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.
nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:56 am

burtonrideclub wrote: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?


According to career services, the reason SMU traditionally hasn't placed well in Houston is due to lack of interest by students in going to Houston. I think you'd have a good chance in Houston, provided you meet the normal biglaw requirements for grades, etc.

Also, I was speaking to a partner at a litigation firm here in Dallas about prospects in Austin, and he mentioned that firms there are willing to look at SMU grads just for variety (from UT grads). If your grades are good enough, I would think the same would be true in Houston, even though it's a larger legal market than Austin.

tinyone
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby tinyone » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:43 pm

For scholarships that require you remain in the top 1/3 of your class, do you know what that translates to roughly GPA-wise?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:05 pm

tinyone wrote:For scholarships that require you remain in the top 1/3 of your class, do you know what that translates to roughly GPA-wise?


From the NALP directory:

MINIMUM GRADE REQUIRED TO ATTAIN (Based on May 2008 graduation class)
Top 10%: 3.561
Top 25%: 3.368
Top 33%: 3.314
Top 50%: 3.165

Top 1/3 for the current 1L class (fall semester only, obviously) is 3.225, I think. Remember that grades inflate in your 2L and 3L years.

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UTL_plz
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby UTL_plz » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:27 pm

My scholarship offer states that in order to renew each year i need to remain in good academic standing. I cannot find anywhere on their website a definition of good standing. Does anyone know the answer to this?

A couple other questions, copied from the SMU 2010 thread:

What are your opinions on their rec center or gymnasium?

I am also very interested in yoga studios. Do you have any knowledge or ideas about the quality and quantity of yoga studios?

I appreciate any feedback.

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm

UTL_plz wrote:My scholarship offer states that in order to renew each year i need to remain in good academic standing. I cannot find anywhere on their website a definition of good standing. Does anyone know the answer to this?

A couple other questions, copied from the SMU 2010 thread:

What are your opinions on their rec center or gymnasium?

I am also very interested in yoga studios. Do you have any knowledge or ideas about the quality and quantity of yoga studios?

I appreciate any feedback.


Pretty sure the "good standing" requirement just means no academic dishonesty, etc. It doesn't mean you have to keep a certain GPA (unless there's a minimum GPA that will get you academically dismissed).

As for the other questions - no clue. I hear the gym is really nice. I don't venture over to the undergrad campus, so I really don't know first-hand.

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bluebonnet21
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby bluebonnet21 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:55 am

UTL_plz wrote:My scholarship offer states that in order to renew each year i need to remain in good academic standing. I cannot find anywhere on their website a definition of good standing. Does anyone know the answer to this?

A couple other questions, copied from the SMU 2010 thread:

What are your opinions on their rec center or gymnasium?

I am also very interested in yoga studios. Do you have any knowledge or ideas about the quality and quantity of yoga studios?

I appreciate any feedback.


I'm not a SMU law student, but I can tell you that Sunstone Yoga Studio is in that area. Lots of class types and times, plus the ability to go to multiple different studio locations. If you are looking for a really tough workout, check out the 3+ hour long class offered on Fridays in Plano. http://www.sunstoneyoga.com/

wannabealonghorn
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby wannabealonghorn » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:58 pm

UTL_plz wrote:My scholarship offer states that in order to renew each year i need to remain in good academic standing. I cannot find anywhere on their website a definition of good standing. Does anyone know the answer to this?

A couple other questions, copied from the SMU 2010 thread:

What are your opinions on their rec center or gymnasium?

I am also very interested in yoga studios. Do you have any knowledge or ideas about the quality and quantity of yoga studios?

I appreciate any feedback.


"good academic standing" I believe is 2.0 and above for SMU.

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UTL_plz
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby UTL_plz » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:44 pm

Questions regarding parking:

Is there a fee to get a parking pass in the law parking lot, or is it included in tuition?

Does it ever become full? If so, what other parking options are available?

Random Questions:

Where is your favorite place to study? Does this change during exam period?

Favorite 1L professors?

Laptop of Choice?

ISP of Choice?

Sports Bar of Choice?

Watering Hole of Choice?

One thing you wish you knew/did during Fall 1L?






Thanks for any responses!

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:17 am

UTL_plz wrote:Questions regarding parking:

Is there a fee to get a parking pass in the law parking lot, or is it included in tuition?

