SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

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thetravelinglawyer
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby thetravelinglawyer » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:50 pm

kalvano wrote:
woopig2017 wrote:However, I've also received some other offers (from Baylor, Alabama) that make me question whether I want to take out the necessary loans. My dream is to work in Dallas, preferably in a larger law firm for some time and to eventually move in house.


I can answer other questions later, but given the marked text, your best choices are: most of the top 14 ---- UT ----- SMU ----- others.

Alabama for your goals would not be a good choice. Baylor is rarely a good choice.


Very accurate. If you want to work in Dallas, and you can't get UT or higher, SMU is your choice. Everything else is an uphill battle.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:07 am

woopig2017 wrote:SMU is my top choice right now, however I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the people who are going to or have gone there could answer:

1) In the context of your ability to reach your career goals, are you happy that you chose SMU?
2) If you were to be in the top 1/3 of your class, how confident would you be about getting a job making $70k+?
3) Did you enjoy your time as a student?
4) Was attending school here worth it? (do you feel like it was the right decision for you all things considered?)


Tardily following up on my statement that I will answer these questions. Disclaimer: My firm is very unusual and it's highly likely that working in such an awesome place colors my view of having gone to SMU. If I were working some random Gibson-Dunn / Dentons / Baker Botts interchangeable Biglaw firm, I don't know how different my thoughts would be.

1) Yes and no. Ultimately, I'd like to leave Texas, and I'm unsure how SMU will translate out of the market, even with specialized (and hopefully) desirable work experience. However, for working in Dallas, SMU is pretty hard to beat simply due to proximity and the number of local firms that hire from SMU. Even if I'm unable to leave Texas at some point, my firm is generally pretty amazing and I wouldn't be sad to stay here for some time.

2) Fairly confident. Dallas is somewhat different than other legal markets you read about on TLS in that there are a number of actual mid-size law firms where the pay is not either $180,000 or $35,000. There is a pretty broad range of in-between in the Dallas market.

3) Mostly. I've expounded at length in prior threads about what I think SMU does well and what they do poorly. It's been a bit since I graduated, but I'd be willing to bet most of it is still applicable. However, even with the negatives, SMU is a generally enjoyable and laid-back place to go to law school, with some pretty amazing faculty members.

4) Yes. I pretty much had to stay in the D/FW are for family reasons. I could have gone elsewhere if I really pushed for it, and I almost did leave, but it ultimately worked out far better to stay here.

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PrezRand
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby PrezRand » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:33 am

PatriotP74 wrote:
woopig2017 wrote:SMU is my top choice right now, however I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the people who are going to or have gone there could answer:

1) In the context of your ability to reach your career goals, are you happy that you chose SMU?
2) If you were to be in the top 1/3 of your class, how confident would you be about getting a job making $70k+?
3) Did you enjoy your time as a student?
4) Was attending school here worth it? (do you feel like it was the right decision for you all things considered?)

I really really want to go to law school here, and I currently have the $30k/year scholarship to attend. However, I've also received some other offers (from Baylor, Alabama) that make me question whether I want to take out the necessary loans. My dream is to work in Dallas, preferably in a larger law firm for some time and to eventually move in house. Any answers/advice would be greatly appreciated!


1L here

1. Odds are your career goals will change (unless you have some previous connection) while in law school. Mine certainly have, but either way I am happy I chose SMU.

2. Extremely, I would even say it would have to be personal choice if you didn't make that from the top 1/3.

3. Only a 1L but so far yes I've enjoyed my time here, SMU is a very friendly law school, haven't ran across anyone who wasn't willing to help.

4. There will always be one other offer that will haunt me, but it would have required a big move, and not working in Dallas right out of school. So all things considered yes.

If you want to go Biglaw like others have said T14-UT-SMU for Dallas. SMU certainly gives you a ton of opportunities to meet the right people and make it happen. But you also will need the grades, and let me say no matter what your LSAT or UG GPA grades are not certain. You would certainly need to be top 1/3 for a decent shot at Biglaw, I have however heard of a few alums who met the right people/had the right resumes that got it around 50%. If your dream is to work in Dallas/less debt SMU with 30k is a great option. If you want to work Biglaw, T14+UT will always be a better option.

