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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squ1rtle
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby squ1rtle » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:13 am

Anyone know if SMU has or is planning on implementing an LRAP program for public service?

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legalese_retard
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby legalese_retard » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:38 pm

fixer wrote:I realize OP is part time, but does anyone have a "typical" weekly class schedule for a 1L at SMU? I know the courses and the number of hours, but what are the times of the classes? Are they back to back? If there are gaps, how long? How early do they start and how late is the last class? I realize different sections have different schedules. I am just looking for and example of a schedule.


First off, SMU is unique in how it structures its 1L classes. Most law schools have 1Ls take 4 courses a semester for their first year and typically take 12-13 hours/semester. At SMU, they split up some of the classes among two semesters and take 15-16 hours/semester. For example, this was my 1L year:

FALL:
Torts I - 3 hours (T/Th - 1-2:30)
Contracts I - 2 hours (M/W - 10-11)
Property I - 2 hours (M/W - 1-2)
Crim Law - 3 hours (T/Th - 10-11:30)
Legal Writing - 3 hours (T/Th - 3-4:30)
Civ Pro I - 3 hours (M/W/F - 9-10)

SPRING:
Torts II - 2 hours
Contracts II - 3 hours
Property II - 3 hours
Legal Writing - 3 hours
Con Law I - 2 hours

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:45 pm

fixer wrote:I realize OP is part time, but does anyone have a "typical" weekly class schedule for a 1L at SMU? I know the courses and the number of hours, but what are the times of the classes? Are they back to back? If there are gaps, how long? How early do they start and how late is the last class? I realize different sections have different schedules. I am just looking for and example of a schedule.



I asked when I initially visited SMU, and the adcomm told me they typically tried to start around 9:00 and be done by early-mid afternoon, and there was usually a break between classes.

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bonnieblue
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby bonnieblue » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:10 pm

How much weight have you gained from JD's chippery? Not gonna lie, my affection for that place coupled with its proximity to the law school concerns me...

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:14 pm

Any thoughts on what is the optimal proximity to campus? What's too close/too far?

do you grade onto law review/other journals or do you write on?

How do y'all feel about the class size? Is it too small? Having only 190ish ppl scares me a little bit coming from big public schools my whole life.

chrisokc
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby chrisokc » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:28 pm

How is the computer lab situation in the law buildings? Printers easy to access? I'm debating buying a laser printer.

HBK
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby HBK » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:11 pm

A friend of mine who graduated from SMU Law said that a lot of the students are very fratty and snobby. Is there any truth to that?

How would you describe the student culture?

NN4
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby NN4 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:12 pm

How is the summer looking for most of your classmates? Are they finding summer employment, public interest, or pro bono work?

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:27 pm

Living arrangements-wise what has worked for you and ppl you know? Living solo? With another law student? Someone outside of law school? House or apartment?

Given they were probably challenging, were your first semester exams about what you expected? Did any of them completely surprise you?

What do people do outside of class and studying? Do people do intramurals together and that sort of stuff or is it fend for yourself sociallizing?

Sorry if that's a scattered batch of questions. Just what's coming to mind at work right now. Thanks for the responses.

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Burgstaller04
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Burgstaller04 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:18 pm

Any diehard football fans in your class? Looks like June Jones is trying to make a comeback on the Pony Express.

Is the faculty generally approachable? Do they live in the ritzy areas near the campus or farther away?

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fixer
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fixer » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:01 pm

While I do not attend SMU Law, I do have a masters from SMU and I can say that the tailgate for the home football games is quite an event (for SMU, that is). After the "death penalty" years ago the football program is finally re-emerging and the University is making an effort to solidify the alumni snd current students' involvement on campus. The SMU tailgate is alot of fun, especially when the weather is nice. As a 1L, I would suggest studying on Sunday and spending Saturdays tailgating in the fall (when playing at home). Even if you don't go to the game you can still hang out grill burgers or have BBQ and drink cocktails or beer while watching any other televised game from tents equipped with satellite on a flat screen. It is a very friendly open event. MANY people don't go to the game and just hang around all day. Don't plan to study at the Law School on a saturday during a home game tailgate. The party is way too loud to concentrate and the music, beautiful people, and opportunity to drink and walk from tent to tent is quite a temptation. I took an LSAT prep on Saturday mornings at the Law School and found it to be a distraction. I think I will now blame my miserable score on the SMU tailgate.

