JXander wrote: Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
UT 3L here. Wanted to add my congrats to those already accepted and to wish the best of luck to those interviewing and still waiting to hear back.
emkay625 wrote:Congrats to all of the interviews and acceptances over the last few days! 1L here. Let me know if you have questions.
Why did you pick TX over other schools to which you were accepted?
How do you like the faculty?
I know this was directed at emkay, but I hope it's alright if I chime in too.
I chose UT with around a 2/3 discount on the instate cost over UVA at half cost and Northwestern at sticker. The decision for me mainly came down to 1) wanting to limit debt, 2) wanting to work in TX after graduation, and 3) having a soft spot for Austin and being somewhat close to all my family and friends (who are spread are Texas). It's undeniable that Texas firms will go somewhat deeper in class rank for people at UVA, but that would have meant paying around 50K more overall for that benefit. It wasn't an easy decision by any means, but I think the idea of less debt and Austin made UT come out on top for me. It ended up turning out to be a great decision--I'm fortunate to have done well and I'll be at a firm in TX where I'm really excited to go to after graduation. Also, Austin has been an absolutely great place to live for three years.
As for the faculty: I think they're great. I'm sure this is true at plenty of other places too, but I was very happy with how good the professors have been at actually teaching. (For some reason, I wasn't sure that professors could be both great teachers and great scholars--but I've been lucky enough to take classes from a good chunk of professors that fit that description.)
Awesome! I was hoping a 3L would jump in. What you wrote was fantastic.
Were/are you involved in any particular programs and/or organizations? If so, how did/do you enjoy them and feel they contribute(d) to your particular learning environment? What did you feel was unique about the school, aside from location, that made you enjoy learning the law?
It's hard for me to say what's unique about UT law, since it's the only law school I've attended. Based on TLS and things I've heard from people at other law schools, I would think that law schools can be pretty similar. I really like that UT has an atmosphere that is pretty much anti-gunner--there's a social pressure not be be a dickwad in class; I think that can differ some from school to school (UVA seemed to be pretty similar to UT in this regard). While I have plenty of good things to say about UT, I think it would disingenuous to go through a bunch of talking points that I'm sure are true at plenty of other schools too. I think your decision to go to law school should focus primarily on 1) cost and 2) employment prospects (specific to what you want to do after law school and where). Secondary stuff can be things like city and school environment, but things like clinics, programs, and organizations are going to be similar at most schools (with larger schools having some advantage is terms of variety).
As for particular programs or organizations I took part of: 1Ls are dividing into four different large sections, with each section having 4 small sections. There are 8 different societies (2 from each large section). There are activities with your small section (my small section was a little under 25, but we had around 385 students in our class), which are organized by your small group mentor (a 2L or 3L), and there are activities with your large group. It's actually a pretty great way to connect people in a larger school--you'll be having all your classes with your small group, and then all the large classes will be then with the entire large section of ~100 people (or whatever the number is). I didn't do much in terms of programs or organizations outside of the small section or society stuff (oh, forgot to mention, flag football happens with your small section in the fall, which can be really fun), but I don't really like the feeling of juggling multiple things. That said, I knew plenty of other 1Ls getting involved in different things that they really enjoyed (and made law school more enjoyable for them). People work differently--being involved in a lot of organizations as a 1L would probably have just stressed me out, but I know some people that joined multiple organizations and took on responsibility so they could actually destress from law school. It's funny how things can have the opposite effect on people.
Would you say most UT law students stay in Austin after they graduate or got to other cities in Texas such as Houston and Dallas?
Austin is a pretty tiny legal market--it's hard to get no matter where you go to school (maybe HYS with strong Austin specific ties would be in decent shape) since there's not that many jobs to go around and a ton of people want those jobs, since it means living in Austin. UT does well in Austin, especially compared to most T14 schools, but it's not by no means where most grads go. I would think that the largest groups go to Houston and Dallas (both legal markets are way bigger than Austin), then some to NYC, some to CA, etc.