Alabama and Baylor should not be considered. Although out of the two Alabama with ties to Dallas would probably be better than Baylor but thats just my .02

If you have lived in Dallas for 20 years, went to undergrad there, want to practice law in Dallas, and then got into Bama with a full-ride, do you think it would be a bad decision to go there?

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kalvano
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:21 am

PrezRand wrote:
PatriotP74 wrote:
woopig2017 wrote:SMU is my top choice right now, however I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the people who are going to or have gone there could answer:

1) In the context of your ability to reach your career goals, are you happy that you chose SMU?
2) If you were to be in the top 1/3 of your class, how confident would you be about getting a job making $70k+?
3) Did you enjoy your time as a student?
4) Was attending school here worth it? (do you feel like it was the right decision for you all things considered?)

I really really want to go to law school here, and I currently have the $30k/year scholarship to attend. However, I've also received some other offers (from Baylor, Alabama) that make me question whether I want to take out the necessary loans. My dream is to work in Dallas, preferably in a larger law firm for some time and to eventually move in house. Any answers/advice would be greatly appreciated!


1L here

1. Odds are your career goals will change (unless you have some previous connection) while in law school. Mine certainly have, but either way I am happy I chose SMU.

2. Extremely, I would even say it would have to be personal choice if you didn't make that from the top 1/3.

3. Only a 1L but so far yes I've enjoyed my time here, SMU is a very friendly law school, haven't ran across anyone who wasn't willing to help.

4. There will always be one other offer that will haunt me, but it would have required a big move, and not working in Dallas right out of school. So all things considered yes.

If you want to go Biglaw like others have said T14-UT-SMU for Dallas. SMU certainly gives you a ton of opportunities to meet the right people and make it happen. But you also will need the grades, and let me say no matter what your LSAT or UG GPA grades are not certain. You would certainly need to be top 1/3 for a decent shot at Biglaw, I have however heard of a few alums who met the right people/had the right resumes that got it around 50%. If your dream is to work in Dallas/less debt SMU with 30k is a great option. If you want to work Biglaw, T14+UT will always be a better option.

Alabama and Baylor should not be considered. Although out of the two Alabama with ties to Dallas would probably be better than Baylor but thats just my .02

If you have lived in Dallas for 20 years, went to undergrad there, want to practice law in Dallas, and then got into Bama with a full-ride, do you think it would be a bad decision to go there?


What's the offer from SMU? Alabama is going to be an uphill battle to get into Dallas, period.

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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby woopig2017 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:38 am

kalvano wrote:
woopig2017 wrote:SMU is my top choice right now, however I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the people who are going to or have gone there could answer:

1) In the context of your ability to reach your career goals, are you happy that you chose SMU?
2) If you were to be in the top 1/3 of your class, how confident would you be about getting a job making $70k+?
3) Did you enjoy your time as a student?
4) Was attending school here worth it? (do you feel like it was the right decision for you all things considered?)


Tardily following up on my statement that I will answer these questions. Disclaimer: My firm is very unusual and it's highly likely that working in such an awesome place colors my view of having gone to SMU. If I were working some random Gibson-Dunn / Dentons / Baker Botts interchangeable Biglaw firm, I don't know how different my thoughts would be.

1) Yes and no. Ultimately, I'd like to leave Texas, and I'm unsure how SMU will translate out of the market, even with specialized (and hopefully) desirable work experience. However, for working in Dallas, SMU is pretty hard to beat simply due to proximity and the number of local firms that hire from SMU. Even if I'm unable to leave Texas at some point, my firm is generally pretty amazing and I wouldn't be sad to stay here for some time.

2) Fairly confident. Dallas is somewhat different than other legal markets you read about on TLS in that there are a number of actual mid-size law firms where the pay is not either $180,000 or $35,000. There is a pretty broad range of in-between in the Dallas market.

3) Mostly. I've expounded at length in prior threads about what I think SMU does well and what they do poorly. It's been a bit since I graduated, but I'd be willing to bet most of it is still applicable. However, even with the negatives, SMU is a generally enjoyable and laid-back place to go to law school, with some pretty amazing faculty members.