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Burgstaller04
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Burgstaller04 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:24 pm

fixer wrote:While I do not attend SMU Law, I do have a masters from SMU and I can say that the tailgate for the home football games is quite an event (for SMU, that is). After the "death penalty" years ago the football program is finally re-emerging and the University is making an effort to solidify the alumni snd current students' involvement on campus. The SMU tailgate is alot of fun, especially when the weather is nice. As a 1L, I would suggest studying on Sunday and spending Saturdays tailgating in the fall (when playing at home). Even if you don't go to the game you can still hang out grill burgers or have BBQ and drink cocktails or beer while watching any other televised game from tents equipped with satellite on a flat screen. It is a very friendly open event. MANY people don't go to the game and just hang around all day. Don't plan to study at the Law School on a saturday during a home game tailgate. The party is way too loud to concentrate and the music, beautiful people, and opportunity to drink and walk from tent to tent is quite a temptation. I took an LSAT prep on Saturday mornings at the Law School and found it to be a distraction. I think I will now blame my miserable score on the SMU tailgate.


+1 for what it would do to me

keg411
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:34 pm

Are career opportunities as legit as they seem on paper (i.e. that the school really places better than it's rank)?

Also, what percentage of people are not from Texas? Are they looked on as "outsiders"? Or is it like every private school in the country where there is a certain percentage from the northeast :lol:?

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:22 pm

fathergoose wrote:How do y'all feel about the class size? Is it too small? Having only 190ish ppl scares me a little bit coming from big public schools my whole life.



In researching many schools, a common opinion seems to be that smaller classes very much discourage people from acting like a total douchebag, because everyone tends to know everyone.

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utcris410
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby utcris410 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:23 pm

:)

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bass08
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby bass08 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:16 pm

Any general thoughts/opinions on Dallas and Texas in general? I've never spent any substantial time in Texas (or anywhere in the south/southwest) but am seriously considering SMU (Dallas appears to be a really cool city and SMU sounds like a great school).

From what I understand, COL isn't too bad in the Dallas area. Is that accurate? How much would rent for a decent 1 BR or 2 BR run (in wherever is a nice, affordable part of Dallas/surrounding area)?

I'm planning to visit sometime soon so hopefully that will give me some perspective on everything.

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fixer
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fixer » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:55 pm

^Here is info about Dallas but be advised I have liked Dallas enough to live here for all of my 35 years.

Dallas is cheap in comparison to other major cities. It is very hot. It is very flat. Culturally, not that much to offer- it is getting better. There are no mountains, no beaches and no river. Well, there is the trinity but it is more of a creek most of the time. There are some nice lakes within a couple hours of downtown.

Everyone does not wear a cowboy hat, boots and ride a horse. Yes, some people do, but it is the exception rather than the rule. It is legal to carry a concealed weapon (if you are properly licensed), but very few people actually do. (people always ask me about this).

Dallas has fantastic shopping and good food. There is valet parking almost everywhere. The people can be very flashy and shallow while charming and courteous at the same time. Once you spend some time here you will see what I mean.
There are people here from all over the country. Many people come here from other places while many people from here go elsewhere. Some are surprised when they meet a native Dallasite. There are quite a few large corporations based in the Metroplex which draw employees from all over the country.

Being centrally located, and having a busy international airport makes for shorter flights to each coast, and cheap and convenient weekend trips to Mexico. Southwest Airlines is headquartered here and flying non-stop to adjacent states from Love Field in Dallas is nice in comparison to flying from DFW International.

If you have heard the saying “Don’t mess with Texas”, there is some truth to it. There are many people here who just don’t take any shit and their response to being threatened or antagonized can be extreme. There is less obnoxious confrontational, loud behavior here than some other places because you just never know who you are messing with or how they will respond. It is a “walk softly and carry a big stick” kind of a place.

