SMU 1L, Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Grond
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby Grond » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:06 pm

fallguy wrote:
Horns4LYFE wrote:
SMU has a MAJOR lock on Dallas, and for the most part, Fort Worth.




Does anyone know more about SMU's placement in Fort Worth, or even the legal market in Fort Worth? I live there now, and I really like it. When people say that SMU dominates Dallas, I newer knew if that meant they dominate the whole Metroplex. You know, because Fort Worth has this whole "Dallas ain't the boss of me!" thing going on.

Any insight would be appreciated.

My understanding is that Tarrant County firms have lower pay scales than the Dallas ones, so that's something to consider.

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FunkyJD
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby FunkyJD » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:10 am

Horns4LYFE wrote:However, many will be surprised to know that SMU does have a decent name in Houston as well. Sure Houston has three law schools of its own (with U of H and STCL at the top), but the SMU name does travel to Houston. Speaking from experience, I was recently offered a position with one of the prosecutor's offices for this summer (not going to say whether it was County Attorney, District Attorney, or US Attorney, but it was definitely one of them). I had to turn it down because of previous internship commitments, however, the group I was with included a few U of H students, one or two STCL students, some Ivy and some Random top 50 schools.

Having spoken with various Houston area attorneys (some judges, some mediators, some partners at large firms, some solo practitioners) the consensus is that Houston has an enormous legal market that SMU students typically shy away from. It is true that most SMU students are going to try to find a job in the metroplex. However, there is ample opportunity to venture into the Houston legal community as well.


This is very good information to have, as I have also applied to UH & SMU. Thanks very much for your insight.

Any idea how successful SMU grads are in obtaining legal counsel gigs with corporations in Houston ... particularly energy firms?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:57 am

FunkyJD wrote:
Horns4LYFE wrote:However, many will be surprised to know that SMU does have a decent name in Houston as well. Sure Houston has three law schools of its own (with U of H and STCL at the top), but the SMU name does travel to Houston. Speaking from experience, I was recently offered a position with one of the prosecutor's offices for this summer (not going to say whether it was County Attorney, District Attorney, or US Attorney, but it was definitely one of them). I had to turn it down because of previous internship commitments, however, the group I was with included a few U of H students, one or two STCL students, some Ivy and some Random top 50 schools.

Having spoken with various Houston area attorneys (some judges, some mediators, some partners at large firms, some solo practitioners) the consensus is that Houston has an enormous legal market that SMU students typically shy away from. It is true that most SMU students are going to try to find a job in the metroplex. However, there is ample opportunity to venture into the Houston legal community as well.


This is very good information to have, as I have also applied to UH & SMU. Thanks very much for your insight.

Any idea how successful SMU grads are in obtaining legal counsel gigs with corporations in Houston ... particularly energy firms?


From my understanding most in-house corporate counsel jobs are going to require some experience, and the bigger the corporation, the more required. For example, the general counsel at AT&T is an SMU law alum and he has spoken at several events. He mentioned that AT&T won't hire anyone straight out of law school because they simply don't have time to train them. They require 5-7 years experience. Smaller companies may require less, but in-house jobs straight out of school are not going to be easy to find, regardless of the industry.

iahurricane
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby iahurricane » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:38 am

Who would you say is the hottest 1L at SMU?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:26 am

iahurricane wrote:Who would you say is the hottest 1L at SMU?


Other than betasteve?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:53 am

betasteve wrote:
nontradintexas wrote:
iahurricane wrote:Who would you say is the hottest 1L at SMU?


Other than betasteve?

I sense iahurricane is a classmate of ours.


I agree - and it sounds as if he/she would like a compliment. Therefore:

I think iahurricane is the hottest 1L at SMU.

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maxpayne
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby maxpayne » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:43 am

Do any of the SMU 1L's on TLS have a sense of when acceptances should start pouring out at SMU? According to LSN, no one has been admitted to date. Is anyone on here under review on their status checker? Thanks!

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maxpayne
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby maxpayne » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:53 am

I have another quick question for you. How generous is SMU in the realm of sholarships? With a 164/4.0, in your opinion would I be eligible for any type of financial aid?

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maxpayne
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby maxpayne » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:24 pm

Thanks so much for your insight. Good luck this semester!

Horns4LYFE
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby Horns4LYFE » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:37 pm

betasteve wrote:
ec2xs wrote:Does SMU have any pull in Austin or San Antonio?

Horns may have a different view, but I think Austin would be very difficult without top grades. 3 reasons: 1) UT is there, 2) There aren't that many jobs there, and 3) People that go there generally really, really want to stay there - so it's got incredible magnetism.

Not really sure about San Antonio. I don't believe there are that many "biglaw" firms there, and pretty sure if there are, they are satellite offices. Because of that, I think it may be a little easier to get into - but this is just conjecture.


Can't speak from experience here, Betasteve...but from what I've seen as an undergrad, the law firm I worked at in Austin, and from speaking to some 3L's from last year, Biglaw is leaving Austin slowly (but surely). That lines up pretty well with your logic on the dearth of Biglaw jobs in the area. Sure, V&E and many other Biglaw firms have offices there, but really, if you are planning on a Biglaw job, Austin probably won't be the best place for that to happen.

