SMU PT vs. FT Question

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CPM723
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SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby CPM723 » Sun May 22, 2011 7:26 pm

I have done a lot of looking around and I have still not found an absolute answer to this question:

Is it possible to transfer from SMU PT to their FT program? Also, are there any true differences between the PT and the FT programs other than the class loads and different class times? If anyone could clear this up that would be great.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby kalvano » Sun May 22, 2011 10:31 pm

1) Yes, you can transfer.
2) On paper, no difference. In reality, I believe OCI is a bit harder, etc.

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CPM723
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby CPM723 » Sun May 22, 2011 11:00 pm

I read somewhere that transferring to the full time program makes OCI harder because you do not have the same amount of credits. Is there any truth to this?

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kalvano
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby kalvano » Sun May 22, 2011 11:12 pm

I don't think you can transfer until you're done with all the equivalent credits of 1L. But I don't know much about the PT. Check the SMU thread in the "Acceptances" forum, there are some current PT people that browse it.

I want to say Iconclast is PT, but I might be wrong.

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CPM723
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby CPM723 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:11 am

Great. Thanks for the help.

nouseforaname123
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:29 pm

I am a current SMU PT student. It is possible to switch PT to FT. This question came up in the SMU 2011 thread. I posted the following:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=126107&p=4154935#p4154935

tl;dr version: If you are at the top of the class (say top 33%), accelerating graduation seems to be a bad idea b/c you can't accelerate graduation until after 1E year.

OCI - After your 1E year you will have 21 credit hours while the full time students who just finished 1L (and are a class year ahead of you; current 1L's are c/o 2013, current 1E's are c/o 2014) have 31 credit hours. It is important to note that the bulk of OCI hiring is done for 2L jobs that take place during the summer immediately preceding graduation. You are not allowed to participate in OCI with 21 credit hours. Say you accelerate graduation; now you are trying to participate in OCI after the summer immediately preceding your graduation. It will be hard to land an OCI job b/c you are graduating in 9 months and OCI employers are typically looking for people that graduate in 21 months.

The time frame looks like this:

FT student that enters as c/o 2013:

End of Summer 2011 - 2L participate in OCI
Summer 2012 - Work OCI job

PT student that enters as c/o of 2014 and accelerates into c/o 2013:

End of Summer 2011 - short on credit hours and can't participate in OCI (to my knowledge, there is is no way to make up the 10 credit hour shortfall in one summer)
Summer of 2012 - No OCI job
End of Summer 2012 - Go through OCI but with graduation 9 months away, most OCI employers not interested in hiring you

Law Review (I'm using "Law Review" as a catch all for both Law Review and Journals):

Same song, slightly different story, slightly different impact. There are two ways to make LR. The first method is to have the grades necessary for LR (or a particular journal) and make a passing score on the write on competition ("grade-on"). The other is to perform exceptionally well on the write-on competition ("write-on"). Full details here: http://smu.edu/lra/About.asp

You aren't eligible until you complete all of your 1L courses. PT students (including those accelerating graduation) don't complete their 1L courses until after their second year on campus. The impact of this is that you aren't eligible for LR until your final year of school. For whatever reason, OCS seems to think that one year of LR is a detriment to law students as you are expected to complete two years on LR. It seems like LR is a good credential to have on your resume. It would probably be tougher to job hunt during your second year on campus without the credential if you are planning on only spending three years on campus.

Here's the rub: if you aren't at least above median it is going to be very hard to land something at OCI and it is very hard to write-on to LR. IMHO, accelerating graduation won't hurt everybody, just those that were going to get something out of OCI and/or make LR anyways.

....

Finally, there is also a problem with applying for jobs and listing your anticipated graduation date. I don't know the exact cutoff but I believe that OCS won't allow you to move up the anticipated graduation date on your resume until you are within ~30 credit hours of graduation. This means that your resume and cover letter during your second year on campus would have to read "JD Candidate, May 2015" but you would have to explain to employers in your cover letter or interviews that you are trying to accelerate graduation to 2014.

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bass08
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby bass08 » Mon May 30, 2011 2:46 pm

One thing to add: it is my understanding that if you enter as a PT student and want to accelerate to graduate a full year ahead of schedule (i.e. from 2014 to 2013) you CANNOT participate in OCI. I think the reason for this is because after your 1E year you won't have taken all of the normal 1L classes yet, so you are not eligible.

Now, if you still want to graduate a little bit early, you can petition for full time status later on and graduate in 3.5 years instead of 4. Then, you'll still be eligible to do OCI after your 2E year, but then you'll just graduate a little bit early.

edit: i guess that was what was said above; sorry for the redundancy

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Iconoclast
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Re: SMU PT vs. FT Question

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:07 pm

nouseforaname123 speaks the truth.




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