years experience doing what they want to hire you for.

So my best friend's step dad wanted me to help him with a small claims court case. A few thousand dollars was the amount in controversy. I pointed out something that was key to protecting my client from liability. His dad liked my work and wanted me to become lead counsel on a much, much bigger case financially. It was a commercial litigation case. When I saw just how much money you could make off of one case, I thought to myself, "I will never work for someone again. Forget working for someone else's regardless if it's Biglaw, MidLaw, or SmallLaw" Open your own firm." I subsequently spent the next four months brainstorming and crafting, possible practice areas, possible clients, marketing strategies, budgets, and different amounts of predicted revenue from different legal services rendered.

Now it's not easy to do. Many lawyers don't make much money doing their own thing. But many do. You HAVE to be a good business man. You have to network. And you have to think like a business man and have a plan for expansion when that time comes. But before you expand, I think it's best to plan how you are going to increase revenue before you expand.


And you couldn't have done this from any other school in the region, let alone t14?

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:23 pm

Hello, emkay. Congratulations on your acceptance into the University of Texas School of Law! I know you are plenty excited! I was, too!

There are going to be quite a few biglaw 1L receptions that 1st semester before you even take your first exam. I kind of blew these off. Do not do that. Go to all of them! It gives you a chance to meet with the associates and partners. Those Texas BigLaw firms just swoon over Texas 1l's. They do it because they don't know the students who are going to have the good grades. For one, if you make the median, you will be fine for grades. But keep in mind, that's going to be kind of tough to do. Everyone at the law school is crazy smart. It's going to all come down to how well you articulate your arguments. Obviously, you'll have to know the material backwards and forwards.

But go to those receptions. I remember going to a BigLaw reception in particular. Apparently, I was the most popular law student there because Michigan had just played Texas in the Rose Bowl. I had four lawyers from the firm simultaneously chatting it up with me. I remember having to go to the bathroom and I couldn't even get out of the office without another associate stopping me to talk. You want to go to these things and be extremely likable. Be yourself, of course. But BigLaw firms want to see if you can mesh with the people who already work there. The same is true for Mid size firms. But if you leave an impression, it can only help when it comes time to extend an offer.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cubyfan21
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Cubyfan21 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi,

Thanks for being willing to answer some questions. I am currently a law student at U of M, and I am just wondering if you could speak to the ability of breaking into the Dallas market without family ties to Texas. My wife and I want to move to Dallas, as we have many friends there, and I really like the cost of living and the opportunities in Dallas. I want to work in Biglaw, and have been researching the market, so any advice, comments you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:38 pm

@Jermyl.

Anyone could start there own practice after attending any school. I wasn't saying that my doing so was exclusive to my attending UT Law. I was answering a question about what I did. I will say one thing, going to ANY top law school gives you way more confidence to go out there and take on far more experienced lawyers when you don't fully know what you are doing. Do you know that I won my first trial in state district court against a fellow UT Law grad who had 30 years of trial experince to my zero?

But, I'm not saying that attendance at UT will allow you to do what I have done in that regard. I was only answering a question about what I did before. Did you not see the question I was answering?
What was your first position after graduating?


As late as 2009, UT had a 50% placement rate of grads to BigLaw. So I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. The link below is from US News. It indicates the median private sector salary as being $160,000. So half of those entering the private sector are working at BigLaw.

The employment rate is about 89%.

The bar passage rate is about 91% which is second highest in the state. However, I would not put any stock into bar passage rate because learning the bar is COMPLETELY different from practicing law. I'm telling you. A brief for a UT Law exam or a brief for court will not automatically get you a passing score on the bar. And an essay that gets you a passing score on the bar is not likely to get you a good grade on a UT Law exam or go over well with a judge.


http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... -law-03155
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:46 pm

And actually, those US News figures are probably from 2010 for all those schools. @Jermyl. You seem like you want to be contrary to what I say. From your statements, I can tell you now very little about law school and NOTHING about the practice of law. I volunteered to give my advise to people who need it. I am not going to degrade myself by debating with a lay person about law school and ESPECIALLY the practice of law which includes passing the Texas bar exam.

