Baylor Law School

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mebyarmbar
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Baylor Law School

Postby mebyarmbar » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:28 pm

Are there any Baylor law students on here that can answer some questions I have about 1L year?

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:33 pm

Fiance just graduated from Baylor in the spring. Both parents attended. Fire away.

mebyarmbar
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby mebyarmbar » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:24 pm

I just have some very general questions that I hope y'all can answer, and hopefully y'all can give me some insight on what it takes to succeed at Baylor.


Does your fiance have any tips/advice on what I can do to excel during 1L year?

I know Baylor is supposed to be very competitive and the school is on the quarter system. Does she have any recs on study schedule and how to prep for exams?

Like when do I start outlining, doing hypos, taking practice exams, and completing 1st year writing assignments.

How should I prepare for class? How are the cold calls and the professors?

How much work do they cram into the quarter?

The last thing I want to happen is that scene from Billy Madison where he answers with some ridiculous nonsense and the guy proceeds to rip him.

Is there anything else she thinks a 1L should know? Is the school as competitive as people say? how is the student body?

Any info you could give me would be great.

Thanks!

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:46 am

Sorry this took so long to get back to you. Class 'n stuff. Here's what she said.

mebyarmbar wrote:Does your fiance have any tips/advice on what I can do to excel during 1L year?
Excelling at Baylor during 1L year is not really any different than at other law schools. You have to work both hard and smart. Following the advice in this article will pay dividends at Baylor just like any other law school. It's still the socratic method, which sucks. It's still one exam at the end of the quarter that determines your entire grade.

I know Baylor is supposed to be very competitive and the school is on the quarter system. Does she have any recs on study schedule and how to prep for exams?

Like when do I start outlining, doing hypos, taking practice exams, and completing 1st year writing assignments. Start making outlines early. Exam week at Baylor is just one week, usually. And you'll have just as many exams in that one week as a school on the semester system. That means you'll have up to 5 exams in a very short time. That leaves no time at all to outline or do practice exams. Because of the truncated quarter system schedule, and the fact that almost no professors give open book tests, it's best to spend marginally less time doing practice exams, and more time learning the substantive material. 1st year writing assignments are due when they're due. And that's quite often, IIRC.

How should I prepare for class? How are the cold calls and the professors? This is tricky, because some Baylor professors have a tendency to be douchebags to 1Ls as part of the "Baylor experience," while many are just like every other law school: interested in research, don't care about class as much as publishing, recite the cases and ramble on, etc. Best way to prepare for class is to grow a thick skin, read the assignments closely, and remember that your in class performance does not count toward your final grade.

How much work do they cram into the quarter? A metric ton. My fiance was the busiest law student of all of my friends (and myself) who went to law school. And it wasn't even close. She had 3 sets of finals, 5 exams each, 1L year. Plus legal research and moot court. But she made it through.

The last thing I want to happen is that scene from Billy Madison where he answers with some ridiculous nonsense and the guy proceeds to rip him. If the professor wants this to happen, it's going to happen, no matter how prepared the student is or isn't.

Is there anything else she thinks a 1L should know? If you can transfer at the end of the year, do so. [literally my fiance's first reaction to this question]

Is the school as competitive as people say? how is the student body? This varies by class. Some embrace the "Baylor way" and purposefully live up to the hype with the cutthroat behavior. Others are much more laid back and just want to graduate/get through PC. My understanding is that the fall entering classes tend to be more competitive, but you're taking courses with more than just your entering class 1L year, so even if that's true, it's colored a little by the fact that you've got other students there with you. Student body is surprisingly diverse as far as undergraduate experiences, but skews toward the younger, 'straight through from college to law school' side.

Any info you could give me would be great.

Thanks!

Hope this helps a little bit, and feel free to follow up with questions. I'll try to respond a little quicker next time.

mebyarmbar
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby mebyarmbar » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:19 pm

Thanks for all the info.

