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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soccerchick47
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby soccerchick47 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:02 am

A question for a SMU 1L: are there any students in your class or other classes that you know of that DON'T plan on practicing in Dallas after graduation? I'm not sure if I would or not, but I'd like the option to work back at my home state (large midwest city) if I want. I'll know a few lawyers here that could provide connections outside of law school networking, but I'm concerned that it might not be enough. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Thirteen
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Thirteen » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:14 pm

Is there a significant minority presence in the law school, and how do minorities interact with other students? At my undergrad (which should be easy to figure out by looking at my avatar), the black community sometimes seemed seperate from the university community at large. This won't affect my decision to attend in the fall, but it was something I have been thinking about.

Thanks to everyone for answering questions about SMU Law and about living in Dallas.

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utcris410
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby utcris410 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:33 pm

Thirteen wrote:Is there a significant minority presence in the law school, and how do minorities interact with other students? At my undergrad (which should be easy to figure out by looking at my avatar), the black community sometimes seemed seperate from the university community at large. This won't affect my decision to attend in the fall, but it was something I have been thinking about.

Thanks to everyone for answering questions about SMU Law and about living in Dallas.

Here's the actual enrolled numbers: http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA6660.pdf

Hopefully a 1L can answer how interaction might be.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:58 pm

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

About 20-30 stations, not used a whole lot. Nearly everyone has a laptop, and the IT has instructions to set up the law school printers on your computer. You get like $150 or something like that credit for the whole year of printing. Printing from westlaw and lexis is separate, and free (there are special westlaw and lexis printers, which is at every school, I think).



Undergrad, yes. Lawschool, no.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:12 pm

betasteve wrote:
keg411 wrote: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:?

For OCI: We were told that around 20% of the class was getting jobs directly from OCI. This is an absolute horrible market, and even is in Dallas. The numbers used to be in the 40s. That said, I think SMU has declined at the same rate as everyone else, or maybe fared a little better. Take that for what it's worth. To land OCI firms (NLJ250-ish) from SMU, you are going to need to be in the top 15-20% until/unless the market changes. To work for a V100 firm, it is likely going to be top 10% with journal. These are estimations, as I have not yet gone through the 2L OCI, where the rubber meets the road. And I am using the NLJ and Vault lists as a very rough, broad categorizations.

I don't know an exact percentage. I would guess over 50%. There are people from all over, but it is dominated regionally (given SMU's regional strength and national weakness, this makes sense). Most everyone is from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.



I'm a 2L and went through OCI. Top 25% or top 20% will not land you a Biglaw job. Everyone I know that landed the high-paying clerkships were in the top 10%. The job market right now is still brutal and I say a thankful prayer everyday for two things: 1.) I'm not a 3L; and 2.) I landed two paying gigs next summer through networking, not OCI.

I mentioned this in another thread, but I know several 3L's in the top 25%, including a couple on law review, who are struggling to find a job (and freaking out about).

That said, I've spoken with some 3L's and 4E's who said that a couple of years ago the top 1/3 and top 1/4 were landing biglaw jobs left and right. I'm optimistic that when the job market turns around SMU can return to those numbers. Those who are currently 1L's and 0L's may time it just right.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:34 pm

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

About 20-30 stations, not used a whole lot. Nearly everyone has a laptop, and the IT has instructions to set up the law school printers on your computer. You get like $150 or something like that credit for the whole year of printing. Printing from westlaw and lexis is separate, and free (there are special westlaw and lexis printers, which is at every school, I think).



Undergrad, yes. Lawschool, no.

Can you clarify what you are responding to? He was asking specifically about the law school, so I am not sure what the relevance of the undergrad response is.



My mistake; I quoted the wrong post. I was responding the question about SMU students being fratty and snobby.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:42 pm

betasteve wrote:
holdencaulfield wrote:
betasteve wrote:
keg411 wrote: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:?

For OCI: We were told that around 20% of the class was getting jobs directly from OCI. This is an absolute horrible market, and even is in Dallas. The numbers used to be in the 40s. That said, I think SMU has declined at the same rate as everyone else, or maybe fared a little better. Take that for what it's worth. To land OCI firms (NLJ250-ish) from SMU, you are going to need to be in the top 15-20% until/unless the market changes. To work for a V100 firm, it is likely going to be top 10% with journal. These are estimations, as I have not yet gone through the 2L OCI, where the rubber meets the road. And I am using the NLJ and Vault lists as a very rough, broad categorizations.

I don't know an exact percentage. I would guess over 50%. There are people from all over, but it is dominated regionally (given SMU's regional strength and national weakness, this makes sense). Most everyone is from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.



I'm a 2L and went through OCI. Top 25% or top 20% will not land you a Biglaw job. Everyone I know that landed the high-paying clerkships were in the top 10%. The job market right now is still brutal and I say a thankful prayer everyday for two things: 1.) I'm not a 3L; and 2.) I landed two paying gigs next summer through networking, not OCI.

