SMU Law Class of 2020

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2020)
Sean_33
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SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby Sean_33 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:49 pm

Didn't see a thread started, so below is a 'copy & paste' of last year's thread. Anyone else attending this fall?

Tuition & fees = $52,587.00

Living = $25,280.00

Employment Data:
http://www.law.smu.edu/career-services/employment-data


Dining Options:(Stolen from last years thread, feel free to make any suggestions)
Fast Food: Chic-Fil-A, Whataburger, Panda Express, Subway, In n Out Burger, Raising Canes
Sandwich shops: Roly Poly, Smashburger, Twisted Root, Jimmy Johns, Jason's Deli
Italian: Terreli's, Campisi's, Olivella's, Prego Pasta House, Amore
Mexican: Chipotle, Torchy's, Freebirds, Rusty Taco, Qdoba
BBQ: Peggy Sue's, Big Tex BBQ
Asian: PF Changs, Genghis Grill, Pei Wei, Lover's Egg Roll
German: Kuby's
Local pubs: Nodding Donkey, Trinity Hall Irish Pub, Barley House, So&So's, The Porch, Mckinney Avenue, Del Frisco's
Smoothies: SMUothies, Jamba Juice, Smoothie Factory

Please let me know if anything needs to be updated. Pony up!

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:44 pm

Recent grad here to answer questions.

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HenryHankPalmer
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby HenryHankPalmer » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:04 pm

What's the grade cutoff for BigLaw /Fed Clerk at SMU usually look like? It seems that the number has shrunk in the last ten years.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:28 pm

HenryHankPalmer wrote:What's the grade cutoff for BigLaw /Fed Clerk at SMU usually look like? It seems that the number has shrunk in the last ten years.

I don't think it's shrank at all. The market took a hit a few years ago across the board but I think it's back to normal. I can't say with certainty but I'd say most people in the top 25% gets big law if they want it. Clerkships are a lot harder to come by. Top 10% will probably get you a district court clerkship. Maybe even a flyover COA if you have strong ties. Other than that, you're looking at magistrate, Bankruptcy, or state appellate courts and you'll need to be in the top 1/3 to have a shot. A friend of mine was in the top 10% and did a district court clerkship for a year and then got a COA clerkship after. It's doable if you work your ass off.

The clerkship process is a giant pain in the ass. It's helpful if you know that you want to go that route early and start working with the judicial clerkship staff at the law school as soon as possible. They're great and will do everything they can to help you. I think 8 people from the class of 2017 got clerkships.

thetravelinglawyer
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby thetravelinglawyer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:02 pm

Clerkship situation is not as dismal as they look. The numbers are low because clerkships are just not that desired at SMU, it's not a litigation-focused law school so there's very few students even interested in them. Haynes hires an SMU grad very regularly, as do other 5th Circuit judges, and this year there's a DC Circuit clerk and I think another. Several district court and magistrate clerkships every year. SMU has a really solid federal judicial externship program, which is a big help I think if that's your goal. The numbers don't really tell the full story. I agree with TheJanitor that the school does a lot to help you if you know early on that you're interested in that, which is nice. Particularly if your grades are good, they really start throwing resources and mentors at you to help make you an attractive candidate. What works against you is that SMU doesn't inflate their grades like so many of the top law schools do, which is well known within Dallas so it won't hurt you with Big Law (at least Texas), but federal judges other than Haynes probably won't know that. If they do a percentile cutoff, you're fine since that's all relative, but if they do a GPA cutoff, coming from SMU makes things a bit trickier.

thetravelinglawyer
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby thetravelinglawyer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:08 pm

Also, it appears that Section assignments for 1Ls are up in my.SMU. You can see your professor names by clicking the "Show Instructors" checkbox in the weekly calendar view or just looking at the list view, and you can see your weekly schedule at a glance by looking at the weekly calendar view. They've been known to shift class times around last minute, so don't make any hard plans based on that, but it'll give you a feel for what to expect. Welcome to SMU :)