4) Yes. I pretty much had to stay in the D/FW are for family reasons. I could have gone elsewhere if I really pushed for it, and I almost did leave, but it ultimately worked out far better to stay here.


Thanks for answering these Kalvano, I've gone back through and read a lot of the other SMU threads and I've seen a lot of the stuff you've already said there about the administration, SMU v. UT, etc. I really like hearing that there is more of a breadth of possible outcomes (as far as income goes) in the Dallas markets, makes it feel like its not an all of nothing type decision for BigLaw. Is there any way you could possibly elaborate on that? Like do the more mid-size firms still require similar billing for less money, or is it an equitable decrease on both? Also, would you say that people working in those firms feel stable in their job security, or is it more cyclical depending on how oil/gas/general economy is doing?

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Babe-Loblaw
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Babe-Loblaw » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:23 pm

kalvano wrote:
woopig2017 wrote:SMU is my top choice right now, however I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the people who are going to or have gone there could answer:

1) In the context of your ability to reach your career goals, are you happy that you chose SMU?
2) If you were to be in the top 1/3 of your class, how confident would you be about getting a job making $70k+?
3) Did you enjoy your time as a student?
4) Was attending school here worth it? (do you feel like it was the right decision for you all things considered?)


Tardily following up on my statement that I will answer these questions. Disclaimer: My firm is very unusual and it's highly likely that working in such an awesome place colors my view of having gone to SMU. If I were working some random Gibson-Dunn / Dentons / Baker Botts interchangeable Biglaw firm, I don't know how different my thoughts would be.

1) Yes and no. Ultimately, I'd like to leave Texas, and I'm unsure how SMU will translate out of the market, even with specialized (and hopefully) desirable work experience. However, for working in Dallas, SMU is pretty hard to beat simply due to proximity and the number of local firms that hire from SMU. Even if I'm unable to leave Texas at some point, my firm is generally pretty amazing and I wouldn't be sad to stay here for some time.

2) Fairly confident. Dallas is somewhat different than other legal markets you read about on TLS in that there are a number of actual mid-size law firms where the pay is not either $180,000 or $35,000. There is a pretty broad range of in-between in the Dallas market.

3) Mostly. I've expounded at length in prior threads about what I think SMU does well and what they do poorly. It's been a bit since I graduated, but I'd be willing to bet most of it is still applicable. However, even with the negatives, SMU is a generally enjoyable and laid-back place to go to law school, with some pretty amazing faculty members.

4) Yes. I pretty much had to stay in the D/FW are for family reasons. I could have gone elsewhere if I really pushed for it, and I almost did leave, but it ultimately worked out far better to stay here.



Kalvano, did you know/do you keep up with anyone who went into PI from SMU? I'm in a similar situation wrt to being geographically limited due to family stuff, and I'm wondering how difficult it would be for me to return to Austin after three years. I'm well-connected in both PI and private sector in Austin now due to my job and my activist work, but three years is a long time to be unplugged from my network. I know that's weirdly specific but I'm curious if anyone else you know has managed to make it work.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

woopig2017 wrote:Thanks for answering these Kalvano, I've gone back through and read a lot of the other SMU threads and I've seen a lot of the stuff you've already said there about the administration, SMU v. UT, etc. I really like hearing that there is more of a breadth of possible outcomes (as far as income goes) in the Dallas markets, makes it feel like its not an all of nothing type decision for BigLaw. Is there any way you could possibly elaborate on that? Like do the more mid-size firms still require similar billing for less money, or is it an equitable decrease on both? Also, would you say that people working in those firms feel stable in their job security, or is it more cyclical depending on how oil/gas/general economy is doing?



Billing versus salary is going to vary wildly by firm. There are firms that pay $80,000 and require 2600 per year, and there are firms that pay $160,000 and require 1900 hours per year. It's really impossible to say outside of Biglaw, which is the crappy part - it's definitely a roll of the dice when you take a job with a smaller firm. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get a boss that throws chairs at your head.

