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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Iconoclast
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:00 pm

TheCaptain wrote:So from what I'm gathering here, there really isn't much of a downside to doing PT. What about competing for jobs against FT students? Is it more difficult to do Law Review or gain other honors as a PT student? Are you ranked against only other PT students, or against everyone?


Well, the part time program is really designed for people who work and therefore cannot do the traditional daytime full time law school thing. So the assumed downside is that you're working 40 hours a week in addition to going to school at night. In reality, it seems like the class is pretty evenly split between people who don't work, work part time, and work full time. Obviously, those with lighter commitments have an advantage.

But taking the whole work thing out of it...

The downsides are:
1. It takes 4 years instead of 3, and therefore costs more (both in actual dollars and in opportunity cost).
2. You are in class during a lot of the networking events that take place in the evening.
3. Employers will probably ask why you went part time. If you have a good answer, then I don't think it will hurt, but if your answer is "it seemed waaay easier than going full time" you're probably in trouble :)

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Iconoclast
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:02 pm

TheCaptain wrote:So from what I'm gathering here, there really isn't much of a downside to doing PT. What about competing for jobs against FT students? Is it more difficult to do Law Review or gain other honors as a PT student? Are you ranked against only other PT students, or against everyone?


PT students are ranked with the full time class that starts the year after. (Not ranked until the completion of 2E, at which point they are lumped in with that year's 1Ls.)

Law review and other honors opportunities are the same.

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squ1rtle
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby squ1rtle » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:16 pm

TheCaptain wrote:So from what I'm gathering here, there really isn't much of a downside to doing PT. What about competing for jobs against FT students? Is it more difficult to do Law Review or gain other honors as a PT student? Are you ranked against only other PT students, or against everyone?


PROS and CONS OF GOING PART TIME

CON: There is a (sleight?) negative stigma attached to going to school part-time. If you look at the NALP directory, certain employers do not hire a part-time candidate for 1L SA positions. Moreover, certain full-time students (the snobby types) may look down upon you.

CON: The burger-guy only comes during the day. =(

CON: You will be ineligible for certain scholarship opportunities.

CON: SMU awards much larger scholarships to full-time students than part-time students.

PRO: If you weren't eligible for scholarships in the full-time program, you may be eligible in the part-time program.

PRO: If you work, you'll have more $$$ to supplement your income

CON: If you work, you'll be competing against classmates you aren't (approx. 1/3 of the class doesn't work)

PRO: Finding a parking spot is a lot easier past 3pm.

CON: Very difficult to participate in clubs/organizations since the majority meet during the day.

PRO: Not being able to participate in clubs/organizations since its a waste of time anyways!

CON: You sometimes get a feeling of "disconnect" from the rest of the student body. The PT section, as a whole, is a lot more insular than the day sections. For example, the PT section sometimes schedule their own get-togethers after class while the rest of the school is at bar-review.

PRO: I would say the PT section is overwhelmingly more diverse than the day section.

PRO: You do not have to take Con Law your first year!

CON: You have to take Con Law your second year!

PRO: The PT section is generally smaller than the FT section

CON: Because the PT section is smaller, the class curve will be tighter.

CON: Did I mention, the burger guy only comes during the day. =(

This is all the factors I could really think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps!

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Iconoclast
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:31 pm

squ1rtle's list is far better than mine. Once again, I'm at the bottom of the curve! :lol:

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squ1rtle
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby squ1rtle » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:37 pm

Here are some more factors to chew on!

PRO: Only having to take three finals in two weeks instead of five thereby giving you more time to study/outline between finals. So if you like to miss class and procrastinate on your studies this may be a PRO to you. But if you are a hardcore gunner this may be a CON (see below).

CON: I would argue, that having more time to study between finals would increase the overall average score for any final, while having little affect on the top performers. Having three finals as opposed to five, therefore, would make the curve much tighter as their would be less variance between the top scorer and the median scorer making it harder for any hardcore gunner to standout!

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Thirteen
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Thirteen » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:16 pm

squ1rtle wrote:Here are some more factors to chew on!

PRO: Only having to take three finals in two weeks instead of five thereby giving you more time to study/outline between finals. So if you like to miss class and procrastinate on your studies this may be a PRO to you. But if you are a hardcore gunner this may be a CON (see below).