The advice in that article sounds like a solid plan to approach 1L year. Since Baylor is on the quarter system do you think glossing over the E&E for each core class before the quarter will be beneficial? I know TLS recommends against any prep, but I am concerned with the 1L workload crammed into a quarter instead of a semester.

I only plan on skimming GTM, doing LEEWS, and reading Delaney's Learning legal reasoning.

Also, does your fiance remember if any of her first year profs did not have previous exams available? I am just wondering if that happened and how she handled a class that did not have previous exams to use as a reference.

How approachable are upper classmen and how available are previous outlines? Is it recommended to buy a commercial outline tailored to each case book, and get one from an upperclassmen to use to make my own?

Are there any supplements that I HAVE to have for 1L year?

Are there any profs that I should look out for?


I am going to try and tailor the approach in that article and hopefully it will go well.

Thanks again. All the info you have given me so far has been great.

tim.janitor
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby tim.janitor » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:22 pm

mebyarmbar wrote:Thanks for all the info.

The advice in that article sounds like a solid plan to approach 1L year. Since Baylor is on the quarter system do you think glossing over the E&E for each core class before the quarter will be beneficial? I know TLS recommends against any prep, but I am concerned with the 1L workload crammed into a quarter instead of a semester.

I only plan on skimming GTM, doing LEEWS, and reading Delaney's Learning legal reasoning.

Also, does your fiance remember if any of her first year profs did not have previous exams available? I am just wondering if that happened and how she handled a class that did not have previous exams to use as a reference.

How approachable are upper classmen and how available are previous outlines? Is it recommended to buy a commercial outline tailored to each case book, and get one from an upperclassmen to use to make my own?

Are there any supplements that I HAVE to have for 1L year?

Are there any profs that I should look out for?


I am going to try and tailor the approach in that article and hopefully it will go well.

Thanks again. All the info you have given me so far has been great.


Hey Bud,

I think the whole - my fiance first reaction was to transfer thing should be enough. Don't go

mebyarmbar
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby mebyarmbar » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:14 am

thanks for the advice

You forgot retake ED UVA though

bobloblawut
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby bobloblawut » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:39 pm

Baylor undergrad and big supporter of Baylor University as a whole.

Want to echo previous comments - do not go to Baylor law school, especially if you have another good option.

infoseeker11223344
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby infoseeker11223344 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:24 am

bobloblawut wrote:Baylor undergrad and big supporter of Baylor University as a whole.

Want to echo previous comments - do not go to Baylor law school, especially if you have another good option.


Please elaborate. Is it just b/c of the difficulty of the program, or is there more to that comment?

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togepi
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby togepi » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:35 am

infoseeker11223344 wrote:
bobloblawut wrote:Baylor undergrad and big supporter of Baylor University as a whole.

Want to echo previous comments - do not go to Baylor law school, especially if you have another good option.


Please elaborate. Is it just b/c of the difficulty of the program, or is there more to that comment?


A major factor is the fact that Baylor doesn't have a large market in its backyard. SMU has Dallas, Houston (speaks for itself), and UT has the whole game board. Baylor has to take the scraps of what's leftover. It's more than just the reputation, it's in a bad location compared to the other strong schools in Texas.

infoseeker11223344
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby infoseeker11223344 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:32 pm

togepi wrote:
infoseeker11223344 wrote:
bobloblawut wrote:Baylor undergrad and big supporter of Baylor University as a whole.

Want to echo previous comments - do not go to Baylor law school, especially if you have another good option.


Please elaborate. Is it just b/c of the difficulty of the program, or is there more to that comment?


A major factor is the fact that Baylor doesn't have a large market in its backyard. SMU has Dallas, Houston (speaks for itself), and UT has the whole game board. Baylor has to take the scraps of what's leftover. It's more than just the reputation, it's in a bad location compared to the other strong schools in Texas.


That makes sense on face. In your opinion, does that mean that a Baylor grad is completely unable to compete for the top jobs in those regions (DFW, Austin, Houston)? Can someone proactive try to counter the effect of that regional isolation?