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FlanAl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby FlanAl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:52 pm

any advice for people at t14's not from texas who want to work there after school? My girlfriend's family is huge and from Texas. She and I have been together for over 6 years and will most likely get married sometime down the line. Her career path and family make it a great option for her and cost of living etc. make it a great option for me. I'm not sure this is enough of a tie. Also her family is fairly well connected in the Houston business world, none of them are lawyers so I'm not sure how much that helps.

Thanks in advance for any advice and thanks for coming on to help people out!

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:53 pm

@Cubyfan..

I appreciate the question. First of all, Go Blue! That's my alma mater.

Secondly, Michigan is a great law school. You should be able to penetrate the Dallas Market pretty easily coming from Michigan. Dallas firms seem to care more about ties than Houston firms. But it's really only a big deal with mid size or smaller firms. You should be good. The problem is not that Texas dominates over other top schools. It's just that we seldom have competition from other top law school grads because they don't relocate here.

Jeremyl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Jeremyl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:56 pm

As late as 2009, UT had a 50% placement rate of grads to BigLaw. So I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. The link below is from US News. It indicates the median private sector salary as being $160,000. So half of those entering the private sector are working at BigLaw.


50? This isn't 2009. So try 25%


http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1

The employment rate is about 89%.


Wrong again (or at least to the question I asked). For 2010, about 79% had full time legal jobs. Baylor had 74%. It was lower for 2011

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:04 pm

@FlanAL. Thanks for the question.

As long as you go to a top 14 school other than UT Law, you should be totally fine with breaking into the Dallas or Houston market. You probably want to be top 50% or 40% of your class for the most part. UT Law doesn't really carry an advantage over other top 14 law schools in Texas. There may be a slight advantage because most of the partners at big law firms in Texas are UT Law grads. So you might have to be top 40% maybe. As long as the school is national, which all top 14 schools are, you should be fine if you make a tad bit above the mean as far as grades go. Those family ties you have should be just fine.

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FlanAl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby FlanAl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:08 pm

hey thanks a bunch for quick response, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about the texas market! there isn't enough info on it on this site.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:11 pm

@Jermyl. I guess I must not know what the heck I'm talking about because I'm delusional. And a kid who hasn't done a thing is professing to know more than me. This will be the last post that responds to you. I wish you the best of luck on getting into a good law school because from the looks of your responses, you are going to need it.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:14 pm

By the way, Baylor has horrible placement in Houston. The University of Houston Law Center runs circles around Baylor as does SMU Dedman School of Law.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:22 pm

Like I said before. I only know stats up to 2009. But I'll tell you what. MANY UT Law grads self select to work at mid size firms that do not hire Baylor grads. The hours are MUCH better. Plus, for those aspiring litigators out there, you get to see the inside of a courtroom early in your career. That's where the other grads at UT Law go, to answer you question.

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:31 pm

I misspoke. There are firms that are not on that list that do not pay market rate of 160 grand, but they pay any where from 100 to 145 grand. Those are mid size firm salaries, those firms being on the larger side of mid size firms. Those firms don't hire Baylor grads if that's your point. UT Law still dominates those firm's hiring in Texas and places very well in other states. Baylor does not have that luxury.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jeremyl
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby Jeremyl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:33 pm

I like how you "know" all this stuff and don't back it up. I on the other hand am using facts from neutral third parties, and you think I'm the one that is being irrational? You say Uh and smu run circles around Baylor, and you don't address the FACT that Baylor places only 5% less in full time legal jobs than ut. So what does that mean about uh and smu's relation to ut's full-time legal job numbers, if they run circles around a school that only places 5% less in full time legal jobs than ut?

utlaw2007
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Re: Here to answer any questions about all things Texas Law

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:38 pm

Just in case anyone is wondering, SMU Dedman School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center are far superior law schools to Baylor. SMU and U of H teach theory like UT Law as opposed to the blackletter rule of law. There is a HUGE difference. The bar exam is blackletter all the way. In practice, theory is much more important.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.




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