Is SMU law worth it?

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travlaw
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Is SMU law worth it?

Postby travlaw » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:30 pm

What are the job prospects like for someone who graduates from SMU Dedman law?

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coolkatz321
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby coolkatz321 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:33 pm

Excellent if you want to work in Dallas or Texas in general...don't expect the degree to carry very far.

travlaw
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby travlaw » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:35 pm

what do you mean by carry very far?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:36 pm

travlaw wrote:what do you mean by carry very far?


You're not exactly going to do great with an SMU degree in NYC, Chicago, or Washington DC.

BoobieMiles
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby BoobieMiles » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:47 pm

That being said, with Dallas being a rather large legal market and SMU being the most high regarded law school in the area and one of only 3 tier 1's(baylor?) in the whole state the job prospects are likely pretty good. I had a cousin go to SMU for UG and I visited him, the campus is gorgeous and so is the area. The only problem with Dallas is the Cowboys which are the worst thing to ever happen to football/life in general

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t-bone
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby t-bone » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:50 pm

Is SMU more prestigious than UT in Dallas? Or does the "area" just mean the Dallas area?

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coolkatz321
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby coolkatz321 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:52 pm

t-bone wrote:Is SMU more prestigious than UT in Dallas? Or does the "area" just mean the Dallas area?


No, not in a million years. UT owns the state, and definitely are the preference of any Texas school regardless of what city. However, SMU is very, very highly regarded in Dallas and a great 2nd option.

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chadwick218
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:52 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:Excellent if you want to work in Dallas or Texas in general...don't expect the degree to carry very far.


SMU places extremely well in Dallas, but struggles to place outside of Texas and to some extent Houston when compared to peers. I would be very reluctant to pay sticker at SMU. However, the campus and coeds are very nice!

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chadwick218
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:53 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
t-bone wrote:Is SMU more prestigious than UT in Dallas? Or does the "area" just mean the Dallas area?


No, not in a million years. UT owns the state, and definitely are the preference of any Texas school regardless of what city. However, SMU is very, very highly regarded in Dallas and a great 2nd option.


+1,000,000 ... I agree, when considering Texas schools, SMU is your second best choice in Dallas. The fact that they place so many more students in Dallas has a lot more to do with location and self-selection than prestige.

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Bustang
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Bustang » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:10 am

UT dominates, and SMU/U of H place well in their respective cities.

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Neverknowsbest
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Neverknowsbest » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:19 am

Bustang wrote:UT dominates, and SMU/U of H place well in their respective cities.


+1

travlaw
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby travlaw » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:56 am

if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?

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General Tso
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby General Tso » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:00 am

travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


of course not...

The thing about TLS is that it's very biglaw-oriented. So when you read someone warning about the dangers of graduating at median from a non-T14, they are saying you are screwed b/c you have no chance to work at a biglaw firm. That and you will probably have to find your own job as your school's career services won't be able to help you much. You'd probably get on at a small firm at around 60k to start, but in the long run you'd be making good money.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:02 am

swheat wrote:
travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


of course not...

The thing about TLS is that it's very biglaw-oriented. So when you read someone warning about the dangers of graduating at median from a non-T14, they are saying you are screwed b/c you have no chance to work at a biglaw firm. That and you will probably have to find your own job as your school's career services won't be able to help you much. You'd probably get on at a small firm at around 60k to start, but in the long run you'd be making good money.


TITCR, although it might be more like $45k-$50k.

minnesconsin
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby minnesconsin » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:02 am

Helmholtz wrote:
swheat wrote:
travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


of course not...

The thing about TLS is that it's very biglaw-oriented. So when you read someone warning about the dangers of graduating at median from a non-T14, they are saying you are screwed b/c you have no chance to work at a biglaw firm. That and you will probably have to find your own job as your school's career services won't be able to help you much. You'd probably get on at a small firm at around 60k to start, but in the long run you'd be making good money.


TITCR, although it might be more like $45k-$50k.


The good thing is the COL in Texas is relatively low.

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Bustang
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Bustang » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:11 pm

travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


Smu grads place very well considering the schools ranking. If you're above the median, I don't think you have a lot to worry about. SMU/U of H aren't like Baylor/Texas Tech.

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chadwick218
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby chadwick218 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:19 pm

Bustang wrote:
travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


Smu grads place very well considering the schools ranking. If you're above the median, I don't think you have a lot to worry about. SMU/U of H aren't like Baylor/Texas Tech.


this is probably more like top 25% ... based discussions with former students, a somewhat surprising number of people do come out making close to $150,000 given that the school just barely cracks the T-50, but many have also struggled to find jobs.

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Hook 'Em
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Hook 'Em » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:40 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
t-bone wrote:Is SMU more prestigious than UT in Dallas? Or does the "area" just mean the Dallas area?


No, not in a million years. UT owns the state, and definitely are the preference of any Texas school regardless of what city. However, SMU is very, very highly regarded in Dallas and a great 2nd option.


Credited. If you want to work in Dallas, SMU is a great choice. I almost attended SMU this fall, but didn't want to pay sticker (accepted another school's scholarship offer).

