(Sorry for taking so long to respond. Finals and all that.)
An important implicit assumption that apparently was not clear: I only want to caution people to think twice about OU if you want access to Texas biglaw. OU is a fine and reputable school for the state of Oklahoma and places as well (or better) as any T2 does in its home market. Another implicit assumption: there is no biglaw, in the TLS sense, in Oklahoma, only large law firms.
@mrwarre85: I don't disagree that OU might be a better value than Baylor, especially at those prices. However, neither is going to (statistically) give you a good shot at Dallas biglaw, no matter how good your networking skills are. Will you be able to land a job
in Dallas from OU? Probably. But I've been saying that from square one. I was very careful in saying that you'll need at least 25% and some fantastic networking (read: pulling strings) for biglaw or midlaw in Dallas, a point I have no problem standing by. I also seriously doubt you'll be able to network your way to a job all in one summer. Out of sight, out of mind, you know?
@amg131s: My post had a negative tone to avoid influencing someone set on making biglaw in Dallas from coming to OU. Though I'm not Dallas biglaw secure, I do have a market rate SA position this year at a very reputable OK firm, so I'm not having too much trouble forming meaningful connections in the OK legal market (though it was an incredibly uphill battle, you're right). I am, however, disgruntled at the rainbows and unicorns b.s. that many CSO and Admissions offices put out to attract students.
For example: I heard "We routinely place clerks on the 10th Circuit" ("routinely" might be a generous description), and "OU students have jobs in all 50 states" as answers to the question "Will graduating from OU give me a decent shot at getting market pay in Dallas?" When pressed more specifically, I've heard "Dallas is practically the Southern District of Oklahoma." and "We send about a third of our kids to Texas each year." The reality is quite different from the non-answers, as I wrote in my prior post. Just trying to impress on people that there's not truth in admissions. Again, this is all for Dallas (or Houston or Austin) biglaw aspirations.
OU is not by any means the only law school to operate this way. Entire websites have been founded (see, e.g., http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/
) on this problem, and this site has done a lot to at least put valuable information out there. But it's still a problem, and one that potential law students have a right to know, but rarely find out until it's way too late to make an informed decision.
Any bitterness on my part comes from not having such information available to me at the time I made my decision to enroll, despite my best efforts to get it. I am extremely fortunate with how my summer has shaped up. But what happened for me is, statistically, an anomaly and my fortune should not be taken to encourage others to try and duplicate my pseudo-success. There's no way I would have made the same decision knowing what I know now. If putting this information out comes across as bitter, but helps a student avoid picking a law school (any law school) for the wrong reason, so be it.
@byronmullens: I agree with your post entirely. I would also like to add that Oklahoma firms
are now hiring a disproportionate number of students from out of state, at least for SA positions. Schools like ND, WUSTL, HLS, UT, Duke and Vandy are making regular appearances alongside OU grads at the major firms in numbers not historically seen before. The same goes for Art. III clerkships.
@mrwarre85's last post: You're right. Practical reality is often very negative.