I mentioned this in another thread, but I know several 3L's in the top 25%, including a couple on law review, who are struggling to find a job (and freaking out about).

That said, I've spoken with some 3L's and 4E's who said that a couple of years ago the top 1/3 and top 1/4 were landing biglaw jobs left and right. I'm optimistic that when the job market turns around SMU can return to those numbers. Those who are currently 1L's and 0L's may time it just right.

It appears then, that Dean Sargent may not have been exactly correct, or her definition of OCI is different than your definition of biglaw, which could be the issue.

Either way, I think we are all in accord that Dallas, as every other market, blows in general. Dallas may have lagged into it and may be leading out of it, but it is still a risky proposition.


I didn't mean to imply that all OCI firms are biglaw, but my answer for job prospects would be about the same for both. While I would never directly discredit Dean Sargent, I would recommend that students be wary of job statistics given out by career services at any lawschool. I'm simply offering my first hand observations.

Also, check out this video for some humorous commentary on the issues; it's the 2009 follies video.
http://vimeo.com/4202868

**Edit** Please note that this video was made in jest for student entertainment. It does not necessarily reflect the true state of the lawschool nor the school's views or positions regarding the issues presented.

But I do love the UT grad struggling to decide between a federal clerkship and biglaw and Ari Kaplan's statements about research showing you will be more successful if you begin investing in your 20's.

Generic20101L
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Generic20101L » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:47 pm

How do you figure out class rank at a school if you're PT? Do you have to wait til 2L to figure out where you placed amongst all the 1Ls?

How does that work?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:58 pm

betasteve wrote:I'm annoyed that this year's video is still not online. I've heard rumor that they were trying to figure out if they were going to sell it instead. God I hope that's an incorrect rumor. It's one thing to make a funny video. It's another thing to think it's so funny it is a product. Not to mention that doing this would fly in the face of the law school standard. Hell — I think this year's video might be a fairly decent recruiting tool.



http://www.youtube.com/user/SMUfollies

Most of this year's Follies videos - if you watch nothing else, watch "Law School State of Mind"...

EDIT: For admitted students - "Who's to Say" isn't funny now, but it will be after orientation.
Last edited by nontradintexas on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:01 am

Generic20101L wrote:How do you figure out class rank at a school if you're PT? Do you have to wait til 2L to figure out where you placed amongst all the 1Ls?

How does that work?


You are correct - 1Es are not ranked in their first year, but I believe they are after the first year is complete and the 1Ls and 2Es combine.

ClemTiger
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby ClemTiger » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:39 pm

Any books we should pick up before we start in the fall (like Getting to Maybe) that might be helpful? Also, anything you wish you had known before you started, looking back at your first semester or year? Thanks for all the advice, this thread has been very helpful!

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holdencaulfield
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:22 pm

betasteve wrote:
ClemTiger wrote:Any books we should pick up before we start in the fall (like Getting to Maybe) that might be helpful? Also, anything you wish you had known before you started, looking back at your first semester or year? Thanks for all the advice, this thread has been very helpful!

G2M may be useful for getting your head around what a law school exam might be like, but really I didn't think it was all that helpful before school started. LSC was ok, in the sense that it gave you an idea of what to expect that was generally close and that is probably fine to get rid of some nervous energy around waiting for law school to start.

Otherwise, I would highly suggest learning to type at 100wpm or better if you can't already. It's crucial from class to preparing your outline to taking the exam. Seriously. Teach yourself to type if you aren't already extremely quick.



+1

Also, I'd recommend getting a good supplement for each 1L class and reading the applicable chapter before reading the cases assigned. I started doing this my 2nd semester and it helped immensely.

wannabealonghorn
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby wannabealonghorn » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:28 am

holdencaulfield wrote:ClemTiger wrote:
Any books we should pick up before we start in the fall (like Getting to Maybe) that might be helpful? Also, anything you wish you had known before you started, looking back at your first semester or year? Thanks for all the advice, this thread has been very helpful!


I don't think any book will really help you get head start in class. G2M and LSC will just make you less anxious about law school and give you somewhat accurate reflection of how your school will be. I would say relax as much as possible since it will be a long year! If you are really bored, you can scheme through Glannon's Civil Pro as Civil Pro is one subject that materials don't seem to vary that much by professors.

Once the school year starts, make sure to get some outlines from 2Ls as I found them the most helpful.

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thearchduke
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby thearchduke » Sat May 01, 2010 11:14 am

betasteve wrote:Otherwise, I would highly suggest learning to type at 100wpm or better if you can't already. It's crucial from class to preparing your outline to taking the exam. Seriously. Teach yourself to type if you aren't already extremely quick.


Any good programs out there?