Does it ever become full? If so, what other parking options are available?

Random Questions:

Where is your favorite place to study? Does this change during exam period?

Favorite 1L professors?

Laptop of Choice?

ISP of Choice?

Sports Bar of Choice?

Watering Hole of Choice?

One thing you wish you knew/did during Fall 1L?






Thanks for any responses!


The parking is included in your tuition, and we have a dedicated garage directly across the street from the law school. I have never seen it full, and I don't think I've heard anyone say anything about not being able to find a space. It can take a little time to find a space during peak times, though.

I prefer to study at home in my apartment, but that is because it is very quiet there and I can focus. During exams, though, I tend to meet with a study group in the library and we spend a lot of time in the small meeting rooms. The basement of the library, while a little creepy, is also a very quiet, out-of-the-way place to study.

My favorite professors so far are Ryan (Torts), Forrester (Property), and sometimes Epstein (Contracts). This is Ryan's first year and she actually seems to care about whether we are learning. Forrester is very maternal and is very willing to meet with students one-on-one to make sure you understand things. Epstein - it's a long story that I won't get into because he's leaving after this semester.

Lenovo T500. Very dependable, you pay a little more but you get what you pay for.

ISP - Time Warner, because it is the cheapest. But I only use the internet at my apartment for checking email and web browsing, nothing too bandwidth-intense. I have watched hulu and that worked fine.

Not a bar kind of guy, so no comments there.

One thing I wish I knew? How helpful it is to have canned answers for exams.

Hope that helps - feel free to post any other questions. Can't promise to get to them quickly - it is outlining season, after all...

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:39 pm

Is there a fee to get a parking pass in the law parking lot, or is it included in tuition?
-- Our garage is included with tuition. It's awesome.

Does it ever become full? If so, what other parking options are available?
-- It got full a couple of times during my 1L year (last year), usually right after lunch. Never been full this year.

Random Questions:

Where is your favorite place to study? Does this change during exam period?
-- Library, I actually like studying at the tables in the open areas; for some reason if there are people all around me I am less likely to check facebook or play solitaire.

Favorite 1L professors?
-- Epstein for sure, too bad he is leaving us.

Laptop of Choice?
-- Sony for sure. Macs are cool, but don't act like an Applehead.

ISP of Choice?
--Uverse baby

Sports Bar of Choice?
--Was Mickeys on Greenville until it burned down a month ago (*tear). Just explore uptown, knox/henderson, and upper greenville; you won't be disappointed.

Watering Hole of Choice?
--Capital pub, which is also my front-runner for the above question.

One thing you wish you knew/did during Fall 1L?
--Research small and midsize firms. Don't just send out resumes to the huge firms on NALP. You won't know your grades when you send out your initial letters. Hope for the best, but be ready for the worst (remember, 90% of lawstudents expect to be in the top 10%). I did well, but didn't get biglaw; I ended up landing a good gig late in the game. Had I focused on the midsize and small firms early on, I may have landed something earlier and saved myself some stress.

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burtonrideclub
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby burtonrideclub » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:53 pm

Do you know any 1l's who got paid summer internships? Were any of these in NALP 250 firms?

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UTL_plz
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby UTL_plz » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:17 pm

That is a shame to hear about Epstein. Why is he leaving?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:22 pm

UTL_plz wrote:That is a shame to hear about Epstein. Why is he leaving?


He's moving to Virginia to live closer to his children. He's also taking a job at University of Richmond, presumably teaching contracts in a chicken suit.

And no, 0Ls, you aren't going to get that one. Sadly, his departure also means you never will.

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maxpayne
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby maxpayne » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:35 pm

On the COA breakdown provided by SMU on their website, they allocate $14,000 for living expenses. Is this amount sufficient to pay for apartments near campus, food, and all other spending money? I plan on having a roommate; however, this amount seems a bit tight.

SMU does budget a $2600 miscellaneous expense so maybe this could offset the cost?

cafloyd12
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby cafloyd12 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:44 pm

maxpayne wrote:On the COA breakdown provided by SMU on their website, they allocate $14,000 for living expenses. Is this amount sufficient to pay for apartments near campus, food, and all other spending money? I plan on having a roommate; however, this amount seems a bit tight.

SMU does budget a $2600 miscellaneous expense so maybe this could offset the cost?


