SMU 2011

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
bartleby
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:23 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby bartleby » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:05 pm

Nothing is as bad as NYC. My friend has a place in LES right by NYU, shelled out 1400, and had a miniature toilet with the bathtub less than 8 inches away from it. Even so, places to BBQ and pool definitely varies by complex and location in Dallas.

@Sandro

1. I don't want to move 12 hours away from Houston.

2. I wouldn't mind staying in Texas. This is all speculation but UGA seems to face pretty stiff comp for ATL from Emory, GSU, and all those other schools without their own big legal markets in neighboring states. Not saying that SMU and UT share Dallas exclusively but it seems like a favorable numbers game. At worst, I have a small connection (worked at a small sized law firm in Houston for a year) that could be a back up.

Everything depends on the scholarship offer though. If it is less than 5k more in tuition per year, then I'm probably going to SMU. I know room and board will a big diff in $$, though

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:10 pm

bartleby wrote:Nothing is as bad as NYC. My friend has a place in LES right by NYU, shelled out 1400


That's actually a steal. I assume he had 3 other roommates, right? :P

User avatar
timmah427
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby timmah427 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:11 pm

Justathought wrote:
timmah427 wrote:
Take a look at the Village Apartments across the freeway and a couple of exits north of campus. They have different complexes ranging from seedy to really nice. I love my complex, the Dakota. I'm guessing it's the most expensive, but my roommate and I got an awesome deal, and the amenities are outstanding. There are lots of young people, but no undergrads, which is nice. Westchase and Northbridge are pretty decent too, and They should be cheaper.


Here's a silly question: I'm from NYC, and as you know its a very clustered and vertical city. Its also not very warm, unlike Dallas. Since Dallas is a more open city, do a lot of apartment complexes have pools and outdoor spaces? Places to BBQ and such? Just curious, as that's something I'd probably enjoy and search for, if such things are commonplace.


Yes, many do. Most newer/nicer complexes will have pools.

My comPlex has 2 pools with grills next to them and a hot tub. The village also has a "country club" with a huge pool where they have pool parties during the summer, which I usually avoid since I don't enjoy hanging out with jersey shore wannabe d-bags. But to each his own.

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:13 pm

timmah427 wrote:
Justathought wrote:
timmah427 wrote:
My comPlex has 2 pools with grills next to them and a hot tub. The village also has a "country club" with a huge pool where they have pool parties during the summer, which I usually avoid since I don't enjoy hanging out with jersey shore wannabe d-bags. But to each his own.


The first sentence made me very happy. The second sentence made me want to vomit.

User avatar
RaspberryBeret
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:06 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby RaspberryBeret » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:16 pm

Accepted FT today! Scholarship offer: $0.00/year
My other four acceptances have offered me money, so I don't think I'll be going to SMU, unfortunately. Not willing to pay sticker price for any school. I practically begged for some money, but no dice. :'(

FYI: I was originally held for further review after applying early. So, held people, do not give up hope!!! However, I don't think anyone else will be hearing today, I was just in a very unusual circumstance (PM if you want to know the details, but it's not anything interesting or scandalous).

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:19 pm

RaspberryBeret wrote:Accepted FT today! Scholarship offer: $0.00/year
My other four acceptances have offered me money, so I don't think I'll be going to SMU, unfortunately. Not willing to pay sticker price for any school. I practically begged for some money, but no dice. :'(

FYI: I was originally held for further review after applying early. So, held people, do not give up hope!!! However, I don't think anyone else will be hearing today, I was just in a very unusual circumstance (PM if you want to know the details, but it's not anything interesting or scandalous).


Grats on the acceptance, sorry about the lack of a scholarship. How did you find out about aid so soon? It was my understanding that it came at a later date.

bartleby
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:23 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby bartleby » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:21 pm

RaspberryBeret wrote:Accepted FT today! Scholarship offer: $0.00/year
My other four acceptances have offered me money, so I don't think I'll be going to SMU, unfortunately. Not willing to pay sticker price for any school. I practically begged for some money, but no dice. :'(

FYI: I was originally held for further review after applying early. So, held people, do not give up hope!!! However, I don't think anyone else will be hearing today, I was just in a very unusual circumstance (PM if you want to know the details, but it's not anything interesting or scandalous).


Yeah, seriously, how'd you find out so soon?

User avatar
RaspberryBeret
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:06 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby RaspberryBeret » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:40 pm

I'm a former SMU employee, so I guess that was part of the reason?

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:42 pm

RaspberryBeret wrote:I'm a former SMU employee, so I guess that was part of the reason?


Cool, that makes sense. If you're willing to share any general thoughts on the law school and/or university as a whole, I would love to hear them.