Another thing I'd like for a Baylor grad to speak to is how much involvement Ken Starr has with the law school. It seems to me he should have been able to bring in some serious attention from large firms given his contacts.

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:39 pm

infoseeker11223344 wrote:That makes sense on face. In your opinion, does that mean that a Baylor grad is completely unable to compete for the top jobs in those regions (DFW, Austin, Houston)? Can someone proactive try to counter the effect of that regional isolation?

The top 6 or 8 people from Baylor place just as well in Dallas and Houston as their counterparts at UofH or SMU (and probably UT, for that matter, assuming the top people at UT wanted to go to those jobs). The difference is that, after those biglaw jobs are gone, Baylor's placement drops off a cliff.

Given the choice between being a median student at Baylor v. UH or SMU, it's UH/SMU, and it's not even close. And seeing as how asinine it is to attend a school expecting to graduate above the median, I would never, ever, recommend Baylor to someone on the Internet who wants to practice in Dallas or Houston.

As far as TLS advice goes, Baylor students can categorically forget about practicing law in Austin.

infoseeker11223344 wrote:Another thing I'd like for a Baylor grad to speak to is how much involvement Ken Starr has with the law school. It seems to me he should have been able to bring in some serious attention from large firms given his contacts.

:lol: This is a joke, right? My wife graduated from Baylor in April, and never once saw Ken Starr so much as set foot on Baylor Law's campus during the two plus years she was there during his tenure. he has so far co-taught one class, for one quarter, at the law school. However, she did mention that Ken Starr's hired a select few (think one or two) law students at the top of their class to do research projects for him part time. He is "almost exclusively concerned with" the main campus, and did not even attend the spring graduation.

Edited to update.

Phoebe3216
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby Phoebe3216 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:23 pm

I have some questions as well. I have been accepted to both Fall and Summer starts, but am being offered significantly more money for a summer start. What disadvantages do Summer Start have?

Specifically, how is this going to effect OCI, and competing on mock trial/moot court teams? Also, with a summer start I will graduate in January. Will this harm my chances at employment? and if it doesn't when could I feasibly expect to start a job with a January graduation and the bar in February?

My applications weren't super strong (3.14 undergrad due to 4 years of screwing around at a private university) and a 169 LSAT. Don't think I'm going to get more money at similarily ranked schools. And I know I want to do litigation at hopefully Fulbright and Jaworski after graduation.

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kalvano
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:55 pm

Phoebe3216 wrote:I have some questions as well. I have been accepted to both Fall and Summer starts, but am being offered significantly more money for a summer start. What disadvantages do Summer Start have?

Specifically, how is this going to effect OCI, and competing on mock trial/moot court teams? Also, with a summer start I will graduate in January. Will this harm my chances at employment? and if it doesn't when could I feasibly expect to start a job with a January graduation and the bar in February?

My applications weren't super strong (3.14 undergrad due to 4 years of screwing around at a private university) and a 169 LSAT. Don't think I'm going to get more money at similarily ranked schools. And I know I want to do litigation at hopefully Fulbright and Jaworski after graduation.


Um, what? Why in the hell are you looking at Baylor?

Phoebe3216
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby Phoebe3216 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:10 pm

Kalvano,

With that low of an undergrad GPA I don't think I'm super competitive for bigger and better schools in terms of scholarship $. I have significant undergrad debt already and no parental help so it really comes down to what I can afford

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:40 pm

Phoebe3216 wrote:I have some questions as well. I have been accepted to both Fall and Summer starts, but am being offered significantly more money for a summer start. What disadvantages do Summer Start have?

Specifically, how is this going to effect OCI, and competing on mock trial/moot court teams? Also, with a summer start I will graduate in January. Will this harm my chances at employment? and if it doesn't when could I feasibly expect to start a job with a January graduation and the bar in February?

My applications weren't super strong (3.14 undergrad due to 4 years of screwing around at a private university) and a 169 LSAT. Don't think I'm going to get more money at similarily ranked schools. And I know I want to do litigation at hopefully Fulbright and Jaworski after graduation.