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:52 pm

thetravelinglawyer wrote:Clerkship situation is not as dismal as they look. The numbers are low because clerkships are just not that desired at SMU, it's not a litigation-focused law school so there's very few students even interested in them. Haynes hires an SMU grad very regularly, as do other 5th Circuit judges, and this year there's a DC Circuit clerk and I think another. Several district court and magistrate clerkships every year. SMU has a really solid federal judicial externship program, which is a big help I think if that's your goal. The numbers don't really tell the full story. I agree with TheJanitor that the school does a lot to help you if you know early on that you're interested in that, which is nice. Particularly if your grades are good, they really start throwing resources and mentors at you to help make you an attractive candidate. What works against you is that SMU doesn't inflate their grades like so many of the top law schools do, which is well known within Dallas so it won't hurt you with Big Law (at least Texas), but federal judges other than Haynes probably won't know that. If they do a percentile cutoff, you're fine since that's all relative, but if they do a GPA cutoff, coming from SMU makes things a bit trickier.


I'll second all of this but I'd like to add that getting a clerkship with Judge Haynes is extremely difficult (as with any COA judge). She has a HARD grade cutoff of top 10% to apply. I had a friend apply for a clerkship with her who was literally the first person outside of the top 10% with a GPA of .001% below the top 10%. Judge Haynes sent her an email asking my friend why she had the nerve to submit an application when she was "so patently unqualified" (yes, the email actually used those words).

And, yes, the judicial externship course is a great asset if you're wanting to pursue a clerkship. It allows you make connections with the judge you're working for as well as other judges at the courthouse. I took this course and got a clerkship through the relationship I made with judges during the externship.

Lastly, there were 7 graduates with clerkships this past May. Three with bankruptcy clerkships, two with a district court judge in Tyler, one with a state appellate court judge, and one with the Michigan court of appeals. There is also a graduate from 2016 who is currently clerking for a DC judge in Tyler that will be moving on to a COA clerkship in September for a judge on the Federal Circuit. As the above poster noted, clerkships could be higher at SMU but a lot of people aren't interested in that route.

thetravelinglawyer wrote:Also, it appears that Section assignments for 1Ls are up in my.SMU. You can see your professor names by clicking the "Show Instructors" checkbox in the weekly calendar view or just looking at the list view, and you can see your weekly schedule at a glance by looking at the weekly calendar view. They've been known to shift class times around last minute, so don't make any hard plans based on that, but it'll give you a feel for what to expect. Welcome to SMU :)


Feel free to ask about any professors.

domeratheart
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby domeratheart » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:33 pm

Probably too broad of a question to ask - upperclassmen, any recommendations for study guides for 1L classes?

I have the following professors:
Civil - Martinez
Torts - Ryan
Property - Inniss
Contracts - Crespi
Criminal - Palacio
Research and Writing - Heard

Any recommendation is appreciated!

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:04 pm

domeratheart wrote:Probably too broad of a question to ask - upperclassmen, any recommendations for study guides for 1L classes?

I have the following professors:
Civil - Martinez
Torts - Ryan
Property - Inniss
Contracts - Crespi
Criminal - Palacio
Research and Writing - Heard

Any recommendation is appreciated!


Of all those professors, I only ever had Ryan. She's great btw. I think I found the E&E helpful for that class. Once you get started you'll see the Barbri people in the pit trying to get you to sign up for bar prep early and they'll give a 1L outline book that was also really helpful. I don't think you had to actually sign up for Barbri to get it but maybe you do. I do know though, that if you did sign up, you also got access to the Barbri website and you could watch lectures for 1L courses to prepare for finals. I found those helpful for contracts and property.

For legal writing, you don't need anything. You honestly don't even need to buy the "required materials" for that course if you want to be a true rebel. (I think there was actually one book you truly needed because there are a few assignments in it throughout the semester). Most people never read anything assigned for legal writing.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:08 pm

Also, in case it's never mentioned later, next semester for those taking Con Law with Kahn, the Chemerinsky treaties is an invaluable study aid to use throughout the semester. Use it during the semester to better understand stuff and outline it in preparation for the final exam. He teaches directly from this treatise.

https://www.amazon.com/Constitutional-L ... FH7Z1H9631

thetravelinglawyer
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby thetravelinglawyer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:42 am

domeratheart wrote:Probably too broad of a question to ask - upperclassmen, any recommendations for study guides for 1L classes?

