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.