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chadwick218
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby chadwick218 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:42 pm

betasteve wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:
Bustang wrote:
travlaw wrote:if someone were to graduate from SMU not in the top 10%, say somewhere in the middle, would it be difficult to get a job as a lawyer?


Smu grads place very well considering the schools ranking. If you're above the median, I don't think you have a lot to worry about. SMU/U of H aren't like Baylor/Texas Tech.


this is probably more like top 25% ... based discussions with former students, a somewhat surprising number of people do come out making close to $150,000 given that the school just barely cracks the T-50, but many have also struggled to find jobs.

As someone attending SMU this fall, this echos what I've heard so far. A UT grad is likely going to be favored over you/me, and almost certainly if they ranked similarly. However, from what I hear, top 10%/Law Review will land you a Biglaw in Texas gig at the higher Vault ranked firms. Top 25% makes ti more of a struggle/competition, and then I hear it is hit and miss past that. Not that you won't find a job, but that you won't be making market. Given the placement ability, SMU should really be ranked in the 30's, but I think their part time program hurt them a little, as does peer review I think, given how insular they are in Dallas.


Agreed. On another note, I think that SMU will be an interesting school to watch in years to come. For SMU to really turn the corner though, I think that they have to get beyond only placing well in Dallas. The PT program is also relatively very new so I believe that the USNWR lackluster ranking will be reversed in years to come.

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mcflooter06
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby mcflooter06 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:42 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
t-bone wrote:Is SMU more prestigious than UT in Dallas? Or does the "area" just mean the Dallas area?


No, not in a million years. UT owns the state, and definitely are the preference of any Texas school regardless of what city. However, SMU is very, very highly regarded in Dallas and a great 2nd option.



Yes, in a million years. I live in Dallas, and it is much easier to get a job in Dallas if you went to SMU. My boyfriend graduated SMU law, and I know a lot of his classmates took a great majority of the spots in the top firms in the area. If you went to UT, you can get a job (and a great one at that), but you have to make a really good effort to work in Dallas during the summer. Though, UT is the better law school, obvisously. If you want to work in Dallas you just have to work at it. I'd be willing to do it, definitely, its just that SMU has a HUGE alumni netowrk, and trust me, they are pretty friendly to their alums.

Idnk
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Idnk » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:05 pm

Yes.

I graduated from SMU law school having moved a bit south from New York. Graduated from SMU in 1982. Listen to the story.

At present time, there are now more Fortune 500 companies with headquarters based in Texas than any other state. When I started there was Texas Instruments and Seven Eleven and Frito-Lay. It used to be a bit thin to say the least. It took a while, but quite frankly a degree from SMU ot U of Texas is worth its weight in gold.

There were these dudes in Texas that hired me as a student. I prepared many a brief. And many a case was overturned. And then I moved to a company. And then that company went bankrupt - but I did not know that. But in the middle of a hearing (when in Austin - not Dallas), I learned I no longer had a job.

And then I learned that no one has a job. You are what you are.

So, a few months later I meet up with a very renowned Texas based company. Worked in Dallas 2 years. I was then transferred to London, England - and I have lived in London, England since 1988.

I have literally travelled all over the world -and going tp SMU has been one of the most eventful, painful (hey it is lawe school afterall) events in my life.

Rick

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General Tso
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby General Tso » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:59 pm

Idnk wrote:Yes.

I graduated from SMU law school having moved a bit south from New York. Graduated from SMU in 1982. Listen to the story.

At present time, there are now more Fortune 500 companies with headquarters based in Texas than any other state. When I started there was Texas Instruments and Seven Eleven and Frito-Lay. It used to be a bit thin to say the least. It took a while, but quite frankly a degree from SMU ot U of Texas is worth its weight in gold.

There were these dudes in Texas that hired me as a student. I prepared many a brief. And many a case was overturned. And then I moved to a company. And then that company went bankrupt - but I did not know that. But in the middle of a hearing (when in Austin - not Dallas), I learned I no longer had a job.

And then I learned that no one has a job. You are what you are.

So, a few months later I meet up with a very renowned Texas based company. Worked in Dallas 2 years. I was then transferred to London, England - and I have lived in London, England since 1988.

I have literally travelled all over the world -and going tp SMU has been one of the most eventful, painful (hey it is lawe school afterall) events in my life.

Rick


While your life experiences and career sound great, I don't think any of us should consider the results of people who graduated 20+ years ago. The job market, both legal and nonlegal, is worlds away from that time period.

That said, I think SMU is a good school if the price is right. And TX economy is stronger than most.

Center2450
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby Center2450 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:16 pm

Currently an SMU undergrad, I've met with a few Dallas big law partners and spoken with them about opportunities in Dallas. They've talked to me about hiring and said that they will almost always interview top third or at least 25% at SMU (and UT) and only top 10% from Vandy and other more "national schools". Not necessarily because they think its a better school, but because of hiring reasons- cost of recruiting, yield, etc. One of them was a Vandy grad who said, if you want to stay in Dallas, just go to SMU.
Last edited by Center2450 on Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:21 pm

If I attended SMU, are the chances of finding work in California virtually non-existent, or how would it rank?

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kalvano
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Re: Is SMU law worth it?

Postby kalvano » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:23 pm

If you want to work in California, go to school there.




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