I have heard the same about San Antonio. When you look at the major metropolitan areas in Texas -- Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, the best shot at Biglaw is Houston or the DFW area.

That's not to say that there aren't sizeable mid-size firms in Austin (there are plenty) who do pay first-year associates handsomely (its not $160K but for the most part $100K+).

I believe Betasteve said it best -- connections can't hurt either. There gets to be a point where its not what you know, but who you know.

Horns4LYFE
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby Horns4LYFE » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:45 pm

UTL_plz wrote:Can you give a little more insight on the first year courses? Specifically, since Ks, CivPro, Property, and Torts are all separated in two parts and given each semester, would you say the classes get more in depth than similar classes offered elsewhere? Or perhaps you cover the same material that, say, UH covers only in twice the time at a slower pace?

Have professors addressed this at all? Have they mentioned whether the Spring Final will be cumulative of all the first year material?


It depends. Each law school in Texas approaches the mandatory ABA classes differently. For example, at SMU, Legal Research and Writing is a 3 hours for both the fall and spring semesters. At UT, it's a 1 hour class. At OU (obviously not a Texas school, but I have a friend there so I can add it to the discussion), I believe it's taken as pass/fail. At STCL, they have civil procedure only in the fall, and it's a 4 hour course. At SMU, we have it in the fall and spring for a total of 5 hours.

It's not to say we do it more slowly. On the contrary, it allows us to go into more detail in certain classes. Sure it's not the pressure cooker scenario like my STCL example above (rumor has it their Civ Pro exams are closed-book, closed-notes...), but it's not "easier" by any means.

Each school has its own nuances

Horns4LYFE
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby Horns4LYFE » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:50 pm

FunkyJD wrote:
Horns4LYFE wrote:However, many will be surprised to know that SMU does have a decent name in Houston as well. Sure Houston has three law schools of its own (with U of H and STCL at the top), but the SMU name does travel to Houston. Speaking from experience, I was recently offered a position with one of the prosecutor's offices for this summer (not going to say whether it was County Attorney, District Attorney, or US Attorney, but it was definitely one of them). I had to turn it down because of previous internship commitments, however, the group I was with included a few U of H students, one or two STCL students, some Ivy and some Random top 50 schools.

Having spoken with various Houston area attorneys (some judges, some mediators, some partners at large firms, some solo practitioners) the consensus is that Houston has an enormous legal market that SMU students typically shy away from. It is true that most SMU students are going to try to find a job in the metroplex. However, there is ample opportunity to venture into the Houston legal community as well.


This is very good information to have, as I have also applied to UH & SMU. Thanks very much for your insight.

Any idea how successful SMU grads are in obtaining legal counsel gigs with corporations in Houston ... particularly energy firms?


Funny you should ask. My good friend's father is general counsel of a large energy corporation in Houston. He is a graduate of UH Law Center and spoke with me on multiple occasions about obtaining jobs in Houston. Typically, those jobs come from experience, as Nontrad has mentioned. But once again, if you know the right people, anything is possible.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:52 pm

Just to point out, $100K in Texas is pretty much like $160K in NYC.

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Bustang
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby Bustang » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:07 pm

kalvano wrote:Just to point out, $100K in Texas is pretty much like $260K in NYC.


Fixed. A 300,000 dollar house outside of Dallas (Garland etc) in the right neighborhood will be 3,000-4k sq ft.

iahurricane
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby iahurricane » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:59 pm

nontradintexas wrote:
betasteve wrote:
nontradintexas wrote:
iahurricane wrote:Who would you say is the hottest 1L at SMU?


Other than betasteve?

I sense iahurricane is a classmate of ours.


I agree - and it sounds as if he/she would like a compliment. Therefore:

I think iahurricane is the hottest 1L at SMU.


wow, u guys arent any fun

fallguy
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby fallguy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:23 pm

Thought I'd see if any SMU 1Ls are still around. Can anybody update on how SMU 1Ls have fared for summer work this year? And how about 2Ls? I saw a post from November that was pretty informative. Any information to add?

Thank you.

anonis
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby anonis » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:26 am

what's the asian population like at SMU - undergrad and law school? :D

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SpencerPratt
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby SpencerPratt » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:18 pm

If anyone is familiar with the PT program...

*Is it truly possible to graduate in 3 1/2 years or is it extremely difficult and not recommended?
*Are you able to take some afternoon classes after being settled into the program or are you really just taking classes 6-9 M-Th?
*How do PT students compare to FT students when looking for jobs after the first year?

Also, what constitutes "good standing" for scholarship purposes?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:03 pm

A few answers - sorry for the delay, we received our brief assignment for legal writing and that's a bit of a time hog.

SUMMER WORK:
- It's been quiet so far with biglaw jobs. I don't know anyone who has one yet, but I do know of multiple interviews. You're gonna have to be tip-top of the class for 1L summer, though. That's not anything new.
- Other jobs - I've heard lots of people talk about already having lined up judicial internships, small firm work, and DA/public defender work. There are plenty of things to do, you just aren't going to get paid for them.