I have the following professors:
Civil - Martinez
Torts - Ryan
Property - Inniss
Contracts - Crespi
Criminal - Palacio
Research and Writing - Heard

Any recommendation is appreciated!


I had Martinez, Crespi, and Palacios. For Martinez, your ASP mentors will get you the Martinez Bible. It's basically every single thing he ever says in class, which is nice. I never ever ever did the reading for that class, the only thing I read was the Glannon guide, and I got an A, so... Highly recommend that one. Don't make eye contact with Martinez or he'll call on you all class.

Crespi will give you a book of every test question he has ever given and sample "A" answers for most of them. That's really the only study guide you need. Crespi doesn't cold call which is really nice, but it also makes it super hard to stay awake in his class. He's so nice though, you'll love him. Readings are always very short. I would suggest not buying the Restatement or the Treatise, just the casebook. You can get all the Restatement/UCC provisions for free off of Westlaw/Lexis, and the treatise isn't super helpful IMO. At the very least, hold off on buying those until you can skim a classmate's to see if it's helpful to you before dropping the cash.

I didn't use a supplement for Palacios, and I got a good grade.. It's a TON of reading because they cram a 1000 page textbook into one semester, but the material itself isn't hard, it's just a lot of stuff. Pay REALLY close attention to the review questions she does at the beginning of class, at least half of the final exam comes from those questions. Sometimes the answer she gives you in class will be just flat out wrong/contradict the class notes, but make sure you note the wrong answer, because she won't fix it for the final. The other 50% come from her slides, which she emails to you.

100% agreed that you don't need to buy the books for Legal Writing. Such a waste. You have to get the student manual, but otherwise, the books don't help at all.

I think Inniss is new.

russbp
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby russbp » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:06 pm

Here is a DropBox folder that has all of the outlines that I have. This is starting to get a bit dated, but it does contain things like the Martinzez Bible, and it is still generally helpful.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fp2hnr4bd33p ... Mt5Za?dl=0

Good luck!
Russ

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Roy McAvoy
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby Roy McAvoy » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:22 am

thetravelinglawyer wrote:
domeratheart wrote:Probably too broad of a question to ask - upperclassmen, any recommendations for study guides for 1L classes?

I have the following professors:
Civil - Martinez
Torts - Ryan
Property - Inniss
Contracts - Crespi
Criminal - Palacio
Research and Writing - Heard

Any recommendation is appreciated!


I had Martinez, Crespi, and Palacios. For Martinez, your ASP mentors will get you the Martinez Bible. It's basically every single thing he ever says in class, which is nice. I never ever ever did the reading for that class, the only thing I read was the Glannon guide, and I got an A, so... Highly recommend that one. Don't make eye contact with Martinez or he'll call on you all class.

Crespi will give you a book of every test question he has ever given and sample "A" answers for most of them. That's really the only study guide you need. Crespi doesn't cold call which is really nice, but it also makes it super hard to stay awake in his class. He's so nice though, you'll love him. Readings are always very short. I would suggest not buying the Restatement or the Treatise, just the casebook. You can get all the Restatement/UCC provisions for free off of Westlaw/Lexis, and the treatise isn't super helpful IMO. At the very least, hold off on buying those until you can skim a classmate's to see if it's helpful to you before dropping the cash.

I didn't use a supplement for Palacios, and I got a good grade.. It's a TON of reading because they cram a 1000 page textbook into one semester, but the material itself isn't hard, it's just a lot of stuff. Pay REALLY close attention to the review questions she does at the beginning of class, at least half of the final exam comes from those questions. Sometimes the answer she gives you in class will be just flat out wrong/contradict the class notes, but make sure you note the wrong answer, because she won't fix it for the final. The other 50% come from her slides, which she emails to you.