User avatar
RaspberryBeret
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:06 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby RaspberryBeret » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:51 pm

Justathought wrote:
RaspberryBeret wrote:I'm a former SMU employee, so I guess that was part of the reason?


Cool, that makes sense. If you're willing to share any general thoughts on the law school and/or university as a whole, I would love to hear them.


I should clarify, I wasn't a professor or anything remotely important (I'm still in undergrad) but I worked at a summer camp for three summers at SMU. I didn't have much experience with the law school, just the main campus. I love the environment and everyone in administration is really nice. People in the financial aid office really do try to help people out (except me, apparently). I've known tons of administrative people to work overtime without being asked just to make sure students were getting the aid they needed. If you act like the stereotypical SMU spoiled child, don't except them to treat you like a princess, however. Random, but Umphrey Lee is some of the worst college food ever though, but I'm told the summer food isn't the same as the regular semester food. Oh and everyone should hang out with Richard, who works at the 7-11 near campus! If you're nice, you'll never have to pay for slurpees!

deliriousxix
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:44 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby deliriousxix » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:17 pm

for anybody who is stalking around for more info on SMU (like me), this thread was super helpful. It's from 2 yrs ago but it has a lot of good information in it. It'd be nice for more PT information though.. soo if there is any current PT students lurkingg... :)
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=95176

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:23 pm

Man, it has been a strange week in URM-splitter land. Let's put a nice bow on it, shall we -

In order: Rejected at Wisconsin, Accepted at SMU (YAY!), Waitlisted at Cardozo, Waitlisted at Iowa, Accepted at Suffolk, Accepted at Chicago Kent, Rejected at Albany.

Who knows what next week will bring, but I'm psyched for SMU.

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:36 pm

So I'm looking at housing options. The Dakota in the Villages looks very promising. :D

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:32 pm

The Village is nice. Lots of people, convenient to school, not far away from good restaurants and bars, etc.

Kyllo
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:51 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Kyllo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:31 am

Application status still "Complete". It has been "complete" since 1/12/2011. I posted this question awhile back and got a few responses but I'm throwing it out there again because it is starting too look like maybe SMU needs to get a phone call. Did anyone who has received a response ever go into "Review" or did they go straight to accepted, denied, and held from "complete"? Starting to get alittle nervous since people who have been held are getting decisions. Since we live in Texas, SMU would be an easier transition than an out of state school.

User avatar
ebo
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:49 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby ebo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:02 am

Kyllo wrote:Application status still "Complete". It has been "complete" since 1/12/2011. I posted this question awhile back and got a few responses but I'm throwing it out there again because it is starting too look like maybe SMU needs to get a phone call. Did anyone who has received a response ever go into "Review" or did they go straight to accepted, denied, and held from "complete"? Starting to get alittle nervous since people who have been held are getting decisions. Since we live in Texas, SMU would be an easier transition than an out of state school.

My complete date changed from when I submitted my app back in Nov. to 1/28 (I believe) and then changed again to accepted a few days later.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:33 am

deliriousxix wrote:for anybody who is stalking around for more info on SMU (like me), this thread was super helpful. It's from 2 yrs ago but it has a lot of good information in it. It'd be nice for more PT information though.. soo if there is any current PT students lurkingg... :)
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... =4&t=95176


I am a 2E. What would you like to know about the PT program?

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:47 am

nouseforaname123 wrote:
deliriousxix wrote:for anybody who is stalking around for more info on SMU (like me), this thread was super helpful. It's from 2 yrs ago but it has a lot of good information in it. It'd be nice for more PT information though.. soo if there is any current PT students lurkingg... :)
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... =4&t=95176


I am a 2E. What would you like to know about the PT program?


Oh I'll bite, since you're here.

1. One class per evening? 4 nights per week?

2. How much time did you devote to your studies during 1L, was it rewarding?

3. Could you discuss potential job opportunities through OCS? I understand they likely won't be of help until November, but once you can use OCS, are the helpful in finding you a solid job that will work with your studies?

4. How do students who work deal with summer associate positions? If I want a prime associate position, and its lucky enough to be offered, would I essentially be quitting a current job for a 10 week position and employment after graduation?

5. Could you provide a little more insight into the full-time transfer process? What are the drawbacks in terms of OCI and Law Review? Is it possible to graduate in 3 years without forgoing summer employment options?

6. How happy are you in the evening program at SMU? Does the Dallas legal community really view SMU as highly as is often cited?

I know that's quite a few questions, but your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much! :)

Edit: I searched your post history and found that great part-time description you wrote. It answered a few of my questions, but made me add one more: What type of and what estimated percentage of employers are not interested in hiring from the PT program?

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:42 pm

Justathought wrote:1. One class per evening? 4 nights per week?