According to most 2Ls and 3Ls I've talked to, the majority of people don't have their summer plans finalized until late March to mid-April.

I don't really have any info on 2Ls this year, other than a couple of people I know who have biglaw jobs lined up. Not sure what the prospects for that class are in general, though.

ASIAN POPULATION:
According to NALP, Asian population overall is about 16%. That seems about right. There are quite a few Asian international students studying for LLMs. There is an Asian Pacific American Law Students Association that is pretty active. I know they have fairly regular events, including dinner at the home of the APALSA faculty sponsor, who evidently has a wonderful art collection. There seems to be a strong sense of community among the Asian students.

Can't speak to how it is for undergrad.

PART-TIME:
- No idea about 3 1/2 years - I think it is possible, but have no specifics.
- From what I understand, once you get past the first year (maybe 2 years) then you can take whatever classes/times you want. I know FT students are welcome to take night classes once we finish first year, so I think the same applies for PT, I'm just not sure if you have to finish 1 year or 2, since you won't finish the 1L "core" curriculum the first calendar year.
- I don't think PT students see a significant difference in looking for jobs, but you can't do fall OCI until you finish your 2nd year.

Sorry I can't really help more on PT questions - maybe a PT student will show up here and shed some light. You could also try the Admissions office - they will likely be able to at least get you in touch with someone who could provide more detailed answers.

jms1987
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:03 pm

Since most of you are 1L's I'm not sure if you can answer this or not but I'll ask anyways- Roughly what class ranking do you have to be to secure BigLaw work?

fallguy
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby fallguy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:38 pm

nontradintexas wrote:A few answers - sorry for the delay, we received our brief assignment for legal writing and that's a bit of a time hog.

SUMMER WORK:
- It's been quiet so far with biglaw jobs. I don't know anyone who has one yet, but I do know of multiple interviews. You're gonna have to be tip-top of the class for 1L summer, though. That's not anything new.
- Other jobs - I've heard lots of people talk about already having lined up judicial internships, small firm work, and DA/public defender work. There are plenty of things to do, you just aren't going to get paid for them.

According to most 2Ls and 3Ls I've talked to, the majority of people don't have their summer plans finalized until late March to mid-April.

I don't really have any info on 2Ls this year, other than a couple of people I know who have biglaw jobs lined up. Not sure what the prospects for that class are in general, though.

ASIAN POPULATION:
According to NALP, Asian population overall is about 16%. That seems about right. There are quite a few Asian international students studying for LLMs. There is an Asian Pacific American Law Students Association that is pretty active. I know they have fairly regular events, including dinner at the home of the APALSA faculty sponsor, who evidently has a wonderful art collection. There seems to be a strong sense of community among the Asian students.

Can't speak to how it is for undergrad.

PART-TIME:
- No idea about 3 1/2 years - I think it is possible, but have no specifics.
- From what I understand, once you get past the first year (maybe 2 years) then you can take whatever classes/times you want. I know FT students are welcome to take night classes once we finish first year, so I think the same applies for PT, I'm just not sure if you have to finish 1 year or 2, since you won't finish the 1L "core" curriculum the first calendar year.
- I don't think PT students see a significant difference in looking for jobs, but you can't do fall OCI until you finish your 2nd year.

Sorry I can't really help more on PT questions - maybe a PT student will show up here and shed some light. You could also try the Admissions office - they will likely be able to at least get you in touch with someone who could provide more detailed answers.


Thanks for the response.

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:48 pm

jms1987 wrote:Since most of you are 1L's I'm not sure if you can answer this or not but I'll ask anyways- Roughly what class ranking do you have to be to secure BigLaw work?


Rough numbers from the Career Services office - if I recall correctly, for the class of 2008, about top 40%. For the class of 2009, closer to top 25%. Betasteve can correct me if I misheard those numbers.

Thanks, economy.

jms1987
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:55 pm

nontradintexas wrote:
jms1987 wrote:Since most of you are 1L's I'm not sure if you can answer this or not but I'll ask anyways- Roughly what class ranking do you have to be to secure BigLaw work?


Rough numbers from the Career Services office - if I recall correctly, for the class of 2008, about top 40%. For the class of 2009, closer to top 25%. Betasteve can correct me if I misheard those numbers.

Thanks, economy.


Thanks, thats actualy better than I expected ITE. Hopefully in the next 2 years when I'm in school it'll be better.

rtx10
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby rtx10 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:58 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. Very informative and helpful! :)

I did have a quick question about computers. I was wondering if it was alright to use a Mac? I know that some schools have restrictions due to the incompatibility of programs with Macs. Thank you!

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burtonrideclub
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby burtonrideclub » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:28 am

Can SMU place big law in Houston? I'm from Houston but I feel like I'd rather go to SMU for law school. Places a little better in biglaw, in a nicer part of it's home city, has a nicer campus, and I feel like it would be better to be in a city where I would have less distractions (tons of friends and family in Houston) However, after a few years in Dallas I feel like I'd like to go back to Houston for work.

Is it self-selection that places smu kids purely in Dallas and U of H kids in Houston?




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