The short take: Your GPA is definitely going to hold you back. What, exactly, do you mean by the underlined?

If your choice is fall at sticker and summer at full ride, then maybe starting in the summer makes sense. If it's fall with a third ride and summer with a half ride, it might make sense to forgo the additional money (which has a minimal impact over the long term) and start in the fall.


The wall of text:

First and foremost, you can categorically forget about picking Baylor because you want to work at Fulbright. They take, at most, one or two kids per year, and you've got to be at the top of your class (think top 3 or 4 people, not top 10%) to get that job. Put it this way: you're planning on investing a huge, huge amount of time, effort, stress, and a ton of money over the next three years for the 1-2% shot at getting that job. Think about that for a minute. Then remember, you're not a special snowflake, and you will not be able to "work hard and be at the top of your class." If it happens, great. But, that will be due to factors that are literally impossible to know before you take your first set of exams. Anyone who tells you, pre-law school, "Hey, go to Baylor so you can get a job at Fulbright." should drink bleach. There's a 99% chance you're going to be disappointed. The only and I mean only responsible advice: only to go to a law school assuming you'd be happy graduating at the median. Statistically speaking, that's where you'll end up. You're probably aware of this, but in case you're not: median at Baylor is not going to get you Fulbright (or any other firm in Texas, for that matter).

As for starting in the summer, you're going to suffer from two major setbacks. Baylor requires that you complete at least 3 quarters before you're eligible to take a break, and then you're only allowed to take one quarter off (IIRC). This means that you're going to have to go four straight quarters (Summer, Fall, Spring, Winter) if you start in the summer and want to take the next summer off to intern, etc. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but Baylor's schedule is ridiculous. No reading days between class and exams starting, and you almost invariably start the next quarter the Monday after you finish exams the Saturday before. Factor in that you only get two weeks off for Christmas and it becomes a serious grind. About the only advantage you have is being able to apply to summer jobs your first summer with a set of grades (which the Fall starters don't have by Dec. 1). This only works to your advantage if your grades are awesome (awesome being top 5% or better, which means top 3 or 4 people). If you're lower than that, no firms are going to hire you as a summer associate anyway, and your grades won't matter, which puts you at a disadvantage because firms will already know to cross you off the list because of your less than awesome grades, instead of maybe taking a chance on you. Either way, it's a high-risk, low-reward proposition.

Graduating in January will be the bigger problem in my opinion. You're put in a serious bind of either taking Practice Court Spring/Summer of your last year (which means you can't work 2L summer at a firm, if you're luck enough to get good enough grades to do so), or you have to take practice court during the fall/winter quarters, while you're studying for the bar exam. You do not want to do this. Practice court will be the most challenging period of your life. Studying for the bar exam will be the second most challenging period in your life. You do not want to combine the two. People do this every year with less than stellar results.

On top of the PC/Bar Exam problem, and entirely independent of it, is the problem of employment. By taking the bar in February, you'll need to convince a firm to hire you and let you start in March, not August, which is when most firms' entering classes begin. This will likely result in you sitting on your hands until August, if you're even lucky enough to get a firm offer out of Baylor in the first place, which is an entirely different conversation. As an alternative, you're sitting on your hands from January until August while taking the bar exam during the summer.

Unsolicited advice: most people on this board want biglaw. Do not go to Baylor (under any circumstances) if your goal is to get biglaw. There are a few people who get it each year. You (statistically) won't be one of them. Don't take that chance unless it's literally free and you have no problems taking a non-biglaw job after graduation.

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kalvano
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby kalvano » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:17 pm

Phoebe3216 wrote:Kalvano,

With that low of an undergrad GPA I don't think I'm super competitive for bigger and better schools in terms of scholarship $. I have significant undergrad debt already and no parental help so it really comes down to what I can afford



It's not going to hold you back enough that you should be considering Baylor. You'd probably get $30K a year or so at SMU, which would give you a far, far better chance at F&J. It would probably even give you a decent shot at much, much higher ranked schools. It's all well and good to say "I'm going to Baylor because it's cheap" but, if you don't get a job from it, what's the point of going cheaper?