100% agreed that you don't need to buy the books for Legal Writing. Such a waste. You have to get the student manual, but otherwise, the books don't help at all.

I think Inniss is new.


3L here, I had palacios as well. Her exam was straight off the slides/review questions. Pay attention, take notes, and generally don't bother reading all 100 pages per class she's going to assign. She's also very, very liberal and feminist, so some people loved her and some people couldn't stand her.

Stevoman
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby Stevoman » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:14 pm

No-so-recent grad also here. Chiming in on random points:

Legal writing - save your money on the books, just buy the printed manual from alpha graphics (or whoever they're using now).

Con law - get the Chemerinsky book regardless of who you have. Kahn follows it exactly. Bloom follows it mostly. Even if your professor doesn't use it, it's still extremely helpful.

Martinez - he's great; relax and enjoy the ride. You can either jump into the class arguments he starts if that's your thing, or sit in the back and play StarCraft. I chose the latter.

twokings
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby twokings » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:25 pm

Warning to anyone who takes Martinez!

If you speak up and participate in the first week of class, plan on being called on every day for the rest of the year and being asked your opinion. Sit to his far right and avoid eye contact.

Stevoman
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby Stevoman » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:50 am

twokings wrote:Warning to anyone who takes Martinez!

If you speak up and participate in the first week of class, plan on being called on every day for the rest of the year and being asked your opinion. Sit to his far right and avoid eye contact.


Yep.

Further, even if you don't sign up as one of his favorites in the beginning, be prepared to be called on for the rest of that day if you speak up in class.

thetravelinglawyer
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby thetravelinglawyer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:13 am

Roy McAvoy wrote:3L here, I had palacios as well. Her exam was straight off the slides/review questions. Pay attention, take notes, and generally don't bother reading all 100 pages per class she's going to assign. She's also very, very liberal and feminist, so some people loved her and some people couldn't stand her.


Yeah, with her reading she always falls so behind, so just read the next 30 pages ahead and you're fine. I will say this, whenever she called on someone to brief a case and they hadn't done the reading, she got PISSED and assigned us extra essays to write. So if you're not going to do the reading, just make sure you Quimbee it ;)

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BVest
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby BVest » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:59 am

Former SMU 1L'er here. These are definitely starting to get dated, but here are my 1L outlines:

Civil Procedure - Thornburg
Fall Outline (SMJ, PJ, Supp. J, Removal, Venue, Pleadings)
Fall Short Outline
Spring Outline (Joinder, Aggregate Lit, Discovery, Judgment Motions, Preclusion, Erie (very limited on Erie))

Criminal Law - Palacios
Outline

Property - Forrester
Fall Outline (Intro, Acquisition, Transfer, Estates, Future Interests, Concurrent Interests)
Spring Outline (Concurrent Interests cont'd, Leases, Sales, Easements, Servitudes, Govt Regulation)

Contracts - Anderson
Fall Outline (Offer/Acceptance, Consideration, Remedies)
Spring Outline (Remedies cont'd, Statute of Frauds, Parol Evidence Rule, Avoidance (defenses))
Spring Short Outline

Torts - Ryan
Fall Outline (Intentional Torts, Actual Causation, J&S Liab, Loss of Chance, Consecutive/Concurrent Causation, Negligence (Duty & Breach))
Spring Outline (Negligence (Prox Cause, NIED, Economic Loss, Contributory), Trespass/Nuisance, Strict Liability, Products Liability, Damages)

Con Law I - Bloom
Outline
Short Outline


Personally, I learned the most from actually making the outlines (in a very solid 4 person outline group, 3 of whom graded on to LR), and I recommend using outlines only to supplement your own outlining/understanding of the subject.

And, since I'm recycling, here's a write-up I did of my 1L profs for the class of 2016

domeratheart
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Re: SMU Law Class of 2020

Postby domeratheart » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:35 pm

Thank you all so much for sharing the insight!


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