As to job security, each market has its own cycles. If you're in a niche practice area, then you want to try and find out how the firm plans for down times. Do they actively seek out additional opportunities, or are they locked in to one specific practice area? My job is pretty much completely unaffected by oil and gas, but is dependent on the housing market. However, my firm actively seeks out additional growth opportunities so on the downturns, there is still work to do.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:04 pm

Babe-Loblaw wrote:Kalvano, did you know/do you keep up with anyone who went into PI from SMU? I'm in a similar situation wrt to being geographically limited due to family stuff, and I'm wondering how difficult it would be for me to return to Austin after three years. I'm well-connected in both PI and private sector in Austin now due to my job and my activist work, but three years is a long time to be unplugged from my network. I know that's weirdly specific but I'm curious if anyone else you know has managed to make it work.


Not a lot of people, but some. Austin is going to be hard to get into, but I know people from my class who went to work for the state down in Austin. It was far more common to get jobs in Houston from SMU than Austin, though.

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PatriotP74
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby PatriotP74 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:51 pm

PrezRand wrote:If you have lived in Dallas for 20 years, went to undergrad there, want to practice law in Dallas, and then got into Bama with a full-ride, do you think it would be a bad decision to go there?


Well I was in that exact position, and I chose SMU, so take that for what its worth. I did have a few personal factors as well but almost any school outside of the T14(and UT of course) is going to be more difficult to work in Dallas without going to school in Dallas (considering SMU only of course).

Would it be doable? I think so, it would take a lot of hard work on your part, but sure its possible. I can't say you'd have the same chances as someone graduating from SMU but I'm sure you'd have a decent chance.

woopig2017
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby woopig2017 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:08 pm

kalvano wrote:Billing versus salary is going to vary wildly by firm. There are firms that pay $80,000 and require 2600 per year, and there are firms that pay $160,000 and require 1900 hours per year. It's really impossible to say outside of Biglaw, which is the crappy part - it's definitely a roll of the dice when you take a job with a smaller firm. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get a boss that throws chairs at your head.

As to job security, each market has its own cycles. If you're in a niche practice area, then you want to try and find out how the firm plans for down times. Do they actively seek out additional opportunities, or are they locked in to one specific practice area? My job is pretty much completely unaffected by oil and gas, but is dependent on the housing market. However, my firm actively seeks out additional growth opportunities so on the downturns, there is still work to do.


Y'all are the best for answering all of these questions, it has been extremely helpful and encouraging!

On another note, does anyone have a rough ballpark of when we might hear who got invited to interview for the Sumner?

BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:37 pm

Just got a mail from Dean Skipworth inviting me to apply for the Hughes schol? Anyone else got it?

Any idea on what are the criteria used to select the scholars? Any inputs from current students are much appreciated.

TexAg95
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby TexAg95 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:13 pm

Babe-Loblaw wrote:Do y'all think it's too late in the cycle to ask SMU for a fee waiver? I found out quite recently that I need to stay in Texas for school, and I'm kind of scrambling to get in all of the local applications that I didn't earlier in the cycle.


I've actually got an extra fee waiver if you want one. I attended a recruiting event and they gave me one, but I instead used the merit-based waiver from LSAC. Not kidding, it's all yours. I know it's a brutal $75.

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Babe-Loblaw
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Babe-Loblaw » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:16 pm

TexAg95 wrote:
Babe-Loblaw wrote:Do y'all think it's too late in the cycle to ask SMU for a fee waiver? I found out quite recently that I need to stay in Texas for school, and I'm kind of scrambling to get in all of the local applications that I didn't earlier in the cycle.


I've actually got an extra fee waiver if you want one. I attended a recruiting event and they gave me one, but I instead used the merit-based waiver from LSAC. Not kidding, it's all yours. I know it's a brutal $75.


I actually got one within a day of emailing them! If someone else still needs it send it their way.

Shihbro
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Shihbro » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:07 pm

Babe-Loblaw wrote:
TexAg95 wrote:
Babe-Loblaw wrote:Do y'all think it's too late in the cycle to ask SMU for a fee waiver? I found out quite recently that I need to stay in Texas for school, and I'm kind of scrambling to get in all of the local applications that I didn't earlier in the cycle.


I've actually got an extra fee waiver if you want one. I attended a recruiting event and they gave me one, but I instead used the merit-based waiver from LSAC. Not kidding, it's all yours. I know it's a brutal $75.