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kalvano
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby kalvano » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:25 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Graduating in January will be the bigger problem in my opinion. You're put in a serious bind of either taking Practice Court Spring/Summer of your last year (which means you can't work 2L summer at a firm, if you're luck enough to get good enough grades to do so), or you have to take practice court during the fall/winter quarters, while you're studying for the bar exam.



Wait. Baylor would actually tell someone with a paying 2L summer job that will likely lead to employment "oh no, you can't do that, you have to do our stupid practice court even though you want to purely transactional work"?

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:01 pm

kalvano wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:Graduating in January will be the bigger problem in my opinion. You're put in a serious bind of either taking Practice Court Spring/Summer of your last year (which means you can't work 2L summer at a firm, if you're luck enough to get good enough grades to do so), or you have to take practice court during the fall/winter quarters, while you're studying for the bar exam.



Wait. Baylor would actually tell someone with a paying 2L summer job that will likely lead to employment "oh no, you can't do that, you have to do our stupid practice court even though you want to purely transactional work"?

Indirectly, yes.

1) Baylor requires every person to complete Practice Court, a two-consecutive-quarter program. Quarter 1 is PC 1/2. Quarter 2 is PC3.
2) You must take PC1/2 and then PC3 in that order.
3) You cannot take a semester off between PC 1/2 and PC 3.
4) PC 1/2 is only offered in the Fall and Spring quarters. PC 3 is only offered in the Winter and Summer quarters.
5) You can only take PC after successful completion of 5 quarters. That means the earliest a summer starter can take PC is the spring quarter (or the last quarter) of their "2L year."

Combining all of these rules, you're fucked because it leaves two choices:
A) start PC 1/2 in the Spring (after which you're required to take PC3 in the Summer, thus missing out on your only opportunity to be a summer associate).
B) start PC 1/2 in the fall quarter, after your summer associate position (after which, you're required to take PC 3 during the Winter Quarter, your last quarter in law school before you graduate, and a quarter which stretched from November to January, during which, you're presumably studying for the bar, unless you're going to ride the pine for a few months and take the July bar examination).

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kalvano
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby kalvano » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:04 pm

That's the dumbest fucking thing I've heard in a long time. And I've been to exam review sessions with law students recently.

Phoebe3216
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby Phoebe3216 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:34 pm

Thank you for the advice and candid reality check. I know my chances of big law are slim to none which is why the idea of taking on so much more in loans terrifies me.

ttb
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby ttb » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:45 pm

Where do most law students stay??

libelintel23
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby libelintel23 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:34 pm

That would be nice to know
Last edited by libelintel23 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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nickb285
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:47 pm

Never go to a law school you wouldn't graduate from. Transferring out is nice, but you'll have to be one of the top handful of people in your class to do it and there's no guarantee that you would be. Where else did you apply?

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patrickd139
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Re: Baylor Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:16 pm

nickb285 wrote:Never go to a law school you wouldn't graduate from.

This is extremely credited advice. To add to that, I wouldn't suggest going to any law school where you wouldn't be happy graduating at the median. People will tell you all sorts of anecdotal success stories, but the hard truth is that students who are admitted to one school are statistically close enough that anything could and will happen. People with mediocre numbers will end up at the bottom of the class, people who just barely got in will end up summa cum laude.

To libelintel23: Your GPA is cause for some serious concern, but that LSAT is ridiculously good. I'm no expert on advice with T14 schools, but you might check with people who know about Northwestern, etc. and see if there's a chance that GPA can be overcome. I'd also be shocked if you couldn't get some money from SMU, despite the GPA. But again, I disclaim knowledge about their current numbers and acceptance practices. It may be that Baylor is the best you can do, but I'd be surprised if that were the case.

Where do you want to practice, and what type of setting do you want to practice (i.e. law firm, prosecutor, government)?




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