"1L classes" are the 12 core courses that everybody takes. FT students take those classes exclusively during their 1L year. PT students spread them out over their 1E and 2E years.

As a 1E you will have two classes per evening, Monday thru Thursday for ~66% of the semester. No evening classes on Friday nights. It breaks down to roughly a three hour nightly class schedule. Two classes MW, two classes T/Th. About 2/3 of the way through the semester your Legal Writing paper will be assigned and you'll have five weeks to complete it. Your Legal Writing class stops meeting once the final paper is assigned. While your class time drops by three hours a week, you are still busy with the paper. First semester you turn in the paper about three weeks before finals start and you are done with Legal Writing. Second semester is slightly different due to moot court, but the time frame is roughly the same and Legal Writing wraps up about three weeks before finals start.

You'll take 1L classes throughout the first two years on campus and you must take those at night so that you stay with your section (FT 1L's are broken down into Section 1 or 2; the PT section is always Section 3).

Once you hit your 2E year and beyond, subject to some minor restrictions and the required evening 1L classes, you are free to take whatever classes you want whenever you want. I have classmates that have front loaded their schedules and only take classes M-W. Others only take classes M and W. I've learned that for purposes of finals I prefer to take three class a semester and limit myself to three final exams. Currently, I have two classes on M/W (6:00-9:05) and one class T/Th (6:00-7:40).

Justathought wrote:3. Could you discuss potential job opportunities through OCS? I understand they likely won't be of help until November, but once you can use OCS, are the helpful in finding you a solid job that will work with your studies?


I presume you are talking about work during the school year? Although there are OCS counselors dedicated to the PT program, there aren't extensive job opportunities created exclusively for PT students during the school year. OCS generally sends out a daily email of job opportunities that specify what classification of students an employer is targeting. However, employers will specifically target jobs for PT students. So a job opportunity that might show up in your in box will read something like: "Small firm seeks PT student who can work 30 hours per week." Occasionally, a non-legal employer will seek a PT job applicant. My general impression is that most PT students who needed a job hustled for it themselves.

Justathought wrote:5. Could you provide a little more insight into the full-time transfer process? What are the drawbacks in terms of OCI and Law Review? Is it possible to graduate in 3 years without forgoing summer employment options?


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 would be a good credential to have on your resume. It would probably be tougher to job hunt during your second year on campus without it 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.

I think it is possible to graduate without forgoing summer employment but it would be tough. Note, as a PT student you are locked into the first two semesters in terms of credit hours. You need 87 hours to graduate and need special permission to take more than 17 hours. What you want to do would look something like this:

1st Semester: 11 hours
2nd: 10 hours
3rd: 17
4th: 17
5th: 16
6th: 16

Assuming you can stay in Dallas for that first summer and want to do LR your final year, I would spread the pain out to make it look like this:

1st: 11 hours
2nd: 10 hours
SUMMER after 1E: 4 hours (Everybody takes Business Enterprise, it is always offered in the summer and rumor is that it is easier in the summer).
3rd: 16 hours
4th: 16 hours
5th: 15 hours
6th: 15 hours

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.

Justathought wrote:6. How happy are you in the evening program at SMU? Does the Dallas legal community really view SMU as highly as is often cited?


Personally, I'm really happy with the evening program. It has allowed me to keep my pre-LS career, which allows me to attend school without taking on any debt. It is much harder holding down a FT job in a professional field while attending school but it is worth removing the stress of student loans.

It is hard to get employers to be honest with you about the PT program. Everybody will tell you that they welcome PT students. On the other hand, you hear enough anecdotes to understand that some employers aren't interested in hiring out of the PT program. My solution is to look for employers that have actually hired out of the PT program. SMU does a good job of selling the program to employers; recruiters and attorneys on hiring committees at local firms are very familiar with it. The PT program has graduated enough students now that you meet graduates of the program when interacting with the legal community. None of those graduates are partners yet so occasionally you find yourself explaining the program to some partners who don't happen to sit on the firm's hiring committee. I've found the best way to explain the program is explain that you are simply a member of the class of 201X that happened to get a year early start on the rest of your classmates. You'll be eligible for LR when they are eligible. SMU rotates all professors through evening classes, etc.... On a recent callback at a firm, two of the associates that interviewed me graduated from the PT program. I bring this up to show that PT grads are starting to establish themselves in the community and dispel any concerns that might exist with the program.

Whatever minor hostility I've perceived towards the PT program has actually come from mid-level and senior associates. It used to be that USNWR did not require schools to report LSAT's/GPA's of PT students. Some schools took advantage of this loophole and hid their weaker admits in the PT program. In the past, this created a hostility with FT students who thought the PT program was easier/dragging down a school's reputation. Those students are now mid-level and senior associates at law firms. I'm not suggesting an overt or outright hostility to the PT program. Just that whatever hostility I have perceived has been from that class of people.