I've noticed this as well. I'm having a hell of a time trying to figure out how I'm going to stretch that amount of money. I only have a very modest car note and it doesn't look like it's going to work without selling my car. Unless I end up getting a super cheap efficiency or something.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:46 pm

Don't sell your car if you're moving to Dallas.

cafloyd12
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby cafloyd12 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:48 pm

kalvano wrote:Don't sell your car if you're moving to Dallas.


No definitely not. I'll get a job before I'll do that.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:51 pm

I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.

cafloyd12
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby cafloyd12 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:59 pm

kalvano wrote:I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.


Yeah, the Village has affordable stuff. There's always the option of getting two or three bedrooms, rooming, and splitting utilities and such as well.

One thing I have noticed...the cheapest meal plan at SMU is like $2300/semester. That's pretty steep for food. I think I figured that came out to seventeen dollars a day. There's no way I'm going to take $4600 out of my $14,000 yearly for food. I can eat pretty good for way less than $17/day.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:00 am

cafloyd12 wrote:
kalvano wrote:I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.


Yeah, the Village has affordable stuff. There's always the option of getting two or three bedrooms, rooming, and splitting utilities and such as well.

One thing I have noticed...the cheapest meal plan at SMU is like $2300/semester. That's pretty steep for food. I think I figured that came out to seventeen dollars a day. There's no way I'm going to take $4600 out of my $14,000 yearly for food. I can eat pretty good for way less than $17/day.



Jesus Christ, do they have it catered from Al Biernat's?

There are tons of nice places to eat for less than that around.

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vanwinkle
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:02 am

kalvano wrote:I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.

I lived in the Village before I moved to VA. $550 sounds a little too cheap to me, I think it was about $650-700 for 1BR's there when I left. Then again, I wanted my own W/D, maybe they have cheaper without that...

cafloyd12
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby cafloyd12 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:04 am

kalvano wrote:
cafloyd12 wrote:
kalvano wrote:I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.


Yeah, the Village has affordable stuff. There's always the option of getting two or three bedrooms, rooming, and splitting utilities and such as well.

One thing I have noticed...the cheapest meal plan at SMU is like $2300/semester. That's pretty steep for food. I think I figured that came out to seventeen dollars a day. There's no way I'm going to take $4600 out of my $14,000 yearly for food. I can eat pretty good for way less than $17/day.



Jesus Christ, do they have it catered from Al Biernat's?

There are tons of nice places to eat for less than that around.


Hahaha. I know. It's ridiculous. They have the option of just getting flex dollars and stuff like that. The cheapest plan where you get three squares/day though is $2300/semester. It's crazy. Here's the link if you wanna check out what they offer:

http://smu.edu/Financial_Aid/Costs/2010 ... 0Plans.pdf

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:07 am

vanwinkle wrote:
kalvano wrote:I think you can find a 1-bedroom in the Village for $550, $600, figure about $250-$300 a month in bills - you can stretch it. Won't be drinking Johnny Walker Blue, but you'll be OK.

I lived in the Village before I moved to VA. $550 sounds a little too cheap to me, I think it was about $650-700 for 1BR's there when I left. Then again, I wanted my own W/D, maybe they have cheaper without that...



I think it depends on what part of The Village you live in. I might be off by $50 or so, but I'm pretty sure my father-in-law rents his apartment for around $550. He has a W/D, but it's a small place.

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:27 am

maxpayne wrote:On the COA breakdown provided by SMU on their website, they allocate $14,000 for living expenses. Is this amount sufficient to pay for apartments near campus, food, and all other spending money? I plan on having a roommate; however, this amount seems a bit tight.

SMU does budget a $2600 miscellaneous expense so maybe this could offset the cost?


There is much complaining among students about the COA. Just don't complain about it to the financial aid director, it's a waste of your time.

I'm married with two kids, so I'd definitely like to see it raised - but that's not going to happen. You make a budget, you stick to it, and you live like you're poor. Because you are.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L, Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:38 am

burtonrideclub wrote:Do you know any 1l's who got paid summer internships? Were any of these in NALP 250 firms?


I know about 4 or 5 people from my class that got paid summer gigs after their 1L year; I'm sure there are at least a few more I don't know of. I only know one that got offered and worked biglaw (again, there could be more). Most students from my class did volunteer clerkships, DA's office, and/or the Oxford program.




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