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Sangiovese
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Sangiovese » Sat May 01, 2010 9:04 pm

Generic20101L wrote:How do you figure out class rank at a school if you're PT? Do you have to wait til 2L to figure out where you placed amongst all the 1Ls?

How does that work?


I'll start with the disclaimer that I am a 0L, but at the admitted students dinner the dean of student services explained how the evening program folks get integrated with the full timers for class rank, OCI, etc... I believe that I understood him correctly and this information is accurate.

Basically, at the end of our second year we will have completed all of the full time 1L courses. We will also have an additional 10-12 hours of electives completed that the full time students who are just completing their first year do not have.

At this point, we are integrated with the full time class of 2014 (or the one that entered in the fall after you if you're not talking about this fall's entering class) and ranked all together as the class of 2014. Our elective courses are not considered in this ranking - so we're all being compared on the basis of the same classes (Contracts I and II, Torts I and II, Civ Pro I and II, LRWA I and II, Property I and II, Con Law I, and Criminal Law).

Hope that helps.

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UTL_plz
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby UTL_plz » Mon May 10, 2010 12:28 pm

Does SMU offer discounts on PC and Mac software? Do they get any discounts on students purchasing laptops?

raoul79
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby raoul79 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:25 am

Can someone provide a review on the graduate dorms? Are they worth it? I inquired about being able to view a room next week and they denied my request. They stated that they would not have a unit to view at that time.

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Cmoss
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Cmoss » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:06 am

update on how your summer went and what this year has shaped up to be thus far?

nontradintexas
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby nontradintexas » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:12 am

Cmoss wrote:update on how your summer went and what this year has shaped up to be thus far?


Summer:
Minimal paid gigs for 1Ls, lots of public service work (but that helps get 30-hr pub svc requirement out of the way), summer night classes suck

Fall:
law review is a beating, OCI went well for some and not so well for others, biglaw still not hiring as deep into the class as a few years ago - but probably better than last year, OCI II coming up - with only 7 firms and a dozen or so government agencies participating, class load is better than 1L - it's all the other work that sucks the life out of you

12thman2011
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby 12thman2011 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:39 pm

I know this thread has been dead a while but I figured I'd give it a shot.

When did you hear from SMU about acceptance? Are they pretty generous with financial aid? Where are you living and how much are you paying if you don't mind me asking?

I really like the uptown area and highland park, but I'd have to sell a kidney to pay rent I'm afraid.

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Thirteen
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby Thirteen » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:53 pm

12thman2011 wrote:I know this thread has been dead a while but I figured I'd give it a shot.

When did you hear from SMU about acceptance? Are they pretty generous with financial aid? Where are you living and how much are you paying if you don't mind me asking?

I really like the uptown area and highland park, but I'd have to sell a kidney to pay rent I'm afraid.


I got the phone call on 2/25, and received a scholarship. I live downtown, and pay ~$1000 per month. I think I'm going to live Uptown next year, and definitely plan on living with a roommate to save on rent and utilities. Feel free to send a PM if you have any other questions.

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:03 am

12thman2011 wrote:I know this thread has been dead a while but I figured I'd give it a shot.

When did you hear from SMU about acceptance? Are they pretty generous with financial aid? Where are you living and how much are you paying if you don't mind me asking?

I really like the uptown area and highland park, but I'd have to sell a kidney to pay rent I'm afraid.

Same as 13. That was the first batch I think, then another round came out a bit after that. They can be very generous with scholarships. I know lots of people who have pretty significant scholarships.

Uptown has some sweet places and it's super convenient to food and bars. You can live in HP or University Park but you'd have to find roommates because the only thing reasonable there are 3 bedroom duplexes. The M street area is also convenient to food/campus/going out.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:23 am

If you applied EA, you'll get a call (if accepted) at basically the last possible day. They are very slow, always have been. However, they throw money around like drunk fratboys at a strip club.

If you want decent apartments without Uptown pricing, The Vilage off of Lovers and Skillman is nice enough, and close to school (5-7 minute drive).

I can rent you my couch for $300 a month, bills included.


I'll throw in my lot with thirteen and say go ahead and PM with any questions.

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:15 am

kalvano wrote:I'll throw in my lot with thirteen and say go ahead and PM with any questions.


Yo tambien. If anybody has questions I'm more than happy to give what feable answers I can.

Also, I'll undercut kalvano and rent you a love seat and access to my coffee table and tv for $250. And all biases aside, it's a sweet coffee table.

thewarflamingo
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Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions

Postby thewarflamingo » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:15 am

Can someone give an example of their finals schedule?

What are your opinions on how SMU structures the 1L curriculum by splitting classes into two semesters (advantages/disadvantages?)? Do you feel like you're at a disadvantage having to study for 5 finals during fall 1L when students at other schools only have 3-4 finals?


Thank you for answering my questions!




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