Of the interviews I've had, employers were very receptive towards my work experience. They especially liked that I could show a clear career progression in my pre-LS career. They seem to use it as a signal for stability/commitment.

BTW, I'll be in a much better position to answer this question in the fall, after OCI. 1L hiring seems to be rather arbitrary.

Justathought wrote:Edit: I searched your post history and found that great part-time description you wrote. It answered a few of my questions, but made me add one more: What type of and what estimated percentage of employers are not interested in hiring from the PT program?


I don't know that there is a specific type. One of the firms that brought me in for a 1L interview last month is a huge international firm with over 150 attorneys in their Dallas office (I know they interviewed at least one other SMU PT student as well). Another firm would be classified as mid-law and the third would be classified as a boutique. I've heard enough anecdotes to believe that at least some firms stay away from PT students but I think it is a minority and it can't really be classified by type.

The school hosts mixers for students and law firms and you'll be invited to other meet and greet events hosted by individual firms. As long as you introduce yourself to enough attorneys, you'll meet people that have graduated from the PT program that work at particular firms. While this does not identify which employers shy away from PT students, it still allows you to identify some of the employers that do hire PT students. That's where I focused my efforts.

Justathought wrote:4. How do students who work deal with summer associate positions? If I want a prime associate position, and its lucky enough to be offered, would I essentially be quitting a current job for a 10 week position and employment after graduation?


Essentially, yes. However, I want to point out to you that in Texas, virtually all law firm summer associate positions last six weeks. Generally, Biglaw expects you to work for them the first half of the summer and you are free to do something else the second half of the summer. This may provide some flexibility with an employer.

Edit: for clarity.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:18 pm

Also, for people interested in PT, I do not believe SMU distinguishes between PT and FT on the JD itself. So, once you've graduated, there would be no need to say you went PT or anything like that. I don't know how valuable that is, but I remember hearing it several times. Once you've graduated, you have a JD, period. Not a PT JD.

mrwarre85
Posts: 685
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:40 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby mrwarre85 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:44 pm

Is that 3.76 GPA median SMU posts accurate? That seems impossibly high for a school with that low of a rank. 3.76/164 that places more students in the latest NLJ 250 than all of its peer schools.

Someone please explain to me why SMU isn't ranked 25th.. Bad review scores from judges/administrators?

User avatar
simontemplar
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby simontemplar » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:14 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:Is that 3.76 GPA median SMU posts accurate? That seems impossibly high for a school with that low of a rank. 3.76/164 that places more students in the latest NLJ 250 than all of its peer schools.

Someone please explain to me why SMU isn't ranked 25th.. Bad review scores from judges/administrators?


for real

User avatar
Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby Justathought » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:29 pm

Thanks for that detailed response nouseforaname123, its nothing short of incredibly helpful to me. I could see myself really enjoying the part-time program, my only concern comes with the issue of full time work in addition to law school. On one hand, the chance to make some money, and more importantly build a resume in law school, is very compelling. On the other hand, I did read your work-study schedule, and it sounds incredibly brutal. Sure, I could go PT and not work, but that just begs the "what the heck are you doing with all that free time" question from potential employers.

This of course is a personal decision, but it does seem like if an experience like yours pays off in the end, it is probably an incredibly rewarding personal achievement. With all that said, I really love what I've seen from SMU, and its students. I'm really favoring it at the moment.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:45 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:Is that 3.76 GPA median SMU posts accurate? That seems impossibly high for a school with that low of a rank. 3.76/164 that places more students in the latest NLJ 250 than all of its peer schools.

Someone please explain to me why SMU isn't ranked 25th.. Bad review scores from judges/administrators?



It's real.

And it's because no one really knows SMU outside of Texas. USNWR is heavily East-coast biased because that's where the "name" schools are.

mrwarre85
Posts: 685
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:40 pm

Re: SMU 2011

Postby mrwarre85 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:58 pm

kalvano wrote:
mrwarre85 wrote:Is that 3.76 GPA median SMU posts accurate? That seems impossibly high for a school with that low of a rank. 3.76/164 that places more students in the latest NLJ 250 than all of its peer schools.

Someone please explain to me why SMU isn't ranked 25th.. Bad review scores from judges/administrators?



It's real.

And it's because no one really knows SMU outside of Texas. USNWR is heavily East-coast biased because that's where the "name" schools are.


But USNWR has a rubric. They can't just fudge it because they are biased. Its got to be the surveys they send out-- perhaps SMU has no name recognition with judges/lawyers who turn in the surveys? Guess that would suggest that the surveys are national.




Return to “Law School Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 512, joezze, KeYe88, laqueredup, lillawyer2, TudoBem and 11 guests