Some people consider Texas a Southern state, others consider it Southwestern, but it is really just Texas. People are generally proud to be Texan. A mistake many people make when they come here for the first time is miscalculating how large the state actually is. Don’t plan to take a weekend road trip and “see the state”. For example, El Paso is half way to Los Angeles from Dallas. It takes about 4 hours to drive between Dallas and Houston and 9 (or more) hours between Dallas and Padre Island. Being so large allows for the cities to have their own distinct culture. What is true about Dallas is not necessarily true about Houston, San Antonio, Austin, or the cities out west.

I know I mentioned it before but again, it is HOT. And I don’t mean it gets hot. It stays HOT. The temperature can hit over 100 for weeks and even months at a time during the summer.

Dallas is home to some of the most attractive women in the world. :shock:

I hope this helps!

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Burgstaller04
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Burgstaller04 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:11 pm

As a person who was born in North Texas, grew up in East Texas, and has lived his adult life in West Texas, I agree with that entire post. All of it is very true about Texas and Dallas.

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legalese_retard
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:53 pm

[quote="bass08"] From what I understand, COL isn't too bad in the Dallas area. Is that accurate? How much would rent for a decent 1 BR or 2 BR run (in wherever is a nice, affordable part of Dallas/surrounding area)?
quote]

You can find a "comfortable" apt in the Village, which is very close to campus and is a massive area filled with different apartments. The newer ones are very nice and can run from $900-1200 for a one bedroom, or you can go to an older apartment where the rent ranges from $500-700. The only problem is, this area is filled with undergrads. It is also prone to car breakins, but is generally safe.

Dallas had a huge apartment building boom in the last 5 years. Before then, the newest would have been built in the 1980s (prior to the S&L crisis). Since construction lagged behind the population rate, there were several new apartments being built throughout the city. You can find a really nice one bedroom for $1000-1200 in the Uptown area. I know several law students live there and it is a short commute to campus.

Other places include Oak Lawn and Knox Street/Henderson where you can come across really old apartments but with few units (4-10 units). They are usually owned by individuals and are pretty cheap (plus most of the tenants are retired and will be quiet).

When searching, look for brand new developments that are still in construction. The way apartment lending works, a bank will provide loans on a piecemeal basis as the complex is built. Part of the lending agreement requires an apartment to be leased out at a certain percentage. With the economy the way it is, several places have to offer really low rates so they can meet that quota to qualify for an additional loan. So a place might be listed as $1300/month, but might only be charging $800/month at the time in order to fill up some of the units faster. Also note, Texas law prohibits apartments from increasing the rent more than 3% per year, which includes any concessions received during the first month. So even though the market value of an apartment is listed as 1300 but was offered to you for 800, an apartment can only increase your rent by 3% based on the 800 figure.

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fixer
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fixer » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:41 pm

^I don't know where you get your info regarding rental increases but I have never heard of anything like this. I have been a licensed buyer/tenant rep in Texas for 15 years. Other than the part about rental increases this is good information.

--LinkRemoved--
This link is to the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) FAQ page and this topic is addressed.

This is what it says:
Is there any limit on rent increases?
Texas does not have any rent control laws. Rents are determined by property owners and are typically market-driven.


If there are rental increase limits, I stand corrected and I have learned something very valuable but I do not think this is the case.

chrisokc
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby chrisokc » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:38 am

Do any of you 1Ls remember when SMU sends out the financial aid package information? Like an actual breakdown of available loans, etc.? I'm trying to get a picture of exactly how much money I'll have available.

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utcris410
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby utcris410 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:20 am

Not to take away from the above question, but are there any 1Ls here who were interviewed for the Hughes scholarship?

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bass08
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby bass08 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:55 pm

Thanks a lot to those of you who responded to my questions. I really appreciate the information and insight you gave.

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fixer
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fixer » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:19 pm

^You're very welcome. Please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about Dallas. I am happy to share my perspective.

cafloyd12
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby cafloyd12 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:23 pm

chrisokc wrote:Do any of you 1Ls remember when SMU sends out the financial aid package information? Like an actual breakdown of available loans, etc.? I'm trying to get a picture of exactly how much money I'll have available.


+1




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