I actually got one within a day of emailing them! If someone else still needs it send it their way.



Hi - I would really appreciate the waiver if it's still available?

TexAg95
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby TexAg95 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:03 am

Shihbro wrote:
Babe-Loblaw wrote:
TexAg95 wrote:
Babe-Loblaw wrote:Do y'all think it's too late in the cycle to ask SMU for a fee waiver? I found out quite recently that I need to stay in Texas for school, and I'm kind of scrambling to get in all of the local applications that I didn't earlier in the cycle.


I've actually got an extra fee waiver if you want one. I attended a recruiting event and they gave me one, but I instead used the merit-based waiver from LSAC. Not kidding, it's all yours. I know it's a brutal $75.


I actually got one within a day of emailing them! If someone else still needs it send it their way.



Hi - I would really appreciate the waiver if it's still available?


Definitely, if the other guy already managed to find one, send me an email at Williams1995@tamu.edu and I'll send it as an attachment.

Sean_33
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Sean_33 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:45 pm

Does anyone know the deadline for submitting the scholarship reconsideration request form? I assume anytime before the first seat deposit is due would be fine. Anyone have reason to believe otherwise?

Lawser24
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Lawser24 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:21 am

Sean_33 wrote:Does anyone know the deadline for submitting the scholarship reconsideration request form? I assume anytime before the first seat deposit is due would be fine. Anyone have reason to believe otherwise?


+1

would also like to know this. I'm visiting late March and I'm worried if I send in the reconsideration form a week before the seat deposit deadline I won't hear back in time. Also, really unfortunate that it's $750 non-refundable...

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:56 pm

Current 3L signing on to take questions as well.

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Tazewell
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Tazewell » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:06 pm

.
Last edited by Tazewell on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Js1482
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Js1482 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:22 pm

Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.

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BoyJord
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby BoyJord » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:24 pm

Js1482 wrote:Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.


+1

woopig2017
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby woopig2017 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:43 pm

Js1482 wrote:Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.

From what I've heard, SMU doesn't really negotiate on scholarships unless your offers are way way better. As far as I know, 90k is the best you can possibly do without getting one of the special scholarships you have to send a separate application for.

Anyone wanna guess when we might hear on Sumner interview invites? At this point I just want to know either way.

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Roy McAvoy
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Roy McAvoy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:42 pm

Js1482 wrote:Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.


Word was that last year they negotiated a little, but before that you were pretty much fucked and they appeared to pretty much just use the form to see what other schools offered for X LSAT and X GPA. I know pretty much no one in my year (current 2L) had any luck. So if they're trending toward actually negotiating, you may be in luck. Your guess is as good as mine.

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Tazewell
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby Tazewell » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:54 pm

woopig2017 wrote:
Js1482 wrote:Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.

From what I've heard, SMU doesn't really negotiate on scholarships unless your offers are way way better. As far as I know, 90k is the best you can possibly do without getting one of the special scholarships you have to send a separate application for.

Anyone wanna guess when we might hear on Sumner interview invites? At this point I just want to know either way.


I spoke to Ms. Skipworth about it and she said that they sent all of the applications to the Sumners foundation on the 15th, so they've really just started reading them. She said decisions are usually made the first week of March, and if we get an interview then we'll hear from the foundation, but if we don't, SMU admissions will email us.

I'm with you though. I just got the call from Texas today so the Sumners is really the only thing keeping SMU in the running for me. Hopefully we'll hear next week!
Last edited by Tazewell on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PatriotP74
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Re: SMU Dedman c/o 2020 Applicants (2016-2017)

Postby PatriotP74 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:08 pm

woopig2017 wrote:
Js1482 wrote:Does anybody have experience with the scholarship renegotiation? I got 90k and am above both 75ths. I got MUCH better scholarships from T20 schools, so I'm wondering how generous renegotiations are.

From what I've heard, SMU doesn't really negotiate on scholarships unless your offers are way way better. As far as I know, 90k is the best you can possibly do without getting one of the special scholarships you have to send a separate application for.

Anyone wanna guess when we might hear on Sumner interview invites? At this point I just want to know either way.



I can be proof that they will go above 90k, got 105k by negotiating. Whatever you do, definitely send in the form and try.




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