CON: I would argue, that having more time to study between finals would increase the overall average score for any final, while having little affect on the top performers. Having three finals as opposed to five, therefore, would make the curve much tighter as their would be less variance between the top scorer and the median scorer making it harder for any hardcore gunner to standout!


It's actually 5 finals in 9 days :evil:

Repartee16
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Repartee16 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:08 pm

Are there any dire career affecting stigmas about going to SMU for the part time program? Such as, being able to get onto Law Review, interviews, networking opportunities?

If a firm were interviewing two identical candidates that graduated from SMU, would the full time applicant win every time? The hours seem nicer to be able to wake up later since I'm more of a night person anyway. I'm just worried that PT and FT graduates are judged differently by employers that PT graduates come from a lesser stock.

Also, just a quick question since you ARE a 1L. How many Asian students are in your class?

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swilson215
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby swilson215 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:23 pm

Repartee16 wrote:Are there any dire career affecting stigmas about going to SMU for the part time program? Such as, being able to get onto Law Review, interviews, networking opportunities?

If a firm were interviewing two identical candidates that graduated from SMU, would the full time applicant win every time? The hours seem nicer to be able to wake up later since I'm more of a night person anyway. I'm just worried that PT and FT graduates are judged differently by employers that PT graduates come from a lesser stock.

Also, just a quick question since you ARE a 1L. How many Asian students are in your class?


I'm a 1L in the FT program now, and I can't really answer your question about the PT program, but I know that other PT students have discussed this in the other SMU threads (SMU 2012 and SMU 2014 for sure, just do a forum search for those threads).

As far minority presence, I would say that FT, non-LLM there are, like, five Asian students in my section of 84 people.

Repartee16
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Repartee16 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:28 pm

Ah, thanks for the help. I'm new to these forums, I'll definitely check these out!

Pretty low numbers I suppose, I'm full Korean, I was just wondering the strength of the Asian presence at SMU. Wish it would help with admissions :(

jms1987
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:04 am

Just bumping this to see if anyone can give an update on how hiring/recruitment is going at SMU.

TheCaptain
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby TheCaptain » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:14 am

I am also very curious about hiring this year. I've been thinking about law school for several years now, particularly SMU, but would like to see things pick up a bit before committing. Who is landing the best gigs out of SMU? How high does your class rank need to be?

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squ1rtle
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby squ1rtle » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:56 am

TheCaptain wrote:I am also very curious about hiring this year. I've been thinking about law school for several years now, particularly SMU, but would like to see things pick up a bit before committing. Who is landing the best gigs out of SMU? How high does your class rank need to be?


These guys are landing the best gig at SMU:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22ExEe9n ... r_embedded

TheCaptain
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby TheCaptain » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:04 pm

Haha, thank you squirtle

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:15 pm

From what I can tell (as a 2L), it's pretty hit or miss. I know of people into the bottom half who have at least decent firm jobs but I also know of people in the top half who are struggling to fill their summer. Career Services seems to be trying really hard and the partner to practice program is a genuinely good idea but I think they are struggling to get legitimate positions for the program.

Any other questions feel free to ask.

TheCaptain
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby TheCaptain » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:28 pm

Thank you so much for your response. Actually, I do have another question. Are any additional scholarships given out based on first year performance? I have a friend who went to Texas Tech law and finished in the top 5 of her class after the first year. Lo and behold, they gave her a full ride after that, maybe to persuade her from transferring. I'm not sure if she actively leveraged this or if it was just offered to her. Does anything like this happen at SMU?

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:53 pm

TheCaptain wrote:Thank you so much for your response. Actually, I do have another question. Are any additional scholarships given out based on first year performance? I have a friend who went to Texas Tech law and finished in the top 5 of her class after the first year. Lo and behold, they gave her a full ride after that, maybe to persuade her from transferring. I'm not sure if she actively leveraged this or if it was just offered to her. Does anything like this happen at SMU?

Few things are certain in life. Death, Taxes, and SMU refusing to negotiate on scholarships. It sucks but at least they are pretty across the board with it. I may be wrong about that but I think what you get is what you get.

That being said, if you do well enough to be in that kind of position, the Dallas legal world is your oyster so it's kind of a moot point.




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